Chapter Two. Used Cars.

Allison had one philosophy that she was able to cultivate in her myriad experiences with men: dating was like a Ford car lot. 

As in a visit to a previously owned car lot (as many prefer to call them in order to make it sound much better than what it is really is) you meet a very shiny, gelled salesman who wouldn't be entirely truthful about what you were getting in order to make a quick sale. 

And as you are driving off that lot with that great deal you just got: Wow, I just got a deal of the century!  I can't believe someone else didn't get this car before I did! You realize that the window won't roll down, or that it stalls when it stops at red lights. And inevitably you are faced with the issue of what one is willing to work with in a car when you get it home. Allison could apply this with the men she dated and her willingness to deal with the inevitable flaws to arise out of the men she ended up with: the over-bearing mother, the ex-wife who continually called, or the worst: the jail record. Allison definitely gave up on the Knight in Shining Armor, believing it was a fairytale that was sold to girls in their childhoods to shelter them from the harsh reality in their 20s: there are just no good men out there!

She had faced the basic disillusionment with reality as any young struggling actress would encounter before deciding make-believe was more satisfying. In 1915, Allison, or Alliecat she was called by her older siblings, had been put on an orphan train out west from her poor indigent Irish Catholic Family; one of twelve children, what was one less mouth to feed is all the notice that was any paid by the house when the little girl with the mop of brain curls and big blue eyes disappeared from the table. 

the little girl with the mop of brain curls and big blue eyes disappeared from the table.

The new, not much better off economically family who picked her out of a line-up in the town she was left, saw her little better than a servant to help her invalid "mamma." This family helped cull the skills that would be helpful later in life; the will to dream during long hours of nursing labor, the hunger for a better life when the stock market fell in '29 (besides the literal hunger that clawed at her belly when her farmer "papa" didn't have anything to put on the table) and a nice figure due to the speed she would run when teased by groups of kids on the way of home from school when her dress was patched and threadbare.  

Allison didn't play pity party any more than most young women did of her generation in her station of life; it was the only reality she knew. Raised with a feeling of a gratefulness to be picked up from the line-up of pitiful orphans- she also had a strong sense of practicality and ambition. After a brief failed courtship with a pastor's son and her recent revelations of disappointment that no man would be the key to her happiness and rescue...she decided to leave the small dusty town in Oklahoma behind and travel to Hollywoodland. The prairie dogs and red dirt would be about the only thing she would miss. Her adopted mother having passed the year before- and her grave looked over in the distance by a creaky oil well. Alliecat didn't mourn long- her memories were filled with sponge baths, darkened rooms and the stench of illness that permeated the air, her hands and her clothing all the time. Her adopted father about this time started looking at her expectedly as when would his "daughter" move on since her sole purpose had now ended. 

She contributed her meager earnings of washings, waitressing and chicken eggs to manage to bully from her old hens, she gave as her room and board. In the last six months though, she began skimming off the top to save for the bus ticket that would take her to the land of the Talkies. And her fate.

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