George Strong treated us to a lovely lunch in The Fiesta Patio in the Plaza, then at my request we were taken to Dr Rumsey's office. I spoke to Jim Rumsey and told him what in particular I wanted him to look for - I can be truthful with Dr Rumsey, thank goodness, since he understands Howard problems.
‘Don't tell her whether or not she is pregnant; tell me. She's a difficult case; I need leverage. Do you want to know her real age? '
‘You forget that I know it. I'll try not to let that fact affect my judgement. '
‘Jim, you're a comfort. ' I kissed him goodbye, went out and spoke to my youngsters:
‘Just sit tight and wait. He has other patients ahead of you. When you are through, make your best way home. '
‘You're not picking us up? ' Priscilla peopleis.ru seemed amazed. ‘I thought we were going shopping? '
‘No, we've run out of time. Perhaps we'll go to the Plaza after dinner; I believe Sears is open late. '
‘Do you Nave something against Sears? '
‘Aunt Marian never shops, at Sears. '
‘That's interesting. I'll see you at home. You can walk or take the bus. '
‘Wait a moment! Did you tell the Doctor that I don't want to be poked? '
‘On the contrary, I told him that if you gave him any lip or showed any lack of co-operation, I wanted him to tell me. '
Priscilla pouted. ‘I thought that you were going to pick us up and go shopping and then we were going back to decide which house to rent'
‘I am about to decide that right now, while you two take your physicals. '
‘You mean we don't get a vote? '
‘Did you think that we were going to vote on it? All right, we'll vote by the rules of the Republic of Gondor. For each dollar each interested party invests in the deal he or she gets one vote. How many votes do you want to buy? '
‘Huh? Why, I think that's mean! '
‘Priscilla, it has never been in the Bill of Rights that minor dependants get to pick the family domicile. And, while I do not know how Aunt Marian ran things, in my household I make such decisions. I may consult others; I may not. If I do consult others, I am not bound by their opinions. Understand me? '
Priscilla did not answer. Donald said quietly, ‘Slugger, you're crowding your luck. '
I rejoined George at his car; he handed me in. ‘Where now, dear lady? '
‘I would like to look again at the furnished house. '
We rode in silence. George Strong was a comfortable man to be with; he had no small talk. Presently I said, ‘Did you bring those two envelopes? '
‘Yes. Do you want them now? If so, I had better park. They are in a concealed zipper pocket, rather hard to reach. '
No, I was just checking, before we got too far from your office. '
When we reached the house, I went upstairs with George at my heels, and into the master bedroom. I started undressing; his face lit up.
‘Maureen, I had hoped that you had this in mind. ' He sighed happily and started reaching for fastenings himself. It's been a long time. '
‘Too long. I've been overwhelmed with mother problems and with school. But school is over for me, for a long time at least, and my mother problems I have under control - I hope - and I'll have more time, if you want me. '
‘I'll always want you! '
‘I've been thinking about you and your sweet ways all day. But I had to park the children first. Do you want to undress me? Or shall we both hurry and see how quickly we can be in bed? '
‘What a choice to have to make! '
George wasn't the greatest bedroom artist in the world, but in the six years I had been his now-and-then mistress, he had never left me hanging on the fence. He was an attentive and considerate lover and he took as his prime purpose being certain that his partner in bed reached orgasm.
If he was no Adonis, I was no Venus. When I was Priscilla's age, I looked pretty good - as tasty as she did, I think. But now (1952) I was seventy and a simulated forty-seven, and did look past forty despite special effort. An older woman must work at it, just as George worked at it (and I did appreciate his efforts). She must keep her breath sweet, her inner muscles in good tone, her voice low and mellow, her smile ready and her frown never, and her attitude friendly and co-operative. Father had told me, ‘Widows are far better than brides. They don't tell, they won't yell, they don't swell, they rarely smell, and they're grateful as hell. '
That's Maureen Johnson from 1946 to 1982. When I first heard Father's bawdy formula I was simply amused by it and never expected it to apply to me. .. until that sour day that Brian let me know that his younger concubine had displaced me. Then I found that Father's joking description was the simple truth. So I became an available ‘emergency squaw'. I worked hard at being agreeable and smelling good. And I didn't insist on Adonis, just a friendly fair exchange with a gentleman. (Never an oaf, never a wimp! )
I always left time for a second one, if he wanted it. He wants it, if you have done the job on him you should do. The reason American men are such lousy lovers is that American women are such lousy lovers. And vice versa, and around and around. ‘Garbage in, garbage out. ' You get what you pay for.
That twenty minutes to an hour between goes is the best time in the world for intimate talk.
‘Want first crack at the bathroom? ' I asked.
‘No hurry, ' George answered, his voice rumbling in his chest (I had my right ear against it). ‘How about you? '
‘No rush. George, that was a goody. And just what I needed. Thank you, sir. '
‘Maureen, you're the one Shakespeare had in mind - "where other women satiate, she most makes hungry":
‘Go along with you, sir. '
‘I mean it. '
‘Tell me enough times and I'll believe it. George, when you do get up, would you please get those envelopes? Wait a moment. Do you have time today for a second one? '
‘I have time. That is what time is for. '
‘All right. I did not want to waste time in bed talking business if you were in a hurry. Because I do know ways to get you up again quickly if you are in a hurry. '
‘You do indeed! But I got a day's work done before ten in order to devote the rest of the day to Maureen. ' He got up, got the two envelopes, came back, offered them to me.
I said, ‘No, I don't want to touch them. George, please examine them. Is there any way I could have tampered with them? '
‘I don't see how you could have. They have been in my possession continuously since 4 July 1947. ' He smiled at me, and I smiled back - that was the date of the second time we had been in bed together. ‘Your birthday, girl, and you gave me a present. '