Sunday, November 12, 2006


Back in London and all is well.

Greg and I parted in Paris (trés melodramatic, non?), and he ran off to the former Soviet Bloc to have adventures of his own (see his blog: Now that I am comfortably re-installed at Claridge’s, I am considering two possible reactions to our separation:

1. I could go downstairs to the bar and drown my sadness in a series of cleverly named cocktails.

2. I can rejoice in the knowledge that now that I am undistracted by love and happiness and various other boring things, I can report on some of the more humorous events that occurred while he was here and I was neglectful of you, loyal readers.

I have chosen the latter because I can’t be asked to change out of my pajamas. Oh Happy Day! No need to applaud, I can’t hear you anyway.

Tonight the first of these stories: THE TALE OF THE DEFECTIVE GARTER BELT.

Greg and I had been apart for three weeks and I wanted to greet him with something special when he arrived in London. I wanted something classy with just the slightest whiff of the Dutch whore. I decided to buy a pair of thigh-highs and a garter belt.

I found the garter belt at a tiny lingerie shop on Portabello Road. It was rather edgy—the clasps attached to the belt, not with lace or elastic, but with strings of shiny blue beads. On the day of Greg’s arrival, I rolled on the nylons, attached the beaded clasps, covered up with a more or less respectable frock, and set out to pick up my boyfriend from London Heathrow, feeling very naughty.

During the one-block walk from the hotel to the tube station, the string of beads on the back of my left leg broke off the belt. There was no sound—no POP or TWING or RIP. The only reason I noticed at all is that I felt the beads bouncing off the back of my knee. The beads were still attached to the stocking, you understand, and the stocking was drooping. I kept praying that no one could see the blue beads creeping out from under my dress as I hurried towards the platform. And then, just as I arrived and equally noiselessly, the second strand of beads on my left leg popped off the belt.

Down went my stocking, slumping to just above my knee. The beads hung down to mid-calf. There was nowhere to go—the platform was crowded with people. Suddenly it seemed that every child and elderly person in England was waiting for the Piccadilly line. I surreptitiously hiked the stocking up as best I could and tried holding it up by squeezing my legs together. The effort went unrewarded. The train pulled into the station and I walked penguin-style onto the train. The beads were practically at my ankles. There was not a seat to be had. I stood there, staring straight ahead, as I felt my left stocking creeping lower and lower and lower down my leg, pulled by two strands of shiny blue beads. I pretended not to notice. I tried reciting the Greek alphabet to myself. I closed my eyes and thought of starving people.

I arrived at Heathrow an hour later with two thigh-high stockings and two strings of beads in my purse, still wearing the belt with the two strands of beads on the right swinging along with each stride.

Greg was happy to see me.


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