H & I were up at Nantucket a few weeks ago to get things put away for the long winter. As I mentioned previously, the place is a virtual plethora of personalities…honestly, I could write a book. Our neighbor *Denny* is a retired forklift operator who lives on the river year-round. Since H & I purchased our *little piece of heaven* six and a half years ago, Denny has had two live-in girlfriends. Girlfriend #1, we found out later, was actually Wife #2 who had, after the divorce and several years away, came back for unknown reasons to live with Denny. *Wanda* was not too friendly and, according to Denny, was into macramé and tanning. We did not see much of Wanda and during our first winter we found out she had, at the end of the summer, gathered up her macramé knots and vacated. For a while, Denny was a bit of a lost soul. Whenever we saw him, he would mention how he was *looking for companionship*…it was kind of sad, especially when he would ask if I knew of anyone who might be interested in him. I had a difficult time telling him that no, I couldn’t think of any good looking women just now who were looking to move into a remote, riverside cottage with a retired forklift operator who smoked generic cigarettes, wore sleeveless t-shirts, canvas slip-ons, and whose conversation topics centered around how many walleye he trolled-for or how he suspected a meth-lab was operating on the far side of the river.
Fortunately, Denny met *Lois*, the widow of his ex-best riend who happened to somehow be attracted to one or all of Denny’s many attributes. Lois was one of those rather tough women who seemed to have very high bleached hair, tight jeans, and baby doll t-shirts. She wore rings on all of her fingers. Denny was over the moon in love. After a year or so of romantic riverside love, it was evident that Lois had some family issues that included, but were not limited to, a son who was stealing money from her and a needy sister who lived several hundred miles away. Since Denny’s idea of *companionship* is a good woman who cooks for him and listens to his stories and gives him physical whatever, the romance fizzled like rain on the campfire and Lois and her 4 x 4 truck moved on. In a twist of broken-hearted luck, just as Denny’s crushed ego was beginning to mend, he suffered a minor stroke while changing out a pipe under the kitchen sink. He was admitted to the hospital for several days which must have somehow stirred up the dual-exhaust in Lois’s own heart. She was back! Mind you, H & I learned of these comings and goings at odd intervals when we would head up to Nantucket for quiet, relaxing weekends. It was driving us mad to have such drama unfolding by the week in the cottage right next door…like TV only better!
It turned out, to Denny’s extreme disappointment that Lois was not back in his life for the long haul. As soon as the color returned to Denny’s cheeks and he was back to his walleye-trolling stories, Lois once again revved up the good-bye and peeled out of his life.
When H & I were putting the boat in and raking leaves a few weeks ago, Denny tapped his generic cigarette pack against his hand and again lamented about his need for companionship. (H suggested he take in a foreign exchange student!) Now that Lois is out of his life, it seems he is in for a long winter indeed. So much so, that he proclaimed as he lit up a smoke, “If I don’t find some companionship soon, I’m gonna leave this here river!”