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Posts Tagged ‘George’

11. GEORGE: The Heart Wants

eorge, on his knees, watched as Taryn slid down into the water, legs bent, to rinse her long blonde hair. Her eyes were squeezed shut and her face was scrunched up, layered over with a veil of bubbles.

She stayed underwater so long he nearly reached down to rescue her, but then suddenly she bolted upright, water cascading off her hair and down her lovely back.

“You’ve still got shampoo in it,” he said, running a hand over her sleek, soapy head.

“Can you wash it again?” she said, twisting around to look at him, beads of water suspended like dew from her eyelashes. “Like in the beauty parlor.”

He laughed. Beth, who had been playing with her plastic horses on the floor, scrambled to her feet and rushed over to them.

“I want to play beauty parlor,” she said, stationing herself behind Taryn’s back. “Please, Mommy.”

“Okay, baby,” said Taryn. “You can do my hair and Daddy will do my back.”

Taryn leaned forward against her bent knees in the old white porcelain tub, deeper than it was long, rescued from one of the bath houses that was being torn down. The tub was perfect for the houseboat, where space was at a premium. George had built this place himself one long summer, when he and Taryn were first together. She had lain on the dock in the sun in a bikini, reading magazines, while he hammered and sawed and drove nails into the log siding, the cedar-shingled roof. He wanted to create a fairy tale cottage, floating like a magical place on the enchanted lake. At the end of the afternoon, Taryn would join him on a blanket under a tall yellowwood, where they drank beers icy from the cooler. Then, if there was no one in sight, they made love, after which they ran laughing and naked down the dock and jumped into the lake.

George took up the long handled brush now that he used to wash his own back and prepared to scrub Taryn’s.

“No,” she said, pushing it away. “With your hands.”

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8. GEORGE: So Hard To Do Nothing

ho was there?

George hesitated, listening, in the entrance to the houseboat, Beth sound asleep in his arms.

He might have forgotten to lock the door when he left for the McAdams’ place in such a hurry, but he knew that was a justification: He often left the door open, had some deep sense that if he filled his life with enough pure trust, nothing bad would happen to him.

That was certainly foolish, with the mushrooming of the meth cabins throughout the hills that surrounded him, with the belief that, because he was some kind of doctor and worked at the track, he was both rich and possessed a store of narcotics, and also with his connection to Taryn.

He heard nothing, but then, relaxing enough to take a breath, he smelled her, that unmistakable mix of lilies of the valley and smoke, of sweat and the Sour Patch Kids that were her dietary staple. He wanted to call out her name and throw on the lights, but he didn’t want to disturb Beth, and who knew, after all, what he’d really find? The only thing he was sure of was that she’d been there.

He tiptoed in, setting Beth gently on her bed and smoothing the comforter over her, straightening up slowly and looking around. Taryn might be here with someone else, Jamie maybe, or one of her other cranked up friends. They would have seen his headlights, heard his car door; they might be hiding, waiting to spring.

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