Morton Huseman Has a Girlfriend: The Retracted Blogpost Reposted
Seven years ago when I first published this post, I was advised by my agent and my editor to pull it, so I did. But 7 years have passed and people have died and so I’m reposting it.
Morton Huseman has a girlfriend. She is living in my house. You are all, I know, wondering how I keep letting this happen, strangers in my house, and I have no answer for you. This woman appeared on a Friday to vex my soul, but though I am not afraid of her, I am still a little afraid of Morton because of his swivel head and penguin eyes. When he looks at this woman, those penguin eyes do a sort of Grave’s Disease bulge in his face, like cartoon love. I do believe I see the outline of his heart thumping and pumping through his shirt. His man breasts quiver when she touches his forearms, which is often. She is a touchy, pawing kind of a person. Except with me. She hates me, even though she is living in my house and eating my food. Why does she live here then? Because I am a foolish and extremely kind person. Even Morton’s nasty, mean-spirited lover acknowledges, albeit grudgingly, that I am a nice person. She says things like, “You are obviously a very nice person, and it shines through the chaos of your home.” You see? She is one of those.
Her name is Carolyn, see? And Morton calls her Carrie Beary Poopoo. For ease, in this blog, I will just call her Poopoo. So Carolyn See, excuse me, Poopoo appeared on Friday in my bathroom. It was worse, really. She appeared naked on Friday in my bathroom. As I opened the bathroom door, she stepped out of the shower, and through the the steamy mist appeared Poopoo in all her naked glory with a towel piled up on her head. She is enormous, with giant rolls of fat like ropes of challah bread dough wrapped around her middle in stacks. If you close your eyes and imagine pulling the inner coil of a cinnamon bun up so you could see all the circles of gooey roll stretching out, each a wee bit narrower than the last, this is how she looks, except her head is enormous and shaped like a cinnamon roll itself. Really, she looked, standing there naked before me, like a sprung up cinnamon roll topped with another cinnamon roll. And atop her head, a turban of towel. My towel. Which I have since thrown away. Because she has hair issues. Which I will detail later. Her eyes are cruel and small, and she is old, with miserable lines pulling down at her mouth. It is a mouth that must not have smiled in many, many years. Poopoo is old, mean, and shaped like a human sticky bun. And Morton is absolutely fascinated with her.
She is another of his online Chinese Opera students. Morton had mentioned her a few times over dinner. “I have a student. Her manner excites me. Do you…understand me?” And then with the head swivel, the penguin blinks, the swallow and the sigh. I knew he was into her. And then suddenly, she was there. Pepe is beyond jealous. He sulks and pouts, but Morton is so enchanted with his bitchy Poopoo that he doesn’t even notice. I can not remember the last time they ate corn together. Pepe sits with his pile of corn now and fingers it wistfully.
Before I saw her naked in the bathroom, I met her dressed once. I came home to her catshrieking Chinese Opera one day. It leapt from the basement like the cries of the damned in Hell. And then there was quiet. Long quiet. Soon after, they came upstairs and Poopoo was almost smiling. Poopoo is unaccustomed to smiling being that she is wicked and confused. When she smiled, it looks as though someone was standing behind her, pulling back at the corners of her mouth. She smiles like Wallace and Grommit.
When she saw me, her Wallace Smile disappeared. She turned grim and dark and her ugly face went purple and then she began a blinking that was unlike Morton’s penguin blinks. Hers were the kind of blinks that Jeannie’s evil sister Jeannie used to blink. The kind that say, “You are a bitch, and you are in my way and I am going to have to blink you into oblivion.” Poopoo gives Oblivion Blinks and you know what I mean. She asked me, “Are you here to vie for the hand of Morton? I have claimed him for my own, and if you want him, you will have to kill me.”
“Of course I am not vying for Morton’s hand?”
“Then why are you in Morton’s house?”
“Morton is in MY house.”
“No matter.” And then she turned back to him, pulled his head down to her substantial and gooey one,opened her mouth like a whale and nearly swallowed his face. I almost vomited. When she turned back to me she said, “Understand that if I hear you have touched him, even laid one finger on his lovely skein of hair, I will take your own hair and wrap it around your neck. Your hair will become the weapon of your destruction, if you should touch his hair or any part of him. Even his…hair.”
This is the way with her, always on and on about the hair. It is baffling, her preoccupation with hair. She herself has a little shock of hair that is dyed some bizarre shade of almost auburn or almost brown. An almost kind of color. In fact, that is how you would describe it: Poopoo’s hair is almost colored. And it grows out of her head in that sad diminished way of the elderly, where I will surely get one day, and where she wishes I were right now. In an effort to promote hair growth, she is constantly rubbing her scalp with various unguents and potions, like directly out of my novel. She read my novel actually, and all she could focus on was the hair. She continually follows me about asking questions in her threatening way.
“This Brahmi Oil? Does it work?”
“For dandruff? For hair?”
“Well, they say it does.”
“Get me some.” And then she glowers and narrows her evil eyes.
“I can’t get you some. It isn’t here. It’s there.”
“You can’t just call someone. It has to be hand carried.”
“Don’t you KNOW anyone? Big-time author? Big name, big shot and you can’t get a friend some Brahmi Oil?”
“I am not big time, and you are not my friend.”
At this point, she usually reaches over into my hair and grabs a handful. “How’d you get this?” “What? Let go of my hair!” I try to pull my head back, but Poopoo has the advantage of size and meanness.
“What? What? Your HAIR for God’s sake. What else could I be talking about? Certainly not your influence, can’t even get a bottle of Brahmi Oil over here in real life, only in some useless book. Your HAIR. How’d you get it?”
“I was born with it Carolyn. I am Indian. We have a lot of hair.”
“It just seems that you might be able to share a little bit about the hair routines. You see what I’m working with here? I’m really wondering and you can’t even be useful or kind?”
“You LIVE in my house Carolyn. I AM useful and kind. Regarding hair, I don’t know why you’re going on and on about it. Can’t you just think about ANYTHING else? There’s a lot to appreciate in life, you know to spend so much time worrying about hair.”
“I will THINK about whatever I WANT to think about.” When she said THINK, she pulled my head in closer and when she said WANT she threw my head away.
As I write this down, I realize…I really do need to get these people out of my house.
Anyway, so she apparently found a recipe for 100% guaranteed Ayurvedic Hair Tonic online and she has been using it for a while she says. Obviously to no effect, but as she told me, “Ayurvedic treatments take a long time.” She tried to get me to do it with her, but I think she is just trying to get my head to look like hers. Gooey.
Her recipe included sesame, safflower, linden, flax and olive oils, crushed seeds, beeswax and honey. She applies it immediately after her shower while still in the steam and then she wraps her head up in a towel. You understand why I had to throw away the towel. I insisted she buy herself a set of towels to use. She pursed her lips so tightly I thought she would swallow them. And then she turned to Morton and said, “Morton, darling, I think it is about time someone considered evicting someone.”
“Carolyn…you do realize this is my house?
“No matter.” And she enveloped Morton in another of those whale kisses. When she lets him go his torso swirls for five minutes and the birds and ampersands revolve around his head. Cartoon love.
The other day I came home to find a stack of books on my kitchen table. HAIR FOR THE EVERYDAY GLORY; LONG STRONG BEAUTIFUL HAIR; WORLD OF CURLS, A GUIDE TO MAXIMIZING VOLUME AND BEAUTY; GREAT TRESSES THROUGH THE AGES; and my favorite, A GUIDE TO HANDLING HAIR OBSESSION, A LAY GUIDE TO PSYCHOSIS.
She came around the corner as I was looking through this last one. I turned to her and said, “Excellent, Carolyn. I think you should start with this one.”
“Humph.” She walked right by me and I swear as she passed she hissed!
Morton and she have taken to singing their Chinese Opera in the front room and have relegated Pepe to filming them on Morton’s new flipcam. Of course, Pepe, being blind, was not the best choice for this job, but Morton is stupid with love.
When Poopoo saw Pepe’s footage she shot him a dirty look, which thankfully he couldn’t see, and then she smacked him in the head and said, “Imbecile.” Poor Pepe ran away crying, and by running of course I mean that sidling shimmy he does, with his arms out because he is blind. She will even insult the blind…and hit them. Who does this? Poopoo does.
I believe Poopoo sees Pepe the way she sees me: as threats to the attention of Morton Huseman the Online Chinese Opera teacher. The other morning she said, “Morton and I are in love. This you should know. Everything about him makes me shake.” She affects a French accent when she talks about Morton, “everyzing about heem mehks me shehk.” I rolled my eyes, but she went on anyway.
I asked her, “Doesn’t the dung smell down there…from all his pumpkins, get to you? How can you concentrate on “luuuve?” She shot me a look.
“Clearly you are a very imaginative and energetic person, but you have no idea about real love. One day, when you have blown off your full head of youthful and silly steam, then you will understand what I know.”
“About Morton? and luuuve?”
“Yes. About life. About art. Beauty. Everything. You know nothing.”
“Well, perhaps something, but nothing anyone of any value like me would think worthwhile. You are a silly neophyte about things that are true and lasting. I am the repository of such knowledge, you foolish girl.”
“So…I should follow your lead and take your advice? Carolyn?”
“Of course! Look what it has gotten me! I have found true luuuve with an ideal man, of such regal height and such powerful talent. We live in bleees.”
“But of course.”
“You live in my basement with the manure…from his online jack-o-lantern carving business.”
“What are you saying? You silly girl. You are getting all excited about something that no one understands! You and everything about you needs to calm down!”
I was dumbfounded. There was really nothing to say. How can you argue with logic like that? Anyway, I can’t. She leaned in close, and grabbed my hair as she is wont to do and pulled me closer,
“One day, when you have grown a little more wise like me, I will look forward to talking with you. But now? You are just too stupid for me and too excited, like a little puppy dog. Morton and I have discussed it. It is just so. You are like a little wee puppy dog who one day might grow up to be quite a formidable bitch. But not quite yet. And with that, she walked away, sides shaking like jelly, turban atop her sparse and almost colored head.
Posted by Sujatha at 7:42 AM Labels: As It Was Written, Sujatha Hampton