The Mumbling Parrot and the Queen Part II

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Kuntz Day 1

Coming in to the coffee shop, they saw the newspapers next to the cashier stand. All the headlines said the Queen had died. They did not buy a paper. When the hostess
had seated them, had given them menus and brought them ice water, Lyle said,
“Once he was gone, she couldn’t last.”
“I’m going to go all in and have a stack of blueberry pancakes,” said Kate. “They seemed to have a good marriage.”
“They did seem to but I don’t think that’s the point. I think it’s the longevity, not the quality, of the marriage that accounts for that. Couples who did little but curse each other and bicker for 50 years usually don’t outlast each other by much either.”
“Maybe they are despondent when they realize that after 50 years of a bad marriage, it’s too late for a good one.” Said Kate.
Lyle laughed, “Could be.”
“Are we, as people, just that averse to change?” asked Kate.
“I don’t know what it is exactly…” he said.
“Quantum entanglement?” She suggested.
“Oh yes. At the least. Cognitive entanglement at the least. Existential entanglement. You hold each other’s memories and expectations. He’ll say, ‘Who was that woman, with the hair?’ and she’ll name some woman 20 years gone and it will somehow be just the person he meant. And the divisions of labor that were never discussed or decided but become habitual, like one will be the one who always refills the ice-trays and brings the paper in until the other no longer remembers where ice and newspapers come from. Grief is…confusing. And any sort of loss is a kind of threat.”
“You and Elinore, 40 years?”
“Yes, 40.”
“Happy?” she asked.
“Mostly, I think,” he said, “we had a rough start, my fault entirely, but that didn’t last too long. I was happy. I think she was happy. I think she liked me. She treated me well. I certainly loved her. Then, at the end…” He shook his head.
“Are you trying to tell me you aren’t planning to live much longer?” She asked.
“No. Not at all. Just making an observation.”
“Because if you are, I gotta warn you I’m a poor choice for a traveling companion if you’re planning to drop dead en route. What the hell would I do with you?”
He smiled, “If I get a sudden urge, I’ll try to do it someplace like this. You can prop me up behind a newspaper and a fedora and you can just walk away. Be sure to leave a nice tip.”
“Maybe I’ll get a paper…”
“I’m not going to croak right now!”
“ I didn’t mean it that way.” She said. “It’s just funny…Charles is the only one of them I ever liked. The Brits don’t seem to like him.”
“They liked Diana.” He said.
“I’ve never been attracted to coy women myself,” she said.
“Me either.” said Lyle..

Read more Kuntz Day 1

Or check out the archives

Pin It on Pinterest