I have a character, and, like most, she just sort of showed up. But now she lies dormant and I ache for her to return. I think about her but can’t rouse the crazy old bat – even now when there’s plenty of time to spend on the computer.
I know Olvie lives alone. It’s the 1960’s and she takes up space in a small house just outside the old freedom town of Clarksville in Austin, Texas. She tries to fix her hair Marilyn Monroe-style but it comes out looking like Sally’s on the Dick Van Dyke show.
Olvie hates calling telephone numbers that contain a zero. Takes too damn long for the rotary dial to circle all the way back to its starting position. And the rabbit ears on her Magnavox don’t work to satisfaction until 10:00 a.m. when Let’s Make a Deal airs.
Until she chunked old Singer out the window, Olvie used to be a card carrying member of the Sewing Guild. She does, however, still have a license to check out books should she have the hankering to stare at words instead of the boob tube.
A real visitor might enter her house and think they have stepped into the Twilight Zone. Mannequin Gladys, wearing her flapper dress, stares out the window. Half-torsoed Fritz wears the top portion of a lederhosen and precariously balances on the television.
When she encounters the poor soul walking past her house, she poke, poke, pokes his chest, asks if she can spit on his shoes, then adds, “it won’t take long.”
Returning inside, she kicks off her duck slippers and does a quick “shuffle off to Buffalo” to impress Gladys and Fritz. They are catatonically dazzled by her performance.
Dear Olvie, please come back so I can plunk your words and actions down on a keyboard. Get in my face, spit on my shoes if you want. Just show up again.
Your friend, Carolyn