Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Alley Cattin’

I lost Omega yesterday.

It wasn’t a permanent loss. Just one of those things she does.

The office kiddo was cranking loud (wish I was better at ignoring his crying, but it grabs me by the heart!) so I volunteered to take him for a walk with him in the stroller.

Omega decided to come along. We stopped to say hello to people along the way. (Hey, we’re in C-Town. Gotta say hi to your neighbors.) Then we strolled into Miss Patti’s to see if she had anything new we could ooh and aah over.

Instead, we saw our cousin’s beautiful daughter, Erica, and a friend from Omega’s high school days. We stopped to talk for just a moment. (I thought, anyway.) I’m always amazed at what kids I knew when they were too small to speak plainly are doing.

And while we talked, the other woman put a cigarette in her mouth and took a puff. Since smoking in public is illegal in most places in Oklahoma, I was shocked too see her blowing smoke.

I looked closer and saw the “cigarette” was really a plastic thing like kids played with when I was small. (I know. That’s a weird “toy”, but they really had them back in the day as well as candy ones with red tips that came in a little pack, too.)

So the woman took a puff and blew out what looked like smoke.

“How does it make smoke?” I asked, amazed.

“It’s water vapor,” Omega answered for her.

Now I’m more than amazed. I’m downright shocked. How does my non-smoking sister (none of the sibs or our parents ever had that unfortunate habit) know so much about cigarettes, fake or otherwise?

“I saw a commercial.”

The friend explained she was trying to stop smoking and using the plastic cigarette as a crutch to get where she’s going. (Good for her!) I asked how long she’d been smoking and she answered she started after high school.

That’s what triggered Amy’s loss. She launched into a meandering story about when she and her best bud had talked the friend’s mom into going with them to drag main before they could drive without a licensed person. To make the other kids think they were cool and driving alone, they got the mom to lie down in the backseat and even covered her with a blanket.

Knowing the story would last a while, I left. (Sorry. I’ve heard it and I know all the side tales that happen along the way.) I decided to take Little Bit and do a little Alley Catting. We have some great alleys in C-Town. And some not so great ones. 🙂

This is the back of the building I’d just left.

Don’t you love seeing the backs of the old buildings? The fronts get updated fairly often, but a lot of the time, the backs stay the same. So we get to see what it really look like in the beginning.

 This isn’t very clear, but see the brick arch over the door and beautiful rock work? Doesn’t it make you want to know what the buildings looked like when they were new?

It’s one of those buildings in the middle of the block on the right side of the picture. (Were the awnings really necessary?)

 Here’s the back of the 2nd building in that pic above. The stairs on the left lead to an apartment space. There’s no inside entrance to that apartment, apparently because the main floor was always a retail outlet. And if that looks like a coke case on the landing on the right, it is. Chained down and not for sale. I checked.

I think I’m going to have to go back and take a closeup. They don’t charge for pictures. 🙂

BTW: Omega finally showed up back at work. It took an hour or two, but she had a great time, chatting with friends.