Alteration

      With dreams of chasing Richard through dimly lit subway stations and the dark, wooded trails of Central Park, Margaret had a fitful night.  Yet, when she woke up in the morning something was different.  Margaret shuffled down the short hallway to the kitchen.  She put on the coffee to brew and then opened that week’s New Yorker, which was resting on the kitchenette table for two, but was her personal space for one.  It was cluttered with fashion magazines, sketchpads, art pencils, and a box of chocolates her daughter Joyce had given her for her birthday over a month ago.

     Margaret’s slippers glided along the maple floor as she strolled into the living room/work room/studio.  That was where all her inspiration, musings, and designs took form.  She walked over to the dress form standing proudly on a wooden pedestal, headless but seemingly alive, and gave it an affectionate stroke.  It was naked that day.

     Now she walked back into her bedroom and climbed into her queen size bed laden with layers of creamy white: sheets, bedspread, pillows and throw pillows—a sea of snowy, fluffy comfort.  When she lay down she had a strange feeling like she could disappear into those folds and layers forever.       

      She was relaxed in a way that she hadn’t been before, at least that she could ever remember.  Even when she wasn’t actually sitting at the sewing machine, cutting a pattern, hand stitching buttons or a zipper, she was at least thinking about designs, looking through magazines and making sketches.  

     But also there had been Richard, the love her life for more than thirty years and the father of her children.  When he died last year, from a sudden heart attack while lying in bed next to Margaret as she slept, Margaret began to work even more.  Now, while resting her hand on Richard’s pillow, she decided she wouldn’t leave her bed.

     All that morning she channel surfed, and was especially thrilled when she found “Bringing Up Baby” playing on the AMC network.  Later when she got hungry, she ordered Chinese and made sure it was enough food to last a few days.  That was the only time she got out of bed, when she had to buzz in the delivery boy and pay. 

     Once she got the food, she dove back into bed.  She ate with chopsticks straight out of the cartons.  At some point in the afternoon, she drifted into a nap while “Vertigo” played on AMC.

      When she woke up it was dark outside; she could see the soft glow of green neon lights from Charlie’s Coffee Shop.  She leaned over and put her hand under the bed, feeling around for the cartons.  She pulled out one–it was vegetable Lo Mein, her favorite. 

     The telephone rang.  “Hi, Mother.  Just checking in, how was your day?”  It was Joyce.

     “Hello, dear.  My day was glorious.”

     “Okay, you remember the client I told you about.  She saw one of your gowns at the Kingsley Christmas party last year, and she wants you to make her one.  She’s even given me a down payment. I’m a bit nervous, I could get into trouble for this, but she’s adamant.”  

     Joyce was always a bit nervous.  She worked as personal shopper at Lord & Taylor.  There was a conflict of interest; Joyce should be selling one of their gowns, not one of her mother’s.

     “I can’t say I’ll have the time, honey.” Margaret was surprised by her own response.

     “Mother, I thought you needed the work.  You said you needed clients for the holidays.  Things have been slow, you said.”  Joyce was starting to get that whiney tone she used when anything unexpected happened.

     “I did, didn’t I?  Well, not anymore.  Just tell her I’m booked.”

     “How did I ever agree to this in the first place?  Okay, but just know I’m very disappointed.  I’ll call you tomorrow,” Joyce said.      

     Margaret smiled to herself and turned off the TV, which had been playing at a low volume all day, and she enjoyed the silence.  She drifted to sleep, only to awaken a short time later.  Her teeth felt gritty and her mouth was dry, and then she remembered that she had forgotten to brush her teeth.  Oh hell, I’ll do it in the morning, she thought and once again was lost in slumber.

     The next morning, the feeling was still there.  Margaret thought it would be a passing sensation, but instead it felt more embedded.  She looked under the bed, pushed the brown paper bag out of the way and grabbed at the various cartons of stir fried rice, Kung Pao chicken, Buddha’s delight and egg rolls.  She had cold Chinese for breakfast and, though soggy and greasy, it was delicious.

     After brushing her teeth, she considered showering.  Why was it necessary to bathe every single day?  Of course, walking the noisome city streets with all that pollution or taking the subway one would need to bathe daily.  But if she lived in bed, it would be unnecessary—a complete waste of precious water supply.  So Margaret decided every other day was quite enough, and washing her hair twice a week was plenty.

     She carefully went through her folded stack of pajamas on the closet shelf and chose a pale blue Victorian nightgown.  Once changed, she climbed back into bed and slept until two in the afternoon.  She thought she heard the phone ring once or twice, and when she woke up the red light on the answering machine was flashing.

      Margaret hit the play button and Joyce’s nervous voice chirped. “Mother, Mrs. Coleman is very disappointed about the dress and she asks that you reconsider.  She has the color chosen, and she mentioned shoes purchased and—“ Margaret hit delete message.

     The next message was from her best friend, Gayle.  “Hey sugar pie honey, you know the song, just checking in.  How about lunch next week?  Call me.” 

     Margaret picked up the phone to call Joyce.  She hesitated a moment and then put down the phone. She decided to call Gayle first.

     “Hello, my dear and enlightened friend.  How have you been?”  Gayle said.

     “Gayle, I miss you.  Let’s get together for lunch on Friday, here at my place.”

     “Are you offering to cook?  That would be a first, Marge.”  Whenever Gayle was being sarcastic, she called Margaret ‘Marge.’  It was a slight annoyance that Margaret had put up with for the past twenty years.  “There’s a great new Indian restaurant you’re going to love, let’s meet there.”

     This threw Margaret off.  She thought for a moment before replying, “I would rather stay home.  I’ll make something simple, or we can order in.”

     “Is there a reason you don’t want to be seen in public?” Gayle asked.  “A bad haircut or botched Botox?” Gayle chuckled at her own joke.

     “Nothing like that.  Just come over.”

      After Margaret dialed Joyce’s number and felt herself lose some steam.  “Hi, honey.  How was your day?”

     “Did you get my message, Mother?  Mrs. Coleman has called me twice today and I don’t know what to say.”

     “Take a deep breath.  It’s simple.  I already said I won’t do it, so just tell her to find someone else.”  For a brief second, Margaret thought she might be making a mistake, but then the thought passed. 

     However, staying in bed was more work than she had imagined.

     Joyce must have sensed something awry.  Very slowly and with an air of suspicion, she said, “Mother, I think I’ll drop by on my day off.  You’ll be home, I suppose?”

     Margaret felt like saying, ‘Yes, I’ll be wearing my pajamas, watching a movie on AMC, and eating cold Chinese.’  Instead she said, “What time?”

      She soon drifted off to sleep only to awaken a short time later, and once again thought, Oh hell, I’ll brush my teeth in the morning.

      After a few days, she decided it was time to enforce one rule: she must brush her teeth every night before falling asleep.  But she was relieved that the feeling was still there.  She had worried that her new self would vanish at some unexpected juncture, but instead she found herself perfectly content while wasting away another morning lying in bed.

     Margaret remembered that Gayle was coming over for lunch.  She decided a shower was in order, but when it came time to dress she once again browsed the stack of pajamas.  This time she found a pearl-white satin top and pant.  She adorned it with a chartreuse silk scarf and gold hoop earrings, and she looked very presentable, even with her slippers on.  She had soup and sandwiches delivered from the deli on the corner.

     By the time Gayle arrived, Margaret had set out the lunch over her bed.  “Ta-da,” Margaret said as she ceremoniously led Gayle into her bedroom.  “It’s a picnic!”

     “Absolutely marvelous, darling.  You’re really getting eccentric in your old age.”  Gayle took off her shoes and climbed onto the bed.  “Hand me a couple of those pillows.”   

     She arranged them under her arm and rested propped up.  The two chatted about their kids, Gayle’s latest trip to the west coast, and about a few new movies out. 

     Gayle then remembered, “I brought dessert; I’ll go get it.  It’s a fat free, nearly zero calorie chocolate cake.”

     They both picked at the cake–it was dry and tasteless.  “You know, I have something much better,” Margaret said.  She dashed into the kitchen and brought back the box of chocolates and a bottle of Pinot Noir with two wine glasses.

     “And they’re Godiva!” exclaimed Gayle.

      The two indulged themselves, and laughed about Gayle’s last blind date.  Since her divorce, she started using a dating service, which kept them both highly entertained.   

     “I’m not expecting to find the love of my life; I mean it’s possible, but can’t I just meet a normal guy?  Make a new friend?  Have a decent night out without it ending in a complete fiasco?” Gayle complained.

     Just as Margaret and Gayle were at the height of silliness, Joyce arrived.

     Joyce walked into the bedroom, where there were cartons of food, crumpled dirty napkins, an empty wine bottle, and chocolate wrappers scattered all over the white bedspread.  Shoes, scarves, a coat and purse were lying on the floor.

     “Hello, Mother.  And Gayle.  What’s going on here?  Looks like a party.”

     “It is a party, honey.  Join us–just take off your shoes and climb in.”

      Instead, Joyce sat at the edge of the bed with her knees together and back straight.   

     “Mother, I don’t mean to pry, but what have you been doing the last week?”    

    “I’ve been resting, actually I’m taking a vacation—for an indeterminate amount of time.”

     “Just last week you were working on a gown, and looking for clients.”  Joyce was so responsible it made Margaret’s heart ache.

     “You’re right, but now I have decided that I’m not leaving my bed.  Would you like a chocolate?”  Margaret handed the box to Joyce.  Her daughter chose a piece, cautiously though, like she didn’t think she really had a choice in the matter.

     “Oh, you didn’t tell me this was permanent,” Gayle said in a more serious manner.  “I thought this was just for today.”

     “I don’t know how long it will last.  But for now I’m perfectly content, so there’s no need to worry,” Margaret explained as she popped another chocolate in her mouth.

    “Well then, don’t look so concerned, Joyce.  I think your mom deserves a break.  Susan Sarandon and Holly Hunter have worn her designs for Christ’s sake!  Did you know Barbra Streisand wore one of your mother’s gowns to the Oscar’s?”

     “Yes, of course, I knew that.  But that was in 1979.”

     “One could live contently forever from that single accomplishment.  You both stay put.  I’ll make us tea,” Gayle offered.  She rose from the crowded, messy bed and strolled down the hallway while humming “The Way We Were.”

      Margaret pulled out a photo album she had stored in the drawer of her nightstand.  She browsed through pictures of the summer they spent in Maine.

     “This seems very ethnic, Mother,” Joyce said.

     “What do you mean, ethnic?”

     “Well, living in bed just seems like something a long-suffering, eccentric foreigner would do.  I’m sure that some García Márquez character has done this already.”

     Margaret was taken aback.  She hadn’t been trying intentionally, at least not on a conscious level, to be eccentric, but she did have to admit that she liked the idea of being unique. 

     “That has nothing to do with it,” she spoke as she still flipped through photo album pages, looking at her three children when they were little and painfully adorable.

     “Are you fulfilled, Joyce?”  The question popped out.

     “Is that an existential question, Mother?  I mean, I guess so.  Anyway, what do you hope to achieve by staying in bed?” Joyce began to adjust her attire, pull at her blouse sleeves and tuck loose wisps of hair into her bun with fidgety gestures.

      “It’s not that I hope to achieve anything.  Now look at how cute you were as a little girl, happy and carefree on the beach with all that sand in your hair,” Margaret said. 

     Joyce leaned over and stared at the picture, as if unable to recollect that carefree child.

     Gayle returned carrying a tray with a teapot and cups, and all three sat together.  Margaret was limp and draped herself across the bed; Gayle leaned against the headboard softened by pillows; Joyce still sat at the edge of the bed, blowing into her teacup and taking small sips. 

     They were quiet as each settled into their own thoughts, sitting comfortably in their own way, sheltered in a corner of their own world.   

     Margaret was thinking about Richard.  He lingered everywhere all of the time.  It was so generous of him to go in his sleep like that—quietly and without a fuss.  He was always so civil and stoic, even at his own death.  Margaret had sensed something was wrong—when she felt his body rest too heavily next to her, she had tried to shake him awake…

     Once alone later that evening, Margaret walked into the living room and turned on a lamp; the room was still dim.  She stood in front of a framed black and white photograph of Richard and herself.  They were in their thirties, smiling, both good-looking she thought. 

     Margaret touched the picture, then Richard’s face with her index finger.  “We had a fantastic life,” she whispered. 

     Suddenly she said in a loud voice, “I miss you.” 

     Margaret stood waiting in silence.  She went back to her bedroom.  Margaret climbed into bed, and thought about the new Indian restaurant.  She hadn’t eaten Indian food in long time, and it sounded good.  Maybe she would call Gayle in the morning. 

Alteration

      With dreams of chasing Richard through dimly lit subway stations and the dark, wooded trails of Central Park, Margaret had a fitful night.  Yet, when she woke up in the morning something was different.  Margaret shuffled down the short hallway to the kitchen.  She put on the coffee to brew and then opened that week’s New Yorker, which was resting on the kitchenette table for two, but was her personal space for one.  It was cluttered with fashion magazines, sketchpads, art pencils, and a box of chocolates her daughter Joyce had given her for her birthday over a month ago.

     Margaret’s slippers glided along the maple floor as she strolled into the living room/work room/studio.  That was where all her inspiration, musings, and designs took form.  She walked over to the dress form standing proudly on a wooden pedestal, headless but seemingly alive, and gave it an affectionate stroke.  It was naked that day.

     Now she walked back into her bedroom and climbed into her queen size bed laden with layers of creamy white: sheets, bedspread, pillows and throw pillows—a sea of snowy, fluffy comfort.  When she lay down she had a strange feeling like she could disappear into those folds and layers forever.       

      She was relaxed in a way that she hadn’t been before, at least that she could ever remember.  Even when she wasn’t actually sitting at the sewing machine, cutting a pattern, hand stitching buttons or a zipper, she was at least thinking about designs, looking through magazines and making sketches.  

     But also there had been Richard, the love her life for more than thirty years and the father of her children.  When he died last year, from a sudden heart attack while lying in bed next to Margaret as she slept, Margaret began to work even more.  Now, while resting her hand on Richard’s pillow, she decided she wouldn’t leave her bed.

     All that morning she channel surfed, and was especially thrilled when she found “Bringing Up Baby” playing on the AMC network.  Later when she got hungry, she ordered Chinese and made sure it was enough food to last a few days.  That was the only time she got out of bed, when she had to buzz in the delivery boy and pay. 

     Once she got the food, she dove back into bed.  She ate with chopsticks straight out of the cartons.  At some point in the afternoon, she drifted into a nap while “Vertigo” played on AMC.

      When she woke up it was dark outside; she could see the soft glow of green neon lights from Charlie’s Coffee Shop.  She leaned over and put her hand under the bed, feeling around for the cartons.  She pulled out one–it was vegetable Lo Mein, her favorite. 

     The telephone rang.  “Hi, Mother.  Just checking in, how was your day?”  It was Joyce.

     “Hello, dear.  My day was glorious.”

     “Okay, you remember the client I told you about.  She saw one of your gowns at the Kingsley Christmas party last year, and she wants you to make her one.  She’s even given me a down payment. I’m a bit nervous, I could get into trouble for this, but she’s adamant.”  

     Joyce was always a bit nervous.  She worked as personal shopper at Lord & Taylor.  There was a conflict of interest; Joyce should be selling one of their gowns, not one of her mother’s.

     “I can’t say I’ll have the time, honey.” Margaret was surprised by her own response.

     “Mother, I thought you needed the work.  You said you needed clients for the holidays.  Things have been slow, you said.”  Joyce was starting to get that whiney tone she used when anything unexpected happened.

     “I did, didn’t I?  Well, not anymore.  Just tell her I’m booked.”

     “How did I ever agree to this in the first place?  Okay, but just know I’m very disappointed.  I’ll call you tomorrow,” Joyce said.      

     Margaret smiled to herself and turned off the TV, which had been playing at a low volume all day, and she enjoyed the silence.  She drifted to sleep, only to awaken a short time later.  Her teeth felt gritty and her mouth was dry, and then she remembered that she had forgotten to brush her teeth.  Oh hell, I’ll do it in the morning, she thought and once again was lost in slumber.

     The next morning, the feeling was still there.  Margaret thought it would be a passing sensation, but instead it felt more embedded.  She looked under the bed, pushed the brown paper bag out of the way and grabbed at the various cartons of stir fried rice, Kung Pao chicken, Buddha’s delight and egg rolls.  She had cold Chinese for breakfast and, though soggy and greasy, it was delicious.

     After brushing her teeth, she considered showering.  Why was it necessary to bathe every single day?  Of course, walking the noisome city streets with all that pollution or taking the subway one would need to bathe daily.  But if she lived in bed, it would be unnecessary—a complete waste of precious water supply.  So Margaret decided every other day was quite enough, and washing her hair twice a week was plenty.

     She carefully went through her folded stack of pajamas on the closet shelf and chose a pale blue Victorian nightgown.  Once changed, she climbed back into bed and slept until two in the afternoon.  She thought she heard the phone ring once or twice, and when she woke up the red light on the answering machine was flashing.

      Margaret hit the play button and Joyce’s nervous voice chirped. “Mother, Mrs. Coleman is very disappointed about the dress and she asks that you reconsider.  She has the color chosen, and she mentioned shoes purchased and—“ Margaret hit delete message.

     The next message was from her best friend, Gayle.  “Hey sugar pie honey, you know the song, just checking in.  How about lunch next week?  Call me.” 

     Margaret picked up the phone to call Joyce.  She hesitated a moment and then put down the phone. She decided to call Gayle first.

     “Hello, my dear and enlightened friend.  How have you been?”  Gayle said.

     “Gayle, I miss you.  Let’s get together for lunch on Friday, here at my place.”

     “Are you offering to cook?  That would be a first, Marge.”  Whenever Gayle was being sarcastic, she called Margaret ‘Marge.’  It was a slight annoyance that Margaret had put up with for the past twenty years.  “There’s a great new Indian restaurant you’re going to love, let’s meet there.”

     This threw Margaret off.  She thought for a moment before replying, “I would rather stay home.  I’ll make something simple, or we can order in.”

     “Is there a reason you don’t want to be seen in public?” Gayle asked.  “A bad haircut or botched Botox?” Gayle chuckled at her own joke.

     “Nothing like that.  Just come over.”

      After Margaret dialed Joyce’s number and felt herself lose some steam.  “Hi, honey.  How was your day?”

     “Did you get my message, Mother?  Mrs. Coleman has called me twice today and I don’t know what to say.”

     “Take a deep breath.  It’s simple.  I already said I won’t do it, so just tell her to find someone else.”  For a brief second, Margaret thought she might be making a mistake, but then the thought passed. 

     However, staying in bed was more work than she had imagined.

     Joyce must have sensed something awry.  Very slowly and with an air of suspicion, she said, “Mother, I think I’ll drop by on my day off.  You’ll be home, I suppose?”

     Margaret felt like saying, ‘Yes, I’ll be wearing my pajamas, watching a movie on AMC, and eating cold Chinese.’  Instead she said, “What time?”

      She soon drifted off to sleep only to awaken a short time later, and once again thought, Oh hell, I’ll brush my teeth in the morning.

      After a few days, she decided it was time to enforce one rule: she must brush her teeth every night before falling asleep.  But she was relieved that the feeling was still there.  She had worried that her new self would vanish at some unexpected juncture, but instead she found herself perfectly content while wasting away another morning lying in bed.

     Margaret remembered that Gayle was coming over for lunch.  She decided a shower was in order, but when it came time to dress she once again browsed the stack of pajamas.  This time she found a pearl-white satin top and pant.  She adorned it with a chartreuse silk scarf and gold hoop earrings, and she looked very presentable, even with her slippers on.  She had soup and sandwiches delivered from the deli on the corner.

     By the time Gayle arrived, Margaret had set out the lunch over her bed.  “Ta-da,” Margaret said as she ceremoniously led Gayle into her bedroom.  “It’s a picnic!”

     “Absolutely marvelous, darling.  You’re really getting eccentric in your old age.”  Gayle took off her shoes and climbed onto the bed.  “Hand me a couple of those pillows.”   

     She arranged them under her arm and rested propped up.  The two chatted about their kids, Gayle’s latest trip to the west coast, and about a few new movies out. 

     Gayle then remembered, “I brought dessert; I’ll go get it.  It’s a fat free, nearly zero calorie chocolate cake.”

     They both picked at the cake–it was dry and tasteless.  “You know, I have something much better,” Margaret said.  She dashed into the kitchen and brought back the box of chocolates and a bottle of Pinot Noir with two wine glasses.

     “And they’re Godiva!” exclaimed Gayle.

      The two indulged themselves, and laughed about Gayle’s last blind date.  Since her divorce, she started using a dating service, which kept them both highly entertained.   

     “I’m not expecting to find the love of my life; I mean it’s possible, but can’t I just meet a normal guy?  Make a new friend?  Have a decent night out without it ending in a complete fiasco?” Gayle complained.

     Just as Margaret and Gayle were at the height of silliness, Joyce arrived.

     Joyce walked into the bedroom, where there were cartons of food, crumpled dirty napkins, an empty wine bottle, and chocolate wrappers scattered all over the white bedspread.  Shoes, scarves, a coat and purse were lying on the floor.

     “Hello, Mother.  And Gayle.  What’s going on here?  Looks like a party.”

     “It is a party, honey.  Join us–just take off your shoes and climb in.”

      Instead, Joyce sat at the edge of the bed with her knees together and back straight.   

     “Mother, I don’t mean to pry, but what have you been doing the last week?”    

    “I’ve been resting, actually I’m taking a vacation—for an indeterminate amount of time.”

     “Just last week you were working on a gown, and looking for clients.”  Joyce was so responsible it made Margaret’s heart ache.

     “You’re right, but now I have decided that I’m not leaving my bed.  Would you like a chocolate?”  Margaret handed the box to Joyce.  Her daughter chose a piece, cautiously though, like she didn’t think she really had a choice in the matter.

     “Oh, you didn’t tell me this was permanent,” Gayle said in a more serious manner.  “I thought this was just for today.”

     “I don’t know how long it will last.  But for now I’m perfectly content, so there’s no need to worry,” Margaret explained as she popped another chocolate in her mouth.

    “Well then, don’t look so concerned, Joyce.  I think your mom deserves a break.  Susan Sarandon and Holly Hunter have worn her designs for Christ’s sake!  Did you know Barbra Streisand wore one of your mother’s gowns to the Oscar’s?”

     “Yes, of course, I knew that.  But that was in 1979.”

     “One could live contently forever from that single accomplishment.  You both stay put.  I’ll make us tea,” Gayle offered.  She rose from the crowded, messy bed and strolled down the hallway while humming “The Way We Were.”

      Margaret pulled out a photo album she had stored in the drawer of her nightstand.  She browsed through pictures of the summer they spent in Maine.

     “This seems very ethnic, Mother,” Joyce said.

     “What do you mean, ethnic?”

     “Well, living in bed just seems like something a long-suffering, eccentric foreigner would do.  I’m sure that some García Márquez character has done this already.”

     Margaret was taken aback.  She hadn’t been trying intentionally, at least not on a conscious level, to be eccentric, but she did have to admit that she liked the idea of being unique. 

     “That has nothing to do with it,” she spoke as she still flipped through photo album pages, looking at her three children when they were little and painfully adorable.

     “Are you fulfilled, Joyce?”  The question popped out.

     “Is that an existential question, Mother?  I mean, I guess so.  Anyway, what do you hope to achieve by staying in bed?” Joyce began to adjust her attire, pull at her blouse sleeves and tuck loose wisps of hair into her bun with fidgety gestures.

      “It’s not that I hope to achieve anything.  Now look at how cute you were as a little girl, happy and carefree on the beach with all that sand in your hair,” Margaret said. 

     Joyce leaned over and stared at the picture, as if unable to recollect that carefree child.

     Gayle returned carrying a tray with a teapot and cups, and all three sat together.  Margaret was limp and draped herself across the bed; Gayle leaned against the headboard softened by pillows; Joyce still sat at the edge of the bed, blowing into her teacup and taking small sips. 

     They were quiet as each settled into their own thoughts, sitting comfortably in their own way, sheltered in a corner of their own world.   

     Margaret was thinking about Richard.  He lingered everywhere all of the time.  It was so generous of him to go in his sleep like that—quietly and without a fuss.  He was always so civil and stoic, even at his own death.  Margaret had sensed something was wrong—when she felt his body rest too heavily next to her, she had tried to shake him awake…

     Once alone later that evening, Margaret walked into the living room and turned on a lamp; the room was still dim.  She stood in front of a framed black and white photograph of Richard and herself.  They were in their thirties, smiling, both good-looking she thought. 

     Margaret touched the picture, then Richard’s face with her index finger.  “We had a fantastic life,” she whispered. 

     Suddenly she said in a loud voice, “I miss you.” 

     Margaret stood waiting in silence.  She went back to her bedroom.  Margaret climbed into bed, and thought about the new Indian restaurant.  She hadn’t eaten Indian food in long time, and it sounded good.  Maybe she would call Gayle in the morning. 

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