Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: May 13  

A week ago, I decided to go out to the Taj Mahal campus and swim some laps in the pool. It was easy for me to get in, since Mercedes was the principal lifeguard.

I noticed an attractive girl swimming beside me. We started talking: “What’s your name?”

“Jane. What’s yours?”

“Bill. Ha! Two commonplace names.”

“I don’t want to go to school. You couldn’t pay me to go back to school.”

“Oh? I’m not in school either.”

She’d been looking for her brother’s lover. When she found her, I realized we’d met before. Seemed she said they were sisters.

We returned to their apartment, where J.S. Bach’s organ music was on the turntable. She looked fantastic in a blue sweatshirt and wild refracting glasses. Her 54-year-old friend Freddy was there, too.

She’s quite a story. On welfare now, she’d gotten pregnant in the senior year of high school. Had an abortion. At 22, she looked 16. Bright red hair. Irish, as they always say. Had two years of commercial college for secretarial work. Had a job interview that day. “I had my hair up. Didn’t get it.”

She’s not nuts about onions. Neither am I. She and her circle were all lapsed Celts. We could make an effort to recruit them. Groundhog would be pleased.

In her past, her rich boyfriend was dumb. At the moment, she has two friends, and she tells me I’m No. 1. She smokes too much. Her brother’s OK; he helped edit a weekly newspaper.

She has a button nose, clear light blue eyes. And a rash. “I’ll be free when I’m over it.”

Her father’s a newspaper editor.

“Please come anytime.”

“Why are you so friendly?”

She’s afraid of commitment, yet invites me to move to Lake Champlain with them. Her brother: “Jane needs somebody.” So what about her drinking buddy, Gloom?

Petite, polite, smiling.

She wants to do more mesc. And go skydiving.

She’s had two loves in her life. The second a big drug thing, stoned most of the time.

She digs my voice, “a storyteller’s voice.”

In second grade, she’d cough every time she’d come to a word she couldn’t read aloud. The teacher caught on.

I don’t know where this is going, but it’s a nice change for a change. I think it’s time she has a third big love – the charm, right?


For the full story, click here: BIG INCA


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