Gertrude: An Introduction

So my better half accepted an edible arrangement delivery, a skinned melon and dingleberry [???!!!???] bouquet meant for my absent neighbor, Gertrude (95 and vicious). he just plopped it down on our Gilbert Rohde dresser and the aberrant nosegay leaked melon sweat and chocolate stool all over the paldao veneer top. when i got home to find this shit sitting there, i quickly refrigerated the top-heavy fucker, but it toppled over and broke three eggs, water everywhere, what a clean-up (first my dresser, then the refrigerator). i listened feverishly for hours until Gertrude tried her key in her lock and then i accosted her with her fucking pathetic mother’s day bushel of now sulking melon (i ate three dingles, which turned out to be chocolate-covered strawberries, pulling the plastic spears out of the spongy base so she wouldn’t notice the absence). she was exhausted from her volunteer work at Maimonides hospital (i once asked her what she did there and she said, “anything, as long as it doesn’t involve sick people. mostly i sell photos of newborns to exhausted mothers. i find it’s best if you hit them up before the epidural wears off and before they have inspected their episiotomy stitches”). she’s annoyed that her niece sent melons instead of yellow tulips, which everybody on earth knows are her favorite. i recommended we pull the melon off the spears and place the stigmatic wedges in a bowl since the arrangement is unwieldy. “good idea” she says before tangentially recommending that i make a practice of putting my hair up in braids and pinning up the remaining frizz. she finishes with “because you really shouldn’t be seen out this way.” there’s uncooperative plastic coating part of the vase and i ask her for scissors. she hands me a pair, and, holy shit, they are Spencer’s missing razor-sharp artist’s shears, the blue and green handles of which are initialized S.E.B. in thin sharpie. my head is spinning but i get it together, finish my task and try to make my way to the door with the scissors. she says, “thanks…wait, you’re walking out with my scissors.” i don’t know how to confront her so i give her the scissors. i race into our apartment to tell Spence and as we’re freaking out, the doorbell rings, it’s Gertrude with the bowl of melon. “you must take some.” “oh no, Gertrude, i’m not a big sweaty melon fan.” “PLEASE!!!” she’s not gonna take no for an answer so i pick up a wedge and stick it in my mouth. weirdly, the cantaloupe tastes like detergent and ketchup and it’s very crunchy. though i expected something awful, i wasn’t expecting the taste profile to ring poisonous, and i had to spit the remains out into my hand. Gertrude laughs. “oh god, Gertrude, you can’t possibly eat that!” “i know!” “you tasted this melon before offering it. is this WHY you offered me the melon?” Gertrude nods her head and we both start cackling. don’t you see, i couldn’t help laughing with her, she’s just such a fearless, shameless amazing bitch! bravo, Gertrude, you fuckin thief!

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