I like having Billie for a neighbor. She’s kind, responsive and never judgmental or out of sorts. She’s not the kind of person you think would have any problems of her own. Any neurotic worries. Wholesome people make me wholesome. I try to be like them and generally succeed.
Billie doesn’t gossip. I’ve been waiting for her to mention the tension between Kate and Jacob --- atleast bring up his drinking and how angry he gets during a croquet game when he’s losing. Especially when he’s losing to Peter. But she never says a word about other people’s personal lives, so I don’t. I can’t. I’m becoming their friend, but it’s only been a month. Less. I have no right to gossip about anybody.
But I sit with her on the verandah, caught between wanting to talk about Peter, insinuating his name into our conversation whenever possible, feeling embarrassed when I find her turning the talk away from him. He is becoming a delicious obsession. When I can no longer “be good” I go to bed. Love is a narcotic. It takes away the sins of the past. If I can wake up thinking of Peter, I will not think of Marshall or the abort. Funny things, memories. The images that come back over and over are not what you think they’d be. I would have thought the image of Marshall being hit by that yellow truck would be with me every morning. I would have thought the image of me lying with the legs in stirrups talking through the dim noise of the vacuum would be what greets me in the morning. But it’s not. What greets me is the memory from the evening after the abortion but before the afternoon of the yellow truck. Imagine a screen door. Him on one side. Me on the other. My finger tips pressing the dirty mesh... I will let Juniper sleep with me tonight.