The people in my new office are nice enough, but a little horrified at my loud job and its attendant brashness that interrupts the library hush. During one particularly raucous exchange with an attorney who was blowing a deal on a minor business point, one of the assistants within earshot took particular offense when I slammed down the phone and screamed, “Motherfucking cockfuckingsucker!” She asked if I could close my door. Um, no, Sugar, I can’t. You’re in show business. Deal with it.
I’m actually home. There were times when I thought it was an improbable dream, but I lie in bed at night surrounded by everything placed exactly where it belongs, and even though this is the first time I’ve lived in the house completely by myself, I sigh and sleep well.
I never choose from the bunches of carnations, and never the roses, which I always found too fussy. No, I like the mixed bunches that have a sunflower or two; I like laying one of the sunflowers on top of the bench. I debated over two or three of them, chose one that had little blue daisies, brought them up to the cash register. A young woman with huge brown eyes and one arm severed above the elbow effortlessly folded the flowers into newspaper. They know not to wrap them up fancy here. All the flowers end up at the cemetery, anyway.
“Can I also have a large bunch of baby’s breath?” I asked the woman. Her eyes lit with a memory.
“You haven’t been around in so long.”
“I was in DC for a job.” She retreated to the back area and came out with an enormous bushel of white spindly flowers. She whispered something to the one-armed girl when she handed them to her.
“It’s nice to see you back. You’re the only one who ever asks only for baby’s breath.”
“It’s nice to be back home. And thank you for remembering.” I wanted to tell her the joke about those flowers that Billy and I shared, one often and randomly repeated from a routine by Sandra Bernhard. I thought I’d put in a little baby’s breath. Why not? I wanted to tell her the whole goddamned story, but she probably knew all she wanted to know, and she gave me a discount.