Monday, October 17, 2005

Here's The Soap Opera Behind The Poem

a story in e-mails
by Michael Mooney

Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 10:48:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: mackey maroney <>
Subject: here's the soap opera behind the poem

Marcus, You were asking who Maura
is: She's a co-worker, 31, Catholic, married,
and just so nice she's too nice, you know the type,
just as sweet as whipped cream, and really pretty,
hazel green eyes and great skin, very pale, yet rosy.
She's quite literary and scholarly and has read all
my humor manuscripts in the past. The Celtic Face
manuscript -- I kind of sprung that one on her.
Yikes! It's about her!
She's cruising into middle age, putting Clairol in her hair,
still no children, still no bacalaureate,  'cause she's
taking one course at a time. (I refer to that as "gradual
school", an allusion to 'Garp') So this guy who's the
same age as her father, me, writes her a love poem. Yikes!
She was very gracious, told me it was beeyootiful,
said it sincerely.
I told her it was platonic, wanting to do no harm. I wanted
to tell her I was in a major state of lust, which I'm sure
she knew anyhow, or sensed. So I muddied this issue.
I should have just said I love her, but I didn't trust what I
was up to. I just knew I wanted her attention, to see where it
might lead.
This came as she decided to quit work, apply for
financial aid, get out in the real world,  where there
is far too much reality, go back to school
full time. She's a student of linguistics and languages
[Japanese, Russian] and she's from Queens, N.Y., so I thought
she would enjoy my use of her name and rhyming it
with "can't ignore huh" , etc.,  in an outer borough accent,
a New Yawk Squawk.
But she left work before I could finish it.
So I look up her mailing address. I can get it to
her somehow.
Then I begin to hear rumors that she's leaving her
husband and may be seeing someone new -- someone
I know ! --  sonofabitch! Maybe, I don't know, that
could have been me, if I had made a bid for her love,
though I doubt it, that is unrealistic. [Maybe it's not even
true that she's left home.]
Interestingly, if she did leave him, she did it right at
the start of the NFL season: that guy made her sit around
while he watched one too many football games; he should have
been taking her out for Thai food, or somethin'.
So, back to me, I couldn't reach her on the phone during
the day, didn't dare phone in the evening, finally
I phoned Saturday afternoon and I got him on the  phone.


Not what I wanted.


I say i'm a co-worker -- could I get a quick minute with her?

He, no doubt preoccupied with Notre Dame football on that afternoon,

says, "Well, could I give you her cell phone number?"   "Sure," I say.


So now i call her at noon Monday on the cell, ask her for her e-mail address,

'cause I want to send her a poem making fun of the Queens accent. She gives me the electronic mail address, so I can send her the humor piece.


I ask her how things are? The connection on the cell is terrible, she says "Fine." Gives no indication of any troubles in her life. She wouldn't ordinarily tell me much if there were relationship difficulties.


Then I sent her the Outer Borough Rhapsody,  and got no reply.

She had warned me in the past she doesn't typically reply to e-mail.

I, of course, really wanted a reply.


I told her it was from her "senior citizen admirer",  still muddying the issue,

probably fooling no one but myself. I said that it was "a satire on how people

from Queens, Brooklyn, et al. speak English,"  more muddying.


The phone connection was so terrible, it kept breaking up. I guess my next step is to invite her to lunch in order to get her to talk about her life.

Or to simply fuggetaboutit.


She is my current muse -- meanwhile little Mo Conley, who is my age, late 50's, is convinced I wrote the Celtic Face poem about her, and she has it framed and on the wall.


-- Mackey

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