Friday, February 04, 2011

The Tragedy of the Unused Madonna Tickets

If memory serves, Sophia R____ always wore either a double breasted blazer skirt suit or very little at all. When I was nine and Madonna was on her Blonde Ambition Tour, there was a knock on my door. My mother was at work and father too. Rebecca, my sister, was out so I answered it.

Standing before me was a young pretty woman wearing a grey double breasted blazer and matching skirt. On her shoulders, pad. Above her, a big eighties cloud of brown hair. "Hello," she said, a Southern drawl further tenderized by an interdental lisp, "this is for Bob." Bob is my father. We called Bob Bob too. And Marcia, my mother, Marcia. It was a progessive remnant from their days as hippies, though it was my mom who was the counter and my father who was the culture. This woman handed me a large manila envelope that had Bob written on it. "Who is it from?" I asked. "I'm his secretary," said this woman

Even at eight a boy knows his father's secretary. Bob's secretary was a nice African American lady named Camille who used to take my sister and I to a German diner when we'd visit Bob at Merck Pharmaceuticals in Rahway. The woman in the pant suit was neither old nor black. Something was strange but what, no eight year old could tell. "I'll guess I'll take it," I said. The woman turned and I watched her tramp down our suburban steps, under the sycamore tree whose roots raised bumps in the driveway, threatening to breakthrough the black top, and onto the street. She glanced back at the house with a look whose significance both distance and youth kept from me and climbed into a Camaro, (also not Camille's car), and drove off.

Later I realized that look must have been meant as a good bye. The package, I found out, contained what was meant to be the farewell to my father, a dramatic end of the affair. This woman was Sophia R___, b. 1972, was my father's mistress. No secretary she but a lover! The envelope, I later learned, contained two tickets to see Madonna at the now-bygone Spectrum and a note, "Good bye, Bob. I hope you and Marcia enjoy the show."

Though Bob and Sophia R_____ continued their romance, eventually allowing it to blossom into marriage then demise, neither Bob nor Marcia nor Sophia R______ made it to the Spectrum. The tickets went unused.