“Auntie! Is this right? You MET Ernest Hemingway?” my niece, looks up from my journals with her hands around the single diary I want to keep. I can’t take much to the assisted living home. Ginny sits cross legged on the floor, I’m in my mother’s rocker, setting an easy pace.
My niece is here to pack and sort me out for the assisted living\ nursing home. I nearly burned the house down with me in it a couple of months ago. I got confused. The kettle cord and the toaster oven cord look alike. Ginny stepped in. She’s my guardian now.
Ginny, my niece, I think I said that already, but anyway Ginny is the girl I took care of while her mother suffered one of her annual crises years back. The crisis occurred as soon as school finished and dissipated mid August. The crises went on until Ginny graduated high school. She’s terrific at organizing. My journals are splayed out on the Persian rug before us. I always kept a journal. The journals are the proof of my life.
“Yes dear. I did.” She reads swiftly, her fingers turn the pages swiftly. She reads, laughs, reads, flips more pages and looks at me in amazement.
“You had an affair with Ernest Hemingway?” Her eyes are big and bright.
"Oh, yes, dear. He was a marvelous man!"
Ernest. Ernie. The man my mother couldn't stand. Or was that Ralph? I don't know. All I recall is that he was a writer, something to do with books. Books and a beard. An amazing beard that tickled whenever he-- Well, Ginny's a little young yet, I don't want her to read-- "Hey, gimme that diary! Who said you could look at my private stuff?"
Opening: Wilkins MacQueen.....Continuation: Khazar-khum