The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
🎧 699: Guy got up . . .

🎧 699: Guy got up . . .

What a Piece of Work I Am, Chapter 25 concludes, read by the author

     Guy got up and started pacing the room.
     “Here’s the way I see it,” he said.
     He was suddenly full of energy, as if he really had been thinking about what he was about to tell her, as if what she was about to hear had long been his secret dream and he was glad to have been pushed into revealing it to her at last.
     “You and me,” he said, “together.”
     “Stealing jewelry,” she said, “one earring at a time.” There was a strong likelihood that she would laugh.
     “Hey, wait a minute,” said Guy. “Hear me out. I admit it might have been stupid of me to take those earrings. I thought the stones might be worth something—you could help me there, see? You’ve got an eye for this stuff. You know what things are really worth.”
     “Sure,” she said, her disappointment growing. As he shrank in her eyes, as his voice grew shriller and his gestures more frantic, she felt herself grow horribly weary. The hopes she’d had for him, hopes that had sustained her and invigorated her, had left her with a nasty hangover.
     “We build up a nest egg,” he said, running his hands through his hair in the manner of a man misunderstood. “That’s the whole idea. The whole point.”
     “For what?” she asked. She asked the question so plainly that all her disillusion showed.
     “Huh?” said Guy. Her tone had shaken him.
     “A nest egg for what?” she said.
     “Our own place,” said Guy. His eyes were wide. “What else? Don’t you see? Isn’t that the sort of thing you want? Can’t you see yourself in your own place? I mean, if you think you like the idea of being hostess here, if that makes you feel glamorous and attractive, think how you’d feel as the owner. What do you think I’ve been training you for, grooming you for?”
     “Our own place,” she said.
     She was thinking about it; she was disturbed to discover that she was thinking about it. She seemed to see herself, sitting there, on the bed, in the darkened room, softening, and she was astonished to see herself giving in to her own illusions again. She tried to tell herself to stiffen her expression, so that he wouldn’t be able to see that she was considering what he proposed, but in considering it, she had to consider the whole package, and that meant including him in the picture, and that made her, against her will, flick her eyes over him, just to refresh her memory. She had to admit that he was a handsome devil, the best-looking guy she had ever met, and by far the cleanest. He seemed too good to lose.
     Guy saw her eyes consider him and knew that there was a chink in her armor. “You and me,” he said. “Running our own place. About this size, easy to run. But elegant. Really an elegant place.”
     She began to imagine it, almost against her will. It took shape, almost on its own, out of a jumble of images from movies and magazines, bits and pieces of impressions that she hadn’t noticed before: palm trees, moonlight on a tranquil ocean, waves breaking on a reef offshore, the aroma of tropical flowers, lilting music, a lagoon, an outrigger canoe. It was attractive. It was tempting.

[to be continued]

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The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The entire Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy, read by the author. "A masterpiece of American humor." Los Angeles Times