Day -34 | Hammered Every Night | No Change-of-Life Baby
Living with Ted and Sue is getting…unbearable.
They’re both retired.
And always here.
January and February, they had planned to stay at their house in Costa Rica where the indigenous civilians club you over the head and take your belongings and monkeys squeal in the trees and scorpions lurk in towels and bedclothes and sea crabs with an 8-inch carapace scratch around underneath couches and wasps make nests in the upholstery and black widows prey on the hands that pick ripened citrus.
You’d love it, Ginny.
Ted makes noise when the monotony in the house irks his brain. He whistles, or simply moves air in and out his mouth, clears his throat. He’s a slob and a hoarder, and pitches political rhetoric. I kid around with hubby and say when we find our own place, we’ll have to take a pair of Ted’s shoes with us to give us that homey feeling. Ted’s goddamn endless pairs of Payless shoes are everywhere.
Ted’ll pick anything up off the street if it’s free, a devoted patron of “Christmas in Allston.” [Allston is notorious for bedbugs] Last fall, I passed by him in the car after me and Sabrina’s daily jaunt at the Weston Reservoir. The dog had her head hanging out the window and barked at him. He was steering his crappy bike with one hand and carrying a plastic chair off to one side in the other.
“Some guy was sitting on his front porch and the chair was there with a ‘free’ sign on it. I asked him if it was comfortable. He shrugged. I sat in it and it’s perfect.”
The eyesore sits in front of the side entrance amid the Victorian charm of the place.
Ted goes out early on the weekends [he just cleared his throat]— spring through fall—to get a jump on yard sales, and bargains for stuff, sends us pics of various pieces of furniture and gadgets. Want this? I can talk it down to a buck. Once he brought home an artificial trumpet. The mouthpiece serves as a stand and the bell is filled with a candle.
Sue always sticks a sock in her mouth when he comes home after these outings, (junk, she calls it when he’s out of earshot). But it’s great source of pride for Ted—he scored a good deal or forever better, got it without parting an ounce of legal tender.
He and I were talking the other day—I had made a mad dash to the kitchen hoping to be perceived as an apparition—and he was sitting at the table engrossed in his Kindle (or whatever the knockoff is). He must have exhausted his responses and posts on Facebook, set the Kindle aside, and said, “you know, doctors are real pieces of work.”
My ears pricked.
Doctors are purely scientific and can’t fathom that some of us are in tune with our bodies and know when something isn’t right.
Ted says, “When I owned my ice cream shop, I had chest pain one morning. I went to the ER and the doc smelled alcohol on my breath. I used to drink a lot in those days. He wouldn’t treat me and told me to go sleep it off.”
Ted was a stoner in college and thereafter. Sue studied to be a nurse and provided a steady source of income for the family. They bought a house just a block shy of the Boston line, now a 550-600K chunk of real estate with no mortgage. They’re putting the place on the market this spring (where my husband and I currently dwelling) and it’s the reason they skipped out in visiting “Paradise” this time around.
It occurred to me, how did Sue stick it out with this guy for so long? Weed, drinking (in the a.m.), odd jobs, Animal House type of joke telling?
He’s an escape artist, there must be a lot of pain in him.
He helped raise the kids—maybe that’s why she didn’t kick his ass to the curb. Or maybe it’s because Sue needed a sounding board.
Why a sounding board?
The Stones say their Start Me Up girl can make a dead man cum.
Sue’s incessant gift for gab could make a dead man put his hands over his ears.