Imagining James

In 1966 women in rural America didn’t have a voice. They didn’t know they had the right to choose destiny, let alone create one. Cora lived at home with her family. Higher education was never a consideration. She helped out around the house, looked after the younger kids, and worked part-time at a corner market for another church family while she waited for a suitor to find her. Sadie had gone away to live with her aunt. She became a secretary and wrote to Cora about the patients in the doctor’s office where she worked. Sadie had an outrageous sense of humor. Cora missed her. There was no one to trade dreams with.

James came into the store when he had a need for boot laces or a handful of two-penny nails. He was quiet. Cora imagined he was watchful. She felt shy in his company. She wanted to know what he thought, if his leg hurt, what war was like, if he was afraid, but she wouldn’t have asked those questions even if he’d been an expressive person. It would have been rude. Decent people respected privacy.

Cora saw James at church. His family’s bench pew was a few rows in front of her family’s. Church was no hodgepodge gathering; families were seated in accordance to their status in the church, deference was paid to longevity. Cora studied James, from her position in the background, without his knowledge. She detected enigmatic intrigue. He was mysteriously conflicted. She knew there were so many things unsaid inside of him that he must be choking on them.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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15 Responses to Imagining James

  1. George says:

    Whoops: left my “series” comment in the previous post—sorry!

  2. John says:

    So how much of Cora is you? Or is she entirely fictional?

    • elroyjones says:

      None of Cora is me. Well, maybe Cora has some of my sensibilities, maybe she is afflicted with the same sort of imagination but I have no practical knowledge of her life or background. Flying by the seat of my pants here!

  3. I am still loving this. But can I just say that the one time I clicked a link and signed did what it told me to do, I am now getting e-mails from political groups all the time.

  4. Doug says:

    Most people respect the right of privacy…not privacy itself. Privacy is a pretty way to sing song I know a secret. An secrets are a taunt or the true path to the treehouse.

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