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Monday, June 19, 2017

(15) "IF YOU WANT TO SEE DEEP THROAT, GO AHEAD."

11-11-73
B   I’ve been having this crazy idea, Jack.  I think I might really do it—put an ad in the Personals Column of Want Ad.  A lot of people read that.  Even my mother read some of those Personals and said to me, “Those people are evidently looking to meet other people.”  And she’s looking at me kind of wide-eyed.  I think some of the better people, place ads in Want Ad, not the crazy swinging singles. 
J   Not like the Phoenix people.
B  Right.  I’ll say something like. . . uh. . . . He’s attractive, lonely, looking for companionship, eventually marriage.  I’ll describe my husband and what he’s got to offer, describe the sort of woman he’d be interested in, and say to write to me, post office box such and such, enclose your picture, say that I still care enough about him that I’d like to see him happy, and if you sound like the kind of person he’d like to get to know, I’d like to meet you personally and we’ll talk it over.  And see what would happen.  What do you think of that?  Is that crazy?
J   It’s so crazy I need time to think about it.
B   `Cause out there, I know, there must be hundreds of women that are in the same predicament as he is. They are leery of cocktail-lounge pickups, they’re leery of the singles clubs, they’re discouraged and depressed.
J   They’re leery of the act that’s put on in the beginning.
B   I’m sure there are men that are out to exploit women, but I think at this point in his life, that’s the last thought in Ed’s mind.  His life doesn’t seem to have much meaning to him.  I’m worried about him.
J   It’s lonely if you don’t have anybody.
B   All the things he used to do were great fun as long as he had a Mommy to come home to and to scold him.  He tells me he doesn’t drink the way he used to.  Back in the old days I'd get so unhappy over his heavy, heavy drinking.  He could do that now; there’s nobody to tell him he can’t do it.  It loses its fun when you’re not playing hooky any more.
J   When you can do whatever you want, and you don’t want to do it anymore.
B   So it seems.  At that divorce and separated workshop I went to, one of the ex-husbands said, “I can drop in at a bar now any time I want, which I used to do when I was married.  Somehow it isn’t fun anymore.”  I bet my ad would get a lot of answers.
J    I wonder if you wouldn’t do better not to build him up—[Not too much, yes.]  Well, I don’t mean any other way except monetarily.
B   Oh, I absolutely wouldn’t build him up monetarily. 
J    Okay.  I thought you were going to say what he’d be in a position to do for them.
B   No, no, I thought of that.  I wouldn’t want to have him recognized or have me recognized, so I wasn’t going to say anything about the boat and the plane and the condominium.  That would attract
gold-digger types.
J  That’s right. 
B   I thought I’d go very lightly on what he has to offer financially and pick the age group thirty-five to fifty.  What do you think?
J   You could say mid-thirties to mid-forties. 
B  The attractive older ones could take off a few years.
J   They don’t have that kind of thing in the regular newspapers, do they?
B   I looked in the Globe, and they have things like “Bill and Dottie wish Mom and Dad a Happy Fiftieth Anniversary.” 
~~~
J  Has Ed seen these?
B   No, he refuses to even look at them.  No more blind dates, he’s through with hurting people by rejecting them.  I said okay, I’ll call them and say I’m your sister-in-law and you’re out of town.   I’ve talked to two on the phone and interviewed one in person.
J  What was the in-person one like?
B  She brought her pit bull with her.  He scared me even though she had him on a chain.  She hoped my brother-in-law liked dogs because she wouldn’t consider dating anyone who didn’t. 
J  What did she look like?
B.  Like her dog.  The two on the phone didn’t sound promising, either.  One talked with a twang that hurt my ears.  ( imitates the raucous accent.)  “Tell your brother-in-law to cawl me when he gets back.  Right now, I’m laying down taking a nap.”
J  Oh-oh.  Did you tell her she was lying down?
B  Why bother?  The twang was worse than her grammar.  The third candidate said she was raising twin grandsons and never went anywhere without them.  She assured me they were very well behaved and loved dining out.  I could hear them trying to kill each other in the background.
J   Sounds like three strikes and you’re out. 
B  Yes, it was a total waste of time.  I hereby resign from the matchmaking business.
J   Until the next time.
~~~
B   Look, Jack, here’s my latest doodle from Ed.  I laughed at this one because it looked so so much like a phallic symbol. 
J   A what? 
B   Phallic symbol.  Do you know what that is? 
J   No. 
B  You should know what a phallic symbol is, Jack.  I mean, you ought to know.  I mean, it’s time you knew.
J   It seems like I’m gonna be told.
B  Do you know what a phallus is?
J   Of course.  It’s something that should be in a Shakespearean play.  It probably has been.  Jeez it’s cold in here.  I’m wearing sweaters from now on when I come over here. 
B   It’s because I’m being a good citizen.
J  Yeah, you go like hell down the highway, but you freeze in your house.  Did the alarm wake you up this morning?  You should have seen me strangling that thing.  The button is so little, it’s hard to find, so I just grabbed the whole thing and squeezed. 
B  The Westwood Strangler.
J   Poor little thing.  The way I pounced on it, it was like I was trying to throttle someone who was screaming.  Both of my hands over its mouth, hoping you wouldn’t hear.  Someone should have been around with a camera.
B  That would have been worth waking up for.  I could have won first place in the Globe’s photography
contest.  Look, here’s This Week magazine and the current winners.
 I was just going to straighten my glasses, but I don’t have them on.  They couldn’t have been  crooked to begin with, could they?
B  OH!  (Peals of laughter.)
J  What’s so funny?  Was I that funny?
B   I thought, what’s Jack's picture doing face down, and then I realized why. Ed was here this afternoon.
J  And he turned it over like that?
B  He must have.
J   I don’t blame him.   I’d do the same thing
B  I talked to him about the party, and he said it’s all right with him if I bring you.
J   He’s not going? 
B  He is, he’s going with Marsha Dennis, his real estate lady friend. 
J  Where is this party?
B  At the Barnards.  The fantastic new house that Jack built.  I wonder if Ed turned over the picture in my bedroom.
J   I wouldn’t do that.   I’d do the same thing if I were Ed, but I wouldn’t do that if I were me. 
B  I have seen you do things to other people’s artwork.
J   Do you want to discuss it?
B  One of Ed’s famous doodles.  It kept getting tucked behind the toaster.
J   It didn’t keep getting tucked, angel.  I tucked it once. 
B   Okay, be technical.  I’ve been thinking about my differences with Ed.  If he's going to meet some-
one he'll eventually want to marry, I’d rather resolve things while he’s feeling kindly toward me.
J   Before he meets somebody.
B  Before he meets somebody and gets tough and maybe accuses me of adultery or some wicked thing
like that.
J   It’s a funny thing you mention that. A guy comes in today, wants to open a savings account.  He got divorced November first, and he’s talking about Parents Without Partners.  He said, but there’s a moral aspect here.  I said, what do you mean, what have you been doing? 
     He said, “The normal thing is to want a relationship, but I’ve been brought up a Catholic all my life.” I’m amazed that he’s disturbed about the moral aspect of it.
B  Thinking he’d have to wait until he was married before he got into bed with somebody, you mean?  
J  I guess that’s what it meant.  For the first time I’m saying to myself, “There goes me, without Barb."
I said, “Listen,” (speaking as a man of experience) “You only go this way once.  Do you actually believe you shouldn’t touch any girl between now and the time you marry again, if you marry again?"  I said, "Of course being a Catholic, you can’t marry again.”
B  Because he’s divorced? 
J  Yeah, he’s divorced.   I said you might as well join some monastery if this is going to be a hang-up of yours for the rest of your life. It would be a shame.  You’re here to enjoy life.
B  I didn’t hear you worrying much about morals after I met you.
J   I didn’t.  I never worried about morals.  Absolutely never.  I was never that kind of Catholic.
B  You must have been if you were a virgin when you married at twenty-eight.
J   DO YOU HAVE TO SAY THAT? 
B  Why not? 
J  Jesus, beautiful, beautiful. 
B  Are you ashamed of it?
J  What?  No, I don’t know whether I truthfully am.  I must be.  No, I’m not ashamed of it, I couldn’t help it.  I’M NOT ASHAMED OF IT! 
B  Jack, I’m having a hard time following you.
J   No, I’m not ashamed of it.  Well. . . I think I am, really.  If the truth be known, I think I am or I wouldn’t be all upset about it.  I couldn’t help it, though.  I could not help it.
B  You hadn’t met anybody aggressive enough to make you—
J   Aggressive enough?  Do you realize how aggressive they would have had to be?   
B  Rape?
J  They would have had to rape me, yeah.  I know, now that I looked back on it, there were girls that—but I just wouldn’t expose myself. 
B  You were very modest. 
J   But you’re perfect for a guy like me. You made it nice and um.  . . uncluttered. It was just a natural thing to be with you.  Still is, by the way.  
B  You were uncluttered after I heaved your Fruit of the Loom shorts across the room.
J  I hadn’t felt so naked since the day I was born.
B  The occasion didn’t call for a suit and tie. 
     It’s been a nice day for December, hasn’t it?  I had to waste it on a doctor’s appointment.
J   I didn’t know you were going to see a doctor today.
B  Maybe I didn’t mention it. 
J  You didn’t. 
B  So what? 
J  It seems that you’d mention it.  Did you have to take your clothes off?
B  Of course.  I get a thorough going-over twice a year. 
J   Do you really? 
B  Yes, we have a hell of a lot of fun. 
J  You don’t mind?
B  I used to.  No woman ever really likes it, but you lie there and you talk—
J  You lie there naked? 
B  You usually have a slip on. 
J  Who’s your doctor?
B  He’s a very nice elderly gentleman.  Elderly now.  I’ve been seeing him for 25 years.
J  How can you be a very nice elderly gentleman?  I couldn’t be a very nice elderly gentleman.  You walk in, and I say to myself, I know she’d going to be naked.
B  He sees one after another, like an assembly line.
J  I know it, but some of them are terrific and some of them aren’t.
B  Oh Jack!  Doctors—
(Cackles.) Applesauce! 
B  It’s like my obscene phone calls at Community Sex Information.  The people that call and think
they’re turning me on, they don’t know this is as routine and uninteresting to me as a doctor looking at one vagina after another.
J  Yeah, but you don’t lie there thinking you’re turning him on.
B  I know I don’t.     
J  It’s not the same thing then.  You get phone calls and the other end thinks they’re turning you on.
B  Every man imagines that because a guy is looking at one vagina after another—
J  Oh no, I’m not talking about looking at a vagina.  That's academic.
B  Then what are you talking about?
J  I’m talking about looking at a body
B  It’s like working in a candy shop, Jack.  After the first couple of weeks you lose interest in the candy.
J  Not me.  I’d never lose interest in the candy, especially if it looked anything like you naked.
~~~
B   Did you see what I did to my window box?   I put greenery in it and added some artificial holly. 
J  Where?  Oh yeah, you’d think they were flowers.  Hey, you could plant that little tree I like outside this window.  
B  I don’t know if it would get enough water.  It gets pretty dry there.  Sometimes I think I should drill
holes in the roof so the water would—
J  Darling, don’t do that!  
B  Don’t? 
J  Promise me you won’t do that.   
B  Well okay.  I don’t have a drill anyway, now that Ed’s basement wonderland is all cleaned up. There are other things I’m beginning to miss.  Like when I frame that picture, I’m gonna need little tacks.   There’s not a thing left down there. 
J  I know it.  I was telling you there were things you were gonna be needing.  I said you should look
around and take what you want.
B  I kept a few light bulbs.  But I figure, how much does it cost to buy a box of tacks?
J   Have you got a hammer?   Have you got tools like that?
B  He gave me a hammer and a screwdriver and some kind of wrench.  I don’t know what I’d ever use
that for.  I stuck them in that drawer under the counter. 
J  You’ve gotta buy a little box of brads to take care of the picture.
B  I’d much rather spend two or three dollars buying little things like that than having a thousand things
hanging around that never get touched.
J  Yeah, it’s not good having things around that never get touched.
~~~
B  I don’t think Ed would ever try to walk in here and catch me and accuse me of this so-called misconduct.  He said, “For one thing, I wouldn’t want to do that to the children.” 
J  What does that mean, Barb? 
B  The accusation of adultery would probably get headlines in the local papers.  “Raid in home of 
Westwood matron,“ etcetera, etcetera.  I’m gonna tell Irving I keep a loaded gun in my bedroom and lock the door whether I’m alone or not alone.  If I heard somebody trying to get into the room, I’d be apt to shoot right through the door.  Maybe Irving could pass the word along to Blake so it would get back to Ed. 
J  Well, how could—there must be a suit involved.  People can’t just bust into your home.
B  They do.  They try to take you by surprise.
J   But that’s breaking and entering, isn’t it?  What right do they have to do that?
B  I suppose because it’s his house.  He can get somebody with a camera, and he has a key.
J   And they would say we have permission to do this from the owner? 
B  I’m almost positive it wouldn’t happen, but I’m gonna ask Irving what my rights as a homeowner are,
living isolated out here in the woods.   Whether I’m supposed to say, “Who is it?” if somebody tries to get into my bedroom, or whether I can shoot first and ask who it is later.
 J  Does Ed have a key to the bedroom door?  No, you have a latch there, don’t you.
B  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  I think if I just fired a shot out the back window, it might be enough to
make an intruder get nervous. 
J   Open it when you do that.  
B  Yes, let’s not shoot the pane out.  Many times the proof of adultery is deliberately set up by the two
parties.  The husband says, “Okay, I’ll hire a prostitute.” 
J   Couldn’t you just agree without doing that?
B  You’re supposed to have pictures.  It really is rotten because it’s so natural and normal, when two people are separated, for them to have other people in their lives.  And the way it works is that whoever decides, “I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna accuse my husband or my wife of adultery. . . “
J  And the other side could have done the same.
B  Yes.  Ed mentioned that to me way back.  Whoever gets there first.  Jack, thank you for listening to all this so patiently.  You’re really wonderful.
J  Well, at least that’s one thing we agree about.  Do you think the birds are keeping warm this winter?  
Have you been putting sunflower seeds in the feeders?
B  I’ve just been putting them in the green dish, so they’ll be trained to come to me.  I had them feeding
out of my hand a couple of summers ago. 
J   Really? Which birds in particular do that?
B  Chickadees.  They’re easy to train if you take the time to teach them.  It feels so good when they fight for the seeds in your hand.  I used to be able to lie out on the lawn on a blanket and have a handful of sunflowers seeds and have the birds all around me.  They’d light on the blanket right next to me. 
J   I’d do the same thing even though I’m not a chickadee.   
B  I’m glad you’re not a chickadee.

~~~

J  (Takes bottle out of grocery bag.)  This is for washing the dishes.
B  Oh, thank you!  Detergent.  Just what I've always wanted.  How about Valentine's Day?
That was for Valentine’s Day. 
B  My romantic Jack.  Now what’s this?
J  This is something for my coffee.  You can tuck it away.  And this is orange juice for my drink.  I’m a
helluva kid, huh? 
B  Yes, you are. 
J  You don’t even think of it, Barb. 
B  I do, all the time.  I think about that handsome, flat stomach you have—
J  Ooff!  Yeah? You have a handsome left hook.   
(Kisses exchanged)
J  That was nice.  That will do me for a while. Gee, this Vodka looks pure.  Oh, it’s the glasses, I guess. They’re clean.
B  For a change?  Are you insulting my housekeeping?
J  No, I’m not!  Listen, I’m really not, lady.  I like it here.
B  This pork just fell off the bones.  Look, these are spare ribs, and there’s no fat.  What do you want to drink with your dinner?
J  Nothing.  (Pause.) I have an ear infection. 
B  How do you know?  Does it hurt?
J  It sure does. 
B  Do you think you should see a doctor? 
J  Yeah, I should, but when can you get to see a doctor?  I have some good eardrops, and I can’t find them. 
B  Do you get ear infections often? 
J  I do.  It itches, you know, and it feels good when you put something in. 
B  Cotton swabs? 
J  Well, no, I don’t have any cotton swabs.  I put in unbent paper clips.
B  Jack, that's dangerous, you nut. 
J  I know it, but it feels good.
B  It must be a sensual feeling.  Connie Barnard says she can’t stand to watch Jack because he’ll take a cotton swab and he’ll stand there with this look of ecstasy . . .
J  Yeah, that’s a fact.  I don’t know if it’s sensual, though.  I’d hate to think that's the reason I don’t go to a doctor. 
B  Are you ready for dinner?  It’s ready and I’m ready.  If you wander away and let it get cold, I’m gonna get edgy.
J   When did I ever do that? 
B  Regularly.  Don’t forget about Saturday night.  You’ll be meeting me at the airport when I get home from Washington. I could leave my car there, but it would be for four days.  I was thinking maybe it would be better to drive in and have Ed pick up—
J   Ed my foot.
B  —my car.  
A LOAF OF BREAD, A JUG OF WINE, AND THOU. . . .
J   I’ll pick up your car.  
B  Okay.  All right.  I’m thinking my new car might be coming in—
J  I’ll pick up your new car. 
B  Yes, Jack.
J   I -- uh. . .  what did I do today?  I notarized your valentine.
B  You did?  It has a seal and everything? 
J  Yeah, I gave you the full treatment.  Speaking of which, the way you yelled at me during that argument last night was pretty rough.  There were two things ringing in my ears.  There was probably only one ringing in yours. 
B  What was ringing in yours?
J  “Get the hell out!” was one of them.  
B  Oh, that’s nothing. 
J   It’s nothing?  You’ve never been told to get the hell out.
B  I probably will be when you move to Stoughton. 
J  Thanks, I’ll remember that.  But no, Barb, I wouldn’t say that.
B  You wouldn’t have a chance to.  I’d be long gone by the time it got to that point. 
J   I wasn’t angry until I heard you say get the hell out. 
B   I was angry because I couldn’t get through to you.  You insisted on misinterpreting what I was saying.  My God, the trouble you can get into when you’re as innocent as a newborn babe.
J  Who, me or you?
B  Me.  I had absolutely no idea in the world of hurting you, and then I got angry because I couldn’t
convince you.  I was complaining about the insomnia, not about you.  I could be dating the world’s greatest intellect, and I’d still have the insomnia, and I could still miss the Today Show and still make the same damn complaint.  
J  So, I’m not saying anything.  Shows you what a terrific guy I am.
B  The strength you’re showing?  You’re bursting with retorts.
J  I am.  Can’t you see me bursting with all these retorts?   I’m saying to myself, it sounds like she wants me to leave.
B  How should I put it the next time I'm requesting--
J    Don’t request me to leave!  
B  Oh.  Just don’t?
J   Just don’t.  I hope I have enough to keep you interested, honey. 
B  No problem because you’ve got so much more than everybody else I know. 
J  It’s the ones you don’t know that worry me. 
At the end of the Community Sex Information workshop we had about ten minutes left to express our appreciation.  Two or three people spoke up, and one said, I’m pretty shy, but I’ve got to tell you how much this has meant to me.  Then there was a long pause, so I said, I’ve got a little story to tell, and it’s kind of irreverent, but—and I told on you, Jack. 
J   You didn’t bring my name into it!
B  I brought the name that you called me into it.
J  Angel? 
B  No, sister. 
J  Oh sister? Well, what the heck, sister.  That’s no big deal.
B  I said I didn’t mind being called an asshole—
  Oh, you didn't say that!
B )—but sister cut to the quick.
J  In front of those people?   You said that?
 When I began I said we’d had an argument, I wouldn’t go into what it was about, but he was wrong, of course. 
J  No need of discussing it, it’s so obvious.   Gee, I’m amazed that you would do that. 
B  Do what? 
J  Tell those people you’re seeing somebody who would say things like that.
B  I told them how I unplugged my phone, and then after three days I plugged it in again to see if it was still working, and two hours and seventeen minutes later it did.   I told how you came over and explained—
J  But you didn’t say this was you, did you?
B  I said it was me.  
J   Did you?  Well, as long as you didn’t say it was me.
B  I told them you said you hadn’t really meant to say that, you meant to tell me I was a pain in the ass. 
J   No, horse’s ass.
B  I liked it better as pain in the ass.  So then naturally I melted into your arms.  They laughed at that.  I
told them how far you’d come since the last time I reported.  I’d finally gotten you to say the f-word, and now the student was outstripping the tutor. 
J  I’m never going to show up at one of those sessions again.   I’ve gotta remember this.
B  One of the women missed out on the beginning of my story.  She knows a little about my background with you and Ed.   She said, who said that to you, your husband?  I said no, that was Jack.  She said, you mean the one you love? 
J  Did she say that?  Did you tell her, “Yeah, and the one that loves me.”
B  I said I thought he was a perfect lover.  The only thing I didn’t like was his calling me sister.
J  Well, that was in the response.
B  In response to get the hell out? 
J  Yeah.  
B  Of course I didn’t tell the group I said that. 
J  You didn’t tell them you said get the hell out?  Hahaha.  If you’d told them that, they’d say, what the hell does she expect?
B  I did tell a girl in the Ladies Room.
J  She probably said, I don’t blame you, honey.  The beast!  You didn’t say I struck you, did you? 
B  Of course not. 
J  I told you the only time I ever . . .
 You struck someone?
J  I didn’t strike her.  I just helped her on her way.  She put a high heel into my foot. 
B  On purpose? 
J  Yeah, getting out of the car.  Boy, I can feel it now.
B  Daisy Rogers did that to me once.  We were having a party at my house, and she was dancing nearby, and I was dancing with Bill, and all of a sudden, just as hard as could be on my instep—
J  Really?
B —I knew she went for me on purpose.  She almost killed me.  What would you be more apt to eat with your gunk, a vegetable or a salad?
J  What gunk is that, honey?
B  It’s rice and oysters and beef—
J   Oh.
B —and mushrooms and  . . .
J  Why don’t I have just that?
B  No, you have to have something green with it. 
J  (Looking out at the pond.)  I see you have two ducks.   A male and a female, too.  I suppose they slip into the bulrushes and—
B   I saw them courting the other day.  And it wasn’t in the bulrushes.  It was so cute, they were going around in circles and he’d bob up and down, and then she’d bob up and down as if they were square dancing.  He was beginning to close in on her, and I thought, if I watch long enough, I’m gonna see something naughty. 
J  Was this in the water or out of it?
B  In the water, right in the middle of the pond, right in front of God and everything.
J  Hahahahaha.  Why did you say that, Barb, right in front of God?   
B  Because it was His idea.  They weren’t ashamed of what they were doing. 
J  The ducks were uh. . .doing?
B  Ducking.
J  Yes, ducking.  You only need one word that way.
B  Don’t you love the sound of the peepers?  They’re probably doing the same thing the ducks did. 
J  What do you call what they do? 
B  Um . . . peepers puckering? 
J  Look at those two ducking out there.   See, I don’t mind saying that.  That’s a better word. 
B  Definitely.  That’s what the Anglo-Saxons should have called it.
J  Yeah, look at the ducks ducking.  Then everybody would think they were just going up and down in the water.
B  After this, Jack Beers, when I say, duck you, you’ll know just what I mean.
J  Oh, I knew what you meant before.
B  I’m gonna have a salad with my favorite dressing. 
J  Go ahead. 
B  I don’t care what you do.
 What’s that in your hand? 
B  Roquefort. 
Cheese?  You’re not gonna eat that, are you? 
B  I’m gonna crumble it up and put it on my salad.
 Oh, boy, find a guy to go to bed with after you eat that stuff.  Don’t give me any.
B  Is it that bad?  Then you’ll have to have a bite. 
 NO.  NO.  No.  
B   Then I won’t go to bed with you.
J   You’re darn right you won’t.
B   I’ll remember that, Jack.  I’ll take a piece to bed with me and wear it around my neck to ward off evil spirits. 
J  Hahahahaha.  Why are you washing your hands? 
B  Why not? 
J   It’s going to be permeating from you, so you might as well have it on your hands.  You wouldn’t
have eaten that back when we first met.
B  I have never been aware that it’s offensive.  I guess every time I’ve had it, it wasn’t with you. 
J  Who were you with? 
B   Ed, for instance.   
J   You could ask me to open that bottle of yucky dressing, but I’d have to wear a gas mask.   
B   I happen to be famous for my salads. 
J   Yeah, I know.
B  I not only sprinkle on this cheese, I add anchovies, olives, spinach, mushrooms, capers . . .
J   Spare me.
~~~
B  I read an article in the Globe that said there were two reasons for suicide, and when I found out about Ed’s affair, I had both of them.  I was demented enough to want to kill either him or myself.
J  I don’t think you wanted to kill him, Barb.
  I certainly did.  It took me a long time to get over his pretending to be something he wasn’t.
J  You know, I don’t blame a guy, after he’s done something he shouldn’t, for lying about it if he wants to hold onto something he has.  You made a big thing out of his lying about what he’d done.  The doing is the bad thing.  Lying to hold onto something you don’t want to lose is not the bad part of it.
B  Jack, you’re telling me how a betrayed person should feel.  I’m telling you how I did feel. 
J  I’m basing my argument on logic.
B  I’m basing mine on experience. It’s too bad Ed didn’t lie more successfully because he wasn’t good at it. 
J  Do you think in a way he wanted you to know, for his ego’s sake?
B  No, I think he felt guilty.  He knew I had this image in my mind that he’d sold me, that we were faithful to each other.  And screwing somebody else is a goddamn intimate thing to do.  He was doing all these things and then coming home to me with his body that had been—
J  Ravaged.  I like the word ravaged.
B —in somebody else’s arms.
J  In other words, you were living up to what you thought was a commitment.  And he didn’t live up to it.
B  He had to keep lying to keep me in the dark.  He has said to me, it’s easy for you to talk about the
lying.  You never had to lie.
J  Did he actually say that?   That was a weak argument.
B  The idea was that no matter what I did, I could be sure of him.  He felt he had to lie because he’d lose me if I knew.
J  That’s an understandable motive, Barb.
B  Don’t ask me to understand because I don’t.  I mean, I understand that this is what marriage is apt 
to be like, and that’s why I don’t ever want to be married again.  I also understand if you do something you think somebody might not approve of, you either lie about it or you don’t tell.  Like you certainly didn’t hurry to tell me you’d seen that X-rated movie.  And if I see “Deep Throat” with my sister, I don’t think I’ll tell you about it.
 No.  No.  Don’t tell me about it.  Because it’s not that important to me, you can either tell me or not tell me.  It wouldn’t matter a particle to me.  If you want to see “Deep Throat,” go ahead.  You’re an adult. 
B  I’m glad you feel that way. 
J   I do.  I think.  Don’t push me.
B  Let’s look at my calendar.  It says, Movies Janeth, question mark. We'll have to go all the way to Fitchburg to see the movie because it isn’t in Boston any more.  Janeth said once it was taken away and somebody was trying to tell us we couldn’t see it, that made her want to see it.
J  Who was telling her she couldn’t see it?
B  The people who closed it down in Boston.  It’s going to be in Fitchburg for another week, and I said, “Sure, I’ll go with you.”
J  I forbid it.
B  You forbid it?  After all this talk?   
J  Yeah, after all this talk.  Just because I say something doesn’t mean it’s forever.   It could be about thirty seconds.  
B  Jack, I can never keep up with you in the sense of humor department.  And in the charm depart-ment. But I have a feeling we’re going to have a parting of the ways when it comes to the airplane.
J  When it comes to the airplane?  Jesus Christ!  I could have thought of a million things that might go
wrong but not an airplane.
B  I have a feeling you won’t want to go up with me in the new plane. 
J   Oh. 
B  When I learn to fly it.
J   Oh. 
B  Which I’m gonna do. 
J   What new plane? 
B  The family airplane. 
 How are you going to learn to fly it?
B  Well, I’m going to go up in it a couple of times. 
 With whom, you bastard, with whom?
B  Um. . . my instructor.
J  Who is he?  
B  Probably Ed.
J   Oh shit.  Really?  You know, I felt that.  I felt that right along.  You’ve been planning on doing
something. If you’d only own up to it . . . 
B  I am owning up to it.   I wanted to see what your reaction would be.
J   My reaction is probably more than you think it should be.  But it is my reaction.  I think it would be
wrong for you to do this.  Very wrong.  You’re kidding yourself if you think it isn’t.
B  I was afraid it would upset you, but I don’t agree that it would be wrong.  So, should I do this behind
your back and lie about it?
J  No, no, no!  Don’t lie about it.  Do what you want to do.  If you think going flying with your ex-husband is the proper thing to do after you got a divorce, do it.   Just don’t think for a minute that it’s right. 
B  I could probably be much more successful at lying to you than Ed ever was with me.  But I don’t want to do that.  I like being able to look at you, and no matter what I do, have you know me for what
I am. 
J  You should be able to do what you want, honey, whether I think it’s wrong or not.  That’s a fact.  I
don’t want to take flying away from you.  It must be quite a thing.
B  I’d like to talk you into going flying with me, once I learn how to handle this latest plane.  This would be like a kiddy-car compared—
J  No.
B —.to the big twin-engine Skyknight I used to fly. 
J  No. 
B  We could go up and just go around the pattern and come right down.  And you’d love it.
J  Are you saying you want to fly with your husband so you can take me up? 
B  Yes.  
J  You didn’t hesitate at all, did you?   It just seems weird to accept your going flying with your ex-husband so you can go flying with me.
B  Well, that’s not the chief reason.   I’d really like to learn to fly that airplane and get to know it. Then
anybody can fly with me, whether it’s Elsa Palmiter or Sally Brewer or whoever it might be.  My mother
went up with me, bless her heart.  It’s a fun thing to be able to do.
J  I’m sure it is.
B  And it’s something I sort of forget I can do. 
J  I know it.  I know it.
B  I’m sitting there talking to people, they all have their college degrees, and they’re talking about their alma maters and reunions, and all of a sudden I’ll think to myself, gee, maybe I’d feel like less of a dolt if I said I know how to fly an airplane. 
J  Yeah, that would get their attention all right.
B  I usually don’t think of that until after I’ve gone home.  It was a good thing to have learned.
J  Of course it was.  In fact, I talk about you and your knowing how to do that. 
 Do you? Really? 
J  Of course.  Oh, I can understand it, honey. I don’t know why I’m making such a big thing of it.  But I don’t want you to do it because you want to take me up.   Really, I don’t.
B  I won’t press you.  But we could fly over to the Vineyand be there inside of an hour.  No ferry, no
hassles.
J  There’s no reason, when I think of it. . .  if I’m sold that you aren’t doing this because you want to be
with your husband.  I’m being selfish. I’m being thinking-of-me. I could be wrong.  As you’ve been trying to tell me.
B  It isn’t all that imminent. These are things that have been going around in the back of my mind for some time.  I miss the flying, and Ed has invited me to go flying, and my lawyer has said no, no, no.  And Ed says, “Let’s get this divorce the hell out of the way, so you can start saying yes to some of these things.” 
J  Mmm. 
B  And he’s very nice about saying he’s not going to put pressure on me sexually. 
J  So what does that mean?  If he put pressure on you, it would happen? 
B  He feels the pressure to want to.  You said it didn’t bother you back when I was still seeing him that way.  Maybe it would have been better if I had just kept it up.
J  Yeah, that would have been a lot better. 
B  Would it? 
J  Oh sure, it would have been great. 
B  Truth?
J  Jeez, I remember your telling me about being with your husband.  I was so spellbound at the time,
nothing you said would have made a bit of difference.      
B   A man used a clue today on Password that shocked me. 
J  If it shocked you, Barb, I don’t think I want to hear it.
B  The clue he used was labia. 
J   I’m going to hear it anyway. 
B  I don’t know whether there’s another meaning for labia than the one I know.  I’ve been meaning to look it up. 
J  Jeez, you know a lot of words I never heard of.  How do you spell it?
B   I think it’s Latin, plural. L A B I A. 
J   Oh, I’m sure it is.  If that isn’t Latin, I don’t know what is.
B  You’re more apt to hear it in a doctor’s office than on TV.   It means lips, in the pelvic area.  That was the clue the contestant gave for the word lips.  They didn’t bleep it out.  Alan Ludden even repeated it after the contestant.
J  Is that the only place these lips are? 
B  Well, that’s what I want to look up. To see if maybe it means lips in some other way than genitally
speaking.  It was almost like coming out with. . . for instance, say that the word was rooster—
J  This is going to be a pip.
B  — and the clue was the word penis. 
J  I certainly wouldn’t think they’d use penis as a clue for rooster.
B  Well, rather than saying cock . . .
 OHHH!  OHHH!  I’m glad you raised your eyebrows, honey. 
B  Penis would be a bit of a surprise, and to me, labia was a surprise in a family-type morning game.  Not that penis isn’t a perfectly good word.  I’ve heard it before on talk shows.
J  Well. . .   
B  Do you have to leave?  You have to get up early? 
J   No.  I have to spread myself around. 
B   In what way? 
J   I’m due at the club. 
B  Tonight? 
J   Just crazy talk.  I like to picture myself being due at the club. 
I thought I had a woman for Ed. 
J   You’re not going to find a woman for Ed because he’s had you. 
B  That’s what he keeps saying.  All of a sudden, no one will do but me.
J   I hit it right on the nose, didn’t I?  It’s obvious.  I mean another guy can understand Ed.   But Jesus, if
it’s gonna be me or Ed, I’d rather it be me.
B  I would too.  When I was discussing being a friend to him, I didn’t know he was talking about going
back to the twice-a-week business.  I said, “I just can’t do that.  I don’t even have time to do that.  When I had a fight with Jack and didn’t hear from him all week, it was almost a relief to have a chance to catch up on everything I'd been neglecting." 
J  You said that, huh?  Beautiful.
B  I said, “How can I work you into my life when I hardly have time for Jack?”  Anyway, I was talking to Miss June, my hairdresser, about how lonesome Ed was, and she mentioned this client she had, and if it’s the one I think it is, I remember seeing her looking pretty, but sad, four or five years ago.  Her husband had dumped her for another woman, and she has three or four children. 
J  Who was telling you this? 
B  My hairdresser.  
J  Oh yeah, hairdressers know everything, right?
B  June said her client doesn’t like to go to cocktail lounges. She’d like to meet somebody she could go to the theater with now and then, somebody decent, but she was finding it impossible.  So we got our wits together and thought we’d play Cupid.  June gave me her name, but she said, “There’s just one trouble, she has sort of a whiny voice.”  And that’s exactly what she has. 
J  How do you know?
B  Because I called her.  I gave her my spiel and I said, “My ex-husband’s gotten discouraged about blind dates and I’m sure you have, too.  What harm would it do to meet and have cocktails, and if it didn’t work out, that could be it.  The worst that could happen would be that you’d have wasted a couple of hours.”  She said, “Waal, I don’t knowww.” 
J  Oh Jesus. 
B  “I find divorced men, they seem to have their prawblams.” 
J  Is that the way she sounded? That would be enough.
B  I told Ed about her, and he was very reluctant about the whole idea.  He said no more blind dates. I said, “But I’ve seen this one.”
J  If she promised to keep her mouth shut, he probably could stand her for one evening.
B  Even when she was talking about her activities, she said, I’ll cawll you Friday, but I’ve got to do this tomorrrooww—a real, flat, lifeless sort of voice.
(Softly,) Barb, you’re terrific.  Do you know it, Barb?  HEY!  I’m talking to you, and you’re supposed to respond when I say these lovely things to you. 
B  Thank you.  
J  You’re welcome.  Jeez, I’m a lucky guy. 
B  You should have heard me telling Ed how lucky I was, that this was the most special love I had ever known, and he said “Thanks a lot.”  I said, “Well, I’m getting a pure, unadulterated love—
J  That’s a fitting word, Barb.
B —and I’m feeling cared about, and I feel the same way. 
J  You still do?    
B  Yes, I missed you last week.  But I must admit it was a relief to get some letters written and some other items crossed off my list. 
J  I know what you mean.  We should do away with each other more often.  If staying away for a week or two weeks means that you’ll love me no less, I wouldn’t mind at all. 
B  I’d have gotten over it if you'd stayed as angry as you sounded when you first called.  If that was gonna be the way you felt, if you really believed I was the sort of person who enjoyed putting people down, I had a snappy comeback I thought of later:  “Well, you’re the kind of person who enjoys telling people they enjoy putting people down.”  ‘Cause that’s a word you often use. 
J  No I don’t.
B  When you’re telling somebody off for doing something you think is wrong, you always add “And you
enjoy it.” 
J   Oh.  Do I?
B  As if the person is sadistic. I don’t think I’m the first person you’ve accused that way.   Am I?  Am I the first one who has ever done these terrible things and enjoyed what I was doing?
J  You’re the first one that ever has done these terrible things.
B  You must have dated girls who had fights with you.
J  No.  I never fought with a girl in my life. 
B  Really?  There was someone whose foot you stepped on and she stepped on yours, and you got slapped.  Don’t tell me these fibs.
J  That was no fight.  Once she explained how sorry she was, I accepted that.  No. No one in my life has been as fascinating as you are. 
B  Oh, really? 
J  Note that I call you fascinating, not ballistic. 
B  I noted it.
J  The first few days after our fight, I’d say to myself, “So what.”  In fact, when a customer came in and it turned out her name was Barbara, she’d sit there innocent as can be, while I’d think, “You want a  loan? Try and get it.  You’d like to open an account?  Hah!"  Then all of a sudden, almost overnight, it seems, it becomes vitally important that I see you.  I can’t stand another minute away from you.  And I say, “What happened between yesterday and today, Jack, to cause this big change?”  You take an awful lot out of a fella.
B   How about the times when you’re not mad at me and a customer named Barbara comes in?  What do you say to yourself then?
J  Awww. . . her name is Barbara!  What a co-in-ci-dence!   Whatever she wants, she’s got it.
B  After you stomped out of here, Jack, I had a terrible night.  Worst insomnia I ever had.
J  I hope it wasn’t because of me.
B  Well, no, actually it was something else—a problem with the divorce.
J  Oh.  I was hoping it was because of me. . . .

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