Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #551

Carole was a bit troubled.

That last things she could firmly recall in the fevered menagerie of her mind was that she had spent a quiet evening at home, enjoying a bit of stir-fry based on a recipe a neighbor had handed her during one of those awkward moments when over-zealous neighbors knock on your door and misunderstand personal boundaries. She had then read a few chapters of Virginia Woolf, because such things happen when you don’t have a respectable itinerary for a Saturday night. Lastly, she had retired to her slumber chamber after a brisk but regular facial scrub involving apricot kernels and a dash of minced habanero peppers.

Carole woke up at 3am. Such a development was not something she had envisioned, especially when balanced against the shockingly-dubious amount of vodka she had swilled during the stir-frying and the Virginia-reading and the face-scrubbing. (If you open the bottle, you might as well finish it, right? It seemed like an appropriate thing to do. Just ask Joan Crawford.)

Carole’s immediate thought upon waking was that she should simply ignore this rude nocturnal interference that had disrupted her dream of being anointed queen of a medium-sized country wherein everyone basically got along and other countries didn’t bother to invade. Monarchs always have a much better chance at remaining monarchs when no one gets an attitude about anything. (Just ask the Romanovs.)

Sadly, Carole was unable to free her soul and drift away, so she tossed and turned a bit. During one of the turnings, she suddenly realized that she was wearing high-end couture rather than the standard, worn-out flannel nightgown she typically sported on those nights when Virginia Woolf was her only companion. What on earth? This was entirely absurd, and not in the fun way that things are absurd when they happen to other people.

Carole leapt out of bed (or rather, she awkwardly lunged out of said bed, because high-end couture is a heavy pain in the ass if you ever find yourself horizontal without taking it off) and marched toward her bedroom door. Just before she grasped the doorknob, something in her peripheral vision seemed a tad off kilter. She turned toward her bathroom for further study, and she spied the tube of facial scrub tossed carelessly on her otherwise exquisitely-organized vanity. (Have we mentioned vodka? Disarray is often a byproduct of consumption.)

Carole picked up the tube, which seemed to be mildly vibrating, in that odd way that things feel after one has passed out in high-end couture. Squinting, she flipped the tube over and perused the fine print that no one ever really reads, regardless of vodka intake. Our stupid lawyers are making us include this stupid warning that the combination of apricot kernels and minced habanero peppers can cause some people to believe they are world-famous concert pianists and compel them to give an impromptu performance in their living room whilst wearing heavy-ass couture.

Carole breathed a sigh of relief (life is so much easier when you can blame your inappropriate behavior on chemistry rather than personal choices), promptly threw the tube in her exquisitely-bejeweled trashcan, and went back to bed. Unfortunately, she had not bothered to read the rest of the warning. And in certain cases, people who have been swilling vodka for no respectable reason might have additional visions concerning deceased authors coming back to life. Perhaps we should not have used so many environmentally-hazardous chemicals in our skin-care products just because legislative loopholes allow us to do so.

Three minutes later, the Virginia Woolf tome on Carole’s nightstand spread itself wide and began to read aloud a passage from page 42.

Carole’s eyes popped open once again.

It was going to be a long night…


Originally posted in “Crusty Pie” on 09/22/17. No changes made. Administrative bit: For those of you who have noticed that I haven’t responded to the comments on the previous two posts and you are now wondering why the hell this might be the case, I proffer two semi-weak explanations. One, there’s been a certain degree of discombobulation here at Bonnywood Manor, mostly of an annoying nature, nothing tragic, so far as I know. Two, I plan to address both of those posts in my NEXT post, another “Sunday in the Park”. (Two in one week! Is this a bonus plan or a sign of the Apocalypse? We shall see.)

In the interim, thank you for your patience, consideration and general tendency to be lovely examples of humanity. While you wait, please take advantage of Happy-Hour pricing in the Bonnywood Manor Bar, which features a lovely array of free appetizers. (Those shrimp puffs? OMG!) As additional entertainment, the Osythian Oscillators will be doing an interpretive dance in the Hartwell Theater located on the Lido Deck. (They aren’t all that good, but they mean well. Just keep drinking and you’ll be fine.)

Till next time…


18 replies »

    • I always try to provide life-affirming mantras to all of the guests at Bonnywood. As for the bejeweled trashcan, well, I’m afraid I can’t reveal that information until you have been fully initiated into the Secret Society of Subversive Scribblers. I’ve already nominated you twice, but the selection committee is very strict with their membership objectives… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s entirely possible I commented on this piece last September. If so, apologies. You may be in for another treatise on dubious facial scrub, high end couture, vodka and the result of mixing these three. It MIGHT lead to illusions about one’s musical ability and the failure to draw the freakin’ drapes so the neighbors don’t see you being deluded and shaking their heads, say something to the effect of how they really must fix you up with a human. Last word: That dress looks itchy. And I never did understand how women with less than Rubenesque bosoms got the damned things to stay up. Double sided tape? Staples? Gorilla glue? Now it may be that the camera angle fails to show us that this dress is one of those with that coy one shoulder strap business going on…but Carol(e?) should be leery of rambunctious piano playing all the same. At least one of the ‘girls’ might escape their prison and you never do know if the paparazzi are hiding in the bushes waiting to snap an embarrassing photo. Another good reason to draw the damned drapes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, we really haven’t discussed this before, but I have a tremendous amount of experience when it comes to avoiding mishaps when the villainous paparazzi intrude. For one, bosom dimensions are not all that important when it comes to couture, as long as you have tremendous muscle control and a fair amount of Velcro on hand. For another, itchiness becomes a non-essential factor one enough vodka has been applied to the situation. Lastly, it doesn’t matter whether or not you draw the drapes, as nosy people with enough determination will find ingress into your domicile, whatever it takes. So just live your life and let the girls escape if they need to…


  2. I am presently sitting in my Grenoblois Garden, my lacky having brought out not just the concert grand (he herniated but I can’t be held responsible for the internal workings of peasants) but also my collected works of notable female authors since, and including, the creative dawn of Mura Saki. Now, wearing my unfeasibly beautiful knock-off Versace (forgive me Donatella for I have sinned once more) I am preparing to entertain the massed plebeian hoodleatia of the town whilst swilling yet more Absinthe. All I need is the Osythian Oscillators to give an encore of their thrilling interpretive dance 💃 💃 💃 in my yard and my life will be complete. So complete that I may find myself sectioned 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to worry about any possible sectioning, as the head choreographer (I don’t know why they need more than one) for the Oscillators just pulled me aside and pleaded with me to let you know that the entire troupe is ready to support you in any way. I smiled benevolently and patted her empty noggin, expressing my admiration for her patriotism but cautioning her that any militant action they might take should not involve their risque number, “The Dance of the Passionately Fruited”. Such exhibitionist behavior might play well in certain parts of France, but it is not particularly condoned in The Hague. She appeared to accept this wisdom, or perhaps she just didn’t understand it. In either case, she raced off to tell her little dancing friends that there was to be no more fruiting.

      In other news, Donatella texted me about the source of your knock-offs. When I responded that the nexus of the knock-offs is only known by the Bonnywood Manor Elite, she was stricken with fear and raced into the night. Because no one messes with the BME. No one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tell the head (with nothing in the head) choreographer I shall be waiting for the call. The Garden is beginning to look beautiful (or we could always decamp to the Bandstand in the Jardin de ville or even Place Victor Hugo if the fountain has been turned on by then. The possibilities are immense. I suggest they work on something that hints at Grenoble being renowned for it’s Walnuts 🥜 – what say you? As for dear Donatella – it just takes a little well aimed growl and the girl crumbles like halva – which reminds me to take a stroll to my favourite North African grocer and see what he has under the counter for me today 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The box office is now open!
    An evening with Virginia Woolf may be frightening, may be enlightening, OR… may contain the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything!
    Tickets are currently half off while we try to figure out what the question is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See, I knew I made an excellent choice in appointing you as managing editor at all of the various theaters located on the lush grounds of Bonnywood Manor. Of course, said appointment was an easy decision considering your sterling resume, what with your many theatrical experiences and the fact that your family provided the deep funds to build the theaters in the first place. Wait, I might be confusing you with someone else. What was your name again?

      Liked by 1 person

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