Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

A Cameo by George Cousins

In Stories on April 30, 2015 at 9:19 pm


George Cousins continues his story about Elaine and Ernest who readers met in his story  “Our Daughter”. In this installment, “Cameo”, Elaine’s reunion with her daughter JoeAnn brings to light a gift from a mysterious cousin.  

            After for about an hour-and-a-half sitting in the garden thinking about the story Ernest had just told her, Elaine finally put herself together by drying the tears from her eyes with the handkerchief she had tucked away under her watchband. She stood up, made a sign of the cross, and went into the living room where Ernest was listening to their daughter’s record. On seeing her, he turned the CD down, turned towards her, and started talking, but she put her index finger to his lips as if to say shhh…shhh…I will do the talking now. She started to speak.

“Ernest, when you told me that our daughter had died, I was paralyzed. My whole body had no life, I was crushed. Ernest, I carried that chile for a long time. Every time she kicked, I thought that I was carrying a boy, the quarterback for the Giants, but I knew it was a girl. Then when you told me what you did, I was further crushed. Ernest, I am a mother and these are my instincts. After you told me she died, I cried and held my stomach, grieving for the dead baby. Then when you told me she was alive and the reason why you did it, it made no sense to me. But sitting out in the garden, I started to think how the life I had before we were married wouldn’t sit well with me sometimes. What you said about the kids teasing her about my lifestyle, then I finally say you were right to do what you did. Ernest, thank you for opening up my eyes for the long picure. Thank you, my darling.” (She hugged him, then they both went and sat down on the couch and finished listen
ing to the aria.)

               Next morning, Ernest was shaving for work, then Elaine came into the bathroom to ask him when are they going to meet JoeAnn. Ernest told her he had spoken to his ex, Claudia, and they agreed to meet next Friday at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. The reason for picking that place is because it’s special, and worthy of a meeting to remember. 

               Elaine asked, what should she wear? Ernest said something simple. 

               The day of the meeting arrived. Ernest and Elaine arrived first. Then about 10 minutes later Claudia and JoeAnn came into the restaurant. Ernest saw them and motioned to them to come to where they were sitting. 

               Ernest said, “JoeAnn, Claudia, this is my wife, Elaine.”

Claudia said, “Ernest and Elaine, this is your daughter, JoeAnn Sinclair.” They all acknowledged each other.

JoeAnn then said, “Elaine, we have been staring at each other ever since I came in the door.”

Then Elaine said, “Sorry about that. I couldn’t imagine how we look like twins. That’s not the only thing I was looking at, though. What’s that cameo you’re wearing? You seem to have it on in all the photos on all your CD’s. I had a cameo like that one with a chip on the side just like that. I gave it to my housekeeper a long time ago. I liked, and it was amongst the jewelry in my jewelry box. Let me take a look at it further. It should have my birthday 3-23-43 inscripted on the back.” (JoeAnn took off the cameo and gave it to Elaine.) Elaine said, “My God, this is my cameo.”

Claudia then said, “JoeAnn, I thought you bought it at a flea market.”

JoeAnn said, “No, Claudia…when I was about 12 or 13 years old, I went with my girlfriends from the Conservatory to Rumplemeyer’s to have some ice cream, and when we were finished, on our way out an old lady stopped and asked me my name, and I told her. She said, I know your mother. So I asked her, so you know my mother, Claudia? She said, no. Then she gave me the cameo, and said to me, you should always wear it for luck. I caught up to my girlfriends, and told them what this old lady said. Then all of a sudden a gust of wind blew a $10 bill on my chest. One of my friends said, you see, your luck has started changing already.

Then Claudia said, “JoeAnn, you never told me this before.”

JoeAnn responded, “Because the old lady told me not to tell anybody, not even you.”

Elaine said, “Her name is Big Rose.”

Ernest said, “BIG ROSE…Rose Cousins. She died last year.”

Then JoeAnn said, “So that’s why I haven’t seen her. She always took me to Rumplemeyer’s to have ice cream. She wasn’t there last year.”




Clothing by Thomas Clarke

In Poetry on April 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

I never cared for fashion as a kid

Never fell for the parachute pants or the sneakers that cost 1- months worth of allowance at the store

As I grew older, I found a more useful shirt to keep warm from the cold winters

Not sure if it really was a shirt or a jacket with buttons

Not sure if it was flannel or plaid or cotton on steroids

My Godmother gave me one for Christmas to prepare for those Chicago winters

But I ended up back in Brooklyn instead

11 years later I still have that winter shirt

But the buttons are coming out

And the temperatures keep falling

And I wouldn’t know what to ask for at the department store if I could afford to replace it

But for now it’s still wearable and still sufficient for a NY winter

Our Daughter by George Cousins

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Ernest Sinclair had a car dealership, the largest in the nation. However, this story is not about health but about family. He married Elaine Francis at an early age. She was very pretty, but she was a prostitute. He married her to change her lifestyle. A couple of years after the marriage she got pregnant, and she had a Cesarean delivery. She was put to sleep for the procedure. When she woke up, the doctors plus her husband told her the baby had died. She cried for about a week. She missed the kid although she never saw it. She wanted to be happy, plus to make her husband happy. She eventually got over the loss and dove right into charity work. She even had a job at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen as an organizer who worked four days a week. She put her heart and soul into the project. Fast forward for a couple of years. She eventually thought about doing something in government, perhaps running for City Council, where she could do a lot of good for people. But Ernest reminded her of the prostitution before they got married, and that her opponent would use that as a stepping stone to get votes. She said she would find clippings of  the good she has done while she was married. She got some of her friends to act as her staff, and she got out papers of the good she did over the years. There among the papers she came across the dead baby’s death certificate. She cried for about half an hour. She finally composed herself, then came across a baby’s birth certificate with the name Joeann Sinclair–her baby’s name. Along with the certificate was a picture of a baby about three days old, and another of a child about two years old. She was shocked, so called Ernest at his office and told him she had an emergency. Could he come home because she had something to show him. He got home as fast as he could. Elaine had a martini waiting for him. She was sitting in the club chair, and he had a seat on the sofa. He wanted to know what was the urgency for him to come home. She said, look under the cushion you are sitting on and you will see an envelope. He opened the envelope, stood up, and put his hands to his mouth. After about five minutes he excused himself, then went out into the garden to think. After about half an hour he came back inside, then went to the CD player and put on a live opera concert with a woman singing one of Puccini’s arias. Elaine then asked, why are we listening at this time to a woman singing a Puccini aria. Ernest told her, “THAT’S OUR DAUGHTER!” She said, “WHAT!?!” Then Ernest asked her, if we had raised her, wouldn’t you think the other children would have called her “daughter of a whore?” You know how kids are mean, back in those days. Then Elaine started crying again. Then Ernest said, “Elaine, I made the right decision. I’m sorry you were cheated. I was thinking of the child’s future.” Elaine asked him about the family that raised her. Ernest said no family, but an ex-girlfriend who taught at the Conservatory of Fine Arts. She raised her in a way I am proud of. Then Elaine asked has he been in touch with them. He said yes. He paid for her schooling. Elaine knew she must be twenty years old now. Then she looked at the picture on the CD. She said, “My God, she has my face.” Ernest said, “Yes.” Then Elaine ran out of the living room and into the garden while Ernest listened to his daughter sing a Puccini aria which was recorded live in Vienna. If you believe the above story is real, Ernest has a car for sale that runs on tap water.