Day 10 and Counting
I’m crossing off the days until Myrna’s visit is over. Max is crossing off hours.
Myrna’s perfume as well as her personality permeates the house. Since her arrival, Salsa our Chihuahua, hasn’t taken her nose from under the pillows. Jars of creams, cans of spray, tubes of lipstick, mascara, foundation, bottles of nail polish litter surfaces. The masseuse has been here 3 times, the manicurist twice. Good thing her husband Otto’s company is thriving.
Myrna’s morning pick-me-up is green tea with a raw egg added after the tea cools to just the right temperature, then sprinkled with a light dusting of cayenne. Max refuses to make it. Myrna says she’s not used to working in a kitchen. So, I’m making the devil’s brew. But I have to hand it to her she does look good for 75.
On her first day Max was carving vegetables for a garden salad. Myrna said, “Maxie! How sweet to see you at your little hobby!”
When she left the kitchen, Max asked me, “What vegetables go well with arsenic?”
“Down, Max. Is she worth time in prison?”
He thought a moment. “Maybe not,” he said and kept carving.
When I served the salad, she said, “Maxie, the plate is too crowded.”
Max said, “It’s called food. Earth people eat it all the time.”
“Oh, Maxie! Daddy and I just loved it when you tried to be funny.”
“Don’t call me Maxie!”
“More champagne?” I asked, pushing the bottle between them.
Myrna held up her flute to be filled. “I suppose this will have to do but Veuve Cliquot is really the only champagne that doesn’t upset my tummy.”
After that Max insisted on ordering in.
Another day, I was sitting in the garden painting the flowering dessert rose. It was a break while Myrna was having her English clay mud facial.
I didn’t realize she was behind me until she said, “Lovely to see you at your new pastime. A Paris friend of mine captures a garden in a few strokes. But it’s sweet to see you struggling.”
I turned to see her hair in a towel and face covered in mud.
I could have hurled digs at yuck goddess but steeled myself to silence.
Many times, we tried to interest her in museums or historic sites but all she wanted was to sit by the pool and pamper herself.
Finally, today she left for a few hours to go shopping. She came back with 7 glossy pink bags stuffed with beauty products and topped with tufts of pink tissue. “I’m exhausted!” she declared, collapsing into a lounge chair by the pool.
The phone rang. It was Cutlass, “Darlings,” he said, “We hear Max’s sister is visiting. We simply must meet her. How about dinner at Casa Azul on Saturday?”
I told Myrna about Casa Azul and the mystery surrounding its original owner the actress Rosa Azul. Myrna was fascinated. “Too divine,” she said.
Max whispered to me, “Thank goodness, a life boat. I hope we can keep Cutlass and Bobo as friends after an evening with Myrna.”
“We’ll have to take our chances.”
96 hours left.
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