Easily Amused Chapter Three: Hubert’s Story

After the squad car pulled away, I said goodnight to Brother Jasper and left him fumbling in his shirt pocket for his pack of Marlboros. Probably going to smoke his last last cigarette of the night.

The man just helped you through a crisis that had you scared out of your mind, but you waste no time getting in one last snark before he departs. Classy.

[Hubert] was a big goofy-looking guy who possessed as much curiosity as a preschooler.

Seriously. That’s not flattering.

Hubert brings up some of the good old days, and we get this interesting tidbit from Lola:

I wished I had his memory for details, but my high school days went by in a blur. College too, come to think of it. It was only lately taht time seemed to drag.

Interesting: is this just lack of characterization or is this meant to signify something about her life and what’s important? Is Lola meant to be the kind of woman who hit her peak in high school and has been sliding downhill ever since? Does that explain her bitter cynicism?

Hubert found whatever [Myra] said amusing. But then again, he was easily amused.

Title Drop!

“I’m back”, I said when I got within earshot.

My announcement had the desired effect — Belinda and Myra began to say the kinds of things that lead to a departure.

Translation: “My friend! Back off!”

Her tone was pretty flirtatious for a woman in her forties.

Lola’s tone was pretty possessive for someone who’s not even dating the man.

“Good-bye Roger. Good night, Muggles,” Hubert called out after her. Both dogs paused and turned their heads. [...]

Roger? Muggles? “You know the dogs’ names?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Of course. Dogs are people too, you know.”

Sick burn! 10 points to Hufflepuff! (Lola is a Slytherin, obviously. Piper can be in the Top Secret Fanfiction Fifth house because I have no idea about her life except for her being a mother)

It wasn’t until we were settled in easy chairs on opposite sides of the living room that I heard the story of how Hubert came to be in my house.

Now see, this is lazy. I want to know how they got to the explanation? Did Lola ask? Did she care? Or did it go more like this:

“So…. thanks for taking me in.”

“Sure.” Lola snarked mentally at Hubert in silence.

“So…. I bet you’re wondering why I’m here.”

“Not really. I bet it has to do with that she-devil you’re shacking up with.”

“That’s very hurtful, you know.”

“Hurtful like cutting me out of your life entirely without so much as a farewell? Hurtful like sneaking in only when you want something from me without even so much as calling?”

“So…. about the reason I’m here….”

“Oh yes, go on, regale us with tales of your sordid love life. Should I make popcorn?”

“….”

“Go on, go on, I’m listening.”

We could learn so much about these characters by seeing them interact without cutaways every ten seconds, but instead, we only get bits and drabs that tell the backstory. Because plot is more important than characterization. Le sigh.

“Kelly locked me out,” he explained. “And I didn’t even have my shoes or my cell phone or my walled or anything.”

Oh. Well. That explains why he didn’t call. Judging by the lack of egg on Lola’s face, I’m guessing she didn’t run her mouth about it. Who am I kidding, she wouldn’t see a reason to be embarrassed.

I’ve been locked out — kicked out — without my cellphone before. I had a bus pass, whereas Hubert had to flag a ride with the neighbor, and I had my shoes, but I was underaged, so not much money even though I had my wallet, and I knew there was a strong chance the person who kicked me out had called the police on me claiming I was a runaway, so I was looking over my shoulder the whole way. Like Hubert, it was the middle of the night, and I had to rely on the generosity of friends to help me get to a safe bed. Oh, and I had what might have been a broken nose from having the door slammed in my face, literally. So I’m inclined to offer ALL the sympathies to Hubert for this shitty situation.

“She locked you out? On purpose?”

Lola, on the other hand, doesn’t understand human emotion like sympathy.

“Well,” he said and shifted in his chair. “It’s not all her fault.”

Do tell.

“Kelly’s been working a lot of hours lately, and she’s under a lot of pessure. A lot of pressure. And she has an artist’s temperament.”

Stop right there, Hubert. I think what you mean to say is “She’s an abusive bitch but I still love her so I’m beating myself up trying to figure out how to fix her but I can’t because you can’t really make someone change.” I know, I’ve been there. It’s not fun. But it’s not your fault.

“When she comes home, she likes things a certain way. I know that, but I just wasn’t thinking–“

“For God’s sake, Hubert, what happened?”

[...] “After I cooked dinner tonight I missed cleaning up some marinara splatters on the back of the stove.”

This is where Lola needs to cut him off and give him a big hug and all the wubs forever.

“It was obvious after she pointed it out, but I’d somehow zoned out and completely missed it. I said I’d clean it up, but she said that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that she shouldn’t have to follow me around pointing out my mistakes.”

The  issue is that she’s a horrible abusive person who follows you around pointing out your mistakes.

“Then later when I went outside to get the mail she locked me out. I knocked on the door, but she wouldn’t open up. She said she needed some alone time and I should go for a walk. I waited a long time, but I was getting kind of cold and that’s when I saw my neighbor leaving.”

“She locked you out?” I knew I was repeating myself, but but the point seemed emphasis-worthy. “You do realize, Hubert, that this is not normal behavior?”

Lola for Vulcan Queen of the century. Human emotion. You has none.

I’m going to stop here because looking at the next paragraph or so I’m going to be mad at Hubert again and I want to end on this note of compassion. If you’re in a relationship like Hubert’s, please, seek help. It’s not meant to be that way.

This entry was posted in Easily Amused and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Easily Amused Chapter Three: Hubert’s Story

  1. jenl1625 says:

    “Then later when I went outside to get the mail she locked me out. I knocked on the door, but she wouldn’t open up. She said she needed some alone time and I should go for a walk. I waited a long time, but I was getting kind of cold and that’s when I saw my neighbor leaving.”

    Okay, that’s just…not right. Are we supposed to understand Kelly to be non-neuro-standard? Or just cold and heartless?

    If we’re supposed to trust Hubert’s narration, he missed her standard (perfection) by only a small amount. When pointed out, he apologized and said he would fix it. She complained that his oversight was a fundamental flaw and a big deal to her, but then apparently let it drop.

    And then when he steps outside (without keys, phone, wallet, or SHOES), she locks him out in the cold, tells him she needs alone time, and tells him to take a walk? Then leaves the door locked on him for an extended period of time?

    She could have walked or driven away herself at any time. She could have *told* him to get out, and let him take keys, phone, wallet, shoes. Instead, she ambushes him, leaving him out (literally) in the cold, unprepared.

    Too bad poor Hubert’s choice of a “friend” to turn to is as self-absorbed as Lola.

    Unless, of course, Hubert’s a manipulative lying user and what really happened was nothing like what we’ve been told. Would actually be somewhat amusing to watch some con man who preys on people’s empathy and sympathy battering himself to bits trying to get through to Lola. ;-)

    • Jarred H says:

      Not cold and heartless. This is textbook abusive behavior. There are abusers who are all about tearing down their victims through perfection and control games. Let him take his keys and stuff! Oh heaven no! Leaving him out in the cold like that is a way to remind him who is really in control. She doesn’t want Hubert out. She wants him properly broken and under her thumb.

      The only thing bizarre about this narrative is that the gender roles of abuser and victim are reversed from how they are typically shown and — as far as I know — how they typically 0occur most of the time.

      • jenl1625 says:

        Not cold and heartless. This is textbook abusive behavior. There are abusers who are all about tearing down their victims through perfection and control games.

        Well, that’s kinda what I meant – seems to me the options are that she’s got some … personally issues … that make her unable to understand what she’s done by literally locking a guy out in the cold, or she’s capable of understanding the risk. If she’s capable of understanding, then either she’s reckless, ignorant, and has no empathy (neither knowing nor caring that she’s putting him at risk) or worse – she’s intentionally putting him at risk in order to gain the upper hand in the relationship.

        I’m just wondering whether the book gives us enough info about her to make a reasonably educated guess which one the author was going for…

  2. Jarred H says:


    Her tone was pretty flirtatious for a woman in her forties.

    Lola’s tone was pretty possessive for someone who’s not even dating the man.

    I also get a certain sense of Lola thinking, “She’s in her forties for gods sake! She needs to quit flirting like a tramp!” So possessiveness, agism, and slut-shaming all in one sentence?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s