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Page is so afraid of dying - well growing old really - that she actually is considering a bargain with the devil even though she doesn't really believe he exists. But in this day and age who can be too sure. She really can't afford surgery and botox gave her that awful rash that showed up right before the family portrait was to be taken. The photographer did his best to airbrush it out, but, well, even modern technology has its limits. Fortunately for Page, even Old Scratch has no use for the shriveled up prune that passes for her soul.
James stood in front of over 200 people awaiting the march of his bride. He'd been anticipating this moment for weeks. Dreamed of nothing else for the last three nights. Too bad it would be for naught. He'd be dead within three weeks. Sealed his fate when he put off buying new tires to have enough money to purchase a wedding ring. The old tires were as bald as James' round little head. But his bride was worth it. She'd looked past his shortcomings to love the man. He happily fingered the ring in his pocket as the march began.
Arthur took a notion one day and just walked off his job. Simple as that. Got in his car and headed for the coast. Got lucky on his third try and found a room with an old widow who was more interested in having a man around the house than rent money. His room had a view of the bay. He found a job bussing tables at a local restaurant. A waste of his master's degree for sure but a lot less stressful than his old job. It was in his third week in town that he remembered the cat.
The cat never really liked Arthur. He only tolerated him because of the food he provided. However he had decided to kill Arthur about 3 days before he disappeared. The cat couldn't take it any longer. Distaste finally won out over self-preservation. Now 3 weeks after Arthur's disappearance the cat was beginning to worry. Arthur had no friends to speak of and what little family he had rarely interacted with him. Sure he'd been able to open the dry food bag by the back door. But the toilet water was beginning to run low. Somebody had better show up soon.
Margaret foresaw the instant of her own death clear as day. Unfortunately she had no time to prepare. There were final exams to consider and the wedding preparations. By Tuesday she needed to finish that History paper and Wednesday was the final fitting for the bridesmaids. Her parents were due in on Friday and the rehearsal dinner was that night. She'd accepted that job in Chicago but now wondered if she should with her impending demise. It never crossed her mind to spare - or at least prepare - her groom. He would only survive her by a few scant days.
Wine will be Wilson's downfall. Well that and the shoplifting. But he only shoplifts when he's been drinking. And he only drinks when he's lonely. Wilson has been lonely a lot lately. Sacked from his job, no girlfriend, no friends to speak of and his parents are dead as far as he knows. He sells or hocks the shoplifted goods to pay for the wine. And when the wine runs out he has to start the cycle again. He once met his potential salvation at the Army PX where he last worked. But he opted to steal from her instead.
Mildred worried that her brother's philandering would get him into trouble. His wife was not as "understanding"as their mother had been. But Frank said that Viagra was "too much of a godsend to waste on one woman." Those little pills gave him a confidence - an arrogance really - that he'd always lacked due to the ghastly purple birthmark covering his left temple. He was now the number one sales leader in his region. Dammit he deserved to "cat about"if he chose. Didn't he pay the bills? Too bad he'd taken up with the girlfriend of a "made man.-
Lance resolved to never give in to the cancer. Unfortunately his body couldn't follow suit. David made sure that all of Lance's wishes were acceded to. No viewing of the body, immediate cremation of the remains (though a brief memorial service was allowed). Lance's parents didn't come, in perfect keeping with their resolve not to support their son and his "sodomist lifestyle-. Also in keeping with Lance's instructions David flew to Hartsdale, New York and spread the ashes over Little Judy's grave. Well all except the handful he kept in a baggie. He snuck that bit into Lance's parents' pool.
Henry woke last night with a screaming headache. Nothing he tried would bring any relief. Finally he pulled on some clothes and went for a walk. The night air was cool and pleasant. He passed the spot where he'd first met Laura. He wondered again if she would ever forgive him, knowing full well that she never would. He'd killed her brother. Didn't matter that the court ruled it self-defense. Laura was stubborn and blind to her brother's shortcomings. Henry then recalled the shrew she'd been during their brief marriage. Her pettiness and jealously and rage. His headache soon faded.
The penis enlargement offers are the most annoying. They've got "the secret"and they're willing to share it with me. Then there's the cut rate Cialis. Soft gels even. All for me. All day every day. At least 50 to 60 times a day. Thankfully my spam filter gets most of it. Oh and the Nigerians. I read in the New Yorker recently that they're still making plenty of money. Off greedy people. Greedy stupid people apparently. I mean what could possess you to send money, open your bank account, share personal info with someone you've never met before? Amazing.
"Pneumonia in the lower right lobe-, says the doctor. Something that else I don't feel like bothering with. Not that I'm careless about my health. Goodness no. Well there is the cholesterol and the extra weight. But see that's why I had the bike all ready to go. All cleaned up. Air in the tires. Chain all lubed. Now the only exertion I'm allowed is a walk around the block. Oh and I can go to work. Dripping with enthusiasm over that one I am. I'm not telling anyone else about it though. The first few reflexively covered their mouths.
Well Spring has come and gone. To be replaced by what I'm not sure. Can't be Summer. It's too cold and Autumn is not due for at least 6 months. Rained last night. A nice steady drone to sleep by. Small consolation as the high today was 45. I don't think we're scheduled to see the sun again until Tuesday. The frogs are happy and I imagine the mosquito crop will be healthy this year as will the deer flies. Michigan is like this practically every year. We get an early taste of warmth and then the cold weather returns.
"Daddy would come home at 3 a.m. with the manly deer lashed to the bumper. We'd all have to get out of bed and marvel at how manly the deer was. Then we'd go back to bed." This is how my wife describes her dad's annual deer hunt. I didn't get the gene. Which is not to say that I don't engage in manly behavior. I scratch in inappropriate places at inappropriate times. I enjoy gross humor and copious amounts of alcohol. Don't even mind hunting. But I tend to avoid pursuits that require more than an afternoon to complete.
Asked once if my child liked Usher, I replied "no."Asked "why" I replied, "Because I don't like Usher. She loves Ray Charles though. Still doesn't appreciate Mingus, but she is coming around to Coltrane." I told him that if she listened to music at all, it was what I listened to. This person looked at me as if I had 2 heads. My daughter was 5 at the time. How do you give a 5 year old that kind of leeway? I anticipate major culture clashes in the teen years. But until then, I get to make the rules.
Matthew chipped the tooth in 2nd grade. Some dare or another. The details had faded with memory. But now, on the cusp of 45 and a job promotion, it had begun to worry him. Roger could have cared less about Matt's chipped tooth. He wasn't going to promote Matt anyway. In fact he'd been building a case to fire him. Ever since he'd realized that Matt was one of the bullies that had tortured him in fourth and fifth grade, well except for the day when he'd brought in the radio controlled helicopter. Apparently revenge never goes out of fashion.
Frankie died composing a sonnet to his mistress. Keeled over of a stroke caused by a small blood vessel bursting somewhere deep in his brain. Which, believe it or not, was the consequence of him crossing another woman in his early twenties who'd cast a hex on him. Which of course had little effect (she had no training in the black arts) but worried Frankie to the point where he started smoking to ease his nerves. Anyway his wife found him and the sonnet after a rather clandestine dinner with an old flame and naturally assumed it was about her.
Pneumonia Watch Day ....uhm whatever. It appears that the fungus that had taken up residence in my right lung has finally died. I am no longer coughing up muck the color of rusted copper and the consistency of coagulated chicken grease. Though I am still coughing. A lot. Enough to give me a headache. Not that I'm whining or anything. Doesn't do me any good anyway. The sympathy that I had been receiving from co-workers has turned to annoyance. "Can't you do that somewhere else?"their eyes say. "We've got work to do, and hell it isn't cancer." They're right.
52 days and counting until Archie is released from jail. He knows just what he is going to do too. When he gets out Archie is going to go back to the old neighborhood and kill Anthony. You see it was Anthony that actually did the rape that Archie took the punishment for. Only Anthony had an alibi from a girlfriend who'd lie for him even though he beat her. And Archie had nothing. And evidently their DNA was a close enough match (being cousins) or the technician was incompetent. So in killing Anthony Archie would actually earn his sentence.
Howard figured it was too late to get married. Hell he was 46 years old and had never even proposed to a woman. Oh he had a couple of close calls. The first one, Audrey turned out to be a bit too mental. It probably wasn't her fault. She'd seen her share of tragedy for her 27 years. The second one, Chondra, left town with a man, who it was later discovered was a second cousin, the day after Howard had purchased an engagement ring. The woman he should have married was in Afghanistan buried under a dull green burkah.
Days later Laura remembered why she'd called. She'd blanked when Kim picked up the phone and stumbled over a few unintelligible words before hanging up. Mortified, she went straight for the pill bottle and stayed in a pleasant haze for the next three days. She could have been told that her favorite cousin had been savaged by Hell's Angels and it wouldn't have registered much. It was in the food court down by The Gap when it came to her. She wanted to know if Kim still had the number to the that therapist who specialized in prescription drug addicts.
The doctor called Friday to tell me that my second set of x-rays showed signs of "improvement." Don't have to have another one for a month. So I guess I'm getting better. Still have the stamina of an eighty year old with mono though. Sucks too since the weather has finally broken. My doctor told me the other day that pneumonia used to be the number one killer in the U.S. Imagine that. Now you take a pill a day for about 10 days and you can pretty well expect to recover. Death just ain't what it used to be.
Alex awoke Saturday morning to find that his parents were evicting him. He was 25 after all. They were selling their earthly possessions, and cutting all earthly ties (that's where Alex came in) and moving to an ashram in Montana. This puzzled Alex as his parents had not, up to this point in his life anyway, shown any interest in the spiritual realm. Unless you count golf and the Home Shopping Network. Alex feared for a moment that his dad would go the way of the Jonestown/Heaven's Gate cults. Then he noticed that his dad had set up a trust.
Lester was fired for stealing a few dollars, a xylophone, and a can of paint. He used the money to buy a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. He painted his mother's front steps with the can of paint by flashlight at 2 a.m. She would never know it was her middle son. The xylophone he first tried to hock. Not much call for a xylophone these days. He left it on his sister's front porch figuring one her kids would take to it. She sold it to a neighbor whose daughter made a career out of it.
Memorial day and Sara was with family again, following the lead that Michael had started years ago. She didn't mind having them over - well not as much as she used to anyway. The Prozac helped. And the gin. She would have to stop soon as she was pretty sure that she was pregnant. Michael would be thrilled of course and her mom. They'd make a big deal of it. Fortunately the birth of her daughter would prove a turning point for her. Chance meetings would put her into a traveling job that she loved. Michael would prove the ideal father.
Joanne loved playing poker with her friends. They played for dimes but it was the side bets that made it all worth it. These were private wagers of some consequence, the details of which were only known to the parties involved. Dares really. Already she'd bought heroin at midnight in a very "bad"neighborhood. She'd had Sheila sell some unwashed panties on eBay. Marcia had been made to confront her husband's mistress. She convinced the girl to steal from him. They were all going to Vegas on the proceeds. Joanne worried that she would back out on the carjacking though.
Dorothy was convinced that she would one day be reunited with Walter, ignoring the fact that he was dead of course... and that she didn't believe in an afterlife. She'd had his head frozen in a can of nitrogen and placed in vault at Rebirth Institute. One day when science had advanced far enough, they would both be revived in a brave new world. Cost her and ungodly sum and likely a bit of her sanity. Walter believed in reincarnation and that his soul was on the cusp of "reaching a higher plane." How does one resolve such a conundrum?
Jimmy was plain and uninteresting, but boy did he have a knack for making money. Like most of his ilk, he had a field day in the 80's. Ran amok in The Market. Made a fortune before his twenty-ninth birthday. Stayed away from the drug scene. Met a bunch of women only interested in his money. Decided to get involved in politics. Bought a couple of politicians and set them up nicely in D.C. Realized too late in life that he didn't want to be Charles Foster Kane. Died of an aneurism while the politicians divided up his considerable empire.
Okay I've just had the fifth person walk up to me and ask for help - a luggage cart this time - assuming I work here. Dhyan and I helped the other four last night. Thankfully Dhyan knew how to direct the last guy to New York City because I hadn't a clue. I don't have a particularly commanding presence, I'm not particularly handsome (though I think I get buy), but I'm dressed as they are, in casual clothes. Like a tourist. Lord I don't want to fall back on the "cause I'm black"thing but if it walks like a duck...
Precious paid good money for her judgeship. Oh she worked the campaign trail to maximum benefit to be sure. But it was the payoffs to the high rollers of her state's political machine that put her over the top. Precious had the biggest swearing in ceremony after party ever. Fine wines, ice sculptures, rare and expensive foods, a chamber orchestra AND a five piece jazz combo. When the smoke cleared Precious promptly forgot that she needed to actually show up for her cushy patronage job. She was brought down by an overweight tabloid reporter with a penchant for jelly doughnuts.
The nimrod that ran the red light and spun Ma's car around into another, car who hit a third car, hasn't been caught yet (how do you cause that much mayhem and just drive off?). Thankfully my mother is no worse for the wear. She's got a tender spot on her head and she's a little woozy she says. But the doctors found no damage and discharged her yesterday evening. The car may be totaled though. She's mourning it like someone would mourn a pet. I'm just glad she's okay. She even fixed waffles this morning for guests. She's tough.
Virginia wished with all her might for a brother. Her mother had a girl. Much later she prayed mightily for someone to love. She got Stan, who did go to work everyday but did little else. Just planted his marshmallow soft butt in front of the television after dinner every night. Virginia's little sister, Mary, had a sterling career in real estate, two lovely children, and an attentive, loving husband. Virginia decided that she was cursed and took to sulking. Then one day her heretofore unknown half brother appeared at her doorstep carrying the cutest puppy Virginia had ever seen.
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