My neighbor Trudy, who I haven’t seen, suddenly surfaced out of nowhere. I was coming from mailing a letter and there she was.
“Where ya been,” I asked her, genuinely curious.
“I have a new man,” she said as if she caught a big fish. I had an immediate image of a Marlin mounted over her green, velvet sofa.
“I’m happy for you Trudy, really.” And I was because he was clearly keeping her occupied and therefore out of my hair since we haven’t been getting along too well.
“So tell me about him.”
“Well, his name is Calvin…Caal to those closest to him, and he’s an entertainment lawyer, a real rainmaker if you know what I mean?” Oh I knew what she meant alright…money, Caal had money.
“So I gather he’s an important partner in a law firm?”
“He is the firm honey and so smart it would make your head spin Susannah.”
“I’m sure, like Sybil’s.” She didn’t get my joke which was probably just as well.
“You must go out a lot I bet.” That’s when I caught my first whiff of fish gone bad.
“Well, not as much as I’d like. You know how much I loooooove going to dinner.” Now that was an understatement. If Trudy could find a 4 star restaurant who’d iron those mammoth sheets of hers along with someone to foot the bill, she’d live there forever.
As an aside, have I ever mentioned the size of her bed? It’s the width of a football field and making it could put a girl over the edge. I helped her once and when we were finished I required a sling…
but back to the present.
Turns out the rainmaker suffers from gout and has to stay home quite often with his legs propped up on pillows. Trudy, no Clara Barton by any means, is expected to nurse him back on his feet.
“You know what they call it don’t you Susannah?”
“Rich Man’s Disease.”
“Yes I’ve heard that. It’s a result of too much rich food.”
“Kings had it Susannah. KINGS.”
“I get it.”
At that very moment, who comes loping down the street looking like Rita Hayworth in Gilda but none other than Camille.
“Hi, was just about to ring your bell Susannah.”
“Now you won’t have to.”
“Hi Trudy, haven’t seen you in a while.” Trudy loathes Camille ever since she told her she was getting flabby in the arms. I don’t think she’s gone sleeveless since.
“Trudy met a new guy Camille; a rich lawyer who suffers from gout, or Rich Man’s Disease.”
“Or gluttony. Honestly, hide that cream and butter if you know what’s good for ya Trud because you’ll never have sex again, unless you do all the work of course. And believe me, you don’t want knee problems at your age.”
“I don’t have to hide anything,” hissed Trudy. “He’s perfect the way he is and we have plenty of sex.”
“Of course you do. Where is he now? On an inflatable raft soaking his piano stools? Susannah, have you ever seen a man with gout?”
“You know Susannah, you should get yourself some new friends.”
“That’s what I’ve been telling her which I thought explained why I haven’t seen you in such a long time.”
Trudy, whose face was now chili pepper red, took an abrupt leave.
“Camille, why did you do that? That was more than a little mean.”
“That was for her making fun of your nightgown or have you forgotten that already?”
“No, I haven’t forgotten, not since she told Cheyenne the doorman I couldn’t afford a new one who asked if he could lend me a few bucks.”
“I rest my case. But ya know, all that gout business made me hungry. Does The Nectar make Eggs Benedict?”
“You hate The Nectar.”
“I do, but we’ll get it to go and eat it at The St. Regis. Mel’s on the bar. We can have mimosas with it.”
“No champagne for me thank you very much.”
“Oh, I forgot. Bloody Marys then. Give me the number….
Hello Nectar, I’d like three orders of Eggs Benedict to go please.”
“Three? Why three Camille?”
“And triple the hollandaise on just one, could you?” She put her gloved hand over the phone. “We’re gonna leave one for Trudy and her new guy. They can split it after all that sex.”
“Come on, it’s the very least we can do. Are you pouting Susannah?”
“No, thinking – maybe we should throw in a few cannoli, for dessert.”
“And some Haagen Daz.”
“And a heart surgeon.”
We giggled all the way to the bakery.