Fictional account of life at 44 Cherry Street in Black Mountain
Recently Lorraine caught a glimpse of herself in the hall mirror of her apartment at 44 Cherry Street, and was horrified by her looks. Normally Lorraine was meticulous in her appearance. She kept her hair dyed jet black and never walked out the door without her make-up perfectly applied. She had a collection of Eileen Fisher clothes which were so classic that even her older outfits were fresh and au courant. But since Mac Buchanan had waltzed into her life and swept her off her feet, she had been shamed into letting herself go. Mac had accused her of being vain and a snob and not the sort of “natural woman” he was accustomed to being with. Lorraine was an inveterate people-pleaser, and so she had followed suit. She let her hair go grey, stopped wearing make-up, and wore baggy flannel shirts and sweat pants. She looked like a hag, and when she saw herself, she was shocked into jerking herself back into shape.
Just a few days after the shocking discovery of how far she had fallen, she was happier with herself. She had gone into Asheville to Two on Crescent and treated herself to a couple of new pieces from Eileen Fisher (on sale!) She had visited Emily at Beauty Parade and her hair was cut and colored, And she dug out her eyeliner, mascara, foundation, and blush and looked much better. She was a bit concerned about how Mac would react, but he hadn’t said a word. She wondered if he had even noticed. He mainly had eyes for himself.
He seemed only to notice when she messed with his stuff which now littered every inch of her apartment. If she took out newspapers for recycling, he was angry because he might want to reread them. If she picked up his dirty clothes from the bedroom floor, he was angry because he might want to wear the soiled clothes again. And if she rearranged his papers from what was now his desk (and had formerly been her dining room table), he was angry because she had messed up his organizing system. He was angry if she put clutter sitting on the counter back into the kitchen cabinets, because he said it was inefficient to put away something she would surely use again. He wanted her to leave everything out so it was visible.
He had recently dragged two big metal file cabinets up the stairs to her apartment and instructed her not to dare to look inside the drawers. “It was highly confidential,” he explained.
Naturally, when someone told her not to do something, Lorraine was sure to defy those orders. So as soon as Mac had gone out on one of his very long hikes, she approached the files and almost fearfully opened a drawer. She half expected an alarm to sound or a snake to leap out and bite her, but nothing happened. She gingerly peered into the drawer and saw three pairs of balled up sport socks and some dust, and nothing else. ”What?? This must be a fluke,” she thought. “This was supposed to be confidential!
She went ahead and furiously pulled open one drawer after another, and found only more socks, a few old catalogs from used-magazine distributers, and yellowed piles of last year’s Asheville Citizen-Times. What the….? And then she laughed.
Her only complaint about Frederick, her departed ex-husband, had been that he was boring and predictable. She was looking for someone who could surprise her and who was passionate about something. Anything! And no one could say that Mac was boring.