First day of fall. The autumnal Equinox. And it feels like it as PP does her morning walk around Snake Lake. The breeze is more frequent, the leaves fall floating in golden whispers, the sky is a bright clear blue.
A sudden wistful panic hits PP. What if the weather really turns and she still hasn’t gone swimming in the goddamn lake cause she can’t round up even one stupid friar to go with her?
So. She decides that today she will simply march into the friary cafeteria and confront those sacred non-swimming holy men. Interrupt them in mid-overcooked-meat chew and demand that one of them, anyone, come swimming with her!
12 noon. All is quiet on the grounds. PP figures they’re inside chowing down, so she does her march into the industrial green cafeteria ('They could take a hose to this place,' she remembers Christina joking) and peers down one hall, then another, then into the big eating room and....
It’s entirely EMPTY!!!
Shit. Where the hell are all those goddamn friars? Did they all go swimming in the lake without her and get bitten by multiple poisonous snakes in the lake and drown?
Would the wrath of God be so on her side?
Lunch doesn’t start till 12:20. (She remembers now some notice on the fridge back at the house, stipulating this odd time—and how it must be strictly observed) 12:20? The friars eating schedule is even ungodly.
So, PP wanders back outside and spies two of the worker guys tootling along at about 5 miles an hour down the drive in their little green go-cart in front of the friary, pointing at all the still broken branches from the hurricane and smoking cigarettes.
PP hails them.
“Hiya, how’s it going?”
“Purtty good,” George, the one in charge or so he says, answers.
“Cool. I know you guys are busy, but do you know where all the friars are?”
They both look at her like she’s crazy. They’re parked right in front of the enormous ostentatious friary and she’s asking where the friars are?
The one that’s not George nods to the left, “I’m purrty sure they’re in there.”
“Uh...yeah, I know, but I can’t find anyone and I just want to get one of them to swim with me or if I can’t get one to swim with me then maybe I can just check to see if I can take a swim buddy with me. You know, one of the other artists or Emily (the resident coordinator) or LaDonna” (the resident coordinator in training).
“Well, now I wouldn’t know ‘bout that,” George contemplates seriously, flicking a cigarette ash on the asphalt. “You’d hafta check with Brother Bob.”
Goddamn Brother Bob, PP wants to scream!
But instead she says, “I have talked to Brother Bob, numerous times, and he’s been a little.....” PP searches for a word that’s not too offensive, “standoffish.”
Now they both look at her like she’s really crazy. Finally George says, “Well, I don’t know if he’s ‘standoffish’ so much as he’s just a bit busy right now what with all the work we hafta do here on the grounds cleaning up after the storm and all.”
“Yeah. I know....” PP tries to think what other argument she can offer. “It’s just that I do know how to swim. I was in the Junior Olympics!”
Why did she say that? She was never in the Jr. Olympics! See what comes out of her mouth when push comes to shove about not being able to swim in some vermin infested, ghost haunted lake?
It’s appalling, isn’t it?
But George and his pal just nod. They believe her, but it don’t make a bit of difference.
“I mean, how deep is that lake?” she continues, brazen now with her Olympic Fibbing Spirit. “3 or 4 feet?”
“Depends where you’re swimming. Deepest part nigh on 22 feet.” George’s sidekick drawls.
“I’d talk to Brother Bob if I was you,” George repeats, nodding again up to the Friary offices.
“Okay, thanks, I will.”
And she does. And Brother Bob in his too tight orange Spirit for Youth t-shirt puts her off again when she asks about bringing a swimming buddy, “No, it has to be a friar. You understand. For insurance purposes.”
NO, PP does NOT understand. But she doesn’t say this. She lies again and says, yes of course she understands and she knows he’s busy, but ....
”I tell you what,” BB continues to shuffle papers around in file drawers, his back to her, “I’ll ask at supper tonight if anyone can go swimming with you.”
PP thinks, YEAH RIGHT! Liar Liar Robe is on Friar!
But instead of singing this, she lies again with a, "Thanks so much", followed by her sweetest fake smile.
Then she heads out of the office, marches back across the lawn to the Loftus house to change into her swimsuit and gets ready to jump into the lake!
Will PP really break the friar law and partake of some illegal lake swimming?
Same Friar Channel.
Same Friar Time.
Same Friar Lake.
Same Friar LIES!