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Klavan On The Culture

Good Writing About Bad Times

July 18th, 2012 - 6:00 am

The lovely Chris Niles is a long-time and very dear friend of mine — and an extremely talented colleague as well. Recently, after 21 years of wedded something-or-other, Chris’s husband walked out on her. This, of course, was extremely bad news for Chris, but she’s making it sort of interesting for the rest of us with one of the best written blogs I’ve ever seen. The blog is called WHATSTHATYOUSAYMRSROBINSON and, largely through a series of character sketches, chronicles Chris’s completely unsavory and probably unwise attempts to deal with her heart-wrenching  situation. Well, as I say, she’s a friend of mine, so unsavory and unwise come with the territory. Here’s a sample:

The Jamaican. The worst flirt in the Western Hemisphere, hands down. Well over six feet tall, good looking, and with a voice like Barry White overdosed on Valium, the Jamaican is the mayor of my local bar. He likes the corner stool, next to the door, so he can ogle the women and size up the men.

The Jamaican’s sex appeal is weapons’ grade; this point cannot be over-emphasized. But, bless him, he doesn’t sit back and let his considerable physical assets do all the work. Did I mention that he’s the worst flirt in the Western Hemisphere? Hold onto that thought and imagine being steamrollered by charm.  You’re so steamrollered you cannot think straight; you can’t even remember your own name. Normally I have the resting heart rate of a coma victim. About three feet from the Jamaican it began doing a fairly solid impersonation of a jackhammer.

There didn’t seem to be any doubt that it went both ways. Perhaps it was the fact that he liked to sit so close to me our thighs touched. Or the time he put his hand to the clasp of my bra and said, grinning. “When I was 22 I could have got that off with one hand.”  For a few seconds—I was a little slow on the uptake because I was trying to recall my name—I thought he might actually do it.

If the above horrifies you, you can stay here with me — I couldn’t remove a bra with both hands and a power drill. But if you love good writing, sardonic humor and post-separation insanity, I really recommend this. It’s great stuff.

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