Posts By Millie Noe
I miss the flowers.
Don’t you wish you could go back to a time when you read your newspaper, the one with ink on it, that turned your fingers black, with your cup of hot coffee in one hand and your cat traipsing back and forth across the portion sitting on your table, rubbing against the section you are holding up and trying to read?
And then just when you get to the part of the story where you have to switch over to section 11A, where you are going to find out the details of that love-triangle-triple murder, the one with blood everywhere, a woman stabbed thirteen times, a loverboy with an axe stuck in his forehead, and an estranged husband on the floor no longer breathing due to a frying pan with what had been sizzling oil, in his face and the unfortunate way he landed on a salad fork that was sticking straight up in that pile of silverware, because that drawer was spilled a little earlier, and your sweet little kitty-cat, pops her fuzzy little face to the inside of your newspaper and you can clearly see that she is going make a kink in it, which will make it a struggle to turn over to 11A, without refolding a map, so to speak.
So you try to catch it before that happens.
My cell rang.
I pulled it out of my pocket, looked at the name and let it go into voicemail.
“Please God, just let me listen to this message.”
All I have to do is look at a call and my phone dials the number.
I got to the part where I had to type in my secret password.
My secret password is so secret that I have a hard time remembering it.
But that morning I tried my birth date.
I listened to the recording.
“Millie, I want to thank you for saving my life last night,” I heard Big D. say in his slow and easy voice, right out of the deep dark yonder. “You have no idea what I might have done if you hadn’t come along. Someday I would like to buy you a cup of coffee. God Bless you.”
I married a bad ass.
He was born on New Year’s Eve.
The year was 1948.
His father was ecstatic with another tax write off, while his mother was distraught with the discomfort of labor, knowing between all the water boiling and sharp pains, that she was about to miss out on cashing in on that pile of gifts from the Chamber of Commerce for the first child born in the new year, in the little town of Dane.
He was adorable.
But unfortunately by the age of five, he and his blue jeans with the five inch rolled up cuffs were headed down the wrong path.
Ever since the Yankees won the World Series in 1996 and the camera was forever on Joe Torre’s expressionless face and all the fans living it up behind the batter, I have wanted to sit behind home plate.
I knew way back then, that someday, I, me, Millie Noe, too, would be one of those fancy people, right there in Yankee Stadium.
But that didn’t happen.
New York is a long way from Wisconsin.
And I was more of a Milwaukee Brewer fan.
So I decided that I would sit behind home plate at The Milwaukee County Stadium instead.
But then they went and tore County Stadium down.
But not until they put up Miller Park in its place.
So I thought, “fine, Miller Park it is.”
And then just a couple of weeks ago my dream came true.
All because my grandson is one of the chosen few.
Remember back when you were the same age as the amount of times you saw The Wizard of Oz?
It was an especially big event for our family the year our next door neighbors brought home a brand new color TV.
Due to their purchase, we got to go over to their house to watch the annual showing along with our next door neighbors’ kids.
And the next door neighbor parents came over to our house to not watch The Wizard of Oz, with our parents.
We were flopped on their couch, strewn over their chairs and stretched across their living room carpet, in our pajamas.
I was lying on my stomach on the floor, chin resting in my palms, pushing my budding-two-front-fangs inward with my thumbs, the way my mother always told me to while watching TV.
The lion roared.
The movie started.
This is a story of a day where nothing really goes right and nothing really goes wrong.
I needed new glasses.
“What’s that Louisa?”
You will have to excuse my sister. She is always interrupting me.
“Yes Louisa, this is the pedicure day story.”
I have been wearing, bent up, Sponge Bob Square Pants bifocals at the office for the past ten years.
And every so often a person has to make that call and set up an appointment and get a new prescription, especially when that person is having a difficult time telling the difference between threes and eights and her job is all about reading numbers and her job does not exclude certain numbers, just because she is having difficulty reading them.
What I really wanted was a dog.
And I wanted a leash.
I wanted a dog and a leash.
So that I could take that dog for a walk.
I was fifteen years old and in my opinion at the time, halfway to middle age, when that dream came true.
But it wasn’t my dream alone.
There were eight of us jammed into the cracker box house on the corner. Six of the eight happened to be offspring. And we offspring all wanted a dog. Even the baby. But we also enjoyed eating. So I suppose it would have been hard for my parents to choose which one of us would have to go without breakfast in order to take on another mouth to feed. And we might not get that second book read to us before bedtime with another creature looking for attention at the same time.
My guess is these were the reasons that the answer was always, “No dog.”
At least my parents tried to suffice.
They did what they could with a limited budget and limited space.
Calvin, my older brother came home from the pet store with a couple of tiny turtles.
We tried to convince those turtles to have races across the living room carpet. But they weren’t really that interested in it. They were turtles. Except for the one named Speedy. Speedy could have won every race handily, if he would have ever run in a straight line.
It was exasperating.
It was before Nafta and it was back when vertical blinds were popular.
I know this because I worked in manufacturing, packing vertical blinds.
And we were busy.
We were so busy that my department was on mandatory overtime.
I don’t know about you, but I find the word mandatory to be abrasive. And if you put an abrasive word like mandatory in front of another disturbing word like overtime, and both of those words are referring to your life, it is not good.
You’ve heard of The Thomas Crown Affair and The Maltese Falcon.
You’ve seen Ocean’s 12, Once a Thief and Entrapment.
Who doesn’t talk about D.B. Cooper?
But why the silence surrounding The Big Heist?
No book. No movie. No Nothing.
Well, I am here to tell you the whole story.
I was right there.
It was 3:00 PM.
I’d just gotten off work and smelled of French Fries, rubber soled shoes and panty-hose.
My friend and I were in the break room of the soda fountain shop, stripping out of our rayon dresses, the brown ones with the white stripes and the zippers down the front and sliding into our blue-jeans, with barely enough room for all four of our elbows.
We were racking up the pool balls by 3:15.
Cindy was good at billiard games.
I was not.
I didn’t know her very well at the time and now I don’t know her at all. We had one of those summer friendships because we were waiting on tables for a living and we both had a couple of hours to kill, so we’d walked on over to a place down the way and met up with my younger sister, Louisa.
I was lining up the cue stick with the cue ball and I was aiming at a nervous red and white striped victim that I was supposedly going to knock into the corner pocket.
That is when I saw something strange over in the corner.