My work day turned out to be an exact illustration of why I needed excitement in my life.
I spent half the morning researching, and the rest of the afternoon tied up in committee meetings so boring, I’d rather have sat at home and watched wallpaper peel.
I found myself doodling Marilyn’s name on my yellow notepad as my thoughts kept returning to her. I pictured her in her soft green Modernist sweater and beige, knife-pleated ankle length skirt—my own silver screen siren—my own slippery, silvery fish.
The reality of dark paneled academia and the aridity of the scholarly life retreated every time I closed my eyes. It was then I saw her own dark eyes staring back at me, and her luscious lips moistening.
I felt totally drained by the time I got back to my apartment and far too exhausted to make dinner. I ordered lasagna and salad from a local Italian restaurant and sat back with a glass of Shiraz.
As I was cleaning up afterwards, the phone rang. I figured it was Abe, ‘checking in’ as he described it, but it turned out to be Cam.
“How’s the art collector doing?”
“Ha-ha—I’m more a junk picker than a connoisseur of fine art—but, I’m getting by.”
“You saw the Star article on Noreen Laverty? You were right, buddy—that sketch was a genuine Tom Thompson. Any regrets you let it get away?”
“Not a one,” I laughed.
“Well, how about Sam. Are you guys back together yet?”
“Naw, I’d say that’s another one that got away.”
“Jeez, Scott—sorry to hear it—Elaine and I both liked her, but I guess some things aren’t meant to be.”
“Yeah, now don’t get all philosophical on me, Cam—you know metaphysics gives me heartburn.”
“Do you think in the next couple of weeks you’ll be able to find a date for our anniversary party? We’re having it this year at the Palais Royale and we’re doing it on a Swing Era theme—everybody has to come dressed in the style of the Thirties—after all, it is April Fool’s.”
“I think I might be able to find a date for that night—what is it, a Sunday?”
“Yeah, it is. As it turned out, we overbooked, so if you have another couple you’d like to invite, just bring them along.”
I immediately thought of Abe and Mitzy—it’d be the perfect occasion to meet Abe’s wife and double as well.
Cam suddenly interjected:
“Oh, by the way, Elaine and I are having an intimate gathering afterward, back in our condo—you and your date are invited.”
“Thanks, Cam—We’ll be there.”
After he hung up, I sat alone in the front room, staring at the cityscape, and reflecting on the different paths our lives had taken.
Cam lived in a million dollar condo with a breath-taking view of the lake. I lived in a 1960’s reno with a view of the Expressway.
A Tale of Two Cities—the one I inhabited, middle class and mundane—and the other, he lived in, uber upper class and snooty, and everything I disdained.
I conveniently forgot the black Camaro sitting in the parking lot, or the occasional morning-after luxuriance of the Park Hotel.
At that moment, I didn’t want to ponder vast discrepancies, or even reconcile the present with the past—all I wanted was to shut out all logic and focus on Marilyn.
I poured myself another glass of Shiraz.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.