3. The things that rage leads us to do
4. The things that self-hatred leads us to do
5. The things that ambition leads us to do
10. The power of language
11. The power of self-delusion
12. Color as symbolism
17. Family, both real and invented
20. The workings of magic
I mean. Man. If I had more time and less self-respect (ie: this would be total mental masturbation and nothing more), I'd write something like The Story of Tom Riddle or something, and just have it be the story of Tom Riddle from about sixteen -- the time he takes his first summer vacation not at the orphanage -- through to when he finally becomes Tom Riddle in the forests of Transylvania. Lots of travel, lots of dorkery and magic and me totally pulling shit out of my ass.
This can all be blamed on the fact that mmm, brightly tie shops at night. Pretty boys running around in nice suits while looking terribly ambitious. Glamorous city living. Mmm.
Three years after Mimi dies, Ollie has completed the degree requirements for fascism at Columbia.
Three years after Mimi dies, somebody starts leaving flowers on her grave -- not good flowers. Carnations. Cheap, homeless-guy-approaching-your-car-at-the-t
There is no card with the flowers. There is no pattern to when they arrive. The director of the managed cemetary tells Ollie that the groundskeepers can remove the flowers from the grave promptly after deposit, and the gateskeepers can keep an eye out for the person who's leaving the flowers, but Ollie tells him no, neither of those will be necessary.
Ollie is, though, more irritated than he thought he'd be over the idea of Igby being back in town and not contacting him.
Two years ago, Ollie had a threesome with these two Eurotrash girls. They were sisters or cousins or something, and they did lines of coke off of each other's backsides while Ollie watched from an armchair. He told them that he couldn't do any because he was going for his stockbroker's license and his employer had regular drug screens -- like DH cared what his employees stuffed up their noses or injected into their veins -- but the truth was that he didn't trust their coke. It looked off-color. He just wanted to get laid them and get out of there.
One of them straightened up from the other's bare ass and was rubbing at her nose. She looked down at her hand, surprised to see red, and Ollie sighed and handed her the box of Kleenex.
While she was stuffing twisted-off bits of Kleenex up her nose to staunch the blood, the other one started talking about how the best blow they'd ever scored had been from this little scrawny brown-haired boy who ran drugs for. For. Someone. He'd been really cute. They offered him stuff.
Neither of them could remember who he was though, nor could they remember who he had been running drugs for. In fact, Ollie suspected that neither of them could remember their names on a fairly regular basis, and then the one who had Kleenex stuck up her nose came crawling over to Ollie, wiggling her ass, and she looked absolutely stupid because she'd just shoved some wads of tissue up her nose, and the ends were trailing out of the end of her nose.
She had a great ass, though.
In the end, it turns out that the flowers were being left on Mimi's grave by someone completely unrelated. It was some kid who'd moved back to the area and thought that Mimi's grave was his father's.
Ollie bumped into him one day during the fall. The kid was scruffy and would have been unshaven if he could muster the facial hair. He smelled foul, had a black hoodie, and was wearing a necklace that looked like it had been bought at a hardwear store.
"Didn't you notice the name? Mimi? The epitaph? Beloved mother and wife?"
The kid blinked at him, then asked if he wanted to go and smoke some weed.
Ollie has this memory of being about eight years old -- this means Igby is probably five or so, but he's not actually too sure since it's been a long time since he's thought about exactly how old Igby is -- and him and Igby are together in Mimi's room. Ollie had convinced Igby that it was all right for them to be playing in there, and Igby had gone along with it even though he probably knew that they weren't allowed. He had his teddy bear with him, as always, and as oson as they got into the room, Ollie grabbed the teddy bear out of Igby's hands and threw it into the canopy of Mimi's bed.
"You gotta jump for it," he told Igby. "You gotta get up there and jump until you either break your neck or get your teddy bear back."
So Ollie has this memory of watching Igby in the afternoon. The creak of the springs. Afternoon sunlight coming through the canopy and shining down on Igby's face, and Ollie kneeling by the bed with his arms on the bed but his feet on the floor, and thus, not in violation of Mimi's rule that they were not allowed to put their feet in her bed, and watching Igby come close to flying -- arms stretched up over his head, face turned up to the shadow coming down from the canopy, the light coming down to meet his face.
When Ollie opened his eyes, the air conditioning had come on. The two girls were sprawled across each other, and the one who had stuffed the tissues in her nose was dribbling blood onto the shoulderblade of the other one. Both of them were asleep, out for other rest of the night, and the curtains on the hotel room were drawn back far enough that if Ollie turned his head around the edge of his armchair, he could probably see the streets down below.
His head was swimming, and there was a damp spot on his stomach. At the end of the memory, Ollie is pretty sure that it ended with the two of them somehow in the air at the same time, and maybe they came down, together, too, in a painful heap, but there is nevertheless this wavering moment when Ollie was lying in that chair, looking at the two bodies curled up against each other underneath a canopy bed, listening to the silence around him, and Ollie wonders not only which was real, this present or the memory, but who was the bigger idiot -- him or the world.
Igby comes back to the East Coast five years after Mimi dies, four years after Ollie watches the two girls in bed with each other, two years after Ollie completes the requirements for a degree in fascism. Igby is in trouble; he owes $34,000 he does not have to a drug dealer he worked for out West.
Ollie advances it to him on the condition that Igby clears out and never comes back again. Igby looks down at the check between them, then up at Ollie. Igby seems to be least a decade older; Ollie suspects that Igby burned that $34,000 by sticking it up his nose or in his arm, and after a moment, Igby grabs the check and runs for the elevator.
Five years after Mimi dies, four years after Ollie watches the two girls in bed with each other, two years after Ollie completes the requirements for a degree in fascism, and a week or two after Ollie sees his brother for the last time, Ollie quits going to the cemetary and, in fact, arranges for a flower service to deliver seasonal bouqets every two weeks.