IN THE AFTERNOON, I decide to take a nap and Charlotte invites me to do it in her small apartment. Lying there, my mind churns and I pick up that in her last, almost laconic statement, was an implication that Claire may have seen–in a figurative rather than ocular sense–something that threatenedsomeone.
When Meredith dropped us off, she agreed to come by in the morning so that she and Charlotte could address this Dr. Doolittle about an autopsy. Char still owns a Honda Civic and drives in the local area, to themarket or sometimes chauffeuring a friend or two to a movie, or, as with Claire, to their cherished breakfasts at Wally’s in New Hope. She drives me back to the Blue Dolphin Motel at 10:00 PM. I watch an old Hitchcock thriller on TV, which, not surprisingly, stirs my thoughts even more about Claire.
Later, I notice that my room phone is blinking red. I retrieve a message: “Greg, I don’t believe I have appropriately thanked you for all you–and Charlotte too–are doing for me. I do enjoy you so much. You are a rich part of my life. See you in the morning.”
Well, that sort of message is damned frustrating! Yes, Meredith enjoys me, and I know exactly how much and in what way. It’s all so monitored, so regulated.
As I prepare for sleep, a nagging idea creeps in and hovers about me. The tale Meredith told aboutClaire’s early career as a policewoman, her lesbianism, the shooting, her partner, and then the disso- lution when her eyesight failed–all that seems incomplete. Who was, or is, that partner, and, when it ended, where did she go? Could someone from California have followed Claire here, and, if so, was she aware? A long and intimate relationship is not likely to be completely corrupted if there is love and affection. I know a lot of gay couples in California, and their love is powerful cement, even when illness occurs. I make a mental note to query Meredith about this–though I doubt she has the answers. My final thought before dozing off is that if Meredith doesn’t know, I’ll bet Charlotte does.
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