D. Ferrara Lucille
Lucille studied her latte carefully, wondering if it were cool enough to sip, as she listened to the slightly off-pitch voices in the freezingly air conditioned coffee shop. The singers were young - maybe twenty, a little more - yet their clothes came from thirty-year-old racks. Paisley pants, Indian prints, tie-dyed shirts, a little sundress of sheer cotton. Enough pieces and patterns for six outfits draped the two. Jesus sandals - flat pieces of brown leather, hanging for dear life on the big toe. Though they were part of the 1990’s, playing at the hippie era, these throwbacks had chosen their songs, too, from the sixties - though these kids had to sneak glances at a chunky song book. Did we? I know all these songs now - did I then? All from Lucille’s adolescence, all folk ballads, rife with deprivation, with wandering, with needs. Did these kids know anything of want? Had they ever been away from home except for summer camp and weekends at Grandma’s? Had they ever lacked anything more than the latest Barbie or G.I. Joe? The young woman left her partner, still singing, to walk to the counter to sugar her iced drink. Lucille avoided looking at her, focusing instead on the Florida sunshine whiting out the storefront window. Her mother, Jean, sat quietly - a woman of few words and bottomless grace. Lucille could not decide whether to welcome or resent the singers’ intrusion on their quiet moment. On this obligatory spring visit to her parents’, Lucille had hardly spoken ten sentences to her parents, allowing her husband to converse in his easy manner. Even alone with her mother, Lucille spoke little.