Monday, June 25, 2007


This old woman lived next door.
She rented a house behind my Grandma's house.
The house in back was dug into the earth.
The kitchen was on the first floor, then a few steps took you down to the sublevel where there was a small living room, bedroom and bathroom.
I only mention these details because I found this house peculiar.
But even more peculiar was the old woman who lived there.
One time she brought me some cookies.
I was a little afraid of those cookies because I was afraid of the old woman.
I hadn't seen The Wizard of Oz yet, but the old woman looked a little bit like that nasty witch that Dorothy killed when the house fell on her...or maybe when some water killed her.
(I've got to see the movie again.)
My Dad and I were starting to go to church one Sunday morning when the old woman started knocking on the door of Dad's 1954 GMC pickup. I rolled down the window.
"You going to church?"
"I said 'Yes'".
"Can I ride with you?"
My Dad said to open the door and I did.
She hopped in and slid beside me.
It was a close fit
I felt her body almost clinging to mine.
Then the strangest thing happened.
A moth came out of nowhere and started flitting inside the truck cab.
The old woman immediately started swatting the little flying creature, but didn't have much luck with her hands, so she lifted up one leg...then the other...and started kicking and trying to squash that moth.
This flailing and kicking went on for about five minutes.
Five minutes was a long time (and plenty of time) to see what I saw all over the old woman's anatomy.
I mean she had tattoos all over her body.
I could see them clearly on her legs, but it took a little extra peeking everywhere else to see the large territory that was covered with tattoos.
The moth never was killed.
The old woman rolled down the window and shooed it out.
I don't remember much more than the journey to church, and nothing about the sermon or the return trip home.
I think that I was too traumatized by the colorful ordeal with the moth and all of those tattoos.
Weeks later we heard that the old woman had gotten sprayed by a skunk.
We heard that she had soaked in a tub of tomatoes, ketchup or tomato soup to get rid of the skunk smell.
After this, nothing more was heard from the old tattooed woman.


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