One of Those Words

She was in the liquor store a block away from my Aunt Martha’s Denver apartment. My boyfriend and I had gone to get some emergency thing for dinner. It was the evening after the Colorado State Final Forensics Tournament and I’d won second place in Original Oratory. It was a really big day for me. The woman was short and her bleached blond hair was permed but not combed. She was built like a little barrel. Her eyes were rimmed in red and watery blue. She was buying two half-gallons of vodka. We walked home with her, and my boyfriend (generally a pretty icky guy, or so I was to learn) helped her inside.

“What took you so long?” asked my mom.

“We met some lady in the liquor store who needed some help.”

“Some lush, probably,” said my aunt Martha. “This town is filled with widow-women who have plenty of money and nothing to do.” One of the main arguments my aunt used to inspire my mom to go back to teaching or, at least, get a job.

Lush?” I thought. “That’s how my mom described Hawaii.”


7 thoughts on “One of Those Words

  1. You fit so many details into the first few sentences, but they all flowed so nicely. Now I want to know what you spoke on in your oratory. Possibly women’s rights?

    • I have never been interested in women’s rights, actually. I gave a speech about ecology and how each person is responsible for it. It was 1970, so the environmental movement was just starting out. My thinking was (and is) without the Earth really nothing else matters. 🙂

  2. Another one of those “multi-faceted” words. I am surprised, though. I thought most people would pick up “lush” as an adjective, but almost everyone instantly went straight to ‘drunk.’ Go figure, right?

      • Drinking is and has been a Topic around here, specifically that so many movies and TV shows have their character drinking ALL the time, essentially if they are awake, they have a drink in their hand. As an AA alcoholic, Garry find this exaltation of booze disturbing. I can see him wondering if maybe he behaved like that, too (he didn’t).

        Lush to me is a trigger word. I can’t think of it as an adjective. Foliage? Not unless the foliage can be used to make booze.

Comments are closed.