This works best if you read it with "And So It Goes" ..

Wherever I May Find Her

Jane Harper


SYNOPSIS: More unmitigated schlock. 

ARCHIVE: Sure, just let me know. 

DISCLAIMER: One of these characters belongs to me. The other belongs to the Evil Genius. You'll know which is which; and I intend nothing other than intense admiration for the other. Lyrics quoted are 1966 to whomever owns Paul Simon's catalog, reprinted without permission.


I hate coming home like this.

Funny, thinking of this as 'home.' It's a third of the size of my place, and I can't even get a cup of coffee without having to double-check where things are supposed to go, which counter is which... Let's see, can I use a meat spoon with this, or do I need to use a milk one? Is this the non-dairy creamer or the dairy one?

For crying out loud.

But it's you, Toots. Your quilts on the wall, your overflowing bookcases . . . your scent.

It took six months before your cats stopped hissing at me, remember? Now when I come in, I can't get the damn things off my lap.

It's one in the morning. I'd promised I'd be here at eight last night. Then one thing turned into another...

It always does.

But here you are, asleep on the sofa with her needlework in your lap. Is that the radio?

"What a dream I had, pressed in organdy / clothed in crinoline of smoky burgundy / softer than the rain... "

That's you, Toots. An old fashioned girl at home and a polished professional at work; I envy John Hoynes for having that mind of yours around. Of course, then he has to go home to...

No, I'm not going there.

But you're old-fashioned. And resourceful, and independent, and hard-headed, and practical... the kind of woman this country was built on the strength of. The reincarnation of Abigail Adams. So what in the name of God do you want with an old war horse like me? I'm just an old backroom brawler, a deal-maker, a player. And a drunk. And a pillhead.

And I'm the most egotistical, inattentive, self-absorbed asshole inside the Beltway.

"And when you ran to me / your cheeks blushed with the night / we walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight"

Sometimes I think I'd give my life to see you run. Just get up out of that contraption you have to live in and _run_! I've talked to a dozen neurologists, and had Abbey talk to a dozen more, but this is it, as good as it gets. So I have to watch you drag yourself into and out of that thing, wrestling with doors -

God help anybody who tries to get a door for you. I've seen you gut people with such finesse that they didn't even notice that their innards were down around their feet.

But you think you're a burden, you hold me back, I need someone with me who can do the party circuit without having to worry whether the embassy is accessible - you don't seem to get that I don't want any of those things. If you can't get there, I won't go.

No, that's a lie. I'll do what needs to be done, go where I need to go, stay out until all hours and never call. And you'll smile and pretend that it doesn't matter, you've got no right to complain because you knew that it would be like this. And you'll insulate yourself behind walls of emotional armor, trying not to let it hurt. It won't work. You'll smart, and you'll get angry, and you'll never tell me.

I bet you've got yourself convinced that it should be ok, and that when Jed's out of office I'll go back to Jenny, or find someone else -

I'm not _that_ much of an asshole. Besides, why settle for house wine when you've already got champagne?

A figure of speech.

"And when I awoke / and felt you warm and near / I kissed your honeyed hair with my grateful tears . . "

Wake up, Sarah. I don't want to sleep without you.



The End




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