Back in the day, i could wear any height heel and I’d feel delicate because your rangy 6’3″ slender height managed to make my lumpen 5’9″ frame look delicate somehow. It was also because you were so handsome. I felt beautiful being next to you, and to look you in the eye atop 4 inch heels made me feel mighty, and that anything was possible.
In 1985, i was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (QUILTERS) and i wore a Donna Karan gown, with those marvelous ’80’s shoulder pads, and the dress was striped gold and silver silk against a cream silk background. I wore an impossibly high pair of bone leather evening shoes, and jewels supplied to me by the Tony Committee’s jeweler Harry Winston. It was Fairy Princess time. And atop my highest of heels, i could look into your eyes and see how proud you were of me, even though we were in mediation for divorce by then. Our eyes have met for some fifty years, despite the divorce, and i am proud to have introduced you to your current life partner Stephen. All of us have remained incredibly close friends, and even share a house in the Haight District of San Francisco.
But now, in order to look you in the eye, I’d have to fly back to NYC and sit by the side of your sick bed.
Your cancer doctors are there, and so, therefore, are you. I’d have to sit in a chair, not hold you in my arms, as I have held you these many decades, despite my 2nd marriage to a wonderful man, and your time with Stephen. I have always held you in my arms. You are my first and in every unique way, my only. The man who looked me in the eye and always let me know he loved me. And still does love me. Looking you in the eyes has been my solace, my refuge, my shelter.
So, in my mind, i sit by your hospital bedside and my eyes are level with yours. My days of high heels and designer gowns are long over, and i am content to sit with you until you feel free to depart this life. I have felt misery in my life -with a career in show business, misery is a given – but this misery is like the core of me is being taken out and thrown in a river of sorrow so deep, it is inconceivable.
I sit by your bedside and look you in the eye, with a love that is eternal, and with a determination that our next life together will be less fraught with drama. We have worked hard for our peace, and you, the healthiest of us all, are now the fallen one. What is Life if not a joke? An irony. A bait and switch game of chance.
Your beautiful brown eyes have been my home.
Looking you in the eye with truth and honesty and love….well….it’s been my privilege and it will go on forever, whether i am happy in heels or barefoot in sorrow.
By Jackie Davis-Martin
On July 18, 2022
Absolutely beautiful, Evalyn. I hope you send it to Janis to post in the Page Street window.