Busy Monsters

By WILLIAM GIRALDI  |  July 20, 2011

Insecure or homicidal: the adjectives don't bother me one bit. Having to silence a single man for the sake of solace does not make one homicidal. Of course I am a Christian and know the program, but love and sex have their own sacred creeds and they burn every bit as much as the ten laws of the Lord. I've perused the Kama Sutra. Listen: I was not proud of what I had to do, but I had to do it just the same. Some will understand, and those who don't know yet one day will.

Busy Monsters book cover

All I have to offer in my defense is the mathematical truth: I wanted to love my bride in peace and tranquility but Marvin Gluck was not going to let that happen. The way I see it, he made the decision, not I. He just had to go and pledge an undying love to Gillian and couldn't grab hold of the fact that such pledges are made every day and most don't mean a damn. I'll give him that: he makes a pledge and sticks to it. Still, his pledge was crowding mine. What a man feels for his woman can be all-out unholy. When Gillian tried on her organza wedding dress for me, I wept with the joy of the resurrected.

I met her on the Ferris wheel at the local bazaar held to raise money for a children's hospital. I had volunteered to run the wheel because when I was a teenager, my kid brother Bartholomew was chewed up by leukemia, plus I thought I could add the charity-giving experience to my weekly memoir column for New Nation Weekly — circulation a hearty six hundred thousand — and thus come across as a guy who cares, a balladeer with heart to spare. It rained that night and hardly anybody came, but then in floated Gillian under a green umbrella, a tantric Mary Poppins, handed me a ticket, and said she wanted to ride the wheel 'round and 'round. This dazzling babe alone on a Friday night? I couldn't even speak; her odd beauty was the injurious kind, radioactive — it had physical effects on me, my anatomy in quake — lovely hawkish nose, straight black mane dyed with streaks of red henna, flat-teated and thickish through the bottom, symmetrical toes showing through her sandals. She was as if the word gustatory had grown legs and got a dress.

For twenty minutes she rode the wheel, and I watched her with her head thrown back and eyes peeled on the sky, patches of light aglisten behind evil gray clouds. And then, horrors: the rusty wheel stopped turning — the organizer of the bazaar had saved a wad by renting only semifunctional equipment — trapping my lady at the top, and this despite my frantic punching of buttons and yanking of levers, consulting with the bazaar electrician and other bewildered passersby. Can you imagine? The damsel a hostage sixty-some feet up there? Well, I in my valor and Levi's jeans could not very well let her stew in the drizzle, and so, with very little pause and a showy casting-off of my rainwear, I began climbing, lemur-like, up the steel links and bars of the Ferris wheel.

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