Monday, June 15, 2009

He can read her thoughts

Mill knits Carlisle a pullover evenings. The pullover is dark brown with a beige v- at the neck and stripe at the cuff. Carlisle does not deserve a pullover. Carlisle deserves a lump in the head for his incessant phone calls and demands. A man ought to buy his own newspaper, she thinks, ought to buy his aunt a birthday card. He ought to move his chaise longue and see to it when he needs towels. Carlisle hired her to keep books, yet the labor is indivisible. She feels indentured, not like a service worker. The service workers have position and pride. She has no pride. She has little pride. Carlisle's idea of service would shape a Founding Father. Smoke rises from her tender temple. She puts on water for tea.

"Miss Mill," Carlisle begins when she answers the phone.

"Yes," Mill says. She wraps the teapot in a crisp dishcloth.

"Your service is unimpeachable," he says.

"It's nothing," Mill says. He can read her thoughts after hours, when all the shops are closed. He can read her thoughts at a distance of city blocks. He can read her thoughts over the din of books on the bedside table. He can read thoughts she filters with J. S. Bach.

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