3. When last seen Valerie the ex-girlfriend was landing a great smackeroo on Chucker’s high-altitude lips, watched not only by yours truly but by the prodigal daughter back from the leper colony.
In high school French we read Paul Claudel’s L’Annonce Faite a Marie about which I only remember that in an act of great Christian kindness the heroine (was she called Marie?) has sex with a leper on Christmas Eve and then is herself cast out by society as being now tainted with leprosy. Chances are excellent that I have misremembered the plot, but I am very certain that a leper was involved. And Christmas. Claudel was a very catholic writer. In high school French all the writers we read were Existentialists, unless they were very very Catholic.
Valerie told us she was no longer selling tropical real estate (and I suspect she never was) and planned to devote her time to helping her daughter find herself. The daughter said not a word. This struck me as odd for two reasons. 1. Most children very specifically do not want parental help if and when they seek to find themselves. And 2. What was she doing at a leper colony if not finding herself?
Valerie said, “I think she would make a great model. God knows she’s tall enough.”
The daughter, whose name is Barcelona (What were they thinking?), finally spoke. She said, “Would you mind very much if I went and lay down somewhere? I was up all night writing my medical school applications. Don’t believe a word she says.” She smiled beatifically and went upstairs, as if she knew exactly where to go.
Valerie started asking CSB about all sorts of people they had known back in their F—days, so I went and made my fortieth batch of pesto.