Love as Stand-up
Bev Vines-Haines
Love can be a lot of things.  I realize that.  Convoluted.  Painful.  Dangerous.  Sometimes downright funny. Take my twenty-two year relationship with Tank Potter. When I was a girl, I thought it was love.

Our romance was secret. Couldn’t let his Mama know. Or my Mama. Or Trisha Mayfield and certainly none of her seven older brothers. Trisha was pregnant. In the eleventh grade. She swore the baby belonged to Tank and he swore it didn’t. I, of course, believed him.

So we’d meet nearly every afternoon after school down in the boulders at the gravel pit. Tank was thoughtful, making this little nest where we could hide from the world. If you used all your imagination it was like a tiny house.

I’d have stayed living in that secret heaven if Trisha’s brother Snake hadn’t followed us to the pit one day and started a fight with Tank. Our gravel pit is deep and rocky. It has these huge stones they pulled from the earth and piled around the sides. That’s where those boys fought. Crazy close to that pit. Finally Tank got in a good left hook and I saw Snake fly off those rocks, spinning like a top until he disappeared from sight.

Tank got twenty years. I had his boy while court was in session. Cute little guy. More like me than Tank. Thank the Lord. Fact is Trisha’s Becky and my Silas went all the way through school together.

Twenty years is a joke, you know. Tank got out in seven. He came back to town and me and Trisha both ended up with another kid by him. We used to fight, me and her. Then he ran off and married Jena from the Café. A year later he showed up at my back door right after midnight.  Carried a bottle of wine and a wilty daisy. How I prayed I wouldn’t get pregnant again.

I didn’t.

Kept letting that fool in on cold late nights for another two years. I get so lonely I lose my common sense sometimes.  After all this time my heart still leaps when I think about Tank Potter. I worry it’s just the same for Trisha. We’re good friends these days.

She just called. Seems Becky’s having a baby. With Silas. We never told them they had the same daddy. Now something more to worry about. That’s why I’m saying love can be funny. Tank is just this useless breeze blowing through our lives, me, Trisha and all these kids. 

We thought he’d burned us all he could. Seems we’ll never get all the way to the bottom of Tank’s pit.

First published: February, 2015
© All rights reserved by the writer
Comments to the writer: