Thesis Part 11

The party had reached its inevitable end. The last of the booze had been consumed, 17 glasses had been broken accidentally, and 12 more had been purposefully thrown into the fireplace, something had gone horribly amiss with the hi-fi, two lovers lay entangled and asleep on a couch, and the remaining bleary-eyed guests wandered–in pairs or singly–out into the fading Alpine night.

In the pantry, three drunken party-goers were busy making sardine and hard boiled egg sandwiches, in the stairwell, a man had passed out and was deep into a fevered dream about a fistfight on his grade school playground, and in the foyer, our particular friend, Spartan Pete, exited the building arm in arm with Kitty Piraeus.

Pete and Kitty strolled down Rue de Cassé Rêver with flirtatious amiability. Pete was a practical man, but there was something about the way Kitty’s arm felt in his, something about her high and generous giggle fits–so at odds with her striking beauty, that sent his mind off on romantic flights of fancy: Kitty and Pete on a sailboat in the Mediterranean in bright white swimsuits, Pete and Kitty at the theater in dinner wear, in a Manhattan jazz club smoking tea, “Dear friends, we cordially invite you to the wedding of Helen Piraeus and Peter Waleska,” ol’ gramps and Ma Kitty, and so on, all the way down to matching gravestones in a quaint New England town. Pete knew it was foolish, but it had been years since he’d even pretended to let his heart go a’flutter–it felt better than he remembered.

It is here where the story takes a turn. Pete’s hotel, The Ulysses, was the new couple’s final destination. He had a bottle of bourbon in his suitcase, and it seemed like an inevitable and easy extension of their canoodling to watch the sunrise over the Alps and call it a day. Instead something else, something quite unexpected and slightly tragic, occurred.

Indeed, Pete did not awake to the delicate perfume of his new French lass in a soft and luxurious bed, but instead he found himself groaning in a rum-soaked alley behind The Hotel Ulysses. He was covered in dew and shivering, he had no memory of how he’d ended up there (his last memory was of opening the door of his hotel room as Kitty kissed his neck), and his right ankle was bleeding profusely–in point of fact, his tendon had been severed with a knife.

On the wall he was slumped against were various messages, written in his own blood, including this one: “Crois-moi, je pense que c’est pour le mieux.”

Next time, the final chapter in the protracted tale of Spartan Pete and his brushes with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

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