BLACKWOOD FARM, CHAPTER TWENTY
The laptop computer does not arrive for three days, at which point it is brought by his new tutor Nash Penfield, though Quinn has declined to actually meet him until "more favorable circumstances"
In those three days, Quinn has a ton of tests done and the conclusion is he's a-okay.
"In between my long journeys down the beautifully painted passageways of the hospital labryinth I told the full story of the violent night to everyone who wanted to hear it."
I feel like this means he walked around the place yammering at anyone unfortunate enough to make eye contact with him.
Quinn tells Dr. Winn about Goblin, who "listened quietly and thoughtfully" and "there was something deeply reserved about him" and he is "delicate" with all his "remarks". One of these remarks is to ask Quinn if he'd like to see "a small select panel of psychiatrist."
Quinn says no. Then he tells us that Aunt Queen changes his mind. Then he talks about her wearing sack dresses and cloche hats. Then he goes back to how she changed his mind by saying if he doesn't, "we'll stand accused of simple negligence. Think it over, Quinn. We could both be accused."
...I'm confused. Firstly, Quinn's not a minor, so I'm not sure how AQ could be accused of neglect, even if she was his legal guardian. Secondly, how would QUINN be accused of neglect?
AQ says they have to go home and "get back to life the way we want it to be." Quinn asks "How's that Aunt Queen?" and says if they go off on one of her "exotic junkets" then there will be no Blackwood Farm when they return. I have genuinely no idea how he got "let's go on an exotic trip!" from AQ saying that. Also, what, will the staff just blow Blackwood Farm up if they leave? Wait, actually, that's not a bad idea...
Quinn tells AQ how he doesn't want to meet Nash here, she agrees, and adds that she's very sure that Jasmine is flirting with Nash right now and "something's come over Jasmine. And it's high time if you ask me" and says how Jasmine is "prancing about" in some fancy clothes she gave her a few years ago and how she never used to wear the "truly fine things" that Aunt Queen gave her (maybe she doesn't want them, AQ?) and "I think Jasmine sees her destiny."
Quinn asks what that is, AQ says "To run Blackwood Manor in our absence."
Ah yes, that's Jasmine's destiny, to wear your hand-me-downs and run your home for you without pay. What else could her life possibly be about? She surely doesn't have one outside of you guys! Anne Rice is so progressive, man.
"I mean, Jasmine has languished in domestic service all her life, and she's sharp and well-spoken and can certainly take on the responsibility for a portion of the profit."
Ah, yes, well-spoken, the ultimate backhanded compliment of white people to black people. At least that makes sense coming from an old well-mannered white Southern lady though, just, I don't think we're supposed to see it as symptomatic of her being that.
Quinn says he didn't think they made a profit because Pops always said "operated at a loss" and Aunt Queen says "Oh, Pops was pessimistic, bless his soul, and of course he was right"
...if he's just stating the facts, that's not pessimistic? Also if you operate at a loss, then what profits will Jasmine be getting? You're saying "she'll get some of the profits" when there are no profits. You're basically trying to foist all the boring, annoying parts of living in a big fancy manor off on the unpaid domestic worker who doesn't even live in it but in the fucking bungalow out back. I did not dislike Aunt Queen till this moment and I really hope even Rice isn't oblivious to see the problem here.
AQ says that "when Pop's will is read, everything will be easier". Quinn asks when that will be, and is told that since Patsy got home two days ago, they can do it the day after tomorrow.
Quinn tells us that a "Technicolor Goblin" was in his dreams recently and I have no idea what he's talking about, then goes back to what AQ is actually talking about, telling us how the idea of Jasmine running the manor excites him and "It was perfect for Jasmine. Aunt Queen understood Jasmine as no one else did, not even Jasmine."
Ok, the idea of someone understanding someone else better than they do themselves is not AUTOMATICALLY racist because the former is white and the latter is black, but in the very gross, condescending, exploitative dynamic that the white characters have with the black characters in this book, it is. In another book, this would not have made me bat an eye. I might find it sweet. In this book, it makes me wanna scream.
"Suddenly, and with surprising verse, I wanted to escape this place. If Jasmine was going to resist her 'destiny', I wanted a chance to talk with her."
EAT A THOUSAND DICKS, QUINN
JASMINE CAN DO WHAT SHE DAMN WELL WANTS YOU CONTROLLING PIECE OF SHIT
NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR GREAT GREAT GREAT AUNT GETS TO DECIDE WHAT HER "DESTINY" IS FOR HER YOU ASSHOLES
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'VE DECIDED IT'S RUNNING YOUR SHIT FOR YOU WITH NO GODDAMN PAY
He also wants to get back because he wants to see her all dressed up in that Chanel suit Aunt Queen mentioned and "in my fiendish eighteen-year-old heart, I wanted a second shot at Jasmine"
I want to cut him some slack for acknowledging his treatment of her as "fiendish" but I feel like it's meant tongue-in-cheek here.
He tells Aunt Queen he will see the panel of doctors but wants to do it in his own clothes, specifically his Armani, the handmade shirts she sent him from Europe, his lucky Versace tie, and his Johnston & Murphy shoes.
...I feel like Rice really enjoyed getting to rattle off those brand names. He also says Goblin likes those clothes too and always gets excited when Quinn dresses up for an event at home.
AQ says she'll arrange for it and asks if Goblin will be at the meeting, Quinn says of course he will and that he can't always control him anyway and that Goblin has put up with " a great deal of contemptuous dismissal"
AQ says "I suppose so" and Quinn notices her yet again staring at the spot where Goblin is. And there is an "amazing" development with Goblin in that he's NOT wearing the same thing Quinn is, he's wearing jeans and flannel from home. "But it was the ever-shifting expressions on his face which most frightened me" and the "frigid quality to him" as well as a "despairing look" despite the fact Quinn himself feels safe here and tells us how staff and family and so on have all been visiting and bringing him sweets and things.
Quinn now has the laptop and tells AQ he needs to work now and she should go to dinner. She asks what he's going to do, he says he and Goblin talk with it. AQ goes "Oh my darling Quinn!" with "confusion and anxiety" to which Quinn replies that Goblin saved his life. AQ asks what would happen if he just stopped interacting with Goblin altogether. She also suggests simply destroying the Hermitage house on the island and dismantling the mausoleum. Quinn says to this "You're shocking me. You're hurting me!"
oh my god Quinn
He says he's been inspired by the desk and marble chair and wants to do the Hermitage floor in marble and he knows AQ is upset by Pops dying but "I want that place, don't you see, and it belongs to us, not this interloper!"
Goblin is staring intently at AQ, who just says "Alright, my precious dear" to Quinn (GAG ME) and goes to the super fancy Grand Luminere afe on the super fancy hospital rooftop because this is the fanciest hospital in the world I guess.
Goblin is wearing Quin''s Versace tie and "It looked positively flaunting." Quinn speaks with him on the computer and asks why Goblin hasn't talked to him even though Quinn gave him credit for saving him by telling everyone he did it. Goblin responds that "I like being angry"
Good for you, Goblin.
But Quinn says that's wrong and how "the man who hurt me was angry" and how the man did "bad things" and Goblin tells Quinn to use bigger words, that he knows all the words Quinn knows and that "when I was angry it was for you" Goblin says they're trying to take him from Quinn, to divide him. Quinn says he's loyal to Goblin and loves him and they can't be parted, but if Goblin is violent and angry then Quinn can't love him. Goblin retorts that it's alright if he's violent and angry if it's to help Quinn, which is a very good point. There's a time and a place for everything, and that includes getting pissed and fighting back to save a loved one. Quinn is impressed by the sophistication of Goblin's phrasing, and agrees with him.
Goblin says "you make me laugh" then pushes the laptop off Quinn's lap and kisses him and grabs him and says in a "slow, masculine" tone that "You're afraid of me now."
and we're back to weird ghost rape
Quinn asks Goblin if Goblin wants him to be afraid of him, and tells him he can't love him if he's afraid of him, that he'll hate him. Goblin kisses him again and puts his hand between Quinn's legs. Quinn tells him "Not here" and "Be patient." which means apparently Quinn doesn't object in general so much as just the time and place and I don't even know how to feel about that.
Goblin says that he knows Quinn wants it because he feels what Quinn does and "it was over within seconds"
there's that then
Quinn asks Goblin after about the stranger, who was he, Goblin says he doesn't know, but that he does know lots more than Quinn thinks he does. Quinn tells him to go away so he can think, Goblin says Quinn can't command him like he thinks but that he'll do it because he loves Quinn. Quinn asks him not to frighten him anymore (I'd personally like for him NOT TO RAPE HIM ANYMORE) and Goblin says he doesn't want to but that "they" want to change Quinn so Quinn won't hear or see him anymore. Quinn tells him that's not possible, repeats his wish to be alone right now, and asks Goblin where he goes when he's not with him. Goblin doesn't answer, Quinn asks again, no answer, Quinn feels him leave and then he makes the Sign of the Cross. He wonders what to do, and wishes for someone to tell him. I understand that feel. He thinks about the stranger too, and what if he came back. And how "if I went to sleep, I'd dream of Rebecca"