FRANK SINATRA AND THE MAGPIE
She picks up the newspaper off the hall floor; the letter box is still open wide and laughing, which reminds her, that if she pretends to be happy....then she will be. Walking back into the kitchen, which is brighter now, she makes a second coffee in a floral mug, one of eight, along with a teapot, that she'd bought the week before, whilst in a chintzy mood. She crosses to the Mexican-tiled table, which is a thousand stylistic miles away from chintz, and lighting up her third cigarette, she sees the scruffy magpie again, through the patio door, which badly needed to be cleaned. It had been hanging around her house and garden for weeks, and even crept into the kitchen the afternoon before, while she was out at the washing line, before hot-footing it out in a panic, when she screamed at it in a superstitious outburst. 'So you're back again this morning. What do you want?' she blasts, just as Frank Sinatra is singing on the radio, '....That's why the lady is a tramp!' She slides back the patio door and steps out into the garden. 'Look Joe, (doesn't know where that came from....unless a subconscious connection to Frank's movie, Pal Joey ....!?) if you want to come visit, will you please bring a friend or lover! I have nothing against you personally, but one magpie.... on its own.... represents sorrow, and right now, I'm trying very hard to think myself happy....OK!?'
Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak
Door shut once more and plonking herself down on a chair, which badly needs to be re-covered, she looks at the newspaper headlines; Olympics and more Olympics. 'Great TV viewing for the next month if you have an accident and can't get out! ' she moans to the strains of Frank's finale: '....Won't dish the dirt with the rest of the girls, that's why the lady is a tramp!' Just then, and, almost on the last chord of the song, her attention is diverted once again to the patio door and the motion picture on the other side. Choking on excitement and coffee, she splutters, 'Oh my God, I can't believe it!' Joe was back, and proving that he had listened to her pleas; he had returned this time, with a pal....his girlfriend....his lady....his tramp,,,,.his Kim!. 'Two magpies ....two for joy! Thanks Joe!' She frowns as she thinks about the bad press that magpies get. 'Not always deserved,' she whistles. She turns on the hot tap, that needs to be fixed badly, and filling a bucket ready to clean the patio window, she finds herself singing, 'Hate California, it's cold and it's damp, that is why the lady is a tramp!'
Maureen Walsh - July 2012
Ciao for now!