Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word



            I boarded the number 43 bus, headed for a Diversity Mixer sponsored by the Colorado SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists.) I’d been invited by my editor for the Urban Spectrum, Denver’s magazine for people of color. I’ve written a couple of articles for them, but had not yet met the editor or publisher, so I fancied myself up in dress and boots and headed for the meeting at a little bar called Eden.

            The 43 runs downs Martin Luther King Boulevard, and as I watched the bus fill up I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a coincidence that I was the only white person on the bus. And the only woman. And the only on dressed in silk and stockings. Just about every other nationality was represented on the bus—African American, Native American, Hispanic, and one gentleman who looked like he’d just walked out of a tribe in Africa somewhere. I was beginning to understand a little bit of how Rosa Parks must have felt, and had to give a silent thanks that I have been fortunate enough not to have been raised with this kind of intense scrutiny every day of my life.

            I found Eden with little effort, and headed up the stairs to join a room full of strangers whom I’d never met before. As I crossed the bar I saw couples canoodling, playing pool and in dark corners of booths caressing each other fondly. A typical neighborhood bar on a Friday night. I inquired with the waitress about the SPJ group, and she directed me across the room and around the corner where the meeting was being held. Crossing the room I realized that all of the couples were women. Many of them were very butch and manly looking, but, after careful scrutiny, every single person in the bar was a woman. Yup, Eden was a lesbian bar. A Very lesbian bar. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended that I obviously wasn’t their type, because nobody tried to pick me up as I made my way to the meeting room.

            The meeting was actually filled with more white people than I’d thought, although they were all men. I had a pleasant meeting with my editor, talked about future assignments and bonded over talk of a mutually disliked publisher/owner, and collected names and shook hands with many of Denver’s editors/publishers/SPJ board members. As I headed out I realized I had actually enjoyed the Diversity Mixer, although it was obvious that I was the diversity in that crowd…




            The cloud formations here in Colorado are incredible! It’s like watching a movie roll across the sky. They’re not limited to just one kind of cloud, instead its as if all of the clouds gather together. Today there’s a darker, flat layer of clouds that sets the dramatic background, and in front of that are huge, fluffy clouds that look like the ones I see in National Geographic of volcanic ash clouds. Clouds as tall as the eye can see, rolling in on themselves and growing taller and fluffier. A slightly darker cloud sits in the foreground, resembling a historical mushroom cloud, reminding me of a dark time in America’s history.

            And I sat and watched these clouds for more than an hour. Just sipping my coffee and following the slight movements as they made their way across the sky. I don’t remember the last time I frittered away an hour just watching the clouds float by, but it seems incredibly appropriate since I’ve been walking around with my head in the clouds lately. I’m afraid I’m completely, hopelessly, over-the-moon in love. I’m happy all the time, giggle more than any 40-something woman should be allowed, am eager to wake up in the morning and no longer have my “I think I’m dying” moments. I always have a smile on my face, even when I’m having a bad day. I’ve been divorced for more than 20 years, and although I’ve had several relationships within that time, I’ve never felt this kind of uncontrollable happiness.

            Which makes me wonder—why now? Have I kept myself hidden and secretly unavailable for all these years? Perhaps some psychobabble explanation of hidden fears, insecurities, feelings of unworthiness? Or have I just not put any effort into finding a mate? Am I too set in my ways, perhaps arrogant enough even to believe that no one is good enough for me? Is it really love? Or just hormones, loneliness circumstance? There are endless books/movies about this very subject, and depending on which I watch/read, this is a fleeting moment that is destined to end badly.

            But maybe its finally my time. Maybe, the romantic notions I had when I was a young girl, which seem to be playing out right now, are truly my destiny. Maybe there is another person in the world who possesses the exact DNA that attracts mine like a magnet.  And maybe I can let myself be drawn to the magnet, without fighting the pull, without trying to control it, without explaining it away.

            I guess there’s a reason they call it “falling” in love…



            Life as I know it has settled back to  normal—Becky has left to begin her journey home, the parents have hit the road, and Tim and the family are back to the life in the suburbs. Days at the center have slowed down with the cooling weather, with the exception of one gentleman who is cleaning out his recently deceased mother’s house. He’s a delight to chat with, and he takes the time to give me a little history about all of the items he brings, many of which are more than 50 years old.

            The unique thing about this estate, is that his mother kept everything in its original package. The metal Miller High Life cooler was well used, but returned to its original box. The same with the vintage iron, bulky humidifier, artificial Christmas tree, china, and even clothes came wrapped lovingly in yellowed, musty boxes imprinted with the words “Fine Ladie’s Clothing” embossed on the top.

            As I packed away the dozens of items I began to notice something peculiar about each one of them. Something the dozens of random things had in common. Something that made them the same, and something that made them special.

            They were all made in various parts of the United States. They were all made by Americans. Not one single item stated “made in china.”

            Nope, these were all made in the U.S.A.




September 29, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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