Omaha’s Helen of Troy

I like to be followed. Gives a gal a kick, you know? Spices up the hours in the minivan knowing you got a black sedan with diplomatic plates hot on your tail.
 
Date one dictator’s son in college and it can happen to you too. That was ages ago when my bangs fluffed up like cake frosting and my jeans did things they can’t do anymore.
 
He was so polite and always quick with the check. Turned out I was downing fuzzy navels financed by prison camp labor, but everybody makes mistakes when they’re young.
 
He offered to fly me back home with him once, but my mother would have thrown a tizzy-fit if I missed Christmas. The farthest I’ve ever been is that east part of Ohio.
 
‘Course, I broke his heart when I switched to veterinary science and fell hard for my T.A., one Roger L. Perkins, husband of the year nine years running.
 
I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me, and the State Department doesn’t either. They said he named an experimental stealth missile after me and then bombed his neighbor with it. 3,300 pounds of Tara, coming in for a landing.
 
After all these years you’d think he had enough concubines to take his mind off it, but I suppose it’s sort of flattering. My protection detail’s like a glamorous shadow that follows me to the Discount Foods. One time they shot a raccoon in my yard.
 
Roger’s not fond of it all, as you might imagine. Every once in a while the local paper picks up the story: “Checking in with Omaha’s Helen of Troy,” they say. Then the men in sunglasses have to burn all the copies for security purposes and the Boy Scouts get to earn their Safety badges putting out the flames.
 
It’s pretty festive.
 

 

# # #

Front page image by Anita Carril.

 

GHOST WRITER is a project by Tracy Danger Mumford. New sections are released every other Sunday. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here:


# # #