Catherine Halsey Speaks

November 4, 2008
By Rachel Smith, South Plainfield, NJ

Oh, hello Peter.

I should have known that I would run into you; New York City is so small. Washington on the other hand, now that's a real city. I'm here on a quick business trip. Well, that's what I'm telling people. Truthfully, I'm here to shop. Look at the broach in that window!

No, I think that pin is just the right size. It will only take up my entire left lapel, but that's fashion Peter. I don't expect you to be up to date with the newest fashions. New York is really quite a handicap in that sense; living in Washington has taught me so much about fashion. Look at that woman sleeping on that park bench. I would never be caught dead in that jacket.

No, no my job is horrible, but Uncle Toohey prepared me for that. I know that you aren't supposed to enjoy the work you do everyday of your life. I hate every minute of my job, and I'm perfectly content with that. But I do love Washington; in commparison New York is just so slow.

Sure, let's stop in this diner.

Peter you should hold back on all the bread, to be completely honest you've put on a lot of weight. Here take this spoon. Look at your face. The lines on your face are incredible! Has it been that long since I've last seen you?

Yes, I read about your divorce in the paper. She up and left you for Gail Wynand. Dropped for the next best thing? That sounds strangely familiar. Karma, Peter, karma.

Did you feel bad? When you left me? When you never even told me to my face that you had decided not to marry me? Those were some rough times for me, let me tell you. Doctors had to sedate me like a crazed dog that day.

Washington is great, Peter.

No, I'm not talking some fallen girl out of her problem. I am the fallen girl.

It's nice that you are asking for my forgiveness, but I just can't forgive you. Knowing that you got dumped though makes it a little easier.

You suck, Peter Keating. Who do you think you are anyway?

But really I'm not bitter. Next week I'm getting married. I never really thought I was a woman suited for domesticity, but neither is my fiance so it will all work out. He's career oriented, but not too much because that would be selfish. Actually you went to school with my fiance. He's young, and really understands Washington. Come next week I will be Mrs. Shlinker.

The author's comments:
Inspired by Margaret Atwood's Gertrude Talks Back. In this piece Catherine Halsey is speaking to Peter Keating.

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