|Henry Fonda in My Darling|
A dreadful day last autumn. A day when I could no longer put off doing the laundry. Iron grey clouds, a biting wind off Lake Ontario and a drizzly rain that intermittently showed the strength of a downpour. I filled the bundle buggy and imagined myself a pioneer braving the elements. Six city blocks to the laundromat doesn’t really compare to a barren prairie or dangerous forest, but we do what we can to get through the day. I picked up my Lake Shore breakfast of coffee and lottery tickets at the 7-11 and settled in for The White Cliffs of Dover, the Clarence Brown directed movie of Alice Deur Miller’s poem about love and loss between the wars. The one other customer, a girl of about 20, yet trying to look older, exclaimed: “Hey, do you know that’s Black and White?” Gyeong said: “Good movie. You watch.”
I sipped my coffee and worked on my continuing efforts to become nonjudgmental. I told myself not to judge bad dye jobs. The only reason Caftan Woman has “embraced her emerging silver tresses” is because she is too lazy to dye her hair. At least others are making an effort. I must remind myself there is nothing wrong with a tattoo. The fact that I relate tatoos to the line-man who was our neighbour when I was a kid and to the roustabout who would stay with us when the carnival hit town at the end of the summer…well, that was a different time. Besides, unicorns are whimsical.
I was ready to leave before the end of the movie and as I packed up our young friend asked: “What’s her name?”
“She’s Irene Dunne,” I said. "She’s not always in sad movies, she can be very funny too, and she sings like an angel.”
My tattooed friend smiled and her voice had a mixture of wonder and admiration when she said: “She must be what they mean when they say someone is a real lady.”
Gyeong patted her on the back and said: “Good movie. You watch.”