E.S. called me the other day, breathless with excitement after having spent an evening online researching the neighborhood we’ll be moving into. “Guess what used to be where our house is now!” he burst out. “It’s the best thing that could possibly have been there.”
“An ancient Indian burial ground,” I said immediately.
There was silence on the other end of the line. “No,” he said. “I guess it’s the second-best thing that could possibly have been there.”
“A lunatic asylum,” I answered.
A longer silence. “The third-best thing,” he said, through obviously gritted teeth. I am actually terrible at guessing games, and I couldn’t come up with anything else. When I admitted this, his voice filled with an almost palpable glee–no mean feat given that we were communicating telephonically–and he said, “the land where our house is used to be occupied by the Kings County Penitentiary.”
“Oh, my God,” I said, and melted. I took a moment to collect myself. “Now the next important question we need to answer is: who was the most famous resident of the penitentiary?”
He was clearly offended. “What do you take me for? Of course I already looked it up. Her name was Polly Frisch, and she was sent to the penitentiary after she poisoned her husband, his two children, and her own child by putting arsenic on their bread and butter.”
“I love you,” I said.
“She was eventually pardoned by the governor and released. Her fame was almost immediately eclipsed by that of another murderess named Lizzie Borden.”
Since that day, my mind has been filled with fantasies of opening a café on the first floor (previously occupied by the Gospel Light Church, Inc.) called Polly’s, or perhaps Polly’s Pastries. It will be just like the café that Dallas Roberts and Colin Farrell opened in A Home at the End of the World, except that E.S. and I will have sex with each other and we will sell bread and butter both with and without arsenic.
Can we choose which kind to order or must we rely on your good graces?
Your bread and butter could be bread and butter. Fabulous!
Bread and butter? So your heinous plan is to get the entire neighborhood fat so that you will look even more svelte and fabulous? You’re wicked; I like that.
In the interest of chocolate addicts the world over, you could even serve a dessert known as “Homicide by Chocolate”, and then watch me cry in sheer, unadulterated joy.
Why does nobody else find it inappropriate that you’ll be having sex in the pastry shop?
Puts a whole new spin to the term getting shackled 🙂 Glad the both of you are doing so happily together that you’ve decided to move into the penitentiary together 🙂
I’m struggling not to reach the conclusion that you believe that people who watch you and E.S. conjoin will be so troubled that they would rather take arsenic than live with the memories.
But perhaps the implication is that it’s the knowledge that they’ll never be able to achieve your level of expertise that will make their lives not worth living.
Some might say that you’d not be advancing the public good by providing such a service, but I reckon that by culling the herd down to the strong of stomach and/or the erotically skilled, you’re a force for evolutionary good. Bravo.
That Polly! Her firstborn child’s middle name was “Burden.”
My mind is filled with thoughts of having sex with Colin Farrell…in a prison kitchen…with a pound of butter.
Time now for a cold shower.
Colin Farrell…That man is sinfully delicious. He is better than chocolate.
An old thread but I just had to reply! You made my heart pitter patter, as I am the co-author of the book you are speaking of “Bread & Butter: The Murders of Polly Frisch”(yes the NY Corections was so kind as to put exerpts on line) I am thrilled to see some chit chat about her!
It took us 4 years to research this story. Tough when you self publish because we still think it would be a great movie.
Thanks for noticing and I hope you enjoy your new home.
They let her serve as a nurse there…. can you imagine?
My great great great grandmother had some of Polly’s bread and butter when she was a girl. Had her sister Frankie not had such an appetite, I wouldnt be typing this. (Thank you Cindy for all your hard work)