My internet provider is out and they tell me, after 45 minutes on the phone with someone in India, that it must be something on my end in the wires or the modem (mind you, these are the wires and modem that THEY provided and installed). They'll be happy to send a technician for $199 plus if the modem is faulty they'll provide a new one for $149. This is after 25 years of resisting ALL of the 'come to us' offers from other companies. I said "no thank you" and I'm researching other providers. So in the meantime, I'll use the library and write off-line. But if I don't get a chance to visit your blogs as often as normal, I apologize! Here's my 3 word! If you want to participate, go to Quilly's blog to get the scoop!
“So Alice,” began Brian, as he folded a towel warm and fresh from the dryer.
“Yes?” answered his sister.
“Do you think it’s possible I’ll ever feel about someone else the way I felt about Marina?” he asked.
“Probably not just like you felt about her,” came the answer. “It will be different, not better or worse probably, but different.”
“I feel stagnicolous,” Brian said, “like I can’t see my way free to something new or different. Yet I feel disloyal even thinking about moving on.”
Alice raised her eyebrows, “stagnicoulous? Brian, you’re beginning to sound as highly educated as you are!” He grinned sheepishly, “yeah, well I can’t let you get all the encyclopedia points with the parents.”
Alice, paused for a moment. “So speaking of encyclopedia points, do you want to drive out there this weekend? Mom is baking pies.”
Brian answered, “I’m just not ready. They’re so sad about Marina and how tragic they see my life being. It’s not exactly tension, but there’s an anxiety in the air with them, like they’re afraid I’m going to make my tragic life even more tragic and they’ll have to witness its tragic decline. I don’t like them invigilating me.”
“Whoo-whee, Brian! That’s two multi-syllabic words! What’s going on with you?” Alice marveled.
He shot back, “what’s wrong with a little upgrade in my vocab? You’re not the only smart one in the family. I happen to have a new friend who likes to play with words. She throws them at me and I have to figure out how to use them. You’re the only other person I know who recognizes them as words! The guys at work make jokes about it. The other day I told Denny that his impression of Steve Martin doing King Tut was risible. One of the other guys, Fidelo, said “Salud!” Denny just told me I sounded like a jerk. I asked Denny what he meant and he said he thought I sneezed and in Spanish they say “Salud” for “Bless You!” I don’t think Denny knows enough to comprehend whether I was insulting him or complimenting him. I’m beginning to understand how your use of words gives you pleasure and a little feeling of power.”
Alice, like the older sister she was, homed in on the only important part of what Brian had just told her. “You have a new friend who is a girl who gets you to expand your vocabulary because you like feeling smart?”
Brian’s jaw dropped, “how do you do that? How do you laser in on the only part of the discussion that involves a relationship?”
“Oh, it’s a relationship now? That’s okay if it is; I’m just trying to discern what’s going on here. Maybe you should be doing something else on a Wednesday evening than having your sister over to help you with laundry!” She grabbed a towel off the newly folded stack and threw it at him.
“Hey, I just folded that!” he exclaimed. “Don’t jump to conclusions. She’s just a friend.”
Alice smirked, “does she have a name? Or does “Vocabulary Woman” suffice.” Brian just ignored her and went over to turn on a ball game.
“Okay, if you’re going to watch ESPN, I’m going home. I have papers to grade anyway. I’m going to drive out to mom and pop’s on early on Saturday. They have new puppies in the barn and mom’s baking pies. If you want to catch a ride, call me Friday. If you want to take your new friend out there . . . “
Brian whirled around, “No! And don’t tell them about her! She’s a friend! That’s all! Jeez, Alice, why can’t you let things alone?”
Alice recoiled as if struck. Don’t react. Understand where this is coming from. He’s afraid. “Okay, sorry. I was just teasing. I see it’s not a laughing matter for you. Not a word to them. I’ll bring you back a pie. I’m going now.”
She gathered her purse and jacket and moved toward the door. Brian turned toward her. “Umm . . . are you sure you don’t want to stay? We don’t have to watch ESPN.” She smiled, “if a sister can’t forgive you for being a guy, who can? I’ve got to get going anyway. See ya!”
As she drove away, Alice smiled. It would be good for Brian to start looking outward again. As she pulled onto Boulevard Avenue the little train of thought crossed her mind again, “what a stupid name! Like it can’t make up its mind. Will it be a really big street or a small one?” She heard the first notes of Rhapsody in Blue start up indicating her cell phone was ringing. Punching the answer button, she said, “this is Alice.”
“Alice, you have to come back. The police are here. They say they need to re-open the investigation into Marina’s death. Alice, they want to search my house and take me down for questioning,” Brian’s voice sounded understandably panicked. “I’ll be right there,” she told him as she pulled a u-turn at the next cut-in. “Do not say anything other than my attorney is on her way,” she added. Five minutes later she pulled up in front of Brian’s building and five minutes after that she was in the detective’s face, furiously demanding, “what on earth are you thinking?”