||BEING CONTINUED: Oldest Professional Widow
by AK Miller
This article shared 1218 times since Wed Aug 1, 2012
Maralind was a prostitute for almost 30 years before she married an older man who promised to take care of her. She was called China Dolly when they met. She was actually Korean, but the name sold better and she chose it herself. She was a war child whose mother brought her to America thinking her half-American daughter would have a better life. She was mostly right. Her mother died suddenly when Maralind was only 15 and she was left with only her clothes, what little she knew of English and her beauty. Her mother had been frank with her about the way she was conceived. She spoke openly about what the young women did to survive after they had lost everything. It wasn't until after she was born and opened her sea-green eyes that her mother knew which man had fathered her. Her mother was relieved it was a nice man who seemed kind and smart. She gave her daughter the only fact she knew about him as her name. These few tools were all Maralind needed to keep herself fed and off the streets.
For years Maralind worked and lived with a couple of girls and they worked for themselves. One got very sick an died in the '80s and the other disappeared completely. By then Maralind could afford to care for herself. She was always wise with her money. She never did drugs or drank, as they were an obvious waste of money to her. She continued with her simple life of working three nights a week until she met Christopher on her 40th birthday. She was hired from an ad in the Chicago Reader as usual, but this man was different. He was a quiet and shy and needed the company more than the sex, but paid for both. He was in his early sixties and was a man that never had passed as handsome, but was easy enough to look at with nothing gross about him. Most importantly, he never raised his voice or his hand. Christopher hired her with such frequency that she hardly had time to meet with any other clients, even her three regulars which had kept he secure for so many years. After four years of seeing one another he proposed a deal under the guise of a marriage proposal. She would live as his wife and in return be provided with whatever she needed within his means. Since her face was beginning to look more like a work by Rand Macnally than a thing of beauty, she accepted. Both being orphans, neither of them had any family. They enjoyed their private life together as husband and wife, having finally found some normalcy. She cooked and shopped and kept a comfortable home. He had someone to come home to. They attended a neighborhood church and she enjoyed the new kind of dress up she got to play. Christopher's heart gave out after their fifth anniversary. When she kissed him goodbye at the hospital she told him that she loved him and she meant it. He left her their small condo in uptown and she was awarded the pesnion from his job, which she never fully understood. It was no fortune, but she made it work.
Now in her 60s Marilind spends her days as the queen of her neighborhood Starbucks, sitting there for hours striking up conversations with the neighborhood regulars and planning church socials. She pulls a small grocery cart that carries her newspaper, hat and purse. When she puts her makeup on in the morning she pulls the medicine cabinet door open so it's closer and she can see better. Once finished, she reaches up to touch the strange older woman in front of her with her fingertips. The mirror swings back into place, pushing that woman away, leaving her with only the image she has of herself in her mind for the rest of her day.
This article shared 1218 times since Wed Aug 1, 2012
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