[joe-frank-list] 'Tell me what to do'
russellbell at gmail.com
russellbell at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 06:04:15 PDT 2021
0:30: A new employee (unnamed, I call her 'she' - mid-30s)
comes into her boss's office (also unnamed, I call him 'he') after
work, chats him up, perhaps flirts with him. She moved to New York
after having a good job in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to have a
relationship with an Australian man, Jeremy. She's considering taking
a job in Chicago. He invites her for a drink. She chain-smokes
Merits. She wears a hat, raincoat, thick glasses; he wears dark
glasses. He wants to take her to a hotel; she demurs. He's married.
4:20: 'She told him the following day she'd be moving her
clothes books and records into a friend's apartment.'
5:00: He calls her around noon the next day, asks himself to
her apartment (in the east 70s). They drink and smoke. He wants to
make love; she doesn't have the time. They neck. He falls for her.
8:00: 'Turtle dreams' (Meredith Monk)
8:30: 'The air smells of candle wax, ancient stones; there's
an aftertaste of wine and wafer in the air; every sound made by
movement is reflected from the surface, whether from a floor, a stone
wall, or a devotional niche.'
8:50: Joe recites opening lines of 'Chicago' (Carl Sandburg)
9:00: 'At the main altar images of Christ and the Apostles,
the dry rustle of devotional books and hymnals in the hands of the
faithful - and tall gothic windows lights lighting with multicolored
beams of the stained-glass images of the saints'
9:20: More from Sandburg's 'Chicago'.
9:30: 'Dark curtained confessional booths from which soulful
murmurings can be faintly heard; the pews are of dark mahogany; there
are well-worn velvet cushions.'
9:40: More from Sandburg's 'Chicago': 'they tell you are
wicked and I believe them...'
10:10: They neck for 15 minutes, then they get up and go.
Walking home he suspects the ease of her passion means she's easy.
10:50: At work that evening (apparently they work at night) he
can't think of anything but her. When she shows up, he leaves a card
inviting her for a drink after work; she accepts. She tells him more
about Jeremy, a divorcé with 2 children; he's passed out drunk at the
bar - she points him out. She says she thinks she'd make a good
whore. He thinks otherwise.
13:00: Jeremy's going to Copenhagen for a week; his wife,
Barbara will visit her sister in Ohio that week. He invites her over.
They make love. He worries the neighbors will notice her, hear the
sounds she makes. The make love all night. She asks him to tell her
what to do.
17:10: 'A cavernous stone interior almost like Jonah's view of
the whale; eyeless stony saints gazing sightless over the heads of
worshippers larger than life - if they ever did live.'
17:30: More from Sandburg's 'Chicago': 'And they tell me you
18:20: 'The muted swirl of priestly garments, the labored
breathing of the stricken devoted, uttering prayers heard in God's ear
19:40: In the morning he worries that neighbors will notice
her leaving, so he checks the hall, sends her out alone, leaves a few
minutes later and meets her on the street. Looking back over the
night, he remembers how she meekly took orders, did everything she
asked, said 'Yes, sir'.
22:10: He sees her next at work, wearing tight jeans and
blouse; other men notice her - he's jealous. She has friends
visiting, may not be available that night. A friend of his wife, Lila
(extremely attractive) calls, reminding him of their dinner date,
which he had forgotten. He invites Lila over to the office to make
26:00: He and Lila have dinner at her place. She calls while
Lila is there; she puts him off. She comes over, buzzes. He has to
get Lila out without seeing her. He imagines all the trouble she
could cause him. They talk about her future, her relationship with
Jeremy, the job in Chicago.
30: 'Statues depicting men holding loaves or fishes or
grasping shepherds' crooks or gathering sheaves; in the windows
St. Francis among the animals, St. Christopher comforting the solitary
wayfarer; Jesus as a shepherd, a carpenter, a healer, a miracle
worker, as the prince of heaven in glorious splendor, as a tormented
mortal shouldering the sins of all humanity, as a babe in a manger,
and - in his passion - on the cross.'
32:20: More from Sandburg's 'Chicago': 'Laughing the stormy,
husky, brawling laughter of Youth...'
33:10: They slept until morning. He has trouble waking her.
She's petulant. They arrange a similar drill for departure, but he
can't find her.
35:00: He goes to a luncheonette on Broadway and 79th because
he knows her apartment is 2 blocks away. He calls her from a pay
phone, leaves a message. (The answering machine message is Jeremy's,
but she moved out to a friend's.)
35:50: They go out for a drink after work that night, dance to
the jukebox. She wants to go out on a 'real' date Friday night, but
doesn't show. He calls after work, gets mad at her, regrets it, asks
her to breakfast, which they have at Teacher's, 'a chi-chi west side
bar'. They go to his place.
41:00: She tells him that her stepfather in Chicago abused
her, why she's ambivalent about taking the new job. She's scared of
running into him. They make love.
42:50: He picks up his wife at the airport.
43:30: 'Teami no Onpu' (Aragon)
43:50: They go to a bar after work; she has to return to
Jeremy, he to Barbara. They know it's over. They dance to the
46:50: 2 weeks later Jeremy proposes; she accepts.
48:20: She calls again next week: she and Jeremy will move to
49:10: 'Turtle dreams' (Meredith Monk)
50:10: 'The groom, tall, nervous, wears a morning coat,
striped pants, spats, white tie, attended by formally dressed best
men; their manner is grave and reserved, their motions slow and
deliberate and purposeful; the bride, slender, in old lace, a long
train of Victorian gossamer, her face veiled; the bridesmaids attend
her in pastel gowns; one of the girls clutches a handkerchief in her
left hand; the priest in satin and brought cloth, a bishop's mitre on
his head, the purple velvet surplice beneath his gown occasionally
glinting in the filtered light of the stained glass windows now
reflecting purple then red, then green, and now blue. He says,
"Dearly beloved, heaven has brought together this couple with the
purpose of holy matrimony; may their union be blessed and fruitful in
the eyes of the lord."'
Joe tells the story of an affair, interspersed with a
description of a church, finally of a wedding, possibly in that
church. I quoted those portions in full, hoping that I would find a
source, but didn't.
At 4:20 she moved to a friend's; later in the story she's
still living with Jeremy.
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