Continued from the previous post (below this one) in which I relate how I am having an affair…
It’s all over with Juan, my aging pool-boy Lothario. By Thursday it was clear that we were growing apart.
“We’re growing apart.” I said to him.
“Yes, ever since Thursday”, he agreed. “Was it my contention that most modern people are leading lives of quiet desperation?”
“No, I don’t believe that was it,” I said. “But your pie-charts and mathematical proofs on the subject were very convincing.”
“So… was it the time I showed you my champion giant-pumpkin medals from State Fairs 1979-1989? I knew I should have brought my 90’s portfolio – global warming really started to boost my poundages in the 90s.”
“No, your pumpkins are remarkable, Juan. And who’d have thought there was so much to learn about squash! No, I think, in the end, the thing that told me we could never be together was that evening under the stars, by the pool – the way you stabbed that passing pigeon with a toasting fork and a savagery in your eyes I have never before encountered. No, not even at fresher’s week in uni.”
“Didn’t you like it then, the pigeon?”
Oh Juan – he was delicious and, before we part forever, I must get the recipe for tha marinade and that 11-bean side-salad from you. But, Juan honey, it was really the bit before that when you held the pigeon’s still-beating heart aloft and cried out to the world that you were robbed of that part in the Crest Whitening Strip advert and that this is what would happen to the next visionless director who didn’t hire you.”
“Too dramatic?” said Juan, now slumped and crestfallen, even in a commercial sense.
“Not at all,” I murmered consolingly; after all, I’m not a hard-hearted housewife. “Dave just doesn’t like pigeon-blood in the swimming pool. He’d much rather see their heads impaled on the four letters of the weather vane as a warning to other pigeons that they perch round Casa Problemo at their peril.”
And so, without recrimination or rancour, we went our separate ways: Juan over the fence to Mrs. Mussolini’s swimming-pool (apparantly her filters are in a shocking state and Juan thinks he’s the man to clear them); I, back to the kitchen to rustle-up 11 more beans for a salad.
The ProblemHusband will miss Juan, I ruminated, as I donned my pinnie and checked my always flawless bouffant. He’s grown to really enjoy their discussions about Mrs. Thatcher. But how will he take to Philippe, the new sous-chef I engaged when it all went pigeon-shaped with Juan?
Philippe is much more Gallic and brooding than Juan and can be very temperamental when making sauces. We have decided to give each other a week’s trial of circling around the kitchen-island tossing our chins up contemptuously and saying “Phthoo! You French/Scotteesh kneuw neusseeng about mekking zee sauces!” If that goes well, we aim to start a torrid affair next week. (A trial period will also give him a chance to become familiar with my herb-cupboard and reduction techniques.)
I only hope that Juan never finds out that it was Philippe who finally got the part he coveted in the Crest Whitening Strips commercial. All service industry Californian males between the ages of 25 and 55 are Actors first and will fling aside their hose/spatula/personal-trainee at the first call of Hollywood, even if Hollywood got the wrong number.
They’re a hardy breed though, these seekers-of-fame, and are to be admired. They look upon repeated soul-crushing rejection and disappointment as an emotion they can use in their next walk-on part in The OC. Look carefully and you will see the background gas-station attendants and Dogwalker #s 2 and 3 in such shows, swooning and weeping all over the place. You have to love that. When life hands them lemons they make margaritas. (Although, it has to be said of some of these budding actors, when life hands them swine they will sometimes make ham.)