Please Note: This journal contains a wide variety of stuff — complete stories, bits and pieces, commentary, and who-knows-what else. As is always the case these days, the material is protected by copyright. On the other hand, I publish it here to be shared. Feel free to pass it on. Just give me credit. Fair enough?

The Vera-in-the-kitchen this Saturday afternoon was another version of Vera.
Not the plain, shy young woman he first met in The Dragon.
Not the sleek, confident business woman who dropped by most mornings.
Not even the serious companion of cemetery walks – the one who talked English with a Texas drawl while explaining the importance of Kafka.

The Vera-in-the-kitchen was Red Vera.
Red lipstick, red T shirt, short red leather jacket, red tights, red socks, red sports shoes. Various shades of the color – but all definitely red.
Even her hair was adorned with a bow of red ribbon.
George had never seen her dressed this way.
And her tight clothes emphasized her trim, shapely figure.
In sum, Vera was stunning to look at – and sexy.
This was a Vera that would attract attention anywhere she went.

George could not keep his eyes off her.
If I walked down the street with her arm-in-arm, passers-by would wonder why an ordinary guy like me would have such eye-candy for company.

As she brought their drinks from the kitchen, George said, “Vera, come sit down and let me ask you a question – Where are you going dressed up like that?”

Vera laughed.
“Here, George – just here – with you. I dressed up for you. I thought you might like to have a little spice added to your drab life. I got up this morning in a fizzy mood and thought I’d just put on some of my fizzy clothes and surprise you.
Don’t you approve of my outfit?”

“Of course I do – how could I not – you look stunning – and I’m complimented!”

“Don’t think I’ve dressed to seduce you – you know better than that. If I had, I would have walked in the door in the door in my negligée.”

“Ha. Yes. Well . . .We’re beyond that, and we both know it. But still . . .”

Vera laughed.
“I think of clothes as costumes worn in the theater of life – as a way of telling the world how you wish to be seen and thought of at the moment.
Costumes . . . and disguises.”

“So, Miss Vera Vesely, just who is your audience today? What’s the message of today’s costume?”

“I told you, George. I dressed to come down and spend Saturday afternoon with you. As to the message . . . I guess I’m telling you that I have many sides to my personality. I could have come dressed in my denim overalls, like a pig-farmer’s daughter. Ha. Maybe I will sometime – that’s me, too, you know.”

“Well, then, what side of your personality does this all-red outfit express?”

“It says sometimes I’m really happy. Not often. But sometimes.
It’s my feeling sparkly statement. I had nothing else to do today but to come down and spend a Saturday afternoon in your company.
And that made me happy – so I came all in red.
Or . . . maybe . . . this is my devil outfit – expressing my satanic side.”

George laughed. And changed the subject.

“Do you want to go out somewhere? To The Dragons? To walk by the river?
Or even rent a rowboat? Maybe shopping? Or to look into art galleries? I’d be up for any of that. What say you?”

“No. I mean, I like all those possibilities. But . . . I just want to be here alone with you and talk. I don’t even know what I want to talk about. But you always think of something interesting. Throw out an idea.”

Silence.

“OK . . . Do you ever hear voices, Vera?”

Vera froze as she was lifting her glass to drink.

“Yes . . . why do you ask?”

“I’ve shared my Mender of Destinies experiences. I wonder if you’ve had any similar experiences, that’s all. Tell me about your voices, Vera.”

Silence.

“I dream . . . that I’m on trial . . . And I hear a prosecuting attorney outlining all the things in my life that are . . . negative . . . dark . . . everything I’ve ever done that’s wrong and stupid.
And then . . . I hear a defense attorney justifying my behavior, and listing all the things about me that are good.
And . . . I hear witnesses that are called on both sides – for and against.”

“Fascinating. Are you in a courtroom? Is there a judge or a jury?”

“I think so, but there’s nothing visual. No faces or names – just the voices – but I know it’s a trial and . . . I know I am there . . . to be judged.”

“Elaborate – what’s the charge?”

“I don’t know – I’m just there to be judged, that’s all.”

“Is there a verdict in sight?”

“No, that’s the problem – the trial goes on and on – round and round and round.”

“But do you know the truth? Will you be found guilty or not?”

“I’m guilty . . . I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of in my life.
But I know there’s a lot of evidence in my favor. I’m not all bad.”

“What are you guilty of?”

Silence.

“George, I . . . don’t want to talk about this anymore . . . maybe someday . . .
But now I want to talk about you. You are good at getting other people to talk, but you never talk about yourself. I know you are kind and generous, and wonderful to have as a friend. I know about your childhood – Texas Czechs, and all that.
And I know you’re here looking into your Czech roots, and all that.
}But I don’t know much in between. I want to know more.”

“Be specific – what would you like to know?

“The big question is what do you do for a living? – how do you support yourself.?
And a small question – why do I see you using a walking cane when you’re alone?

Silence.

“Can I make us another gin and tonic?”

“Yes, George, but you’re avoiding answering my questions.”

“I know. And I’m trying not to give you a long, boring answer.
I’ll just say that I won the lottery. Yes, that’s it. I won the lottery. Not a big one – not a standard one – but I won enough money not to need a job. I don’t have to work for a living. I just need to concentrate on living.”

Vera frowned.
“OK, I didn’t tell you everything in answer to your questions, so it’s fair for you to give me a short answer to mine. But . . . sooner or later . . . let’s share the long versions. I want to know a lot more. And . . . I want to . . . tell you a lot more.
Another day, another time. Meanwhile, what about the cane?”

“I broke both legs in a fall on a glacier in Nepal. Doctors tell me that it will take a year to heal, and if I’m feeling pain or feeling anxious about falling, I should use the cane. And . . . to tell you the truth . . . I use it in imitation of Uncle Petr – when I want to believe I might be like him some day.”

They both laughed.

Vera finished her gin-and-tonic and said, “Enough talk. I feel like taking your suggestion about going down to the river and renting a row boat. I’ll go up and change into rowing clothes, and we can get out into this lovely afternoon.”

And they did that.
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Please Note: This journal contains a wide variety of stuff — complete stories, bits and pieces, commentary, and who-knows-what else. As is always the case these days, the material is protected by copyright. On the other hand, I publish it here to be shared. Feel free to pass it on. Just give me credit. Fair enough?

The Vera-in-the-kitchen this Saturday afternoon was another version of Vera.
Not the plain, shy young woman he first met in The Dragon.
Not the sleek, confident business woman who dropped by most mornings.
Not even the serious companion of cemetery walks – the one who talked English with a Texas drawl while explaining the importance of Kafka.

The Vera-in-the-kitchen was Red Vera.
Red lipstick, red T shirt, short red leather jacket, red tights, red socks, red sports shoes. Various shades of the color – but all definitely red.
Even her hair was adorned with a bow of red ribbon.
George had never seen her dressed this way.
And her tight clothes emphasized her trim, shapely figure.
In sum, Vera was stunning to look at – and sexy.
This was a Vera that would attract attention anywhere she went.

George could not keep his eyes off her.
If I walked down the street with her arm-in-arm, passers-by would wonder why an ordinary guy like me would have such eye-candy for company.

As she brought their drinks from the kitchen, George said, “Vera, come sit down and let me ask you a question – Where are you going dressed up like that?”

Vera laughed.
“Here, George – just here – with you. I dressed up for you. I thought you might like to have a little spice added to your drab life. I got up this morning in a fizzy mood and thought I’d just put on some of my fizzy clothes and surprise you.
Don’t you approve of my outfit?”

“Of course I do – how could I not – you look stunning – and I’m complimented!”

“Don’t think I’ve dressed to seduce you – you know better than that. If I had, I would have walked in the door in the door in my negligée.”

“Ha. Yes. Well . . .We’re beyond that, and we both know it. But still . . .”

Vera laughed.
“I think of clothes as costumes worn in the theater of life – as a way of telling the world how you wish to be seen and thought of at the moment.
Costumes . . . and disguises.”

“So, Miss Vera Vesely, just who is your audience today? What’s the message of today’s costume?”

“I told you, George. I dressed to come down and spend Saturday afternoon with you. As to the message . . . I guess I’m telling you that I have many sides to my personality. I could have come dressed in my denim overalls, like a pig-farmer’s daughter. Ha. Maybe I will sometime – that’s me, too, you know.”

“Well, then, what side of your personality does this all-red outfit express?”
“It says sometimes I’m really happy. Not often. But sometimes.
It’s my feeling sparkly statement. I had nothing else to do today but to come down and spend a Saturday afternoon in your company.
And that made me happy – so I came all in red.
Or . . . maybe . . . this is my devil outfit – expressing my satanic side.”

George laughed. And changed the subject.

“Do you want to go out somewhere? To The Dragons? To walk by the river?
Or even rent a rowboat? Maybe shopping? Or to look into art galleries? I’d be up for any of that. What say you?”

“No. I mean, I like all those possibilities. But . . . I just want to be here alone with you and talk. I don’t even know what I want to talk about. But you always think of something interesting. Throw out an idea.”

Silence.

“OK . . . Do you ever hear voices, Vera?”

Vera froze as she was lifting her glass to drink.

“Yes . . . why do you ask?”

“I’ve shared my Mender of Destinies experiences. I wonder if you’ve had any similar experiences, that’s all. Tell me about your voices, Vera.”

Silence.

“I dream . . . that I’m on trial . . . And I hear a prosecuting attorney outlining all the things in my life that are . . . negative . . . dark . . . everything I’ve ever done that’s wrong and stupid.
And then . . . I hear a defense attorney justifying my behavior, and listing all the things about me that are good.
And . . . I hear witnesses that are called on both sides – for and against.”

“Fascinating. Are you in a courtroom? Is there a judge or a jury?”

“I think so, but there’s nothing visual. No faces or names – just the voices – but I know it’s a trial and . . . I know I am there . . . to be judged.”

“Elaborate – what’s the charge?”

“I don’t know – I’m just there to be judged, that’s all.”

“Is there a verdict in sight?”

“No, that’s the problem – the trial goes on and on – round and round and round.”

“But do you know the truth? Will you be found guilty or not?”

“I’m guilty . . . I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of in my life.

But I know there’s a lot of evidence in my favor. I’m not all bad.”

“What are you guilty of?”

Silence.

“George, I . . . don’t want to talk about this anymore . . . maybe someday . . .
But now I want to talk about you. You are good at getting other people to talk, but you never talk about yourself. I know you are kind and generous, and wonderful to have as a friend. I know about your childhood – Texas Czechs, and all that.
And I know you’re here looking into your Czech roots, and all that.
But I don’t know much in between. I want to know more.”

“Be specific – what would you like to know?

“The big question is what do you do for a living? – how do you support yourself.?
And a small question – why do I see you using a walking cane when you’re alone?

Silence.

“Can I make us another gin and tonic?”

“Yes, George, but you’re avoiding answering my questions.”

“I know. And I’m trying not to give you a long, boring answer.
I’ll just say that I won the lottery. Yes, that’s it. I won the lottery. Not a big one – not a standard one – but I won enough money not to need a job. I don’t have to work for a living. I just need to concentrate on living.”

Vera frowned.
“OK, I didn’t tell you everything in answer to your questions, so it’s fair for you to give me a short answer to mine. But . . . sooner or later . . . let’s share the long versions. I want to know a lot more. And . . . I want to . . . tell you a lot more.
Another day, another time. Meanwhile, what about the cane?”

“I broke both legs in a fall on a glacier in Nepal. Doctors tell me that it will take a year to heal, and if I’m feeling pain or feeling anxious about falling, I should use the cane. And . . . to tell you the truth . . . I use it in imitation of Uncle Petr – when I want to believe I might be like him some day.”

They both laughed.

Vera finished her gin-and-tonic and said, “Enough talk. I feel like taking your suggestion about going down to the river and renting a row boat. I’ll go up and change into rowing clothes, and we can get out into this lovely afternoon.”

And they did that.