Chapter Six

--You have the most bizarre ideas about marriage, said Bethany. Really.

--Well, said Silvia, putting down the happy sunset from hell book, since I AM not, have never BEEN, and the way things are going will never ever BE—




--I like to think of myself as—


--If you like. Really, I just think, after waiting all this time, and reading—

--If you can call it that—

Silvia shot Bethany a genuinely hurt look.

--Sorry said Bethany. I am evil.

--Well, I think I can definitely say I know what I want.

--Right, you see, we all start out thinking like that. Then everything gets…messed up.

Bethany was waiting for the little rainbow ball on her Mac to stop turning. It didn’t feel like it was ever going to. She collected her core PhD readings from her desk, placing them in her bag.

--Is this thing working? she asked.

--It’s the network said Silvia. It’s slow, especially this hour, with everybody trying to post grades. “Patience is a virtue.” she sing-songed.

--So is virginity, but it’s definitely not all it’s cracked up to be either.

--Oh, girl, said Silvia. It has been so long since I got....

--Not to change the subject.

Silvia crossed over to take a look at the stalled computer.

--I was just curious about what it was like, said Silvia, in the beginning. You know, when you two were in love.

Bethany relented. It didn’t look like she was going anywhere soon. May be good to help a sister out.

--First of all, she said, don’t forget: he was my high school sweetheart.

--I know! That is so cool!

--Just because he got famous while I was married to the entrepreneur from perdition doesn’t mean I was supposed to love the life he led. Or live it myself for that matter.

--I mean, though, you must’ve, right? A little? The traveling and the hotels—

--And the groupies, even at his advanced age? Look, I had plenty of hotels during the first tour of duty. I was flying First Class for eighteen, twenty hours at a time by the time I was twenty.

--You’ve had such an interesting life said Silvia, I swear! practically swooning, which is not the most attractive thing in a woman her age.

--And I have paid the price, dear Silvia, said Bethany.

--Which is?

--I am unfit for further service. 4-F in the war of the sexes.

--So that’s why you’re on the phone till midnight with this guy?

Bethany smiled.

--I’m a Celt. We need conflict in our lives. Ah! She said. The little ball went away!

--Here, let me, said Silvia. You need to get going.

Bethany pushed herself away from the desk, continuing to place books in her bag. Silvia bent over the laptop, beautifully manicured hands tapping gracefully at the keyboard. It was a lovely perfume she was wearing. She really was a lovely girl.

--I could pay you to do this stuff for me you know, said Bethany.

--The school already pays me. Why'n't you just write your stuff out longhand the way you like to and I’ll enter it for you. You know—I could be your secretary!

--OK, OK—

--But you have to tell me all about life with Benvolio Pulchris!

--Let’s start with this, and call it a night, OK? He could not for one second get out from under the shadow of his brother, OK?


--He suffered from little brother syndrome from the day we all met on the strand in Hermosa at the age of, God, I don’t know, what--four? till the day we walked out of the courthouse in Beverly Hills.

--That’s all very interesting, I’m sure, Bethany. But I’m really more interested in the juicy stuff.

--Sorry, hon, I’m exhausted.

Bethany took the shutdown laptop and put it in her bag.

--Did you guys really make love in a monk’s cell in the Alhambra?

Bethany, stepping towards the door, turned back slightly towards Silvia:

--Honey, everybody makes love in a monk’s cell in the Alhambra. It’s what you do.


--Now, said Bethany mischieviously, making love at Number 7 Eccles Street in Dublin on Bloomsday?


--Yes, said Bethany, not without some vestige of joy. Yes, I said, yes. We did. yes.

Silvia's internal eternal romantic button lit up flashing red at the thought.

--They were opening for U2 said Beth. Bono dared him, he told me later.

Silvia's face fell a little.

--See? said Bethany. It's not always love. Sometimes it's only rock n roll.

Then, a little wistfully:

--But I liked it.

Bethany left quickly, stage left, Charles Jourdan pumps clattering purposefully in the hallway.

I love her, just love her, Silvia was thinking as she watched her boss’s hips sway--so beautiful!--down the hall. She was so smart. Even if she was computer illiterate.

Next: Cell Phone Interruptus

Intruso, an oft-times musical postmodern love story

  1. Intruso
  2. Contentment
  3. Her voice was shiny
  4. Timed Writing
  5. On Location
  6. In the Beginning was Rock n Roll
  7. Cell Phone Interruptus
  8. The Hooch
  9. Blackbirds at One O'Clock
  10. Probiotics and the Muse
  11. Email by Rodney Strong
  12. Nightsong
  13. Dope and Flax Seed
  14. Free to a God Home
  15. Lemonade and Consequences

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