Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Got together for a while with Ingrid the other day. I asked her what she had been up to since graduation.

"I've been helping one of my profs with some research," she said. "He was one of my advisors, and he's doing a few papers, so he's throwing me a few weeks worth of work. Then we'll see. Anything so I don't have to move back home."

"I thought you liked it there."

"I do," she said. "I love it. But in our family, if you move home after college, you never leave. That's just the way it works out. So I want to stay off that track."

"Huh. So what kind of research?"

"Actually you might be interested. He's doing a thing on the literary origins of superheroes."

"The literary origins? How the hell does that work?"

She shrugged. "Superheroes only showed up in '85. People were writing about them long before that, so you figure it out. I can show you the paper once it's written, if you want."

I nodded. "Thanks. That'd be good. So... does he know about your... special qualifications?"

"What, you mean does he know about Victor? No. Doesn't matter anyway. I don't think I learned anything about superheroes from him that's been any help to me in the research."


"Mind if I ask you something personal?" I said.

"I don't know. Give it a try."

"How'd you and Greyghost get together, anyway? I could never figure you two out."

She shrugged. "Aah. It's not very interesting. You really want to hear about it?"

I shrugged too. "The only thing I could figure was that, like, he saved you from being mugged or something, and--"

"Eew! God, Dennis!"

"I know. Doesn't really sound like either of you."

"I hope not!"

"All right, all right..."

"No. It was a few years ago when I was in undergrad. I was on this committee that arranged guest speakers, and we really wanted Victor to be one of the speakers. I forget exactly why. But I was the one who was calling Tamar all the time and basically pestering him to come speak at the school.

"Eventually he agreed. But by that time I had decided that he was totally sexy and fascinating and I just kept pestering him, like to go out for dinner and stuff. I used every possible excuse. We have to go over your speech. We have to talk about your honorarium. We have to talk about this or that."

"I can't believe it," I said. "You're an artist groupie."

"Listen, I wasn't the only one. You have no idea. Anyway. Of course I ran out of excuses, especially after Victor's speech was over and he had been paid and everything. I had to say to him, 'I don't have a pretext this time, but can we go out anyway?'"

I laughed.

"He didn't know how to deal with me," she continued. "I mean, he's not shy or anything--you know him. I think the age thing bothered him a bit. Hell, I know it did. It took him a while before he finally accepted that, you know, twenty-five years difference or not, I wasn't going away. But then it was okay."

"Weird," I said.

"Well... you don't know him like I know him. You know him as Greyghost first. And he's different when he's just being Victor Scigrave. He talks more. He's... he's not so much the Grim Reaper. I didn't even know he was Greyghost for almost a year."

"How'd you take that?"

She glared at me in that pointy way she has. "I did not like it. But the more I thought about it... oh, well, it could be worse, the guy I went out with in high school used to put strawberry jam on his hamburgers."
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