Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Apart from that unfortunate incident in the garden, Winslow had never eaten a fruit softer than a mango - thought that anything easy to eat was a socialist plot. Unaware that her name came up at least once in every meeting of the Junior League, she wouldn't have cared anyway. She had almost no patience for soft things. Foolish, giggling, gossiping, soft-headed women were the worst, and bananas were nearly as bad.

The pillows on her mother's gray chintz sofa annoyed her, and Winslow hauled the pillow-top mattress away the day she got the dump permit for her old Ford pick-up. Soft-shelled clams, soft-boiled eggs, angora rabbits, candlelight, pudding: she wanted no part of these indulgences. She treated herself to unpopped corn on the weekend while watching documentaries on the buildings of England.

Still she wished for company now and then, so she had joined a book club that met once a month. She attended for a month. It had turned out to be a drinking club - not that she had anything against a nightly glass of sherry - but wine with a book makes one's comprehension soft. A neighbor talked her into a knitting group, bu the silky cashmere wool drove her nearly to distraction before she could wrap it back into a ball and drop it into the green steel trash can on her way out the door. She thought a church community might be a good thing, and she approved of the unpadded pews at the Mother of Perpetual Sadness Catholic Church, but soon learned that Father Robert was soft on sin. She decided to keep her cold, hard tithe in her pocket.

Winslow had had a lover once, a man whose flinty jaw and sharp wit had attracted her until she noticed his thought processes becoming flabby and his abs muddled. Distraught, rolling his American Tourister through her living room toward the door, he appealed to the tenderness of her heart, which just showed that he had never known her at all.

No comments: