Posted by: jockmackenzie | May 5, 2009

“Dealing with Dymans” Chapter 10, Pt.1

10. Babs and the Bad Guys

Click the “start arrow” below to hear the audio of this chapter:

Babs couldn’t be happier – happier that Douglas was at work, at work and not at home. It served him right, firing that new sales girl, and right in the middle of the Christmas rush. Did he think the good fairy was going to appear and grant him a new whipping girl to leap at his every demand, to serve his precious customers while he did whatever the hell he did down there till all hours?

With him gone at least she could make her martinis in peace. She had always loved the ritual. She was loving it more and more these days. Four parts gin to one part vermouth, or maybe it was six parts. She loved getting the chilled martini glass from the cute little fridge behind the bar, choosing the plumpest olive in the jar, dropping just a few drops of brine into her glass. A “dirty” martini had such a naughty ring to it. One of Douglas’s high brow friends had said, “E.R. White calls the martini ‘the elixir of quietude.’” Or maybe it was E something else. Whoever the hell said it, it sure was an elixir. Maybe it was the elixir of dullitude. It dulled the pain, the memories, the emptiness.

Babs slumped in her chair, her leather chair, her unbuffed, full grain leather chair. Douglas wouldn’t know top quality leather from naugahyde; if it cost a lot and looked good, that was enough for him. And maybe that was the problem – his problem and her problem. Douglas didn’t love her; she cost a lot and was good looking. Well, had been good looking. And lately, the gravy train seemed to have gotten derailed. The money just wasn’t there like it used to be. Where was it? She missed it.

And where had that bloody martini gone? Had she spilled it? She didn’t feel wet. Oopsy, must’ve drunk it. And what did that taste like? It tasted like another one.

An hour or so later, Babs awoke because some little men were hammering an escape hole in her head. They were up there, inside, somewhere near the top, at the back, and they were hammering away trying to get out.

What had she done to deserve this? Twenty years, no twenty something years it was. She’d married Douglas Dymans, “had to” as the saying goes. And then, too late, didn’t “have to.” What was the sick joke kids used to say? Yeah, I got a job puttin’ wheels on miscarriages. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at all. It was tragic. It was especially tragic when you couldn’t put the wheels on, when the car wouldn’t go any more, when you kept it but it just wasn’t any good any more.

Babs pulled herself up in her chair. She hand combed the hair out her face, took a deep breath. She didn’t have the energy to stand; she sagged and she brooded.

• • •

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