Suzanne Really Started Something

Good morning all, This is Your Morning Briefing. Sunday, January 29, 2012.

I took yesterday off. Suzanne told me I needed to. She said she could tell I was tired and needed the rest. I’m learning to listen to this persona who apparently knows more about me than the   FBI and I do myself.

I was talking with her yesterday afternoon, when I told her she had really started something.

She looked at me innocently, and said, “Whaat?”

“When you started calling me Bobby.”

I told her about Friday evening when I walked into the Elbow Room, as I usually do every Friday, The first person I ran into was Amy and she looked at me with this grin on her face and said, ” Why hello Bobby.” Amy is the wife of Willie, the manager of the joint, and they are both good friends of mine. She is sweetheart. Willie, is a good guy, but on the other hand can also be a dink.  Although he does bring a certain charm to an otherwise fairly pedestrian saloon. Amy is also on my email list.  She told me she wasn’t sure what the hell I was doing, and I just smiled and said, ” Precious, I’m not sure either.” Precious…thats what Willie calls her when she’s on the phone with him and he’s trying to get something out of her.

“So, you see what you started.”

Suzanne said, “I know no one ever calls you Bobby, but I like the sound of it. For me it fits.”

I told her she could call me anything she wanted, and winked. Smiles around, even from Bailey and Brandy.

Anyway, I told Suzanne I call Amy the “Soupmeister.” On the occasional weekend she will make a big pot of soup for Willie and her, and on Monday mornings, when a bunch of us meet for coffee at the Elbow, there might be a couple of containers of soup for Wayne and I. Wayne is another friend of mine, and we are both what they call “widowers.” I think Amy feels sorry for us. Widowers is a word I’ve never understood. It’s such a hard word. I should prefer something softer.

Back to the question of where she came from when I interrupted her the other day.

Suzanne lit up one of her long, thin, dark cigars and the smoke from it that drifted through my trailer house with the sweetest smell ever. I know what you’re thinking, but its not that. I know that smell all to well.

She was born in Athens to Homer and Calliope Theopolous. When she told me that, I said, “Homer…I’m assuming you don’t mean Homer Simpson. From the look on her face, I could see she missed the joke. I told her I was just kidding, and wondered if her dad Homer wasn’t the world famous Greek writer, the one that every freshman college student is forced to wade through in lit class.

“That was him,” she said, and if you are thinking about patronizing me and telling me how much you enjoyed reading the Iliad when you were an undergraduate, you can put a sock in right now. He was my father, and I never got through but the first part myself.”

She went on to tell me that her mom, Callie, that’s what her friends called her, was a muse. So, I guess it runs in the family.

She said she always remembered her dad as always wanting to be a writer, but when he and my mom started having kids, he found it hard to support his family as writer, so he took out a loan and started a deli not far from the Acropolis.  He called it “Musings,” hoping it would catch on with the artist, poet and writer crowd. She said the tag line on all of the signs he used to promote the place read, “Where Good Friends Choose to Meet.” I said, “My god, that’s the same tag, the Elbow Room uses today.”

Anyway, she went on, “Musings did catch on, and on weekends when he would be open late, a lot of the aspiring and struggling artists, poets and writers would stop in for Ouzo and stuffed grape leaves. Grape leaves were the specialty of the house, and dad would always let them have a tab till they had a pay day if they were a little short. They would then stay till the wee hours, telling stories, sipping Ouzo, and occasionally an itinerant lute player would stop in and entertain the crowd for free drinks and tips.”

She told me when she got older, she would be there to help out, and those nights were always special for her.

I could see her face through the fading afternoon light and the smoky haze, and it was vibrant and beautiful. I said to her, “I love looking at you right now, it’s obvious those memories are special to you.”

“Oh Bobby, in the end, memories are all we really have, and we have to be careful to not stop making them, for when we do, we have lost something very dear.”

When she said that, I closed my eyes and for a couple of moments thought of times in my life past, and knew she was right. Then, snapping out my reverie, I said, “Okay, how’s about you and me make a memory. Champagne and strawberries again tonight. and the hell with green tea.”

Smiling broadly, and eyes sparkling, she looked at me and said, ” Bobby, you are really a little imp.” God I love it when she says stuff like that, I don’t know why.

She didn’t say no. (Fade to black)

Take care, be well and keep in touch. You know what to do.



About Bob Kallberg

Retired reporter. Concentrating now on recounting Joanie's 12 year battle with cancer, a battle she waged with extreme courage, determination and an indomitable spirit, that, for me, serves as an example.
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