“Dude! Really?! Is that a photo of Viv, the woman of your dreams?” Cameron laughed much too loudly, spewing beer drops onto David’s phone as he looked at the image. “Is it out of focus or something? I can’t make out much but from what I can make out, she is, well, a total Monet!”
David took the phone and wiped the spittle from it with a bar napkin. “Looks aren’t everything, you know. She’s wonderful and yes, Viv is the woman of my dreams.”
Cameron laughed again, his teeth protruding in equine fashion. “Well, I guess I could get used to looking at her from far away but a good-night kiss would be out of the question.”
David knew Cameron would never understand; he spent his time (and money) on pleasure models, those empty-headed and doll-like artificial women that had become all the rage since the plague had hit 10 years ago. Everyone knew that the women Cameron brought to events and family gatherings were synthetic, but in a way so was he, so no one cared. David’s problem was that Cameron was so superficial he could not understand what commitment, caring, and companionship were truly about. “Well, my friend, you needn’t worry about it. Viv is all mine and I’m not sharing.”
Cameron smiled. “Well, you know what they say: ‘She might be homely now…”(*)
David threw a $20 on the bar and waved Cameron off. “Yeah, yeah. See you tomorrow at the office. I have to go get some rest.” He left the bar and made his way home while carefully avoiding the crowds of mutants he passed on the way; the plague had ruined the eyesight of many so he stuck to the shadows and moved quietly. Once he got home, he went to his back shed and looked in. “Hello, Viv darling,” he called through the opening. He could see her, looking at him. Despite it all, he knew that deep under the damage done by the plague, his Viv was in there, and she loved him.
Nothing like a plague to cause “Monet-ness.”
(*) Oh, and for those of you who don’t recognize that phrase, it’s from Bugs Bunny (the whole thing is: “She might be homely now, but she was someone’s baby once.” We love that line in our house and use it far too frequently).
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