Saturday, June 30, 2012
Turning the Page
A young Paige Burner stood looking at the bathroom vanity mirror, behind a locked door. In her hand she held a bewildering rainbow array of pharmaceuticals. Gifts from her aspiring rapist of a street pharmacist, on again/off again, erstwhile pseudo-boyfriend Jimmy James.
In front of her on an immaculate porcelain and marble countertop lay a pearl-handled straight razor marked "Tuesday". Yet it was Sunday. She filled her "World's Sexiest Secretary" coffee mug with tap water, smelled it, and grimaced. Ordinarily, she couldn't stomach chlorine.
The tub was filling with piping hot water. She knew enough. She'd once seen a porn, "The Devil in Ms. Jones", that artfully depicted such a suicide. Take the pills, get numb, then get into the bath. She learned from Usenet that you should cut your arms lengthwise, not across the wrists, for maximum effectiveness. Thanks, Spooge.
Paige lifted the first two pills, Rohypnols - small, blue-flecked tranquilizers, to her lips and swallowed them down. The water didn't seem so bad, now. So far, so good, she thought. Suicide really is easy, just like the M.A.S.H. theme song said.
There was, just then, a knock at the door that interrupted this most private moment of solemn reverie.
"Pee?" a voice asked.
It was the indomitable Mr. James. She didn't expect him today, and certainly not this early. He did, however, have a key, and free and open access to her. It was part of their arrangement.
She really didn't like the abbreviated nickname. and had told him never to use it in public.
"P.T. Boat", "P.T. Cruiser", "P.T. Barnum", "Petey Wheatstraw" and others, thankfully, were used even less frequently. Usually when he was high (always) and in a light-hearted mood, which varied with the wind and stars, it seemed.
She was sure the door was locked! She jerked at the sound of her name, clumsily dumping several pills into the sink and onto the cabinet and floor. Worse yet, she knocked the razor off, where it bounced and clattered on the tile, shattering the handle.
Before she could react, the door opened.
"You okay?" he asked.
He scanned the room. Clearly she was not. The tub was now near overflowing and the mirror had begun to mist over with steam. Paige, officially a failure at suicide, moved to turn the faucet off.
Jimbo took the opportunity to enter. He fully looked the part of caveman lawyer, as usual, but held a bouquet of carnations, roses, baby's breath and fern. The effects of the flowers was mesmerizing.
Such beauty, she thought.
"If I had known you'd react this badly to a marriage proposal, I'd have slept in," he said with a grin.
In his other hand, he held a small box.
"Here," he said with graceless intonation, "Ms. Paige S. Burner, would you please consider legal bondage to me?"
Ever the wordsmith, his turn of phrase was not without charm.
She accepted the token, and her eyes met his in what felt like the first time in a long while. She let the box lay on her flat, open palm, as if weighing it. She really didn't know what to say.
"Yes," she finally gurgled.
"Great! Let's go to Huddle House to celebrate. The sky's the limit."
He was pretty mirthful, considering the morbidity of the situation. He led her by the hand out of the bathroom, closed the door behind them, and kissed her. Hard and rough, at first. He was an animal, after all, but then tenderly and gently. She required both, herself.
"Don't ever do that again," he said, with just the tiniest bit of menace in his voice. "It would void our marriage contract."
He couldn't help but let a broad smile cross his visage.
"I won't", she said breathlessly.
"Now open it," he directed her. "I gotta pee, Pee."
He made far too many pee jokes. Paige opened the jewelry box. Inside was an ornate diamond and platinum setting, very classy and elegant looking. Quite unlike our Mr. James, she decided.
"Oh, it's real," he said as he opened the door. He had turned the light off, but she knew all the same he had cleaned up her mess. When she checked later, the pills and razor were both gone.
"I got an advance on a screenplay!" he enthused. "And I couldn't think of anything else I wanted aside from you. You know I'm not a car guy."
"H-How much?" she stammered.
"Enough. But never mind that, love. As my wife, I expect silent obedience."
He winked at her, and his eyes twinkled. The pills were kicking in. She was buzzed, but no longer lethargic.
"Let's go get that coffee," he suggested.
"I'm a little fucked-up."
"Twas ever thus," he said. "Nothing that a hard fucking later won't fix."
He grinned again.
"You think that's the final solution to everything, you sex Nazi."
She was starting to get her bearings back.
"Oh, it pretty much is. That and laughter," he said, rather seriously.
With an uncharacteristic suddenness, he snatched the box from her loose grip and dropped to one knee.
"Paige, I reiterate. Will you please do me the honor of being my wife #1?"
Her eyebrows raised, intrigued by this new wrinkle. Polyamory was a subject they had discussed often.
"I already said yes once, you dick. Don't make me repeat myself."
And with that, they walked arm-in-arm to face the rising sun. Together.