Teaser 133: Oscar Preparations from Germany

Neither of us had worn any clothing at all since Monday morning and I wanted no interruption so I called Matty Tuesday afternoon. “I want you to skip cleaning my room tomorrow, Matty. I'm leaving for America Friday. I won't be back for a month or more. I'll pay you for the next two months before I leave and you can clean the room after I'm gone, but no cleaning tomorrow.”

“Is that woman with you again, Gregory?”

“Magdalena is with me, yes. You know her name, Matty. You know her car is parked in your drive. We never hide it when she's here.”

“I will say this, Gregory, since she has been coming here to your flat, you have been a different person. For a while we weren't sure about you.”

“I have apologized many times for my behavior, Matty, especially when you threatened to send me to hospital. It was a bad time for me but Lena has helped me get over it and she won't let me get there again. She knows me very well, understands me perfectly. She's a criminal psychologist, Matty! But...you have a hard time accepting her because she's black, don't you, Matty?”

“It's not that, Gregory-” Matty tried to explain.

“It is because she's black, Matilde,” I interrupted. “Admit it. Admit you have so little experience with black people you have a very difficult time trusting them, considering them as though they were welcome in your house. But it's only through your lack of experience which colors your perception. Don't make bland, empty excuses, Matty. Admit it.”

I had pushed Matty where I knew she didn't want to go, but after the hospital incident, she had taken a much more concerned approach with me. She had even talked to me intelligently about depression and she knew exactly from what I suffered at times. I felt she could be pushed and handle it. “You are correct in that I have little experience with black people, Gregory. I give you that because it's true. I don't know this Magdalena, though, and you don't make any effort to introduce us-”

“Matty, both of us have been up here all along, but let me tell you about Magdalena. Lena prefers to wear no clothes while she is at home, and she feels at home here with me. When your cleaning person comes up here, she has to put her clothes back on, and she's never happy about it, but this is who she is. I would introduce you, all of you, but would you accept her at your dining table if she were naked?”

Matty laughed heartily. “You know the answer, Gregory.”

“So let her be who she wants to be with me and accept the fact that if it wasn't for her, because she saved me from myself, instead of taking me to hospital, maybe you would be having me sent to the morgue. I believe it! I know who I am, and I was going down, until I met Magdalena.”

Matty was silent for a few moments. “Perhaps,” she said slowly, calmly, “we should meet this Magdalena. She seems to be very influential to you and very important. It would be nice to talk with her and get a better understanding of her and she of us.”

“When I get back from America, Matty, we will have this meeting, all of us. She'll put some clothes on, so will I, and we'll come down and have a morning or afternoon or even an evening together. Frankly, Matty, I would have done it sooner, but she has been focused on me and my focus has been on her since the day I met her. I count the days when she's away and when I can expect to see her again. That's how much I think about her.”

“Good. So no cleaning until you leave Friday. I will respect that. Please have a safe journey and come back to us. I...do enjoy your company here, Gregory. I was thinking the other day how nice it was when we walked along the bank of the river together. I would like to do it again soon.”

- Just Desserts, Segment SixteenBack in the Saddle” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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