Letter From Milo: The Bump On Uncle Rudy’s Head

July 9th, 2019

Here are the last few pages of the 1st chapter of “The Aristocrat House,” in which Uncle Rudy learns one of life’s great lessons (see the last sentence).

The Aristocrat House

The bump on the head seemed to calm Uncle Rudy down. He sat up and looked around curiously, blinking his eyes, as if he had just awakened and was confused about his whereabouts. His chafed, swollen and bleeding face had a placid expression that slowly turned to a look of great sadness. Shaking his head and sighing deeply, he rose unsteadily to his feet and stumbled into the kitchen.

I followed him into the kitchen, just in case he attacked Vivian again. I didn’t know how I could stop him, or even if I could stop him, but I knew I couldn’t let him do anything more stupid than he had already done.

Uncle Rudy ignored Vivian, however, and went directly to the sink, where he turned on the tap and began splashing water on his abused face. After gingerly patting his face dry with a paper towel and lighting a cigarette, he turned to Vivian and said, “Viv, baby, we can work through this. It was just a little misunderstanding.”

Still seated on the floor and crying, Vivian blubbered, “Get out! Just get out!”

Trying to compose his battered face into a smile, Uncle Rudy replied, “Come on, honey, be reasonable. Every love affair has its rough spots.”

Vivian looked up and laughed bitterly. “Are you crazy! Get out before I call the cops.”

“Baby, baby, there’s no reason to…”

“I mean it! I want you out of here.”

Uncle Rudy tried to turn on the charm. “Sweetheart, you mean the world to me. What about all those great…”

“If you’re not out of here in 10 minutes, I’m calling the cops.”

“Ok, ok,” Uncle Rudy said, holding out his hands in supplication. “If that’s the way you want it.”

“10 minutes or I’ll have you arrested for stealing from me,” she said, angrily. “And take that pimply brat with you,” she added, unnecessarily, I thought.

20 minutes later we were driving away from Vivian’s, all of our belongings stuffed into the trunk or piled on the back seat. Uncle Rudy had pinched a couple of whiskey bottles before we left and had one propped between his legs, sipping from it as he drove.

“I can’t believe that one-legged cunt had the nerve to throw me out,” he commented, morosely. “And just when I was getting close to her money, too.”

“What makes you think she had any money?” I asked. I wouldn’t have guessed that Vivian had any real money. She dressed plainly, lived in a small apartment and drove a car that was three or four years old. If she had any substantial money, she hid it well. It seemed to me that she was just a lonely woman, desperate for company, who had run into some bad breaks, one of them being Uncle Rudy.

“Think about it,” Uncle Rudy continued. “She must have gotten some compensation for that leg. They’ve got laws in this country. You lose and arm or a leg on the job, they’ve got to pay you for it. I bet she was sitting on 10 or 15 thousand dollars.” Wistfully, he added, “You know what I could do with that kind of money?”

He drove a while in sullen silence, muttering and drinking, no doubt thinking about the fortune that had just slipped through his fingers. After working his way through a third of the whiskey bottle, he seemed to snap out of his self-pitying funk.

“It just goes to show you,” he said, ruefully, his words beginning to slur. “A woman doesn’t need two legs to walk all over a man.”

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