Friday, January 14, 2011

Dangerous Book Episode 46

June 5  - Veronica’s funeral. Sunny and too warm to be standing in a cemetery

Peter and Lura very much the couple in matching black suits, guided carefully by the Mr. Stripland (“Thanks for Stopping By!”) and for a bit I felt as if I were at a big party or reception.  When I feel unable to cope socially, I hang out near the bar and talk to the bartenders. My options today were to link arms with Professor Sargent, who hugged the fringe and showed more interest in Snowe plot where am amazing row of peonies persisted.
                Kept my eyes peeled for Veronica’s “effective legislator” and was surprised to see instead quite a few familiar faces, political and academic.  The mayor.  The dean of our Arts and Sciences. Betty and Dr. Rumpel.  Ed (Eddie) Dowling, former state senator, according to Professor Sargent.  
            “Don’t you vote?” Sargent hissed, motioning me to put away my notebook. “Who raised you?”
            “You do it,” I snapped, but slipped the list in my purse and sulked until my imagination drifted again to the body in the box and the ranks of friends and aquaintences surrounding it.
            Secrets reveal themselves by working to the surface without effort.  Like archaeological finds, some are dug up, other simply rise to the surface.  Edward Dowling’s been to jail.  Maybe.  Been in trouble.  Is not a success story.  Was he one of Veronica’s good ‘ol boys who acted first and repented later?  Is he still vulnerable?  Did he owe her?  Does he frighten?

            After an awkward march through the older (and shadier) part of Evergreen, we fetched up in Calvary’s over-crowded and clearly well-loved church hall. The assemblage regrouped and I found myself hovering near Betty.
            “The coffee’s weak and the iced tea is tepid,” she said. “Let’s hope someone’s spiked the lemonade.”
             “Can I get you a Diet Coke?”
            “Not unless you’ve got a bottle of rum in that bag.”

…to be continued

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