Recently a question came up in conversation. Who do you tell your deepest darkest secrets to?
Well I just couldn’t let that question lay on the table, all alone, shivering in its blaring bareness could I? Nope.
Now the answers were varied and some predictable. Husbands, wives, priests. Unexplainable answers included a small rubber troll doll with orange hair, a plant that would grow a brown leaf if the secret was particularly juicy. Oh and there were secrets told to teddy bears, cats and dogs and a fish? I could see telling a fish a secret. I mean who would believe a fish if it sent bubbles full of secrets to the top it its tank! It would look like a comic strip with all the secrets written in bubbles floating above the bugged eyed fishies. Kidding, just kidding.
Ah but then the tide turns from who to tell, over to what to tell. Then things should get interesting. So really, I don’t want to know anyone’s deepest darkest secrets. No not me. Too much pressure. But fun secrets that aren’t really secrets but more like life stories? Now there you have me.
And wouldn’t you know it. It is getting to be the time of year when families get together. From now, October, until the turn of the year, loads of semi-secret stories are about to begin to unfold—again and again. Let me share a few with you from my life entwined with the lives of those fun loving people around me.
First I should put out a caveat. Just because you may think you see yourself in one of these short telling’s doesn’t necessarily mean it is you. After all, we are pretty much all the same. We all step in doodoo once in a while and spread it on the living room rug before we notice it’s on our shoes.
I honestly do not remember who all was at the Murry Summit campground one summer evening, except there were no grown-ups. Just teenagers. Not really getting into any trouble, just having some fun, trying to blur the lines between girls and boys. Someone, I’m pretty sure it was a guy, said “Anyone every smoke a barkie?” A what? Well that started it all. Pretty soon the juniper trees were being stripped of these ten inch lengths of some fine stringy tree bark. We learned how to roll them up real tight so you don’t end up with a torch up to your lips, because in a dry Nevada summer the bark on a tree is highly flammable! Then the lighting began. Then the smoking, then the coughing, then the spitting, then the laughing. I can still smell that bark. So yes, barkies are a Nevada cheroot that should be tried—at least once.
One more short tale. As a telephone operator I really enjoyed working with a group of great ladies. A mixed bag of us from 18 to 80 would sit and direct calls all over the world. It was a wonderful time, cut all too short by this guy asking me to marry him and then moving me clear across five mountain ranges to, at that time, a place that seemed to be another world. But while working at that job I remember a call I took from a lady who was trying to reach what I assume was her son who was in the Navy. She had all the right numbers for me so I could connect her to her loved on. As it was to be a person to person call I announced to the Navy operator all the information she needed. After a half a minute or so she came back on the line and what she said hit me in my funny bone. She says, “I’m sorry operator but your ship has sailed.” Oh come on! Really? I truly can now say that I have been told – that my ship has sailed! Glub, glub. Left on the dock again…
Isn’t it nice to know that wherever you are on your journey in this all too short visit on mother earth, that you can reach back and remember times when smiles were like raindrops and could be caught on your tongue? Creating secret stories to be spouted back into the ears of people you care about? I just love to hear those memories that float to the top of conversations and are shared with me. So let the holiday season begin and the stories flow like so much egg nog and wassail!
Trina lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.