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Greg Herriges

Connecticut Holiday

Greg Herriges
gherrige@harper.cc.il.us

Copyright © 2002 Greg Herriges. All Rights Reserved.  

Connecticut Holiday

Marder, fresh from his morning shave, mind still in neutral, sipped tepid coffee and glanced out the living room window at the pocket of pedestrians waiting zombie-like in the cruddy slush to cross Seventh Avenue. He did not hear the portable TV in the kitchen playing the whistled theme of "The Andy Griffith Show," did not see Opie stoop to pick up the stone, throw it, and rejoin his father on the dirt road in their time-frozen world of perpetual syndication. On the small glass table beside him lay twenty or so student essays, recently graded, covered in red as though hemorrhaging. Marder was thinking about how much he did not want to attend his wife's Christmas dinner, even though his daughters, the beloved little girls who'd had the audacity to grow up behind his back and who rarely called anymore unless they needed three hundred dollars in a hurry ("Thank you, Daddy!"), would be there. A sharp pain stabbed the right side of his gut as he pictured the luxurious house in Litchfield, the one Camille's new husband had bought her five years ago as a wedding present. Howard. Howard the showy bastard. Howard the showy, wife-stealing bastard. That had been just six months after Camille surprised Marder, made good on an old threat and walked out on and divorced him, setting a New York litigational speed record in the process.

Natural for the girls to go off on their own, make their way in the world. Ophelia, the oldest, now a pre-law graduate of DePaul University, had inherited her mother's confidence and organizational abilities, along with her mother's sleek jawbone and cute butt. Tess, the youngest, hadn't inherited anything from either of them. A freshman at Arizona State, she gathered barely passing grades and Bohemian boyfriends who dressed in black and hadn't smiled since PHISH played their farewell concert. Marder knew damned well that if he stayed away, he might be spared the painful humiliation of having rejection and failure rubbed in his face, but stapled to this considerable benefit came the inevitable outcome that he would not see the girls again till spring, if then.


Copyright © 2002 Greg Herriges. All Rights Reserved.