Friday, May 06, 2005

Yesterday's Another Day, Too, For That Matter

Today's not been quite so dramatic as yesterday. The affair with Midge Peswicke has proved a crashing bore, as so often happens with a lubricious widow once you've bumped off the idiot husband. Her crinoline-propelled flanks had always been so provocative, her wetly-rouged cheeks so finely lumped with random powders, her winged eyebrows so awash in sequinned abandon, her speckled chest so cunningly veined with crayon marks -- how she haunted me! But between the irregularly-divided come-hither chin and those layered chiffon bellies -- mysterious features which altered magically with every change in lighting, every flicker of a passing whim, every course of a meal, every twitter of her pet birds.

Now, after a roaring round of toasts to her late husband's remains, after our strangely independent lower passions have been spent in a frenzy of lacerated carpet, lathered stockings, shaved ice, and scattered remnants of some fossil exhibit, after --

Cutting to the chase, she's all too tedious. She simply can't miss her daytime "stories" on television. She lolls about in some horrid print thing that has palm trees, cute bears, eyeball pyramids for a "design" -- made it herself, I shouldn't wonder. She babbles away in sopranino voices, affecting a lisp and quoting "Now We Are Six." She asks me if I "really meant all of those wonderful, lovely, romantic things you said," when I haven't been able to get out two words in the months I've known her. She eats relish from the jar, licking her fingertips, and wiping them playfully on the clerical collar she made me put on, then -- oh, it's all too ghastly. I can't go on.

After a bout of pointless squealing, she lumbers trippingly into the library "to call all of my girlfriends, tee hee." I start to object, "Do you think that entirely wise under the circumstances?" but I realize it's pointless, that I'd be sputtering into the raspberry mist parfum she's sprayed so liberally in her wake.

I knock back a stiff drink while she's out of the room. For the first time I notice the bound volumes of The Journal of Psychic Vulnerability on the coffee table, and the posters of orphaned pandas on the walls. I realize I've made a ghastly mistake.

It's quickly out the door, shoes in hand, of course, although I doubt she got off the telephone for hours, what with chatting with her friends and pretending to be horrified when someone finally got through to notify her of Peswicke's messy demise. Then she'll be kept busy for a good while. Thank God.

Perhaps I can put off the folks at the office until the middle of next week. I can call in the protocol revision provisionals to my new-hire, which should generate sufficient confusion to justify my staying away, even if the "grief counselling" business won't wash with the old man, though I rather think it will, what with his wife in rehab and their couples therapy.

Not the best of days, but it's best to keep the chin up. I'll pull through with the keen sense of direction that's gotten me where I am today. Damned right.