Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Earl Affair

       So this guy walks into a funeral setting.  Maybe some background would be in order.  Earl, the guy, lived with a lady artist who was very gifted.  The lady also had a very large family.  Although divorced, she had daughters with her first husband.  Mother and daughters lived in California although not in the same cities.  Ultimately, the younger of the two moved to New York City to pursue a career in stand up comedy.  The older daughter married and remained in California not far from mother.
       In addition to her many genres in the field of art, Minnie, the mother, shared a job with the guy, Earl.  They were co-curators for a rather prestigious art museum on the coast.  When not working at the museum, each would be hard at work in their combination apartment studio.  Although Minnie had worked in watercolor and oils for many years, her canvases tended to be very dark and gloomy.  (Whether this fact was at all related to her relationship with Earl, we shall never know.)
       For his part, Earl dabbled in painting, sculpture, and dabbling.  One could say the relationship was marked by its longevity and relative lack of change.  When change did come, it was in the form of Minnie's reception of a one year, all expenses paid, time of work and study in Italy.  Wasting no time, she was packed and off to Rome, knowing that Earl would assume the full responsibilities which they had shared at the museum.  It was her dream come true and she glowed with the happiness of her good fortune.
       Earl, on the other hand, seemed not to share in her ebullience.  Rather, he sulked and assisted with her packing and transport to the airport with the visage of the punished puppy.  With the air of a happy afterthought,  Minnie assured Earl that she looked forward to his visiting her while she was abroad.  He, in turn, smiled weakly and told her he would try his best to make some arrangements to do so.
       With a humble half wave, he seemed to turn and drag himself slowly to the parking garage.  Once out of Minnie's site he arrived at his car, and leaped with a gleeful yawl, kicking up his heels and returning to the ground grinning broadly.  On his way back to the apartment, he called several friends, sharing with them the woeful tale of Minnie's depression at having to spend a month, let alone one year, away from him. Would  they consider spelling him at the museum from time to time?  He was a friend in need (And a man of greed).
       It came to pass that at least three times within the next six months Earl crossed the pond, providing quiet company for Minnie; raucous company for Earl when he was out on errands.  So generous in nature, he managed to find yet another attractive, wealthy, and in need of company woman in Rome.  Her gratitude knew no bounds and included a luscious,  navy blue, cashmere winter coat.  After all, Earl had to return regularly to what he told her was the frigid climes of San Francisco.
       At some point during the second half of Minnie's productive Roman holiday, she sadly lost her mother back in the United States.  Of course Earl was at the ready with his consolation and transportation to Pittsburgh, handily enough now owning proper, warm clothing for the event.  Rather a large affair (the funeral) in that Minnie's aunt had died within a day of her mother's passing, there was much confusion and many in attendance.
       After the burial there was a reception at the funeral home.  Despite the exhaustion of the many weary travelers, several hours were spent in fond remembrance of the two very close sisters -  aunts, mothers, cousins, and friends to these visitors.  Finally, farewells were bid and the crowd dispersed to several local hotels.  Not long after, everyone was receiving frantic calls from the funeral director.  It seems that no one could locate Earl's coat.
       Just about everyone returned to the funeral home for assistance.  After all, imported, navy blue, cashmere wool coats were not plentiful, even in the frosty climes of Pittsburgh.  Half of the group scurried about engaged in the frenetic activity of location.  Others sat comforting the now inconsolable Earl.  Ultimately, this situation was officially declared a mystery by the funeral director and the grievers were dismissed.
       One of the nieces had flown in from school at Georgetown, accompanied by her best friend who lived in Boston.  They retired early as they had an early flight the next morning.  Once back in the dorm, the best friend commented, "I was just so glad I had my new blue coat.  It was colder in Pittsburgh than it is in Boston."
       For her part, Minnie was curious as to how Earl came to own such a luxurious coat.  Once back in Rome, she received several messages that calls had been coming from woman inquiring about her 'brother', Earl.  Thinking quickly, she responded that he was fine but had to return to the States to take care of an irregularity at the museum.  She then called Earl inquiring about his coat and any other irregularities he might have in the closet.
       Earl returned post haste to Rome.  Minnie was hard at work.  Earl was hard pressed to explain a rather surprise visit from his 'sister's' new friend.  Things ended as these things usually do.  Springtime in Boston found best friend taking her winter clothes to be cleaned only to discover that her blue coat was - Earl's!  At the completion of her hysterical confession, her roommate reassured her that her own coat would be replaced and that she would pay for the mailing of the now famous, "Earl Coat" to the roommate's home.
       Minnie completed her wonderful stay in Rome.  Upon her return, she had two very successful shows and is now painting great, happy, uplifting and upbeat stills, in bright, expensive oils.  Unfettered by Earl, she has moved farther south end is enjoying the life of a successful and extremely talented painter.
   The "Earl Coat" continues to reside at the Georgetown camp.  Recently, it was told it will be traveling again.  Friends of the family who live much farther north, will be needing the "Earl Coat" this season.  It is such a warm and fuzzy feeling - the "Earl Coat" and the experience.
Later, Lorane. . . .

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