Monday, April 04, 2016

C is for Chrissy: Blogging the #AtoZchallenge

Meet My Imaginary Friends: Chrissy

Chrissy, who has no last name, is the narrator of a story called The Haven in my collection of love stories, My Last Romance and other passions. She is a woman in a difficult situation, a girl from a middle class background who married a man she truly loves but does not feel worthy of. While doing volunteer work to restore an old seaman's haven in their waterfront town, Chrissy meets Stash, a retired mariner who runs the haven. Everything about him mesmerizes her, and, though she loves her husband, this quiet, simple man can give her something that her affluent husband cannot. I struggled a lot with Chrissy. I found her difficult to understand. But I finally realized that sometimes loving one person opens up a heart enough to make room for more love.

I slip into the warm silence and inhale the winsome fragrance of ancient wood, morning coffee, and men. Only two sounds invade the space, the steady tick-tock of a sea captain’s clock on the fireplace mantle in the common room and a steady thumping sound, crockery moving back and forth on wood, that comes from the kitchen.
He stands in the light-filled kitchen. Everything here is simple—plain, scrubbed wood, undraped tables, walls covered with unframed charts and maps. This could as easily be a Shaker meeting room or a monastery.
His back is to me as he bends over the table. His arms and shoulders move steadily, rhythmically, and I realize he is kneading bread dough in a glazed brown bowl sitting on a folded linen towel. Whish-thump, the bowl rocks back and forth on the table under the expert movements of his big hands. Whish-thump.
I step quietly toward him, slide my arms around his waist, and snuggle as close as I can get, pressing my face into the rough wool of his well-felted sweater.
"I smelled your perfume," he says and from the tone of his voice I know he is smiling.
"I couldn’t wait to get her today," I say, kissing his back between his big shoulder blades. "I’ve wanted you all morning."
He turns holding his sticky, dough-caked hands out and away. He sits on the edge of the table and lets me cuddle close wrapping his forearms around my shoulders. I kiss him. God, I love his face! It is hard and lined and bony with a nose and jaw that are too big and eyes that are like hematite nuggets set under bushy, untameable brows. Everything about Stash has a wildness to it, a rocky, brokenness just on the edge of ruin, and yet so delicious in its wanton imperfection.
"You didn’t come to work then?" he teases. His eyes twinkle and I am lost.
I kiss his mouth and he kisses back gently, sweetly. "I want you." I feel bold and wicked speaking my desires to him.

He smiles and turns back to his bread dough. It is a charming thing to me that this huge, wise, self-assured man shies in the face of my desire for him. It has been like that from the beginning. The man I met on my first foray into the no-man’s land of the Seaman’s Haven was warm, friendly and cooperative. If he felt desire for me he never let it show but now when I catch him looking at me he brims over with it. 


  1. Chrissy seems like an interesting character. I can see how she must have been difficult to pen about but you have done a great job!

  2. Thank you. She is a mystery to me still. But I do love her for having such an open heart.

  3. I can see, hear, taste, touch and smell this scene. Excellent! This is the type of writing I especially like, Kathleen. :O)

    I have a hard time, though, as in my first marriage, my husband cheated on me.

    But the statement you make about room for more love touched me. I don't think I would judge her (as a 'friend'), but if she were after my man, or one of my relatives who was already married, it would definitely affect our friendship. In any case, it's potentially playing with fire.

    LuAnn (approx #369 on the list) @ Back Porchervations.
    (and one of co-host AJ Lauer's #wHooligans)

  4. Thanks, LuAnn, it's a complicated situation and was based on something that happened to someone I knew. It has a very good outcome and actually makes her marriage better in the end.

  5. Wonderful scene - so well done :)

  6. The glazed brown bowl and linen towel evoked a whole sensory experience for me. I, too, had a glazed brown bowl and linen towel. And I would make bread every week. Now I have a break machine, but it's not the same...

  7. My glazed bowl is on top of the refrigerator. Alas, I rarely use it these days. Thanks for visiting.


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