Ann Poe, Catherine Howard, Ed Poe, Fidelity, Flirting, Florida, Honesty, Kool & The Gang- "Hollywood Swingers", Loren Pilka, Robert Browning- Porphyria's Lover, Sean Kneel, Tony Kneel, Trinity Florida, Trust
“Hollywood swingers, swingers, swingers,” Tony sang to the Kool and The Gang classic. “Yeah, Papa don’t roll like that. I did have one gal who seemed to take it as an invitation. Gal by the name of Catherine Howard who was all flirty-McMirty and then complained to a mutual friend that I was hitting on her after I mentioned for the third time that I was married. What’s that insipid expression? ‘Perception is reality?’ Hers was pretty twisted but a lot of folks do hop that fence, sometimes behind their partners back, sometimes with a wink of consent and sometimes hand in hand.
“I’m good just disappointing your mother in bed,” I added, “no need to branch out.”
“And thank you for that!”
“And you’re welcome!” I chimed back. “Wanna hear a funny story about flirting?”
“Have I got a choice?”
“No, not really. I really think you’ll like this though.
“A few Halloweens back I was doing this gig in Cedar Rapids where I was reciting a super creepy Bob Browning poem called Porphyria’s Lover for a Haunted House show and when I arrive I’m introduced to a woman named Ann and told she’s going to portray my Porphyria, the deathly ill lover I’m rhapsodizing and eulogizing who I happen to have just murdered.
Ann and I are introduced and then we go to a rather cold but cozy nook where we sit snuggled up as closely together as two solids can be, what with the laws of physics dictating that we can’t occupy the same space at the same time. Anyway, I’m being my normal naughty, highly inappropriate, far too suggestive self when I ask Ann if she’s new to town. She replies with, “Just back, actually. I lived here for years but left after my divorce. I believe you know my ex, Ed Poe?”
“Ed?” said I, “Sure I know Ed! I played opposite him in the first play I did as an adult. So, you’re the ex, eh? Lots of whisper, whisper, whisper about you that I try to ignore.”
“Is there? Yes, well, we all have our own perspectives on things. There is one thing you may have heard that is true, however. I am indeed a nymphomaniac,” Ann declared calmly, a cat who just ate the canary smile pursing her lovely lips.
“You should have seen me jump! You know those cartoons where characters hang in space before falling from the sky? I mean, man! I swear I sprang into the air with complete disregard for the law of gravity.
“After that we sat more like kids used to dance at Catholic high school bops, could a fit a six inch ruler between us.
“And that wasn’t the only six inches that separated us, ba-dump-bump!” I added with a wink.
“You know,” Sean said shaking his head, “somehow I feel better. I don’t know why, but somehow I do.”
“Good,” I replied. “You going to bed?”
“In a minute,” he said. “Think I’ll just sit for a bit.”
“Sounds good. I’m gonna go write. Love you, buddy. Night.”
“Night, Padre. Love you too.”
And off I went to intertwine threads of truth and fancy into a well woven tale.