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A Modern Bisclavret

A Modern Bisclavret

Although climbing the same black, rusted stairway to his third floor Brooklyn apartment reminded him of the absence of luxury in his life, Peter was nevertheless happy to return home to his loving lady after a grueling day of masonry. Spending eight hours on your knees, hunched over a slab of concrete would however, make returning to his humble abode seem like returning to a town house in the upper-east side to most people. Roxanne’s day was much like Peter’s in that trying to teach 37 eleven year olds with a two minute attention span when the subject is anything other than the Yankees, how to do long division, can be as exhausting as laying bricks. Not to mention Roxanne’s day wasn’t over at the two thirty bell. She supervised the school’s recreational program, which required her presence every day because nobody else wanted to spend their afternoon organizing and sometimes even participating in everything from kickball to jump rope. Roxanne and Peter’s day ended at about the same time so they would often ascend those steps together, hand in hand, mindless of the day’s finished labor and rejuvenated by the presence of one another. The other man in Roxanne’s life was her father who she loved dearly despite his sometimes violently irritable temperament, a result of his addiction to booze and a liver on the verge of a break down. Roxanne supported her father completely. She knew it was pathetic that her father was so irresponsible and that he found no shame in expecting his daughter to pay his medical bill, and so did Peter, who would have been furious to know that his wife was financially supporting a worthless drunk, even if it was her father, but forced by love, she did it anyway. Unfortunately the weekly checks from the public school system were barely enough to sustain herself and her life with Peter, let alone her dying father so she had to do something else. Every time Roxanne’s father would find her and introduce a new financial request, she would put on her red dress and sell her body. She knew this was a despicable act, but it was like there was no choice. She would have sacrificed her own life for her father, letting him waste away was not an option. ...

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