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November 21, 2022
"Mes de los Muertos"

Dinner With Henry 86: Diego Talks

By Bruce Memblatt

Through his bedroom window, across the room, Henry could see the sun's first rays of the day shoot over Delancey Street. He nudged Diego, who was still asleep next to him, and he said, "Good morning, where is Winifred?"

Diego kicked Henry's leg, yawned, stretched and said, "I don't know -- ever since she started walking it's hard to keep tabs on her. She's probably at your mother's."

"Well, don't you think we should keep an eye on her? After all, she is still a child," Henry said rubbing his leg.

Diego kicked the blanket over to the side of the bed, "But she is not just any child, Henry; she is our child, and half-bug like you."

Henry grabbed hold of the blanket. "I'm afraid she will hear enough of that when she starts school tomorrow."

"You mean when she starts half-bug school tomorrow," Diego said, still staring out the window.

"I know I know, but you can't fight City Hall."

Diego sighed, pursed her lips and said, "I wish Andre really did kill the mayor."

"Diego, careful," Henry said. He yawned and he stood from the bed.

"Where are you going?"

"To get Winifred."

Henry reached for his jeans on the floor next to the bed, pulled them up over his wing and headed towards the bedroom door and said, "We'll be right back."

"Okay," Diego breathed. As she watched Henry leave, she reached into the night table next to the bed for a stick of gum, and her diary. She pulled the dusty red book out of the drawer, unlocked it, and threw the gum in her mouth, fluffed her pillow, leaned into the headboard, stared at the ceiling for a moment, and began to write.

Dear Diary

Henry is acting strangely again, and the day has hardly begun. I am almost out of gum. Tomorrow Winifred is to start bug school, and Henry is going along with this half-bug school requirement. I have a cramp in my leg. That new woman, Maria wears sandals which means I have to look at her toes. I hate looking at toes more than sitting on the floor.

This reminds me of the first day I met Henry. He wasn't so strange then. I remember it as if it were last week.

It was night, a rainy night, I recall. Someone rang the front bell and Simpson went to get it. Usually he'd let it ring a while, but this night Simpson seemed eager to answer the door. Perhaps Simpson knew more than he let on. Who knows? Who can ever really know?

Diego took another stick of gum, plopped it in her mouth and continued to write.

Where was I dear Diary? Now I am wondering if I should capitalize the "d" in "diary" as if it were someone's name or make it small like you could be any old diary? I think I will capitalize it.

But back to Henry.

I didn't like him at first because he was small and needley. He really really was.

We were going to ask Clarissa for a raise, but Henry made such a fuss because he was new, and he didn't want to ask Clarissa, but we wanted Henry to ask her precisely because he was new, and she wasn't tired of listening to him. We didn't know at the time Clarissa was Henry's mother, well maybe Simpson knew, but no one else did for sure.

But I think the real problem was there was a hidden sexual tension between Henry and me. I think it was raging. And that is even before I saw his wing.

It wasn't long before I realized it was a bug's wing, that Henry was half bug, and I found that mysterious and intriguing, and hot. Henry had something I haven't seen in a man before, besides tentacles. Henry had modesty. Henry was self-less, and he was not creepy like the big one and the little one. Henry paid attention, and he did not look at me like I was crazy. Well, not all the time.

But Henry didn't like me at first either. There was mutual raging sexual tension in the kitchen.

In the beginning I didn't say much to him, and then I began to notice Henry was staring at me all the time. I thought it was my scar, but it wasn't.

And one day I remember waking up in the loft, and Henry's mother was calling me a whore. I wanted to stab her. I was going to move away from Delancey Street, but the next night I woke up to the sound of Henry throwing sticks at my window. It was like a scene from Romeo and Juliet. I didn't realize it at the time. I always realize things a day later.

In the end of course it all worked out well, Henry and I got married and we had our daughter Winifred, but who knows what will happen next? The world is in chaos, and my daughter and my husband, because they are half bug, have been given some kind of legal status that seems benevolent enough, but who knows what is behind it and where it will lead? All we can do is keep waiting, and listen, and chew gum, because the big one doesn't allow smoking in the kitchen. So many laws, so many rules and so many ways to get eaten alive, but I will protect my family no matter what, even If I have to kill.

Well I see Henry and Winifred coming; I'd better put down my pen, and hide you, dear Diary.

Sigh.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-03-04
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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