I think it’s time to take a break from my ramblings about Black Mt. developers and my dysfunctional childhood. I bore even myself at this point. So I will return to the amazing story of 44 Cherry Street, a building on Cherry Street that lives only in my imagination. It was inspired by Alexander McCall Smith’s series of 44 Scotland Street, an on-going saga of an imaginary apartment building in Edinburgh, Scotland. His series centers on Bertie, a precocious six year old boy and his crazy mother, a figure who resonates with all the bad things I did to my precocious children when they were growing up.
My series is based on a series of characters created solely out of my imagination. Any resemblance to anyone you might know in the Black Mt. area is purely incidental. The most interesting character is a woman of a certain age named Lorraine. She has been single for way too long, and pours all her affection on her little dog, Suki. She looks great, but is always stressing about her weight and her wrinkles. Although she lives on a fixed income, she buys only designer clothes and Chanel cosmetics. She is careful about her diet, but is not afraid to overindulge whenever the opportunity arises. As a result, her weight does not change. She was involved with a strange older man who was loaded but who was beyond cheap. He refused to introduce her to his friends and was unwilling to make a commitment. She put him to the curb, and now she is on the prowl for a more appealing mate.
One of Lorraine’s good friends is Judy, a therapist living in Waynesville. She was a confidant of Lorraine’s until Lorraine told her about her struggles to meet someone on Match. Judy cruelly told Lorraine that she had been on Match for fifteen years but had yet to meet anyone she liked inspite of the fact that she was thinner and younger than Lorraine. Lorraine un-friended Judy.
There are Sunny and Tom, a couple living in sin out near the reservoir and who know the rest of the characters from bumping into them at the Dripolator. Sunny is a teacher who has students named Jahquantavious and Unique, and who teaches at the Montessori school. Tom is her partner who retired from the military and is now a carpenter. Sunny is a bit of a whiner, and Tom is a hotty whose clients all lust after him and dream up projects just to make an excuse to see him again and watch his cute, tiny butt.
Some other characters include Chip and Alison, a young couple who bored me to tears because all they do is hike, ride bikes, and buy new sports equipment. I decided to move them out of the building. There’s Pete, Lorraine’s pet stink bug. He doesn’t have much to add to the story. Barry is a shy, quiet man who owns the building. Furd and Letitia are two doomsday preppers who enlist Peter Prepper who lives at 44 Cherry Street to build a safe haven in the backyard of number 44. Peter is a bit of a bumbler and manages to sever the power lines to the building as he excavates a fire pit in the backyard. He lusts after Lorraine and even makes a play for her, but his hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. After all, his only water source is a backyard hose complimenting a cake of homemade soap that really needs hot water to be effective.
Barry moves Salty into the apartment Peter has vacated. Salty is obsessed with power tools and weapons. When he moves into the building, he refuses help and throws out his back as he hauls one large saw after another into his small space. Lorraine thinks he is cute, but wonders about all the power tools. If they were to get married, she could not tolerate having him move those unattractive items into her beautiful, carefully-curated space. Salty is a helpful guy who is attractive to older women who all seem to spread rumors about being engaged to him. Lately Salty has met a sexy señorita who is trying to take over his life.
Cherry Street and Black Mt are also important aspects of the story, and the shops and people who run them appear from time to time.
Come back next week and catch up with what all these folks have been up to since last they appeared on these pages.