In which Myrine discovers something she would rather not know.
Myrine was in Eugene, working Saturday Market with Matt in the drizzle to collect signatures for the No-Nukes Initiative. They had big green and yellow umbrellas, but it was still tough going keeping the signatures from smearing -- a clear case of devotion. Nearby were a pair of yuppie-looking clowns with unpainted faces and pastel linen suits under an impromptu awning stretched between the trees.
"Hey, Tom," the pink-suited clown said to the blue-suited clown, throwing him a juggling pin. "Shall we tell them the one about what Ronnie learned from Gorbi?" Reagan jokes were prevalent in Eugene. The city never seemed to have been contaminated by the dominant atmosphere of the era.
"Oh, Jerry, I don't know if folks want to hear jokes about the President," Blue Suit said to Pink Suit, throwing a juggling pin back. The "folks" cheered wildly. Blue Suit revised his opinion. "Then again, maybe they do..."
On the corner across the street, people were collecting signatures for the Oregon Marijuana Initiative and selling colorful T-shirts with pictures of cannabis plants. Matt and Myrine had no such magnets, but they certainly weren't suffering from a lack of signatures. It was hardly a competition anyway. Like Myrine and Matt, many of those who worked on one initiative also worked on the other.
"`Hey, Gorbi,' Ronnie says one day, `how do you get such smart people advising you?'" Pink Suit said, juggling and throwing.
A slight breeze was sending the pop-can airplane mobiles to spinning and tinkling, filling the damp air with the sweet sound of recycled garbage. Myrine was simultaneously giving her spiel on the dangers of nuclear power and listening to the clowns' jokes while Matt did the same a few yards away from her.
"So Ronnie went to George and told him he had a puzzle for him," Blue Suit said, throwing a pin under his leg and catching another over his head.
Myrine's attention was suddenly diverted from the clowns and her duty by something she would rather not have seen. She finished her horror story of the potential effects of nuclear meltdown right here in Oregon and went over to Matt.
"What is it?" Matt asked.
"`It's Shevardnadse!'" Pink Suit said, and the crowd laughed appreciatively.
Myrine nodded her head in the direction of a stand selling small ceramic pipes for purposes which will remain unmentioned. "Don't look now," she said, "but I think we're in for another domestic tragedy."
Matt glanced at the couple examining the pipes and asked, "Are you going to tell Lily?"
"I don't know."
The girl--for she wasn't much more--snuggling up to Adam turned her gaze to him and glowed. "A child with her heart in her eyes," Myrine said in disgust.
"Maybe it doesn't mean anything?" Matt suggested with little hope.
"You don't believe that yourself. Adam's notorious for not being able to resist temptation." Myrine gave Matt a look full of meaning. "Like you in that respect, isn't he?"
Matt gave an uncertain, airy laugh.
"Men," Myrine said. Whatever was in her eyes, it certainly wasn't her heart.
"Now hold on," Matt said in a tentative, joking tone. "I belong to that sex too, you know."