I’ve heard it said, the older the friend the better. I don’t mean older, as in ancient or curmudgeon. I mean someone, like my friend, Louis, who has been in my life since childhood. Louis grew up in the same small town, Middleton, where we were both raised.

That makes us sound like cows, or pigs.

And in some ways, I felt that way with twelve siblings. Mom was a regular breeding machine. Pop one out every year or so. Guess they never practiced birth control. Never really practiced much of anything.

I’d go over to Louis’s house just to get away from the noise. He was an only child and his mom doted on him. She was from Capri, a small island I’d never heard of, near Italy. She was so nice, called Louis “Caro” which meant sweetheart. Louis’s father was another story. He was a religious fanatic, one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses that take their bibles door-to-door predicting that Jesus will appear center-stage during our lifetime.

He scared me.

And I think Louis was scared, too, though he’d never talk badly about either of his parents.

By the time we reached high school, we’d drifted into different crowds. I was in an accelerated program for high honor academic achievement. Louis attended a technical school a half a day for carpentry. But we still hung out almost every day after school.


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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7 Responses to Caro

  1. Andrea says:

    Ebb and flow of friendships. Thank DAD he had somewhere an escape to get away from the zoo he lived in. Seems like it ends in a weird place. Wish there was a little more…up to college?

  2. Mom says:

    Oh, what a wonderful relationship they had together. What a wonderful Mother Caro had. I wished the story would have been longer.
    Love, Mom

  3. david says:

    more more more- andrea true

  4. Beverly says:

    This reads like the beginning of one of your great short stories. I enjoyed the point of view and the relationship that Louis and the narrator has.

  5. G says:

    i know these people, well maybe not them, but them in another sense

  6. Tom Froehlich says:

    You made me sad again. As with all relationships we must invest time long enough to determine weather or not we are compatible. The sad irony is that when we realize we aren’t compatible a relationship has already been established. Anyway you did a great job of describing two very different lifestyles in just a few lines.

  7. Tom Froehlich says:

    All I keep wondering is why my blog failed so miserably! LOL And you helped me!

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