She glided into a dream-filled sleep
, as Carl's voice droned on with this night's installment
of the book he read aloud to her every night of her pregnancy.
She was expecting their first (and only, as it turned out)
child. It was now about midnight as she drifted off. She dreamt
of the noble but crumbling Old South, with dark Atlanta skies
tattooed by orange flashes, and the air peppered with the
stench of gunpowder.
The New Orleans winter of 1938 was
colder and damper than most. Sometimes, the hundred pound
pregnant woman just felt so cold and nauseated that she could
just die. She had dropped out of her courses at Sophie Newcomb,
but she and her husband lived in the Tulane University married
She fallen deeply and passionately
in love with him.
Carl and Christi were a happy and
young couple. He attended his classes each day, and returned
in the late afternoon.
"Gotta get supper ready"
she would think to herself. She sipped Coca Cola, and looked
at the ashtray and thought of how Carl's cigarette smoke was
teased into ribbons by the sun when he got in. She
kept expecting a genie to appear, dancing on them, but it
Christi, short for Christiana, cooked
a meal, always starting with the potatoes. That man of hers
dearly loved potatoes, and would not think of any meal as
good without them.
Just plain Southern cooking was enough
for them, and especially fried chicken and pork chops. There
were no frozen dinners in those days in the South, but plenty
of corn bread that she made in a cast iron skillet shaped
like the great state of Texas, from whence they both came.
One night see the peaceful countryside
transformed into a deafening battleground, yielding to the
unmerciful ugly dragon that was the invading army. Other nights
were more carefree, with images of lissome beautiful refined
ladies in their Southern belle best, gracefully waltzing with
the handsome young Confederate officers on the floors of the
great houses' grand ballrooms .
They were so alive with the dreams and ideals of youth, and
no man is more handsome than when he is dedicated to the cause
of defending his home, his family, and a way of life.
On many of those nights that she really
felt like sitting up, instead she tried to relax and to sleep
in order to avoid waking Carl. She would lie back and think
on the evening's installment from Gone With the Wind.
Each night, she so looked forward to it.