Chapter Five: Alone
Regina had been living with us for a week. She didn’t complain about our house, but she did not seem to be enjoying life all that much, for some reason that I couldn’t figure out. I decided to talk to Satellite Ears about it.
“Satellite Ears,” I said to him, “It’s really nice having Regina live with us, but somehow she doesn’t seem to be too happy here. Perhaps you could talk to her about it.”
“Yes, I know,” sighed Satellite Ears. “I just hope that I’m not the reason that she’s unhappy!”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” I said. “She does seem to like you a lot. But maybe you should just talk to her.”
“Okay, I will,” said Satellite Ears. “I’ll talk to her sometime soon. I worry about her.”
Later on that day, I was sitting on the couch reading the cleaning chapters in a cookbook, when Satellite Ears came into the living room.
“Bananamouth,” he said, “I just had a little chat with Regina. She says that we have a very nice house, but it feels a little bit cramped to her, like there’s not enough room in it for all of us.”
“Oh, I see,” I said. “But we had three people here before when you and I and Not a blue woman all lived here.”
Satellite Ears said, “I guess that our house is just kind of smaller or more cramped than what she’s used to. She used to live alone, in a house the size of our house or bigger.”
“I understand,” I said. “Is there something we can do about it?”
“Regina suggested that she and I move to a new house,” said Satellite Ears. “She has a fairly high-paying job, so I think we could afford it. And if we moved to a new house, we could get out the DJ machine from storage, and put it in our house!”
“Ooh, that sounds like fun,” I said.
“Would you mind if we moved?” Satellite Ears asked. “You would be left all alone here by yourself.”
“I don’t think I’d really mind much,” I said. “I might get a bit lonely sometimes, but if I do, I could always invite someone over or phone someone or find something to do by myself. So if you two want to move out and find your own place, go ahead.”
Satellite Ears and Regina moved out the next day. They took the double bed and the flower vase with them, and they took the DJ machine and the chess board out of storage and put them in their new house. They’d left the piano at my house.
I was feeling a bit sad that I was all alone in the house. I decided to phone Not a blue woman and invite him over.
Not a blue woman arrived at my house a few minutes later.
“Hi, Not a blue woman!” I said when I answered the door.
“Hello, Bananamouth!” Not a blue woman said. “Where’s Satellite Ears?”
“Oh, he moved out with his girlfriend yesterday,” I said. “I guess we didn’t get the chance to tell you.”
“Oh, really,” said Not a blue woman. “Have you seen their new house yet?”
“Not yet,” I said. “I should visit them sometime. I invited you over because I got a little bit lonely just being here by myself.”
“Aww,” said Not a blue woman. “Would you like to play some chess?”
“Sure, I’d love to!” I said. We went over to the chess board, and played chess for a few hours.
“Would you like some dinner now?” I asked.
“Sure,” said Not a blue woman. “What would you like to make for dinner?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m not so good at cooking.”
“Hey! Why don’t we order a pizza,” Not a blue woman suggested.
“Sure!” I said. “I haven’t done that in quite a long time.” I went to the phone and ordered a pizza. The pizza delivery man came to the door a bit later, and soon Not a blue woman and I were sitting outside at the dining table eating slices of pizza.
“Gee, if I remember correctly, the first time we ordered pizza, we didn’t even have any chairs to sit on while we ate it!” Not a blue woman laughed.
“Those days were fun,” I said. “But it is nice to have chairs to sit on.”
“So, how are you doing these days?” asked Not a blue woman.
“I’m doing quite well,” I said.
“How’s your job going?” he asked.
“Not bad. It’s a little tiring being out in the field all day, but I like my coworkers, and it’s nice being with people.”
“Are you lonely?” asked Not a blue woman.
“Sometimes,” I said.
“Well, you’ve only been by yourself in this house for less than a day,” said Not a blue woman. “Maybe you’ll get used to it.”
“I guess so.”
“Just see how you feel for the next little while,” said Not a blue woman. “And maybe you should get out to some places in town and talk to people there. Maybe go out to the disco again, or to the art museum. Or go out to the stores, or the park. Have you been to the stores or parks yet? They’re all open 24 hours a day, every day.”
“I haven’t,” I said. “It might be interesting to go there someday, on a day off, or when I get home from work if I’m not too tired.”
“There’s a pool here in town, too,” said Not a blue woman.
“Oh, that would be interesting to go to,” I said.
“Maybe you should try taking up a new hobby,” said Not a blue woman. “I see that you have a piano. Can you play it?”
“Oh yeah, Regina brought that when she moved in. I can’t play it very well,” I said. “Banging the keys to make a noise is fun, though.”
“If you practice enough, playing piano can be very rewarding,” said Not a blue woman. “Or you could just do what I did and get yourself an easel, and practice painting instead. It automatically makes you a good piano player.”
“Maybe I should try that,” I said. “Or I could work on my cooking skills so I can make something other than toaster pastries and macaroni and cheese.”
“You have a lot to think about,” said Not a blue woman. “I should probably go back home now. I imagine Valerie would like some help in taking care of our baby.”
“Okay,” I said.
“You can phone us any time!” said Not a blue woman.
Soon, I had a day off work. I decided to go somewhere, so I looked through the phone book for possible places to go. I decided to go to Veronaville Park. I phoned a taxi, and when the taxi arrived, I got into the taxi. A few minutes later, I was at Veronaville Park.
I got out of the taxi, and walked around the park. There was a pond in the park, with a bridge over it. There were lots of bushes and trees and wooden benches all around the park. There was a swing set in one corner. Lots of people were wandering around in the park. They all looked like pretty decent people, apart from one mean-looking old lady who seemed to want to pick fights with people.
I saw Carmen Patch there. We sat on a bench and talked for a while. I told her about my brothers moving to new houses, and about Not a blue woman’s new baby. I asked her if she had ever been to Veronaville Park before, and she said that she comes to the park often. She said that the swing set was a lot of fun and that I should try it out, so I got up from the bench and went over to the swings. Carmen went over to the swings too.
I got onto a swing with a green seat. Carmen pushed my swing, and I started swinging back and forth. It was so much fun! I was surprised at how much fun it was.
“Wow!” I said to Carmen after I got off the swing. “I loved that so much! I could do it all day.”
“I know,” said Carmen. “Aren’t swings great?”
“They sure are,” I said. “Maybe I can get one for my backyard someday.”
I wandered around the park for a while longer. I found a hotdog grill there, like the ones in the art museum, but I didn’t feel like grilling any hotdogs. A man walked over to where I was standing, by the grill. He had dark skin, brown eyes, and red hair done up in a style very similar to mine. He was wearing a red shirt with white stripes, and blue pants and brown shoes.
“Hello there,” said the man. “Would you like me to grill you some hotdogs?”
“Sure!” I said. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” said the man. “By the way, my name is Nathen Custer. What’s your name?”
“My name is Bananamouth Goodman,” I said. “You said that your last name is Custer. Are you related to Valerie Custer?”
“I don’t know her,” said Nathen. “But I heard that a lot of last names are very common in Veronaville, for some reason. Now let’s have some hotdogs!” Nathen went over to the grill and put on some hotdogs. Several minutes later, they were ready, and Nathen put out plates of them at a nearby picnic table. People came from all over the park to sit at the picnic tables and eat the grilled hotdogs. Nathen and I sat at one end of one of the picnic tables. The two of us were talking about various things, when someone sat beside me and said, “Hi, Bananamouth!”
“Regina!” I said. “What a surprise to see you here!”
“I hadn’t been to this park in ages,” said Regina. “I thought that it’d be nice to go back here.”
“I’ve never been here before,” I said. “So, how are you?”
“I’m great!” said Regina. “Satellite Ears and I found a really nice house. We’ve been enjoying it.”
“Where is your new house?” I asked.
“It’s within walking distance of your house,” said Regina. She told me her address. “You should come over and see us at our house sometime.”
“I’d love to,” I said.
“These hotdogs are excellent,” said Regina. “Did you make them?”
“No,” I said. “Nathen did.” I introduced Regina to Nathen.
“Nathen, you can sure grill a mean dog!” said Regina.
A little while later, we all finished our hotdogs. I found a public phone, called a taxi, and went back home.
On one of my days off work, I decided to go over to Satellite Ears and Regina’s house. I walked over. Their house was a little bit bigger than mine. It was white with a brown roof, and had two stories. It had a garage, but I saw that Satellite Ears and Regina had gotten rid of the driveway, since they didn’t have a car. They had a pink plastic flamingo out front, and they had put their DJ machine in the backyard. They also had set up their chess table in the backyard, and there were two dark brown wooden chairs set up at the table. They had an orange lounge chair in their side yard, but other than that they did not have any furniture outside in their yard.
I went up to their door and rang their doorbell. Satellite Ears answered. He seemed to be really excited about something.
“Bananamouth!” he said. “Come on in! I have some great news to share!”
“Oh boy!” I said. I entered their living room. They’d put up some dark red wallpaper in the room. There was a TV and a bright red couch and a striped blue stuffed chair in the room, too. Against the far wall there was an elegant dark brown wooden bookcase. The living room ceiling had a beautiful light blue chandelier.
“Wow,” I said, “you have such a nice house! I love what you guys have done with it.”
“Many thanks,” said Satellite Ears. “Regina and I had a lot of fun decorating it and buying furniture and such.”
“So, what’s this amazing news that you were about to tell me?” I asked.
“I just asked Regina to marry me, and she said yes!” cried Satellite Ears.
“That’s fabulous!” I said. “Congratulations! Good for you!”
“I proposed just before she left for work today,” said Satellite Ears. “She’s off at work now.”
“Well, if I’m not still here when she comes home from work, give her my congratulations,” I said.
“Oh, I certainly will,” said Satellite Ears. “Say, would you like a tour of our house?”
“Yes! I sure would,” I said.
Satellite Ears showed me the kitchen. The first thing I noticed about the kitchen was the orange fridge.
“Wow,” I said, “you have an orange fridge. Not a blue woman’s fridge is orange, too.”
“Yes,” said Satellite Ears. “Regina read in a magazine that orange fridges are the fashionable thing to have these days, so we got an orange fridge. Maybe Valerie read the same magazine or something.”
Besides the orange fridge, the kitchen also had green counters, a white stove, a coffee machine, and a microwave. In the back of the kitchen there was a blue door leading out to the backyard.
“Would you like to see our bathroom?” asked Satellite Ears.
“Sure,” I said. We went into the bathroom. There was a simple green bathtub/shower combo thingy, and a white toilet, and a white sink in that room. There was also a simple mirror with a light brown wooden frame.
“I’ll show you the garage,” said Satellite Ears.
“Oh, what do you have in your garage?” I asked.
We went into the garage. There was a dark brown wooden dining table and light brown wooden chairs in there.
“Oh, you put your dining table in here,” I said. “Clever.”
“Yes,” said Satellite Ears. “Since we don’t have a car, we figured we could use the garage for something else. And our kitchen is too small to put a dining table in there, so we figured that this was a good solution. I’ll show you the upper floor now.”
We went back inside the main house, and went up the stairs to the second floor. The second floor consisted of a hallway and several rooms. At the end of the hallway there was a computer on a dark red desk. There was a yellow wooden chair at the desk.
“Oh, you have a computer!” I said. “That’s useful!”
“Yes, it sure is,” said Satellite Ears. “It helps me study, and it’s fun to play games on it, and I can send emails to my friends and chat with them.”
“I should get myself a computer,” I said. “I think I could afford it, and I’d get a lot of use out of it.”
“And we could talk to each other late at night, when it’s not a good idea to phone each other, if we both had computers,” said Satellite Ears.
“What rooms do you have up here?” I asked him.
“We have our own bedroom, a spare bedroom, and an empty room that we haven’t used for anything so far,” said Satellite Ears. He opened the door to their bedroom. The double bed was in there, and there was also a tall floor lamp with a whitish yellow lampshade. In the corner of the room there was a little table with their flower vase on it.
“What do you have in the spare bedroom?” I asked.
“I’ll show you,” said Satellite Ears. We went into the spare bedroom. There was nothing there except a single bed with white sheets.
“I know, it’s nothing special,” he said, “and we just put an inexpensive bed in there. Maybe later we’ll add some decorations or something, or maybe if we get frequent guests. For now, we just decided that a guest bedroom would be a good thing to have.”
“What’s in your other room up here?” I asked.
“I told you, it’s empty,” Satellite Ears laughed. He showed me that room, and there was indeed nothing in it.
“Maybe you could make it into an extra guest room or something,” I suggested.
“We’ll see,” said Satellite Ears.
“Maybe you could convert it into a bathroom,” I said, “since the only bathroom you have is downstairs.”
“We considered that,” said Satellite Ears, “but we thought it was a bit too big to be a bathroom. In any case, I’m sure we’ll find some sort of use for it eventually.”
“Have I seen the whole house now?” I asked.
“Yes, you have.”
We went downstairs and out the kitchen door into the backyard.
“Oh, I just realized, I haven’t shown you the DJ booth yet!” said Satellite Ears. “I was so excited that Regina had one. I’ve always wanted one!”
“Oh yes,” I said. “I’d love to see that.”
“I’ll demonstrate it for you,” Satellite Ears said.
We went over to the DJ machine. Satellite Ears pushed a button on the machine, and it started playing some funky, upbeat music. He got out a record from a record holder on the side of the machine, put the record on a turntable on top of the machine, and the music changed a bit. He spun records for a while. I started to dance. We had a great time!
After a while, Satellite Ears turned off the DJ machine. “Well, that was certainly fun,” he said.
“It sure was!” I exclaimed. “And I love the music that that machine plays. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that music before, and yet it sounds so familiar somehow.”
“It sure does sound familiar,” Satellite Ears agreed. “I have no idea why. It just sounds like I’ve known it all my life somehow.”
“That’s so weird,” I said.
“It’s really neat,” said Satellite Ears.
“Indeed,” I said.
“Well, I guess you’ve seen just about everything in the house by now,” said Satellite Ears.
“Do you know when your wedding will be yet?” I asked.
“We haven’t really planned the date yet,” he said. “Probably sometime fairly soon, but not too soon.”
“I see,” I said. “Well, I think I should go back to studying for my job, so I should go back home now. Give Regina my congratulations on the proposal.”
“I will!” said Satellite Ears. “Bye!”
“Bye, Satellite Ears!”
When I came home from work one Saturday, the phone was ringing. I rushed inside and picked up the phone.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hi, Bananamouth, it’s Satellite Ears.”
“Oh, hi Satellite Ears,” I said. “What’s up?”
“I would just like to invite you to my wedding!” said Satellite Ears.
“Oh, that’s fantastic!” I said. “When is it?”
“It starts in a few minutes,” he said. “It will be at our house.”
“Oh my goodness! Will I have time to walk over there?”
“I’m sure you will,” said Satellite Ears. “We won’t really get anything started until all of our guests arrive.”
“Oh, that’s good,” I said. “I’ll be right over there!”
I changed into a dark blue formal suit, and walked over to Satellite Ears’s house. I was the first person to arrive. I saw that Satellite Ears and Regina had put up a wedding arch in the backyard. I found them in the backyard, and greeted them. Satellite Ears was wearing a black tuxedo and Regina was wearing a white wedding dress.
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Aren’t you supposed to be at work, Satellite Ears?”
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” said Satellite Ears, “I called in sick. They won’t be expecting me to show up at work today.”
Soon, other guests began to arrive. Not a blue woman and Valerie came, and went out to the backyard. Not a blue woman was wearing a dark gray suit, and Valerie was wearing a pretty black dress with dark red trim.
“Hello, Not a blue woman,” said Satellite Ears. “Hello, Valerie. How have you been?”
“We’ve been really busy, but great!” said Not a blue woman.
“How is baby Reuil doing?” Satellite Ears asked them.
“He’s doing wonderfully,” said Valerie.
“We left him with a nanny when we came here,” said Not a blue woman. “I hope he’ll be okay.”
“Oh, I’m sure that he’ll be all right,” said Valerie. “It’s not like we left him all by himself or anything.”
Nancy Philippine and Gary Thompson were the next people to arrive. Nancy was wearing a leopard print dress and Gary was wearing a dark blue suit like mine. Next, a woman I didn’t know came. She had black hair styled into pigtails, and her eyes were dark blue. She was wearing a black formal-looking gown. All; three of the new guests walked into the backyard near the wedding arch.
Satellite Ears went up to this woman. “Carla,” he said, “I’d like to introduce you to Bananamouth. Bananamouth, this is Carla McCullough.
We shook hands. “Pleased to meet you,” I said.
“It’s nice to meet you too,” said Carla. “So, I heard that you and Satellite Ears and your other brother used to live together in a house.”
“Yes,” I said, “but now I have the house to myself. How long have you known Satellite Ears?”
“Not very long,” said Carla, “but Regina and I have known each other since we were kids.”
“That’s cool,” I said. “What was Regina like as a kid?”
“She was the first girl in our class to want to go out with the boys,” said Carla. “She was one of the first girls to start wearing lipstick, too.”
“I wear lipstick!” I said. “I’ve been putting gold lipstick on my lips ever since I grew up.”
“Oh, is that why your mouth looks so funny!” Carla laughed. I felt insulted, so I walked away. I talked to Valerie for a while.
Then, the moment we had all been waiting for finally came. Satellite Ears made an announcement to all the wedding guests. “Regina and I are about to be married under the wedding arch!” he announced. We all gathered around the wedding arch and watched. Satellite Ears gave Regina a wedding ring, and they hugged and kissed. Regina officially received Satellite Ears’s last name at that point, so from then on she would be known as Regina Goodman. Everyone clapped and cheered at the end of the little wedding ceremony under the arch.
“There’s wedding cake in the kitchen!” said Regina. “Satellite Ears will cut pieces of cake for you all, won’t you, darling?” She gazed lovingly at her husband.
“Sure thing!” said Satellite Ears. He went into the kitchen and cut the wedding cake. Everyone took a piece of cake. It was delicious vanilla cake with white icing on it.
“Let’s have a toast!” said Satellite Ears. He brought out a bottle of champagne, and we all toasted the newlyweds. “To married bliss!” we all said.
All of the guests stood around and talked for a while after that. I had a conversation with Nancy Philippine.
“This is quite a nice wedding, isn’t it?” Nancy said.
“It sure is,” I said. “I’ve never been to a wedding before. Have you?”
“I’ve been to a few,” answered Nancy. “I think this is one of the nicer ones. One time I went to a wedding where all of the wedding guests missed the actual wedding ceremony, so the bride and groom had nobody watching at the actual moment of marriage.”
“Oh dear!” I said.
“That’s not even the worst wedding I’ve been to,” said Nancy. “One time, I went to this wedding where the would-be bride didn’t want to get married. Her fiancé got her to go under the arch with him, but then she ran away! She came back in a taxi later.”
“Oh no!” I said. “Did they end up getting married after all?”
“I don’t know,” said Nancy. “I left shortly after the woman returned in the taxi. I’ve since lost touch with those people.”
“I see,” I said.
Then Satellite Ears called everyone over to the backyard again. He spun some records in the DJ booth, and everyone danced for a while. Several people were commenting on how much they liked the music. Then he served everybody plates of gelatin. Everyone agreed that it had been quite a pleasant wedding.