Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: New Goddess in Town

More than forty people showed up for the house warming party. So much coffee was consumed that Ted had to run back over to his place to pick some more. When Cybil, their new neighbor, started collecting cups, he got up to take an armload as well. He was never comfortable in big roundtable discussions and they were gabbing about the Emmies anyway.

Cybil carried the tray of cups with a veritable bounce in her step. She had more energy than any middle-aged lady Ted had ever met.

“I’m so excited to start on Monday,” she chirped as they entered the kitchen. “I worked in claims ages ago. It’s second nature to me.”

“Where did you do that?”

“Oh, Greece. Didn’t your wife tell you? I spent almost my whole life over there.” She set down the tray and beamed. It took up her whole face, and despite her age, only the faintest crows feet appeared around her eyes, like she’d never made an expression before today. “Please thank her so much for helping throw this party. I wanted to start off right in this town.”

He waved her off. “It’s no bother, really.”

She shook her head until he looked her in the eye. “Really, it is. I’ve moved so many times and people always get the wrong impression about me. I’m a goddess, you see, and though I’ve done nothing to earn it, my name has such a bad reputation that I had to have it changed. ‘Cybil’ is a family joke.”

Ted leaned against the sink, eyeing her. She seemed nice and all, but a goddess? Maybe she was a New Ager.

“A goddess? Really?”

She shrugged with a little smile, then turned into an owl. She flew up to the counter and pecked at some peach cobbler.

Ted wasn’t sure, but that did seem like a thing in the realm of gods to do.

“Okay then,” he said, putting his plate down. “That shouldn’t be a problem. There’s the occasional bigot, but this is a city of many religions. I live next to a Baptist church, and for goodness sake, I was raised Scientologist.”

She turned back into a woman, in the same blouse and skirt. The plate of peach cobbler was now in one hand instead of on the counter.

“You’re a good man, Ted Jefferson. I’m a great judge of people, so that should mean a lot to you.”

Ted nodded plaintively and arranged the cups next to the sink.

“Thanks. But you didn’t mention your name. What’s a name so bad that a goddess would abandon it? Not that I have anything against Cybil.”

“You wouldn’t,” she said around half a mouthful of cobbler. She blushed, then swallowed it and finished. “You have an Aunt Cybil.”

“You are good,” he said. He was uncertain if he did it out of intimidation or kindness, but he began rinsing coffee cups.

She beamed again, those eerily faint crows feet reappearing. “It’s a thing. But even if I didn’t know, I’d bet you didn’t have an Aunt Nemesis.”


  1. Yikes. Ted's nervousness washing dishes adds to the brooding demeanor of Cybil. I never trust new neighbors, even though they're the ones that keep leaving... ;)

  2. This made me smile. ;) I really wish I had an Aunt Nemesis.


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