Page 38

Bunch

"What am I supposed to do?" Curtis, the marble man, demanded of me. "If Mr. Wilson come up behind me and say, 'Boo Curtis', then what am I supposed to do?" He had already experienced numerous noises and door incidents, and was reluctant to continue driving from Little Rock to install new flooring. I did not have a reasonable response to this question, but I needed Curtis. So, I offered to hang around the house more whenever any of the men were working, in effect, babysitting them and shaming them into finishing the job. "Too scared to go in the basement Curtis?" I'd say, stomping down the stairs and turning all the lights on. Another person began to frequent the property, an off-kilter looking woman with thick glasses and eyes that continually darted about. Her hair was shaggy and uncombed, and she appeared to have dressed randomly, clothes and colors lacking any symmetry on her body. The workmen said they had seen her a few times lingering in the yard. She never looked me once in the eyes when she explained she was Margie, the Wilsons' daughter, and it didn't take me long to see that questioning her about her family or the house was useless. I would find her wandering in the backyard, claiming she was picking pecans. I told her she was welcome to them and invited her inside. "I don't like it," she said, taking one quick look at the absence of any carpet, orange and lime green wallpaper stripped from the kitchen walls, and the newly marbled baths. "I don't like it," she repeated with each new room she peered into. "OK," I said, understanding completely. The date was fast approaching when we would be moving in though, and the thought of what the Wilsons could do, all that they must not like, worried me more and more. They could come to us as we slept in our bed. I did not want to wake up and see Mr. and Mrs. Wilson's disapproving faces glaring down at me. I phoned Mr. Vaughn. "Tell me more about what they were like," I said. "What did they do?" "Mrs. Wilson was something ornery. Mr. Wilson got up early and swam each morning before walking to work at the pharmacy," he said. "They made most of their money selling mother's little helper. It was back when you didn't necessarily need a prescription for things." "Oh," I said. This wasn't helping me nail down a way to please the Wilsons. All I was learning was that Mrs. Wilson was a bit of a bitch, and her husband a fierce exerciser who nevertheless was taken out by a heart attack in his fifties. Mrs. Wilson had probably spent those 27 years of widowhood just a bit pissed off before finally succumbing to pneumonia in the bedroom my husband and I would soon call ours. I felt like I needed my 36

FUGUE #3l

Profile for University of Idaho Library

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho