Saturday, October 25, 2003

otis eats a bulb of garlic every day, if not two

John Butt, aforementioned hostel owner, would come in after knocking, and sort of jump and dance into the room, shaking a limb or two before settling and saying, "And how are my angels today?" He'd wink to let us know he really thought we were angels. Catriona was often in bed when he'd come in, and he'd look in on her, saying, "Don't you die now, I don't think I could bear it." He was half-deaf and you had to talk loudly to him, and sort of point your voice at his ear. He would then squinch up his eyes and decide if he wanted to take in what you'd said or not, and sometimes he'd give you (what you thought was) a blank look before talking about something else entirely.

One time I went to his house to use the phone and he showed me a photo of his father, wearing a navy suit, black and white shot. Small moustache like they all had in those days. He told me how his father died: the fishing boat went down. John Butt Senior saw his best friend go down with it, then put the two boys who were deckhands on the life boat, clinging to it, it was overturned like, and started to swim to shore for help. When they found him, he was bent all up on the shore, dead, and the two boys had been taken in by the waves and were huddling in the trees, freezing. "I was born eight months and three weeks later," he said, his voice grave. "They called me the Miracle Baby." Then he got up and cupped my face in his hands. "They still call me that, darling!" His eyes crinkled all up. You couldn't help but smile around him.


Claire, to Me: "I'm crazy about you!"
Me, to Claire: "I'm crazy about life in general, and you in particular!"


And I've been getting marriage proposals lately, what's up with that? At least they're from men I could conceivably marry, and not drunk morons. That's all that counts.

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