Chapter 3I never saw her again. Not in person, anyway. Her name was written on every movie billboard in the city. She was apparently famous. I was embarrassed. A "secretary"? I was devastated that she had lied to me, embarrassed that I hadn't recognized her, angry at myself for thinking we had a chance. It is still the driving regret of my life that I didn't see her. I never married. Did I mention I had big ears? Oh, I don't know, maybe I always knew that no one else could take her place. I once mustered the courage to watch one of her movies. Sat through the first 15 minutes with my heart pounding. I knew she must have been making fun of me when the train scene started. There she was! On a train! With the same bright lipstick. I had to leave. That was the year I turned 35.
But I am now a coot. Freshly inspired at the tender age of 79 and I was going to find her. I started at the library in the warm afternoon. Looked up every article I could find on Nancy Ashton. And there she was, taking shape before me on the dusty newspaper clippings. Posing for an award, waving to reporters, gripping the arm of the man she would later marry. The trail ended in 1980. The last times I found her name in print were in that year. Two articles mentioned her name in a list of benefactors recognized at an art show in Sydney. One was an obituary, for her husband Roland, buried in Chicago. The last was a recipe for minced pie by a Sister Nancy Ashton, printed that year from a convent in Dublin. I had to start somewhere. I bought a ticket for