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Anais Vionet May 16
We’re in Paris, staying with my Grandmère (Grandmother) for a few days around Mother’s day.
Peter (my bf) is getting to know my Grandmère. They’ve started to relax and enjoy each other. This time, when they met, they hugged.
“You look great!” Peter said, “Have you had some work done?”
She made a face that acknowledged the absurd, and shook her head ‘no’.
“A rib removed?” He followed up.

Last night she told him a story about the strict and regimented world she’d grown up in.
When she was 8, she and her mom (‘GG’), had visited a friends' home for tea. Afterwards, GG asked her, “Did you see that?” In a horrified voice.
“What?” Young Grandmère had asked.
“When the houseman brought in that calling card?” GG asked, watching her daughter like she was taking a test.
Grandmère thought about it - but couldn’t find the fault, “What about it?” she’d finally asked.
“He just HANDED it to her - without a (silver) tray.” GG was scandalized at this debacle of civilized standards.

“That’s what WE were up against,” Grandmère said, “It was a strict and judgmental world.. back then.”
“But you were a strict-old-bird with my mom, right?” I asked (because I live to get a reaction from her).
“Oh, nothing like the OLD days,” she sighed, looking to heaven in reverie.
“Now YOU,” she said, (indicating me) like she was revealing some melodramatic truth, “get away with ******.”
“Yep,” I admitted, “That’s me - I’m guilty.” I shrugged.

Every June, there’s a grand masked ball at Versailles Palace and it’s AMAZING. Like the MET Gala, there are only some 400 tickets and those are instantly sold out. This year, my Grandmère has four extra - in an envelope.
“Give them to meeeeee!” I begged, shamelessly, stretching out a quivering arm, like a ****** in withdrawal. “We’ll see,” she said cruelly.
“If you do,” I bargained, “I’ll buy you some land in Camargue (an area of worthless swampland in southern France)."
When she didn’t give in immediately, I decided to try and keep her engaged with sparkling conversation.

“Ever noticed that the word ‘perfect’ has 7 letters?
So does meeeeee,” I said. “Coincidence? I think NOT”

My mind searched for leverage. Grandmère had taken Peter and I to a horse jumping competition earlier that day. I love the smells of horse, hay and leather - you know - all that - but I can barely ride. I continued to bargain.

“You know,” I began (like an actress on stage), in a shaky voice meant to convey extreme, past suffering, ”my parents never bought me a horse.”
It felt like there were tears in my eyes.
“Ok,” she said, boredly, tapping the envelope with ******* then sliding it, my way, across her desk.
I picked up the envelope - counting the tickets. Grandmère wasn’t above withholding one as a ‘business lesson.”

“Can I bring Peter, Lisa, and Dave?” I asked innocently. ‘Bring’s’ the magic word - what I’m asking is whether she’ll pay for everything (airfare, hotels, cash cards, designer costumes - maybe €60k in all).
She’s no fool, she’d offered those tickets knowing this - but it’s only polite to ask. (I could pay for it myself, dip-tha-fund as they say).
“Of course,” she said, offhandedly, “call François.” She’d moved on to the next thing on her desk.

François, a handsome, 27ish, perfectly tailored, hipster with straight blonde fringe-hair and a Sorbonne Université MBA, is one of my Grandmère’s conglomerate, executive-secretarial minions who’ll now coordinate all aspects of our travel and expenses.

I came around that desk and gave her a big hug, which she endured as she read something.
“You’re the Beatles,” I pronounced, before scurrying off to tell Peter.

songs for this:
Love Is Strange by Frenchy
Depression Royale by De-Phazz
Take Three by Club des Belugas
Inesaurible Tu by St. Project
dip tha-fund = take money from a trust fund.
the Beatles = simply the best

BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Debacle: a complete failure
Anais Vionet May 12
During finals week, I’d spent days on various reports and papers, scribbling in the margins of notes and books, checking facts, revising flashcards and prepping with friends.
I’ve an unshakable faith in plodding persistence.
We were tested and sent packing.

Today, I’m in Geneva, with Peter (my bf). He works for CERN. I’m on vacation - but he has to work sigh. Peter apartments with a roommate, so, oh-****, we had to make alternate arrangements.
We’re ensconced at the fabulous Hotel de la Paix. It’s my treat, I’ve been dorm-roomed for months, and Vive la différence!

The hallways are hushed here, as if moss-covered - noises fade quickly after use. The purposeful quiet feels physical, like a cotton covered fairytale hug after noisy dorm life - where doors slam and people yell at 3am.

Freshly cut flowers accent with color, and infuse the suite with scents that calm and relax like subconscious aromatherapy. This is the land of chocolate, and little treats are stashed everywhere to surprise and delight.

I’m a cryophile - from the Greek "kryos" (cold) and "philos" (lover) - I like my environment cold. In the dead of New Haven winter, when it’s 20°f, I sleep with my dorm room windows open and I seldom use more than a sheet for cover. When Peter would sleepover, he’d try and close the windows, “GEE-zus,” he’d say.
“Don’t be a big baby,” I’d suggested, generously cracking them back open again, “I’ll keep you warm.”

That being said, have you ever slept under freshly starch-pressed egyptian-cotton sheets?’
The cotton is orchid petal light and soft - the starch-pressing means the top sheet stands-off your skin, only barely resting on you, as needed - like an angel's kiss.
At college, I handle the menial chores of daily existence, like laundry service, and there are no freshly pressed sheets.

Hmm.. ok, something poetic-ish

Our experiences are stacked,
laid and layered like bricks.
We’re making something
but the form isn’t clear.
Is it solid and cohesive
- will it last - who knows?

I’d been Facetimimg with Lisa (she’ll join us next Friday), while Peter looked through some work papers. Since he isn’t on vacation, he wants to finish something before we leave for Paris tomorrow, where we’ll meet my parents for mothers-day.

As I came into the bedroom, Peter, propped up on the bed, said, “You ladies were talking for a while.” And still not looking up from his papers, he added, “How’s Lisa?”

I thought I’d made a firm decision - but now I was afraid.  
Still, after a moment - I just blurted it out, saying, “I told her I love you.”
I’d said it in a rush - my pounding heart sounded like thunder.

He looked up. “You did?” He asked, radiating an irritating amount of pleasure.
As I’d said it, I felt a relief that turned into a wave of anxiety verging on nausea.
He still had an open mouthed expression of success and pure joy, so I said, “Shut up.”

“Say it again,” he asked, laying down his papers and taking off his reading glasses, “what you said to her.”
For some reason, I felt a sudden hopelessness. “Not now,” I said, turning away.

“Why,” he asked, I could hear the smile in his voice of insistence.
“Because.. reasons.” I explained, then I went into the bathroom and turned on the water.
“Tell me!” He pleaded from the other room.
I felt flushed, and didn’t want to talk, so I squeezed-out too much toothpaste and started to brush my teeth.
“I can’t heah muuf,” I said, purposefully inaudible through a mouth full of suds.
“Anais,” he called, but I closed the bathroom door and leaned back against it.
I suddenly wanted to go home.. or back in time.

Later, I’d calmed down. Was my declaration really a secret - or common knowledge available to the most casual observer?
We’d had dinner room-serviced (Nordic-fusion cuisine from the Fiskebar) but I still felt a little off and moody. We were settled on an uncomfortable, Ikea-like, off-white couch and we’d queued-up ‘Parks and Rec,’ when I had a terrible thought.

“You must think I’m easy,” I voiced it, looking down, my hair hiding my face from him, “the way school ends and I just flee into our arms.”
“You.. EASY?” He said with a chuckle, “NNNOO,” he added snarkily.

I turned on him sharply, tucking my hair back behind my ears for verbal combat. “I feel like I’m being very vulnerable with you and you’re just laughing,” I pronounced.

“ALL right,” he said softly, as he turned and wrapped his arms gently around me, “don’t get yourself all wound-up - or I won’t get a chance to say ‘I love you,’ back.”
songs for this:
Good Life by Sammy Rae & The Friends
​​Swingin Party by The Replacements
Redwood Tree by Jamie Drake
All My Girls Like To Fight by Hope Tala
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Cohesive: sticks together to form something closely united.
Anais Vionet Apr 25
Sunrise was just a red line in the inky void, as Lisa and I reached the harbor decking stairs,
but at once, the brazen slash began widening, like a silent, slow motion explosion,  
thin, smoky wisps of cloud, like flammable tissue, prismed the stage light ignition.

bee-de-deep my phone chirped. It was Peter (my bf).
“Hey you,” I pronounced, as Lisa took off her left sneaker and shook it, upside-down.  
“How’s the harbor?” Peter asked. I glanced at my watch, it was 5:32 am in New Haven.
Peter must be at lunch (in Geneva) and tracking our morning run with the ‘Find My’ app.
“Beautiful,” I pronounced, “they’re really putting on a show.”
Of course, I meant the universe, the sun, the turns who were already at work, and Long Island Sound.
The gulls, perched on whatever, and grousing at each other, obviously haven’t had their coffee.
I read that AI had decoded bird talk and on a wire, they chittered, “Move over, you’re in my space.”

“Just wanted to say good morning,” Peter confessed, “Good Morning.”
“Good morning,” I wished back, “gotta go,” I replied, Lisa had finished de-pebbling her shoe.
“Yep,” Peter agreed, “Seee ya,” he quipped. “See ya,” I chuckled, smiling.
My watch asked, in my Air Podded ears, “Have you finished your workout?” because I was motionless.
I pressed the crown of my watch and slid the phone back in my pocket, our jogg’s only half done.

We began our harbor exodus, by turning our backs to the haven. It was already beginning to busy with boats.
We slipped on our hats and protective, polarized sunglasses as we began to run directly into the blazing sun.
Songs for this:
Sail on Sailor by the Beach Boys
Dancing in the moonlight by Toploader
Cold Heart - PNAU Remix by Elton John, Dua Lipa, PNAU
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: Exodus: a departure or in the bible, a mass emigration situation.
Anais Vionet Jan 16
I find myself in full fantasy mode lately. I have a BF (who I saw a couple of weeks ago) and I’m not interrogating my romantic choices - but he’s not here.

Do I have an impulse to throw myself at that boundary? No, but I can steal a look, now and then, like a hotel souvenir - can’t I?

Yesterday morning, Lisa and I stopped at Steep, a coffee shop on science hill, to pick up something breakfasty. At one point the small shop filled with the aroma of apple pie and in my mind, I had a flash memory of this guy, Jordie, last fall, coming into this shop in his little Yale blue and white soccer shorts.

He’d looked fit. In memory, he seemed to move slowly, like individual video frames. There was an interesting, uncomplicated strength, something polished and fresh about him, like a shiny new phone.

“Here,” Lisa said, passing a coffee to me. Then she gave me a sly smile and a tilty-headed look, asking,
“Where’d you go? You looked like you were lost in some bliss.”

A guilt washed through me, as thin and unpleasant as cigarette smoke. The thought of telling her struck me like a slapping hand. Submitting this fantasy to a roommate focus-group seemed wrong.

The whole fantasy was bunkum anyway, an unimportant memory, mapped to a fragrance, as if his taut, tanned, muscular legs had significance.
“I was daydreaming,” I said, with an ‘I don’t know’ shrug and grimace.

(BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Bunkum: a foolish or insincere idea)
Anais Vionet Nov 2023
I love it when Lisa and I take our show out and, on the road,
like this twilight helicopter flight, from New Haven to LaGuardia.
I’m so excited about tonight, it’s possible that I might implode.

The rotor blades started twirling, our luggage had been stowed,
the pilot asked Lisa. “Ready for takeoff?” Lisa grinned saying, “Let's go!”
He gave her a quick and crisp salute and the engine noise started to grow.

As we went wheels-up, the whirly-birds warning lights began to strobe.
Yep, It’s the start of November recess and we’re changing our zip code.

We rise like a balloon, at first, until the harbor comes into view.
The engines were screaming like jets, when the whole world turned askew,
I’ve done numerous take-offs like this, but it still feels like I might spew.

Above the rear cockpit window, there’s an air-speed indicator that looks like a clock.
With a quick turn over Yale’s campus, we’re going 90 as we steak over the docks.

As we ascend into the night, the twinkling lights of New Haven seem to shrink.
We’re swiftly gaining altitude, this quivering contraption, moves faster than you’d think.

As the red numbers settle at 260, the vibrations have all but ceased,
The engine noise is gone as well, as we race up, in the darkness and out over the sea.

I try not to think of the inky black water, how far we would fall and how quickly we’d sink.

Long Island Sound glittered, like fractured glass, under the waxing crescent moon.
The forever-blue sky was hosting a large, fake-star, because Venus was glowing there too.
That dark almost-orbit was prettier than the infinity-of-lights we’ll see on Park Avenue.
We’ll be meeting Peter’s flight from Geneva - a surprise - he doesn’t have a clue.

As the lights of New York become pronounced, so does my excitement that he’ll be around.
I’m sure we’ll get a moment of quiet intimacy at the LaGuardia international arrivals lounge.
Anais Vionet Oct 2023
Hold the phone, hold the freakin’ phone. Lisa’s got a boyfriend!
I’ve never seen Lisa with a boyfriend. Lisa draws men like fireworks on a dark night but I’ve never seen her keep one. I mean, it’s not unbelievable but it’s on the edge.

Then, one Friday evening, he came to visit. His name’s David - “call me Dave,” he said, meeting eyes and offering micro-expression smiles as he nodded around the room. Knowing he was coming, our suite’s common room was full, as if everyone came to see Lisa do a dangerous magic trick.

Dave’s got a young, Michael Keaton vibe going (the original movie batman), with a cocky, easygoing confidence and comedic snark that suggests he has everything under control. He’s 26 years old, about 5’11’ (a little shorter than 5’9” Lisa in heels - but he doesn’t seem to notice or mind), with brown eyes and unruly brown hair.

With some cagy sleuthing (I asked) it turns out he met her at her father’s (company's) Christmas party last year! I was there - and they’ve been secretly communicating for ten months!! How did I miss that? My situational awareness is obviously porous, and unreliable - was the room spinning?

You know, I hadn’t really focused on it before, but one of Lisa’s flaws is that her feelings and opinions don’t always show up in her expressions - it’s very annoying.

I’ve always been interested - umm, obsessed - with fashion. If I weren’t going into medicine, I’d have majored in fashion (called ‘Interdisciplinary Studies’ at Yale). Anyway, Dave’s been “dropping in” for the last few weeks - every Friday afternoon - arriving from Manhattan in his (my guess ~$6,500) business attire. What does Dave’s fashion sense tell us?

His business suits (charcoal-gray or olive-green) are Brioni, his dress white shirts are Thomas Pink, his ties Hermès and his shoes are Santoni. He’s slim and well tailored. I give him 5 stars.

If his work attire is lux, his casual attire speaks volumes as well. His weekend wear is a white dress shirt, open at the collar and jeans - both crisp and starched to hell and back. The long, stiff, white shirt sleeves are never rolled up. The jeans - deep blue and new - have a razor sharp crease down the front and his shoes are burgundy, Timberline, boat shoes with no socks. That outfit screams (Texas) oil money.

“What is it you DO?” I asked him, that first night, as Lisa was off getting ready to go out.
“I’m a “M & A weasel,” he said, shrugging nonchalantly. (that’s Mergers and Acquisitions, if you don’t know - with one of the Morgans - JPMorgan or Morgan Stanley - I can’t remember which).
He’s one of those reviled, monied, ‘Wall Street’ guys. Yep, he‘s in control of everything.

“Tell me about you.” he said, giving me a serious, intense look that held immediate charm. He seemed relaxed, his suit coat off, his white dress shirt glowing in the suite’s soft lighting.
“I’ve got the highest GPA in Yale’s pre-med program,” I informed him, adding, “ my opinion.”
He chuckled (which, of course, made me like him more).

You know, life in an education bubble can get tedious. Sure, it fills our days from edge to edge and satisfies our basic needs but it can be stifling - a faraday cage filtering life into carefully measured doses. Come Friday nights, we’re ready to hit it.

One thing I like about Dave is that he wants to be one of us and he’s never tried to peel Lisa away for himself - I think that shows an ease and generosity of spirit. Did I mention that Dave’s a Yale alum? He KNOWS New Haven.

The first night we all went out, it was the whole clan - my roommates, the girls in our sister suite, Dave and Andy (a friend of Sunny). We went to an expensive harbor restaurant to get to know Dave and seafood-martini celebrate. We had an epic time. Dave fit in like family.

I’m kind of used to paying for off campus stuff because some of these girls are tight and I’ve got a bag, but when the waiter brought the check, Dave and I found ourselves both reaching for it.
“May I?” He asked, with his Keaton-like smirk. “This time,” I said, with my own shrugging smile.

Later, back at our suite, Dave’s heading back to his hotel (less than a mile away) and slowly, quietly, saying goodnight to Lisa by the front door. “You’ve got some awfully long legs,” he said, like a 1940s black & white movie gumshoe. Taking her gently by the back of the neck and waist and twisting her tall, thin frame in a dancer’s backbend dip where she hung, suspended in his arms.

“I’d like to shimmy up one of those legs like a native boy looking for coconuts.” She chuckled.
Leong and I, sitting on our red corduroy couch, exchanged eye-rolls and smiles - he’s a romantic goof, but somehow, he carries it all off - right down to the kiss.
Fashion 411 - the business attire - how did I know?...
Brioni suit (Italian) - the buttons, mother-of-pearl, are delicately engraved with the logo ($6000)
Thomas Pink shirts (British) - there’s a faint, near invisible fox's head logo on the cuffs ($200)
Hermès ties (French) - silk, equestrian motifs, hand-rolled edges, giving them a 3D look $250
Santoni shoes (Italian) - there are crown symbols on the soles $800
Anais Vionet Oct 2023
Your life may be full of sparkles and ove-lay but the rest of us sometimes struggle under storm clouds.

Anna (one of my roommates) broke up with her BF of a year. It seemed to happen in agonizing, slow motion. Anna wavered, for almost a week, like a feather caught in contradictory gusts, but finally, she gave him the broom.

Jump ahead four days to Saturday. New Haven was a drizzle-fest of cold rain and my suitemates all stayed in. I had hospital volunteer hours that morning (6am-10am) and then managed to whip through my chemistry homework (3 classes) in 3 quick hours.

When everyone was free, we ordered pizzas and wings. We have to meet deliveries at the front gate, and I was barely able to carry it all. “Pizza!” I announced, as I entered the suite, where I was immediately mobbed.

“Le’ me get to the table!” I whined as I bobbed and weaved through the crush like a prizefighter. As soon as I set it down, the pizzas were claimed, and the girls took their usual seats.

Lisa always sits on floor cushions, by Anna, at the low, white coffee table. After a few bites, she hugged Anna, giving her a ”rawr.“ She hadn’t really seen her since the decoupling.
You iight?” she asked Anna.
Anna waved her hands in the air, like she was sweeping smoke away, because her mouth was full, but she nodded, ‘YES’ emphatically.

“Let's play something,” Leong said, meaning music on the linked Amazon Echos throughout the suite. “Choose!” she said, motioning to Anna.
Anna replied, “Don’t Wanna Fight” (by Alabama Shakes).
“A classic,” Leong agreed, searching it out. “Amen,” Sunny chuckled.
“Love it,” Lisa said, dancing in anticipation while seated on her cushion.
“Mmmm!” I added, because my mouth was full of pizza.
Cue ‘Don’t Wanna Fight.’

Two nights later, we were at one of those dances we jokingly call ‘fashion week events’ and Anna arrived a little late. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her messy-bunned copper-cherry red hair was highlighted with phosphorescent hair chalk that glowed penny bright in the right light.

She was wearing a red dress that looked painted on, her face sparkled with ‘unicorn snot’ glitter and her lips were a fun phosphorescent green, as if they were dipped in Kool-Aid.

“Look at her,” Sunny said, indicating Anna, “getting back on the horse and trying to arrange her next emotional trauma.”

“They grow up so fast,” I said, fake-dabbing my eyes like a teary parent.
decoupling = a breakup
ove-lay = ‘love’ in pig latin
rawr     = ‘I Love You" in dinosaur.
iight     = alright
Anais Vionet Aug 2023
I do foolish things
when I’m blue
when I’m sad
and missing you
I do foolish things

like dancing all night
foolish things
drinking everything in sight
foolish things
shopping til I drop
foolish things
somehow I cannot stop

doing foolish things
when I’m blue
when I’m sad
and missing you
I do foolish things

watching ‘parks & rec’ all night
foolish things
drinking coffee until daylight
foolish things
dragging friends on crazy romps
foolish things
somehow I cannot stop

doing foolish things
when I’m blue
when I’m sad
and missing you
I do foolish things

acting like spring breakers
foolish things
*****-dirping strangers
foolish things
acting like some whack-job
foolish things
but somehow I cannot stop

doing foolish things
when I’m blue
when I’m sad
and missing you
I do foolish things

making badong decisions
foolish things
I’m in an awkweird position
foolish things
I’ve begun precrastinating
foolish things
a change is indicated

so come back soon
cause when you do
there are foolish things
I want to do with you
foolish things
foolish things
crazy foolish things
foolish things
*****-dirping = saying silly or outrageous things to strangers for effect.
badong = bad / wrong
awkweird = combination of "awkward" and "weird".
precrastinating = procrastinating before procrastinating.
Anais Vionet May 2023
The Heraclee sky was a lurid, neon blue but the morning was surprisingly cool (at 54°). The antemeridian sun managed to cast sharp, surreal, black-hole shadows, giving the world a baroque art look, as if we were strolling through a Rembrandt painting, where everything is defined by shadows.

The lavish breeze, coming up off the Mediterranean Sea, seemed compressed and frantic, as if trying to flee the choppy, sapphire water. Tall marsh grasses waved back and forth, as if to unheard music, reminding me of 60-thousand swaying arms at the Taylor Swift concert.

Higher up, the wind played with feather-like clouds, making them seem to rise, fall and spill over each other in their race for the horizon. On the beach, there were ten or more colorful, elaborate kites - the French love their multi-wired stunt kites.

There was a dragon, a multi-color WWI biplane, there were bird kites, an octopus and a swooping butterfly. We watched them for a while, from a hill. “I’m going to get one of those,” Peter said, dreamily (for use on the Malibu beach his parents' modest home overlooks).

A little later, Peter and I decided to bike down to the beach from the hotel. The idea was valid but the bikes, seeming leftovers from World War 2, shook and rattled like percussion instruments as we made the death-defying plunge down the steep, uneven stone-laid path. We were laughing, screaming and half convinced we’d die by the time we reached the bottom.

Once there, a snooty concierge said, “That is NOT the bike path.” Which seemed hilarious. When Peter replied, dead faced, “We’re American,” as if that were an internationally understood pass for being stupid. It made us laugh so hard we couldn’t look at each other for a couple of minutes. I don’t know which hurt more, my bottom or my side.

As our guffaws were dying down, Charles arrived on the bike path.
“Why’d you do THAT?” (take the wrong path) he asked, with a tone of irritated censure.
“There was a sign,” I argued, gasping for air from my still doubled up laughing position, “that said ‘Bike Path?’" my voice rising like a sarcastic question.
“You didn’t notice the ten-inch tall, blue arrow under the words pointing to the bike path?”

Sometimes Charles can be extra over - as in overprotective and over-reactive.

As Cherles and I wrangled away, Peter stood patiently by, waiting. He doesn’t argue with Charles, he says he finds the 6-foot-3-inch, retired NYC policeman a little intimidating.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I said, dismissively, “he’s a big ‘ol teddy bear.”
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Censure: a reprimand from an authority.

Heraclee = a lesser known beach about 11 miles from Saint-Tropez, France.

antemeridian = morning
Anais Vionet Apr 2023
I’ve been cutting Peter’s hair for a year. When covid lockdown occurred, I learned to cut my brother’s hair - and yes, he still has two ears. When I first met Peter, he had a great thick tangle of unkempt black and, in certain light, blue hair. It was **** as hell, in a lost puppy way.

Then, one Saturday morning last year, as summer began to settle in, he buzz cut it - out of the blue - you might say. When he showed up that morning for breakfast with Lisa and I (we were at Stillman), Lisa saw him first and turned just in time to see me, see him. She saw my squint as the sign of trouble it was.

Lisa’s yoda. “Guys,” she said simply.
How can I put this: Eeuuwww, creepy. Peter’s tall and lanky, like descriptions I’ve read of a young Abraham Lincoln, although unlike that great man, Peter’s rather handsome - with hair.

If the stubble were red, I could say he looked exactly like a matchstick, but with his black hair against his bone-white head, he looked more like an escaped convict.

When he got to our table he rubbed his hand over the ruin of his lost hair, and grinning, said, “How’d you like it?”
“Wow,” Lisa said, recusing herself noncommittedly.
I looked up from my phone, “We need to get you a HAT,” I said softly.
“Why?” he said, his grin dimming by a good 50%.

“Because,” I said, summoning all of my notable tact, “you aren’t going to hang around ME looking like Forrest Gump.” I’d just looked up hat stores and found one five blocks away, DelMonico Hatter, on Elm street. They even had the hat I was looking for in stock.
“What?” He started defensively.
“Get something to go.” I said, standing up and starting to gather up my things.
Peter, swimming like he usually does, got an egg & sausage biscuit and a cup of coffee to go.
As the three of us were walking, I asked Peter, “You like 'Breaking Bad', ya?”
“Sure,” he said, with a mouth half-full of biscuit.
“We’re getting you a heisenberg” I said, grinning. “or two.”

“No, I don’t know,” he said, slowing his walk. I could tell he was worried about the money. Peter and I had only been seeing each other casually at that point - we’d never even kissed - but I knew he lived on a small stipend, he received monthly, while completing his doctorate.

“Look,” I said, coming to a stop. We all came to a stop. “I’m flush, this is MY treat and I don’t want you to worry about it.” When he still looked hesitant, I said, exaggeratedly, as I started to walk again, “Don’t worry, you won’t owe me any ****** favors.”
“Aww, ****,” he said with a grin.
“She does this,” Lisa whispered to him, too loudly.

Eventually, we found him two Heisenberg hats for around $200. One, for summer day wear, a light beige Bailey Carver Straw Porkpie and the other, for nightwear, a Roche, DelMonico Palma Felt Pork Pie - just like Walter White’s. He looked quite the bengali menace.

Of course, his hair grew back in a few months, but he kept wearing the hats.  And now I cut his hair - to prevent any sudden, k-mart inspirations.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Recuse: to remove oneself as judge

yoda = wise and all knowing.
swimming = a good sport
flush = money’d up, holding a bag
bengali menace = a handsome man
k-mart = cheap looking and unwanted.
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