Dressed in denim—shirt
and jeans sufficiently faded to suggest casual attire yet
indigo enough to compliment Dad’s emerald irises—the Private Eye casts glances
surreptitiously from laptop screen to couple, the screen compositing a portrait
that mirrors the lad; there is no doubt whatsoever that the
lad is Samuel Blumenthal. And the lass?
sprinkling of freckles on freshly filled out face
color of a jack-o-lantern, stylishly spiked
Flo’s during the one time she was pregnant—outcome of our honeymoon in Venice, we calculated, counting backward, looking forward to a parenthood
of us entertained, too wrapped up in our May-December
passions, Flo enthralled by my crow's-foot-stamped maturity, me by her sweet
disposition and buoyant derrière as it bobbed with taut allure before my resurrected ardor, keeping me erect and relentlessly inflamed, intent on taking her repeatedly, middle-age
prostate be damned, till one imperfect spermatozoa swam its way into an equally
imperfect egg, the
short-lived upshot running out of vim by second trimester’s end, vacating her
whose optimistic plumpness thenceforth withered like a raison, barrenness
reinstated, never to conceive again.
Rubenesque, if not in heft, in maidenly pulchritude
my fuddy-duddy aesthetics, brazenly indiscreet...
obsessed by sex, flaunting body parts, oblivious to consequences my
generation faced—hers having vaccines aplenty to minimize threats and maximize
would hope, but the young are also environmental gluttons, theirs the only species whose
endangerment earns concern, while others fall by
the wayside. Why preserve mere remnants? People are the planet's premiere life
form. Always have been. Always will be. "World without end, Amen." A
singular anthropocentrism that I, with my whole heart, share... or did once... not so
long ago... during Flo’s brief pregnancy... faith renewed in humanity albeit
fleetingly while placing ear to bulge, listening to the promise of our progeny like
the score of an unfinished symphony...
"What’s he saying now, Dad?"
"Hush—'he' is a she—don't interrupt. ’Tis a wee voice, Flo. Takes tons of concentration to
bypass your digestion. What have you been eating, woman? Poor little lass
is all but drowned out in your gurgle, gargle, gush. Soft, now... Soft, now... Aye... You don’t say. Bless me... As good as
all that, is it? Wait; I’ll tell your mum. She’s giving me the blarney about
what it means to float, how blissful life can be when it doesn't much matter which-end's-up. Fancies herself an
aquanaut, she does, as if she knew the term.
Comes from feeding her Lord-knows-what for breakfast. By lunch she’ll be the
Pope, claiming amniotic fluid is some inland holy 'see.'"
beings being all the more miraculous during their creation. Would that she had lived.
"What’s she saying now, Dad. No. No! What’s she saying
now! You’re not listening hard enough. Dad? Dad? What’s she saying now!?"
But all he heard that desperately hollow day was the echo of their loss.
that on? True, the lassie glows. Saw it when she made her 'entrance' from the
loo. Concluding she’s with child, though, is more than a little jump. Baby fat she
owns, but that might come from lattés. Or maybe it was 'Samuel' going down
on bended knee that brought back memories. Sure looked like a proposal he
was making. Took her by surprise. Blushed, she did, cheeks turned rosy-pink as a
baby's fresh-spanked bottom. What’s she showing him now? I
believe... if she’s online... which she is... no firewall... quick... I'm in...
on her hard drive—"click"—is mine.
From Dad’s position in the coffeehouse’s corner he can monitor the couple and
conceal his laptop’s screen, on which he displays what Joanna displays, having
hacked into her computer, in which more than the Photo-Play she exhibits has been
(opportunely) stored. What Sam beholds—with manifest astonishment—the Private
Eye notes in passing, rifling through an array of clearly-identified files while he has
the chance, racing well ahead of the dumbstruck twin to find the
whereabouts of his no-doubt-about-it brother, emails saved a likely starting
point in a folder labeled “ROCKEFELLER”—copied and downloaded—in another
labeled “WEDDING”—copied and downloaded—in yet another labeled “JERK”—copied
and downloaded—all of this accomplished through a Trojan Horse backdoor before
"Golden Gate Park?"
"It’s close; right?"
few blocks to the Panhandle. After that it’s nothing but birds and bees, meaning
trees and Mother Nature, all the way to Ocean Beach."
"You mean we’re 'strolling' to the Pacific?"
"Incubators need exercise."
"Ah, the baby."
"Yes, the baby. Baby makes three. If you’re not okay about that..."
"I’m okay about that."
"You’re sure? Because I’m having this child, husband or not, so if that’s
a problem, Sam..."
"You might not believe this—I hardly believe it myself—but what I said I meant,
my offer still stands."
STUYVESANT FINK IS REMINGTON FALK. RESIDENCE: WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND.
OCCUPATION: PRODUCER AND PURVEYOR OF PRIMARY PARTS AKA BLACK MARKET ORGAN
PEDDLER (FOOTAGE OF HIS RENEGADE OPERATION ATTACHED—BRACE YOURSELF; NOT FOR THE
SQUEAMISH). I’VE BOOKED A FLIGHT TO AUCKLAND, THEN ON TO THE CAPITAL. CHANCES
ARE MY IMMANENT ARRIVAL WILL NOT
HAVE BEEN FORESEEN. SUBJECT LIVES ALONE, EVIDENTLY, BUT HIS SON ROCKEFELLER (A
GRADUATE STUDENT IN ROBOTICS AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA) IS
VISITING. THE SON, IN A REPORT TO HIS FIANCÉE BACK HERE IN THE STATES, CLAIMS
STUYVESANT/REMINGTON IS UNWELL. A MENTAL BREAKDOWN HAS LANDED MISTER FINK / FALK
IN SOME POSH ASYLUM. I ASSUME YOU WILL WANT THIS DOCUMENTED ALONG WITH THE HOME
ADDRESS. I ALSO ASSUME, ONCE I HAVE DONE SO, THAT MY DUTY HAS BEEN
DISCHARGED. APOLOGIES MS / MR CLAUDE FOR MY UNPARDONABLE DELAY IN COMPLETING