The widower Bonnington was having an affair with Bobby’s ex-, nurse Melindra.
Bobby asked the doctor if he was going to marry again, which meant
to the good psychiatrist jealousy might be afoot or, failing that, guilt.
Bobby had heard the news from Anna and Paul. After Bobby’s stay on the ward,
it seemed to him like everyone knew everyone else he knew,
and he was unsure how he felt about the news. Bonnington said, Do you love her?
I’m not sure I ever did, Bobby shot back. He would make Bonnington uneasy now.
He caught himself gearing up for an assault. He said he wasn’t very surprised,
Melindra had talked a lot about the doctor. Besides, she liked his paintings,
she'd said to end the night they took him for dinner at Alki and drove him home,
where Bonnington gave them a tour of his “Sunday paintings,” he joked.
Bonnington had read Bobby’s writings and relayed them up to the doctors
in their room at the top, who asked if he knew Roethke. He knew they’d think
he was a star-struck kid from the slums, just another wannabe. Why? he asked.
(21 April 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander