Jim was drying out pretty good and he kept saying
“Kathy, let’s get together again” but I heard that
before – all the times we made a fresh start over
and then we’d lose everything again
so I said, “No Jim, you get yourself organized,
by yourself – I’m keeping the kids in a stable home,
I’m selling some lines besides the real estate –
keep yourself sober and in business for yourself –
how do they say it? one day at a time – you at Mrs.
Gardner’s, saying your prayers and reading your Bible,
and me in the house with the kids – we’ll do just fine,”
since by then I was in real estate with Lester,
who was a kindly, stable guy and the boom was just
getting started – hell, the town let anyone who wanted
buy up land and put up anything – houses, warehouses –
acres of forest disappearing month by month
so Lester and me could work around the clock
if we wanted, and sometimes we fell asleep
over contracts, and one thing led to another –
it wasn’t booze with us, it was contracts –
and before too long he left his wife and we used
Jim’s old den in my house for an office, and we owned
some great acreage together and were so damn busy,
neither of us bothered to get a divorce.
I could kill Lester, that great big sweetheart of a man,
for dropping dead when he did – when the lawyers
were finished, I had nothing – his wife got it all.
Sure, I could kill the lawyers – but hell, they were right:
to make it all public while my kids were in school –
there’s five of them, not to mention the Morgan kids
that I took in when their ma went to the funny farm –
well it wasn’t worth the money,
so I started over again – I still have my lines
to sell – chocolate candies for charities, and books
for elementary schools, through all of Middlesex
and Essex Counties, and my gossip column in the paper –
I’m “Kurious Kathy” because of course I know everybody,
and being in the paper every week helps me sell houses
and when Jim says “Hey Kathy, how about it?
I’m sober and I won’t hold no grudges” I say to him,
“Thanks Jim, thank you kindly, but dammit I think
I’ll take care of myself a few more years!”


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