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Irregularities

In: English and Literature

Submitted By benna
Words 994
Pages 4
Irregularities
He nodded over and over again: I could smell his aftershave. ’’There are art in imperfection,’’ he said, finally, parting his lips and breathing in slowly. ‘’True beauty lies in the nature’s mistakes.’’
The short story Irregularities is told by a woman. The text is written in past tense but shifts to present tense, when the narrator tells that Dr Soleander’s wife couldn’t go to the Hilton Head, and continues to the end of the story. In the beginning of the text the narrator is struggling with her body which is more or less out of control because of her pregnancy. She is working as an administrative assistant at the cardiac care unit. She and her boss Dr Soleander have had an affair. Unfortunately the narrator turned out to be pregnant. It is clear through the text that the narrator has problems with her perception of life and the following responsibility of her acts.
The narrator is not like most other assistants working for the cardiac care unit with good lifestyles and healthy changes in life. The narrator has just started eating onions, which is one of the most essential vegetables we eat from our earliest days to our death. It shows us that she is different and perhaps she had a tough childhood with parents who didn’t look after her and her health. Maybe that is why she feels comfortable with the attention she gets from Dr Soleander. Somehow or another the narrator doesn’t understand Dr Soleanders sudden need for her. He has a beautiful, sweet and well groomed wife who works at the same hospital and comes to Dr Soleander’s floor every day to ask him what he wants for dinner. On the one hand he is the most perfect boss you could think of, but on the other hand he is the most absent-minded and irresponsible boss you could ever imagine. Dr Soleander is a very generous person with his perfect gifts, well furnished office and his soft cashmere sweaters. It seems to be a perfect life and that is why the narrator is confused about their relationship.
The same second Dr Soleander enters her office he senses the odor of onion. The narrator can’t stand the acidic smell but ironically enough Dr Solenader is attracted, maybe to the smell, but without doubt also the narrator. ‘’Know something? Onions is my favorite vegetable’’ he says. This is an extraordinarily bad and very inappropriate pick up line. But for some odd reason it seems to work. One could suggest that situations like this one have happened before. He is certainly not a romantic gentleman he is more like a desperate husband. It is even clearer when the narrator tells about their irregular boss-secretary relationship. ‘’There was no standing behind me and breathing on my neck or looking down my blouse as he dictated a letter, no inappropriate rear end touching by the coffee machine […]’’ all romantic actions she thinks their relationship needs to be more normal.
The narrator has, as earlier mentioned, a malfunctioned perception of her life and her acts. She waits to see if Dr Soleander senses the concept ‘’the way I did’’, she says (she is talking about her pregnancy). Her disfigured sense of a man’s talent of understanding a woman is way over what you can expect. It is her womb, her responsibility. The fact that she waits strengthens the argument that she is blinded by the attention Dr Soleander gives her. She is so attached to his interest that she forgets the consequences it can have for him and her, if she keeps the baby. One might call it lucky that her heart isn’t the only thing that is malfunctioning. She loses the baby. She tries to tell Dr Soleander but as all the other times she tries to tell him something, he doesn’t understand her insinuations.
Their affair didn’t start the way many interoffice affairs do. It all starts with the narrator’s irregular heartbeat which her boss examines. He is so amazed and attracted by the strange thmps that he listens to them for ten minutes. After that they make love. For the narrator it is much more than just an affair. It vexes her that he is married and therefore can’t be together with him. It certainly seems like Dr Soleander has a crush on her, but he will not give everything up for her. He flirts, gives complements and tells her what she wants to hear, but nothing more – that haunts her. Since their vacation to Hilton Head Dr Soleander ‘’has been clinging to Donna’’. When she comes to his office to tell about her malfunctioning belly ‘’he seems a little annoyed that I’m there’’. He is now looking for somebody else.
After the loss of the fetus Dr Soleander examines her once again, because she has heartburn. This is her last attempt to get him to understand her situation. Unfortunately, he just turns her down again. ‘’But you're a heart doctor! Can't you do something about this?” she says. By this she means if he can tell her that he loves her it would release her from her concerns. He just laughs at her, shakes his head and says that it's a gastrointestinal matter. He didn’t get it. It should have given him a hint about her love and the pregnancy. Even though he might have figured it out, he is still not reacting - he just leaves. Their relationship was irregular and shock-filled of imperfections. Their beautiful affair turned out to be a mistake.
This story might have a moral to it – a warning that office affairs are just that – no more and no less. The protagonist dreamt of more, but all in vain. She ended up back at square one without anything while her boss moved on to discovers new territory. In doing this he retained his family and position while she just continued with her job.

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