Another change to the ol' schedule necessitated my driving to an adjoining little area. A rental building on a main street where my client waited at his front door. He ushered me in.
We chit-chatted mindless silly stuff you say to distract the person from what you are really doing to them, and he prattled on about his life. Prattle is the wrong word. But it is close. He spoke in homilies and strange little sentences that made me wonder if he had experienced a stroke or if he was just unschooled. The home was dingy. The towels were dirty. The supplies were ancient.
He had an extra bedroom where a Roland electric keyboard was hooked up to a Fender amp.
A microphone lay strewn about.
"Yeah me and my Rose used to play at the Army and Navy 4 times a month. She never sung in front of anyone but the mirror when I met her and after 5 years I had her up to 200 songs."
Rose died a few years ago. She smoked herself to death he told me.
I had asked him something about the pictures of the pretty young blonde girls that may be grandkids and he said to me:
"Oh Rose was not my wife. I had two women."
He looked at me triumphantly. This was really something to him.
Then he smiled and leaned back a little.
"Yeeeup. Rose, I never married her but she was my woman for 14 years. The wife I had before we had the kids but it was no good. Rose was great. I bought her a '75 Ford Van and fixed it up and we had ourselves a Coffee Wagon. Went all over town selling. Made darned good money too."
Of course I had him play me a tune. Buffalo Gals and Secret Love and Please Release Me, and a couple of country tunes I had trouble identifying.
"SO are you married?"
I gotta tell you, the answer to that question is always, emphatically YES. No matter what. The answer is YES.
He did mention as how he was going to be at the certain restaurant at a certain time if I was interested perhaps and then told me about this woman he met for breakfast every Friday who was 45 and so on. A player. A Hillbilly player.
I found some geriatric soap and did the dishes that were absolutely mouldy. I even scrubbed the toilet when he wasn't looking. I just couldn't stand all that drab. But damn it all if he didn't put his same old grimey clothes back on after we finished his dressings.
I know this guy. I remember him. A long time ago I was in a little cafe in the boonies. I remember the band because it was appallingly bad, in a strange and endearing way. I remember this little man because he has a facial deformity that is not visible if his hat is on. His hat is almost always on. I remember Rose too. She sort of yodelled as she sang.
Right on Rockabilly Hillbilly Guy.