House Warming, or a Gentleman Prefers Blondes
I find Glenda in the kitchen slumped over in one of the breakfast nook chairs, what was left of her head leaning against her right shoulder. Her fine blonde hair was beautiful the way it caught the dusty light streaming through the window over the sink.
It was her hair that I fell in love with. I'd always been with brunettes but wished I was the type of guy blondes would go for.
It never happened until Glenda.
She had an ashtray close to overflowing in front of her, and a half drunken cup of coffee with pink lip gloss staining the rim. We'd worked so hard to get her to quit both. The way coffee stained teeth was always a pet peeve of mine, plus the taste was disgusting. I never understood why people needed to drink it.
And Glenda was a hound for it when we first got together.
The cigarettes, well, I had her quit those for the obvious reasons. Sure, they helped Glenda keep her weight down, but made her smell disgusting and you practically had to take out a second mortgage to afford a pack.
It was a battle to get her to quit both. There was even a couple of days where I had to keep her locked up in the spare bedroom/gym so she couldn't sneak out and buy a pack or make a Starbucks run. The way I figured it, anytime she felt a craving, she could jump on the treadmill or do crunches on the workout ball. After 48 hours of her screaming her lungs out and threatening to report me to the police she was done with both the coffee and the cigs.
At least I thought she was.
I guess it's true what they say, you never really know a person, at least until they stick a .45 in their mouth and you can rummage through their underwear drawer without fear of being caught.
I touched her cheek, gently stroking her jaw line, running my knuckles over a dried fleck of blood. I stood there for five minutes stroking back and forth until it peeled away and then I vomited into her lap.
I drank some water from the tap and decided I needed to hit the treadmill. It had been two days since I'd been to the gym and my body was aching to sweat.
She killed herself over her name.
She'd despised it. (I wasn't much of a fan either, but I never said anything, well, almost never.) It was a family name. Her grandmother or her great-grandmother was named it, too, so her hippy-dippy parents laid it on her. What she hated the most was that she only had the one name. Her parents never gave her a middle name to fall back on. I was lucky, both the names my parents gave me were great. I mean, you really can't go wrong with Michael or Kenneth.
Classic names which sounded great together.
Go ahead and say it.
See how it slides off the tongue, so smooth and classic sounding.
Over the years I've gone with my initials only:
Now try that out.
Sounds just as equally cool, right?
But Glenda ...
It sounds like something a person with a bad chest cold might spit out when they wake up after an unrestful night.
I suppose I would have done the same thing if I had to spend my life with that handle.
We'd talked about legally changing it a couple of times, but she felt bad because both of her parents were still alive and she felt it would really hurt them if she changed it to Rachel or Stephanie. You know, something normal. We reached a compromise, though, and I had her introduce herself as Christina when she met my friends.
God it feels good to run.
I went back into the kitchen after my shower.
I was feeling really good. My pores had opened up from the run and the steam of the shower. The warm ache of endorphins coursing through my muscles had me feeling a little high. But the stink of the kitchen knocked the wind out of me and brought my body buzz down. It wasn't the smell of Glenda (which, honestly, I didn't notice. Maybe the smell of the cigarettes and gun powder was covering it up?) but of my own sick.
The smell of vomit is one I simply can't tolerate.
It's from college. My frat was a party house, so the hallways, the living room, everywhere was tinged with the smell of it. Plus, there was this girl during my sophomore year who puked while we were making out. It was only a little bit and she at least turned her head to the side when she did it, but then she wanted to keep kissing after.
I walked back over to where Glenda was sitting and I pulled her out from her chair so she was standing upright and let the puke slide off of her onto the floor. Her clothes were ruined, so I stripped her right there in the kitchen, piling them on top of the mess so I wouldn't have to look at it, and then I moved her into the bathroom, sticking her in the tub and ran the water. I couldn't have her smelling like vomit.
I went back into the kitchen and went to work with a thirty-gallon trash bag, a mop, a gallon of bleach and Spring Time Fresh Febreeze.
The bath did wonders for Glenda. I had her in there for nearly two hours, soaking, hopefully relaxing a little. Once I was done with the kitchen, I went in and washed her hair. I climbed in behind her, ran my fingers through her hair, noticing that there were more than a few gray strands mingled among all that blonde. We'd have to touch it up and I made a mental note to add hair coloring to the grocery list. I didn't know if Whole Foods carried hair coloring, so maybe I'd have to go somewhere like Target or Walmart to pick it up.
After our bath, I dressed her and put her to bed, wrapping an old terry cloth towel around her head to make sure her brains wouldn't leak onto the sheets.
I went into work the next day. I hate when "colleagues" decide to take the day off after a big business trip like the one we just came back from in Tacoma. Seriously, you haven't been in the office for three days, assholes! I'm of the opinion that the client always comes first and with as many contacts as I made at the conference, I wanted to make sure I followed up with them ASAP.
So I spent the day hitting the phones, cruising through the stack of business cards I'd collected up in Washington and ended up signing four new contracts.
Now that's what I call a hell of a Friday!
On the drive home I got stuck behind a funeral procession. A huge line of limos, a couple of rent-a-cops playing ride along and making sure the line moved at a steady clip of forty miles an hour. My usual thirty minute commute turned into an hour. But I made a detour, I figured I'd already invested so much time in following this long line of cars, I might as well follow through and see where it ended up.
I watched the family file out of the cars.
Good looking group of people, the type of people who spent their days lounging around backyard Olympic-sized poolsat least that's what the tans and sweeps of golden hair told me. Even in grief these were the bright shiny stars of the world.
The types you weren't able to take your eyes off of.
I drove away, turning up the car stereo and singing along with the lyrics.
They're like furniture.
A few work "friends" had been asking about "Christina," aka Glenda, wondering where she's been. She was usually a fixture at the office's bimonthly happy hours. My manager was particularly curious. He kept calling her "my charmer." Truth be told, I brought "Christina" around because I knew my middle-aged, pudgy clown of a boss was a sucker for blondes, too, and in my office, you needed to utilize everything you can muster to move up, so I brought her around and told her to do nothing but talk to my boss.
I told him that we recently took in some roommates to help cover the mortgage and she was getting them settled. I told him we were going to have a house warming in a couple of weeks to introduce them to everyone. I said we'd be perfectly happy if he could stop by when we had it.
Glenda is a real mess compared to the rest of them. I mean, the whole half a head thing is kind of gross and she's started to bloat, skin turning black as a beetle. She's not like the rest of them, the rest of them have been treated. Their smell reminds me of the dry cleanervery ... institutional. Because of the bloat, the dress I bought her doesn't fit, so I move her into the spare room/gym. My manager will be disappointed, but it's for the best. Besides, I think he'll be far more enamored with Jean. Jean's a platinum blonde, her hair thick and lustrous. Sure, she's a little older than Glenda, but she's had work beyond what the funeral parlor did to her. Her boobs and ass all have implants in them.
Amazing to touch.
I spent a little too long dressing Jean and marveling over her tits, so now I have to rush dressing the rest of them. It's less than two hours before the house warming and I want our guests to be impressed with my new roommates.
Copyright © 2012 by Keith Rawson