Mixsonian Larry


The Landlord’s Daughter

The half of the duplex I was renting in Indialantic was one of several units on the street owned by the same landlord.  I didn’t think much of it when I first moved in, I just mailed my check to some address each month.  Some of the units seem to be seasonal, in two years I had been there several people moved in and out of the adjacent units so I didn’t pay it much attention when a new couple moved in next door.  Well to my surprise, I soon learn it was my landlord.  Him and his wife were in their mid-fifties and, after talking to them a few times, found them to be quite nice.  Towards the end of the summer, their daughter Francois came home from collage and spent a couple of weeks with them.  While Francois was there, the landlord invited me over to have dinner with them and their daughter.  It was a pleasant dinner, seems they were of Italian heritage, and sitting around the dinner table talking to them reminded me family dinners when I lived at home.   I wasn’t sure if my landlord and his wife was trying to set me up with their daughter, but the thought did cross my mind.  The daughter was quite attractive, a couple years younger than me.  Over the next week or so we went for a couple walks on the beach and had some nice conversations.  She told me she was going to school at Florida State in Tallahassee, although, me a lifelong Florida Gator fan, didn’t hold that against her.   The day before she left to return to school, she gave me her address and a couple weeks later I wrote her a letter.  I have no idea what I said but she sent me the following card.

  Photo Card from Francois

(click on card to see back)
On the back she wrote the following story.

Old Nattie Drawn had never set a foot outside her town of Biscayne. But she’d set plenty a foot inside. I’d say every square foot of Biscayne, Fla. has once held an imprint of Nattie. She’d walk everywhere with long sliver braids and a black shawl. She looked like the moon and the night sky joined hands. And she’d dance for you sometimes. Pick up the hem of her pleated moon-blue skirt and imitate the motions of sneaking playful munchkin elf. And then she’d disappear through the 2-foot hole in the baseboard. On final thought she popped her head back out and asked “Excuse me, sir, But when does the next train leave?”                                                 Francois

The Ghost of Kathleen

Another time when the Landlord lived next door, his’s son, who was about my age, visited them for a week and brought his cat with him. Interesting enough, it was a solid white cat, it looked just like my, all white, cat Kathleen that disappeared year before when I went to the races.  Well, his cat came right over to my place and greeted me just like Kathleen use to do.  He even liked playing chase the rocks that I tossed.  Could it be Kathleen, I asked myself as I peered into the cat’s eyes, and I see the cat has the worse case of cross eyes that I had ever seen, well not quite as bad as Bill the cat in the Opus cartoon, but close.  Kathleen didn’t have crossed eyes like that, but Kathleen was injured when I last saw him, perhaps the injury caused the crossed eyes.  What was I thinking, that my not taking care of Kathleen cause such crossed eyes, that made me feel terrible.  I didn’t know if I wanted the cat to be or not be Kathleen, for if it was Kathleen those crossed eyes would haunt me.   That night I left the garage door cracked and then the sliding door on the patio to my bedroom slightly open like I used to do with Kathleen.  I fell asleep thinking he would come home and stay. I had dreams of Kathleen that night, good times when I played chase the rocks with him, bad times when he broke his pelvis, me walking the street at night looking for him, calling his name.

I woke the next morning, and the cat was not in the house.  Of course I don’t know why he would be, I hadn’t left any food out for him, even if he might have come in and visited while I was asleep, he would not have stayed.   The Landlord’s son left a few days later taking the cat with him.  If it was Kathleen, he had a new person now.

Updated: 04-07-2023

Movies, Music, TV