Missing Hissie

Captain’s Log   5,871

I really miss my old pal, Miss Hiss from the Australian Outback.  She passed away about a year ago.  She died suddenly from a massive heart attack.  We had been cyber friends for quite a few years.  She was a big believer in sending gifts.  I got clown shoes, all sorts of pirate stuff, etc.  In turn, I sent her Mexican candy, solar Tiki lights, and fluffy purple handcuffs, etc.  It was always something.  We had discussed having me visit the cattle station she owned and operated with her husband.  I knew it would be an arduous trip, but I was thrilled at the very idea.

She stopped contacting me.  Out of the blue.  She just stopped.  When her husband told me about her death, he also told me she had become quite ill and she didn’t want me to know.  She didn’t want me to visit.  That was her way of making sense.  I knew something was wrong, but I never questioned her.  I let her be.  After about six months of not hearing a word, she contacted me  to re-send six tubes of lipstick to her.  She bought them on eBay and the shipper would not send them to Australia.  I was happy to do that.  I sent a chatty email in response and heard nothing.

I knew she was reading my electronic newsletters from the museum (can track that stuff).  But she put up a wall – because she was sick and she didn’t want me to know.  When I heard the news of her death, it all made sense.  I was in the kitchen cooking potatoes when her husband called.  It was shocking news.

Miss Hiss (real name was Rayna) loved her husband Jeff more than life itself.  She married him and they carved out a successful life on their cattle station.  She was once a high school principal, but she left that job to help manage the business.  They were quite a team.  She adored him.

When he called to tell me the news, her said something very odd.  Her asked me if I thought he was handsome enough to get another wife.  He was already going down that road.  It was awkward.  Miss Hiss was my friend.  I did not know her husband at all, and it felt strange to discuss something so weird.  It seemed inappropriate for him to be asking me that – especially so soon after her death.

Well, lo and behold, less than a month later, I got an email (sent to lots of people) from the husband showing off pictures of himself with his new fiance.   She is younger than Miss Hiss.  She is more “on the grid” than Miss Hiss.  And from what he said in the email, I am surmising that he had her on the string for a long time.  She is from Tasmania, and he sailed there every year and stayed a month or more on the island.  For many years.  It broke my heart to see him crowing about this so soon after Miss Hiss died.  I know we all make choices and do what’s best for ourselves in our circumstances, but it was shocking.

He went on to say in the email that he had taken  Rayna’s unusual art collection off the walls.  He had painted the house a more “normal” color.  He also gave away the dogs and her library.  

Then, I got a private email from him.  He asked me if she had ever given me the password to her online journal because he wanted to delete that too.  

It still makes me sad.  Good old Miss Hiss – potty-mouthed and brilliant.  She loved road trips as much as I do.  She sent me a photo once of herself in the car.  She was on a road trip with her cousin, and it was cold enough to wear fuzzy hats.  She was so excited about that.

rayna 1

My funny and irreverent friend – missing her so much right now


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

25 responses to “Missing Hissie

  1. poundheadhere

    My heart breaks doubly to hear of J’s infidelity. I miss Hissie, too. She was one of the world’s most remarkable souls and it is emptier without her.

  2. Hoping that remembering the funny stuff will get you through this. I know a guy who started an affair with his wife’s nurse….while the wife was slowly and painfully dying of cancer. For many men, it’s all about “who’s going to take care of me now?”.

  3. I miss MissHiss’ snarky side. LOVED THAT PART… sarcatic, dirty-mouthed, and right to the point. I was thinking about her this week…

  4. Yes, odd but beautiful. Her husband is odd and awful. So glad you had her friendship.

  5. I loveloveloved Rayna. Loved. She and I used to send riotously inappropriate e-mails back and forth, too. She loved my blog (which lowered my opinion of her greatly, of course) and it was the thrill of my online career when she asked me to write a guest entry on hers. I really didn’t want to – it seemed like she was asking me to finger paint over the Sistine chapel – but she kept sending one threatening e-mail after another until I caved in and wrote one. I really, really wish I’d kept a copy on my own site, but I figured, “Hey, it’ll always be at her place”.

    Once she sent me a box, practically a steamer trunk, filled with Australian porn magazines, just to make the point that REAL Austrailian women were much, much uglier than women from any other country on earth. I’m not kidding, that’s what she said.

    And she was right. REAL Australian women – at least the ones in real Austrailian porno mags – are dogs of the first order. And that’s after airbrushing! Of course Rayna took pains to point out that it didn’t matter at all, since Australian men were so randy (read: desperate) that even the dingos had to sleep with one eye open.

    I’m absolutely shocked to hear the stuff about Jeff. Rayna worshiped the ground she said he floated over. I absolutely cannot believe he’d want to wipe out her diary, assuming he could get to it. That would be a tragedy second only to her own demise. The whole thing should be bound and presented to creative writing classes around the English speaking world as the sort of thing they should aspire to. I’m actually making myself mad as I type right now, stewing more and more about his apparent betrayal of such a brilliant spirit. All I can bring myself to say is I hope she never caught on, and that her diary wasn’t just her way of coping by painting a false joyous picture of her life.

    I missmissmisss absolutely miss Miss Hiss.

    • poolagirl

      She was one of a kind. I also hope she never knew about Jeff. But somehow, I think she did. Women always know. I miss her.

  6. How shocking to think that he would be so anxious to move on and just eliminate her and everything she had out of his life. Wow…..just Wow!

  7. Penny Tushingham

    You have wonderful memories of your friend to hold into preach and every day. Forget the husband even is there and cherish your memories!

    Pen Pen

  8. This twist on things makes me sad too. Not judging but wow….

  9. Strange and unsettling… I always assume there’s mutual devotion when you see such… adoration? … She was an original, for sure

  10. Patty O'

    Your story is sweet, sad, and disturbing all at the same time. I am just happy that you remember her with love and that you understood. At the very least her husband did let you know about her passing. He could have done nothing and you would never have known. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

  11. We can’t judge; we don’t know the circumstances. Still, I have heard of “moving on” after losing someone. I never thought it should be by leaps and bounds.

    I am sorry you lost your friend. I’m just glad you have good memories of her.

    • poolagirl

      I know we can’t judge. But it really felt sad when he said those things. She was amazing. A blessing to have known her.

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