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Gazebo THAT MORNING she pours Teacher's over my belly and licks it off. That afternoon she tries to jump out the window. I go, "Holly, this can't continue. This has got to stop." We are sitting on the sofa in one of the upstairs suites. There were any number of vacancies to choose from. But we needed a suite, a place to move around in and be able to talk. So we'd locked up the motel office that morning and gone upstairs to a suite. She goes, "Duane, this is killing m e." We are drinking Teacher's with ice and water. We'd slept a while between morning and afternoon. Then she was out of bed and threaten­ ing to climb out the window in her undergarments. I had to get her in a hold. We were only two floors up. But even so. "I've had it," she goes. "I can't take it any more." She puts her hand to her cheek and closes her eyes. She turns her head back and forth and makes this humming noise. I could die seeing her like this. "Take what?" I go, though of course I know. "Holly?" "I don't have to spell it out for you again," she goes. "I've lost control. I've lost pride. I used to be a proud woman." She's an attractive woman just past thirty. She is tall and has long black hair and green eyes, the only green-eyed woman I've ever known. In the old days I used to say things about her green eyes, and she'd tell me she knew she was meant for something special. And didn't I know it. I feel so awful from one thing and the other. DOWNSTAIRS IN the office I can hear the telephone ringing again. It has been ringing off and on all day. Even when I was dozing I could hear it. I'd open my eyes and look at the ceiling and listen to it ring and wonder at what was happening to us. But maybe I should be looking at the floor. "My heart is broken," she goes. "It's turned to a piece of stone. I'm no good. That's what's as bad as anything, that I'm no good any more." "Holly," I go. I reach for her hand. But she takes it away. Raymond Carver T h e M is s o u ri R eview • 33 HEN WE'D FIRST moved down here and taken over as managers, we thought we were out of the woods. Free rent and free utilities plus three hundred a month. You couldn't beat it with a stick. Holly took care of the books. She was good with figures, and she did most of the renting of the units. She liked people and people liked her back. I saw to the grounds, mowed the grass and cut weeds, kept the swimming pool clean, did the small repairs. Everything was fine for the first year. I was holding down another job nights, a swing shift, and we were getting ahead, rich in plans. Then one morning, I don't know. I'd just laid some bathroom tile in one of the units when this little Mexican maid comes in to clean. Holly had hired her. I can't really say I'd noticed the little thing before, though we spoke when we saw each other. She called me, I remember, Mister. Anyway, one thing and the other. We talked. She wasn't dumb. She was cute and had a nice way about her. So after that morning I started paying attention. She was a neat, compact little woman with fine white teeth. I used to watch her mouth when she laughed. She started calling me by my name. One morning I was replacing a washer for one of the bathroom faucets, and she came in and turned on the TV as maids are in the habit of doing. While they clean, that is. I stopped what I was doing and stepped outside the bathroom. She was surprised to see me. She...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 33-38
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-27
Open Access
No
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