Categories > TV > House1 Reviews
Stacy thinks about House. I've posted this on House Fans and FF.net, what can I say, I like filling out these things.
(They did all they could)
I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
she was practiced at the art of deception
Well, I could tell by her blood-stained hands
(You can't always get what you want) yeah!
(You can't always get a-what you want) ooo-yeah, baby!
(You can't always get a-what you want)
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones
Greg's jacket was lying draped (if you could call it that) over the arm of the chair, but all it yielded (just as she had suspected) was a packet of Tic Tacs, phone, keys, haphazard bits of lint, tissue and worn out paper, a couple of sheets of notepaper and other paper and two marbles.
There were two white pills wrapped in a twist of foil in the bottom of his inner pocket. Vicodin.
(She'd always found them impossibly large, ugly, like he was swallowing maxi tampons, or the huge penicillin pills she'd had to take when she was six and had tonsillitis. She had retched them up. She'd seen him retch up pills before.)
His pants next. They were lying at the end of the bed, like they'd been tossed there but had fallen off.
Belt still in its loops.
She know that she would hit paydirt in the back pocket (left), but she checked the others anyway, now knowing that she was operating on more than idle curiosity.
A sales docket for something, not relevant.
A lollipop wrapper.
Coins. A paperclip.
She got to his hip pocket, and there it was.
His wallet was sitting there, stuffed in with what looked like an electricity bill.
Stacey sat back on the end of the bed (unmade and untucked at the bottom, covers pulled high. He liked to poke his feet out at the bottom), and opened it softly.
It was leather and pocket-worn, the way that men's wallets are. She sifted through, telling herself that this was just like any other time she'd poked around in his wallet for fifty bucks, or lost movie tickets, or a coffee card.
Small notes. Dockets (nothing too strange, but she wasn't about to read through his purchases looking for the risquÃ©. She was a curious ex-girlfriend, not a jealous and suspecting spouse. She'd never been jealous about anything in their relationship, except for maybe the TV late at night, or cases when they got on his mind.)
Business cards (music shops, a few of his own, Wilson's, bars, doctors, reps. Two of those little your-next-appointment-is-at cards, one for his physiotherapist (a man that he only saw at the behest of Wilson and Cuddy, and who had probably gained a few grey hairs over the years due to House, Stacey thought) and one for Wilson, with the words IOU 25 CENTS written in the date space.
The usual credit and bank cards. Two aspirin tablets in little foil bubbles. Drivers licence, other ID and membership cards.
The usual cards that card-carriers carry.
Money, two twenties and a fifty. A condom (Durex).
Behind the little transparent pane where his drivers licence sat, (HGT 6-3 EYES BLU CLASS 3 Car, restricted mechanical device (cane). Disposition: GRUMPY.), there were a few expired cards.
In the small leather partition behind this were some snapshots and notes, cards.
Just like every wallet has cards and IDs and free coffee cards, and aspirin (hangover? Blood thinner? She'd read something about it somewhere) and prophylactic supplies, every wallet has mementoes.
Little ultrasound pictures.
Wrinkled and thumb-worn photographs.
On top was a membership card. The cheap type favoured by clubs and small libraries, hot-laminated cardboard.
It was a membership belonging to House, Greg in the Trenton Area Field Sports Club and Gym. Someone had written WINGER in ballpoint capitals on a piece of masking tape and stuck it on. She turned the card over. It was signed, stamped, barcoded and valid for the year 2000.
Stacy felt like a heel all of a sudden, like someone that she wasn't, someone who could pry into someone's private heartache (and didn't that sound like a clichÃ©, like something you'd hear on a soap opera with cardboard sets and plastic hair) without a twinge of guilt or shame.
Like it was her fault, even though she'd been over the thing a thousand times, with Greg, with the damn therapist, running, that it wasn't her fault that she had tried to save the guys life, that it was just rotten, just crappy... pisspoor luck for him to have a run-in with a blood clot and idiotic doctors.
That by the time they found it (he found it, he would say) he already had a tube in his dick and a dying limb. Fingernail marks in his palms, and oh, God, the look on his face as he lay there trying to curl up, like a child would look if someone walked up and slapped them on the face and pissed on their shoes and they were now trying not to cry.
She tried not to remember the rolling eyes.
She tried not to remember the shellshocked vacancy in his expression as he first woke up, the slight twitch and sudden realization, the instant turning away as he woke up to what had happened, because he wasn't stupid and never would be and Stacey had felt Two Inches Tall as she had left him for a full thirty seconds to comprehend, then drawn the blinds and held him as he wept quietly, in the way that men will, his breathing quick and wet, his face in his hands.
Of course the yelling, the oration, the pain, had come later. At this time all they had both known was loss.
And all because it was a damn /leg/. A limb! God, sometimes life could be stupid. Ironically guffawingly stupid.
She drew a breath, tapping her finger lightly on the soft warm leather.
Looked at the photos, because she knew that they would be there. Everyone had photos, and perhaps it was the personal power of his wallet that drew her, like snooping in the top drawer of Daddy's desk.
Hell, she wasn't fooling herself, living with House was like living with no other, she'd lived through all that time of sparring, and joking, and holding him back from the edge. Now she just wanted to remember, to gather a clue about what he thought.
Because she wasn't sure if she knew what she thought at the moment.
So, Stacey wasn't surprised to look in House's wallet and see herself staring back, but she was surprised by the next shot, by the sudden onslaught of memories, like in a Christmas Carol when old Scrooge smells a thousand different smells each connected to a thousand different memories and sensations, and Stacey was no emotional Scrooge.
It was a small photo, clipped and folded over. The two of them, Stacey and Greg As An Item, (oh, and here are Stacey and Greg, aren't they just made for each other?) actually perched in a tree.
She remembered that it had been taken at Thanksgiving, when they'd both driven down to Stacey's parents place. (By this time her Mother had been quite taken with young Greg, or perhaps her parents had just become immune to his particular brand of anti-charm. Anyway, when they'd driven down that cold November with a CCR tape in the car, Stacey didn't have all the nerves that come from the first time you bring a boyfriend home, speculation about the meeting of two opposite qualities.)
It was one of the trees near her house, the type of trees you find in town parks with green lawns and drinking fountains and band platforms.
She was sitting on a lower, spread out, broad branch, the type of branch that's made for swinging and sitting, holding on, half smiling, half looking like she was concentrating on not falling out, probably mentally damning Greg and his bright ideas.
He was sitting higher, one leg hooked over a smooth-barked branch, the other dangling. Relaxed. One arm stretched out to grab a higher branch, like he could swing up and out in a second.
That was Greg, always hanging on, always holding onto the guardrail with one hand while one leg met thin air, always running across a tightrope on stilts looking down. The look on his face was triumphant and happy, and with a bit of cynicism thrown in, like he was saying 'Look, I got her up here, how 'bout that?!'. Just the sort of photo he'd like, the happy bastard, the arsehole she loved.
She remembered suddenly like she had never forgotten but simply pushed aside like you push aside papers on a desk, that he was always climbing. Trees. Fences. He was always the one to clamber up and retrieve a high-kicked ball from a tree or a gutter, while shouts of encouragement, laughter and 'You're gonna hurt yourself, Greg', bounced around his ears like ping pong balls on a cold concrete floor.
She thought he did it to be annoying part of the time, to piss people off by going where he shouldn't. Maybe he did it because he could do what others couldn't or wouldn't dare. He enjoyed the physical rush, the risk and tomfoolery.
She remembered that he'd always had bruises on his knees and elbows, the gangly, pointy pieces of his scarecrow anatomy that always seemed to have the most contact with surfaces. Scrapes and small white scars on his shins.
She remembered waking up in the small hours of one Saturday morning, not by Greg slamming the door or saying hello or apologizing or getting into bed or dropping his shoes on the floor or ralphing (he always was, and always had been, a lightweight) or a hundred other relatively normal things, but by the opening bars of the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers in the living room.
The initial guitar riffs were over and Mick Jagger was singing gutturally about Gold Coast slaves being sold in the market down in New Orleans before Stacey was properly awake.
She wandered out with the pain of sudden light and awake lightly floating in her head to find him standing in the middle of the living room floor, looking like he was on the way to somewhere but had run out of steam.
He had the beginnings of a not-too-slight shiner, red, and a scraped bruise on his chin that looked like he'd scraped it against something rough, like a wall, or the ground maybe.
He was dripping blood on the floor through his sodden handkerchief, which was held to a gash, or scrape or laceration or something, stretching from his elbow down onto his forearm.
The first thing she could say was Oh, Greg, which had seemed pretty inane to her under the circumstances, but he had just murmured fight, gonna need stitches. Brick scrapes on his knuckles, and she could bet that his wallet was either empty or up two hundred bucks on what he'd started the night with.
She remembered that very shortly after she moved in she'd been lying in bed looking at the chicken pox scars on his chest, just at the bottom of his ribs where they began to stick out and where there was a smooth patch. She'd put her hand there enjoying the warmth, feeling his chest and his heart beat and not knowing what it's like to see your lover jerk while machines beep and wail like in a cheap science fiction movie.
He'd rolled over and whispered something in her ear, and it must have been just after she'd moved in because he had put her hand there, near her ear and whispered.
I play piano.
And she'd seen him playing piano too, hunched in pain with one leg out straight in front or sitting up straight and looking at her, teasing and smiling, as he played something out of Looney Tunes.
Something private and haunting that he'd never tell her about, but he'd just sit there and play and sometimes she'd go away and find him there in the early times of the morning. So she had been jealous, when he hadn't been able to apply his lightning wit to his own personal life, when he could never tell her anything, was too stubborn to talk about certain parts of himself, sometimes the part that she suspected that he hated, because he was hounded sometimes by a shocking self-hate and criticism.
She was jealous only when she'd wake up only to a face-dented pillow beside her and find him at the piano or any more of his early morning/late night pursuits, (the worst being the blue flicker of the television on his face, his eyes looking through shopping or weather and lighting on himself, flicking over his thoughts, because he could never shut his mind off, she suspected, especially late at night when his eyes rolled in his head like hot marbles.
But she had loved him. Had loved being with him.
Stacey sighed and put the photo back where it was before. Over it she placed his old sports club card. Winger. Huh. She knew how long that had been.