We pulled away from the restaurant and I watched the rear view mirror for a black sedan, but saw nothing.
Marilyn was quiet—tilting her seat back and staring at the mosaic of coloured window squares, filling the darkness.
After a while she said softly, “It wasn’t like this back then—it was dark at night—the street lamps were dimmer.”
“Do you miss it?”
She turned, the side of her face resting on the seat, and looked at me somberly. “Do you believe me?”
“I believe you think you’re from the Thirties.”
“That’s not what I asked.”
I took a deep breath. There was no way I could ever lie to her.
“I think so—it’s crazy, but, in some weird way—yeah. I believe you.”
She leaned across and brushed her lips across my cheekbone. “Thank you for that.”
“I had something weird happen to me.”
I wasn’t intending to tell her—I just blurted it out.
“When we were in the Wymilwood Café and you were telling me about that swell in the rain…”
I stopped in mid-sentence. Swell—where the hell did that word come from?
“Go on, Joey…” She stopped and looked at me, embarrassed. “Sorry, I mean Scott.”
She looked very flustered.
“Why’d you call me that?”
She shook her head and was looking in for her clutch bag for something—cigarettes, I guessed.
“You don’t smoke,” I told her.
“So, what are you doing?”
She had tears in her eyes. “I don’t know.”
I wanted to stop the car and put my arms around her, but we were on the Parkway then, beneath the orange glow of the high-mast, high-pressure sodium lighting.
“If it’s any consolation, I don’t know either. We’re in this together, kid,” I rasped in my best Bogey accent.
She laughed and leaned back again, looking up at the sky.
“The stars are the same—that’s a consolation.”
“Is it so bad being here…now?”
“Now?” she repeated, pausing to think. “We have so many distractions… things that really rob us of what matters in life … back then, it may well have been the sweet spot, pure…heaven.”
“Heaven, I’m in heaven,” I crooned in my off-tune voice.
She playfully swiped my shoulder with her hand. “You make me want to turn on the radio and listen to Lena sing Stormy Weather.”
“Note to self, purchase Thirties tunes for the car.”
She sighed dreamily and turned her head to look at me.
“How about you, Scott—what if you could go back? Wouldn’t that be awesome to go, slip into that time? …What would you find? A lot of things the same, and a lot way more connected.”
“If you could go back with me—would you?”
I looked at her little girl face pleading with me and I knew the answer to that—I’d go anywhere, anytime with her.
“I’d go back,” I whispered.
She leaned over and curled up, hugging my arm.
Heaven, I’m in heaven. The words kept playing inside my brain.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.