Melanie swore off men again. She’s not in the mood for entertaining. The doorbell rings and she stays still, eyes wide like a woodland creature, hoping her predator won’t hear her. Two more fairly insistent rings, then whoever it is (is it actually Dick? She can’t tell- ) goes away.
After she makes sure that all her doors and windows are properly locked, Melanie checks her inventory.
The Moosewood Cookbook. That would mean going shopping. Out of the question. There are no sunglasses in the world big enough to cover this bruise. What else?
Five cans of tomato soup, saltines, two six-packs of Dr. Pepper, one slice of quiche in a doggy bag, some leftover zucchini bread, a Yoplait cup, and a bottle of Heinz. She will survive.
Melanie decides to sequester herself in her home studio for the weekend. Conduct her own purification rituals. Cleanse. Sweat it out. Regroup. Rejuvenate. Love herself.
Dick’s no great wit, anyway. His faded jeans and earrings don’t make him George Carlin, despite her best fantasies. Melanie resolves to hold out for the real George Carlin next time. Wait- there will be no next time. A woman would make a better soul mate. She lights a cigarette and walks over to the turntable. She rifles through her albums, searching with her fingers for the well-worn sleeve. Ah. Found it. She plunks the needle on, hears the crackle-pop, and waits. She will settle for no less than Carly Simon.