NEVER | Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazine Special Issue - July/August 2015

Claudine Jones

My favorite old scratched prescription sunglasses disappeared yesterday & even though I have updated ones coming any day now, we had to search high and low to satisfy R that the good old ones weren’t gone forever: this would be a triumph. While he roamed about, I eventually traced them to the pocket of the coat I had hung up in the closet when we got home.


My process comes from the the old Sesame Street mantra: walk backwards through your mind to where whatever it is suddenly reveals itself. R on the other hand, goes through the house visiting every room as if to inquire have you seen _____?  then either growlingI know I saw it somewhere or chirpingokay!! cross that off the list! found it! To which I rejoin: I prefer not to think of it as found; merely located in the last place I put it.


We’ve been tussling over stuff like this for quite some time, it’s true. Our mild-mannered interactions have at intervals ratcheted up to heated levels: I may reject his version of events & he has equally righteous opinions. For example—I hate to lower myself to recounting this—there’s the time we walked all the way over to St. John’s Presbyterian in eager anticipation of a live Baroque concert…only there was no one there, no evidence on the posted calendar outside. Searched the building, asked passers-by, but defeated in the end we trudged home.


The email from which he says he had retrieved the date, time, venue & concert program—vanished. An internet search—not a single hit. The only evidence—R's scribbled notation of the event on the back of a grocery receipt, which he swore was not, could not be an invention. He was pretty upset. It seems harsh ever to revisit this, given how much he really had been looking forward to these particular composers' lovely music. For my part, I wasn't as invested, but I can’t say I was exactly pleased. I certainly didn't get my schadenfreude on. 


In equal measure, R. can be counted on not to bring up the incident in which (he says) we took a trip over to the house my son & daughter-in-law now own when it was still in the offering stage; their agent had given them some confidence as to the outcome, but this was not the first house they’d put a bid on. R. says we looked the address up on Google maps—correct. This allowed us to preview location & inside & outside, & chortle at our grandson’s name for it: the Mint House—the walk-through included a bowl of mints in the dining room—& enjoy in advance the thought of them all cozy in this first little nest truly of their own. Everyone thought that this really was the One. We agree that all of these ideas & images percolated through our minds.


The problem is that business of when we first drove over there: my mind is quite clear on the approach, view of the east side right there on the corner, steep steps on the front aspect, tall tree across the street—but this is all after the kids were in escrow & were already thinking when to rent the moving van.  I cannot see myself in the picture that R. has in his brain: us driving to an unfamiliar neighborhood a fair distance on the freeway—although not too far for comfortable future babysitting—gazing at this potential domicile as though it were a reality.


Why would we do that? R. says I wanted to. Why? I know it’s possible to see virtually every damn detail of a sale house online & we’d already ‘toured’ each of the other houses they bid on.  So, no. I do not accept that memory. The painfully egregious part is that in my recollection, when we did in fact go over there to take a peak, R. sang out something like O there it is! This is the same route we took last time we were here & I shot back are you out of your fucking mind? I’ve never even been in this neighborhood before.


I believe I may have over-reacted a bit, but it was one of those moments I recall because of the intensity of my retort. I accused R. of cruelty; he was in danger of real unkindness, nudging me down the path of certain elderly close relatives who spent their last years on earth wandering in a haze of dementia if not outright Alzheimer's.


And there it is: the A word. 



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Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones |

Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She writes a monthly column and is
a Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles,
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©2015 Claudine Jones
©2015 Publication Scene4 Magazine



July/August 2015

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