“I know, Alice, I find it incredible. But I’ve come to a decision.”
I whisper a hiss at Alice. “Tina’s staying with him only because she knows it infuriates me. If she still fucks him I don’t think it’s because she loves him, or even really likes him anymore. It’s fucking out of spite and to me, and she’s lost her mind.” I seethe as quietly as I can. I have realized this university is a fish bowl and I’m a very curiously colored sea creature to them.
“After everything you had Joyce dig up on him – the bad four or was it three marriages? Whatever. Many marriages and the lawsuit his partners have against him? I don’t get it either.” Alice shakes her head and fiddles with the pencils on my desk.
“Alice, did you have something you wanted to say to keep me from barring you from Phyllis’ office?” I fix her with an impatient stare as I feel my attention drawn back to the paperwork for the Bursar’s office.
“Oh, you’re going to love this and you can buy me a drink later.” Alice sits leans in across my desk to whisper, “Henry gave Tina a nasty STD!”
Rose Garden – California University – Bette
On my way back from the Bursar’s Office I feel compelled to detour into this quiet place that only buzzes with wings. I must collect my thoughts before tonight’s events. Foremost, I’ve not had time yet to absorb the news about Tina. It’s not a curse I had thought of for her yet but I’m warming to its misery. I like it. It fits. They can both go to hell and to the doctor together.
I find the bench that I’ve come to like by the lemon and coral tinged roses. So beautiful here. I inhale and exhale. I don’t need to blow a gasket before I meet Arnold tonight. We like each other. He may be a lot of things but whenever I’ve asked him for a seed check of three or five thousand dollars, which is really asking for his name only, he’s always been generous and quick about getting back to me.
Everyone who is a grown up has to be prepared to hear both No and Yes when they ask for money for special projects. He’s said “No” a few times to me but tonight he’s flying down here from Sacramento to say a big, “Yes”. It feels good. I should feel really good but I don’t. I feel worried. My bitterness toward Tina is exhausting me. Deeply, down to the bone exhausted me.