COLUMN FIFTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
the very last second, Pia changed her kir order to a straight up vodka martini
with three olives. She gave George
a quick, guilty smile, the one that used to melt his heart but now, and for the
last five or six years, just gave him a sinking feeling in his stomach.
olives, kid?" George had been nursing his Beck's for forty minutes before
Pia arrived. "Things must be
eyes flashed with just a hint of contempt.
Another fleeting smile.
tried to relax his lips into a casual smile.
George, " she said. "You
look so damn weird. You've got this sharp, grimacy look, like George Wallace or
somebody. Newt, maybe. All beaky and shiny, planes and angles."
face fell. On the one hand, she was
a little nuts. On the
was strange how all those feelings and memories could come back
how he could forget--for one yearning second across from her cool blueness--how
not too long ago he would have happily killed her had she imitated his voice or
copied his walk or even given him one last haughty, snotty look.
told Marcia I'd be back by nine, " he said. " To spend a little time
do have another child, George." Pia pushed her chair back lightly.
He saw reason for her to fall apart just because Derek didn't want to take karate next year
he's too old for a bedtime story, it doesn't mean he doesn't need you."
it easy, Pia. That's why we're here. That's why I'm here, to deal
with him? You make him sound
like--I mean, he's not a problem.
know. I know." George felt
suddenly helpless. If only she were in
sorry." He leaned in close to her and spoke softly. She didn't pull back.
"I didn't know you were so upset about this whole karate
slid her hands over her face. Her shoulders moved up and down and
seemed to have been doing a little of both, because she was
God, I'm sorry," she said. "You're right. It's not the karate thing,
it's--" She, shook her head, laughing again, seeming dangerously close to
hysteria. She was half-choking when
she spoke. "It's summer," she said. "I mean, summer ending.
It makes me so sad."
makes sense," he said. And it
really did, it was the only thing
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