Tischa May was a lady who sat like a lady. At this very moment, she was sitting with her back of the straightest order, more upright than even the walls of the room. Her bottom did not touch the back of the lounge chair on which she sat, so that it rested just shy of the edge of it, just shy of falling straight off it. If someone pulled that lounging chair away from Tischa May’s bottom, she could-not would-not topple onto the floor space. No, her legs indeed could-not would-not budge one centimeter — they would stay put in the most perfect of right angles, as if still propped up by the chair.
And at this very moment, Tischa May’s hands were resting in her lap, but they could-not would-not touch. Tischa May was a lady and a lady wore silk gloves (the silkiest) so because of silk her fingers did not touch. And Tischa May’s hat matched her billowing cream dress with oversized roses with big green thorns painted on, because her big cream hat had a tiny little rose, but a real one with thorns (the sharpest), nestled in its wide, wide brim. And Tischa May had sat her hat beside her on the chair for lounging.
Now Tischa May was sitting by a man who stood. He was standing very well, with a back almost as straight as Tischa May, except he was a gentleman and so lady stood straighter. And he was holding a bottle of whiskey, a beverage.
Tischa May thought the beverage was in a lovely bottle, all thick glass so that the liquid inside looked lots of centimeters away from where the Gentleman’s hand held on. His hand was placed behind the bottle, which leant against it, with his other hand palm up beneath it, so that the bottle rested quite properly. And the hand too was lovely and large and she thought it looked most powerful even with such a gentle grip. On the beverage bottle there was a label and the label was strapped across its middle in such a way that Tischa imagined it was ‘slapped!’ around it. So then, of course, she envisioned that loveliest hand going ‘slap!’ right across her face. The lady blinked her eyes very wide because she felt it most real and strong. A little ‘oh!’ bubbled out of her throat but she caught it before her lips could ever open. Tischa May was a lady.
Not wanting to be rude, because a lady is not rude, she drew herself back to their little moment and washed her eyes over the face of the Gentleman. His face was ever so close to the beverage bottle which he held up next to it, and his face was tilted too so that his eyes were parallel to the top of the label and his teeth were parallel to the bottom. Now the eyes of the Gentleman were a deep-down brown the same brown of the brown of the beverage juice at the top of the beverage bottle. The top of the bottle was furthest from Tischa May, because the bottle was tilted not just with its top to the slight left, parallel to the Gentleman’s face, but the bottle was tilted to the slight backwards direction also. This meant that the bottom beverage liquid was lighter brown and slightly lit up from where the overhead lamps made it shine. But his eyes were the brown of the far away liquor without the shine. Tischa May thought they were quite excellent in the way that she could-not would-not be able to find his pupils.
Truly, thought Tischa May, the Gentleman’s face is quite like his beverage bottle. She thought how a little shine made them the same and a slight tilt to the left and to the backwards direction made them identical. And the shine that made them the same kept his eyes deep-down brown and his teeth flat-white white. The flat-white, white teeth shone all around, so she thought they must be all the same shape, and not round, because round would reflect from just the roundest parts of each tooth. So now she knew they were shallow but then she thought more. Because his eyes were far and his teeth were close so the teeth were shiny and the eyes were flat and that meant the deep-down brown was just dark and the flat-white white was just light. And Tischa May thought some more.
The bright of the light-like white teeth made the Gentleman’s lips look soft, because light is hard and red is soft. And his lips were red. Tischa May thought they were the brightest part of his face, brighter than the flat-white, light-like white. White which they sheltered, being red. So his smile made of lips was a home, she thought. How nice to have a home like the smile of a Gentleman. ‘It’s a beverage,’ she heard his usual words, and she thought she could-would drink him up good.
‘Would you like a glass?’
See there in that moment, Tischa May made her decision. It was a decision based on one principal mostly, well only, and that was the principal that her Gentleman was good and her Gentleman was identical to his beverage, so they were the same. And as a lady Tischa May was very considered in her manner, so before she warmed herself to her Gentleman’s invitation to drink, she had to most assuredly ensure he was a true and proper Gentleman. Now you may wonder how such assurances can be made, but Tischa May would assure you that a lady has her ways.
If this were a play and not a story (honest story) then Tischa May would here wink to show an inside joke, like an in-the-know aside. She would stroke her hat on its wide, wide brim and her eyes would watch as she would walk her silk fingers over to her rose with its sharp green thorns (the sharpest) and run them over its stem. And its stem was burst here and there by its thorns, not thick but thin and thin and pointy and pointy sharp. And her fingers would brave even their outline, silk-soldier style. But the rose could-not would-not prick her because her fingers were covered by white silk (light-like white, she should think). So she would push down her fingers and see the silk simper until a thorn made a hole and a hole made another and a red bubble would swell from her silk soldier finger. And at the whimper of the silk soldier finger Tischa May would look back for another aside, a joke on the inside, and wink.
But. This story (honest story) is not a play but a story and so blink that wink away because the could-would did not happen. Now her Gentleman, being good, had and did things that were good, so to have and do things with him (who was good) was something Tischa May thought she should. And she spoke:
‘I’ll have a glass.’
Now before that day, as a lady and a wife, Tischa May had shared her life with a man to whom she could-not would-not share one thing. When he smiled she smiled back, if he laughed she joined in. With his friends she played host, for his boss she put in the most and at the end of the day she received a thank you. But a thank you to a lady is a not smile and a wink, no a smile and a wink is somewhat different. After years and years of a smile and a wink from a husband, she saw another thing and what she saw was her Gentleman and she saw her Gentleman blink. Tischa May had a husband and her husband did not think and that is why Tischa May saw her Gentleman blink. And when her husband turned his head, closed his eyes or just tied his tie, Tischa May saw more than just her Gentleman blink. She saw him think.
From then on Tischa May was a lady who had a husband and her Gentleman and she shared not one thing with the first and her thoughts with the latter and Tischa May felt for once that she mattered. In the days while she slaved (dressed in heels) and working husband made his deals, she felt good. She enjoyed all her food and the sun and the rain and that husband who winked and smiled she blinked away. Because she had her Gentleman. They would talk and they would laugh and Tischa May thought how he was smart and she listened. Day after day, Tischa May heard him say how he wanted to invite her to do good. And she questioned and she pondered and she asked why and what but the answer to those went away when she asked the last: How? To which her Gentleman would smile and wink except his wink-smile she could-not blink away.
Now here it had been quite a while that Tischa May had kept her husband for she could-not would-not leave him (she was a lady). But a lady tossed aside is a lady that is broken and a husband that breaks a lady is not good. And for a Gentleman a broken lady will not do, a broken lady with a Gentleman is simply selfish. So do you see if Tisha May fixed herself it was not bad but good because it was for her Gentleman who was good. And Tischa May thought how she had found a loophole.
So this was how Tischa May came to sit on her sofa by her Gentleman and his beverage and his bottle and her silk-soldier fingers that could-not would-not touch. And his light-like white teeth were smiling because Tischa May was a lady, not broken, a fixed lady and he knew why. She had done good. The nature of her good deed was simple; as a wife to a husband who could not husband very well, Tischa May had groomed his skill. First, the smile and the wink that the husband gave in thanks had changed to a kiss and a shout:
‘Oh! Tischa May, you are the most wonderful of ladies!’
And when the kiss and the shout were known all about, it meant that the husband had learnt to be good to the wife. Except. The wife had once been new to marriage (one that had been good) but it became bad over time. So for the lesson to be good it had to stand tall against time and last until the husband took his last breath. Oh! Then Tischa May would be a lady for all time.
Now earlier that day after a fine discussion with her Gentleman from where she sat on her sofa (always on her sofa), Tischa May welcomed in the husband, home from work. And he said this:
‘Tischa May! Another day sat down on that sofa!’
In her billowing cream dress with its thorns and red swells Tischa may felt her silk soldier fingers. She noticed them stiffen and how the silk fibres tightened as her fingers bent round and silk soldiers with nails fell down into the palm of their lady’s lady-hands. But she spoke:
‘It’s a beverage. Would you like a glass?’
She took from a small round coffee table, a drink. It was in a beautiful bottle, with thick glass and brown juice and it was whiskey (a beverage) in a bottle. Without waiting for the husband to return with an answer, she placed her finger on the base of its lid. Then in one flick of the wrist which made her thumb (on the lid) twist she flipped off that lid from the bottle full of beverage. The lid popped to the floor and rolled here and then there and then spun on its side until it stopped. And the husband and wife watched until the lid settled and the wife had her eyes wide with a glint and their light-like white matched her smile. The lid as it spun flicked juice drops here and there and then spun into one of the wet dots. And the juice of the drops made the spinning lid stop which is when the silence they were in became loud. Tischa May found the show exciting and the feeling stayed so that her heart was beating here and then there and back again.
Then after she thought how she could hear her heart beat here and then there, and so pulled herself down into reality. She lifted her head with its smile and its shine and her eyes were still wide with excitement. Now the eyes pointed straight in the direction of the husband and the smile stayed tightly wide just like them. So with eyes on the husband and bottle in hand Tischa May moved to use her other (right hand). And down, in reality, she raised a crystal glass (so it was heavy) and through the crystal (that was thick) she could just about see her Gentleman standing and her Gentleman stood with his back straight (so he was tall) and she thought how the husband was rather short. Then she thought, nevertheless and poured out some juice (which was whiskey) and poured a little less because her husband was short and the short needed just a little. So she swirled around the little, made of juice (which was whiskey) and she swirled it around the glass high and low. And the high and the low of the juice being swirled left an outline on the glass of the beverage which was whisky. And it smelt strong.
‘It is chilled.’ The husband did not move not one inch to get his drink so Tischa May moved to stand and moved to take his hand so that his hand could hold the drink which was whiskey. And hand in (silk) hand they held the glass of whiskey. At that the husband smiled, then he winked. Still hand in hand Tischa May and the husband held one glass and around that crystal cup she (a lady) began to squeeze hard (hard and tight). And a conversation happened between the husband and the wife and the conversation went exactly (honest story) like this:
‘Husband do not smile do not wink not once more I have had quite enough!’
‘But Tischa May! That is my thank you.’
‘To a lady and a wife (and I am both) a thank you is not a wink it is not a smile it is just one thing; to a lady and a wife a thank you goes like this: Oh! Tischa May you are the most wonderful of ladies!’
‘That is a thank you?’
‘That is a thank you.’
‘Tischa May you are the most wonderful of ladies?’
‘That is correct.’
And before more questions could-would be asked, Tischa May (broken lady) did the most unladylike thing, Tischa May stopped her husband from talking (interrupted). The interruption was to stop the husband from refusing or refuting if or if not her thank you was a thank you. Because at this point the husband had said it, if he meant it or if not and so Tischa May by interrupting made him mean it though he did not (which she knew). And to interrupt her husband Tischa May employed her soldiers. Her silk soldier fingers squeezed tight and hard (quite harder than before). Now beneath the soldiers was a husbands’ glass and the glass was Tischa May’s favourite. The glass was like a lady because a lady is full of secrets and the glass had a secret and the secret of the glass was that it was broken. If a broken glass is squeezed beneath fingers that are soldiers then the break in the glass starts to splinter. And the thing with a splinter, Tischa May knew, was that a splinter could-would grow a splinter (and then another). So the splinters had splintered off while the husband and the wife discussed true thanks and when the husband said true thanks and Tischa May squeezed even harder (and tighter) the glass and its splinters that grew splinters exploded.
In the explosion crystal cut skin on the wrist of the husband and the cut on the skin was quite deep. And as his blood puddled out Tischa May watched it trickle and she watched it trickle here then there but quite fast so with purpose. And Tischa May thought it funny how it could think. So as the think of the blood made it run out from inside the husband he fell. First to one knee and Tischa May thought of a memory and then to both and then in one collapsed heap. And the heap was quite unsightly thought Tischa May though she thought not to judge as judging was no longer her job to do but a job for someone else.
Indeed Tischa May did something else. To the chaos and the mess Tischa May swept up her dress and turned two steps away towards her sofa. And she spun round half of one spin and she bent halfway to her knees and her bottom sat right upon it. With her hat to one side and her husband who had died we met Tischa May who was a Lady. And the Lady looked around and she looked until she found her good Gentleman. So Gentleman found, she reached for his whiskey and let him pour her that glass and when it was full she put him down on the table. And when that was finished she poured another and one more, and all the while watched his face smiling up from down on the label.
Now if this were a play Tischa May would pause mid-sip. She would turn and like a Lady she would smile to us, she would wink. Then red curtains would close, like a blink.