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Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)

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"Someday . . . [Jun. 24th, 2017|06:50 am]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
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. . . I need to tell you all the gory details from the beginning, but you know those friends I told you about who I suspected of having a menage a trois in high school?"

"Well, you said that and then you said you thought the guys were probably gay because they ran off to Rensselaer together and the girl went to Rutgers or someplace by herself, or something."

"Yes, they---the guys and the girl---split up while they were in college, but then they ended up living together in Troy, the guys with masters degrees in engineering and the girl with a PhD in History at the ripe old age of 25.  So the guys start a business, which is what they had planned since they were twelve, and the girl ends up teaching there at Rensselaer and over the next five years she ends up with two kids, which the friends of friends who are telling me this, say are probably each by a different father."

"So, the three of them are just doin' what comes natural."

"Yeah, but that group doesn't do things by accident.  I'll bet dollars to donuts that the three of them planned it just the way it happened.  But here's the really bizarre part: When the kids are two and three, Kat, the woman, wants to go back to work so they hire an au pair to watch the kids during the day, but they have this huge old house so the au pair moves in with them."

"Oh oh."

"Yes, oh oh, but not like you think.  The au pair was an on-again-off-again grad student who worked in administration there at the Institute.  She's years younger than Kat and the guys, but she knew Kat at Rutgers and 'somehow' ended up in Troy also."

"So, there was a 'preexisting condition' between your friend Kat and this au pair girl."

"Yes, preexisting---apparently since the girl was a freshman at Rutgers, but there's more . . ."

"Well now you can't not tell me."

"In the three years or so that the au pair works for the other three, she has two kids of her own."

"Lemme guess: Genetically similar but distinct."

"Yep.  The offices of the guy's business---some kind of engineering design bureau---are right there in the house, so they're kind of stay-at-home dads when it suits them.  And . . . while nobody was looking, Kyle, the skinny brown-haired guy, finishes a PhD and starts teaching cleanup at the Institute."

"Teaching cleanup?"

"Fills in wherever they're short a professor for an undergraduate level course."


"So the guys have what appears to be a highly successful consulting firm, Kyle's teaching a class per semester or so, Kat's a History professor at Rensselaer and Au Pair Girl is mostly mommy to the four kids."

"Sounds like heaven."

"I thought so.  But then Kat and Au Pair Girl take the kids---all of them---to Europe for two years so that Au Pair Girl can finish her graduate degree---in fucking Switzerland!"

"Oh.  Wow.  Is this like a breakup?  Was anybody married to anybody else this whole time?"

"I don't think so and while I thought, 'Well, that was too good to last,' my cousin who knows more people who know them than I do tells me that when Kat and the kids and Au Pair Girl return from Europe, they'll be returning to Montreal, where the guys have relocated and expanded the business and built a 'compound' to live and work in."

"That's how you know you've arrived: when you live in a 'compound.'  So, 'off to Europe for a masters degree and a two year French lesson for the kids' was a ruse to get everyone out from under foot for a smooth transition to new digs in Montreal."

"So it would seem.  I think Kit and Kyle, the guys, were planning this, at least in broad strokes, since junior high.  Then Kat came along in high school and, because of some deep affinity and compatibility of temperments she had with them, she was welcome to join them---and did for a time---but they wouldn't alter their plans to acknowledge or accommodate her.  My cousin thinks that's why Kat went her own way after high school.  In my cousin's words, Kat realized that Kit and Kyle had been married for years before she met them, were going to stay that way, and she couldn't see a future for herself there."

"Married?  In junior high?  In those days?"

"My cousin's analysis is that if you're making long term plans together with someone, considering whatever you consider for two, and your togetherness is a given---maybe even the whole point, you're married, whether you think so or not.  And, in that sense, Kit and Kyle had been married since seventh grade.  So Kat didn't see how she fit into that scheme, but that was her conclusion, not theirs.  There was a deep enough connection with her, that, in their minds, if she wanted, they'd find her a horse and saddle and she could ride right along, but the route and destination had already been chosen.  So, she chose to go off to Rutgers alone where mostly she studied her ass off and networked and built connections within academia, like ya do."

"But they must have stayed in touch."

"Apparently, they did, but by the time Kat was looking for a teaching job, she and Au Pair Girl had been an item for a while."


"Yes.  Very low key, nothing untoward.  Au Pair Girl never worked in Kat's department or took any courses that Kat was teaching or TAing or anything.  Meanwhile, because Kit and Kyle had acquired this huge fixer-upper mansion of a house to live in and house their business, when Kat got on at Rensselaer and moved to Troy they insisted she live with them for free 'while she was looking.'  Right.  Well, days turn to weeks and weeks to years and we know what happened there.  Kat and Au Pair Girl also kept in touch, but Au Pair Girl had her own plans and didn't see how she could possibly fit into Kat's life at this point, just like Kat had failed to see a future for herself with Kit and Kyle.  But when Kit, Kat and Kyle needed help with the kids . . ."

"It all comes full circle, or square, or trapezoid, or whatever.  It's hard to say what it is.  I wonder if they know what it is."

"By my cousin's definition, it's one big marriage.  All four adults are planning together for all four adults and for the kids, of course.  Au Pair Girl seems to have been folded in as a full partner just like Ronny Wood was made a full-tilt Rolling Stone after he proved himself to be just that.  Interesting . . ."

"At least."