Frank and Willow #3

  (Photo origin unknown)
We met on a balcony,during a party,Frank and I. I was struggling with drinks with my friend Judy.Frank was watching Leo and Tony hang the lights.Arguing all the while. And then walked over in his very casual way,and began helping me. I however argued with him.Until we talked about the war. And other things. We finally left and he took me to a place the war hadn’t reached quite yet. An artist by the name of Picasso  had a showing in town. At a collectors house. Even though his work was banned.We went-and we drank. 

I couldn’t tell you much else…

I accused Frank of being too American.He was late for everything. Late for the war. Late for the dance. And I was engaged. I was hard headed. Furious. You had to be back then. Otherwise the Sharks would eat you alive. 

But we kept seeing each other.until the days grew into weeks. And we didn’t talk about the war.We didn’t talk about the past. We talked only of the future. And eventually. Paris was free again. And the war had ended. And we were still together. The years-turned into decades.But when I look back. I think of those lights and that party. That night. 

I never knew what he did…not exactly. We didn’t talk of that. We were living in it. We survived by talking of the future.that sustained us. He’s the reason I’m here today. 

Willow looked out the window.Then slowly rising from her chair. She looked at the girl from the paper writing every word down. “They don’t make them like that,not anymore.when the darkness comes,we become light,even for each other.everyone deserves great sex,and great love,great companionship.remember that.Its what we do this for. We make art out of it. But others make war.

Sara closed her note pad. Tried hard to swallow. “Wow that’s some story,Mrs Grey.” She had everything she could think of. Her story. Some photographs. She got up from the couch. “Thank you so much for sharing this.Really.” 

Willow only smiled. “Hey I was young once. And a journalist,like you. I wanted the story. Now I am the story. It’s just the circle.” 

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Frank and Willow #2

 (Photo origin) Kus voor de Opera / Kisses for Opera, 1950’s, Kees Scherer. Dutch (1920 – 1993)

I remember the lights.The music.The war was going strong,yes. But I was just a journalist. And everyone was tired. So tired from the death and the arguments and debates back home.I know it sounds silly-but-we did party. As often as we could. Oh,it was different than what you know.Being out of the country. We only had old Jazz. But there was still light. And I was in Paris. And Paris will always be Paris…

Frank & Willow #1

 (Photo origin unknown)

Part one

It was a small house. Thought Sara. As she sat on the sofa, pen and paper close by. But it was warm. Willow Grey moved around the place chattering,offering things to drink or eat. She was a small frame of a woman.But her mind was fully present. Her hair was white as cotton. And every few minutes she would sit down and cross her legs,and just stare straight ahead rubbing her bracelets. She wore a lot of old jewelry. But not the kind that ages a person. The kind that makes you ask questions. 

And that’s what Sara was here for.To ask questions. 

“I’m  a journalist for The View” she’d said,awkwardly at the door. “I’m really sorry, I know it’s early or late …is it late? Oh my gosh…you know it’s the weekend and you’re probably …”

Willow stood there at the door…amused…it had been a long time since anyone had reminded her of her younger self. 

“You better just come in. I don’t think you’ve eaten today.you know,breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do you like bacon?”

“Oh no.I’m a vegetarian and I’m on a diet…ma’am.” Sara said. Looking inside the house. It was in fact small. But open, with hardwood floors throughout. A living room. A library, and a kitchen. Off to the side there was a bedroom. Old pictures of young men in uniform lined the walls and sat proudly on display on the coffee table.

“Oh honey,dear,you have to eat real food.That’s what I always say. Eat. So you can think and stay on top.If you’re not on top of your life? Who is?. Keep your figure,sure. It’s very alluring for men. But we don’t stay pretty forever.I was pretty once but we all get old.Did you know? we used to add MSG to our food..That’s why our husbands are all dead. Hmm… that’s why women dieted. The men would get the MSG and we would stay on top. Then they took the MSG away and the diets stayed.

Anyway,life is short,eat the bacon, drink the liquor. There will always be champagne and  cake. Every one is always trying to give you those things.” She sat down. “Now,what can I do for you, Sara?”

Sara sat there in silence for a moment. Taking in all the pictures and the dishes hanging from the walls. 

“I want to talk about your husband…Frank…well,you and your husband. You were together for …”

She looked at her papers for the years…

“We were together for 65 years. I don’t need a newspaper, you or Google to tell me that…I was there…I should know.”

Willow’s eyes grew soft and light …she started laughing to herself from some memory…and her mood suddenly changed.

“Oh dear,I would love to talk to you about Frank and I…what do you want to know?”

Sara’s heart jumped in her chest.

“I want to know everything.The whole story…if that’s ok.and if it’s ok with you,I’d like to do a story on it.On you.”

Willow sat back in her chair smiling.

“I was so hoping you would say that,it’s a wonderful story.One of my favorites.”