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Upon Their Hands They Will Carry you
Page 22

So This is How Infidelity Happens

Linda found an apartment closer to the hospital, in fact, on the same street and when she told me there was another one for rent just a little over a block from her I was ready to move again.

This time we were moving into a basement apartment. The house was actually an old mansion and had been renovated to have four different families in apartments. Days of elegance and fine living must have prevailed here at one time and some of that still was showing through, at least in the middle upstairs part. Rich, thick carpet, spongy to the step and in ultramarine, dark blue suggested those by-gone days of wealth and prominence. This was on 13th Street.

Steps led down to where we lived. It was at the top of these steps that was to come as my second salvation, the one standing close to the Creator who manages all things. This simply came via a salesman who was working at his job.

When Rod and I were living at Tonkawa and in school there I had sent off for one of the tests art schools advertise. This one was to the then School of the Famous Artists at Westport, Connecticut. That had been at least four years before. Our landlady told me about this man and described him to me but somehow or another we missed each other. Several people discouraged me about the correspondence school, saying it was a rip-off for money and wasn’t at all a good thing so I just dismissed the matter.

Meeting the salesman face to face was a bit different than just hearing about him. He wasn’t a young man and must have been approaching middle age. The man had a charisma about him that was undefinable. This certainly didn’t come through in a talkative way. Actually, he was a bit stand offish and almost seemed bored with what he was seeing. Probably the humble surrounding of the basement apartment didn’t give him any belief I could afford their course.

He spoke briefly about his company and said he would like to show the course to me, but I put him off and asked him to come back when Rodney was home. He made an appointment and did come back.

We visited about this and that, nothing of great importance. I mentioned to him his accent and vocal qualities were similar to our Native American people.

“I am one half Mongolian.” He told me. “My mother was White Russian.” I then understood his personality. The man ended up leaving his books so I could browse over them. There was so much about art in them I couldn’t get enough and when he came back to explain how I was to turn in lessons as I finished them we purchased the plan for eight hundred dollars. I never talked about it to anyone because I knew there would be disapprovals from family and friends because of me spending that much money. Instead I kept the books on a small desk at the corner of the living room and every extra moment I had was spent working on them.

Anatomy, the study of light, perspective, color theory, line drawing, painting, old master’s work, abstract mood symbols, landscape, portrait, drawing of animals, design, use of multiple media and so much more. My world was opening up in such a great way. It was an awakening to suddenly see things I had never looked over closely before. While sitting in waiting rooms waiting for Rhonda in this or that therapy, I referred to pages I had simply taken from the note book like books.

Loneliness or depression dropped away from me suddenly and completely. The old master’s became my friends and it was a bit spooky as I copied their works to study. It was if they were looking over my shoulder and when I made a mistake I could almost feel them correcting me. When I told Rodney about it he looked at me in a strange way so I never spoke about that again. Later when I saw originals in museums there was such a connection to the artist sometimes I found it hard to tear myself away from a particular piece. I remember standing in front of Christina’s World by Wyeth in a Dallas museum. I knew nothing about the particular painting but couldn’t wait to research it. When I learned it was a painting of a disabled girl who was on the ground in a wheatfield I knew then why I was so pulled toward it.

So it was, depression would never become a threat to me again. Times were when I was sad, but never was I brought to the place where it affected me physically with nausea, weight loss, or black despair. On the other hand my experience taught me to be the master of that condition as far as taking rest when I began to stumble.

Linda and I carried the children back and forth to the hospital and between times we had lunch while the kids played. My friend had a special soap opera she loved and I dutifully watched it with her even though there was not much pleasure involved with soap operas for me.

Oklahoma City still had Spring Lake, a recreational park where there was a large swimming pool, rides, and other activities. The afternoons after the soaps the two of us would pack up the kids along with their strollers and off we would go. Linda was like a little sister to me and even over the years I have loved her like family. When her husband was home from his traveling job we four, along with the children got together on occasion for a meal. Linda brightened our life as no one else could have.

Rodney and I were still attending Bible studies. I met a different group and these folks were pleasant if not as social as the Norman folks had been. These were older people who, no doubt, had lived in this area for some time. One of the Bible studies was held in a house not too far from me.

The evening was quiet on this street after the day traffic was finished. The feel of the wide, well-kept, tree lined, city street had its own reverie. It was like a sleepy older woman who was resting comfortable in a lounging robe before she retired. Everything was just as it should have been. To be sure there would be no calls of peacocks or an old whip-poor-will wistfully whistling his threat in a minor key. This was after all still a city. The silence of this broad street was complete except for an occasion slapping of tires on the pavement as someone rolled along to a night time errand of some sort.

Another house like this one was close by and it was where the meeting for Bible study was being held. It had regal Grecian columns on the entry way. The door did not go directly into the house but was off to one side. Once inside there was a startling decor with ceilings so tall it might have been a bank or some other similar building. The heavy furnishings, even though they were dark and massive were dwarfed by the room’s size and height.

There was a prayer, the welcome and then the question and answer held by a study conductor. The material always held our interest. Never a repetitive subject to make the study boring did we have to endure. For all my life I wondered how, after studying for so many years this could be possible. This evening was no different and I was totally engrossed in some event of another time from an ancient happening of so far away and long ago.

Like a wisp of hair blowing across our eyes that is too fine to be of real annoyance was a feeling to come over me. When I looked up from my Bible book my eyes were caught with the most burning gaze and I don’t believe ever before or after has such a thing happened to me. This man was my age but certainly unmarried. He was handsome with the most striking appearance. Rock Hudson couldn’t have held a candle to him. He didn’t seem to be bothered that we were in a room with a fair number of people who were there to study the Bible. It was as if this man could have shown me his love and desire with his eyes alone. Trying to keep my mind focused on my study was almost impossible. I was drawn like a moth to a flame and couldn’t help myself but to glance up again to meet his gaze. No more passion in the moment was possible other than if we were on the floor dancing the tango instead of sedately sitting in the presence of seasoned Bible students.

After the study he was at my side in an instant as if he couldn’t contain his wish to immediately know me. Rodney and Rhonda could have been a shadow he intended to walk straight through.

“So this is how infidelity happens!” I was trying to call up all the women of the Bible who so boldly broke God’s laws, Delilah, Bathshebah, Salome and it wasn’t working. Upon learning his name even that spoke to me of a handsome, Greek-like god.

Rodney guided me carefully, but surely out the front door. We never spoke of the incident after that. My fickle heart wasn’t even ashamed of this longing to drop all that was dear to me and walk straight away with this man I did not even know. Truly the scriptures are correct when they speak of the heart as being treacherous.

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