Thursday, 17 April 2014

Honeymoon in San Francisco, 1965 Kay Kinghammer

Honeymoon in San Francisco, 1965
Kay Kinghammer


Curly, who wasn't, was balding.
Curly, whose real name was Adolf.
Curly, the brother-in-law of my friend Rosie,
Curly, the cheesecake salesman asked me. He
Asked me. He asked me to marry

Overwhelmed, I never thought it could happen,
I thought my life was ruined, forever.
I thought no one would ever want me.
I thought no one would ever love me.
This was the truth for unwed mothers.
What else could I do but say, "Yes!"

Finally, I could quit dancing, quit
Taking my clothes off for money. Maybe
I could be a normal woman. Stay home
And raise my son. It didn't matter
That I didn't love him. I was
Good at pretending, pretending to love to
Earn my living. Gratitude might lead me
To real love. If I pretended enough,
It might happen. There might be a
Happy ever after. The night before we
Were to marry, I thought about running away.
I talked myself out of it. This was my
Big chance, my chance to be respectable,
My chance to be other than an
Unwed mother, my only hope of being
A wife. So we got married, walked
Down the aisle just like normal people.

Afterward, at the reception, Curly borrowed twenty
Dollars. He borrowed it from a stranger
So we could spend our wedding night
In a cheap downtown hotel.
I was too drunk to notice,
Didn't find out about the begging until
Later. In the hungover morning he told me,
He'd quit his job, and we were moving,
Moving to California. So we packed up
Our things and we went. We drove down
To San Francisco, to small town
On the outskirts of San Francisco.
We moved in with Curly's cousins.
I was well and truly trapped.
I was so angry with Curly. My
Pipe dream of being married - exploded.
Like a pipe bomb, it exploded.
I sulked and I fumed and I
Exploded in hissing whispers. This was not
What I expected. This was not what
I wanted. He had to find a job.
He was a cheesecake salesman.
He was bound to find a job.

But he didn't. He didn't even try.
When his cousins finally asked us to leave,
He found a job for me, he found

A dancing job for me. It was a
Three month job in Alaska. So
I took my son back home to
My mother, took myself to Alaska,
Saved up my money in Alaska,
So that I
Could buy
A divorce.

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