Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Happy Endings

Woke up yesterday feeling just plain ill.

I’ve been a baaaaad girl. I have not been using the elliptical bike. And it’s been too cold to go outside.

This means that my body isn’t tired enough to make it through the night without waking up around one in the morning. Whereupon I watch bad movies, think black thoughts, and drink myself back to sleep. It’s like there’s a ledge you have to slip off to be unconscious, and getting buzzed rolls you closer to that edge.

I don’t drink huge quantities.

Night before last I drank one airplane mini of rum in a glass of ginger ale.

I’ve certainly drunk a lot more than that when I’m fully awake without ill effects.

But when I drink in the middle of the night, I almost always wake up feeling, I guess, hung over.

So it was yesterday.


Since I wasn’t good for anything that required any sort of effort, I surrendered myself entirely to multiple episodes of Babylon Berlin back-to-back. Talk about your total immersion! Such an interesting pocket of time, the Weimar Republic. Fourteen years when all the permissions were set to, Yes-s-s-s-s-ssss, and that “yes” was the sound of snakes rising to strike.

Around 5pm, I heard by name being called.

Frank the handyman.

Faithful readers may recall that I flirted a bit with Frank the handyman last year. He’s been here for the last 10 days remodeling L’s bathroom, and he was one of the consultants I called upon with my wooden box dilemma.

I trotted out from the Patriziatorium toward the sound of his voice.

“Would you like to have dinner this evening?” he asked.

Linda was smiling. The TV was on. Some kind of Oscar precast bullshit. I attended the Oscars two years in a row as a People Magazine reporter. 1997 and 1998. A lowly ranked courtier in the Great Mirrored Hall of Gossip, true, but still – I was all in. So my 180° spin here represents a true phase change. These days, I hate Hollywood: It’s an assembly line industry subordinate to the dictates of capital but without the balls to give out awards to any movie that actually makes money.

“Is Linda coming too?” I asked.

“Of course!” Frank said.

“Well, sure,” I said.

“Of course, you know, he only invited me so he could snag you,” Linda remarked on the drive over.

“You think?” I said.

Linda snorted and laughed.


Frank lives in Pleasant Valley, deep in the countryside. What was once a Quaker settlement. (Once upon a time, Dutchess County had the largest American Quaker community outside Philadelphia.) Seemingly every other house is an 18th century stone saltbox that used to be a stop on the local line of the Underground Railroad.

Frank doesn’t live in one of those houses. His house is one of those 50-year-old split ranch-houses that looks small on the outside but is vast on the inside.

He’s into gardening – I liked that. Beautiful magnolia trees, buds at that pussy willow stage. Tulips just coming up in their beds. (Poor tulips! Back-to-back killer storms are forecast for later this week.) In the summer he maintains a 50-foot vegetable garden.

The upstairs rooms in his house had that unused feel of a place whose sole inhabitant mostly hung out downstairs in the man-cave with the 64-inch HD television and the wood stove.

We ate in the upstairs dining room.

He’d done a roast in a crock pot with veggies and potatoes.

Conversation got lively after the first glass of wine.

He was telling us about a woman to whom he used to rent out his downstairs.

A perfectly lovely woman except his daughters didn’t like her.

(He’d been a single father; his wife fled the scene under mysterious circumstances, Linda told me on the drive over: “He told her, ‘You don’t like it here? Fine. Leave.’ And he bought out her share of the house.”)

“But Katherine“ – the younger daughter – “said, ‘Either she goes or I go, so –“ Frank shrugged and laughed. “She went.”

Ah! So more than a woman to whom he used to rent out his downstairs.

Both daughters’ bedrooms have been preserved intact, shrines to their girlhoods and adolescences, even though the daughters are long grown, have families of their own, and are living 100 miles away in Long Island.

“But don’t you get lonely living here all by yourself?” asked Linda whose penchant for asking potentially incendiary questions rivals my own.

“What’s to get lonely?” Frank asked. “I work all day. If I get lonely, I drive to the city and find a massage place with a happy ending.”

This was the second glass of wine talking.

He immediately blushed beet red.

But I thought it was pretty hilarious. I don’t mind sex as a commodity reduced to transactional elements so long as it’s clear, the terms of the contract are up front, and everybody gets what they negotiated for.

And it did loosen the conversation up considerably since thereafter “happy ending” became the buzz word of the night, repeated endlessly in many contexts and always to much hilarity.

We were all very jolly when we said good night.


I wouldn’t say I’m not interested in Frank.

What I would say is I’m not interested in anyone.

He doesn’t read except for back issues of Money Magazine (which he subscribes to.) That would be a major issue for me. Whatever would we talk about after the happy ending?

On the other hand, he comes from Malta. Wants to go back to Europe and spend six months living and traveling there. I think he’d be an awful lot of fun as a traveling companion.

Anyway, any time I want to pull the line in, there’s a fish on it.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org/696953.html. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2018 08:00 pm (UTC)
I would object to hollywood actors preaching about politics even if they chose the RIGHT policies to preach about. We don't pay actors to think, we pay them to look pretty and read our words correctly...Marcus Welby will not get to do my surgery.

Mar. 5th, 2018 08:06 pm (UTC)
I agree with you.

If an actor has too strong a presence outside the role he or she plays, it really gets in the way of suspension of disbelief.
Mar. 5th, 2018 08:14 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I don't watch Mark Harmon, I love Gibbs. If I cannot see Gibbs, it will not hold me.
That was the problem I had with John Wayne. He never became his character, he played "John Wayne fights in **insert war here**."

Mar. 6th, 2018 01:02 am (UTC)
Actors commentary
Well, yes, but at least Frances Mc (Mac?) Dormand's point was relevant only to Hollywood, so appropriate, no matter whether you agree or not.
Mar. 6th, 2018 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Actors commentary
Didn't watch the Oscars.

What did McDormand say?
Mar. 6th, 2018 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Actors commentary
She concluded, “I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.” Then she gave a brief little stare that said, “No, I’m not going to explain what that means—you’re going to look it up, and you’re going to like it.” (An inclusion rider, as Stacy Smith explains in this ted Talk, is an equity clause for contracts that insures diversity on film sets.) With that, she picked up her Oscar, curtsied, and left.
Mar. 6th, 2018 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Actors commentary
Cool! :-)
Mar. 6th, 2018 06:50 am (UTC)
I surrendered myself entirely to multiple episodes of Babylon Berlin back-to-back.

Yep, I binged that one, too. Germany has some good series out right now.
Mar. 6th, 2018 01:27 pm (UTC)
That's what I hear. I regretted not being able to speak German while I watched Babylon Berlin. I suspect the English subtitles were not particularly nuanced.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )