Ruth had become a misshapen old grandmother. Her once tiny waist had completely disappeared and she was squarish in a pudgy, roundish way. “Ah, vanity” she muttered. She felt spry, that was what was important. Her favorite sweetie pie was coming this afternoon, the lovely granddaughter, Elaine, whom she called Lainey.
Ruth rearranged her hair, pulling it into a knot not unlike every grandmother picture you have ever seen, sort of like Mrs. Santa Claus. Her hair was a bit bedraggled BUT only turning grey at the temples. At her age of 84, that seemed quite wonderful and made her peacock proud.
Lainey and Granny Ruth would sit around the tiny dressing area in her orangey pink bedroom and tell stories of their lives to each other. Lainey’s tales were filled with school, and music and TV shows, all completely off Ruth’s radar screen of life. A happy smile and a nod went a long way to make Lainey spin her tales of childish intrigue. At the end of each visit Ruth had to tell a tale about herself. This had gone on for years and years. Lainey was 13 now but loved this quiet special secret sharing time. They had been talking for 30 minutes now, days in kid and old person’s time.
“OMG, OMG, Granny, Laurie Sue actually told Timmy that she might let him see her breasts, how gross is that?” Lainey blurted out as she had sunk into the floor pillows around the dressing table while Ruth sat on the vanity chair putting more finishing touches on her bun for the day.
“ My my. …Bosom peeking, every man’s weakness,” Ruth cooed, as she now stroked Lainey’s hair with a delightful hint of bright green and lavender painted on the tips.
“ You are too much, how many men have seen your boobs. I mean breasts”
“How many men, oh my lovely Lainey, not nearly enough.” Ruth laughed and snickered
They both started laughing until Laineys’s asthma started in and Ruth became blue from emphysema. They slowed down, caught their breath and started again.
“ I have seen a lot of bosoms in my day though,” Lainey looked up perplexed and gazing at her beloved granny, she knew a story was coming.
“After I married your Poppop, and we had your mother, life was sort of boring”
“ I can dig that scene, daddy-o,” Lainey laughed. Last week, a rather shocking beatnik Ginsburg tale had been regaled by Ruth, which enlightened Lainey with the true beginnings of the beat and drug culture.
“ Oh Lordy, lordy, this is not a beatnik story, less cutting edge, much more sortid tale of lust and sex.” Ruth started rubbing her chin feeling for those amazingly resilient witchy hairs that had started sprouting there of late.
“ Sex story, bring it on,”
“As I said, I was longing for the fun life and thought excitement was passing me by. I was not ready to be passed by just yet. On those drives downtown to Poppop’s office we would always pass the red light district”
”OK! OK! OK! What’s the red light district?
“ And far away,” Lainey chimed in, their homage to STAR WARS which they both adored.
“ That is where women of ill repute,” she looked at Lainey, maybe she had gone too far but Lainey knew about sex, they had discussed many of the amazing adventures of the GLEE and Lainey knew about it all and often was in the role of explainer of more esoteric sex acts of the modern teen world to Ruth. Ruth regrouped and started again, “women who were prostitutes would be hanging around and there were strip tease joints in these areas.
“Like strip poker joints.” Lainey guessed nodding knowingly. This was one smart whippersnapper.
“ Good guess, no places…. where women would dance and strip their clothes off…in like a movie house”
“ Or a play, like the naked people in HAIR last year”
“ Exactly,” Ruth still couldn’t believe that Lainey had seen that show but the times roll forward.
“So anyway, these strip places or Burlesque houses, they were called, were advertised in the paper and just looked downright intriguing to me.”
“Me too, I would have wondered too, I mean completely pubic hair naked,” Lainey looked up, “ or maybe they had that Sultan hair removal stuff done”
“ I didn’t know,” Ruth winked “But if Poppop would just take me there, I would find out that and much much more”
“So, So,” Lainey was really into this story of grandmother decadence.
“So Poppop agreed, and off we went to the downtown Burlesque house,”
“ Whaddaya wear to something like that,” she grinned.
Ruth beamed, “I got very uptown, wore heels and a sparkly dress and a fur coat a boatload of makeup.”
Lainey’s nose crinkled, a true animal rights advocate she was not letting any wearing of dead animal skins get by her.
“ Now sweetie pie, this was ancient history, we were practically like the cavemen back then. For warmth we needed these luxuries of life, trust me, these little creatures did not die in vain, we wore those coats until they stripped them off our dead bodies, people were even buried in their furs”
“OK, OK, back to the naked women, gran.”
“So. I felt good, I looked good, and I was going to give any little naked woman a real run for her money. We walked in, it was dark, sort of an earthy, sweaty smelliness and on stage was a beautiful woman with feathers and absolutely nothing on! We stood in the back and when she exited the stage, to much whistling and clapping and strange men noises, Poppop and I slid into our seats and….. I slide right out of mine.”
“ What, what, I don’t get it.”
“Well, my sweet, I guess a lot of people drank too much in there and someone had vomited all over the seat I had sat in. So I just cascaded down that horrible seat in my fancy dandy fur and landed on this awful, filthy, sticky floor”
“OMG, OMG,” Lainey screeched.
“Needless to say, I got myself up and out of there faster than the next dancer got out of her panties.”
carole for PGM