Quin: GertieGertie was maybe sixty when she died probably somewhere in India since thats where they used to get school skeletons. By the time I met her she was staying on top of two antique olive-drab school lockers in the biology laboratory storeroom fully retired. She wore a grease-stained brown fedora and a navy pinstriped mans suit (double-breasted) when she sat with us around the storeroom table. Sprawled from her chair with a beer in one hand and a cigarette butt in the other she appeared to have recently passed out One late night beer-cheered Quin and I were leaving the lab for food when it occurred Gertie could use a change of scene so we filched her. No one caught us crossing the campus or stopped us walking the sidewalks though Gertie hung between us her arms draped round our shoulders. Seven blocks walking we worried about having taken her but we laughed a lot too and really couldnt contain ourselves till Bobs Drive-In. We took a booth at Bobs but no one cared and even the waitress only joked about how your friend there could stand to eat some food. Our friends underfed arm around my neck I took her up and down the fountain so the sobering habitués could shake her hand and they all shook it. Could you shake the dust-scrawny hand of a skeleton youve never known and go back to your sausages with scrambled eggs in silence? We wondered if Gertie could get more than silence at Mels (we called it Smells) fifteen blocks north so we walked her there and got zip. By then we needed sleep but the sun was nearly up and the Jesuits were up on campus saying Masses so we took Gertie home to Cole Street. Is it correct to say she stayed with us on Cole since during her stay some parts of her left us one by one as friends took bones for their decor? The only bones remaining were the torso (in the closet) and the skull (on the mantel) which kept our landladys yappy black cocker away at least. The skull finally fell and flew apart as it hit the floor-tiles so we tossed the chunks in the bathroom garbage can and vacuumed up the smaller stuff. The suddenly un-named lifelorn torso was now a laughlorn closeted albatross un-dumpable in the park or garbage since it could raise questions. At night we carried it from the closet back to campus to the Administration sub-basement which had a soft dirt floor and buried it. In the campus lab or out at Bobs and Mels and even coming apart I bet Gertie had a better time with us than she had had in India.