Date- August 23, 2003
Subject- Voicemail from Pieter to Claudia after her phone dies mid-conversation
"You are such a bitch. How dare you hang up on me, after all I've done for you. I put you through law school, I put up with all your infidelities, I raised our children! Don't ever call me again."
Date- August 23, 2003
Subject- Claudia, Rowan, and the Fallen Beauty Queen
Claudia and Rowan are walking around the block in a weak attempt at living healthier lives. Rowan is obsessed with the idea of being healthy. Claudia will gorge on cheese puffs and Cherry Coke as soon as she gets home.
"What should we do tonight? After we get home, I mean. I was thinking we should watch a movie but then again we watched a movie last night and I guess there's nothing wrong with watching a movie two nights in a row but if you don't want to we could do something else. Oh! Or we could reorganize the book shelf because I was thinking it would be neat if the books went in alphabetical order except by title instead of author, but maybe I should wait and do that while you're at work since most of the books are mine anyway and you probably don't care. Yeah, I'll do that." Claudia says, skipping ahead a few steps before winding down.
They are silent for a while, Claudia smiling slightly and Rowan gazing off down the street.
"Hey, it's Miss America." Rowan says, lazily stretching out her arm to point across the street.
There's a woman walking slowly down the sidewalk and the girls can't help but be amazed by her appearance. She's wearing a rather shapeless dress that comes down to her ankles and she has a sash draped around her, hanging over her left shoulder. Her dress looks as if it might have some kind of floral design but it's impossible to say for sure because it's so dirty. Cradled in her arm is a bouquet of what would be beautiful roses, if only they weren't withered and dead. Her eyebrows are dramatically drawn on and her dark, tired face is thick with makeup. Her hair is frizzy and HUGE. Rowan imagines that rats and birds would be quite at home there.
"Look, she's got a sash thingie and everything, but where is her tiara?"
"Maybe she lost it." Claudia suggests.
The woman is straight and tall and there is dignity in her lined face despite her lamentable condition. She walks slowly, head high, as if she's striding forward to collect some prize.
"The banner, what does it say? What does it say?" Claudia wonders aloud, squinting at the strange woman.
Rowan says nothing and absently adjusts her glasses. She knows it's pointless for her to try to read the banner if Claudia can't read it.
"She's like a fallen beauty queen..." Claudia says.
"Yeah..." Rowan agrees.
They walk in silence for a while.