Charles Pendelton
       2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (1970) pt 1

                              1970


As I recall, it was around three O'clock on a warm Friday afternoon, August 21st. I didn't go to
school today for whatever reason and was upstairs in my room playing with my new G.I. Joe
action figure. Having decided to venture downstairs, I reached into the dish drain for a glass
and pulled out the tallest one. I then opened the fridge and carefully poured myself some Hi-C.



Then something piqued my interest. I heard a noise outside, and went over to the window to
see what it was. As I looked through the old ruffled curtains, I saw a female figure bringing her
belongings into the old Llavarano house. It was kind of hard for me to make out just what it was
she was doing, so I put on my shoes and a neatly folded tee shirt and went over to investigate.


As I closed the outside door, I paused to take a deep breath of fresh air from atop the steps.
I then went down and across
the street. Since there was no sidewalk on this side of the street,
I walked past an accumulation of road gravel where a disfigured mulberry tree grew. As horrible
as it looked, it bore the sweetest white berries I have ever tasted! Following a multicolored path
of slate would lead me to the back door entrance. I rapped my knuckles firmly against the hollow
sounding door, and the echoing frailty of loose windows reverberated throughout the house.



There was no answer, and so I assumed no one was home. As I began walking back the
same way I came, I heard a shuffling movement on the other side of the house followed
by the sound of an empty metal pail being placed on concrete. I continued to walk until
I reached the street, I followed the noise and she turned just in time to see me coming.

“Hello there,” she said to me, waving politely as I came near. “Hello,” I replied to her as well
before approaching her and introducing myself. It was a beautiful day and as the gentle wind
touched her hair, I could tell she was unequivocally the most beautiful woman I had ever seen
in my short lifetime. Standing at a little over five feet, she had
a Mediterranean complexion
which seemed to intensify her
jet black hair. With a red sequin blouse perfectly accentuating
every part of her amber skin, I immediately noticed she had the most adorable little beauty
mark right below her left eye. As I stood before her looking up, I began to feel a bit woozy.


Now bear in mind that I was only six years old at the time, but had several cousins
who were continually changing boyfriends, and I was always around.



I struggled terribly and almost couldn't say it, but I did and the words flowed out
perfectly! “Has anyone ever told you, you have the most
beautiful brown eyes?
I said it as sincere as possible, but it came out sounding overly romantic.




She immediately started to laugh before crouching down to where I stood,
and with a warm smile said to me in return, “You have to be careful what
you say to a lady; I might fall in love with you.”
Upon hearing those
words, I simply melted like a bar of warm butter in a roaring fire. Maybe
it was the closeness of her face or the way her lips moved, but whatever
it was, it must have been too much for my brain to process, so I fainted.


                                                The Gants - I wonder

                                                                              Pg 161
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Instinctively she grabbed hold of my shoulders before I hit the ground.
As everything slowly came back into focus, I found myself looking up
at her with loving adulation and said, “you caught me!” I then felt very
embarrassed, and think I may have even blushed. There was a long
pause before I denoted a hint of worry in her eyes and that alarmed me.

“As long as you're okay,” she said in a discerning voice. “Maybe you
should go now, I have a lot of unpacking to do, and need to get settled
in.” Harmony spoke while averting her glance from me, and it seemed
as if she was deliberately trying to avoid making eye contact. When she
peeked, I smiled graciously before waving goodbye. Tripping over the
curb set me barreling into my mothers pink hydrangeas!

“Clumsy oaf,” I said to myself, before looking over my shoulder to see if
the new neighbor saw what had just occurred. No, she was busy picking
up an object from around the side of the house, and must have missed
it. Whew! Let's see if I can make it to the backyard without stumbling
or breaking something. All day, I could only imagine being ten years
older, and fantasize about her being madly in love with me!
 
                                                A Group Called Eve - Within a world of you



But the fact is I was still a child. Of course, I knew what I wanted, and
being very mature for my age gave me an incentive to go the extra mile!



Not that it could have mattered in the least, because I was still suffering

from nightmares, and terrified of monsters who lived under the bed. If I
can't
protect myself, I thought, then how could I protect the fair maiden?




That day when I looked into her eyes for the very first time, there was something so
intoxicating about them, it melted the unemotional boundaries of my infantile heart,
to expose the inner man in me! The man who had been waiting in silence to awaken!


                                                               The Del Prixs - She'll be mine

The following day, I thought about going over there, but could not bring myself
to do it. The day after that, I didn't even have to think about it. I told my parent's
I was going outside and hurried across the street. I knocked on the wooden door
but there was no answer, so I came back a half hour later. As Harmony answered
the door, I looked up to find her covered in the most exquisite apparel. There she
stood in a stunning peach brocade blouse that appeared to be encrusted with gold
embroidery. Beneath the exquisitries she wore a chamois satin lengha to match!

Between the gold tikka that hung delicately from her forehead, and the little
diamond sparkle pierced into the right side of her nose, I could not pinpoint
exactly which one was making my knees buckle! That tiny diamond, however,
really brought everything into perspective! Like a magnet to my senses, it was
imploring me to take in all I was seeing. I couldn't help notice her hands either,
for they were adorned with the hue of red mehndi that I thought was a permanent
tattoo! Those exotic designs which seemed to crawl up her arms left me tingling!




It felt like all the oxygen had been removed from the air, for I had never seen anything
like it before in my life! So now, I completely forget what I was going to say and just
stand there. All those well rehearsed lines gone. Everything gone. "Well," she said with
a half smile and two raised eyebrows. It was like looking into the eyes of a vision from
Heaven, and this woman needed no makeup at all for she was absolutely gorgeous.

                                                            
The Avengers - Open your eyes

For a brief moment, I forgot how to talk as my brain must have been rebooting!
I then said the worst thing I could have possibly said. Like an android without
any hint of expression whatsoever, I uttered the following words. “Have I told
you-how beautiful you look?” She crouched down once again and said, “Why
are you doing this to me?” I tried to speak but nothing came out. She then
grabbed my arm and squeezed it tight! “Who put you up to this? Answer me!”
But I could not talk. “Fine,” she said, “be like that; and don't come back!”

“Wait,” I yelled, “you don't understand!” “What don't I understand, that
you're a liar?” As she was closing the door, I said to her in complete
desperation, “I'm so sorry, no one told me to come here!” I could now
see that she was no longer upset for her composure had returned to
normal. I then said, while trying to hold back tears, “I have no friends.”



She then apologized for becoming angry with me and said that we could be friends,
only if we were completely honest with one another, and that was how it all began.


                                                                              Pg 162
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That evening, as I lay me down to sleep, I thought about how wonderful it was to be alive.
To have everything you need and to be living in such an inventive age was truly a blessing.
As I listened to the wind blowing outside, I grew more and more concerned with the shadows
that had begun to form inside my room. Worrying only animates them more, until you find
yourself under the covers, unsuccessfully trying to prevent a full blown panic attack!



After awhile, you find that you are somewhere else, and you have absolutely no recollection
whatsoever of anything ever happening only minutes before and your mind is finally at peace.



As I enter the land of dreams, I recall seeing only rabbits! I do not remember if they were happy,
I do remember, however, there were no people. . . Only rabbits, and I was so excited to be there
!




After a brief interlude, there was a disconcerting pause, or should I say a moment of darkness
where everything in the world of present day seemed to shift into a different gear, and I was in
a space capsule. It was all right, because I knew I was supposed to be there. The small vessel
I was in was circling Mars, preparing to make my descent into the unknown region of space
when I heard what appeared to be a ticking sound. Not like that of a bomb, but that of time. I
do not remember landing, however, I do remember wanting to exit the capsule, but could not.


                                                                 The Shadow Casters - Going to the moon

I was awakened in the early morning to the sound of a huge moving truck. When I
finally got around to getting up, I looked out my window to see two men carrying
what appeared to be a large bureau into the old house. This I could not be certain
of for my view was obstructed by several tall trees. I observed them for quite some
time and rapidly began to lose interest when I realized that Harmony would not be
coming out. Was she even in there? Could she be showing them where to put the
furniture? It really didn't matter anyway, I had to go with my mom today for shoes.



Every six months or so, she would take me up to Thom McAn or Buster Brown,
and I would try on a few pairs of shoes until I found something comfortable. After
that, I would follow her around as she shopped for food and sundries at the local
A&P. Casually eying prospective items as we strolled slowly down the aisles of
the aging store, or trailed behind as she picked up some things from the drug store.




Today it was only the A&P. We spent most of the morning in there, and upon leaving
the store, mother was handed a receipt that stretched to a length of almost twelve feet!
                                        
                                  Holy Chrysler, a new world's record!!!




Sunday morning, I didn't see her either and the excitement soon faded. By the end of
September, however, we had become the best of friends! My mother liked Harmony
too, and couldn’t say enough good things about her. Once in a while, mom would
relay a message for me to give to her, and when I wasn't around, the two of them
would get together and talk. One of their talks entailed Harmony keeping me company
until it was time for dinner. Another was me having dinner with her while my parents
tried to resolve unresolved issues over dinner at an unspecified restaurant of their
choice. Like CIA operatives on the go, everything was a covert mission with them!

I only knew what was going on because Harmony told me everything they told her not
to tell me. Even though there was a fourteen year difference between my mother and
Harmony, they remained close. That was until March of 1971, when Harmony began
working with her brother, that she began spending less time with my mom and more
time with me. By the end of the year, my parents were fighting about everything. My
father was leaving more frequently and coming back less, while mom tried to hold it
together the best she could. It almost seemed like they had become polar opposites!

It was hard for me to imagine them ever being in love, considering how distant
they were from each other, and their usual conversations were more like business
meetings. On certain occasions, I would be ushered out of the room, and told to “go
and do something,” which in my brain registered as “put on the television so you
don't hear them,” but things were not always like this. What I've heard from the inner
circle of my family is that the two were quite the match back in the summer of '58.

From what I hear, they absconded on a rainy Sunday night to elope. Tying the knot
behind Sea Crest Farms in New Jersey, because they were spirited, young and
adventurous! Forever sealing their vows before God, they created a child in loving
unity. Not knowing that it would later equate to sealing their own fate, by having my
mother excommunicated from the church, and sending my father fleeing to Mexico to
have the marriage annulled! Whether you go to church or not, sometimes, love is just
doomed from the start. But if you don’t make the attempt, you live to regret it forever.




                      But for now everything was fine, and time was moving in the
                   manner it normally would have for a child just beginning to live.


From what I can recall, it was a chilly morning on Thursday, December 17th, 1970.

I came back from school and stayed at my aunt's house down the block. I enjoyed
spending time with my cousins, before scurrying over to see Harmony. At around
Four O'clock, I felt an urge to leave, so I said goodbye to my cousin Patricia and
strolled over there. I knocked on the front door and could hear gentle footsteps
approaching. She quickly pulled open the door, but only enough so that she could
see who was knocking. Now I couldn’t see what she was wearing, and so, as
I
entered, she gave me one of those slow provocative smiles which tended to
stimulate my very creative imagination!


“Aren't you forgetting something?” she asked, enhancing her stance;
as to be strictly posing for the attention of a well-deserved compliment.



“If I must say, you leave me breathless.”
I tried to be flamboyant with words,
but wound up sounding like an idiot. Well she doubled over with laughter!!!

                                        
And that was a start!

                                                       The Optic Nerve - What's been missing                                        


                                                                              Pg 163
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"Worthy of Publishing" reviews for this particular chapter


Peter Von Harten - This is AMAZING!!! =) I love the nostalgic feel. *rating = 5 stars*

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PG 161) Hi-C advertisement
circa 1971 - http://tinyurl.com/m5cprf

PG 161) Mask V. transformed
by Leon Kubasski - http://tinyurl.com/l2za8pc

PG 161) Tijdzoekers
by Jacob Christian Poen de Wijs - http://tinyurl.com/mfs722k

PG 161) Zebrocerous
by Ilene Meyer - http://www.ilenemeyer.com/ 

PG 162) Sleeping beauty by
Scott Gustafson - http://www.scottgustafson.com/

PG 162) Retrato del nino Carlos Pomar Margrand
by Antonio Maria Esquivel - http://tinyurl.com/l88mjc6

PG 162) The Inundation Of The Biesbosch In 1421 by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
- http://www.alma-tadema.org/

PG 162) Auto erotic immolation by
Heidi Taillefer - http://tinyurl.com/kcr28ta

PG 162) Unbalanced by Karl Kwasny
- http://tinyurl.com/k8z7uwd

PG 163) Scary night
by Wes Lowe - http://tinyurl.com/k4cscz2

PG 163) The watchers
by Nathan Spoor - http://www.nathanspoor.com/

PG 163) Pushing clocks by Mark Bryan - http://tinyurl.com/26v656p

PG 163) Buster Brown's
Easter Parade of shoes - http://tinyurl.com/kvre9tu

PG 163) Leaving grocery in rain
by Amos Sewell - http://tinyurl.com/nrwj9rn

PG 163) Untitled
by Brad Yeo
- http://tinyurl.com/md6j637

PG 163) Wedding in the Spring
by Jon Whitcomb
-
http://tinyurl.com/7cfoo7f

PG 163) Rakassa
by Anastasia Kvadrovich - http://tinyurl.com/lzbdj95