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VOL 3. NO. 39 Monday, November 19 - Sunday, December 3, 2001
Addie Moss Weaves Another Tale
By Paula BOWIE
Addie Moss had never married. Hadn't wanted to. She had everything she'd ever wanted or needed in her life. Good family, good friends, and had been an accomplished nanny to the children of a very wealthy family. She had over 40 nieces and nephews hailing from a huge family in South Carolina and was the most popular person in the clan. Nicknamed "Moms Mabely" for not only her incomparable wit, but her appearance too, she could make a joke out of anything.

Her skin was the color of maple syrup with a round jolly face that framed a huge mouth and white teeth. She normally tied her short dark hair back with a red bandana and pulled on brown knee high stockings under long cotton skirts and knotted them at her knee. This was her most comfortable choice of outfits.

Some would have deemed Addie's humor as rather dark. It certainly was not always appropriate. But perhaps that was what made her so funny. Her naughtiness. Her intestinal fortitude. Her guts. Everyone knew that when she was in town, there was no need to look any further for entertainment. Addie was always on. Munching on an aluminum pie plate full of Crunch 'n Munch, she would weave one tale into another until her audience was spellbound. She never had to beg for the attention of her listeners. She seduced them into that place in her mind that created news via fantasy. I can still remember the story she shared the last time we visited her...

"Just because I'm now in a retirement home don't mean that I don't have a social life. Social life? I'm a social butterfly! Always have been. Always will be I guess. My mama said that by the time that I was two, I was dancing the Charleston on her living room coffee table as soon as company came through the door. I got many a spankin' for my little pranks and put ons. But that's the way I've always been. Anyway, back to my social life. You see, I figure since God's blessed me to be 89 years old and I still feel like getting around, I may as well make a few friends. Besides, this place ain't so bad. My apartment is kept clean by a housekeeper. Now, I like that. I figure I've been cleaning up behind people all of my life, now it's time for someone to do the same for me. The food ain't bad either. 'Course it don't taste like mine...

I met a nice man here. Not bad looking and likes to bring me extra dishes of Jell-O at supper. My favorite is green. But I hate when they try to include that fruit in there. Pineapple in particular gets stuck in my dentures. Anyway, his name is Eugene and we've taken to going to bingo together every Thursday night. I enjoy it. Eugene does too, but takes the game real serious like. Too serious if you askin me. Last time we was there, the lady in charge of calling the numbers didn't call any of Eugene's number for the first three rounds. He screamed at her so much that he was hoarse for the next two days.

Eugene invited me to watch a movie on his VCR in his apartment last Saturday evening. I eventually went, but I wasn't too keen on the idea at first. Call me old fashioned, but it ain't fittin for a lady to be entertainin' in no man's room in the evening and they ain't married. Nevertheless, I went but insisted that we keep the door ajar. For appearance's sake, of course. Eugene's place was nice and smelled like men's cologne and Ben Gay. He knows that I prefer Icy Hot. It just seems to take away the aches a little faster, if you ask me. Anyway, he was on his recliner with a blanket draped over the bottom half of his body. I took a seat in the chair next to him and the movie started.

Mid ways through the movie, I got up to go to the restroom. One thing about the bathrooms at this retirement home is that the toilets seem built for them skinny women. Well, I'm a full sized black woman and every time I go, I feel like a pure burden to that little glass throne. While I was searching for a towel to wipe my hands on, I decided to have a quick look around. Call me nosy if you want, but you can tell right much about a person by what's in their bathroom. Nothing was really out of the ordinary until I looked into the linen closet and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw a long brown object that looked like a...nah, couldn't be. A leg? What was a leg doing in Eugene's closet? I took just my index finger and tapped it. I don't know what I expected it to sound like, but it felt like hard plastic. My eyes scanned from the thigh of the leg, down to the foot. The leg was wearing Eugene's shoe! Well of course it was, it was his leg. Funny how I 'd never noticed it before.

"I suddenly got this overwhelming urge to laugh and immediately burst into a fit of giggles. I kept thinking that Eugene was the only person I knew who could actually occupy two places at the same time."

To comment on this or any other story by Paula V. Bowie email editor@metroconnection.info.

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