Tuesday, July 27, 2010
#132 – GOOD-TASTE CAT
We start the day in the kitchen area and it feels so natural it is as if we have not just come out of separate little theme bedrooms. We cook scrambled eggs and bacon and begin our day’s coffee consumption.
Outside we walk on the supposed old Indian trail that connects the Wasp places, then we go down to the rocky beach below the house, where Jason keeps his Boston Whaler. And I douse my face in the cold water. We are so alive. For some reason, I am not sure what reason, maybe it is anthropological interest in all things WASP, we drive down to Middlebury. Me and this summer girl in this time just past summer.
In the car Gillian is once again doing almost all the talking, and I find I am betraying myself, listening to an acquired – which by now to me means fake – British accent. Prim pronunciations, though the things she is saying are far from genteel.
She is naming famous New Yorker writers and cartoonists her mother would fuck when her mother was not masturbating. Then she switches to talking about herself and her just passed Buddhist time, telling me how in India she moved from the orchard cabin in Darmasala to an apartment in New Delhi where she was now with a hustling young America named Mark who oversaw sweat shops on behalf of his family in New York and who had a fixation on his mother who would phone long distance to tell him how awful he was. Maybe, Gillian says, this explains why Mark so cruel. She had been ready to do anything for him.
She describes how she would pinch the pimples on his back. And how he brought in other women. And how what she did was prepare things perfectly for him and other women, right down to putting jasmine petals in his bed before she went off to hide in a back room.
I was not talking, but of coarse I was thinking. I was thinking what a perversion this was on my own memories of how in my house on the Chao Phrya across form Bangkok Sunisar would spread jasmine petals on my bed. And then, as if she were a massage parlor girl rather than a night club singer, a find distinction, she would shake baby powder on me. Though it was never quite the dream time it was supposed to be.
We walk in Middlebury, which, though billing itself as a college town, seems to consist mainly of prissy upscale tourist stores – places that have extra consonants and e’s on the ends of words, as in tea shop spelled s-h-o-p-p-e. And I again have that feeling I first had early in the year when looking for memories on East 66th Street, the feeling that I am being smothered by powdered old ladies wearing fox furs.
We see a sign on a house that calls the place historic and gives times of tours. A pursed lipped ageless lady takes just the two of us through the house. Hooked rugs. Ceilings so low that I have to stoop. Spindly furniture that would break if I sat on it. A museum piece spinning wheel. Wallpaper that seems to bring the walls of the rooms close to each other. Bunches of dried flowers that may or may not have been dried in the 19th century as our tour guide says. She keeps repeating that everything in those days was in such good taste.
And then we have a cause to smile in this dead place, for a cat is lying beside a fireplace that has old iron cooking implements inside it. But the cat turns out to have undergone taxidermy. That’s what these good taste people did. Disemboweled their pets, and filled them with stuffing.
Out on the street we are laughing. We are in unseasonable summer sun again.