We kissed. If I wasn’t such a mess, I probably would have been blogging this whole time about how I kind of had a crush on Julian (even though he drives me a little nuts with his Gothic McMansion, strange formality and navy-blue blazers). I would have been blogging about his soft, pale face, the way his molars are just a little bit pointy, the intensity of his eyes and the cool-marble touch of his skin.
Stuff like that.
The sad truth of it is, though, I am not over Dennis. I can’t figure it out. He almost seems to want to tear me down, like he never wants me to be happy again. How could I possibly be sad about my ex-husband at this point? How can my heart still ache over the loss of someone who’s been so cruel? Someone who seems to want his children to grow up without their mother?
Yet, it was as though the shadow of Dennis was sucking all the life out of this fantasy moment with Julian (and it was 5-alarm hot, mind you, with exception of Julian’s skin temperature, which is admittedly scary-cold). But the hot factor was there and I definitely felt the tingle that began in my lips and trickled downward.
But just as I was starting to enjoy things, a sadness washed over me that was so deep, I thought I’d drown. I had the confusing mix of feelings that included being turned on, incredibly sad and huge anxiety about how I was going to disengage and run away so Julian wouldn’t see that kissing him made me want to cry.
I never thought I’d say this but, boy, was I happy when Irving and Maude, my guardian angels who are like tourists from New Jersey, appeared out of nowhere to dampen my already rainy love parade. Except, oddly, it felt like a ray of sunshine when they showed up. Maybe they are growing on me.
[Nighttime, in the middle of Federal Road under a bright Full Moon. Phoebe has just returned from the deep rabbit hole where the fairies sent her to cool off in quarantine–so her anger wouldn’t stir up her darker fairy energy and wreak havoc on the island. Phoebe has just followed a tiresome 6-foot rabbit, who explains everything with a question, out of the hole. When she lands back on Federal Road, Julian is standing there, as though waiting for her. Julian and Phoebe kiss, really kiss, for the first time. Then Maude and Irving, Phoebe’s guardian angels materialize a few feet away with a little “whoosh” sound that causes Julian and Phoebe to stop what they are doing and look toward the noise.]
Maude (who is wearing tie-dye tights and a sequined top): Don’t let us interrupt. Just pretend like we aren’t here.
Irving (who’s Einstein hair is even wilder than usual): Interrupt what? I don’t see a thing. (Irving takes out a newspaper and pretends to read)
Phoebe (pulls away from Julian, who looks like he’s not overly thrilled to see Maude and Irving): Where have the two of you been? I haven’t seen you in forever.
Maude: There was a sale on peace-sign spandex in New Orleans and Irving likes beignets. Have we missed much?
Phoebe (crosses her arms across chest): I thought you were supposed to know my every waking move and thought because you are angels and all.
Maude: I only ask to be polite, dear. Not because I need to know.
Phoebe: Did you know I was kidnapped by a white rabbit the size of Rhode Island? That would have been a good time for you to show up, I’m just sayin’.
Julian: Maybe I should just… (Julian looks like he’s about to leave).
Phoebe (whips around to look at Julian): You’re leaving?!
Julian: I mean… I could, um, stay if you want. It just looks like… (he motions at the angels)
Phoebe: Fine. If you need to go, please don’t let us hold you up! (Phoebe looks sad and mad at same time)
Julian (looks like he wishes Phoebe wasn’t mad/sad and that he wasn’t the person who made her mad/sad): I could stay, too, if…you want me to.
Phoebe: Please. I would hate to keep you from…whatever you need to do back at the mansion.
Julian (mutters): It’s not really a mansion.
Phoebe bursts into tears and covers her face with her hands.
Irving (snaps his paper and rolls it up like a bat): What did you do to her?
Julian: I…I was just…we were just…(Julian closes his mouth and sets his jaw). If you’ll excuse me.
Julian looks at Maude, then Phoebe, nods at Phoebe and leaves.
Maude pats Phoebe on the back and hands her a tissue, which had simply appeared in her hand.
Maude: There, there. You’ve had a long day. Let’s get you home to bed.
Maude glances at Irving and Irving nods toward the golf cart that the fairies crashed into a road sign and abandoned. Maude and Irving exchange looks and seem to agree on something. When Phoebe uncovers her eyes, the cart is in the road again and good as new.
Irving: I don’t have a license or I would drive.
Phoebe (sniffs and wipes her eyes): I’ll drive.
Maude and Irving get into the golf cart with Phoebe. Phoebe turns on ignition and they drive off.
Maude (sitting in front seat with Phoebe): So is he a good kisser?
Phoebe’s lip crumbles and she starts crying again.
Maude: That bad, huh? Well, there are more fish in the sea and many who are, uh, younger than that one.
Irving (from the back): And alive.
Phoebe stops crying for a second and makes a face like she is trying to process what Irving said, then shakes her head. Maude hands her another tissue.
Phoebe: I want to understand….When will I ever be normal again? (she says through tears) When will my life return to normal?
Irving: Yep. (Irving sighs loudly) That’s….a tough one.
Maude: Who ever said normal was good? What is normal? Is it staying married to a man who doesn’t respect you or love you enough to let you go with grace? Is it pretending to be someone you are not? Is it living in a world of sameness where nothing ever goes wrong and there are no surprises? Is that the kind of normal you want?
Phoebe sniffs and nods affirmatively.
Maude stares at Phoebe and Phoebe finally looks over and smiles a little.
Phoebe: Maybe not.