6 days ago
Monday, January 7, 2013
Quite a while ago, I wrote about when I first moved to Okeechobee, Fl to read meters and met Precious. Well Precious was not a girl or even a pretty boy. He was a studly cowboy with a cutesy nick name.
Precious and I worked together for a year when he transferred into the office.
That meant we needed a replacement for him. John became my new partner.
John was a young lanky black man who constantly wore very dark wrap around sunglasses--inside as well as out, day and night. No one knew what his eyes looked like. When asked why he wore them inside, he just said, "I am not comfortable with them off."
Thinking he may have a sensitivity to light or perhaps hiding some severe scaring, I never asked further and just accepted this delightful fellow with no eyes.
One day a strange black man came in our office early in the morning. He had a key so I thought he might have a message from John who was running late but hadn't called.
Then he grinned bashfully and I saw it was John though I wouldn't have been able to pick him out in a group of three with out his glasses. Seems he had broken his glasses and had hunted in vain for a spare pair.
As I looked into his now visible eyes, I realized what he had been hiding. He had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen on any of God's creatures. They would have made a deer proud but I guess they had made him the butt of too many jokes from macho friends. He had eyes any woman would pay big bucks for. A man I guess, not so much. It was a shame to cover up those beautiful eyes and I told him so but he persisted.
John and I became good friends and as we rode around together on those long training routes, we learned a lot about each other. I was a bit stunned at first when John kept talking about his "wife" Richard Dean who was a school teacher.
I had no problem with John having a wife named Richard Dean, but this was in the late 70's and I had no politically correct guide lines to use. Gay was not a common word and Okeechobee was a pretty red necked town. It was obvious from his conversations that John loved Richard very much. That was all that mattered to me and I did not questioned further.
Not too long after he came to work, we had our Christmas party for all employees and spouses. Finally I was going to get to meet Richard Dean.
In walked John, still wearing his sun glasses though the sun had long since set, with a really cute, petite black girl on his arm that he proudly introduced as Richard Dean.
There was a moment of shock, then we all burst out laughing with John and Richard Dean doubled over giggling at our shocked expressions. The rascal had deliberately led us to believe RD was a man just to see how we would react.
Yes her name really was Richard Dean and she went by both names. Seems she had 4 older sisters and her father in frustration wanting to have a son to carry on his name said the next child, male or female was going to be called Richard Dean.
While John concealed his beautiful eyes behind the sun glasses, Richard Dean wore her unusual name with pride and delighted in the confusion it often caused. Just two different ways for a person to carry a perceived burden.
Richard Dean taught me to just flaunt something you are stuck with dressed in humor and John reminded me that concealing left you always uncomfortable that you will someday be found out.
at 5:14 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti