17. ALL MY TOMORROWS




Chester Maddox, you devil!

I rode for two hours in the snow just to see you. An old friend from Carson Mills, gave me a ride. You know I wrote weeks ago I'd be there this weekend. But you didn't show.

I've really had it with you, I have.

For twenty years I've spent each afternoon, following your devious ways. Like when you tricked Cynthia into marriage, then abandoned her, after she lost her memory, in some town out west. Now, I'm not forgetting you tried to redeem yourself, you did rescue the young girl from that mob of terrorists. But only because Jessie asked. Jessica, we all knew, was your one true love.

Oh yes, I can see through you, you know: handsome and dashing, able to charm them all, even those who don't want to trust you. But this time I'm finished.

I've written you for years, let you know every detail of my life. And even though you never answered, I felt a bond was growing between us. When I read you'd be this close, that the entire cast of "All My Tomorrows" would be in Providence, I made sure I'd meet you. I waited for an hour in the freezing cold.

Chester Maddox what am I going to do about you?

I'm here at my window watching my ducks over near the point. Tears of anger are filling my eyes at what you've done to me. But I'm not the first, and I suppose I won't be the last.

I'm lying on the couch in my "jelly" house, it used to sit on the highway where they sold jams and such to the tourists before it was moved. In spite of today I feel so lucky. I have this cozy little place I can afford; there are all those mansions across the way. And I've got my cats and my beloved ducks on my pond.

I retired here, I'm sure I wrote you all about it, from the mill where I'd worked my way up, over the years, to floor manager, 2nd shift. My friends were certain I'd be lonely, away from the clacking looms. But you know, Chester, I really don't miss it.

I feed the wild mallards and know each of their ducklings by sight. My cats with bells around their throats run free in the grave yard. I watch the seasons change through my picture window, from white to brown to green and back; the sun glances through the plate glass differently each month. In winter the TV's good, in summer its all reruns.

Except for yours, Chester. Each afternoon I see your life progressing along with mine as we grow old together. You've lasted so long you're almost treated with respect, achieved a certain status by surviving.

Certainly odd for a scoundrel such as you.



Oh dear, it's getting dark. Where are my cats? I guess I'm going to have to call them, stand on the porch, bang my spoon and sauce pan. They're such devils staying out so late.

And after I finally coax them home, I'll feed them and brush their fur. Then I'll open a can of soup and settle back onto this couch to watch those sitcoms I don't like nearly as much as my soaps.

But that's life and I have to accept it, this evening there's nothing else.

And on Monday we'll see about you, Chester Maddox. When two o'clock, roles around, I might not watch "All my Tomorrows," just to get even. Except knowing you, I won't be able to resist.

So I probably will.







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Last Modified : 4/20/98 2:41:50 AM