OLWG #252- Living with Mary Alice…

This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

Mary Alice Walker was one of those folks who just kept turning up in my life. We met the first time oh, I guess…it may have been in sixth grade. The Registrar walked her down from the office to our classroom. She got introduced to everyone during second-period Spanish class with Sra Montes. That day at lunch she set her tray down next to mine.

“You’re new here,” I said flatly, and she nodded her head.

“You’re kinda new here too,” she answered. I did not acknowledge her, and we silently accepted each other’s company. We didn’t speak again for the rest of the day.

The next day at lunch, I asked her how she knew I hadn’t been here long.

“Not sure,” she said, “I just knew it somehow.”

“What else do you know about me?” I asked.

“I know that you’re smarter than you let on.” Standing, she carried her lunch tray across the cafeteria to sit at a table by herself. She left school at the end of that year. She told me that her dad had gotten transferred to Fort Sill.

The next time I saw Mary Alice was several years later in San Francisco. I had just gotten back from Vietnam. She was working as a “dime a dance girl” at the USO in the city. We seemed to recognize one another right away. She gave me a small wave, not much more than a wiggle of her fingers when I came into the ballroom. Then she blew me a kiss and made my face light up; she made my night. She glanced over her shoulder, turned and melted into the crowd behind. I searched the rest of the night to no avail. I couldn’t find her.

When I was forty-two, the multinational company I worked for sent me to a meeting in New York. I got caught in traffic on my way to the airport and almost missed my flight. I made it by the skin of my teeth because they had a maintenance issue on the plane. Once on board, I made my way aft and found my place. It was a centre seat on the starboard side. That’s what happens when you arrive late; you get little choice in seating.

Imagine my surprise when I found the adjoining window seat occupied by Mary Alice Walker. We chatted about nothing in particular until the meal service began. She ordered gin and tonic before her meal and ended up taking two. I asked for a beer. The conversation wove back and forth between sports, shopping, current events, and family. She told me that her father had passed away about eight years ago.

I expressed condolences, “I’m sorry,” I said in the vanilla way of conveying regret for her loss of a man I had never known.

“Oh, don’t be sorry.” She immediately said, “I’ll see him again next time, just like I’m seeing you again now.” She paused and studied my face. “You used to be such a beautiful man,” she sighed.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. I held a sceptical smile on my face.

“I guess it’s time for me to explain,” she started. “Do you believe in reincarnation?” She paused, but not for long enough for me to answer. “It doesn’t matter if you do or not. It doesn’t even matter if you know what it is. I’m going to start at the beginning. Reincarnation is the rebirth or the fresh embodiment of a soul or being, and it’s real. Most people never remember their previous lives, future ones either, but that’s a little advanced for this discussion. You and I have been through lots of lives together, and you used to be a beautiful man.

“Did you see me in San Francisco that time?”

I nodded my head, “I looked for you, but you vanished.”

“Denver? San Antonio? Buffalo?”

I shook my head at each of those suggestions.

“Do you remember Rome?” She asked.

“No, I’ve never been to Italy.”

“They called it the Roman Empire in those days. I always believed that was your most successful life, but, unfortunately, it was a short life.”

“What are you talking about, Mary Alice?”

“You were killed, murdered. Are you sure that you don’t remember any of this?” She asked.

“No,” I shook my head.

“You were a performer and plaything in the court of Romulus Augustus. In  486AD  Romulus was deposed by the Herulians, and Odoacer wanted you for himself.”


“When he discovered that you were not female, he had you killed.”


“You were stoned. Your corpse was desecrated by Odacer’s men.”

“So, in one of my past lives; I was a drag queen?” I asked her.

She nodded. “A good one, too; unfortunately, you were… ahead of your time.”

This week’s prompts are:

  1. the house at Johnson Slide
  2. can you hear them watching?
  3. so I followed her

You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!

8 thoughts on “OLWG #252- Living with Mary Alice…

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