Character Sketch

I can’t tell where my failings end and the failings of the universe right now begin.


Okay, that was in the heart of it all.


Miranda slipped her flute of wine, newly manicured nails delicately gripping the stem.  She was aware of the time.  She was aware of what she had set into motion.  Daylight was melting into dusk outside the massive glass walls of Daedalus and the alcohol was draining the strength of her senses into one, a warmth that settled around her head like a nimbus, an incubator, a blow dryer on high.

She had taken off her shoes, silvery pumps with a heel high enough to be noteworthy.  In this city, that was a good six inches and her legs throbbed from her knobby knees down to her clammy, irregularly sized toes.  Miranda’s body had always been a little off.   She’d been born a hairy child with clubbed thumbs.  Her mother and father called her una piccola scimmia pelosa.   Through the services of a good – no, excellent – aesthetician, the aggressive eyebrows had been thinned decisively, her upper lip as silken and hairless as the rest of her.  But the murderer’s thumbs,  like so much else, were destiny.

“What do you know about your…friend?”

Maybe she had had more of the Barbaresco than she intended.  But she could be excused for craving it.  The taste of strawberries melded with rose petals blooming in a delicate, garnet-hued vintage.  Was like drinking blood must be for a vampire, radiating life’s essence.  As she turned to meet the eyes of this boy, she realized the black bottle was empty.  She’d have to ask for another.

The boy chained to his chair didn’t answer.

“Come on now, I’ve requested your company, and you don’t have anything to say to me?”

Her Barbaresco, and maybe some of the drugs from the party, were starting to kick in.  The black glass, his black eyes, the obsidian awards lining the shelves.  A perfect darkness.  She flicked at the top three buttons on her ivory dress shirt.

“He’s out doing what you wouldn’t.  7:02pm.  11th and Halvorson.  A tall man with a noticeable limp that is just about to become moot.  He’s out there protecting you from your fate, your destiny. It’s almost romantic.  He’d like us both to think of it that way.  I’ve sorted him that far.  And I also know it would upset him for you and I to become friends.  Jack’s always been rather possessive.  But, you see, I need to upset him.  Turnabout’s fair play.”   She reached, inelegantly, to shimmy out of her panty hose.

The boy in the chair smiled just enough to feel she’d been silently ridiculed.  Miranda felt a dryness in her throat.  She flicked another button to  and smiled back.

“I’d offer you a drink.  You’re old enough now, right?  There’s some white wine over by the caddy. ” She motioned vaguely behind him. “But I’ve had the sort of drink you can’t follow with swill.   It’d be like going from caviar to White Castles.  Besides, the light is rather bright, anyway.  And we’re all well past breaking ice.”

She stepped behind him, on those waxed but unsteady legs, leaning forward to press herself into the back of the chair as she ran her hands down his shirt.

In a thick, cakey whisper, she moaned with an amiable sincerity.  “It’s a terrible thing we have to do together.  You have to prove he doesn’t own you, and I…have to prove he does.”

Your Life Passes Through Me Like Lightning

Murphy’s Law for the Modern Era: All the best movies on Netflix are always DVD-only.   Some nights would be made infinitely better by a good movie and you can just intuit what that movie would be and tonight’s movie was definitely Bridget Jones’ Diary, but ah-hah! Netflix! Confounding good souls at every turn.

Um, I done fucked up.  Not savagely or recklessly or with disregard for human life.  I just am at the base of a foothill of circumstances I’ve spent all day rolling down, waving my arms and smacking my head on every rock on the way.  Cerebellum Slalom.   The diet will be saved not by good food, but by doing my exercise and not murdering myself.

We had no real food in the house.  No meat or vegetables or yogurt or anything but pretzels and ramen noodles and tortilla chips and I may have relegated myself to very small portions of them, but I was home alone all day with my squirelly ridiculous hunger-thoughts as the snow came treacherously down and I know I’m out of whack today.  It was one of those awkward days where I called off sort of just on account of being a fuckhead?  I own that.  I knew I got done what I needed to do so that missing a day wouldn’t destroy the universe and the thought of driving in left me completely paralyzed, wholly and utterly.  So, it was a mental health day that ended up sort of imploding.  Playing hooky, if that’s what this was, even though I made it clear that that’s why I wasn’t coming in and that I’d make up the hours throughout the week and this weekend, feels terrible.

My parents’ work ethics, which they so graciously passed down to me, are that you are the one who comes in early and stays late and works through lunch just because that’s the right thing to do. You have to give it your all, even though, they’ve been the perfect object lesson as to what corporate America really thinks about that generations’ consideration for their workplace.  Which is they really don’t give shit one about how much you care, they’ll take what they want and break the rest.   Those ethics kept me running about doing laundry and scrubbing the bathroom and doing the pots and pans because goodness knows, if I was going to wimp out on driving to work, I couldn’t actually enjoy the time off.

But in between all that, I managed to watch Miranda (not the BBC series that I adore so intensely but the 1949 classic?) It’s a movie about a mermaid who basically gets yanked out of some jetty in Cornwall by a doctor who is not really a philanderer but has the face of one and he pretends to cure her by brining her to London, wrapping up her legs, and letting his wife teach her how to smoke while she makes all the surrounding men go ga-ga over her.  Then she announces she’s pregnant right after they all propose and she heads off for the South Seas.  Very odd movie.  But I liked it.

I also liked the calzone at Old Chicago along with the waiter who served us.  I have an hour before it’s time to exercise and forget today.