Clock Watcher
Bev Vines-Haines

I'd like a penny for every minute I have waited for Dinah May Foster.   Why can't that girl be on time?  I'm a new mom.  Baby Jimmy is less than a year old. 

Once every other month, I get to meet my sisters for dinner.  At the Gold Rush Steaks and Saloon.  Big Jim runs the night shift down at the factory and he don't relish me going out any more than that.  So I get this night, this one golden night, to look and feel like I am still alive. 

So why Miss Dinah, Miss young and eighteen and unfettered thing, do you always come so late? 

'It's 1921,' you say.  'It's after the war and time for dancing and celebrations!'

Oh really?  I was young once, wildly excited about my effect on the boys and all the promises made at Miss Truly Jensen's Finishing School.  Thing is, Miss Jensen never told us there would be a war.  Or so many young men would leave the parties and never come home again.  Spirited and ruddy-cheeked boys like Peter Adam Street.  She didn't tell us we would marry old men or none at all.   

When you finally show up, I'll go eat my dinner like a lady, watch the young folks dance and carefully covet Charlie Murphy with his jaunty grin and sassy ways. 

It's one golden night, one deep lungful of air, and every time you steal almost an hour.

First published: February, 2011
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