Friday, August 19, 2011


           E. L. PLEASANT



Wine her...  Dine her...  Call her...   Hug her...  Support her...  Hold her...  Surprise her... Compliment her...  Smile at her...  Listen to her...  Believe in her...  Pray with her...  Pray for her...  Cuddle with her... Shop with her... Give her jewelry...  Buy her flowers...  Hold her hand... Write love letters to her... Go to the end of the Earth and back again for her.


Show up naked... Bring food... Don't block the TV...

Framed and posted over the bar, at a Speak Easy establishment near you.
Signed anonymous.....

            John H. Wallace.  He's average built, with a cocoa complexion.  One of the great things about being black, that there are so many shades, before being really consider the actual color of the word black.  In fact, everything about John is average.  Has a dead in job, with barely enough benefits for a single working stiff.  Shows all of the classic symptoms that thing are not going to get better or he's just content to what his share in life has been.  He has a beautiful wife that slaves over him.  She washes his clothes, prepare his meals, and iron his T-shirts and boxers.  Cut his yellow toe nails and work eight hours five days a week, just like him.  A man never had it so good.  So what more could he want, for the last past five years of newly wed.  He didn't have it this good when he was living at home with his parent's, in their basement at the ripe age of thirty two years old.

            He met his bride to be, Mary Jean, no relations to Billy Jean, in eighty-one.  Five seven, dark reddish brown hair, that complemented her butter scotch, skin complexion.  Men love light skinned women.  She also has a lovely figure to boot.   John was working as a custodian for the St. Louis Public School District, stationed at North West High School.  Mary Jean was working in the front office as the head secretary, mainly because her desk set in front of the ob-long counter.  Attracted by his witty humor, and the way a uniform always seem to stand out.  Depending on who was wearing one in time of questioning.

            They started to have small talks.  She liked reading.  He preferred seeing the movie if there were one on the subject at hand.  She loved going to the park and long walks.  He loved sitting around watching sports are attending a sporting event with friends.  She attended church.  He slept in.  Yes sir!  John H. Wallace was indeed the average male, no doubt about it.

            Shortly after they had wed, he put in for a transfer, which led him to being stationed at Beaumont High.  He told Mary, “That it was for the best.  He didn't want people gossiping about them.  Or it would just be better that way.  If anyone saw me talking to one of the teachers or some other female worker, no telling what kind of story they would come up with.  To get some kind of confusion stirred up in their home."  So it was for the best.  He pointed out once more.  That time he could see his logic sinking into her.

            Months later, the courtship was over.  No more walks in the park.  No more buying books, for her, just because.  No more jokes or hours of conversations about any and everything, like they use to do for hours on the phone, resembling high school kids, that couldn't get enough of talking too or seeing one another.  So now with each passing day a little more of the flame flickered away what once were, and he didn't even notice it.  "Men never do."  Something women say about men.  This works both ways.  What ever you did to get em, it’s a life time commitment,
which too many failed to realize.

            They lived in a two bed room apartment off of Redman, tucked away in the Blackjack area, North County to be more exact.  Hidden and nested between home owners.  Which Mary dreamed of becoming some day with a child or two.  A child hood dream, the moment they are giving dolls to play with.  At the age of thirty, before getting married, it was time to be thinking of such matters of the heart.

            Five years had pasted and there was no off spring forthcoming.  With the trill almost gone, there was no more hugging, or cuddling.  No more flowers, which he only bought maybe twice, if she remembers correctly.  There wasn't much romancing to speak of, because he wasn't a romantic kind of person.  Every thing that he ever done was spontaneous, he was more like a procrastinator, if you wanted to describe him better.  He didn't give compliments and though he gave her cards on special occasions, it wasn't in his own words or what he actually felt or wanted to say, but close enough.  If he was willing to go to the end of the earth and back for her, he never made her feel it, by not saying it.  He didn't have the patient to shop with her, though he did buy her a piece of jewelry, which she wore around her finger.  The listen, really listening stopped three years ago, all the other things, shortly after the honey moon.
They always forget, what ever it took to get em, you got to keep it up.

            So it shouldn't have come as a shock, when he enter
apartment 2f
on a Friday evening.  November 11, 1988.  Every room was empty as he paced himself looking in disbelief.  His heart just seems to stop as a lump rose-up in his throat.  He suddenly felt weak, when he reaches the bed room, and it was empty as well.  With the exception of two large Schnuck's paper bags, filled with his personal belonging.  In one of the bags he found the following letter, which he read.  Sitting in front of what was now his dresser draw. 

Dear John:
          I say dear, not as a form of formality, but to show I am sincere.  We stopped talking some time ago.  That not even I can remember just when we let it come to this.  I don't need to say, “You don't know what you got, till it’s gone,” because you'll soon be finding this out soon enough.  The things that I've taken, are materialistic, the time and love I've given wasn't.  You probably are feeling about now, that you'll the one that's been cheated.  Men always do!

          I was more than a friend, though you treated me less than.  Every woman dream of being a loving wife, with someone to love them back, but you never made me feel like one.  I needed to be and too feel loved, but I don't regret loving you.  I still do.  I told you so and tried to make you feel it in every way, I knew how.

          Right now, you probably thinking its all about you, but it’s not.  Sometimes when you try to turn friend-ship into more than what it is, you lose in the end.  That's what we did.


            She signed her maiden name at the end of her letter.  He read it over, as if he wasn't sure of what he had just read, or if he was looking for some kind of hidden clue.  She had told him that she wasn't feeling well the night before and that she was going to stay home in bed.  The one time he thought about staying home and taking care of her for once, he didn't.

            He found himself at her parents home around , begging to speak to her, but she
wasn't there he was told.  In disbelief he sat in his car until the next morning.  Still his wait didn't produce his Mary.  They wouldn't tell him where she had gone, or no one that they both knew.

            Now he spends his time at Speak Easy's.  He sits reminiscing about the past and sipping Hennessey.  Wishing for what he once had.  Looking at the poster over the bar, if only he had read and done what it said a long time ago.  Now he tells every one who will listen, about the woman he once had and let get away.  "She was my queen.  The most beautiful woman you had ever seen.  The beginning of our generation and the end, my life line to heaven here on earth."  He would say, between sips, and listen to Bobby Womack in the back ground singing.  "If you think you're lonely now, wait until the night come," because that's what they do in Speak Easy.  After all that's what they are there for.  Someone to tell the story and someone to listen, people who lost.  People who need a reason to go home and forget there's no one there waiting and so on. In a Speak Easy near you...




            Many have lost, what is seldom found and hard to keep.  John Wallace was one of those people to find what he didn't realize he had.   They say, "Its better to have loved and lost, than to never have."  You can turn back the clock, but you can't change the past.  If given a chance, John Wallace would have taken that bet.  If it meant retrieving, what he took for granted.  Now, all he has is a letter and cloudy memories, in "Dear John."

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