Joanna Howard


I had a daddy-longlegs, growing up, sending the fatty checks, picking out the rich accessories. We called it eau de eau, if you take my meaning. Hardly anything to complain about. He used to dance and dance rings around me. I've never been much of a mover.

Then came the tornado. No, I'm joking. More like a long, prolonged engagement. What a whirl though on the big day, you could see my veil fluttering for and aft. And they always say, just you wait and see, he'll turn out to be your smutty illegitimate father, every time. Stick that in your Funk and Wagnel's, I tell them, I'm a success story.

But you should see the evenings. What grandeur, and how. Every pillar a sconce, every sconce a bunting, every bunting--well take it from there. And when I run down that marble hall with a strip of cherry silk fanned out behind, what elemental flashing. What a burn, what a sight for sore legs.

Who could ask for more, you will say. And then we slip up the stairs, me to my boudoir, a downy nest of satin, and he to his, right over my head, all the wee hours a faint soft-shoe on salted tiles.

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