you know, he can be so embarrassing, like we’ll be on the trolley or in
the underground and Stuyvesant will do this, well, this thing, like sing, but
not exactly, more like vocalize, like he’s some sort of opera star or something,
right out loud, except more like a ventriloquist because he kind of
throws his voice, like you can’t really tell the sound’s coming from him, which
is like weird because everyone can hear it, or at least thinks they can hear it,
but the noises all around are like too similar, but not identical, especially
when he like harmonizes, like the squeaks and squeals and roars are kind of the
chorus for Stuy’s crazy solos; and it doesn’t matter how much I elbow him in the
ribs, you know, to make him stop, he won’t shut up, he just keeps on singing
till we get to wherever we’re going, then steps off glancing around like
everybody else, so like no one ever suspects him, like he never gets blamed; I
mean, is that bizarre or what?"
"No, it’s not like I want to, you know, break off our engagement or anything,
it’s not that serious, you know, it’s just a little odd, but, well, he
like has, you know, some other idiosyncrasies that—hello, hello, can you still
hear me; Nance?"
"Must have been the tunnel; where was I? Oh, yeah, my fiancé’s little quirks,
you know, like everybody has some eccentricity, I mean, like life would
be so boring if, you know, everyone was like exactly the same—which is a
bone I’m always picking with Stuy, you know, a bone of contention, not that we
have to see eye to eye on everything, but like sometimes his ideas are, well, I
hate to say it, but they can be downright creepy, like how he thinks the
human race is like all fucked up—please pardon my French—like wars and
greed and ignorance and stuff, I mean, he can go on and on for days, and like
the point is he believes we ought to be changed, I mean, like redesigned,
like recreated, like, you know, all that stuff he’s into, that genetic
engineering, like human beings aren’t squirrelly enough without us tampering with
ourselves, I mean—hello…"
"No, I don’t know what it was that time; are we back to loud and clear?"
"Anyway, Stuyvesant’s really a sweetheart, despite his ubermensch mentality …"
"You know, like 'able to leap tall buildings in a single bound,' like how he
wants to improve on our basic blueprint by fixing us to be non-violent or some such
nonsense, fixing us all up, which is my primary objection to his lopsided
notions about so-called improvements; I mean, like improvements according to
who, him? I mean, he’s a great guy and everything, and like really brilliant
academically, but give me a break. I mean, like let him mess with his own genes,
but stay out of yours and mine."
"Nancy! If you weren’t my very best friend, I’d send your one-track mind
straight back to the locker room."
"Stop! You’re making it worse. Are we on or are we off? You know, for Saturday?"
"Okeydokey; meet me, what, about 8?"
bought something really cute, like totally expensive—like my credit card maxed,
but, who cares, right, I
mean, I put it on another one—very, very simple but
absolutely chic; I mean, you’ll die; and, of course, I had to have the shoes and
bag to match; but trust me you’ll go green—you’ll all go green—Elizabeth
I can twist his arm, but, either way, I’ll be there for sure."
huh. Me, too."
Juliana, on completing her third revolution of Stuyvesant’s North End apartment
building, finally spots a place to park her Mini Cooper—nicknamed ‘The
Bumblebee’ for its yellow with black stripes paint job and its maneuvering
capabilities (the latter underexploited by Ms Blumenthal’s overcautious training).
After several to and fro attempts, introductions to the curb, and realignments
with neighbors front and back, the brand new car plus driver come to a seemingly
adequate halt—in a ‘loading only zone.’
Stuyvesant, watching from above, has sufficient time left to shave, shower, and