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The post-dawn drive back Highway 84 to Sand Hill Road and Palo Alto, for Joanna, is a nightmare wide awake, her sense of outrage playing leapfrog with her sense of shame, fooled as she had been, hoodwinked by an impostor, her sex-crazed gullibility having to share the blame, a tag team of tormentors hounding every mile:

how unscrupulous; how inane; how dare a man take such unethical advantage; though how excuse such absolutely daft complicity; him so passively convincing, her so aggressively unaware, him indisputably a replica of her AWOL fiancé, a ringer, from the crooked part in his crew-cut to his big toe’s extra length, from his chest hair’s tree-like pattern to his navel’s cockeyed indentation, every trait identical—physically—deportment less well matched; but not so different as to tip her off; besides which, both were spoofing; he pretending to have picked her up, she egging him on throughout because their ruse conformed to notions of a love-struck assignation—taboo and deliciously clandestine—the encounter more romantic for its incognito flair, a bit illicit, which indeed it was, immoral, downright criminal, though the fraud that he had perpetrated did fall short of rape—if not a vindicating factor one that stopped her filing suit against the good-for-nothing bastard, con-man, imposter, look-alike prick, with whom she—YIKES!—betrayed her unborn baby’s father, her future husband—if Rockefeller kept his word once apprised of her unchaste goof with 'him,' with Samuel Blumenthal, the name he penciled in on the motel’s registrar (she had checked) from San Francisco, residing at 1142 Page Street, apartment 8, his make of car and license number likewise left behind to damn him irrefutably, should she elect to indict, to phone nine-one-one and have him apprehended, handcuffed, and justifiably jailed, guilty of lewd and lascivious acts with an unsuspecting pregnant woman; shameless to have led her on, so 'lizardly' to deceive her, swipe the bride in the bridegroom’s camouflage, perpetrate a dastardly charade, the sole incriminating feature kept—to his credit (?)—under wraps—for surely she had put his self-restraint to an unfair test, a test, were roles reversed, she might have failed herself, yet he abstained, displayed stupendous temperance juxtaposed to her raunchy dissipation, nothing barred save actual intercourse which he no doubt fiercely craved yet held in check to carry out, what's more prolong, his sneaky subterfuge;

 

 

what to do, if not conduct herself to church, to Mass (alas forgo Communion) and repent her plunge from Grace with all due humility?

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