Post # 448 (fiction # 3) THE SEQUIN PURSE

It isn’t as though Lucinda (“Cindy,” to her friends and neighbors), had little to do. Since, miraculously, surviving the horrific, fiery automobile accident, she vainly attempted to divert herself from its, traumatic recollection, by volunteering as a childhood librarian, at the Main Street Library, by participation in Church charity sales, and working, as a part time, real estate salesperson for a local broker. She had always been an avid gardener, and now, by necessity, rededicated herself to the solicitous care and oversight, of the shrubs and flowering bushes, growing in front of her modest, shingled house.

There had been, a veritable stream of consoling visitors, since the funeral of Ken, her late fiancé, the unlucky driver, of the smashed car, bringing, with their warm condolences, flowers, home baked cakes, and pies. Lucinda was often, momentarily, diverted, during the pendency of their visits, and heartfelt wishes, but returned to a state of inconsolable tragedy and angry, self-pity, as soon as company departed. Following one such visit, she despondently, tossed into the trash can, a lovely, home-made rhubarb and strawberry pie (known to be her favorite) previously brought by Susan, her best friend and erstwhile intended, Maid of Honor. After some weeks, she finally was able, between staccato sobs, to put the intended, and, unused wedding gown, and the matching, sequin purse, away in a cardboard box, in her small upstairs attic.

Her longtime best friend, Susan, earnestly, tried in every conceivable way, she could think of, to console Cindy, bringing her along to movies, concerts and to the occasional cultural programs which presented themselves to the town. Cindy was appreciative, but sad to say, seemed to be chronically inconsolable.

Susan and her husband, Barry, were, eternally concerned about political matters, such as ethics in government, the overhaul of the unfair, U.S. Tax code, the subject of compassionate capitalism, and the amelioration of climate change. In reality, Barry practiced law in a local office, and was, for, both, business and idealistic reasons, relatively active in State and local politics. It was election time, and so, Barry suggested to Susan, that she bring Cindy to some of the town political meetings. He was supporting, in the upcoming federal election, for President, the candidacy of liberal, Democratic Nominee, named, Jeff Prince, a capable, intelligent, well educated, widower, with an Honors degree in Political Science, from Geogetown University.

Lucinda (“Cindy”), accompanied Susan and Barry to several political programs, at first, reluctantly, but later on, often, finding the heat of debate and contention somewhat, diverting and enjoyable. She, after a while, would make written notes of the arguments of the debating presenters and keep them for later consideration. Not wishing to misplace or lose these, increasingly interesting notes, she bravely, (and uncomfortably) recovered her sequin purse, from the attic, for their storage. Before long, the dressy purse, originally intended to be an accompaniment to her sequin wedding dress, was bulging with recorded argumentative points, asserted at the political meetings.

Cindy soon elected, to terminate her real estate sales activities, as well as her services as volunteer, part- time children’s librarian, in order to allow time for attendance, with Susan and Barry, at political meetings; finding the forensic debate, somewhat more effective in diverting her from the grim thoughts of her past loss. She enjoyed the challenging, analytical, activity, of making brief, written notes, of the contested and debated points, storing the notes, in her (sequin) purse, for later, quiet consideration and analysis.

She came, in time, to know the offered platform and philosophy of the locally, preferred candidate, Jeff Prince, and to candidly, prefer his position to the other, competing candidates. Reviewing, re-reading and consideration of his positions on the issues, appealed to her, personally as properly, correct and empathic. She would regularly, following an exhaustively, debated meeting, when arrived home, empty her dressy purse, of the transcribed notes, and save them for possible, future reference.

The political air was becoming, noticeably, electric with excitement, as the date for the Presidential election drew near. The Presidential Candidate, Jeff Prince, and his opponents, were furiously traveling around the Country, barnstorming and speaking in support of their respective election. Barry learned, through the political channels, that Jeff Prince was soon arriving to make a twenty- minute stop at their hometown. He excitedly and immediately, notified Susan and Cindy, of the exact place and time of his appearance, so that they could personally, meet the Presidential Candidate, Jeff Prince, and have the rare opportunity of speaking with him.

Barry, Susan and Cindy, were waiting at the exact point, where the Candidate was to make his intended appearance. Cindy, especially, took care to bring her (sequined) purse, a pen and some writing paper, to record his words and the general experience. It was, unfortunately, raining, heavily, when our trio was able to personally, meet, and greet the Candidate. The famous personality, subsequently to be elected President of the United States, was a handsome, young man, who, hurriedly spoke with our three supporters, but noticeably, and intensely, kept staring at Lucinda, through the rain.

After the candidate hurriedly left, having exchanged wet, rainy handshakes, with the three friends Cindy was heard to alarmingly, cry out, “Where is my purse?” “My sequined purse is nowhere to be found.” The next day, the future President-to-be, returned to the local political headquarters, and reported that, in the rain and confusion, someone, in his party had taken the purse, mistakenly, assuming that it was hers. The celebrated young man was told, by Barry, who the owner of the wet, sequined bag, was, and he offered to return it to her. The handsome, future President, smiled broadly, winked, and happily, and anticipatorily said, “I’ll take it to her, myself.”

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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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