By Elizabeth Jarvis
Harold was the best storyteller. I would have followed him anywhere. He convinced me that Kila, a small town outside of Kalispell, was the banana belt of Montana. He stayed drunk all the time while I cooked on a wood stove with no electricity or running water. There were no women around who weren’t married.
I decided to surprise Harold and run through the cabin in my garter belt, black stockings and tiny little bra. I was stepping down the log steps and my stockinged feet slid on the log stair. I grabbed the hot stovepipe by accident (the only thing around) and it came down on my leg causing serious second-degree burns. Harold thought I was being a “wimp”–but I was concerned about the water we had as the cows were pooping in it. I borrowed the car and drove myself to the emergency room, and they wanted to hospitalize me, but I didn’t agree and took off back to the cabin, where Harold kept treating me like a “city girl wimp.” Good thing I had packed some Vicodin in case something went wrong.
He left me home the night that Spinks took Ali. I was livid that he didn’t take me to town–leaving me five miles from the main road in a wilderness. When he came home, I was a little drunk and I had the shotgun. I made him sleep in the Tepee that night and I left the next day. He ended up living in Spokane with another woman. I don’t miss his smelly socks all that much. But he sure could tell a story. I loved the cabin, but I would have liked to have electricity and some music. He hooked up the car battery to a radio that played Michael Jackson nonstop. Not what I had in mind when I said I wanted music. It was a long time ago. I cut down a tree for the stove. He refused to gather wood for winter. The writing was on the wall. §
Elizabeth Jarvis lives in Oakland where she lives with about 40 parrots.