Sunday, April 21, 2013


Getting out of bed was my first fatal error this morning, sending the events leading to my current state of affairs spiraling under way.  It wasn't by choice rising when I did.  I had been out late the night before and was sound asleep at ten o'clock in the morning.  The reason I didn't remain so was the incessant knocking at my door.  Too persistent to ignore, though I certainly tried, I stumbled wearily and with much irritation towards the ruckus.  The disturber of my slumber had better be Chicken Little informing me that the sky was falling, I thought.  As a non-morning person, I do not appreciate awakening any earlier than my body naturally decrees.

On the other side of the peephole stood Yvette.  It had been two weeks since I'd last seen her, two months since her game of blackmail begun, six weeks since the day Holden fetched me to Dawn.  In those weeks I had satisfied Yvette four times.  There would be no fifth.  I was done with her games.  I considered not letting her in but decided if I was going to break her heart I'd at least have the courtesy of doing it face to face.  This chivalry would be the last of my kindnesses towards her.

"It's over, Yvette", I said while opening the door.  I saw no point to dragging it out any longer than need be.

"Michael, can't we talk about this?"

"There's nothing more to say.  I'm through being your personal whore.  No more sympathy fucks and no more fear.  You want to tell your husband about us, go ahead.  If he chooses to come after me, so be it.  I'd rather be killed than sleep with you again."

"This is about that girl you've been spending so much time with, isn't it?  What’s her name again?  Sunrise?  Sunset?  Moonglow?"

"How do you know Dawn?"

"I know she's lasted a bit longer than the others.  She must be one hell of a lay.  But you'll move on.  You always do.  What does she do for you that I don't?  Cause I'll do it and more.  I'll do whatever it takes.  I can make you happy if you give me the chance."

"Okay.  For starters, never come here uninvited again.  And I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an invitation."

"You don't really mean that."

"How do you know what I mean?  You hardly know me.  I'm just a guy who did you the favor of fucking you right.  You mean nothing to me, less than nothing."

"You're scared because you've started to fall in love with me. You were never worried about my husband.  And that artist bitch is just another excuse to hide behind.  But you can't hide from your own feelings."

"You've been following me, haven't you?  How else would know so much about Dawn?"

"There's only one thing I know that matters.  You love me, Michael.  Just say it.  Once the words are out, it won't be so scary to feel it."

The time had come to forgo gentility.  She wanted me to get some words out.  I had a few choice ones for her, of which she would be spared none.

"You disgust me, Yvette.  I have to close my eyes and think of someone else to get it up.  I thought you deserved some pity because of what your husband does to you.  But now he's the one I feel sorry for. 
You were right that this isn't about Dawn.  But it isn't about me hiding from my feelings either.  And it has nothing to do with fearing that you’ll tell your husband about us.  There is no us anymore.  This is about you.  You don't do it for me.  You never did. You're just a frumpy waitress I decided to do a favor for, until I realized you were getting exactly what you deserved at home. 

I tried to back out of this nicely but you can't accept someone being nice to you.  A guy has to be abusive to make you understand.  I won't hit you, Yvette.  But I will make you understand.  I don't love you.  I don't even like you.  I just want you to go away."

She was all dolled up, her dress perhaps bought just for this occasion, her face smothered with cosmetics.  This arsenal of beauty products was to aid in the cause of winning over, if not my heart, at least a more southern region.  As for my counter cause, I knew it had been accomplished when rivulets of mascara began marking trails down her cheeks.  I had never been so hell bent on hurting someone before.  Forceps and a scalpel can be useful instruments to operate on one’s heart, but when delicacy fails, a sledgehammer may be required to get the job done.

I was tempted to apologize, to make a gesture of retribution. I received no pleasure from such cruelty, which had gone far beyond the brutal honesty I am occasionally backed into administering.  My natural inclination is to soothe a lady in distress.  But some damage it's best not to undo.

"I'm sorry I've made life so miserable for you, Michael.  I guess I wanted someone to be as unhappy as I am."

I remained stone.  Freedom was moments away.

Yvette removed a compact mirror from her purse and surveyed the wreckage her face had become.

"May I use your bathroom?  Then I'll be out of your hair for good."
"Go ahead."
It was done.  Before I could revel in the victory however, my phone rang.  Answering it dropped emergency number two into my lap.
It was Jamal.  He didn't say much, but worried me plenty.  Ever since learning of his condition, he had been drifting progressively further into despair.  His spirit had been sapped, it seemed to take most of his energy just to breathe.
For the most part he didn't bemoan his fate verbally.  He simply turned himself off, immersed so deeply in self-pity that both physically and spiritually he was scarcely recognizable from his former life loving self.  If he ever did reach the point of having full blown AIDS, it didn't seem the disease would have much to take.  I and a few other close friends had done our clumsy best to be of comfort, talking up the medical advances that made his unfortunate condition no longer a death sentence, telling him that he would be just like Magic Johnson, afflicted by little more than some added weight.  But nothing registered to Jamal other than the echo of his doctor's words bouncing off the walls of his skull.
He was obviously drunk or high or both when he called, his speech slurred beyond much comprehension, following little logic.  One thing was clear though.  His intention was to bid me farewell.  He hung up mid-sentence.
"Yvette, I don't mean to rush you but there's something I have to take care of right away."
She did not respond, unless one counts the sobs I heard.
"Yvette, can you hear me?  I need to get out of here."  More sobs and tissues being blown to smithereens.  I tried to turn the knob of my bathroom door but she had locked herself in.  Every second was precious.  I had no more to waste on this woman.
"I have to go, Yvette.  Show yourself out."
Ten minutes later I arrived at Jamal's apartment, which was thankfully easier to enter than my bathroom.  He sat on his sofa with a bottle of tequila in one hand, half of a lime in the other. Playing loudly on the television was one of those Indian musicals he got such a kick out of.  Lying obscenely on his coffee table was a revolver.  He had never mentioned owning one before.

"I hooked up last night," Jamal said as I muted the television.  Being a good host even in this time of crisis, he offered me a swig of tequila which I accepted, and a bite of lime which I declined.
"You should have seen her.  She reminded me of that Baywatch chick, but with a bigger ass."
"Sounds pretty hot."
"She was hot alright.  Hot, drunk and horny.  Took me all of five minutes to get her to come home with me.  It should have been an awesome night.  The kind of night legends are made from."
"Should have been?"
"I was a bit fucked up myself, Mike.  But no matter how much I drunk, I couldn't forget.  The harder I tried to push it from my mind, the more I kept thinking about it.  I've got this big titted blonde pulling my dick out of my pants and all I can think about is, what if there's a hole in the condom, what if it slips off.  I could be responsible for killing this woman.  My dick was kind enough to settle the dilemma for me by lying there like a wet noodle.  It ain't used to so much thinking."
"Which leads you to this?", I asked, picking up his gun from the coffee table.  I had never held one before.  I can think of more pleasant experiences.
"I got that a week ago.  Thought about it for a couple of weeks before that.  This ain't living, Mike.  I want to be brave, I want to be strong.  But all I can do is be afraid and feel sorry for myself."
"That's pretty much what everybody does, Jamal."
He put the bottle of tequila on the floor and stretched out on the sofa.  "Hold on to that girl of yours, Mike.  Don't fuck it up. She's a nice match for you.  Love looks good on you."
"Are you gonna be okay?"
"I'm going to have the mother of all hangovers.  But I'll live.  I'll think about what could have been last night, jerk off two or three times, then I'll be fine."
"If you were as drunk as you say you were, she was probably a real heifer.  Tequila can turn just about any woman into Pamela Anderson."
"Nah, man.  She was a real angel.  And so are you."
Two seconds later, Jamal was sound asleep.  Seeing that the drama was over and my work was done, I tucked the gun into my back pocket for safe keeping and headed home.  I had dealt with more stress this morning than in all its predecessors added together. I suppose this was because life had been good to me.  I was a lucky man and had grown even more so of late.  The best way to show my gratitude was by following Jamal's advice.  Like that for which she was named, Dawn was heaven sent.  I decided that my sole objective should be to not fuck things up with her.
My more immediate plan was to catch up on the sleep I had been deprived of.  But when I entered my bedroom, the piece of furniture for which it was named was already occupied.  Clad in no more than lacy underwear, Yvette greeted me with a come hither smile.
"Was I too subtle?"
"No, Michael.  You were a little grumpy, but I forgive you."
"What is it going to take to get rid of you?  Do you want money, is that it?"
"Actually, I owe you a quarter.  For the use of your phone."
Something told me I should ask who she had called, so I did.  Yvette was more than happy to answer.

"Your girlfriend."  Yvette pointed at the bedside table upon which my address book lay open to the page Dawn's phone number was written on.
"You know a lot of people, Michael.  Especially women."
"What did you say to her?"
"Not much.  The truth.  I told her I was the woman you've been two timing her with, and that since I was first, I didn't plan on going anywhere.  I said I was at your place.  She didn't believe me, I don't think.  So she hung up and dialed your number. Guess who picked up.  She definitely believed me after that."

I expected slanderous words to come from my lips.  Bitch, cunt, or something of that nature.  But all I could do was stare at Yvette incredulously.  How else does one look at a psychotic?
Someone knocked firmly on my front door.
"That would be your soon to be ex-girlfriend.  I invited her over.  Wasn't sure if she'd come but maybe she's into threesomes."
What was I to do now?  Answer the door was the only solution I arrived at.  Hopefully Dawn would realize that Yvette was a delusional nutcase.  So with Yvette on my heels I walked forth with much trepidation, lame words of explanation ready to tumble from my mouth.  They remained there, for my visitor was not Dawn after all. It was a man I had never seen before.
"Are you Michael ...?"  He cut himself off before getting to my last name, staring at Yvette with his mouth hanging open as if never having seen a scantily clad woman before.
"Terrence, I ..."  I believe she was going to say "I can explain", but how could she?  Her screw-up was a bit more severe than putting a dent in the car, and even if Terrence had not been a detective there was no need for him to be Sherlock Holmes with this much evidence in supply.
"I'm sorry." 
I don't believe Terrence accepted his wife's apology, for he shoved past me and decked her.  I had been there for Yvette after many a beating, but never so soon after, and never in such a hazardous fashion.  My attempt to put Terrence in a headlock was abruptly thwarted by an elbow thrust into my rib cage.  A second later I joined Yvette on the floor.  From this vantage point I looked up to a most unpleasant sight, that of a gun barrel pointed between my eyes.  Terrence's grip was steady and his aim true.
"I hope my wife was a good fuck, the best you ever had.  Cause if she wasn't, that makes what's about to happen a real shame.  Not to mention ironic."
Terrence glanced briefly and disgustedly at his bloodied, pseudo-conscious spouse, and then returned his attention to me.
"I'm a real big fan of irony, Michael.  Take this for instance.  I didn't come here on account of Yvette.  She was just an unpleasant surprise.  I came to put a scare into you as a favor for my niece, June.  She says you've been harassing her."
June of the sullen glances from the Stairmaster.  The lovely coed who I had ushered into womanhood and then abruptly abandoned there to fend for herself.  In all of our conversations, her leach-like Aunt June and Uncle Terrence the cop failed to come up.  I suppose I shouldn't have brought Dawn to my gym.  No malice had been intended.  It was supposed to demonstrate evidence that I had moved on, so she should as well.  But no matter the motive, flaunting a new lover in front of a former one is never wise.  June couldn't have her virginity back so she had to make due with vengeance.
"Fucking my wife and trying to fuck my brother's kid.  Should I look for my mom while I'm here?  Answer me, asshole.  Answer me before I blow your fucking head off.  No, better yet, beg me to spare your pathetic excuse for a life.  Not that it will do you any good."
What a day.  I had gone from rushing to save Jamal's life to facing the end of my own.  Accompanying this thought was remembrance of the object in my back pocket.  I wasn't as defenseless as I had supposed myself to be.
The more hits one takes, the tougher they get.  A person can grow immune to anything.  This would explain how Yvette was able to recover so quickly.  And as for her actions upon rising to her feet, I can only conclude that they were based on love.  Why else would she rush at her pistol packing husband?  Terrence noticed her charge before I did, swatting her back to the ground as if it were the most natural act in the world.  But Yvette's heroics were not in vain, for they afforded me time to draw the gun held in my back pocket, aim at the heart of my tormentor, and pull the trigger.

I had never killed a man before.  I still haven't.  The first chamber was empty.  Turns out they all were.  Apparently Jamal's suicidal considerations weren't as advanced as I thought.  But Terrence had no more means of knowing this than June had of knowing that her uncle would find me with his wife.  He reacted as he was trained to, as anyone in his position would have.  In self-defense, Terrence fired two bullets into my body.  When I saw his shock over what he had done, I realized he had not come to my home with intent to kill, had not even planned to do so after finding Yvette with me.  But we don't always do what we intend, or intend what we do.
"Let's get out of here," Terrence said in a panic, yanking Yvette up from the floor.  I'm not aware if she protested or resisted.  I only knew that I was alone and dying.  But is there really any other way to go about it?
"Oh my God!  Michael!"

That was the next sound I heard, the voice of an angel.  The woman I loved for no reason more than that she had gotten me to see why love wasn't such a bad idea.  She's comforting me, saying she loves me, calling for help I know will arrive too late.  I lie here bleeding to death; going over my acceptance speech for the Nobel prize in literature; recalling the life I've led woman by woman. 

My final thoughts are of a day not long ago.  Dawn and I sitting on a park bench.  A squirrel rustles the leaves on the ground behind us.  Dawn looks back, makes kissing sounds while gesturing for the creature to come closer.  It does, surprising me. I am accustomed to them scurrying from my path.  Never did I suspect that they could be so domesticated.  I profess my amazement to Dawn, who explains that she is no pied piper.  It is just that unlike his cousins in my neighborhood, the squirrels in this park are used to being fed by people.  So when called, they assume a treat is forthcoming.  The explanation is perfectly logical.  The thing I can't get over is that it took me so long to finally learn what is common knowledge to most others.  This simple fact had somehow managed to elude me for all these years.  I call the little guy over, and sure enough he draws closer still, patiently waiting for a snack that I regrettably don't have on me.

Life, like love, holds many secrets for us to discover.  Some we unearth early on.  Others take us most of our days to stumble upon, even though they are hidden in plain sight.

                            THE END

Previous Chapter - Where it all began

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Exit music for after I drop the microphone and walk off into the sunset.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013


What would declining Vanessa's sweet invitation have accomplished or proven?  That my flesh was strong, my devotion pure, heart true?  Nonsense.  Morality is entirely subjective.  If you do not consider an act sinful, then it isn't, the conscience therefore clear.  If the act is deemed evil, going through with it will cast you into a hell of your own making.  It's that simple, as are most issues once the political correctness of others is removed from the equation.

I felt for Dawn like I had felt for no other.  But this I saw as separate from my adoration of womankind in general.  Though I ceased to actively pursue other women, if the right situation arose, I had no intention of running from it.  Running with an erected situation in your pants is never advisable.            

Vanessa was a being created for adolescent wet dreams, the type of woman who inspired in men the most drastic of measures - squandered fortunes, wrecked homes, waged wars.  Such behavior was unnecessary in my case, for I had the luck of geography.  She moved into the apartment next door, so my neighborly hospitable offer to hook up her stereo and VCR was all that it took.

From the very beginning I knew how it would end up.  Vanessa oozed sex the way used car salesmen do greed.  It seeped from every pore and called out to me.  The concept of resisting did not enter my thoughts any more than a dog would contemplate passing over a juicy bone.  I simply devoured.

Should I rewind to go over the details?  If you insist, though there isn't much to tell.  After completing my handiwork, Vanessa and I partook of some very good wine and half of an equally impressive joint.  As mellowness overtook us, she confided that she was a kept woman, the mistress of some middle aged hot shot who paid the rent and provided her with shiny baubles.  She was an aspiring star whose days were spent in acting and singing classes. I was treated to a sample of her mediocre vocal talents. Then Vanessa lifted her tee shirt and needlessly confessed that the remarkably upright mounds of flesh before me were also funded by her benefactor.  I proceeded to remove the remainder of her wardrobe, a skimpy pair of shorts Saran wrapped over the roundest ass I had ever seen.  The following hour was spent giving Vanessa what her sugar daddy's money did not enable him to provide, as her ear shattering howls of delight attested.

When we had concluded the christening of her apartment, Vanessa smoked the remainder of her pot while babbling about the actors she admired.  She was giving Mr. Big Spender six months to make good on his promise to open the right doors for her.  If nothing materialized by then she would head out to La La land, presumably to suck better connected west coast dick.  Everything she said seemed something I'd already heard, the experience old halfway through it.  She was a fantasy come true, but the truth didn't seem so fantastic anymore.  Her voice grew fainter with each word.  I was not absorbing the experience, filtering what was most pure.  It neither added nor subtracted a thing from me.  I had merely gotten laid.

Vanessa didn't poke my underarms to drive me crazy.  She didn't tell me about the latest painting she had completed or gallery that expressed interest in her sculptures.  Nor did she call her dog to hop on the bed when I went to take a piss, or hit the play button on her boom box so whichever Miles Davis CD was within it could lull us to sleep.  If she wanted to know a single thing about me, she certainly hid her interest well.  Not a single question passed her lips about my latest destined to be aborted novel, or how my Mom was doing, or anything.  I was just there to occupy her time between halves of a joint, a new set of ears to talk about herself into.

I didn't feel guilty, but neither was I replenished, rejuvenated, satisfied in any but the most basic way.  Regret does not adequately sum up my emotions, for I made no promise to myself to never do such a thing again.  As was so often the case, I had gotten what I wanted.  The experience had been everything it promised to be.  It simply had not promised enough.

I looked at Vanessa's naked body, gleaming from sex, as exquisite a form as God and plastic surgery ever combined to create.  She caught my stare and mistook the expression for lust, rather than realization of where I would rather be.  I made a feeble excuse for leaving.  Back in my apartment I immediately made a phone call, knowing the party I dialed would be out, just to hear her voice on the answering machine.  After that, I sat down at my computer and re-read what I had written earlier in the day.  It was neither the best nor worst thing I'd ever written.  I had been more original in the past, and less.  I had a vague idea where I wanted to go with it, and about where I'd run into trouble.  Scribbled on a piece of paper were two other ideas I had come up with, figuring to get started on them shortly.  I folded the paper and placed it in a drawer.  Then I typed a couple of words to see how they felt, and decided they were the best ones I'd ever conceived.  Chapter Two.


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