Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jane Austen's "Daisy of Love" Chapter 10


There was much impatience, borne of anxiety, as the romantical journey on which Daisy and the gentlemen had embarked reached its ineluctable conclusion. The just-ended elimination, in which Chi Chi was bid farewell, had left a taste of bitterness, for London still remained.

The four gentlemen gathered in the kitchen parlor, where Flex told him, pointedly, “Unlike Daisy, I am not blind to the impropriety of your behavior toward her.”

Dave continued the criticism. “Indeed. Do not suffer the misapprehension that any of us have been so fooled by you.”

London nodded. “I understand your anxiousness where I am concerned.”

“I have found a way to drive every other gentleman from the estate,” Flex said, with the confidence of one who knows he speaks truly. “And I shall do the same for you.”

Dave took a more conciliatory tone of voice when he exclaimed, “An initiation back into our good graces would a long way toward earning our trust. Perhaps we can tempt your palette with a drink of hot tabasco sauce?”

“I am here not to make friends with the other gentlemen, agreeable as they might be,” London thought. “I am here for Daisy’s estimation, not theirs.” Nonetheless, London agreed to the hazing ritual, and a shot glass was retrieved.

The drink was not so bitter as the thought that he might lose Daisy’s affections.

The gentlemen walked the causeway out to the garden’s fire pit, where, much to their delight, they were joined by the object of their affections. Smiling, she strode toward the stone wall where the gentlemen sat. “You look unenthusiastic,” Daisy said, to London.

“I have just drunk some tabasco sauce,” London admitted.

Daisy nodded. “You deserve the hazing,” she said. “The three other gentlemen have admirably displayed the depths of their affection for me. You, however, walked off the estate, and therefore have much to prove.” She positioned herself on the wall between London and Sinister.

London, seeking to earn something in Daisy’s estimation, sought to express to her that his absence was as difficult for him, as it must have been for her. “My being away from the estate has deprived me of the opportunity to be with you. For that reason, I am hoping that you might be able to spare for me a few extra minutes for some alone time.”

Sinister placed a comfortingly needing arm around Daisy’s shoulder. “That must be earned,” he said.

“My statement was directed to Daisy, not you,” London replied. Then, he turned his attention back to Daisy. “Please join me on the grass for some quiet reflection and frolic.”

Daisy acceded to his request. The two sat together, staring longingly into one another’s eyes. “I have feelings for you,” London said- although the sentiment could just have easily have been expressed by Daisy. “I could not shake those feelings.”

“If that is what you felt, why then did you leave the estate?” Daisy asked.

“On occasion, I succumb to the effects of my ill-humor and confusion,” London conceded. “This is a problem on which I continue to work- but in all honesty, it is a struggle.”

London and Daisy share an attraction, a temperament, and an IQ.

“This is intolerable!” Sinister muttered, watching them from the stone wall. A plan formed itself in his mind, and he made his way to the garden that skirted the edge of the estate. There he found the most exquisite example of a lilac- a flower he believed to be a symbol of longing. He reached down and plucked it from the ground. As he stood, admiring the soft silkiness of the petals that reminded him so much of his beloved’s fair and plump lips, he realized that one of his rings was missing.

He counted again. Yes, where Sinister usually had fourteen rings on the fingers of his right hand, he now had a mere thirteen. And, much to his chagrin, the missing ring was his most prized- the ring that had been a gift to him from his beloved grandmother, or some other relative to whom he’d felt a special connection.

Frantically, he scoured the ground around his feet. Alas, in the darkness, he could not see, and there were no torches or camera lights, or cell phone lights, or estate lights, or any lights of any kind that might have been used to illuminate the ground where he stood, that he might locate the ring in question.

“Well,” he rationalized, “the ring is certainly in no way so precious as the affections of Daisy. I shall present her with the hard-won flower.”

When he joined Daisy and London, the two were sharing a tender kiss. Sinister pushed the flower into Daisy’s face, and stated, “Freshly picked, for a one so ripe as you.” Daisy, wistfully, placed her head upon London’s shoulder as she gratefully accepted the token of Sinister’s affection.

Once Sinister had rejoined Flex and Dave, Daisy confided to London, “Sometimes when we speak, my positive feelings overwhelm all my confusion.” She, she playfully pulled away from him and said, “Prove yourself to me.”

“How?” London smiled. “I will do anything.”

“The gentlemen hazed you- now I shall, as well.” She handed London the lilac that had been presented her by Sinister. “Eat this.”

Eagerly, London ate the flower. “The taste is bitter,” he said.

“No more bitter than I!” Sinister exclaimed. “At the sight of the object of my affection, so hard-won, being consumed as part of a hazing of another by my beloved!”

Sinister’s drink went into the swimming pool. Sinister went into the house.

Flex and Dave, for their part, had been content to merely talk casually as gentlemen do, only occasionally stealing glances at Daisy and London, as they shared kisses. When either man deigned to comment on the proceedings, it was merely to remark, with studied nonchalance, that there was no reason for to be concerned over the return of London, for clearly the kisses he shared with Daisy lacked in intensity.

They joined Sinister within the house. Sinister spent a few minutes sulking in each of the house’s 18 rooms, before Flex informed him, “Worry not over London. He is our lesser.”

“She wants a musician!” Sinister called out, grabbing one of the guitars that served to decorate the walls of the house. “Let me show her how a tough, punk rock musician behaves!”

He walked outside and shouted something to grab his beloved’s attention. He then promptly smashed the guitar against the cement, and threw the shattered remnants into the pool.

Oddly, Sinister felt unfulfilled by this show of emotion. To that end, and in the search of fulfillment, he returned to the house, where he destroyed a candelabrum.

“You’ve destroyed the chandelier!” Flex exclaimed, in a playful jab at the ineffectualness of Sinister’s outbursts.

Sinister then retired to the billiard room, where he metaphorically threw billiard balls in all directions. When one of the ever-present cameras was destroyed, Sinister came to realize that his enthusiasms were running away from him, and not for the first time. Not at the estate, nor in his life before meeting Daisy.

Sinister without his shirt and, coincidentally, not throwing a tantrum.

His malaise turned to guilt over night, and Sinister woke feeling he should have found a better way to express himself. However, he could not deny- a certainly neither could Daisy- that a gentleman must express himself.

Tellingly, it was London who located the diary that Daisy had left unattended in the greatroom, in the hopes they would find it. He read,

I am inviting the gentlemens’ previous romantic partners to the estate.

A shadow of nervous anticipation fell over the gentlemen. Dave, especially, had reason to fear. In one of his previous televised romantic competitions, an ex romantic partner had revealed that he’d spent time as a dancer in a club for men with inverted interests.

This turn in the journey did not bode well for him.

Daisy and her faithful manservant, Mr. Rachtman, gathered the gentlemen together in the greatroom, where they awaited the arrivals from the gentlemens’ pasts. “Prefatory to our meeting your previous romantic partners, I feel compelled yet saddened to tell you that only two of you will be joining me for the finale of this romantical journey,” she stammered, nearly overcome by sensibility. “I care about each of you so much.”

Finally, she was able to compose herself, and she said, “Now, let’s meet Sinister’s ex romantic partner, Ashley.”

As she walked into the greatroom, Sinister was overcome by nausea. Not at seeing her again, but at seeing her in this context. For, while Sinister had been completely honest with Daisy about his past, he had been imprecise at times.

The next to enter the room was Dave’s “old flame,” Cathy. Dave had known Cathy since his youth; and as a result, she knew much about him. He hoped that she would not let drink loosen her tongue.

Flex’s ex romantic partner Kia then entered. Upon seeing her, Flex appeared unhappy, a fact that Mr. Rachtman articulated when he leaned toward Daisy and said, “He doesn’t look happy.”

Indeed he was not. “My heart is on the floor,” he thought. “Of all the many ladies I have known, why did they bring her to the estate? Our relationship was amazing, but she still has some compromising information about me.”

When I googled "Flex Kia" I got pictures of the Ford Flex, so here it is. The pic source describes the vehicle as "a large, powerful, comfortable, and stylish people mover capable of hauling seven adults (along with a built-in refrigerator) in comfort." The same could be said of Daisy herself. Not really, but why else am I showing you a picture of this vehicle?

London’s friend Natasha was the last new visitor to enter. Surprised, London involuntarily ejaculated a vulgarism that elicited a tension-breaking laugh from the assembled. But the vulgarism was not spoken out of fear or agitation, but rather of relief. London, charmed as ever, would be represented by a friend, not an ex romantic partner, as seemed to be the case with the others.

Mr. Rachtman took his measure of the women and found them to be all quite attractive.

Daisy took her measure of each based on how much they resembled herself. Sinister and Flex both rose in her estimation, as their lady friends most closely resembled her. Dave’s friend was attractive, but in a more common way. She could be a school teacher or accountant. London’s Natasha seemed a strange mixture of London and herself; Daisy was unsure as to how to feel about that.

Immediately and with great haste did Daisy and Mr. Rachtman bid the newly-arrived women follow her outside where a lunch had been prepared at a table overlooking the garden. Casually and without realizing it, Daisy stepped upon Sinister’s lost ring, driving it further into the dirt. “Thank you all so much for coming!” Daisy exclaimed, instructing each of the women to take a seat.

The conversation moved in fits and starts before Mr. Rachtman said, “I want honesty, please, for Daisy’s heart is on the line, and that is important. “Do any of these gentlemen currently have romantic partners?”

The silence was broken by Natasha, who equivocated, “He might be dating someone, but I am unsure as to the seriousness of that relationship.”

Mr. Rachtman sat back, satisfied that he had once again demonstrated London’s unfitness as a romantic partner. When he gazed upon the dazed expression on Daisy’s face, he felt he had evidence of the effectiveness of his demonstration.

Indeed, if he had been able to crack open Daisy’s skull and gaze upon the thoughts encircling her brain, he would have been all the more amply pleased. “I am just starting to trust him again, and now this?”

But Natasha had not yet completed her statement on London: “I am unsure as to whether I should mention this at all, but London suffers from priapism, and therefore requires the companionship of a woman at all times.”

Now, Daisy could feel intrigue mixing with her previously-felt irritation.

I couldn't find any pics of the remaining contestants' exes, so I figured I'd post another picture of the prize the contestants are fighting for. Here she is. Why these guys don't go running back to their exes can be explained with two letters: TV.

Kia, explaining her relations with Flex, reflected, “Our breakup was hard for me. He was my first love. He broke my heart.” Tearfully, she pressed on: “Several months ago, we made one last try, at his urging, but he again broke it off.”

Everyone at the table could see the depth of feeling put on display by Kia, and were so moved that they then turned their attention to Dave’s friend Cathy. “How do you know 12 Pack?” Mr. Rachtman asked, still unable to bring himself to call him Dave.

Cathy explained that they had known each other since middle school.

“And has he had a lot of romantic partners? He must have,” Mr. Rachtman goaded.

“Lately, yes,” Cathy conceded. “But he hasn’t allowed it to affect his personality. He is still Dave to his family and his friends. An affable and moderate temperament, and one with whom I can easily pass an idle hour.”

“This is boring,” Mr. Rachtman thought. Perhaps he would get something out of Sinister’s ex romantic partner?

Ashley stated that she and Sinister had shared six romatical months together, before their affections began to wane. “He didn’t do anything wrong,” she said, almost defensively, “which is why we’re still friends.” Then she said, to Daisy, “What do you think of him?”

This attempt to gauge her assessment of Sinister caused Daisy’s suspicions to rise. Clearly, the lady was holding something back.

“I’m still learning about him,” Daisy said, vaguely. She turned her attention back to Natasha. “Tell me more about London,” she said.

“When he likes someone, he leaves and then comes back. When he left your estate, I did see him on occasion, and I definitely noticed a change in his affect. He did say that he liked you.”

Mr. Rachtman interrupted. “He did say that he liked Daisy?” This was unsurprising, for Daisy was of lovely temperament and beauty, and intellect to match. Nevertheless, somehow he did find it surprising.

“Yes, he did,” Natasha said. “He told me several times- before he fell asleep on my couch- just how much he missed the estate.”

Upon completing the meal, Ashley pulled Mr. Rachtman aside. “I want to speak to Daisy alone, away from the others. Is that possible?”

“Of course, but the cameras must remain,” Mr. Rachtman said, in a heightened state of anticipation over what revelations Ashley might provide.

Later, only Daisy, Mr. Rachtman, and Ashley were at the table. The three sat in silence, while Ashley endeavored to build her nerve. Finally, she opened: “Does Sinister get kind of rough?”

It was with little effort that Daisy cast her mind back over the myriad occasions in which Sinister had thrown, broken, spilled, hit, or kicked various items around the estate.

“We were out once,” Ashley continued, “and he hit me in the face. I don’t know if it was an accident, and it only happened once.”

Daisy was shocked. Sinister seemed so sweet, but he was given over to tempestuous moments. This was something that would weigh heavily upon her mind, but for now, she wanted to meet with each gentleman and their lady friends alone. And she also wanted her personal psychic, Laurie, to join them.

It is not the object of this work to expose the charlatanism inherent in the “psychic” profession. Nor is it the object of this work to promote such a thing. Suffice it to say that each of the gentlemen et al were introduced to a “psychic” whose services Daisy had employed for years. She had spoken to this psychic about each of these gentlemen prior to their having met.

The psychic seemed to read from the aether itself their personalities. Of course, she was a charlatan who was merely parroting that which she’d already heard from her client Daisy.

London was Daisy’s best fit, the charlatan informed her. If Daisy chose him, it would inevitably lead to more frequent and expensive sessions.

We were told that Daisy's been seeing the same psychic for awhile, so we can be reasonably sure that this psychic knew all the men before doing their readings, and knew what Daisy felt about them. It must be really easy to give psychic readings for people when you've already been told everything about them. (I think the "Laurie" from the show was this Laurie Johnson who according to her website, charges $25 for a 15 minute phone consultation- and $20 for a 15 minute in-person consultation. I guess there's more demand for people to be ripped off over the phone than in person.

That nonsense having been dispensed with and Daisy’s one and only oddity of spirit having been indulged, everyone gathered near the fire pit for one last mixer. The gentlemen were joined by their lady friends, and spent an agreeable few minutes in avid conversation. Most especially did Kia and Flex engage in intercourse, sharing laughter and, finally, a secret:

“During the lunch, Natasha told us that London is currently dating someone.”

Flex was indignant. His beloved, Daisy, was once again being made a fool by London, who was clearly his inferior. This could not be tolerated. Immediately he took his leave of Kia and found Dave, who was seated a foot away.

“This you will not believe,” he whispered into Dave’s ear. “London has a girlfriend!”

“No!” Dave exclaimed.

The two men stared hatefully at London, who had brought shame upon the entire quest for love represented by the journey they’d all agreed to. They would bide their time, and await just the right opening, at which time they would expose London’s duplicity.

Finally, Mr. Rachtman asked, by way of pretense, “I want to hear from the ladies- why should your friends stay?”

Sensing the perfect opportunity, Flex interjected, “Why indeed, when London already has a romantic partner?”

London, fearing things could get out of hand if someone who knew only half the story were allowed to control the dialogue, stated, “Stop that!”

“Are you becoming indignant?” Flex asked, incredulously. “How dare you portray the wounded gentleman when someone points out your flaws!”

“I am not indignant, but your facts are incorrect,” London said. “The woman you call a ‘romantic partner’ is merely a close confidant.”

“Euphemism!” Flex shouted, accusingly. “A close confidant with whom you share a bed!”

“Just because they share a bed, that does not mean they are romantic partners,” Natasha pointed out.

“You’re a friend, of course you would say that,” Flex said. “But I want London to tell me, on his honor as a gentleman, that he does not have a romantic partner.”

“Do you wish to challenge me to a duel?” London accused. “That seems to be your true goal, based upon the confrontational attitude on display!”

As the temperature of the gathering increased, Dave could not help but to feel happy. “Let the others argue amongst themselves,” he thought. “For I am a romantic, not a fighter.”

“You challenge me, if it’s a duel you seek!” Flex said.

“You’re larger than me!” London pointed out. “I do not wish to duel with you!”

Finally, the tension was broken when Kia fell across the table, nearly causing the alcohol to spill. Laughter broke the tension, and Daisy, ever the attentive host, decided that there was little more she could learn from this gathering.

“I fear, as enjoyable as this night has been, that we must call and end to the proceedings.”

However, before the ladies were taken back to the horseless limousine, Daisy pulled Kia aside and asked her, “If I sent Flex away from the estate, would you want to return to his arms?”

“No,” she slurred. Being that much in her cups had made her feel an excess of sensibility. “The way he looks at you now was the same way he once looked at me. When we were in love.”

Daisy was moved to distraction, and now saw Flex through Kia’s drunken eyes.

The ladies having taken their leave, Daisy asked Flex, “Flex, which of the remaining gentlemen would you select to join you as my final two?”

“12 Pack,” Flex said, pointedly not referring to him as “Dave.” “He is a man.”

When Sinister got the same question, he also answered “12 Pack.”

London gave the same answer.

Dave sat and watched, amazed. These gentlemen were telling Daisy that he, Dave, was Daisy’s perfect match. He was saying nothing, and all the while growing in her estimation-

Thanks to his romantic rivals!

Having gotten answers from three of the gentlemen and receiving a consensus, Daisy saw no need to ask Dave the same question. “Dave, you’re coming to the finale with me,” she said, before taking her leave to prepare for the night’s elimination ceremony.

Dave did a manful job of hiding his enthusiasm, even as his rivals sat in stunned silence and wondered at the gift they had just given him.

Dave AKA 12 Pack is a veteran of VH1 reality shows. Unlike that other VH1 reality show veteran, Frank the Entertainer, Dave seems to have learned from his previous experiences, and he's cruised all the way to a free trip to Maui. And he's made it look kind of easy. All you need to do is impress a silly twit, and have great abs.

An hour passed, and the elimination ceremony began. Daisy and Mr. Rachtman stood before the four remaining gentlemen, as tension hovered over the room like the chandelier that Flex joked had been broken by Sinister only a day before.

“Dave, how do you feel about joining me for the finale, in exotic Maui?”

Again, were the men stunned by Daisy’s casual revelation. None of the gentlemen had any idea that the finale of their romantic journey would take place on such an island paradise. Again, did Dave struggle manfully to control his enthusiasm.

“Incredible,” he understated.

Satisfied, Daisy turned her attention to London. “Now, I have but one more ticket to that island paradise, and I have a difficult choice. London, I have to believe that you only have room in your heart for me.”

“Sharing hearts and sharing beds are two totally different things,” London said. “I am here for you, and most enthusiastically so.”

“I have strong feelings for you, but I fear you’ll hurt me.” She paused for ten minutes, to let the importance of her words sink in. “Nevertheless,” she continued, “I am taking you with me to the finale.”

In a rare moment of self-awareness- or a somewhat less rare moment of rationalization- Daisy decided that, while London might have been seeing someone else, she herself had been seeing 19 other gentlemen while on this romantic journey. Plus, her charlatan “psychic” told her that London was her perfect match.

Flex and Sinister both felt they were being torn apart. Each had stayed and fought for their beloved, while, it appeared to their eyes, London had not even tried.

Then, Daisy’s voice sounded an alarm of mercy. “There is but one more thing to do, though it contradicts what I told you earlier.”

Could it be that Daisy would spare all the remaining gentlemen? Perhaps they would all be luxuriating in an island paradise? Sinister felt his heart leap when Daisy called him down to her.

Then, he felt his heart smash, like his ring in the garden. “I have less connection with you than with the other remaining gentlemen,” she said. “Forgive me, for I fear that in my effort to not break your heart, I have kept you here far too long. I probably should have sent you off the estate several weeks ago.”

Sinister tearfully embraced her, then left the estate. “I know there must be someone out there for me,” he thought earnestly. “And I know I shall find her!”

But, alas, on this night was his heart broken.

Flex stood in a torment of wonder. The last thing he wanted to hear from his beloved was a speech of similar temperament to the one she’d just given Sinister. “If ‘tis over, ‘tis better ‘twere done quickly,” he thought.

Daisy’s met Flex’s. “Flex, you have me spinning with your passion,” she said. “I am not ready to end this, and for that reason, I want you to accompany me, as well.”

Flex felt as though he’d discovered the cure for cancer. His entire body trembled with excitement and pleasure.

“Never before have I had a man fight for me the way you have,” she said. “It is most flattering to my sensibility.”

The remaining gentlemen, Flex, London, and Dave, all agreed that never before was one woman so worth fighting for. They were willing to sacrifice all to continue that fight- in Maui!

No man's ever fought for Daisy the way Flex has. It helps that he has such a compelling look.

Laurie Johnson pic source.
Ford Flex pic source.
London and Daisy pic source.
Dave loves money pic source.
Flex pic source.
Shirtless Sinister pic source.
Daisy pic source.


shampoo said...

Most interesting that there were no lights whatsoever to search for Sinister's 14th right hand ring. (hehe) Given he could have waited for that thing in the sky that makes day different than night where's the problem?

I really don't see how London can be a sex addict. I'm sure he'll take all he can get, but unless he's hunching Daisy, Rikki, the hotestants, and the crew every time the camera's off of him... he seems to have things under control.

I couldn't tell if Dave was happy or sad about being placed in the "final two" (or three). Fortunately, it became apparent that he was happy. That was around the time the word "Maui" was mentioned.

Hilarious picture of Flex. He and Daisy would make a most charming pair.

Laurie would have been able to look at the guys, their exes and Daisy to get a lot of information. Not to mention the fact they conversated pretty openly with/in front of her. I didn't see whatever behavior caused parts of London and Sinister's readings. It almost seemed like Sinister got London's reading and London got Sinister's. After Ashley's bombshell that very thing may have happened to give Daisy another excuse to send him away.

Ricky Sprague said...

You're right- the psychic, who's been at that game for a long time, would be able to take a look at each VH1 REALITY SHOW CONTESTANT and peg them. Of course, there are things that psychics say that apply to everyone: "You're outgoing, but sometimes you like to be alone. You're generally a happy person, but there are times when you feel a little down," etc. From there you get the client talking and repeat back what they've just told you.

And she knows Daisy from years of being her psychic- so even if they hadn't spoken about these men specifically, she still knows a lot about Daisy, and what kind of men she likes.

London probably just likes to be around women. Who doesn't?

shampoo said...

I wonder if the "sex addict" thing was an excuse London used on Natasha for something he did. I think Laurie sold him so hard because, like you said, she knows Daisy wanted. Also, I think someone let her know what Ashley said.

Good grief, Daisy. How messed up is your dating life when people decide to talk up the alcoholic couch surfing boymanslut to keep you away from the guy who might haul off and smack you? Not that it's really necessary. Unless London runs off again she's obviously picking him.

Daisy and London, proving that just because you're in your 30s there's no reason to stop acting like you're 15 (Daisy) and 16 (London). I think that's why she likes him so much. He's happy to star in her high school romance.

shampoo said...

You probably noticed this, but London's little "let's go" move would effectively trap both his arms in his jacket. haha! All someone would need to do is grab his jacket in the back and pull it up and he'd be done. Maybe that's why he's Daisy's perfect man. If he gets out of line, she can spank him.

A.Jaye said...

Daisy couldn't spank his orangutan. It's clear London isn't man like that. Flex never mouthed off to 12 Pack, Big Rig, Cage or 6 Guage.

Not saying any of those boys could take him, but if they could it'd be Pyrrhic.