I’d thought it over, and I was ready. Baby or no baby. With Bo actually married to Celia, Eliza was Officially Available. And given that no one in the entire solar system is worthy of her, she might as well be stuck with me.
I put on my best jeans, scrounged some cookies and wine, and drove southward. I tried not to think about Meg, with her sweet smile and her knowledge of literature and her skill at fabric arts and her incredible grey eyes and her electric kisses and her love of nature and her wicked pranks and her deep and fascinating faith. It was Eliza Time.
The afternoon was pleasant today, with a strong sun and a cool ocean breeze. A perfect day to hang out on the beach with the Villagettes, drinking beer, discussing deep artistic concepts, and communing with nature. I tossed two six-packs into the back of the Island Car, fired up the engine — which is actually an hour-long process involving a key, a spark-plug wrench, two cans of dry gas, a small crowbar, and a potent fire extinguisher — and headed south. I was in a great mood, which is rare after a night in The Stump.
It had been a few days since I had visited The Village, so I thought I’d kick down there to see what was going on. My finely honed reporter’s instincts must have been fully tuned, because today was the one day not to miss.
I was in town a few days ago, buying beer and some mummified vanilla-crème cookies at the Pop’n’Squeak, and when I came out there was a note on my windshield. It was written on yellow lined paper, and it was tucked under my windshield wiper. It said, “Want to come to Meeting again Sunday? I’d like that. Meg.”
Evidently, it’s considered bad form to fire a cannon shot across the bow of a heretofore ally’s flagship. Within nine short days, both the Americans and the Canadians had emptied their Naval graveyards, swept the mothballs out of half a dozen warships each, and set them steaming to GSI. The harbor suddenly looked like a living-history museum for WWII relics.
There’s only one event that I know of — besides the flow of drugs from Floyd to The Village and the flow of cash from The Village to Floyd — that involves both halves of the island.
In response to a previous blog entry, “Gemstone” suggested that I get to know Suzette Houlton better. I’ll admit, I was having a hard time understanding her. She is this enormous volcano of a woman, garish and overdone in neon-floral muumuus and peacock-gaudy makeup that has to be applied by a certified grounds crew, and she serves the town’s economic needs in two decidedly different ways.
The thought of Eliza being pregnant made me feel kind of weird. First, there was the undeniable evidence that she’s been having sex with people who aren’t me. In Eliza’s case, the possibility of immaculate conception isn’t entirely out of the question, but given her long-term relationship with Bo, her life in The Village, and her fondness for parties, I’m forced to acknowledge a more secular interpretation.
Thomas Minot appears to be dead.
He was a cousin of Archie’s, and he spent his adult life — and, probably, most of his childhood — as a lobsterman. The drill, as you know, is brutal. Up at four in the morning, chugging around the freezing bays and inlets of the Maine coast all morning and half the afternoon, hauling up mossy, dripping lobster traps one after another and extracting the pissed-off contents with your hands. Then steaming into harbor with your haul of good news or disappointment and selling it for what you can get at the fish markets.
I linked up with Suzette Houlton again today. It was NOT official business. Not in either of Suzette’s formal capacities.