It was the 1980’s and I was dating a girl who lived with her parents on the North End of Virginia Beach. Their home was like the Kennedy compound. It was more than one home surrounded by a brick garden wall. I never quite knew where I stood with her parents. They spoke with a sophisticated southern drawl and were very protective of their close multi generational family. Outsiders were regarded with some muted amusement.
I said my hellos to the mother Mary and picked up my girlfriend also named Mary and went out for the summer evening. We returned late and everyone had gone to bed. Mary and I went swimming in the pool. I wear a right-arm prosthesis and remove it to go swimming. I stashed my arm under Mary’s bed. We didn’t swim long as I had to get up at 5:30 the next morning to make a meeting.
Shaking off the morning fog with a shave and shower I towel off and reach to put on my prosthesis. In a literal sense pulling myself together. Crap! I left my arm under Mary’s bed! It was 6:30 and I couldn’t wait. I called Mary’s house.
“Hello?” said the voice. “Mary!” I said. “I left my arm under your bed.” There was a dead pause. Then a southern drawl from Mary’s mother. “You must want young Mary.” Young Mary comes on the line and she tells me to hit the intercom button outside and she will let me in.
I speed over there and push the intercom button and hear “Hello?” I still can’t tell the difference between Mary’s mother and Mary’s voice. I say “It’s me and I am unarmed.”
The muted amusement had worn off and we didn’t last much longer.