So at least one thing’s clear. There’s no going back. No way Randy Trumbull can live the life of Chuck Weed.

Or, for that matter, would even want to. That face in the mir­ror this morning. Handsome, arrogant. God help me. I’ve become my own killer.

Today I left the Colonial Inn for good and went home—not the cracker box in Medford, but Randy’s home, the multi-million-dollar mansion in Wayland. Randy’s body, as it happens, comes with a wife—a taut, tanned, thirtyish former model with improba­ble breasts. There is in Randy’s brain a file on this woman. The two key facts are that she spends much of her time playing tennis and has been having an affair with a Burlington plastic surgeon who manages her various body en­hancements. Her name is Cherry, and she’s watching TV as I walk in.

“Where the hell have you been?”

“Colonial Inn in Somerville.”

“What’s with that? Extended one-night stand?”

“I was alone.”

“The TV said you shot a man.”

“I did.”


“It’s not sitting too well.”

“Well, yeah!”

“Can we eat? I’m quite hungry.”

Wonderful dinner of squab, asparagus, and roasted rosemary potatoes prepared by our Venezuelan cook, Inez. I asked Cherry, “Do I seem okay to you?”

Picking clean a small drumstick, “Randy, you have never seemed okay to me. If you want to know if you seem any differ­ent since you killed that man, you’re asking the wrong person, okay? I have no idea. I just live here.” Sucking her greasy finger­tips. “I’m just the other name on your tax return. Your sex doll. By the way, why were you screwing that man’s wife? She wasn’t even that attractive.”

“She was there.”

“Did you really have to shoot him?” Her lips shiny with squab fat, going for another drumstick. No dark meat for me, I’m strictly a breast man—or was. Apparently Randy will eat anything.

“No, not really.”

“Any particular reason why you did?”

“He annoyed me.”

“Randy, I think you’re a very disturbed individual.”

Told her I agreed with her, and why not? She seemed sur­prised. “I think I’m going crazy,” I said.

“Is this some kind of insanity defense you’re cooking up?”

“No, I’m serious.”

A look of fear came into her face. “Good Lord, you’re not homicidal, are you?”

“Not anymore.”

After dinner, watched TV. Interesting program on the German airship Hindenburg, which exploded while attempting to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey on this day in 1937. Those logical Germans, talking themselves into inventing a mode of trans­portation that was essen­tially a flying bomb. Cherry’s gone to bed, wondering out loud why I chose to watch the History Channel instead of the Red Sox game. Said I hated sports.

“When did that happen?”

I had to stop and think. “Tonight,” I said.

“Randy, you are not funny. I’m going to bed.”