So This is How Infidelity
Linda found an
apartment closer to the hospital, in fact, on the same street and
when she told me there was another one for rent just a little over a
block from her I was ready to move again.
This time we were
moving into a basement apartment. The house was actually an old
mansion and had been renovated to have four different families in
apartments. Days of elegance and fine living must have prevailed
here at one time and some of that still was showing through, at
least in the middle upstairs part. Rich, thick carpet, spongy to the
step and in ultramarine, dark blue suggested those by-gone days of
wealth and prominence. This was on 13th Street.
Steps led down to
where we lived. It was at the top of these steps that was to come as
my second salvation, the one standing close to the Creator who
manages all things. This simply came via a salesman who was working
at his job.
When Rod and I were
living at Tonkawa and in school there I had sent off for one of the
tests art schools advertise. This one was to the then School of the
Famous Artists at Westport, Connecticut. That had been at least four
years before. Our landlady told me about this man and described him
to me but somehow or another we missed each other. Several people
discouraged me about the correspondence school, saying it was a
rip-off for money and wasn’t at all a good thing so I just dismissed
Meeting the salesman
face to face was a bit different than just hearing about him. He
wasn’t a young man and must have been approaching middle age. The
man had a charisma about him that was undefinable. This certainly
didn’t come through in a talkative way. Actually, he was a bit stand
offish and almost seemed bored with what he was seeing. Probably the
humble surrounding of the basement apartment didn’t give him any
belief I could afford their course.
He spoke briefly
about his company and said he would like to show the course to me,
but I put him off and asked him to come back when Rodney was home.
He made an appointment and did come back.
We visited about this
and that, nothing of great importance. I mentioned to him his accent
and vocal qualities were similar to our Native American people.
“I am one half
Mongolian.” He told me. “My mother was White Russian.” I then
understood his personality. The man ended up leaving his books so I
could browse over them. There was so much about art in them I
couldn’t get enough and when he came back to explain how I was to
turn in lessons as I finished them we purchased the plan for eight
hundred dollars. I never talked about it to anyone because I knew
there would be disapprovals from family and friends because of me
spending that much money. Instead I kept the books on a small desk
at the corner of the living room and every extra moment I had was
spent working on them.
Anatomy, the study of
light, perspective, color theory, line drawing, painting, old
master’s work, abstract mood symbols, landscape, portrait, drawing
of animals, design, use of multiple media and so much more. My world
was opening up in such a great way. It was an awakening to suddenly
see things I had never looked over closely before. While sitting in
waiting rooms waiting for Rhonda in this or that therapy, I referred
to pages I had simply taken from the note book like books.
depression dropped away from me suddenly and completely. The old
master’s became my friends and it was a bit spooky as I copied their
works to study. It was if they were looking over my shoulder and
when I made a mistake I could almost feel them correcting me. When I
told Rodney about it he looked at me in a strange way so I never
spoke about that again. Later when I saw originals in museums there
was such a connection to the artist sometimes I found it hard to
tear myself away from a particular piece. I remember standing in
front of Christina’s World by Wyeth in a Dallas museum. I knew
nothing about the particular painting but couldn’t wait to research
it. When I learned it was a painting of a disabled girl who was on
the ground in a wheatfield I knew then why I was so pulled toward
So it was, depression would never become a threat to me again. Times
were when I was sad, but never was I brought to the place where it
affected me physically with nausea, weight loss, or black despair.
On the other hand my experience taught me to be the master of that
condition as far as taking rest when I began to stumble.
Linda and I carried
the children back and forth to the hospital and between times we had
lunch while the kids played. My friend had a special soap opera she
loved and I dutifully watched it with her even though there was not
much pleasure involved with soap operas for me.
Oklahoma City still
had Spring Lake, a recreational park where there was a large
swimming pool, rides, and other activities. The afternoons after the
soaps the two of us would pack up the kids along with their
strollers and off we would go. Linda was like a little sister to me
and even over the years I have loved her like family. When her
husband was home from his traveling job we four, along with the
children got together on occasion for a meal. Linda brightened our
life as no one else could have.
Rodney and I were
still attending Bible studies. I met a different group and these
folks were pleasant if not as social as the Norman folks had been.
These were older people who, no doubt, had lived in this area for
some time. One of the Bible studies was held in a house not too far
The evening was quiet
on this street after the day traffic was finished. The feel of the
wide, well-kept, tree lined, city street had its own reverie. It was
like a sleepy older woman who was resting comfortable in a lounging
robe before she retired. Everything was just as it should have been.
To be sure there would be no calls of peacocks or an old
whip-poor-will wistfully whistling his threat in a minor key. This
was after all still a city. The silence of this broad street was
complete except for an occasion slapping of tires on the pavement as
someone rolled along to a night time errand of some sort.
Another house like
this one was close by and it was where the meeting for Bible study
was being held. It had regal Grecian columns on the entry way. The
door did not go directly into the house but was off to one side.
Once inside there was a startling decor with ceilings so tall it
might have been a bank or some other similar building. The heavy
furnishings, even though they were dark and massive were dwarfed by
the room’s size and height.
There was a prayer,
the welcome and then the question and answer held by a study
conductor. The material always held our interest. Never a repetitive
subject to make the study boring did we have to endure. For all my
life I wondered how, after studying for so many years this could be
possible. This evening was no different and I was totally engrossed
in some event of another time from an ancient happening of so far
away and long ago.
Like a wisp of hair
blowing across our eyes that is too fine to be of real annoyance was
a feeling to come over me. When I looked up from my Bible book my
eyes were caught with the most burning gaze and I don’t believe ever
before or after has such a thing happened to me. This man was my age
but certainly unmarried. He was handsome with the most striking
appearance. Rock Hudson couldn’t have held a candle to him. He
didn’t seem to be bothered that we were in a room with a fair number
of people who were there to study the Bible. It was as if this man
could have shown me his love and desire with his eyes alone. Trying
to keep my mind focused on my study was almost impossible. I was
drawn like a moth to a flame and couldn’t help myself but to glance
up again to meet his gaze. No more passion in the moment was
possible other than if we were on the floor dancing the tango
instead of sedately sitting in the presence of seasoned Bible
After the study he
was at my side in an instant as if he couldn’t contain his wish to
immediately know me. Rodney and Rhonda could have been a shadow he
intended to walk straight through.
“So this is how
infidelity happens!” I was trying to call up all the women of the
Bible who so boldly broke God’s laws, Delilah, Bathshebah, Salome
and it wasn’t working. Upon learning his name even that spoke to me
of a handsome, Greek-like god.
Rodney guided me
carefully, but surely out the front door. We never spoke of the
incident after that. My fickle heart wasn’t even ashamed of this
longing to drop all that was dear to me and walk straight away with
this man I did not even know. Truly the scriptures are correct when
they speak of the heart as being treacherous.