You are here:   Text > The End of the Lazars

“How’s Gerianne holding up?”

“She goes through life with a marvellous obliviousness. She’s like a Tennessee Williams character, an older Blanche DuBois, with the sex part excluded. On the few occasions when I’ve been with her, I’m waiting for her to say something like ‘Are the boys from the university here yet?’ Elliott really was the player-coach, CEO, generalissimo, benign dictator of this little family. Nutty as he could be, he held everything together. Without him, it’s all falling apart.”

“Do you suppose Gerianne and Richard can ride things out on the money Elliott left?”

“Now, you might say, we come to the bad news. Richard, with his mother’s approval, is currently taking over investing the money. Ever the good student, he’s convinced Gerianne that he understands the stock market, knows how it really works. Whether she believes him, or doesn’t want a fight, who knows? I only know I wouldn’t let that old boy near my lunch money.”

Nothing I could do about any of this, of course. When we departed the Century Club, I told Paul I’d appreciate it if he’d continue to keep me in touch about Gerianne and Richard, which he agreed to do.

Eighteen, maybe nineteen months later, I had a call from Paul Levering telling me that Richard Lazar was dead.

“What of?” I asked.

“His heart gave out,” Paul said. “He’d put on lots of weight, and it turns out that he was on all sorts of pills for his maladies, real and imagined. Unfortunately for Gerianne, he lost just about all of Elliott’s money before he died. Gerianne has put the West End Avenue apartment up for sale. She tells me that she is going to move back to Arkansas. She has a sister there, in Pine Bluff, also a widow.”

I thought of Gerianne, poor woman, a widow who now had membership in that saddest of all sororities, women who buried their children. I thought of her high spirits, her comic angle on life. Still, it was difficult to imagine her depressed, which now, husbandless, childless, nearly broke, she had every encouragement, even right, to be.

Two months or so later, Gerianne called.“Jack, Gerianne here, how are you anyway?” said the unmistakeable voice on the phone.

“I’m OK, Gerianne. I’m good. How about you?”

“Getting back,” she said. “I take it you’ve heard about Richard.

When I told her I had, she replied, “You know, I sometimes think he wasn’t fit for the world. Elliott gave the poor kid too high an estimate of himself. Lots of talk in the air nowadays about self-esteem, but my son, I’ve come to think, maybe could have done with less of it.”
View Full Article

Post your comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.