About That Ninotchka Rosca Story (“The Goddess”)

Crawling along in her reading of it, self is crawling along.

It is the anti-romance, anti-Maria Clara story of all time.

The heroine is an office worker whose uniform makes her look ugly during the day.  At night, in the hands of an expatriate Frenchman, she blooms into a siren.

He missed an appointment.  The gin was stale in her mouth when she went home.  In the morning there were purple circles under her eyes.  She felt as sticky as a salamander.  He apologized, complained of fatigue and the heat, but never restored the third day to their routine.  Martha began to find her typed papers soggy with tears.  She stared at the walls with suspicion.

He missed another appointment.  Martha had stomach cramps the whole day.  When he finally showed up in his red Porsche, Martha climbed in grimly.  “Smile,” he said.  “I’m here.”  She reached over and leaned on the car horn.  A wail ripped through the night’s stupor.  He had to knock her arm aside.

What, self hardly dares to ask, will happen to this creature of wiles and despair?

Much thanks to Isagani R. Cruz for editing the anthology The Best Philippine Short Stories of the Twentieth Century.  Her only copy is hardback, signed by three of the authors, one of them Charlson Ong.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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