With a warped passion, Blondie delighted a bit too much in
scattering the reeking contents of four kitty litter boxes onto
the newly installed, expensive white carpeting throughout the
house where she lived for years with her boyfriend and his
four cats. She wanted to make sure that he at least thought of
her for the number of days that it took him to clean up the
stinky mess. It was her last act of defiance towards him. She
felt so good, so proud of herself for creating such a disgusting
inconvenience and mess for him to clean.
She walked back through the house looking around the
rooms, laughing and feeling so thrilled in her brat trademark
kind of way. She about broke her arm patting herself on the
back for being so clever to think of the disgusting idea in the
first place. This would teach him for demanding that she be
moved out before he returned from his business trip. She
intentionally did not buy kitty litter while shopping so that the
boxes were overpoweringly putrid from the front door. Then
with it scattered everywhere and the empty boxes thrown
down the basement stairs, the four cats would add to the mess
throughout the house the next three days before her boyfriend
returned home. She laughed wickedly when one cat already
started to add to the mess so quickly in front of her.
What Blondie didnâ€™t realize was that her cowardly act of
destruction so accurately characterized her lack of character
and would be just one more tale that she gave people around
town to tell when gossiping about her.
Blondie was, by all means, the oldest barfly in the small town
where tongues wagged if you just went outside in a matronly
robe to get your morning newspaper. She had her rare sober
moments and rare brilliant ideas, but for the most part, those
days were long gone for her. She was 54 years old and looked
much older. She didnâ€™t age well, but most alcoholics never
do. Blondie turned heads when she walked into a room when
she was a young girl, but those days were long gone as well.
Now all she turned were peopleâ€™s stomachs and their
heads in the opposite direction when her loud and vulgar
mouth and she entered a room.
The day before she emptied the kitty litter boxes onto her
boyfriendâ€™s expensive, new white carpeting, Blondie
rented herself a hotel room above a downtown bar. She told
herself it would be just for a short time until she got back on
her feet. A perk of moving there was that she would be spared
future legal problems of getting arrested for driving while
intoxicated. She wouldnâ€™t be driving anywhere since she
could just walk upstairs.
But ten years later, she still lived there. And one could be
certain that nightly Blondie could and would be found parked
on a barstool downstairs, being the loud, obnoxious drunk
who caused patrons to move to the other side of the room or
move a bit closer to grope her aging body. The owner always
made her third drink much stronger so that she would pack
up her purse and word search and puzzle books to head
Being the oldest barfly in town meant that she had arrived at
a place in her life where she had to turn it all around or go on
the rest of the downhill trip as though she were running with
scissors. She told herself that the best part, albeit the only
good part, of being the oldest barfly in town was that young
men looking for an easy, free lay always found her. She broke
in quite a few virgins in her time. While she fancied that they
boasted to their friends about their time with her, few of them
ever admitted to anyone that they had anything to do with
her- especially the nice young women they eventually found.
Blondie sometimes would see them afterwards and only a
limited few who came back for more ever spoke to her. One
was in his late 20s and became her toy boy on alternate
Friday nights for about 3 months last year.
In a way, he came to care about Blondie as much as anyone
possibly could. He didnâ€™t share her obsession to be
plastered on a regular basis and tried to make her cut back.
He thought she was still beautiful and didnâ€™t need to be
loud or vulgar or wear tops too small that showed lots of
cleavage to draw attention to herself. He was visibly
embarrassed when she got loud and stupid in the bar, but was
the only one to ever ask her to leave her barstool or bed to
have dinner down the street or take a walk. He hung around
for a while, but eventually threw in the towel when he saw
traces of cocaine on her dresser that one of the newer young
men left for her. His Blondie was into that as well and he was
Blondie missed her young man more than her hard heart
would admit. He was the first man to stay overnight and the
only one to run to get her coffee, bring her flowers, pour her
bath, wash her back or simply ask how she was and sincerely
want to know.
One Christmas Eve, Blondieâ€™s old boyfriend came by to
see her, but only for a moment. Apparently, she never had
contact with her sister or brother all those years and never
gave them her new flop house address. The old boyfriend put
a letter down on the bar and told her that he would not
deliver any future letters, only send them back. Blondie had
already had her third stiff drink in her system since the bar
would close at 5 p.m. that day, so she reacted in silent disbelief
that the letter addressed to one Lyndall Kaufmann was
actually real in front of her. She hadnâ€™t been Lyndall
since she was fired from her cushy job fifteen years ago. She
thanked the old boyfriend for driving across town on
Christmas Eve but he had already walked away and didnâ
€™t hear her. She opened the letter from her brother and
started to read.
Blondie read the letter twice to make sure she understood it.
The bartender asked if it were bad news. No, she told him.
Her sister died. The bartender just shook his head in disgust
with her cold heart. In spite of the fact that her family did not
talk to her for years, Blondie was included in her sisterâ€™s
will. She was to receive their motherâ€™s diamond bracelet
that Blondie once removed without permission from her
fatherâ€™s home after their mother died and was made to
return it or face arrest.
In addition, her sister also had money, stocks and investments
that she in part was giving to Blondie. There was a catch.
Blondie had to enter a detox program and then have her
sisterâ€™s financial planner be her payee. Nonetheless, it
meant she could leave the hotel and live a more comfortable
life by anyone elseâ€™s standards. It beat the $1,000 per
month disability check she got for being an addict.
However, Blondie already had the comfortable life she
wanted.. When she got up from her barstool to leave, the
bartender couldnâ€™t help but notice that she had wet her
pants again. He called her name to tell her that she left the
letter on the bar and that she did not leave her lighter and
cigarettes behind as part of their nightly agreement. She was
not allowed to smoke in her room because she would surely
fall asleep with a lit cigarette as she sometimes did sitting up
at the bar. Blondie stopped to put her cigarettes and lighter
down but did not take the letter from her brother.
Instead, from the payphone upstairs in the hallway, she called
her brother who did not recognize her voice. She told him that
he could shove the bracelet up his ass and give the money to
any of his sisterâ€™s favorite charities. She didnâ€™t want
any of it for herself. Her brother explained that the will was
exact and that nobody but Blondieâ€™s heirs could ever have
what was intended for her. Thatâ€™s easy, she said; the
brother was her sole heir. She congratulated him and said she
was sure he would look beautiful in their motherâ€™s
bracelet because she would never want it on her wrist again.
And she hung up, thinking Merry Christmas.
Blondie woke up from a two-day sleep late at night on
December 26th after having taken five seconals before
midnight on Christmas Eve. A fire truck blaring its siren
rolled by down the street and she heard music from the bar
juke box to confirm that she was definitely alive. The five pills
did not take her where she intended to go. She called the man
who sold her the five seconals and asked to buy eight or ten.
He was all out until after the first of the month. She said she
could wait a few more days.
On the morning of December 28th, Blondieâ€™s old
boyfriend dropped by again with a package from her brother.
It contained the bracelet previously discussed, some other
jewelry, some photos of the family and some of her when she
was a child. There was a document inside requiring her
signature allowing the financial planner to set up an account
in trust for her. Her old boyfried tried to reason with her to
accept it and get her life together. Did she really want to die
in this old hotel, he asked her as he slammed the door behind
him and did not wait for her reply.
Rather than stop downstairs at 10 a.m. for a breakfast glass of
wine when the bar opened, Blondie had a shower and took a
walk. She went to a deli down the street and ordered some
real breakfast food. It was the first breakfast she had had in
about a decade. She didnâ€™t think she would keep the
omelet down, but she did. She had an appointment to get her
dark roots touched up and dyed blonde to match the rest of
her bottled hair color. Instead, she used that money to buy
dinner and call her brother back.
She decided to accept the deal. She said she was going home to
fill the papers out and would have them in the mail that
afternoon. They talked a little and she smiled for probably the
first time in years. She canceled the second order of seconals.
Blondie kept walking back to the hotel thinking how nice it
will be to live in a real apartment with neighbors around. She
would take a walk later to a new development area of town to
put in an application there since they had garden apartments
and balconies. She started to walk faster to the hotel to get the
papers signed and in the mail. She stopped at another pay
phone to call her brother back again to ask if she could spend
New Years Eve with his family. She wouldnâ€™t drink. She
wouldnâ€™t laugh loudly. She would be Lyndall Kaufmann
again. She cried real tears of joy when he said yes.
Blondie kept walking back towards the hotel to start packing
her bag, though she wouldnâ€™t leave for two more days. She
was excited and started to walk faster.Maybe she would get
her dark roots died anyway, since it was a special occasion
and she wanted to look nice. All these thoughts raced through
her mind as she saw the hotel down a block and kept walking.
Blondie didnâ€™t see the car coming to make a right turn
and stepped out right in front of it. There just wasnâ€™t time
for the driver to stop. Her body flew right out of her shoes and
through the air and across the street at least 20 feet before
hitting a concrete wall with a loud thud.
Blondieâ€™s brother wondered why she didnâ€™t come to
his home or why she didnâ€™t call back to say what flight she
would be on. At first, he thought she might have got drunk
instead and was angry that he told his whole family that she
was coming. He was looking forward to seeing her. He found
out late in the day on New Yearâ€™s Eve that she had
significant head trauma and would not make it through the
night. He made arrangements for her to be buried next to
their parents and other sister who had died a few months
earlier of cancer.
At Blondieâ€™s wake, her brother spoke of the once brilliant
Lyndall who brought life to their home with her little girl
laughter and how disappointed everyone was that she
returned home only once after their mother died. To the few
gathered, mainly his children and his wifeâ€™s parents, he
announced that his other sister had a death bed confession
and admitted that she stole their motherâ€™s bracelet and
returned it along with other jewelry that Lyndall was accused
of taking. He wished that had never happened, because he felt
that there never would have been a Blondie if Lyndall had
been welcome to come home sooner.
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