a second, my legs feel like they’re about to give out, but I manage to keep them
from buckling with a supreme effort.
of my dearest friends, who had died seven decades earlier, is actually standing
right in front of me. But is it the first time? Was it him on any of those
other occasions? And if it was, how?
before I can begin to find my tongue, Brian comes bounding over to us saying, “Is
that true, Nathan? You were at that party?”
yeah,” I mutter, “And before you ask, no it was nothing like what Virginia’s
friend Bambina Maude Delmont told people, or what Randolph Hearst put in his papers.”
those words leave my lips, a part of me wishes once again that had taken
witness stand and testified back in 1922.
I’m glad you didn’t,” Roscoe says stepping in front of Brian to
face me. “Remember, the trial took place during the daytime, and those
lawyers would’ve kept you on the stand for hours. No amount of blood would’ve
kept you going for that long. Plus, all those reporters would’ve gotten shots
of you for the front page, only to find you didn’t appear in them. No, sir!
There was no way I was going to let you risk everything for me. But, knowing if
it came down to it you would have, always meant a lot to me.”
smile. His words mean a lot to me. Especially, since I now know it’s really him
and not a construct from my mind. But again, I have to wonder, has this always
been the case? And what about the others I’ve encountered over time? Were they
ghosts as well? Have I been completely wrong about myself and my abilities all
Roscoe assures me, putting a hand that feels very warm and real on my shoulder.
“Only a few of us are actual ghosts. The rest are being brought back from
this silent exchange, Brian has been wrapped up in a discussion with his
daughter about my revelation of having been at the party with Virginia and
Roscoe. The two of them have already covered the case and why I hadn’t
testified, with Lisa supplying some of the details she had overheard Roscoe pointing
out to me.
I listen, I hear Brian piecing together the rest of the story from there. Which
is not surprising to me, since he’s always been a guy who knows his onions.
Great, all this time going down memory lane has me thinking in slang terms from the 1920’s. Next thing you know I’ll start going on about Lisa’s legs, calling them gams.
“She got nice ones?” Roscoe asks, having apparently heard my thoughts.
yeah,” I mouth back, keeping an eye on Brian to make sure he doesn’t see me. “And
plenty of moxie.”
of like another young lady, you were rather fond of,”
Roscoe observes, then adds, “Lisa’s built a lot like her too. Especially in
the upper department.”
I shake my head, as I try not to blush.
West had been the first woman I fell in love with after my wife Madeleine had
passed away in the 1890’s. I first met Baby Mae, that was her stage name back
in 1907, when she was working vaudeville in Ohio. The name was appropriate at
the time since she was only 14 at the time, and very petite in height. In fact,
even as an adult, Mae was only 5 feet tall.
met again in 1911 in New York and by then she was using Mae West as her
moniker. Our acquaintance started out as a passing one, but after an incident
in a back alley, it became something much deeper and passionate. God what an
sooner does that thought pass through my mind, when I find myself glancing over
think I know where your mind has gone,” Roscoe teases, “Now
if only you’d allow the rest of you to go join it.”
quietly shush him, but I know he’s right. Lisa does have a lot of the same
qualities Mae had. But she’s also very much her own person. Which makes her even
more special, in my eyes and my heart. However, she’s my godchild, one of a
great many. One who also has a mind of her own, I remind myself thinking back
to our walk over here from the theater.
now is not the time. Roscoe’s revelation of his existence still has me taking a
few mental steps backwards. I swear every time I think I’ve figured out all
there is to know about my condition, the more I find out there’s still so much
more to learn. First Isabella, now this.
then Lisa rejoins us. Looking up I see no sign of her father. “Where’s…?” I
begin, but she cuts in with, “He’s going through the filing cabinets to see
what else you have stashed away down here.”
all he’s going to find in there are copies of the films I’ve already had
restored and transferred for use on modern projection equipment,” I tell her,
then ask. “I take it, you know who’s with us down here.”
she replies with a roll of her eyes, “I am psychic remember? Plus, I have met
and spoken with ghosts before.”
nod my head. She’s right of course. I’d been on the scene for several of those
spectral encounters, two of which had nearly ended with Lisa nearly ended with
her becoming part of the next world. Just the thought of that happening to her,
still makes me shudder.
Lisa is introducing herself to Roscoe who gives her a dignified bow, which he
promptly converts into a bashful comedy routine from one of his
can’t help but smile. It’s obvious the two of them are hitting it off famously.
Which brings me back to an idea I'd had about what to run on the big screen for my theater’s
TO BE CONTINUED...