Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mr. Sweet Talker (My Great Aunt's Lover)

When I moved in with my 88-year-old Great Aunt, one of the first things I noticed was that she didn't particularly enjoy the company of other women. She adored men. In fact, she was downright boy-crazy when it came to one particular man, Mr. Sweet Talker, a dapper 87-year-old.

Mr. Sweet Talker had allegedly been a friend of her late husband, who had passed away two or three years before.

I say allegedly because the other man in Great Aunt's life considered Mr. Sweet Talker to be a charlatan and a fake who appeared out of nowhere to swindle a forgetful, befuddled old lady.

The other man was her neighbor from across the street. He was an uneducated loudmouth who watched everything that happened in the neighborhood and had an opinion about everything that happened in the neighborhood. He checked in on Great Aunt every day, did odd jobs for her and last but not least, drank with her. Neighborhood Watch hated Mr. Sweet Talker.

"He ain't no frienda Late Husband. I ain't neveh, eveh heard Late Husband mention his name once. I ain't neveh seen him 'round here in all the years I been here. That Mr. Sweet Talker is a crook! He put his son's name on Great Aunt's house. And you don't have to believe me, you can go to the courthouse and look that up yo'self."

Was Mr. Sweet Talker a crook? Possibly. I'll never know for sure.

It's true that Mr. Sweet Talker did try to sign over Great Aunt's house to his son. It's also true that he drove Late Husband's Mercedes, which Great Aunt gave him as a gift. He controlled all of her investment accounts, retirement accounts and safe-deposit boxes, and directed all of her financial mail to his address. But he also handled all of her bills and taxes and paperwork, something she was clearly incapable of doing.

Great Aunt would gaze at him adoringly with her blue-green eyes and utter with heart-felt sincerity, "Oh, I just feel so safe when you're around! I don't know what I'd do without you."

When he'd call on the phone, her voice would instantly turn all musical and she'd start chirping like a little bird. Once or twice a week, he'd visit in person, usually bearing three chicken dinners. He and Great Aunt would hold hands across the kitchen table and make goo-goo eyes at each other and sing love songs from a bygone era.

Once, I came home and walked in on the two of them having sex. Thank goodness they were both hard of hearing. I tiptoed into my room, hid in the closet and tried to erase the memory of two naked near-ninety-year-olds going at it.

Too bad he was married to another woman, his gravely ill wife of many years. Other than that, the love story between Great Aunt and Mr. Sweet Talker would have been perfect.

I liked Mr. Sweet Talker. He was kind to me, and kindness had been in short supply ever since I moved to Los Angeles.

"You're just the sweetest little girl in the world," he would say to me, usually right before imploring me not to move out, something I'd been threatening since her first drink-and-fall months earlier. "She needs you. Don't go. She needs you."

After a second drink-and-fall left Great Aunt's face bruised, friends and family came out of the woodwork just long enough to accuse me of hitting her. Mr. Sweet Talker was the only one on my side.

(Semi-Homeless Diaries Part 2 of 12: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 | Lessons Learned 1-2: 1 2)

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2 comments:

jb said...

Ok that was so freaking funny...I would have locked myself in the closet to. 80 plus still shagging it old school god bless then both and I hope to god I can still do it at that age.....with being hard of hearing.

Love your blog...happy I dropped by. Feel free to come visit me.

Peace
JB

Cheron L. Hall said...

God lord...see its always the high yellow ones with the pretty eyes who have all the fun...I kid...

The beauty in it is that maybe she knew he was swindling her a bit and didn't care...at that age, he was offering her something that she probably wanted and needed...

its unfortunate that the family thought you were abusing her...

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