Karma is a bitch


“Karma is a bitch waiting at the widow for her cheating husband to come home…”

This is a line from one of my first novels. It’s a great line and I have to confess in the beginning I was afraid Karma had another name- Hazel; Charley’s widow. I was worried when I started that Charley had done everything they said he had. That he had cheated, but without conscience- that he had walked out on his family without remorse – and that he had killed himself as a final act of adhoc contrition. But things didn’t fit. Too many pieces remained missing- including the usual tell-tale unaccounted for hours or weekends from family radars. Charley may have been wild eyed and flirtatious over coffee- but it is clear that what he felt for “G” on some level was real. What wasn’t clear from the first session was how much or how far he might have gone to prove it. As adults I find we play the fool in love far more often than our teenage counterparts. Is it because we are so much older that the passage of time, feels more like the passage of opportunity?
A fresh relationship is like a bright shiny penny- so light in our hands that we roll it over again and again just to watch it catch the light and dream of the possibilities it might bring. “See a penny pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck”… or at least until the copper wears thin and the tarnish of time sets in. Then the relationship becomes just another penny that gets lost in someone else’s pants pocket.
Is that what happened to Charley and Hazel? Had Hazel become just another penny? The marriage may have been in limbo, like so many long term relationships tend to suffer when life gets in the way of our living. And it is clear that he had formed a bond with this “G”; a woman who seduced him and then callously led him to slaughter. I’ve looked at her photo so many times to try and see what Charley saw. To find the evil that could allow her to do what she did. The photo I have is one from her High School years. Innocent in Peter Pan collar, she smiles for the camera- but not from behind her eyes and I wonder how the darkness crept in.
While I keep an 8×10 on my writing desk, I have a small photo of Charley I carry with me when I am away from home. The Kodacrome has yellowed and the subject matter is almost lost amidst the shadows- but it is of him on a tractor. It is my favorite because it makes him most human to me. Dressed in faded blue jeans, a casual brown button down shirt open several buttons down- he appears as cool as the evening breeze. The crazy thing is… he is wearing a Fedora and I love that about him.
Now, I have always had a thing about Fedoras. My father wore Fedoras back in the day- and Robert Young of Father’s Knows Best fame wore a Fedora too. I even once thought I met God at a stoplight. He was a handsome older gentleman who smiled sweetly at me on a day when I was at odds with my life. He stopped at the light and just as it was about to change, he looked in my direction- smiled, doffed his hat, then drove away in a light blue Mercury Marquis. Deity can be so fickle… but I digress.

Knowing as much as I do now, I worry about Charley. I worry our Miss “G” holds a small part of his heart still even in death. It is true that we don’t get to pick who we will fall in love with. At home with children was Hazel; overtly self- reliant and steadfast. “G” however was a confused woman, who I believe lacked the ability to truly love. With too many loose morals, too much time and too little competition in a sea of lecherous and lascivious carnivores, I believe she did whatever was necessary to survive and get by. She had no anchor- no internal compass that told her wrong from right. She saw both her heart and her body as commodity and both went to the highest bidder. Charley could not pay the scale…

Love is a continuous polar shift my friends! It defies all magnetic pulls- in love there is no true North. There is only love and when in compromising situations, we must rely on what we can remember is wrong from right. It is a muscle memory of the heart and soul. I do not know if Charley’s memory served him well. If he was as honest in life about his feelings for his wife or for “G”. It may not even matter now. Wherever he is now, “G” is not with him- Hazel is. Should it take death before we can honestly deal with who we are and what we really want out of life? Out of ourselves… or out of those we love?
Think my dear friends… what does you heart muscle memory tell you? Is your love right or wrong?

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