I learned a long ago that with challenges come opportunities, and opportunities often lead one down new and exciting roads. I met Denise a few months ago at the newly formed a Fidalgo Island Writers Guild. A short time later, she signed up for my writing class, which is designed to jump-start beginning writers who need that extra push. I soon discovered that Denise's writing engine had been humming along for sometime, having written several romance novels. What she found instead, was a new outlet to her writing.
Denise Morrow, an Anacortes native, has lived on Fidalgo Island all her life. After college she married her husband Brent, and here they raised two daughters, Leah and Linnea. For decades Denise’s job has been in Mini Storage development and operation in Anacortes and Oak Harbor. Finally figuring out what she wanted to do when she grew up, she began writing romance novels. Fast-forward two year, and four books are ready for editing. Denise has now found a new love, the short story.
By Denise J. B. Morrow
I expected him to evoke a stronger feeling inside of me. I had been so captivated by the mere thought of him decades earlier. In fact, he dominated my thoughts in the early 70’s. It was a painful longing with no chance of requital, and yet the feeling had persisted.
On a warm summer day a lifetime ago, I stood perusing the magazine counter at Citizens Pharmacy. I was ecstatic to see, nestled between the pages of the latest edition of Tiger Beat, a mega poster of his smiling face. In living color, a giant head and shoulder shot that would take up half the wall above my bed.
The strong yearnings grew as I listened to his treble timbre emitting from the 33 spinning on my portable, plastic record player. Surrounded by the lavender walls of my bedroom, imagining him singing directly to me, I rolled over on a loud purple floral bedspread to gaze at his glossy image. His signature colored shirt matched my room and his soft brown eyes and feathered hair generated a sweet fervency in my adolescent heart. I sighed deeply and fantasized about what I was sure would be our fated meeting someday.
As long as I could keep my little brother from surreptitiously penciling in a mustache above the shiny white teeth of my dreamy, would be lover, life was good.
My feelings cooled along with the weather that fall as I began my Jr. High years. All my energies were now taken up trying to fit in and interact with real life boys, some with interesting potential. The poster was eventually taken down, carefully folded, and stored away. I never could bring myself to toss it.
Three and a half decades later the harsh lights of sin city reflected off the hotel walls. Part of nostalgic, old Las Vegas, hot pink and orange dominated the decor of this establishment. I wondered where the time had gone. This trip was a pilgrimage of sorts. On the verge of a significant birthday, I was hopeful to recreate the mood and sensibilities of my youth. I ran headlong into the past with the expectation of fulfilling an antiquated fantasy.
Now here I stood, at long last, inches away from him, time had been kind to his countenance; he was still a strikingly handsome man. We were both dressed completely in black. My 5-inch patent leather platform sandals put us at eye level. I mumbled something about his poster hanging on my bedroom wall in the 70’s as he put his arm around me and smiled for a photo. But too much time had passed. No longer did I feel the deep, burning hunger of a pubescent preteen. His touch did not create in me the thrilling sensation that I had anticipated. He turned towards me and I looked expectantly into his brown eyes, as he opened his mouth to speak. His only words, “Sorry I’m so sweaty.”