115 Doxtater-Pt. 5 (Image: Hannah & Sage)

This is Hannah and Sage–two adorable children I encountered a few days ago while on a shoot for the paper I work for–The Fluvanna Review. This was a one shot opportunity. After asking their parent’s permission I shot this image and immediately after I made the exposure Sage turned his head and buried his face in his sister’s coat.

Here’s part 5 of the story:

Major Provisano didn’t reply but stood and began clearing the table.

“As long as I’m staying here,” the girl said taking the dishes from him, “I might as well earn my keep—I mean besides last night.”

Mary Kent busied herself cleaning the Major’s home as best she could without power while he tagged along helping—the two of them talking about their lives.

John related his years in England during the war and meeting Vera while in a graduate program at the University of Maryland just after the war. He shared his thoughts about where he was in life—and his nagging preoccupations with his failing capacities.

“It’s called a mid-life crisis,” Mary Kent opined. “Freud and Jung both described turmoil in middle age related to aging issues—the term itself is new in clinical circles. Not all men experience it—the numbers are all over the chart—some studies show figures as high as 70 percent, others show like 10 percent. But many men—when they hit middle age—feel threatened by their fading abilities—relentlessly comparing themselves to an idealized, younger, former self. Have you, in recent years, experienced any big set-backs, changes or developments—problems, crises?”

“My father died last year,” he said, “and I was passed over for promotion at work. And I haven’t been quite what I was sexually,” he muttered.

“Well,” Mary Kent smiled, “I don’t know what you were like with Samantha in England but I’ve got no complaints about last night. Which reminds me,” she said with feigned indignation, “you owe me for a pair of panties—the ones I had on last night wouldn’t make a decent rag now.”

“You say a lot of men go through this?” John inquired.

“It varies,” Mary Kent explained, “it manifests in different men in a variety of ways but the basic themes are always the same—lots of self-doubt, dissatisfaction with and questioning of life, dwelling in the past—“the good old days.” Some guys in mid-life just do some personal stock-taking and soul-searching but cruise on through—others go through hell. Some of the more common things you see are marriage break-ups and affairs with younger women.”

In the months prior to this most recent assignment John tried to explain his feelings and anxieties to Vera but was unable to put his struggles into words. Vera listened sympathetically but couldn’t understand why he was so stuck in the past all of a sudden and preoccupied with perfectly natural, normal life changes that couldn’t be stopped or changed.

“It’s kind of like,” Mary Kent said smiling, ‘the older I get, the better I was.’”

With that concluding quip John burst out laughing so hard his eyes filled with tears. It all made sense—for the first time in many months he understood what was happening and where he was at in life.

When he could finally get his breath John took the girl’s hands in his own.

“Thank you Mary Kent,” he said kissing her hands then hugging her.

Then it was Mary Kent’s turn to tell her story. Mary Kent had met her husband Jay while in college in Georgia. She was a psychology major, he a business major. Dropping out in their junior years they got married thinking she was pregnant—it turned out to be a false pregnancy.

“Jay felt he’d been had,” Mary Kent, explained as she changed the sheets on the bed, “he said I’d trapped him.”

“So that made it OK for him to see other women?” John offered.

“In his mind I guess,” the girl replied, “plus he has some major adequacy issues—needs to prove himself as a man—over and over. His whole life is a mid-life crisis and he’s the same age as me. I hate to think what his life will be like when he hits his forties. Like I said—he’s up in Old Forge right now—humping some piece of trash—a few weeks ago it was that pathetic little bitch that works in Mazzafero’s Meat Market over on East Dominick. Where do you keep your dusting spray?—I need a dust cloth.”

“He started cheating again a few weeks ago?” John asked pointing to a linen closet.

“He never stopped,” she replied clearing pictures off the mantle and spraying the top surface. I think he was involved with some bimbo three or four days after we got married again.”

“So what are you going to do?” John asked, “what’s next—what do you want for yourself?

Putting down her dusting cloth and spray the girl dropped down on the living room couch to bask in the brilliant winter sunshine pouring through the front windows overlooking Doxtater Street.

“Up until yesterday I thought I wanted to be Jay’s wife,” she said—a tone of incredulity creeping into her voice. “Each time he apologized and begged for forgiveness I thought he was serious and would straighten up—actually be a husband to me. I’ve been a sap,” she went on, “he’s a dirt-bag—I guess I wanted to be Mrs. Dirt-bag—provide meals and a place to sleep in between sluts. Like most women—I thought I had no choice—that I needed to have a husband—that I couldn’t make it on my own—and if I left him I’d be a failure and not a respectable woman. People would look at me like there was something wrong with me.”

John Provisano listened silently as the girl talked about how she’d been brought up to believe the most important thing she could do with her life was to be a wife and mother.

“Mary Kent,” John offered, “Take back your life—go after a life you value and enjoy. I don’t see that you have much of that in your life now. If Sam were your age and in your situation I’d do everything and anything I could to get her to leave a bastard like him. If you decide to do that, I’ll help you. I’d like to be your friend. As much as I enjoyed last night it was wrong—I can’t be your lover. Find a guy closer to your age that respects you—if in fact you want a man in your life.”

End part five

FacebookTwitterDeliciousGoogle GmailGoogle ReaderDiggShare

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge