Roles in Life
By: Garland Davis
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts, – William Shakespeare
The name I’ll use for her here is Maria. That isn’t her real name, but the name I first knew her by. Recently my wife and I were invited to a friend’s birthday party. There was quite a crowd to celebrate his birthday. Most were people we knew with few that were strangers. I saw her come through the patio door from the living room to the lanai.
I last saw her in 1987, the morning, I left Subic for the final time. It had been twenty years. She wore the two decades well and was still very pretty. The years had been very good to her. Our eyes met as we recognized each other. We both waited as our host introduced us and we pretended to be strangers meeting for the first time. I didn’t want my wife to know about her any more than she wanted her husband to know about me. I have since run into her a number of times at different functions. Her husband is a retired Bubblehead Chief and knows many of the same people as I do.
A number of weeks later, I had business at a dealer’s auction for used and repossessed cars. I was buying cars for my taxi business. I won the bids on a couple of cars and afterward went to the cashier pay for my cars. Maria was the cashier. She took my money and as she handed me the receipt and the ownership documents for my cars she asked me to wait for a few minutes until she was finished. She wanted to talk.
This is her story as she told it. After I left Subic she met and married a First Class GM in late 1988. He was ordered to a ship out of San Diego in 1990. For one reason or another, the relationship fell apart and they were eventually divorced in 1991. Her sister had married a sailor in 1990 and was living in Hawaii. She left the mainland and moved to Hawaii where she worked as a housekeeper in a Waikiki hotel. She met the Bubblehead in 1994 and they were married in 1997.
As far as her husband and all her acquaintances knew, she had been an elementary school teacher in the provinces. She had never been to Subic and, from the things she had heard, she thought it was a very sinful place. Her husband thought she had met her first husband through a pen-pal network.
I see her from time to time. She is very prim and proper. A devout member of St. Joseph’s congregation, a member of the PTA, and active at the local Philippine Cultural Center. A stalwart of the community.
When I knew the girl, she could do more tricks with six inches of dick than a monkey can with twelve feet of grapevine.
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A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.