FICTION

It Takes All Kinds

From Vancouver comes this moving story of a boy who didn't want to belong, and a girl who was afraid to follow her heart

KAY WEBSTER February 1 1946
FICTION

It Takes All Kinds

From Vancouver comes this moving story of a boy who didn't want to belong, and a girl who was afraid to follow her heart

KAY WEBSTER February 1 1946

It Takes All Kinds

From Vancouver comes this moving story of a boy who didn't want to belong, and a girl who was afraid to follow her heart

KAY WEBSTER

THINKING back over the years when we were kids together, it seems to me that Pete Johnston wasn’t always queer. In those days we all did pretty much the same things—went to school, played baseball, rode our bikes—all the things that kids do. Saturday afternoons we usually went downtown to a show, because of the Tarzan serial, and sometimes when we came out of the theatre, our eyes bleary from five hours’ rapt attention to the screen and our stomachs full of peanuts, Pete would say, “Let’s go to dad’s office and get a ride home.”

We liked to do that because it meant walking down to an unfamiliar, exciting part of the city^nd there was always the chance that we might see a few streetwalkers. We had learned only recently about that side of life, and our curiosity was insatiable. Once in a while, as we walked along, trying to look older

than we were, Pete would say hello to some dirty, tattered old fellow, and since Doc Johnston’s office was less than a block from Chinatown, he knew many of the Chinese as well.

We were at an age when anything out of the ordinary had a particular fascination, and the fact that Pete actually knew some of these people in the flesh set him apart from us a little even then.

He never seemed to be ashamed of the location of his father’s office, or if he was, he never said so. But it was like a different world to the rest of us and we were often a little scared. Once, when Katie was with us, a tottering old tosspot came up to her, and patted her head with fumbling fingers, and said, “Hello, little girl.” She must have told her mother where she had been because she never came again. I had enough sense not to tell mine.

My father and Pete’s were both doctors, but mine was a specialist and Doc Johnston just had “Physician and Surgeon” printed in faded gilt on his window. To get to his office you had to walk up a dark flight of

rickety stairs and then along a dismal corridor smelling of ether and people. His waiting room had mustardcolored paper on the walls, and there were always six or seven people sitting on the old leather chairs. They invariably looked like the same people to me, but I suppose they weren’t.

They seemed to know Pete very well and they would ask him how he was getting along in school and how was his mother. He would smile in his shy way and ask for their children by name and enquire into the progress of their various diseases. My prevailing wish would be that he would hurry and ask his dad if we were going to get a ride, because it was so crowded there and smelled so much like a zoo.

Doc Johnston had no nurse and we often waited a long time. When he did come out he would say, “Hello, kids. Waiting for a ride?” We’d say yes and he’d say, “Go wait in the car then,” and tell us where he had it parked. I remember saying to Pete one day that maybe we’d better go home on the streetcar, that it would be a long time before his dad had finished with all the waiting people, and Pete said, “Heck, that won’t take him long. They’re all one family. Probably only one of ’era’s sick. The rest just like to come and visit.”

Usually the car was parked in Shanghai Alley and we would get a kick out of sitting there watching the Chinese shuffle along in their stubby slippers, and we would wonder vaguely how so many people could manage to live in such a small space. Often there would be a funny kind of seaweed spread across the sidewalk and they would walk all over it, sometimes even spitting on it. Pete told us that after it was well dried out they would eat it, but we thought he was kidding. He didn’t seem to think it was a strange procedure—he had tasted some of the finished product once and said it wasn’t bad at all.

After a while Doc Johnston would come along, walking with his quick light step, his battered hat far back on his head. I remember thinking how peculiar it was that he never looked tired, when my dad, who had short office hours and never took night calls and who always stopped on the way home from the office for a drink and a shower at the club, was never any other way. Pete used to tell us that his dad often got less than four hours’ rest at night, and that he’d spend those four hours trying to sleep on two kitchen chairs, pushed together, or in companionably sharing a bed with one of his patient’s kids.

On the way home Doc Johnston would ask us if it had been a good show and what had happened in the serial that week, and somehow he never made us feel like kids but as if he would have liked to see the show himself if he had time. The old car would bump and roll along like a tired truck and he would joke about it kindly, as if it were a special friend.

“See,” he would say, pointing to the adhesive strips holding the cracked windshield together, “isn’t that a fine job of plastic surgery?”

The car had no rugs on the floor, the stuffing protruded fatly out of ail the seats, and the speedometer had long ago ceased to function. But, as Doc Johnston said, it had the finest engine of any car in the world and it knew its stops like a milkman’s horse.

Once I said, thinking of the car,

“Gee, you sure have a lot of interesting patients, haven’t you, Doctor Johnston?” And he said, “Not any more interesting than your father’s, Bert. All people are interesting.” I thought about that for a minute and then I said, “Do they pay their bills?” I had heard my dad talk about dead beats and 1 wondered.

He »»id, “Money hasn’t much to do with sickness, Bert. It’s only that rich people get sicker than poor people from the same diseases.”

I could see his eyes in the rear view mirror and they were twinkling, and I remember thinking that Pete’s eyes were just the same.

One day when Doc Johnston was coming home for lunch—he never ate downtown because, he said, he couldn’t afford either the price or the indigestion he would get—the whole rear end of the car dropped out. It happened right o» a main thoroughfare and everybody thought it must have been very embarrassing. My mother asked Pete what his father had done and Pete said,

“He didn’t do anything. He just felt sad. He said it was like losing his best friend.”

My mother looked at Pete and began to laugh, and then she stopped. His face was sad and at the same time proud, and he said, “The man at the garage gave him $90 for the engine. He said it was in perfect condition. I’ll bet he puts it in one of those highpowered trucks.”

After Pete had gone my mother said, “What an odd boy. He’s going to be exactly like his father.”

I realized then, for the first time, that Pete was queer.

THE summer we were both 14 Pete got a job, delivering for a grocery store. It wasn’t a very good grocery store—one of those small places where they sell everything and nothing is very clean. The old man who ran it was one of Doc Johnston’s patients, and Pete didn’t get paid much because the old man’s customers were as poor and wilted as the produce they bought. In the fall he kept on working there after school and by the time he got home it was too late to do anything, and he couldn’t go downtown on Saturdays because he had to work then too. Katie used to ask him over to her house to do his homework, and he went a few times; but he always wanted to study and the rest of the gang would horse around. To be fair, I don’t think he meant to be a wet blanket, but that’s the way it was. Finally Katie stopped asking him, and it was funny the way he didn’t seem to mind.

My mother conscientiously invited Mrs. Johnston over to visit once in a while. On one occasion I remember her saying to my father, “I must have Alice Johnston over to tea some day.” She thought a minute and then she said, “I could have her next week, when I have poor old Mrs. Eldridge.” Even at 14 I could understand why it was impossible for my mother to invite Mrs. Johnston to the big tea she was having at the golf club.

That fall I went to Briarwood to school and Katie went back East to Rutledge Hall. Pete stayed in Vancouver and went to ordinary high school. We wrote to each other several times, and he answered my letters right away, but after a while there wasn’t much to say and we stopped writing.

The following suipmer I saw him occasionally, but he was working as a stock clerk in a wholesale house and saving his money pretty rigidly. He went on the odd beach party with us—I guess because they didn’t cost much—but he never brought a girl. I will say this for him though, he never poached, and he was so quiet that half the time we forgot he was there.

The summer I was 18, the last summer before university would begin for most of us, Pete loosened up and joined us a few times. He said his father wanted him to have a rest from work because he had a hard job ahead of him; and the rest of us laughed,

because we had different ideas of how tough university was going to be. That summer was memorable too, because Katie went out with me a lot.

I had never known the time when I didn’t know Katie, but that summer it was something else again. She was like a different girl, quiet and soft and strange, and there was an aloofness about her that was piquant and exciting, like the aura that often surrounds a stranger from another part of the world. I found it hard to talk to her sometimes; long silences would come upon us with a sort of deadness and I would get nervous, saying things I didn’t mean, just to be saying something.

That was why I hit upon the idea of asking Pete to come along on some of our dates. He and Katie didn’t like each other very well, but he helped me out just by being there; and I could count on him not to trespass on my territory. Occasionally he brought a girl named Jessie along—a tall girl with glasses, who filled in the silences with a great deal of talk about life—and the four of us got on fairly well. But mostly Pete just tagged along with Katie and me.

We spent a lot of time that summer talking about what we were going to be. I had no desire to be an M.D., even though my dad wanted it. It was too hard a life. I had known for a long time that business was a better field—you didn’t have to work too hard and there was money in it if you knew the right people.

Katie, like most women, couldn’t make up her mind. One day she said, “I think maybe I’ll take social service,” and Pete gave her one of his funny, serious looks.

He said, “I wouldn’t if I were you.”

She said, “Wouldn’t I like it?” And he said quietly, “No, you wouldn’t like it.” She couldn’t get him to say any more, and finally she gave him one of her nicest smiles and said sweetly, “You’re a pig and I hate you.”

He said, “Sure, why not?”

THE first six months of varsity was pretty hard going. You had to be careful not to get bounced at Christmas if you wanted to join a fraternity. And to join a fraternity was important to me. The contacts would be invaluable and I couldn’t afford to take a chance. And then, after Christmas, rushing began in earnest.

I stewed a bit about it and then I thought, if I can’t make the best nobody will. And I was right. It was easy—there was no question about it. I had never given my old man much thought, but the fraternity business showed me that parents were important and I was lucky to have the ones I had.

Pete wasn’t so lucky. The morning after bidding, when all the pledges were on display—you could tell by where each one sat to eat his lunch which fraternity he had joined—I saw that Pete was sitting far in the back of the cafeteria at a tableful of grinds. Those who didn’t make a fraternity or who couldn’t afford it, or those who, for some unknown reason, didn’t want to join one, always sat at the back, separated from the fraternity bunch. There was no hard and fast rule, it just worked out that way. And if a nonfraternity fellow, through brass or ignorance, sat down at the wrong table, there were ways of getting rid of him, nicely but firmly.

I knew Pete would never try that sort of thing, and I felt sorry for him. So I went over. He said, “Congratulations, Bert,” and he was smiling. Now that I was there, and he had said the correct thing, I didn’t know whether to ignore his misfortune or to make a point of saying I was sorry.

He said, “Don’t be embarrassed, Bert . . . I’m not. You see, I don’t care.”

There was something about his expression and his tone of voice that made me sore. Then I thought he was just being proud and pretending, and I said, “Your whole attitude was wrong, Pete. You could have made a frat, easy. But you rile all the fellows the way you act.”

He said, “I act the way I am, Bert. And I haven’t time to worry about what people think. Maybe I’m queer.” His eyes were twinkling like his father’s, and I thought, you’re darned right you’re queer!

When Pete and I were sophomores Doc Johnston died suddenly and without any fuss, in his bed, alone, of a heart attack. Continued on page 44

It Takes All Kinds

Continued from page 8

I hadn’t seen much of Pete for a long time but I went to see him the day after his father’s death. He had always been like his father in manner, but now I thought that he looked like him as well. He seemed older, but if he was broken up he didn’t show it, and he brushed away my carefully phrased condolences as if they were cobwebs. I was disconcerted, because it had taken me quite a while to decide what to say.

He said, “Thanks, Bert. It was very kind of you to come. Dad did a good job. He’s lucky, in a way.” He spoke as if his dad had received a promotion instead of the dubious gift of death.

The funeral was like a parade, except for the fact that there were no hot dogs or soft drinks or popcorn for sale. Those who couldn’t get into the funeral parlor waited outside in a conglomerate welter of mink coats and expensive black crowded against clothes sour and crumbling with age. Everyone who had any sort of car went out to the cemetery. There was even a horse and wagon in the cavalcade, and I remember wondering if the mustached individual driving it was the one whose wife’s regular yearly confinements were paid for in manure. Pete had told the gang about it once and we had thought it a very funny joke. He had laughed too, and then he’d added seriously that it was the very best manure and his father was always glad to get it.

Pete dropped out of varsity at the end of that term, and I lost track of him for a couple of years. His mother sold their house and they moved to an apartment downtown somewhere. I happened to pass it once when I was trying out the new car my dad had given me for my 21st birthday, and I thought of stopping; but when I had taken a good look at the place I

thought perhaps it would be better if I didn’t. The building was decent

enough and it looked clean, but you could see by the curtains at the

windows that genteel poverty was

sheltered behind its walls. It occurred to me then that it would be unwise to start something I couldn’t finish, and I drove on.

Mother still had Mrs. Johnston over for tea once in a long while and I heard an occasional thing about Pete that way. Doc Johnston had left little more than a pleasant memory and a small insurance policy—he had taken a great many of his bills out in trade, like an old-time country parson, and he had never worried his patients much with

collections, I remember my mother saying one afternoon after Mrs. Johnston had gone, “I asked Alice why she didn’t get a collection agency working on some of the bills and she said, ‘Oh, I couldn’t, his patients have been so good to me. There’s hardly a day, even yet, when one of them doesn’t come with a little bunch of flowers or a cake or a bag of vegetables.’ ”

My mother looked puzzled and then she said, “You know, she’s the queerest woman. She seemed so happy about it. Those people owe thousands and thousands of dollars and she doesn’t seem to care a bit. And there she is, living in that ramshackle apartment in the East End, and Pete running errands or something equally dreadful. I have no patience with her.”

After that my mother stopped trying to be kind to Mrs. Johnston and I heard nothing more about Pete. I was pretty busy anyway, with the fraternity and football and cramming for exams, and all in all I had a lot on my mind.

Then too, I had Katie to think about. There were too many fellows for comfort who would gladly change places with me, and I had to watch my step. For some obscure reason of her own she was really taking social service and she worked hard—harder than was necessary, I thought. She belonged to a good sorority and she gave it a lot of time, but she was not as serious about it as she might have been. Of course I knew that girls don’t need to broaden their connections in the same way fellows do, so long as their families are basically sound, and I suppose that was the reason she treated it a bit lightly.

Graduation night I hardly saw her at all, and when I finally succeeded in isolating her from the pack I asked her if she’d wear my pin. She said, “Are you sure about this, Bert?” and I said of course I was sure, why wouldn’t I be? She said it was handy to be so certain about everything. The whole thing was a little different from what I had expected it to be, and I said, “You talk like our old friend Pete Johnston. He was always full of quaint little speeches.”

She said, “I’m sorry, Bert. I’m really very proud.” That was more like it and, I felt better. She took the pin and fastened it to her dress. She had a little trouble with it because her hands were shaking, and I thought that was natural under the circumstances. It wasn’t every girl who was permitted to wear one of our fraternity pins—the rest of the fellows had to pass beforehand on each girl considered, and requirements were strict.

As we walked back to the dance floor she said, “Do you ever see him any i more . . . Pete, I mean?” ]

I told her that I hadn’t seen him or i heard anything about him for at least two years. She laughed, still nervously, i I thought, and said, “A remarkable ¡ fellow, Pete.” 1

He was a character, all right, but ! hardly remarkable.

THE summer after graduation meant the last days of freedom. My dad > had fixed a spot for me in the firm of a friend of his, but I didn’t have to start work until the middle of Septem¡ ber, and since most of the fellows I knew had already started work and Katie was going to summer school, I was hard up for amusement in the daytime. ;

That’s why I was so glad to see Pete. I met him one day at a poky little lunch counter, where I had gone 1 because I had to kill time somehow, and there was a cute little waitress there you could kid along without any fear of getting in too deep. She knew it didn’t mean anything.

I didn’t recognize Pete at first. He seemed bigger, and his face had new lines in it. I said, “Where the devil have you been keeping yourself, Pete?” And he said, “Oh, around. I took a little jaunt to Spain a while back.”

I was going to ask him if someone had left him some money and then I realized that he must have meant the Spanish War. I had read a bit about that business, but the details had slipped my mind and I didn’t want to appear too ignorant. It would be a good idea, I thought, to keep off the subject. '•

I said, “How about doing something this afternoon? I’m kind of at a loose end. There’s a pretty good burlesque at the Palace—if you don’t mind them a little heavy in the beam.”

He said, “Sorry, I’m busy.” He was reporting for some newspaper and ; worked odd hours.

I said, “How about tonight, then?” It struck me he might give us an interesting evening; Katie and I saw a lot of each other and we seemed to do 1 the same things over and over. Pete would provide a change.

He said he could do that, he sup; posed, and I was a little annoyed by his lack of enthusiasm. But then you never could expect much in that line from Pete. I told him I’d pick him up around nine and he said all right, and told me where he was living. It wasn’t 1 the same house, but I could tell from the address he gave me that it was in the same run-down kind of district. I remembered to ask about his mother ! and he said she was fine and just the same as ever. He was the same too, i except for the minor changes in his exterior, and I thought that was an ; unusual thing, because travel was supposed to broaden people. Still, one ; had to be lenient; he’d never had much ] of a chance to be like the rest of us. ¡

I didn’t tell Katie that Pete was coming with us until she was in the ] car; I didn’t want any last-minute ] excuses from her. She said, “Why did you ask him, Bert?” And I said, “It i seemed like a good idea at the time. : He ought to give us some laughs anyway.” ¡

She said, “You know he doesn’t like ] me, don’t you?”

I had to lie to her—although I didn’t see what difference it made whether : Pete liked her or not—and I said, “You ; just imagine that, Katie.”

She gave a funny little smile and said, “I don’t blame him much.”

I thought that was a dense thing to say, and told her so. She said, “It’s ¡ nice to know somebody thinks you’re ¡ perfect. Thanks, Bert.”

When Pete got into the car he said it was nice to see her and she said it was nice to see him too, and then none of us could think of anything to say. After a while the silence got very thick and I said, “How about doing some slumming tonight? We haven’t done that for quite a while, have we, Katie?” She said no, we hadn’t,and Pete finally joined the conversation. He spoke softly and I had a hard time hearing the words. I thought he said something about never being away at all, but knowing Pete as well as I did I didn’t pay much attention. He was always saying something eccentric.

We went to a joint in Chinatown where the food was good, if you like that sort of thing, and the orchestra wasn’t too terrible. The floor show was a bit on the rough side but Katie had seen it before without complaining, and I wanted Pete to see that Vancouver was a pretty cosmopolitan place and that it wasn’t always necessary to go as far afield as Spain to see how the other half lives.

And then Pete spoiled it all. The waiter came to take our order and Pete smiled for the first time that evening as if he meant it, as if he were really going to come alive and enjoy himself.

He said, “Hello, Louie, remember me?” And then he stood up to shake hands, as if the fellow were the president of the CPR instead of merely a wizened old Chinese waiter. They started to talk about the Chinese War, and it was as if Katie and I weren’t there at all. After a while Pete seemed to remember us. He introduced us as if we had just come along for the ride and would be going our own way shortly. The waiter said, “How-do,” as if he didn’t care much for us either, and bowed politely, and went away.

I said, “Let’s get out of here.” And Pete said, “It’s your party, Bert.” Katie didn’t say anything.

Pete wanted to split the check, and although I wouldn’t have let him ordinarily, I figured it was his fault the evening was spoiled and didn’t argue too much about it. I suggested we finish out the night at the Grill Room of the Hotel but he said no, he didn’t think it was worth it, he had to go to work at 12. He said he would stick around down there for a while, and I thought to myself that he ought to feel at home.

He was very polite as he said good night to Katie, and I was glad for one thing—there had been no time for one of their cool, perverse quarrels.

Katie was very quiet on the way home. She had never been exactly talkative—that was one of the reasons she suited me so well—but since she had been doing actual field work in social service, and coming face to face with some of the problems she had read about in textbooks, she had become quieter than ever. I said to her once, after she had told me about a particularly miserable case, “I bet it feels good to come home and have a hot bath, eh, Katie?” And she smiled at me and said, “Of course. Cleanliness is next to godliness, isn’t it?” I was glad Katie was too sensible to let the drab ugliness of the business get under her skin.

This night there was something alien added to her quietness and I thought perhaps she was annoyed with me for cutting the evening so short. I said, “Now that we’re rid of Pete we can do something else.” And she said, “Let’s just ride around a bit. I could use a little fresh air.”

I knew exactly what she meant. Even slumming lost its novelty after a while. I didn’t know how she could stand social work. She always said that she had to do something, but it seemed to me that she could have picked a

cleaner and less depressing field of endeavor.

I said, “I’ll be making good money by Christmas. Why don’t you quit your course now? You won’t need it. Dad will give us all the help we want.”

“I know,” she said. “He’ll be handy to have around when the war comes, too.”

I laughed and said there wouldn’t be any war and she said she didn’t suppose so either—she’d just been reading too many books. I said that was a habit she’d havé to give up when we were married—I. didn’t want a wife whose nose was always buried in a book. I wasn’t really worried; Katie was a welladjusted person (I had picked up some of the social work jargon from her, in spite of myself), and she would adjust to marriage perfectly.

Thinking of adjustment reminded me again of Pete. I said, “You ought to try out some of your social work theories on Pete.”

“I’m not advanced enough yet,” Katie said. “They’d have to write the book over for Pete.” I thought I was lucky to have a girl who had intelligence and humor as well as beauty.

THE night after war was declared Katie and I had a date to go dancing. When I called for her, her mother came to the door and said, “Why, Bert, this is a shame. Katie isn’t in.”

I said we had a date, and asked had something important come up, and her mother said, “No, I don’t think so. She got this phone call after supper and said she had to go downtown for a little while. She didn’t say when she’d be back, but if you two had a date she’ll surely be back soon.”

Katie came in about 10 o’clock. By that time I was more than slightly miffed. She looked at me for a minute, as if I were a piece of furniture she had forgotten they owned, and then she said, “Oh, Bert, I’m so sorry. I forgot all about our date.” She didn’t offer to tell me where she had been and I was still sore enougn not to ask.

I said, “I’ll be going now—it’s too late to do anything.” I could see she wasn’t listening and I said it again. “I’m sorry,” Katie said, “I was thinking of something else.”

I said good night and she went to the door with me. She was very polite and she seemed just the same as ever, and by the time I got home I decided that I had just imagined the expression on her face. I couldn’t put a name to it— it was neither anger nor impatience nor expectancy. I could only think of pity, which was ridiculous. IPity for whom?

Our Saturday night dates were an understood thing between us; there had been no necessity before to remind either of us. But this week I gave Katie a call on Thursday night. That was far enough ahead to be courteous without showing too much eagerness.

She said, “Saturday night, Bert? I’m afraid I can’t.”

I said, “What did you say?” And she said, “Can’t you hear me?”

Suddenly I was afraid. I felt as if I were talking to a ghost or a very old deaf person, and I shouted into the phone, “What’s the matter, Katie? Is something wrong?” She said no, everything was fine, and I could tell that from her point of view the conversation was over.

I went up to my room and thought about the whole thing for a while, and the more I thought about it the less sense it made. I thought of the things I might have done to make her angry, or the things I might have left undone, and I couldn’t think of any. I thought about it until I had a headache, and then the phone rang and I ran down the stairs and grabbed the phene out of my mother’s hand.

I said hello and who was speaking, keeping my voice cool and a little bored—but it wasn’t Katie.

A man’s voice said, “Hello. Is that you, Bert?”

I said yes it was Bert and he said, “This is Pete Johnston.” I thought it was just like Pete to call at a time like this and I said, “Yeah.” He said, “I know it’s late, but I want to talk to you. I’d like to come up , . or would you come down here? I haven’t much time.”

So Pete’s lack of time was with us again, like a grey-bearded spectre. Some phantasmal urgency was with him always, and it had irritated me as long as I could remember. Still, it would be better to spend the rest of the evening being irritated than to spend it wrestling with the problem of Katie, and I said, “Where are you?”

He was calling from the newspaper office and he said he’d meet me at a place down on Hastings Street. I thought it had been a very unusual evening—first the business with Katie and then this. I had no idea what Pete could want to see me about unless hè thought I might get my dad to apply a little drag for him somewhere. I imagined he could use it.

The place was full of smoke and the smell of stale grease, and Pete was sitting there with a cup of coffee. Hë looked as if he hadn’t slept for a week. I said, “You look as if you’ve been tying one on.” And he said, “No,” and stopped. I thought he was being even more like his talkative self than usual.

Then he said, “I’m in love with your girl, Bert.”

The words popped around in my head like coffee in a percolator before they settled word by word into comprehensive form.

I said, “What is this, Pete?”

He said, “I’ve been in love with her since she was 12.”

I thought about that for a minute and there was no answer. I said, “What do you want me to do . . . put in a good word for you?”

Pete said, “I haven’t done this very well. Katie wanted to tell you herself, but I thought it was my job.”

There was something here I couldn't understand. I said, “Katie? Is she in this too?”

“Yes,” he said, “she’s in this too. But she didn’t do anything behind your back. Katie wouldn’t—you know that. You see, I didn’t tell her until last night, and I only told her then because I’m enlisting right away.” He stopped and then he said, as if it were an •afterthought, “I’m sorry, Bert.”

I looked at him closely. There was nothing special about him that I could see. He was bigger than I was, and he looked older, and there were hard lines around his mouth. His suit wasn’t very well tailored and his tie was crooked. I put my hand up to mine and it was straight. If that’s what she wants, I ’ thought, she can have it, and I got up and walked out.

I bought a paper outsidè and opened it at the comic page. Little Orphan Annie was still going strong and Dagwood was sitting in the bathtub; and I thought, it takes all kinds to make a world.

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