NaNoWriMo 2013: Excerpts… Day 3

Excerpt from Day 3:  About Betty…

Betty was an interesting character.  She was my parent’s age but didn’t act it.  And by that I mean that she didn’t act old.  My dad acted like his life was already over and my mom acted like she didn’t have a life but Betty was full of life.  She had boyfriends, not just one or one at a time, but guys she saw periodically.  I remember asking her if she ever wanted to get married and she just laughed it off.

“Honey, I’ve been married and it’s not for me. I don’t need a man to complete me or tell me what to do.  I need a man once in a while to have some fun with and that’s about it.”

She was what the folks in town called a “free spirit”.  She was the frequent subject of gossip, but it always sounded really envious to me.  I remember at one point thinking to myself that I wanted to be like her, to be the subject of envious gossip someday.  As it was, I was the subject of plenty of tongue wagging around town, but it wasn’t the kind anyone would enjoy.

Betty co-owned the diner but the other owner was someone I didn’t meet for a long time.  One of her many boyfriends, he lived in the city and owned some bars and restaurants there.  The story that went around, one of many actually, was that he’d wooed her for many months before he accepted that she wasn’t gonna walk down the aisle with him.  Going in on the diner purchase was as close as she’d come to marrying anyone, is what she told me.  He came into town about every month or so and sometimes she’d go off with him to some exotic locale.  But she retained her independence and ran the diner the way she wanted to and, for the most part, he didn’t interfere and didn’t seem to mind that she had other beaus coming around.  I could always tell when someone special was in the diner, even before I could recognize them all.  She’d seat them near the door to the kitchen so she could visit with them.  One time she seated a very tall, very dark gentleman there and I saw some of the town wags staring at him and yammering amongst themselves.  I asked her, “Is this one your boyfriends?” and she replied “Not yet, but I reckon he will be.”  And sure enough before long she had him grinning at her and laughing at her jokes.  I saw him later waiting outside in his car and after closing she went out and leaned on his door and talked to him for a moment, then leaned into the window and kissed him.  Then he followed her car in his.  That’s the kind of thing that got Betty talked about in town.  I remember after that some of the most strident rednecks in town came into the diner and gave her a hard time about it but that didn’t impress her much.  I think they were all worried about her big city boyfriend because  we didn’t get much more than some pathetic graffiti about her being a nigger lover.


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