Lost in a fog of cigarette smoke.

The word for Illustration Friday for this week is “foggy.” Most of you don’t remember Peter Lorre, an actor from the 40’s who appeared in a lot of movies of the era. One of which was “Casablanca.” Bet you remember now. He always played a bad character or “weasel.” How could he miss with those eyes and that face eh? Oh and yeah he always had a cigarette either in his mouth or was in the act lighting one. He always played his characters to the hilt and you always believed him.


Meanwhile, Jane was planning a sweet sixteen party for herself. With Mom’s approval of course. She was popular being a Gemini, and had lots of friends both male and female. Even her teachers liked her and they were nuns for crying out loud.

There had been a business in the remodeled cellar underneath the house but the shoemaker had decided to move out, so the space was now empty. And it would make a perfect place to hold the party. There was wood floors, good for dancing and Jane thought she could borrow a record player to play all the neat forty five records a few of her girl friends donated, including Tommy Dorsey and Harry James.

Jane had enough money to buy the food for the party herself too, including cokes and balloons and even crepe paper to decorate. Mom of course would make a cake.

So all was in readiness with about twenty teens invited and expected to show. Jenny had to work that night but thought she would be able to get off early and get home before the party was over. She was really looking forward to it.

Jenny helped Jane decorate the basement room, hanging the crepepaper streamers and blowing up the balloons and setting up a few chairs. Then she went off to work.

She got off early as planned and as she neared the house, the sound of boogie woogie penetrated the night air. Tommy Dorsey was in rare form with his rendition of “String of Pearls.” She loved Dorsey and his music and was anticipating a few dances before the party was over.

She went in and the party was still crowded at 11p.m. She had a ground bologna with mayo and pickle relish sandwich (the usual party fare) and a coke. Then Ed one of Jane’s friends, came over and asked her to dance. She really got into the swing which included doing a jitterbug. Ed was a good dancer but most of the guys Jane hung out with were good dancers.

The party continued for a few more hours and Mom shouted down that it was time to wrap it up before the neighbors started complaining.

The party broke up around one am. After everyone left, Jenny and Jane cleaned up the remains. They knew they were going to be tired and sleep late the next day. Went Jenny went upstairs into the kitchen, she didn’t see mom or dad around and assumed they were in bed. Although how they could sleep through the music and noise was beyond her. She went upstairs to bed and slept soundly until about 10 a.m. the next day.

When Jenny came downstairs the next morning, she fixed herself a cup of coffee that mom had percolating on the coal stove. Mom was busying herself around the kitchen and asked her if wanted some scrambled eggs.

“I would love some,” she said.

“Well sit and relax I am sure you are still tired after working and then the party last night. Did you enjoy yourself?”

“I sure did,” Jenny replied. “But where is dad? I didn’t see him last night and he doesn’t seem to be around anywhere today?”

“Well, all I can tell you is he is gone,” her mother said.

“Gone? Where?”

“Who knows? Probably back to his mother,” mom said sarcastically.

“You father did not want Jane having the party and he told me that if she had the party he was leaving. So I told him he could leave then. I told Jane she could have the party and he had nothing to say about it.”

“So he left?”

Jenny couldn’t believe what she was hearing. He left? Without saying a word to her? She was just beginning to know him again and even maybe liking him. Which was not an easy feat after all the time he had been away. And he left?

“Is he ever coming back,” she asked.

“I certainly hope not. That man can go straight to hell if he thinks I am going to take orders from him. Who does he think he is? Coming back and thinking he is going to start throwing his weight around, giving me orders, wanting steak every night and only the best brand of coffee.” she shouted.

“But he wasn’t here that long,” Jenny said in a small voice. Not wanting to irritate her Mother any further.

“He was here too long if you ask me,” Mom ranted.

“He never was any good anyway. Why are you so concerned? You didn’t want him here to begin with anyway.”

“I know, I know but he seemed to be getting along with us except Jane of course,” she said.

“Well you know how men are. If you don’t, it is not my fault, Lord knows.”

Jenny well knew Mom never had a good word to say about Dad and certainly with good reason. He left and never sent any money or even contacted the family to see how they were doing in a long time. But why did she take him back then? Jenny knew she could not ask Mom that question unless she wanted to get back handed.

Jenny fought the tear that was trying to escape as she turned and ran out of the house.