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BY THE SAME AUTHOR: Novel Finding Passion: Confessions of a Fifty Year Old Runaway Poetry/Prose Unleashing Passion: A Heart¶s Desire (with Tessie May Johnson) .
SENSING PASSION: TRAVELS OF A FIFTY-FIVE YEAR OLD DIVORCEE CHRISTY CUMBERLANDER WALKER .
Copyright 2010 by Christy Cumberlander Walker All right reserved. photocopying. Printed in the United States of America Cover: Seg Chainberlain Designs . by any means including mechanical. or otherwise. recording. Limited Edition Hardcover First Printing January 2010 No part of this book may be reproduced. electronic. stored in a retrieval system. without prior permission of the publisher. or transmitted in any form.
. Christian. Christina. Christopher. for me. Emmanuel and most importantly. Christy. April. Bill. Tessie. Willie.For Ella.
Put it all out there and be naked to the readers. I¶m naked again giving you the opportunity to sit back. April. Tessie. Crevon. on paper. A special thanks to those that know me and offered words of encouragement and to the women at IWWG Columbus for letting me read and belong. I thank God for the opportunity to do it again. Therefore. and strangers met online (Karla B. . Susan E. friends (Marya. slip between the pages. Gae P. expose myself. and others at The Next Big Writer and Amazon). Two. What do you do when you are naked in front of people? David danced. Zena). and share myself. Shaun. Bill. and Emmanuel). who were willing to listen and read my work.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS It would not have been possible without the encouragement of family (Ella. and dance with me. with all his might. Willie. Leon.
If this is over by forty-three, I¶m going to treat myself to a doughnut in the morning before I go to work. Twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-one. ³Uhh.´ Looks like I¶ll be having my doughnut. It¶s usually five strokes past ³uhh´ to completion. Thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine. Damn, I may miss my doughnut. This could be a close call. ³Forty-one, forty-two, ³Oh.´ That sound is Robert¶s only verbal concession to an orgasm. Yippee. I¶m going to get glazed. My husband gets up to wash. I get up to do the same but I have a lighter step than he does because I get a treat in the morning. He already got his. Once clean, we get back in bed. Robert thinks it is important to stay with a routine so we have to be asleep by eleven every night. We will then have what Robert considers the appropriate amount of rest.
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Climbing back in bed, I make sure to keep to my side. Robert does not like us to touch during the night. He said if I intrude on his space, he couldn¶t sleep. Last night he had to wake me up around three because I had gone over to his side. That hadn¶t happened in quite some time. He and I have been married for thirty-two years. We are empty nesters with three adult children. We are not so much madly in love as we are sensibly µin like¶. Truly, we are roommates, sharing space but not much else. We grew older and we don¶t talk much now. After all of this time I guess we have said everything we have to say to each other. We coexist. After all, it can¶t always be the emotional high we had when«Wait a minute. We never had an emotional high. Robert does not like high, emotional or otherwise. Somewhere in those thirty-two years, I started counting the strokes from start to finish when we made love. It was an unintentional habit; I was bored. However, it should be noted the strokes never vary by more than eight strokes over or under forty-one, until he has completed his task. Then he is done. If I didn¶t get mine, tough. I should work harder or focus more. I tried twice (in the past five years) to add some zest to our marital activities. The first time, I squeezed his ass at around stroke twenty-six. He stopped and withdrew. That in itself was a change. He told me my thoughtlessness made him lose his concentration; he was not pleased. Then he entered me again for fifteen more strokes. The second and last time I tried, he was performing his strokes. I took his hand in mine, put his finger to my mouth and licked it, before sucking on the tip. This was about stroke number nine. 8
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³What are you doing? Did you just lick my finger?´ he almost screamed. Robert never screams. He did stop and withdraw. You would have thought I had stuck a finger up his nose. I hurriedly tried to explain. ³I saw this on a show. They said it would put spice back in our relationship.´ ³What? We don¶t need any spice. I like things just the way they are. You are getting a little wild. I think it is from you traveling all over.´ Robert continues to rant. µTravelling all over¶ is definitely a misstatement. I have only been on one µtraveling all over¶ in my entire life but there was no point in dragging out the inevitable. I knew what I had to say and it¶s best to get it over quickly. ³I¶m sorry, Robert, you¶re right that was stupid.´ ³Well, you can¶t do anything new. We don¶t like new. You have been coming up with some strange ideas in the past few years. I don¶t like it one bit,´ he grumbles. ³Robert, it won¶t happen again,´ I soothe him. ³I don¶t know what I was thinking.´ Finger licking was such a complete and utter failure, I decided I don¶t like spice either. It¶s overrated. Security is what matters. I can always count the strokes until we are done. Sometimes I¶ll get an orgasm, sometimes I¶ll get a doughnut. After all, marriage is about sacrifice and security. The next morning I leave early for work. The stop at the doughnut shop has me purchasing two. One stick and one glazed. They taste like an orgasm. I might as well have two. 9
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I go into the public relations firm where I have been employed for the past twenty years, since the children went to school. I started out as the office manager and worked my way up to my current position: the executive assistant to the vice president who also happens to be the co-founder of the firm, Harold. This is my first and only job in my entire life; I never saw any reason to leave. It is a secure position and I value security. I perform my normal duties. Mail and e-mail is what I do from the time I arrive until mid morning. From mid morning till lunch, I am on the telephone returning or placing calls. At noon, I have lunch until one. Then I come back and prepare status reports on projects until my break at three-thirty. After my break, I come back to input information until my final potty break at four forty-five. I go home at five. Unless Harold, my boss, wants to meet with me, my day is always the same. MONDAY EVENING STEW ³Lynn, we need to talk,´ Robert announces. His voice is unnaturally loud as he enters the kitchen. Robert¶s voice is usually a well-modulated monotone. No peaks and valleys of pitch or cadence. I am cutting beef to make the stew for our supper. It¶s Monday, and Robert likes to have stew on Monday. Personally, I don¶t like stew. It¶s too crowded. I want my meats and my vegetables to be separate, not swimming in sauce. Nevertheless, Robert wants stew on Monday. So we are having the stew I am making. Ever the dutiful wife, I stop cutting the beef so we can talk. Our talks are not so much talks as they are listens. With me, listening to what he has to say and then following 10
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his direction. Robert doesn¶t like a lot of conversation. He says it¶s a waste of time. I look up into his face. His mouth is turned down at the corners and his eyes look cold and distant. His hands are folded on his chest and his posture is rigid. Something must be incredibly wrong. ³What is it Robert? You look serious. What happened?´ The beef is forgotten for the time being. I do a quick mental inventory to try and figure out my transgression. I can¶t think of anything I did to make him unhappy. I take a seat and try not to look anxious about Robert¶s news. The wait for the revelation is not long, but it is shocking. ³I want a divorce. We haven¶t been close for a long time and I met someone.´ He stops talking. My husband met someone. This can¶t be happening. We¶ve been together forever. He couldn¶t have µmet someone¶. He¶s married. Robert goes back to his normal monotone as he continues. ³I have decided we should get a divorce. I¶ll take care of everything. You can keep the house. The kids are adults so they will not be an issue. It¶s time for me to move on now. This is really for the best. You like staying home and taking care of things so you will stay here where you belong. Our sex life hasn¶t been anything to write home about, no excitement. You don¶t really like having sex so that is not an issue. Anyway, this is for the best. You¶ll see.´ That isn¶t true. I like sex. I like good sex with both parties involved. And this is definitely not for the best as far as I¶m concerned. I am thinking these thoughts because my mouth will not work. My tongue won¶t move and my jawbone is stuck on closed. 11
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³Now I¶ve already told the kids. You¶ll be fine. I¶ll see to everything.´ This doesn¶t sound like Robert. It sounds rushed. He is always well spoken. I look over at him. I must have heard him incorrectly. ³What?´ is the only sound to squeak past my lips on air that I have to force from my lungs. ³We will be getting a divorce,´ He reiterates. He bites off each word as though he is impatient with having to repeat and clarify himself. ³Oh.´ Pain, such as I have never felt clogs my throat, making it difficult for my nose to inhale air and my lungs to expel the air trapped there. Pain dims my vision and robs me of the ability to think clearly. Divorce sticks in my mind and flashes in capital letters. All of my brain cells freeze and consider the wonder of the word. The mental anguish is worse than any physical pain I could imagine. What can I say to Robert¶s pronouncement? He wants to end our marriage. This security means the world to me. Once during our entire relationship I strayed. But Robert never knew. While I don¶t quite regret the experience, I knew it could never happen again. I chose to remain here with someone I could grow old with, someone I am used to being around. We are supposed to be together forever, not getting a divorce. In an effort to alleviate the pain, my body gets up to continue cutting the beef. The knife feels comforting. Robert is still sitting at the table. I can¶t think of a thing to say or do so I go back to what is normal, making dinner. Safe, routine, not requiring any thought. Maybe the pain 12
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will subside if I keep to my routine. Finishing dinner will not require me to have any thought. I could do this in my sleep. The way I¶m feeling, I can¶t imagine when another thought will occur to take the place of the shock Robert has dealt me. ³I¶m going to get a shower,´ Robert says as he stands and prepares to leave the room. ³When will dinner be ready?´ He throws this over his shoulder as he makes his way to the door. I lift my head to see his back going out of the door. I don¶t think you should ask your spouse of thirty-two years when dinner will be ready after you have told her you are leaving her and she will be fine. And you shouldn¶t ask when said spouse has a knife in her hand. The knife slips from my hand. It sails across the room into the back of his right arm, up by his shoulder. It wiggles a little and stays there. Blood, which I will have to clean up, starts dripping from the hole in his arm. Robert stops walking. He turns around and allows an emotion to show. Surprise. My pain eases, just a bit, replaced by a sense of accomplishment. My brain thaws a little, enough for me to repeat what he had the nerve to ask. ³Dinner? When will dinner be ready?´ My brain unfreezes as the heat of betrayal warms me. ³You just tilted my whole world and you want to know when I¶ll have your dinner ready. I should cut your throat. You just broke my heart and you want dinner. I should just cut your throat, you son of a bitch.´ 13
one I placed there by a mere slip of my wrist that causes him to stop his passage to a shower. He had stopped me from cursing out loud before we got married. His coal black hair. He still cuts a great image in a t-shirt and jeans. Originality was never his strong suit. I have stayed where I have always beenby his side. without a strand of gray. ³What the heck? Lynn.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US Maybe it¶s my strong language that gets his attention. I do not make a habit of throwing knives at my husband. looks great on his apple butter brown skin. weighing one hundred ninety pounds with no excess body fat. I spent my entire adult life turning myself into what he wanted me to be. I¶m not a potty mouth under usual circumstances. And I didn¶t leave him«exactly. Thoughts come. What am I going to do? How will I live? He met someone else. My husband the bastard. The red of his blood doesn¶t quite go with the orange of his top. I stand watching. These thoughts are going through my mind as Robert stands in the door and continues to bleed. or the interesting gray shade his face is becoming. six foot one. for nothing. He works out and it shows. These are unusual times for me. 14 .´ he interrupts my thoughts to state the obvious. under usual circumstances. It could be the fact there is a knife sticking out of Robert¶s arm. I met someone else too. with six-pack twenty year olds envy. There¶s a knife in my arm. Thoughts about our life are going through my mind as Robert stands slack-jawed and bleeding. once. the damn near perfect wife and mother. thinking. Robert is attractive. you just threw a knife at me. the blue of his jeans. I stayed with him through thick and thin. Shit. come hell or high water.
he is the backbone of the family. but he¶s talking pretty strongly. or so he likes to boast. I get to do that. It must be the blood. then with Robert. this house.´ He isn¶t yelling because he never yells. ³I said I need to go to the hospital. I could die. I won¶t have a husband anymore. There must be something about seeing your own blood trickling down your arm. you cheating bastard? It¶s not as though you are going to clean up the blood. your language. He takes the time to point out what he is unhappy with me about before stating his needs. I¶ve been cleaning up your shit. Right now. for Robert. Robert definitely sounds nervous and sounds whiny.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US ³Your point. He is usually in control of every situation. It¶s difficult for me to get my mind around the idea.´ Robert reminds me. what you just did. I lived with my parents.´ The knife in his arm would lead one to believe. have you lost your mind? I need to go to the emergency room. my thoughts are centered on how I am supposed to adjust to being a divorced woman. You are not a violent person. Again. not one of my habits. ³We¶ve all got to die sometime. You stabbed me. He will have left me and I¶ll be alone for the first time in my entire life. ³This is so unlike you. and everything else for thirty-two years and you want a divorce now?´ I am screaming by the time I finish talking. 15 .´ is my unfazed response. then in a college dorm. he is wrong. dripping between your fingers and dropping onto the floor that makes a person nervous and whiny. Hell. ³Lynn. I never noticed before what a whiner Robert is. I can¶t believe what you just said. I¶d rather put my hands around his neck.
I never gave him a reason to regret marrying me.´ I ask him this without breaking my stride. We met while we were in college. I have never noticed the smell of blood before now. What¶s going to happen to me? I don¶t know how to do anything but be his wife.´ I toss him a towel from the table. Why should I? You are leaving me. It isn¶t even something I want to hear. I need to think about my future since it is not as placid as it once was. Hell no. me. Robert can eat stew or chicken or dog guts for all I care. ³Aren¶t you going to take me?´ he has the nerve to ask. He wants a divorce. He thought I would make a good wife if I could clean up my language and polish my rough edges. I quit actively cursing and polished my edges as if I was cleaning tarnished silver. 16 . I am not hungry anymore.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US ³Then stop whining and go. me. I don¶t feel like cooking. I tried to be everything he wanted me to be and it is still not enough. I make it up the stairs and into our bedroom where I collapse on the edge of the bed. I can¶t think straight as our past starts to claim my brain. I¶m not taking you. ³Me. I push past him and enter the dining room to head upstairs. I gave up ME just to be his wife.´ I don¶t have time to listen to this bullshit. What next? This can¶t be happening to me. It almost burns my nose with the pungency and it remains in my nostrils as I try to make my way to a peaceful place. ³Could you use this so you won¶t drip all over the fucking house you are so graciously going to give me? Blood is SO hard to get out of carpet.
I can be anything he wants me to be. worn in twists that hang to my shoulders. pounding. When Robert and I met. but maybe he decided he wants a big-breasted woman. However. Hair is no reason to leave. I would probably get the ones that look like concrete as they ooze saline into my system. but how or what could I have done. *** I feel vibrations. I still have the same brown eyes blending with my brown skin to make me blend in with a crowd. I think of myself as luscious rather than overweight. My lack of bosom could also be a demerit. my hair was dark brown. I was about fifty pounds lighter when we met. I would have gone back to the perm box and had hair dye routinely installed. but weight isn¶t enough to end all of these years together. What now? Maybe I¶m 17 .WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? How can I make him stay? I don¶t deserve this. I can be big-breasted. I would have Botoxed if he said it was an issue. I¶m too paranoid to get them enhanced with surgery. I would lose the weight if Robert had told me to take off the pounds. Robert always said he didn¶t mind the size. I am still five feet five and can make a scale needle go from zero to two-ten in three seconds. If he had told me he didn¶t like it. Now it is graying brown natural hair. Maybe I could have tried harder. I have no distinguishing features aside from a smile. and make me ill. My breasts are as substantial as two over easy eggs. always worn straight like I was fresh from the beautician¶s chair. the use of which has caused laugh lines in my face. but it has long been a sore spot with me.
³Hi Dottie. I¶m definitely not going to open the door. Hmmm. They may not look kindly on accidents that result in people having holes in their body. The vibrations continue throughout my body. The police are now knocking on his door.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US having a heart attack. I must be dying. kind of like me 18 . Tossing me aside like used toilet paper. ³Hello Lynn. Fucking snitch. I bet Robert told the hospital I¶m the one responsible for the hole in his arm. and his wife. What¶s up?´ Dottie answers on the second ring. I hope Five-O doesn¶t decide to break the door down and charge in to get me. as if it¶s my fault. Red and blue lights. I¶m a nice lady. She is not really my attorney. What to do? If I turn the lights out. she is a friend. but no. They can¶t be sure anyone is at home. let¶s just say it¶s Robert for example. I wouldn¶t hurt anybody. I grab my cell phone and call my attorney. he has to bring me into his shit. They might shoot me. I never have before. A glance at my watch shows two hours have passed by. Damn. I never needed one before. He could have just said he fell. My brain continues to come back to the present and I start to sweat. let¶s say for instance that a man. As I become alert. Dottie. I don¶t know if Wichita law enforcement will see this accident the same way I do. the coppers will know for sure I¶m here. However. Then I see lights flashing through the window. she is an attorney and more importantly. I am neither. got a knife stuck in his arm and went to the hospital. thinking I am armed and dangerous. I notice the pounding is coming from outside of my body. I¶m sure he didn¶t tell them he is leaving me after thirty-two years of marriage.
³Well then I think we may need to talk. ³I¶m on my way over. The vibrating of my cell phone makes me jump. would you have to tell someone?´ I don¶t want to incriminate myself. They can¶t be right. I may need an attorney. My ears block out the sound. Would you think the police knew she kind of put the hole in his arm and so they went to her house and might want to take her to jail for the accident.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US hypothetically. However.´ It is a relief to be able to share. I don¶t hear the ringing of the house phone. The wife does not open the door for the police. They say you stabbed daddy in the arm. The pounding continues. ³Probably not. I wouldn¶t have to tell if it was a past crime committed.´ Dottie explains. if you were planning to kill him. Why would you think I would stab him?´ This is a difficult conversation for a mother to have with her 19 . Could she be in trouble if she doesn¶t open the door?´ Dottie sounds confused when she asks. I¶m an officer of the court. I answer when I see it is my daughter Rene. Dottie is taking me. I would have to tell. is in the house on the telephone with her friend who is also an attorney. ³Lynn have you been smoking or something? What are you telling me?´ ³If I told you anything. selfpreservation being the first law of nature.´ Dottie hangs up on me. ³Mom did you stab daddy? He¶s at the hospital and I am at the front door with the police.´ ³Honey I am on my way to the hospital now.
waiting to grow old. If they think I am on my way to the hospital that will get them away from my house without me going to jail.´ ³Ma¶am we really need to speak with her. they know where I live. mom. There has to be an explanation. It definitely is not setting a good example. together.´ I hope I have thrown them off the scent. ³Okay. How could they think you would stab anyone? You don¶t stab people.´ I hear a male voice saying as Rene hangs up the telephone. ³I told you this is a mistake. Slipping into the ignoring each other habit as easily we slip into an easy chair.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US daughter.´ is her conversation with the coppers on my doorstep. We just live. You all are wrong. Here with my nonresidential husband. After five minutes or so. Robert and I are at the time in our lives where we are past taking each other for granted. I shook them. You¶ll see. ³Okay. Rene continues to the police. I¶ll talk to you about it when I see you. We are not taking each other at all. ³Okay Rene. I wait another five minutes before peeking out of the window. We are routine. I¶m sure this will all be cleared up soon.´ Rene is a talker. together. the flashing goes off and the cars go down the street.´ she says to me. Maybe I shouldn¶t have answered the phone. I¶ll see you at the hospital. used to 20 . Not a single patrol car left. for now. I¶ll see you at the hospital. ³See I told you my mom wouldn¶t do anything like that. She¶s on her way to the hospital now with her friend Dottie. But. I know dad is going to be okay because he said I didn¶t have to come there but I think I should in case you need me.
She takes my arm to give it a squeeze and a shake. ³Lynn. I go down and open the door for her. The smell. I might be babbling as I tell Dottie all of this as if she cares. which I¶ll have to clean up. Tell me everything that 21 .WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US each other. ³What the fuck is going on? Please tell me you did not stab Robert. I didn¶t stab Robert. I don¶t know what I can use to get the smell out of the carpet. she can also spot a lie a mile away. ³Okay. I did stab him but it wasn¶t on purpose.´ Dottie is an active curser. I need you to focus. ³Hey Dottie. He lost some blood. Let me in. She doesn¶t waste any time. I better get the peroxide so the blood won¶t stain.´ I say angelically. How many people would drop everything and come over for a friend the way Dottie has done? ³Lynn´ Dottie warns me. It¶s a good thing I have caller id." My voice trails off. I wouldn¶t know it¶s safe to answer because it is Dottie. Being a good friend. Maybe if I light a candle. The knife just slipped and landed in his arm. She really wants to hear that and I don¶t want to disappoint such a good friend. Are you alone?´ The SWAT team could be with her attempting to lure me to the door so they can get a clear shot. Shit. ³Okay.´ Dottie whispers. Otherwise. in her don¶t jerk me around tone of voice. ³Lynn. The cell phone rings and vibrates again. Now he wants to change everything. I am at the back door.
Are you sure this isn¶t a joke?´ Dottie asks. The knife just slipped out of my hand and into his arm. While I was processing all of this. I was in pain and in ice. Well I was cutting the beef for the stew when he came in and told me all of this. didn¶t fall or anything. Imagine that. ³Robert just told me he wants a divorce. what am I going to do?´ Getting all of the words out leaves nothing but tears. ³Is that when you threw the knife at him? Did the thought of divorce send you into a rage? What made you throw a knife for Pete¶s sake?´ Dottie wants to know I think about this for a minute ³No. It was when he asked me µhow long it would be for dinner to be ready. wiggled a little and hung there. I wasn¶t enraged. Then her brilliance kicks in. ³That¶s what I thought too. He is going to give me the house and take care of everything. The smell is overpowering. I look around for something to clean it up. I am again aware of the blood scent. Dottie.´ Dottie has a blank expression on her face that is starting to scare me.´ As I¶m telling her my story. A frozen hurt. I realized it wasn¶t a joke.¶ You know how he likes stew on Monday.´ She collapses into the kitchen chair. since I don¶t like sex. You two have been together forever. The first thing we have to do is see if they are going to charge you with assaulting Robert and whether the charge will be a 22 . ³Okay. I take a seat across from her. just stuck in his arm. he had the nerve to ask when dinner would be ready. ³You¶ve got to be kidding.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US happened. I cannot allow them to fall. Apart from not being funny. He has met someone else and is leaving me. I kind of lost it.
³Lynn. I don¶t have anger management problems. I don¶t want you to get into any more trouble while I¶m gone.´ I¶m going to the hospital to see what I can find out. Okay?´ She makes it sound so reasonable. I¶m a very calm person. Take the day off work and just lay low until you hear from me. Then they can break the door in to arrest you right away. I¶m going to get you in to see a doctor I know. Shit. They must not consider it too bad since they didn¶t come in and get you.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US felony or a misdemeanor. ³It was an accident. This doesn¶t look too bad. It is best to start before going to your first hearing. In the mean time. You threw a knife and put a hole in your husband¶s arm. throw some things together and make your way to a hotel for tonight.´ Dottie shares this as though anger management therapy is chocolate covered almonds. It¶s not like I¶ve ever been in trouble or anything before.´ I staunchly and calmly claim. If it were going to be a felony. you are not thinking straight. I¶ll call you in the morning. ³I know. you know.´ 23 . Will you promise me?´ Dottie must not realize it was an accident. they would have had a warrant. You have a problem. I still don¶t think I have an anger management problem though. ³But.´Do you think I¶ll have to do time in the big house?´ I say to my always friend and now attorney. but as you just demonstrated. She can do some anger management therapy with you. We want to show the judge you are cognizant of the problem and are getting help. ³Okay.
You will follow through with her recommendations. ³Dottie. It really was an accident. After we get finished with the stabbing issues.WHAT S A LITTLE CUT BETWEEN US ³But you will make it to the appointment.´ I grudgingly respond.´ Dottie gives me a hug and heads towards the door. You shouldn¶t be here when Robert comes home tonight. we need to start thinking about the divorce. do you think I¶ll have to do hard time?´ I ask her again. ³Thoughts of me in a prison getting teardrop tattoos on my face and a girlfriend named Jeff cross my mind and scare me. Well I don¶t want any more accidents of this kind. right?´ ³Okay. ³Don¶t worry about going to prison yet.´ I confess to her. Let¶s get through tonight. I don¶t want to know where you are going so I can be truthful if someone asks me. 24 . I¶ll call you when I get some information but it probably won¶t be until in the morning.´ She consoles as she heads out the back door. ³Yeah.
For a measly forty dollars. When I first open the door. they don¶t like unannounced company this late in the evening. There is only a faint outline of the drops left when I finish. Besides. there is a familiar figure. a glimpse of a man I had known for two weeks. I turn my cell phone off so it won¶t disturb me. Besides. Obviously. I can get a room the clerk tells me. It ain¶t easy being on the lam. The drive across town is made in silence to the smallest hotel around. Especially now. Itµs really just the shadow of a brim hat. it never will come out. I don¶t want it to go bad. I will probably only need two days worth of clothes and something to sleep in. If you let blood dry. it stinks. I must be more tired than I thought or it must be my eyes playing tricks on me. I could go to my parents. He would not be happy. It doesn¶t take too long to get that together and go back downstairs. five years ago.I put away the beef. I do take the time to pour peroxide over the bloodstains and get them cleaned up before I leave. Then I go upstairs to throw some clothes in a plastic grocery bag. I need to get out in case the coppers come back. on the off chance I am able to fall asleep. I have the jitters because of everything going on and I am hallucinating. The house telephone is ringing but there isn¶t any time to answer it. Seeing him is not possible. but talk about déjà vu. I wish I could see him again. My father is probably in bed and he would have to get up and open the door. With keys to the room and the information checkout time is at one o¶clock. It has been ringing and . I head straight to the room. but they might worry if the police show up.
³Well.´ I wonder if we are close enough for him to tell me the heat is on and they¶re trying to squeeze him for information. Nothing on the first channel. I don¶t think I¶ll be able to sleep at all. This has been a trying day. The stress must have acted as a downer because the next thing I know.TAKING IT ON THE LAM vibrating constantly. Harold. Now I feel a little bit safer. I hope the desk clerk doesn¶t remember my face. I won¶t be in for the next few days. I¶ll make it back in on Monday. I dress and turn on the cell phone to call my boss. ³Yeah. I undress then shower before getting into bed. What time will you be here?´ he sounds distracted.´ My brain tells my mouth to stop talking. There is not a word about me on any of the channels. I turn on the local news to see if they have an all points bulletin out for me. They could be trying to get a trace on me. ³Hello. yeah. Maybe the police are with him right now. ³Is everything going alright. I¶m not feeling well. Lynn? Are you coming in today?´ He sounds strange. it¶s damn near nine on Tuesday morning. Harold answers his private line. Unless they are circulating my picture all around the area. I am doing a great job of ignoring it since I see it is not Dottie. I listen to as many channels as I can while trying to get out before I am charged for another day. 26 . I have to go to the doctor. before I tell him where I¶m holed up. you sound funny. I wonder if he knows I am a wanted woman.
He is a tease. ³I have some news. I¶ll see you when you get in Monday. If I had been thinking of 27 . ³The son of a bitch. My argument to the prosecutor will be you were provoked enough to stab Robert.TAKING IT ON THE LAM ³Oh.´ I don¶t like this hotel room. The police filed misdemeanor assault charges against you after talking to Robert. you have a perfect record. ³Yes. to make me remember when life was worth living. guns or physical contact with Robert.´ Dottie warns. Robert could get nasty about this. I¶ll be able to talk with the prosecutor on Wednesday. they will probably drop the charges. my conversation with Harold ended ten minutes earlier. I wait for Dottie¶s call. it¶s not as though I was walking around on the street stabbing random people. It has a ghost but I don¶t tell her about him. It was an accidental reflex action. just as I am ready to go throw myself on the mercy of the court. Can I go back home now? Otherwise. Harold. go back home and whatever you do. Thankfully.´ After I hang up.´ ³Here¶s the deal I want to propose. It comes. Because of the situation. but they could be out there looking for me. you will not be arrested. Of course. no knives.´ ³Okay. Okay. I¶ll tell her the situation and see if we can get a preliminary hearing next week. I will have to stay here and they could have bedbugs.´ ³Thanks. You will have to sign to show you were served and you must show up for the court date. I don¶t want you provoked again. Hell. You¶ll be getting some paperwork in the mail. If you get in to start the anger management program.
I¶ll call you with the name of the doctor and the time of your first appointment. I would have cut his throat. What will I do without my asshole? I head home and enter a house that is. Besides. I was committed to it. empty. However. ³You probably don¶t hear how crazy you sound. but he was my asshole. I thought marriage was working for us. It was working for me. It is not much different from any other time. A quick review shows I will be a divorced fifty-five year old with possible prison time in my near future. gather my belongings and head to the checkout counter. okay.´ She sternly reminds me.´ Dottie is using her firm voice. he is probably moving out soon. I do.´ I hang up and then breathe a sigh of relief. My life is not turning out as I anticipated. In the car on the way home. you accidently cut someone and everyone wants to think the worst of you. Damn. Make sure you go and cooperate. Robert may be an asshole. I was blind.´ Dottie is familiar with the me that lives in my head and sometimes cusses like a sailor. okay. ³Okay. I¶ll be there and cooperate.TAKING IT ON THE LAM stabbing him. other times I had the expectation my husband would be home soon.´ I unwillingly concede. 28 . ³I said I¶ll go and see the shrink. thankfully. Maybe this will speed up his departure. ³Not a word to him. ³Lynn. Thankfully.´ I promise Dottie. it dawns on me my life is irrevocably changed. Just get me the information.
and all three of our children called according to the caller identification. He was in the military for twenty years and ran our house in the same manner he ran recruits in basic training. My father. Robert has made monthly menus for the past twenty years. never an errant thought. mashed potatoes and green beans is the menu. After everything is set to rights and stray drops of blood are removed. May. Meatloaf with salad. I reach for the freezer door. my thoughts turn to dinner. The answering machine light is blinking. It is Tuesday. my mother. ³Honey. I bet I can guess what they are calling to discuss. ³Lynn. Her view of fairness has not changed since she was a child.´ My mother. I will expect a full explanation at six o¶clock tonight. She is a black and white. A push of the play button lets the answering machine tell me its secrets. the kindest woman ever born. what happened?´ My middle child. I turn to go into the living room. He likes the certainty of eating a specific meal on a specific day of the week with no surprises. You behavior is unacceptable. Never a harsh word. We both may as well be disappointed. 29 . I like the certainty of having a husband. ³Mommy.´ My father demands. just the facts type of person.TAKING IT ON THE LAM The remainder of the previous night¶s dinner preparation and the little cut incident needs cleaned up. call me if you need to talk. but his belief in routine and appropriate conduct is legendary. You could never accuse him of being kind. I must say I am very disappointed in you. I start to take out the ground beef to make meatloaf but my hand stops halfway around the package.
´ Rene is persistent. We just need to get you some help. Call me. I saw it on Rehab Clinic. However.´ That is the message from Lynnette. The Head Doctor Show says some mental health conditions do not show up until your age. we can get you some help. I know you are disappointed. Do you know you could have killed daddy last night? What were you thinking? Do you have a drug problem? We can make it through this. I call my father first and confirm he will see me there at six. I¶ll be over there this evening to help set up a plan for you. no one could be better. If you have a mental condition. ³Mom. the youngest at twenty-five. ³Hi. I can explain. I know a great bi-polar specialist that could´ The machine cut my daughter off before she could continue.TAKING IT ON THE LAM I hear Rene¶s voice. I have a list of places. She is also a control freak. when she is ready to be caring. I¶ll be by this evening with the girls. you have to call me right away. ³Mom. She likes all loose ends tied up in the way she thinks they should be tied up. He does not answer his telephone since he will not speak to me until six tonight as he stated. It was an accident. I see this as a reaching out by you. Dad. ³Mom. just call me as soon as you get in and we can get you some help. I won¶t judge you. she will find a way to make it about her. I¶m at the front door. I know prescription pills and crystal meth are more prevalent among the older generation now. just so 30 . The best thing to do is to get this over in one fell swoop. If there is an event occurring. To let him know I received his order. I¶m worried about you. You¶re not answering. I am allowed to leave a message. I am so worried. a cry for attention. If you need to go to rehab. Lynnette is a parttime manipulative narcissist.
Is it okay if the girls meet me there? Then I can go over this one time. Emotions are too close to the surface. ³Yes dear. ³Mom.´ Unlike dad. we¶ll see you all at six. I¶m fine and Robert.´ I have to smile at her order of questions. did not die as a result of the accident. ³Okay. I doubt she will answer. 31 . I thought she would be under orders not to converse with me because I had done something unacceptable. She only has a cell phone because my dad has a cell phone and she doesn¶t want him to appear more progressive than she does. ³Honey. Do you want to talk about it?´ ³No. ³Good and too bad. I¶m sure. Mom surprisingly answers on the first ring. I¶ll let your dad know.´ I have nothing further to say.´ I don¶t trust myself to talk right now.´ Then I call my mom on her cell phone. Thanks for the offer though. ³Yes and no. I received a call from dad to come and explain myself at six. are you okay? Is Robert dead?´ mom wants to know.TAKING IT ON THE LAM you know. Mom is not a stickler for unexpected company.´ A look at the telephone ensures me this is my mother and not someone else¶s. He is so much like dad.´ mom volunteers. ³Hi mom. I¶ll make sure to fix enough for everyone. I always thought she liked Robert.
I¶ve always been jealous of her. You stabbed me and I am pressing charges. indeed: she never says much of anything. I hear a key in the front door a moment before Robert walks in the room. I sit on the couch to think back over my life. Instead. it must be said again: my mom is a saint. I would so be breaking my promise to Dottie. I need to get something to eat before dinner with the family. I do not want to talk with you. I don¶t think I will be able to eat with them asking questions about yesterdays¶ activities.´ He starts up the stairs. Then I get my purse and head out with thoughts of how I could stab him again and avoid a prison sentence. ³Hello. I call my daughters and tell them to meet me at their grandparents. She never complains. 32 . Knowing my dad. Halfway up he turns to say. Your behavior was unacceptable. and green beans to be ready on time. how perfect it was before yesterday. Mom doesn¶t like arguments and has contentment with life. Not bad at all for a person who was recently stabbed accidentally.TAKING IT ON THE LAM My mother is a saint. mashed potatoes. how are you feeling Robert?´ ³Lynn. He has changed clothes and looks no worse for the wear. She is a peacekeeper.´ If there was a knife anywhere close. He looks well rested. What do you say to a cheating husband after you¶ve stabbed him? I go with. I try to emulate her because she has been married to the same man for fifty-six years. ³I expect the salad. meatloaf. and this time it would not be an accident.
³He wasn¶t watching what he was eating. They all look about retirement age and it is easy to see this isn¶t their first encounter with each other or this eating spot. It would be nice to know what their story is. What did he expect to happen?´ This from a guy with sunglasses and a baseball cap.´ is the 33 . I need to go to the hospital and let them take care of me. black with sugar and decaf with cream and sugar. It can really get you. I think the sunglasses can go. He is in the hospital.TAKING IT ON THE LAM A MEAL AND CONVERSATION I drag myself to a fast food restaurant. ³At least he can rest up in the hospital with all those pretty nurses to wait on him hand and foot. My appetite is nonexistent but at least I am out of the house and away from temptation. The employees call them by name and keep them filled with coffee. It is broad daylight and he is indoors. Are they or have they ever been married? Do they have children who care about them? Would they stab someone by accident and then have to pay for it the rest of their lives? They are discussing an absent member of their group.´ the man with the gold tooth in the front of his mouth warns the table. ³You have to be careful with sugar. I end up sitting and listening to a group of three older men. black. They all put their opinion of the missing member of the table. They are arguing about everything from the weather to politics to the traffic on the street. I am willing to bet money he is from the Deep South with his plaid shirt and striped pants as if the gold tooth wasn¶t a dead giveaway.
Is there anything you would like me to tell him?´ Her look of reproach is slightly veiled under her smile. A very pretty young lady approaches them. They stare at her as if she asked them to strip naked and perform oral sex on each other. he just found out he is diabetic.´ Deep South. smiles at her. ³He was never diagnosed with diabetes or sugar as you call it.´ She smiles at each of them and I know she heard the conversation they had been having.´ She gives them another smile and continues. ³We were wondering about him. He wasn¶t feeling well and he went to the doctor. The spell breaks and conversation starts again. Tony¶s daughter. I¶m Mr.TAKING IT ON THE LAM contribution from a man with a relaxer in his obviously dyed black hair. It is worn in a comb over that doesn¶t quite work because it does not reach over his age spotted bald patch.´ states Stevie Wonder. My brothers and sisters will make sure he takes care of himself from now on. The doctor tested him and determined his blood sugar was out of control then sent him to the hospital. ³Hello. ³Yeah. He wanted me to come and let you know how he is so you wouldn¶t worry or get things wrong. Let me tell you so you have the facts straight. ³As you can see. Are you married?´ asks Pimp Daddy of the Process. ³Thanks for letting us know. 34 . You know how people get things confused sometimes. She smiles at all three of them and speaks. he didn¶t know he had a problem. He can¶t be here since he is in the hospital.
It is a far cry from the future I had envisioned. sitting in a restaurant all day is preferable to 35 . She certainly answered my question. ³How did she know we were talking about her dad?´ asks Stevie Wonder. Yep. Moreover. ³She shouldn¶t just go around talking to strangers. albeit the absent one. They then turn their conversation to the question of whether duct tape could be used to stop a leak in a faucet or to repair torn clothing. We could have been anybody.´ observes Pimp Daddy.TAKING IT ON THE LAM ³It¶s nice to know he has friends that care.´ She smiles at each of them again and then leaves. Five o¶clock must be their curfew because they all decide to get up and start leaving around then. ³Nice boobs. It is comforting to know someone thinks of solutions to these pressing issues. they care deeply about him. searching for the meaning of life. At least one. Of course. I'll be in sitting with a group of women in a restaurant every day. After she leaves. does have children. waiting for the children and grandchildren to visit. I¶ll let him know I told you all what was really going on with his condition. Maybe that will be me in a few years. The future where Robert and I are sitting in twin rocking chairs on the porch.´ opines Deep South. I want a window seat so I can feel the sun on my back. they decide to make her the topic of conversation.
Now. Anything else was met with derision and cold empty stares. I would have to take one of the younger women under my wing and give her all the wisdom I have amassed over the years. Everyone is here and you can get some meatloaf for supper. I follow her into a large airy kitchen where my offspring and my father are waiting for me to explain myself. ³Come on in the kitchen. Then I won¶t have anything to look forward to except visits from my children and they might not even come. Am I ever going to grow up? Mom answers on the first knock. ³Hello all. I get to go in and face his displeasure.perfection. The wisdom giving would take a day and she wouldn¶t take my advice anyway because we are both in jail.´ Fifty-five and I still get the ³young lady´ from him. With those thoughts and possibilities.´ I unemotionally state the facts 36 . ³Please explain yourself at once young lady.TAKING IT ON THE LAM going to prison and spending the rest of my life there with no chance of parole. Pulling up in front of their home the cars let me know my children are here. it happened like this.no demanded. My father was always the disciplinarian. My father. I am fifty-five years old. I decide to take my depressed ass on over to my parents home and prepare to face the parental music. starts.´ I address the room before taking a seat and the plate my mother is offering. He expected.´ She gives me a hug before leading me by the hand. I am transported back to my childhood. ³Well. from the head of the table. Damn.
I must be.´ my father states unequivocally. that cock-sucking son of a bitch is leaving me and I¶m a little pissed off right now. What did my clean mouth get me? I might as well start now. When my divorce is final. He also disapproves of expletives in any form.´ 37 . Dad will come to his senses and come back home. ³You can¶t make it without him. which is strange considering his military past.´ I hear from my dad. Obviously.´ I am facing life in prison and he is worried about my language being unacceptable. ³Excuse me dad. ³Your language is unacceptable.´ ³Rene thinks you have a drug problem we need to do an intervention. don¶t worry.´ This comes from the baby girl with a smile and an eye roll. Give him some time. ³Really mom this is just terrible. My father does not appreciate any emotion except for his own displeasure.TAKING IT ON THE LAM of the stabbing. I am going to say a curse word every day. I am soon to be divorced. I am tired of only cursing in my head. I stop with my fork midway to my mouth and look at the two of them.´ puts in Rene. ³The thing is. The reality is I like to curse. I hope he comes to his senses soon.´ says May. ³Am I so damn pathetic my children don¶t think I can make it without a man who doesn¶t want me?´ I ask the table of family. ³Ridiculous. I told daddy he should stay home. Fuck it. although I don¶t because Robert told me when we were dating that he would not want to kiss anyone with a dirty mouth. ³Mom.
My cell phone has been begging me to plug it into the wall and I have refused. not feeling like explaining anything else. My youngest daughter gets up. finally remembering Dottie is supposed to call me today to let me know what the prosecutor said. Rene and May stop all movement and turn to stare at me with twin expressions of horror. Robert is nowhere in sight.TAKING IT ON THE LAM My mother drops the glass of juice she was bringing to the table for me. and leave everyone sitting or standing frozen in time. I don¶t bother answering the telephone at all. I again enter an empty house. It paid me back by dying. I stay in bed the next day. I get up. Oh. I feel good. there¶s one last thing. Thursday morning comes and goes with me in bed. 38 . ³Hi Dottie. only getting up to fix myself food to keep from wasting away. doing more nothing than I have done in years. What is the news?´ I am eager for some good news.´ After sharing my information. My father starts choking and turning unusual shades of red for a brown-skinned man. I wander around the house after noon. goes around and gives her grandfather a few good whacks on the back to dislodge his food. ³I think that about covers it. I wait up for him but he doesn¶t come home. She looks up and smiles at me. Once home. I said exactly what I wanted to say and didn¶t burst into flames. My attorney has me seeing a fucking psychiatrist to help me with an anger management problem I don¶t believe I have. The house telephone continues squealing until I turn off the ringer. pick up my purse. I call her.
Tomorrow. I don¶t blame you. ³Okay give it to me. I had to meet with the family the other night to explain what is going on. So now. I grab a sandwich from the kitchen. ³Lynn. Where could it have come 39 .´ Armed with the name and address I get off the phone. Robert has not been around from the looks of things. I will be officially crazy with a head doctor to prove it. I have your first appointment set up for Friday at two. ³Oh. I smell a familiar scent. I think we can get this done quickly.TAKING IT ON THE LAM ³How are you Lynn? I called you. My first appointment is for tomorrow since I am classified as an emergency. What is there for me to say? She thinks I have anger management problems.´ I tell her on a sigh of remembered disgust. I have to go see a head doctor because Robert is such a fucking snitch. Just wanted to tell you the prosecutor is fine with a preliminary hearing next week. remember our agreement?´ she cajoles. As I get out of the shower. I am going to give you the name and address of the doctor I want you to see. so I have been avoiding the telephone. ³Yeah. The scent is unmistakable. Knowing your family the way I do. I remain quiet to show my displeasure. It is amazing the connections Dottie has. Are you okay?´ She sounds concerned. I head up to our bedroom even though lately it has been housing only me. A perfume is closely associated with a time in my life I have buried beneath my mantle of security and responsibility.´ she proffers tentatively.
My eyes are wide open until I smell the familiar scent again. Besides. I couldn't smell it all the way up here. I wake up and realize the entire day is over. but I have a head doctor to see. that man. The daylight streaming in from open curtains wakes me. It¶s been five long years. The Caesar¶s Woman cologne could not be leaking. A movement by the closet catches my attention: the man in the brim hat. I climb into bed and drift off to sleep on the thought of that special perfume and that special time in my life. Still no sign of Robert. It cannot be. I wouldn¶t mind staying in bed and dreaming about that time. My mind must be conjuring him up. in the trunk under so much of my history. that place. I close my eyes to savor the memory and amazingly. I prepare a sandwich to salve my hunger and then I go back to bed. I drift back off to sleep. A blink takes the vision away. Around nine. Even if it was.TAKING IT ON THE LAM from? The only bottle I have is in the basement. I don¶t believe in ghosts or dreams anymore. 40 . There is still no sign of Robert. I¶ve barely thought about him this year.
´ I could say µI stabbed my husband and I want to look good in front of the judge. I am not a mass murderer or anything of the sort. Her eyes are like a winter sky and equally as warm. ³Hello. I¶m Lynn. She gives me her hand to shake but it feels like worms so I quickly drop it.´ I share as I extend my hand to show I am not hiding a weapon and to get a handshake. I can¶t think of a lie this quickly.´ . dress. Entering. Then I am allowed into the inner sanctum to meet my head doctor. A mere slip of the arm. I think this is a bunch of crap.¶ The statement would be honest although probably not be in my best interest. and then set off to find her office.DOCTOR FEELBAD I get up. I am given the necessary paperwork to complete. ³Tell me what brings you here today. It could¶ve happened to anybody. pristine white walls and leather seats in the office. ³My attorney thought I may have some anger management problems. She doesn¶t inspire me to tell her anything because she is cold. I remain mute. She looks at me. Maybe she already knew my name. Dottie expects me to honor my agreement to cooperate so I go with. and looks nervous. about thirty-two. ³I understand from Dottie you stabbed your husband?´ is her next attempt to draw me into conversation. It is in an upscale section of the city. She doesn¶t have a couch for me lie down on to talk about my mother/father or cheating husband issues. She offers me a chair instead. both literally and figuratively. The doctor is a blonde.
Let¶s see if writing will relieve some of the stress.´ On top of being newly violent and crazy.´ she demands.´ I inform her. Take the time and think about your feelings. You know. my husband said he wanted a divorce. She doesn¶t seem too enthused with my decision judging by her slight frown. I want you to complete some homework.´ I say in my best impersonation of a sane person. I think it was just something that happened. I would like you to come back in two weeks. ³Do you think you have anger management problems?´ ³Well no. quickly removed. Is medication something you would want to consider?´ ³Well no. she drones on and on about something before she lets me know. about your marriage. ³Some people find medication helpful in stressful situations. Be as creative and open as you can. Then he was asking about dinner and then the knife was in his arm. In that time. 42 . ³Well it was like this. RIGHT She counters with. get you to a better place where anger is not the ruler of your actions. Make sure not to hide your emotions. in writing. ³Our time is up for today. I had a bad encounter with marijuana some years back and don¶t want to risk becoming a junkie. an accident. I was cooking dinner and then Robert. She is relentless. Put those feelings about your husband. Express what you really feel. it isn¶t.A BETTER SPACE. ³Tell me about it. I would prefer not to become an addict.´ ³I¶m not stressed.´ After the telling.
´ My heart starts to beat faster. ³Thank you.A BETTER SPACE. Maybe he came to his senses. no apology. he is in the living room. Maybe this is all just a bad dream. I want it to taste good. A cheeseburger and fries is never on the dinner menu. This divorce and the assault charge are reality.´ I guess this is my cue to leave.´ ³Lynn. I stop to get a bite before going home since I have no plans on cooking. I told you I would take care 43 . ³Come back in two weeks and we will discuss if you do or do not have anger management or stress issues. He doesn¶t want his meat patted and shaped. I make my appointment with her receptionist anyway to have this wonderful experience again. A wasted day if ever there was one. ³Robert. It has too much touching and he doesn¶t believe my nails would be clean enough to pat his burger. When I enter the house. Robert¶s car is in front of the house. ³Hi Robert. It wasn¶t a dream and he hasn¶t come to his senses. I put a big smile on my face. I don¶t give a damn there is a stranger patting my burger. I don¶t think I should sign anything. I need to get an attorney to advise me. I try to come to mine. I will do my best. doctor.´ No greeting. µand I¶m Pocahontas¶ then she persists.´ I avoid shaking her cold wormy hand and leave. The only thing he has to say is about some papers he wants me to sign. ³You don¶t need an attorney. RIGHT She just looks at me as if to say. no nothing. Robert doesn¶t like hamburgers in patties. I have some papers you have to sign. glad my insurance will cover this experience.
Now just sign here. The fear is here. My dad always said crying does nothing except cloud your vision. ³Not now Robert. What will happen to me once he is gone? We don¶t have much of a life together. ³Lynn.´ His voice conveys the shock of having me walk out while he is speaking. I wordlessly continue to the bedroom. I hear Robert slam the door as he exits. I am afraid. My life partner. I blink the tears away and I wish there was someone to call and talk to and at least share some of the weight I am feeling. Times change. RIGHT of everything. This man is a stranger. sweating. I¶ll drop the assault charges. I have an anchor. but we are together. I can¶t sign divorce papers. what are you doing? I am talking to you.´ He shoves some papers in my face with one hand and holds a pen in the other. overwhelming everything except the anger at the fact he is leaving. Once this is signed. My husband. I am scared. the shaking starts.A BETTER SPACE. Before. He is the man. For now. aware of the fact that I¶m stalling. As long as I have a husband. Once there. Maybe I am the stranger. Useless tears are forming in my eyes. Can I do this and not kill myself? Is my life slipping away? Am I strong enough to bear this? I hear a familiar and much missed voice tell me.´ I move past him and head up the stairs while my legs can still work. My real husband would not be treating me this way. I always follow Robert¶s direction. his directions were law. 44 . The questions to myself come quickly.
I bend closer to hear. I fill my weekend with questions about the past and fear of the next phase of my life. and cadence move the cells in my blood with their intensity. I will not be able to hold back the tears. A voice that sounds like wanting and satisfaction. It can¶t be him. I refuse to answer the phone or the door. and uncovered.´ More memories from two weeks of my life are in that voice. He is dead. I don¶t want anyone feeling sorry for me or seeing my emotions. as though I was in the wrong or the cause of what is happening. My mother has called and come by repeatedly. The voice sounds like it has lived-both hard and softand embraced life. The voice is raspy.A BETTER SPACE. The rest of the weekend is spent in a daze. RIGHT ³Yessss. I avoid calls from children and somehow survive my first weekend as an almost divorced fifty-five year old. Still the memories of his µyessss´ put me to sleep. close my eyes to savor the sound. I am also afraid. I feel humiliated. hot. The tone. medley. The voice has promises of ecstasy in each syllable. 45 . If I talk about what I¶m feeling. Her messages only serve to remind me of what I aspired to be. deep like the core of the earth. Robert is missing in action or sleeping in the guest room.
we have to talk¶ make me sweat. Harold is at his desk looking uncomfortable. Judging from his expression. We¶re going to have to let you go. It helps I have been a model employee and seldom take time off. I take my regular seat on the blue leather loveseat beside the cherry wood end table then put my pad and writing utensils down. He is starting to sweat and that is not normal for him. The economy. Those words take me back to a bad place in my life. the lack of strength of the industry. We are finishing up the end of the year activities. which is not normal for me. I don¶t think I will be able to stand what comes next. I am ready to start writing or hearing what he wants to share. I rush in to hear what is important enough for Harold¶s demeanor. we have . His words µLynn. Maybe Harold needs some quick instructions sent out. ³Lynn there is no easy way to say this. There are no knives handy and that is a good sign. Water is dotting his upper lip and forehead.FORTY HOURS Monday morning comes with the recognition that having a job is a blessing I still have my job and will be able to support my almost single self. The thought gets me up and moving. it must be serious. Not all is lost. ³Lynn we need to talk´ says my boss as soon as my coat is off. I quickly gather my notebook and pencils. There is a generous severance package. This includes completing tasks we have been put off all year long. I arrive late.
´ ³Go home. Comp time. ³Yes.´ ³Robert.´ I answer automatically. Harold is trying to pacify me but I don¶t hear everything he is saying. ³Well. sick time and a boatload of vacation time. This has been my only job. I have nothing to fill the void of time off I have acquired.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL to cut every corner. yes. You have more leave than anyone does at the company. On top of everything else. He regularly took time off work. I held out as long as I could. ³Take time off?´ I ask. My heart is skipping beats like a crack addict on overdose. I¶ll be leaving.´ Harold stands up.´ ³3 year lump sum. I really don¶t need more change right now. I too am sweating. I watch his lips moving and get snippets. ³Take the rest of the next two weeks off and let this sink in and then we¶ll talk. Don¶t you ever take a vacation?´ Harold wonders aloud. It comes out as barely a whisper.´ My skin goes cold as I talk. I don¶t have a Robert anymore. It sucks being me right now. ³Downsizing. Now it looks like I don¶t have a job anymore. What happened? What did I do wrong? I¶ll fix it. well there is no easy way to say it.´ It takes about a minute for my brain to process this bit of news.´ ³Effective date´ ³three to six months. It¶s nothing personal. 47 . ³What do you mean let me go? What did I do? I¶ve been here for years. but I never did.´ Go home for what. Times are changing.´ ³Employee buyout. and.
I stand at my desk and stare at the walls. He is in the living room on the telephone. I know I am yelling. ³I need to think. but I¶ll bet as soon as I get in the house he¶ll leave. you¶ll never guess. Mine goes in behind it instead of on the street. The trip out of Harold¶s office is made before the emotions can erupt. Robert seldom talks on the telephone. 48 . Robert¶s car is in the driveway. What will Robert say? Is my life finally as far in the toilet as it can get? Maybe. but no one who knows me knows about my experiences during those two weeks.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL ³That¶s right. ³Robert. What if he won¶t say anything. I take his advice. My life right now is shit. You went to Great Britain a few years back. I¶ll take you up on that offer and be out for the next few weeks. ³Hey Harold. It isn¶t even noon. Harold did say things are only in the initial stages. I¶ve been looking forward to retiring from here and staying home with Robert. I don¶t know. Yes. we are no longer a couple? I have to try. put on my coat and head towards the door.´ I drive around aimlessly before going back home. I don¶t want him to run out as soon as I enter.´ I start talking as soon as I enter the house. Harold. which makes me pull myself to a stop midstride.´ he belatedly remembers ³What? No. I gather my materials and wobble to a standing position. but this is an exceptional occurrence. There isn¶t anyone else to talk to about this.´ The trip never actually happened. Harold said talk to Robert because he will know what to do about everything. my designated parking area as dictated by Robert.´ I poke my head in the door to say. I haven¶t seen him much all weekend.
who else would want you?´ He laughs as he turns and leaves the room. You wouldn¶t see anyone else. Sometimes. we are divorcing. And I am not a violent person. He looks over at me as though I might be losing my mind. Shouldn¶t you be at work?´ ³Who were you talking to when I came in?´ That sounds like a civil question. Besides. ³Lynn. Robert thinks my question is crazy. but shouldn¶t you wait until you actually leave before you have telephone conversations and overnights with her? How do you think it makes me feel? What if I was seeing someone else and talked to him here in our house?´ These rapid-fire questions are legitimate in my opinion. ³Lynn get serious. As I look at him I contrast us. ³Hello Lynn. ³Why?´ He doesn¶t even bother to get off the couch to pay attention to the excitement in my voice. 49 . You aren¶t like that. I have a sneaking suspicion it was his new love.´ ³It¶s pretty obvious. The thought makes me all too aware of what a big nothing his wife is to him. The fear of the unknown court date is the only thing that keeps me from busting his head open. On the way out. Bastard.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL He hangs up the phone and turn to look toward me with a guilty look on his face. me wanting to stay µus¶ while he is already spending nights and conversations with his new love. Our years together have honed my ability to see his thought process. I can pinpoint what he is going to say (with the obvious exception). Who I talk with is really none of your business.
I could have kept it going but my marriage and security were more important to me.O. M. ³I¶ll be back. No. I could be like that. was a percussionist from Africa. He was my seatmate.´ he laughs as he shakes his head. ³Nothing. What was it?´ His callousness is a reminder we are splitting up soon and my news is really my business.´ He keeps going towards the door. you came in as if you wanted to tell me something. I had brought myself a vacation to Great Britain five years ago. Five years ago. Memories of Mr. and then there would be someone to turn to and share this calamity. On the plane to New York. with skin as golden as a French fry with salt and pepper hair. You know you are supposed to park on the street.´ ³I still have keys to your car. I¶m so far over the hill the trees I planted on the way up have matured. not his. I have to start separating my life from his as effectively as he has separated his life from mine.P. I wish I were. I¶ll pull it out and park it on the street where it is supposed to be. Maybe I should have kept it going. He had a 50 . And please do not park behind me again.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL he stops and says. I had an affair. Nobody else would want me. Robert is right I¶m not the seeing someone type of person. He is also right. he was a vision of maleness. Oh. At least Robert didn¶t ask me about dinner. you can¶t leave. Robert¶s comments set me to thinking about my encounter. ³You seeing someone else. I parked behind you. Umm. or more aptly an encounter. About five feet nine inches.
Physically.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL voice like a bedroom scene on the radio. and us and loving. my leg. She was secure enough in her relationship with him to accept the inclusion of me in his life. people who connect on spiritual. he moved his hand over my arm. rubbed us with oil and dressed us before she went back to Paris. making it ³yessss. me watching and planning our site seeing adventures. as a way for me to experience the world. I felt as though I knew him. According to her. By the end of the flight. He shared stories of his life that were fascinating because they were so foreign to me. She shaved us. I had agreed to take my twoweek vacation traveling across the United States and Mexico with him while he toured. Those were two of the most magical weeks of my life. putting in promises of satisfaction. I found more and more of myself through the new perspective I had on life. making you imagine naughty things. Mentally. He took the word ³yes´ and stretched it out. I 51 . connected with me on every level. my back until he had me branded and ready to eat out of his hand. She explained the concept of an elusive orgasm. He promised to do a tourist activity in each city we visited. his conversation was stimulating.´ He mesmerized me. His wife even came to us in Nashville and prepared us for our time together. He assured me we had been together in past lives. We went with him playing at different venues. emotional and physical levels are the only ones with the ability to experience the ultimate release. From Cleveland to the Grand Canyon I had never felt more accepted or wanted. With each city.
although it was mindblowing. knowing he was on my continent. I realized the instant connection present between us at our first meeting was still there. and wanted me to continue seeing him. frequently came to the U. Once when he was playing close to me in Wichita.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL always referred to him as Mr. He felt we had been together in a previous lifetime and were merely picking up where we had left off. Caesar¶s Woman cologne. corsets and push-up bras from Vegas and other items. I would wake up. the clothing his wife had dressed us in when we were in Nashville. (Man on Plane). afraid of going back to the magic of him. His music cd¶s. I did not tell him I was coming.P. feeling his allure and burning from wanting to see him again. Often during the first two years after we met. he told me he had felt my presence and relished the reconnection in the voice mail message he left on my cell phone. M. I try not to think about the time with 52 . I did not speak to him because I left before the end of the performance. These items have remained unseen and untouched for years. I would have surely spoken it out loud in my sleep. Mr. I never spoke with or saw him again except in my dreams.S. I always declined.P. He would leave messages with his tour dates and locations on my cell phone. I gave in to temptation and went to see him perform. M. If I had used his name. I did not want to risk my marriage for what he and I shared. When I saw him on stage.O. His head toss and smile acknowledged me from the stage. afraid of being weak again. In my basement are mementos of the places and the time I had spent with him.O. Still. He would always let me know there was a ticket with my name at the door.
sleep comes.O. I decide to forgo supper and head to bed. Then it is as if my eyes would not stay open. The next day I get up to go to work before remembering there is not a job to go to anymore and get back in bed. It¶s only been a little over a week but damn I feel lonely. sweating. This brought me wide awoke. I stay in bed. Then smelling the perfume and finally hearing him say ³yessss. Again.´ stretching the letters out to get maximum enjoyment. Still at home. but now it all comes rushing back. looking for him. Hunger pains don¶t hit. preparing to face the world. M. I am facing the aloneness Robert¶s decision has caused. I don¶t have anyone to call and tell about the 53 . thankfully. heart racing. It started with the shadow in the hotel room I somehow thought was him. When I awoke again. As I undress. I guess I am under too much stress and it all must be getting to me. I remember making it all of the way to the other side of the bed during the night and he was not there to stop me. Then.P. listlessness captures me. I felt remembered fingers closing them to get me back to sleep. My face unconsciously bends into a smile.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL him. I try not to think about him anymore. The day turns to night and I remain in bed. the unmistakable scent of Caesar¶s Woman cologne he gifted me with in Vegas creeps into my nostrils. The next morning finds me still lie in bed long after regular getting up time. I need to get more information about my almost unemployed status but it can wait. I have not felt quite right since he told me of our divorce. Robert did not come in last night. I continue to think about Mr. it is time to shower and dress.
Marriages can only end in divorce or death. In the front room. I could call my children. Besides. and Kadijah who I have known since elementary school. Jerry Springer is on with people who want to stop weddings. she moved to Georgia to get away from Kansas cold and to be with the latest love of her life.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL change in my life. Our situation should not include them or make them feel they should take sides. ³I am losing my husband so I am in mourning. The cake throwing and name-calling have me cheering for the toothless braless mother of the groom to kick the toothless braless almost bride¶s ass. She refuses to be deterred by Robert¶s rudeness. ³What are you doing home?´ he asks. This will be the hardest part of being single. Robert never was one for company and did not like me to have friends. but don¶t feel like talking to them. I look up to respond. They don¶t think I can make it without their father. Mother Trailer Trash is winning. However. as they showed at the family dinner. I don't really have any friends except for Dottie who is more like family. I¶m in agreement with them. I decide daytime television is as good a time waster as anything is. I will continue to take care of 54 . He thought they were a distraction from my attention to our family. I think about what can be done to occupy my day.´ I turn my attention back to Jerry. the solitary existence. this is no big deal. the knowing I am not wanted. He stands there as though he still has the right to question me. ³Lynn. I wouldn¶t feel comfortable talking to them about my relationship with their father. Robert comes in a short time later.
The papers may be fine. ³Robert.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL everything.´ he tempts. ³Have you forgotten you have a court date tomorrow for stabbing me?´ He asks innocently. He can¶t be leaving and still be in control here. The break gives me the opportunity to make cement my decision. I am not signing anything until I see an attorney. I wouldn¶t have to go to court for stabbing him but I would be summarily single. ³I¶ll take my chances.´ I hate to sound pleading.´ He is unaffected by anything. thinking up another strategy since the usual commands are not working. such as bowing to his every wish. but empowering.´ he explains as if makes a rat¶s ass worth of sense. ³I just might drop this if you cooperate. I resist temptation to follow him. I just won¶t be living here. I haven¶t forgotten. What he doesn¶t acknowledge is there are so many sacrifices I made because we were µwe¶.´ The delivery and the tone make him quiet.´ 55 . but I want my life back. Just sign these papers and everything will be fine.´ I do forget all about Jerry. ³Robert. Robert knows where my weakness is and is willing to exploit the weakness. Taking a stand against him is hard. why are you doing this?´ ³Don¶t worry about it. ³That doesn¶t sound fair to me. He goes into the kitchen. I tell him when he returns a short time later. but I will not sign them. Sweat starts to come out from under my arms. ³No. My heart rate increases. save his selfish desire to be divorced.
M. Alita sent it back to me via mail after his transition to the next life on stage in Vancouver. He said if I signed them. he had asked me what my ³passion´ was.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL ³What has gotten into you?´ Robert is starting to get angry. Robert looks at me as if I just pulled a puppy out of my nose.P. and I were together in Cleveland. Alita when she returned a poem to me. After a few minute of remembering the past.O. I stop and smile for our time together and the power he put in one word. slamming it on his way out. I know he has been dead for the past three years. I am going to be doing something I will definitely regret. he asked me to write something for him. He inspired the poem ³In Your Passion´ my first foray into writing in over thirty years. I pick up the phone and call Dottie. Nothing. If one of us doesn¶t leave soon.´ I look around expecting.´ It takes a lot for me to say it out loud. For some reason I feel victorious. he would not go forward with the prosecution. I feel the voice before I hear it. ³I guess it¶s the effect of being dumped.´ He heads towards the door. I gave it to him as a gift. ³You¶ll regret this. When Mr. I learned he had died from the radio and his wife. She and I have kept in touch every year around the anniversary of his passing. I can tell because the veins in his neck are noticeable. hoping to see him. ³Yessss. Logically. ³You won¶t believe this. Robert is trying to pressure me into signing divorce papers. After getting me to admit it was writing. Maybe I should sign the papers. What should I do?´ I tell her all of this without 56 . I come back to now.
it is eleven forty-five at night.´ We have the remainder of the meal in silence. This is going to be okay. I am off of my routine and may be up quite late by the way I am feeling. don¶t sign anything. my almost constant companion.´ ³Dottie. Sleep is as elusive as my unfaithful husband is even though all of the lights are out.´ True to her word.´ She hugs me tight. I¶m on my way over and we are going out to dinner. When she takes me back to the house. The food is tasteless or maybe it is just my mood. Robert stealthily comes in around one and goes to the 57 . Pain. she throws in the towel.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL taking a breath. Just know I am here if you ever want or need to talk. I get out of the car and into my empty-feeling house where I go straight to bed. I can¶t pretend to understand how you feel. she encourages me. Their friend Confused also is in attendance and they show no sign of leaving. Afraid. Be ready at eight. I¶ll pick you up tomorrow so we can ride to the courthouse together. Your friendship means so much. ³Lynn. is still here along with his cousin Despair. ³You have got to know this is going to be okay. I don¶t know what to say except thank you for understanding. After trying repeatedly to engage me. I appreciate you more than words can say. she comes and takes me to my favorite Japanese restaurant. She doesn¶t threaten to put me out by the side of the road when I can¶t keep up my end of the conversation. and I should be asleep since it is past my bedtime. the television is not on. ³Lynn. but I feel lost.
the tears would start to flow and I don¶t know if I would be able to stop them.DOWNSIZING MADE REAL next largest bedroom. I am alone with the scent of Caesars Woman and the sound of ³yessss. I debate going into the room and climbing into bed with him before I turn over and avoid sleep. He doesn¶t even check on me to see how I am doing. No one is here. they keep coming. 58 . The tears start falling and wet my face and the pillow.´ Comfort and sleep come. finally feeling the need to sleep. to show I am strong. I feel someone holding my face and kissing my tears away. I open my eyes and look around. If I allow myself to breathe normally. As I drift off. I hold my breath. As hard as I try to keep them in.
The telephone rings and Dottie asks. I pull my hair back into a tight elastic band to make my look non-threatening and presentable. Just in case. The drive to the courthouse is accomplished with me wondering how to keep them from taking me away in chains screaming and Dottie trying to allay my fears. As we enter the building. I select the most conservative of my six conservative black business suits with one of my nine white shirts and black pumps from my selection of five pair. ³Are you ready or should I come in for coffee since I¶m here a few minutes early?´ ³I¶ll be right out. She doesn¶t answer. I want the judge to give me the benefit of the doubt. The downside of a good friend is she is honest enough to tell you when you are not on your ³A´ game. That won¶t happen. ³Are you okay? You look like shit. Dottie tells me to wait in the hallway while she checks in with the court officer. You look as if they are going to take you to jail now. . Cheer up. I hope that the judge won¶t think me militant because of the twists in my hair. I need all of the help I can get.´ I head out to the car with my head bowed to hide the scared look on my face. my lack of sleep is evident in the red color of my eyes. Drops clear them up so the judge won¶t think I am a drug addict.WILL THE DEFENDANT PLEASE RISE? The next morning.´ is the greeting she gives me. couldn¶t they Dottie´ is my response. ³But they could.
My mother hugs me and elbows dad. ³Lynn. I almost overlook some familiar faces. I am not alone after all.´ shares Rene. The judge will decide if bail is necessary to ensure your 60 . the disbelief making my voice screech softly. they are here for me. Dottie comes out of the courtroom and over to us. The charges will be read and you will enter a plea. ³What are you doing here?´ I wonder aloud. The most surprising face of all is my father. we couldn¶t very well let you come down here by yourself. Family is wonderful. don¶t you have something to say?´ ³You are my daughter. ³Well. You don¶t say anything else. ³We have to tell the judge we are ready with the intervention if need be.´ comes from May. I do not have to go through this with only Dottie to lean on. This is a preliminary hearing. Even though I had been avoiding them. I guess it does.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE Looking at all of the criminals and crazies in the hall. All three of the children are here along with my mother who waves.´ my father tells me as if those words say it all. she turns to me. He stands erect as always. we¶ll have to go in. I go towards them. Having everyone here comforts me.´ from Lynnette. ³You know we love you both but we¶re here for you. After greeting my family. and deigns to give a head nod in my general direction. ³Walter.
The miscreant answers. ³Not Guilty. He shares the man was on probation when he had his latest encounter with the police.´ He looks guilty to me. I am buoyed by the support of my family. He is not a flight risk.´ As we enter the courtroom. he is not required to be at the preliminary hearing. a short balding white guy who appears to lack any personality reads the complaint. The court officer is calling a man charged with disorderly conduct. He ends on a request for the judge put the individual back in jail.´ He looks trustworthy. He is going through people. I see no sign of Robert and ask Dottie about him. a middle-aged unsmiling black man. The judge is sitting in black. From there. The courtroom is crowded with more shady characters than were in the hallway. He is the only calm in this room of madness. His client is another matter. I beg for leniency. He will be appearing at his next court date. Both ears have multiple earrings and he is wearing a t61 . on behalf of my client. how do you plead?´ The judge doesn¶t look up from writing. You have my word. since this visit is for me to enter a plea. The prosecutor. According to her. ³Sir. The disorderly's attorney speaks. Please allow my client to remain free until his court date. He is a member of this community and has lived here all of his life. passing judgments and asking few questions. we will get the next court date. Even if I do have to do time in the big house.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE appearance. Try not to be nervous. my family would come to see me. ³Your honor.
Set the court date at thirty days from now. ³Didn¶t I tell you when I saw you last week if you came back into my courtroom I would lock you up?´ ³Your honor. ³Well this is on purpose.´ ³Your Honor. No bail. His boots are untied and he has on sunglasses on even though we are indoors. equally large.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE shirt that comes down to his mid thighs. 62 . His jeans are sagging low enough for him to have to stand wide legged to keep his pants up. take this young man into custody. The disorderly is standing on tiptoes as he is led from the courtroom. please. Bailiff. ³Next´ A very big very scary bailiff comes and handcuffs the prisoner. The judge looks up directly at the man. ³Thank you Your Honor´ the attorney says. The judge smiles. propelled by the very large bailiff. I hope that being in jail will encourage him to stop being disorderly in his conduct. He starts to struggle and the bailiff makes his arms go so far up his back before cuffing him.´ the criminal says. It was an accident. Another bailiff. His pants fall and he continues forward. obviously relieved to be leaving. Your Honor smiles. then calls my name.´ the man starts to answer before his attorney motions for him to be quiet. Damn. it was an accident. It is not a pretty smile. Your Honor continues to smile.
She has been seeking help for her anger management problem. did you mean to stab your husband in the arm?´ ³No sir. I was not in a fit of rage.´ I will go see the cold fish that is my therapist even more often if he doesn¶t put me in jail. ³Ma¶am. She is deeply remorseful. She is telling a bareface lie. ³Not guilty your honor. as if I¶m going to answer. Especially since my days lately have been sucking grapes through straws. My judge turns to the prosecutor. ³My client was shocked and had a moment of clouded judgment. ³Ma¶am. ³Any objections?´ 63 . There is not any risk of flight from my client. I wish I had gone for his throat.´ The judge looks over at me. ³Will you continue to attend whatever treatment you are currently undergoing if I allow you to remain free?´ ³Yes sir I will. The prosecutor reads the complaint.´ I could honestly say with a straight face. She pleads for the court to allow her to remain free pending resolution of this matter. She is currently under the care of a therapist and is following the therapists¶ recommendations.´ Dottie tells him. which says I stabbed my husband in a fit of rage.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE I sure as hell am not going to go with the accident defense. but I don¶t want to share this tidbit with the man who could make people go away and give me a worse day than I¶ve had lately. Lesson learned. how do you plead?´ Judge Lockemup asks me. but accidents aren¶t working real well as a defense from what I can see.
Once in the hallway. He stops to speak with my dad or rather my dad stops him by performing a body check like a basketball player. I do not want to hear what they are saying.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE ³No your honor. I will not be so lenient. ³If I see you back in here. I believe him. We¶ll have breakfast together. Mom and dad start to leave and she lets me know. I ease out of the court behind Dottie. I am relieved and grateful and I want to tell the judge so. ³I will be over Saturday morning. free as long as I don¶t do anything stupid within the next two weeks.´ ³Write it up. and leaves. The family follows me. We will set the court date for two weeks. nods curtly. I am on top of the world. When we turn. I see Robert in the back of the courtroom.´ the judge commands. ³Oh thank you so much. He is not happy and starts to storm out without acknowledging our children at all.´ 64 . ³Shut up.´ I saw what he did to the last guy. I promise I¶ll be good. He holds himself above the fray and allows my mother to give me a hug by pushing her towards me after whispering in her ear. She has not had any prior contact with the court.´ Dottie tells me in an undertone.´ My mouth snaps shut. everyone starts to talk with the exception of my father. ever so thankful I am free. There is too much testosterone flowing Robert listens. My Judgeship looks up from his writing to say. We do not believe her to be a flight risk. You know it really was.
Make it next Friday at six. I¶ll be ready.´ ³We are family. He gathers my mother¶s hand and they leave.´ Lynnette hugs me and whispers in my ear.´ May tells me. left for me to clean. Dottie and I stop for a bite to eat before she takes me home. This is evident. We don¶t need the other two in our business. I want to cry. open drawers with clothing hanging out. Who the hell cares if bacon is pork and pork raises your blood pressure. She is an intervention pit bull. I don¶t even give a hoot about the calories in Belgium waffles. Dottie drops me off.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE I hug them both. He should be called Colonel Obvious. I sit on the edge of the bed and stare. ³We may need to have a family meeting. I am ecstatic about not being in jail and my appetite reflects the fact I am free.´ I tell her in an undertone. Tears for the past I have lived sacrificing dreams. Clothes he dropped. She can intervene her own self since she likes the idea so much. a bottle of cologne he spilled in the floor. Tears for the 65 . ³I¶ll be by on Friday and we can go to dinner. After we eat. he did not even bother to close the drawers or tidy up after himself. ³I still think we need an intervention. ³Sure. ideas. Everything is so wrong. ³Thank you so much for coming to be with me. hopes to be his wife forever.´ is the pronouncement from my dad. Robert has been home and taken some of his things.´ Rene demands. Girls thanks for being here. I¶m free.
There is no sign of Robert. helped it to grow. Sunday I stay in bed and ignore everything and everyone On Monday. but do not feel energetic enough to make any effort at activity. Tears for now and my current state of being. she tells me. I wanted you to know I appreciate your efforts. 66 . The next morning. Well what else could possibly go wrong? ³Lynn. I enjoy my dinner with her. I am off for the next week. Unfortunately. I am ready to go back to work. I have no useful purpose in life. I see mom Saturday when she shows up with breakfast and greetings from dad. When she drops me off. no pity party.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE future I will face alone. Harold calls me in the late afternoon. really appreciate all you have done for the company. empty. I think about doing something. just dinner. I decide to stay in bed all day and sleep continuously. But neither do tears. I take a shower and climb into bed to enjoy the quiet instead. I wanted you to know I. Evening comes and I have to prepare for my dinner with Lynnette. There are no questions. She picks me up and we go to an Italian restaurant with great Merlot. ³I love you no matter what.´ Harold sincerely states. as much as I have. for one. You. She doesn¶t press me for conversation. I appreciate that and her cooking.´ I go in and to bed.
³What does Robert think of all of this?´ Harold wants to know. and then you will still have your retirement when you get sixty-two. The feelings being worthless. The opportunity to sleep late is enticing. ³Oh.´ is my view of the situation. ³Harold.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE ³Thanks Harold. Robert and I are getting a divorce´ is my surprise revelation.´ he commiserates. ³Sure let¶s see what happens.´ Harold is not one for much praise so this is good for me to hear. Do you want me to make some calls?´ he offers. 67 . useless. ³What if you found another job?´ Harold wants to know. It means a lot to hear you say those words out loud.´ He sounds more relaxed than he did the last time we talked. ³No one will hire me. ³How do you really feel about not working?´ ³It¶s the shock of it all. ³I know some places that would love someone with your abilities: honest.´ I agree. ³I also want to tell you the company will be giving a lump sum of fifty thousand. ³Yes it is. and dependable. loyal. but then what?´ I ask him. and unwanted. I had no idea. There aren¶t a lot of opportunities for fifty-five year old women. This must be doubly hard on you.´ Miracles do happen so why not see if one will happen for me.
³Thanks Harold. Around midnight. My eyes drift closed and I wait to ease into sleep. I feel comforting arms and tender fingers stroking my face.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE ³Lynn. My nose is completely stuffed. There is nothing I feel like doing right now. It does not come until after I feel arms. I look around and see nothing.´ Harold encourages me. The tears will go to my nose and throat to exit. making it difficult to breathe. No one to talk to and share the latest calamity to befall me. I wander around the quiet house walking from room to room. 68 . It¶s not crying if the moisture comes from your nose and mouth instead of your eyes. Get used to relaxing and getting your life together. I go back into our bedroom and look around. as familiar as my name enfold me. There is no one here but me. A loud keening wail captures all of the sorrow that is in me. I almost choke myself from the emotion coursing through my body. It must be my imagination because I am still alone. There won¶t be anything definite done for about two months. It is empty and I hate being here by myself.´ I hurry off the telephone and into the bathroom barely in time to hold my head back to prevent the tears. Take some time and do you. You deserve a rest with everything going on. The crying does not stop although the sound eventually fades. It takes some time to get them from wanting to fall. I¶m glad you¶re taking some time off. I have to open my mouth to let air in and sound emerges. I decide to go to bed. I have had quite a bit of experience so I know to lean the head back and close my eyes tight. This is hard. I¶ll be in touch.
Khorsley. I am calm. ³Hello. How are you?´ I ask first. What would I like Robert to know? I sit at the dining room table to write. Dr. ³Have you been calm?´ ³Yes. I go to bed for another sleepless/sleep-filled night. I have to write some stupid something about my marriage. A POEM FOR YOU Thursday I go to my head doctor appointment. 69 . considering it was my first time in court. I turn my thoughts to my marriage and my feelings. The words just seem to flow and it doesn¶t take long to capture the essence of my feelings. Then remember my appointment with the head doctor is coming up soon. This starts me thinking about my assignment. Lynn´ she counters. I had my first court date for stabbing Robert. ³The most important question is how are you. I enter and she greets me before I have the opportunity to introduce myself again.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE I stay in bed for the next few days. I am on time and so is she.´ I share with her. The cherry on top is I have another shrink session to ruin my day. I think it went pretty well. ³I lost my job. I don¶t have to wait.´ I haven¶t stabbed anyone. Since stabbing is what I use as my measure of calm.
³How are you sleeping?´ ³I¶ve been doing fine. She changes the subject. not your husband. 70 . ³Yes.´ ³Yes doctor. ³Yes. ³No.´ If I tell her I haven¶t been sleeping well. Things are going smoothly. she will keep pushing the medication.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE ³Are you coming to terms with the divorce?´ she wants to know. ³Did you say you lost your job?´ she finally hears through her false concern. I tried to show my emotions and my thoughts. Zoloft is good for depression. I¶m good. Look at Elvis and where medication got him. We chitchat a bit longer before she asks. Would you like me to read it to you?´ I¶m glad I completed my assignment. ³Did you work on the writing assignment I gave you? I think your writing will help me see where you are in relationship to the ending of your marriage. I did work on it.´ I reiterate to her. I know this is trick of doctors to develop an income from patients. they are downsizing and letting me go.´ I tell her this to show I do not need to keep coming. not your job.´ she shares with me.´ ³Lynn I wish you would consider the medication. Once you reach a certain age nobody wants you. I have not had any altercations with Robert.
I wouldn¶t piss on you to put you out. I don¶t care that you are leaving. We should always be together We should always be together because it is right I thought we are married now and forever Therefore. your reading would be a good idea. we would be together until you die You worthless piece of shit If you were on fire. we would always be together I have your name I can¶t bear to give it back Because I thought. I look up.´ I pull out my work and begin to read. Go She interrupts me with her coughing. Then I can see where you placed the emphasis. I will get a clear idea of your feelings in your own voice.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE ³Yes. Go you bastard. I put a lot 71 .
³Okay. what do you think? I don¶t need to come back. I don¶t think it¶s needed. Once I did think about taking a yoga class. She knew I wasn¶t Maya Angelou. ³I¶ll think about the medication if you want. It doesn¶t actually rhyme. She then stands up to let me know it is time for me to get out. right. but it effectively sums up my feelings. I know it¶s not Pulitzer material yet. ³Lynn. do I?´ Her face looks as though someone has sucked all of the blood out. It isn¶t the best poetry. but I haven¶t had much practice. It may reduce your stress level.´ she stammers. Our time is almost up for today. I think we¶ll have to try another relaxation method. I did my writing and I think it helped.´ I tell her and try to prevent my voice from rising and possibly scaring her. may-may-maybe be you mi-mi-might wa-wa-want to think about the medimedi-medication I mentioned. ³Well. I would like you to try to get into a yoga class and maybe see a play. ³Since you do not want the medication. I did the work.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE of work into my verse. She is as white as milk.´ I 72 . Except for the ³Go´ part. but it was my first try. ³So doctor. I thought she would be happy with my efforts.´ I am ready to go anyway. ³Let¶s talk about this some more next week. Have you ever considered taking yoga class?´ Doctor Khorsley asks.´ She is packing her pencils and papers. It proves I don¶t have an anger management problem. yes.
Robert says yoga is heresy. Yoga and a play it is.´ Obviously. I¶ll give it a try. Those specifics would be way too personal to share with a stranger. 73 . I go out and make my appointment for two weeks from now. Everybody is a critic. She did not appreciate my literary proffering. I never went to the class.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE don¶t want to tell her I was going to take a yoga class to get limber enough to pleasure myself. The judge expects me to be cooperative. Besides. ³You¶re the doctor. she is not impressed with my writing.
We go to a Chinese restaurant where she starts in after she orders the appetizer. ³Are you doing okay?´ ³I don¶t know. Lynnette calls me to arrange plans for dinner. I get home and in bed for the night. She wouldn¶t be crying about the breakup of a marriage. he is gone.´ Lynnette is more insightful than I give her credit for being. I tell myself µhe is missing out on a fantastic opportunity to be with me.¶ . She will be my role model. I decide to go so I can get out of the house. even though I haven¶t to anyone else. Now you can do some of the things you want to do. ³Maybe it¶s for the best. She would be putting on makeup and staring life in the eye through massacred lashes with eye shadowed lids. she loves me. She just loves herself above all else. Sometimes I want to wake up and find out I¶ve been dreaming. I am going to try to emulate her in the future. I hear Robert come in around twelve.I¶M NOT CRAZY DINNER AND A LYNNETTE On Friday morning. He continues past our room to go to bed in the next room. instead of what everyone wants you to do.´ I admit to her. She then starts talking about her day and all things Lynnette. Of course. When I get up the next morning. Her ability to be self-absorbed is amazing.
a mat and a water bottle. calls are placed. Wednesday evening finds me at a yoga class. All of this is accomplished without thought. THE YOGA EXPERIENCE Where do you find a yoga class? None of the people I know has ever said anything about taking yoga. A newspaper tells me there are Saturday morning and Wednesday evening classes close to home for a nominal price. Please Go Eat a Burger speaks ³Put your left foot on your right inner thigh and hold your hands to the heavens. the instructor encourages us into positions that will cause us to ³open´ ourselves. Monday morning I go back to work. If I open myself. In class. and information is inputted. The shame of my husband leaving would show on my face and invite pity.I M NOT CRAZY Over the weekend. Other people are doing things and spreading themselves. the telephone is answered. and then feel prepared to find the better space this is supposed to take me to according to Doctor Khorsley. I don¶t want to open myself. I might catch something. This is the Tree Stance´ The judge may have a spy in here. I take telephone calls from everyone and give the assurance I am coping well but do not want any visits. I get yoga supplies. Ms. Then I remember my homework. Tuesday is a repeat of Monday. I just stand there wondering if this will count as following the doctor¶s orders. Mail and email are reviewed. I hold my hands in 75 .
³This is the Downward Facing Dog position. there was a fascinating man in the back of me making it worthwhile and fun. God smiled. why should I be? ³Go to your place of strength. My thighs and my calves meet up and conspire to prevent my ass from touching my heels. The last time I was in this position.´ She had her knees bent and was sitting on her heels. Then the unnaturally thin chick says. Except me. Touch the earth with your hands and feet. Put your head behind your left leg. This interaction has me feeling I had mastered the pose.´ her voice is monotone and she sounds like she would rather be somewhere else. I keep my hands there. ³Now we are going into the Inverted Tree pose.I M NOT CRAZY the air. My left foot makes it to my right ankle.´ Yoga Queen spouts. Sitting on my heels is impossible. on my knees as long as everyone else has their hands on the floor. I watch. Put both arms out to the side. Your toes on your right foot are 76 . If she isn¶t excited about it. God knows I had not. She does not inspire me to do anything. ³With both hands on the floor in front of you.´ She bends over and puts her palms flat on the floor in front of her without bending her knees. Getting to my knees takes a minute. So did everyone else in the class. There are no handrails or chairs to help me get down there or back up again. Then I put my hands on my knees and bend my body so it would look like I was participating for the spy in the class. slowly lift your right leg from the floor. ³Let us get in connection with the earth. I have my knees on the floor as though I had mastered the pose. These are your branches. Bend your knees and sit on your heels.
The law of gravity says if I take my foot any further up or my hands anywhere close to out. both of my hands are remaining on the floor in front of me. ³Now arch your back like a cat. Stretch it out and touch. ³Let¶s get on all fours now and connect with the tiger spirit in us. Not only are my toes not going towards the sky.´ No problem I can do a cat. So do the other people in class. My branches are non-existent. God laughed. touch the sky. touch the sky. Stretch your right hand upward.I M NOT CRAZY reaching towards the sky.´ Yoga Lady instructs us. ³Take your left leg and bring it in back of you while you balance on your left hand and right leg. touch. I make it down there since I am there anyway. my knees can¶t help but bend. ³Take your left leg and bring it up to your abdomen as you bring your chest up to meet your spine. I figure I can do all fours. my whole body will meet the floor. I try to get up enough security to put my right leg up and touch. Except me.´ She has her front to her back and her upside down.´ This may not work ³Put your left leg on the floor in front of you. touch. Take your right hand and reach back to grasp your right foot and bring 77 . I bend over further and with both hands on the floor.´ This is still working.
On the fourth day. I stand up. close to the front. I arrive at the theater in time to get a good seat. pick up my water bottle and head towards the door.´ Are you serious? She has no fat. I am ready for that better space now and prepare myself to be entertained. Wrap your left leg around your neck.´ I walk out. I remain in bed for the next three days until my body recovers from my attempt to stretch it into odd shapes. get my newly purchased yoga mat. I do. They have a cheap matinee and open seating the cheap meets my requirements. I think I hear her command her pack of twistables. The woman sitting beside me whispers how great the story is and what good acting there is in this play. I hope she¶s right and I am happy to waste an afternoon here getting to a better space. so this must be a winner.I M NOT CRAZY it to your left ear. The theater is three quarters full. I look on the internet for a play I can go see so the doctor will know I am cooperating. I have time. 78 . WHO TOOK THE PLAY OUT OF PLAY? I call off work for the rest of week. I¶d rather do time. There is one called Bluebird. ³Look at the sole of your right foot and stick your big toe up your nose. I may as well use it.
They do not appear to like each other very much. he doesn¶t have to worry about her going to get high. The woman beside me is either the author of this drivel or the parent of one of the performers. a girl and a guy. without protest. They have matching brown hair in their brown efficiency. There are only two people in the entire play. She has a drug problem and this way. which is in a black stiletto heel. She has on a black and brown dress. He talks about how she could not feel her feet. It is mostly her antagonizing him and vice versa. she is on her feet applauding while I am trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes. I wish I could take them out and clean the lens. Bluebirds. The mother died in her sleep. The girl is talking to the guy about how his mother died. It would also help if I could move the time clock back to the moment before I thought coming to see this shit was a good idea. I watch as ±for her own good-. They have enough problems to make mine look insignificant. hence the title. 79 . he locks her to the heating register with a chain around her waist before he leaves.I M NOT CRAZY The first act of the first scene takes place in a dirty efficiency apartment. They have no pleasant conversation. She allows him to chain her. The girl lifts her right leg showing off her foot. They really need to let each other go. They both have drug problems and they have birds in their apartment flying around randomly. which looks as depressed as I feel. How sad. Our hapless couple returns to the stage. I guess to make sure she is not dying. She claps at every pause. She rotates her ankle. At intermission. He has on shorts and a khaki shirt.
I don¶t think the togetherness is doing them much good. I paid to come here. There are tears in my eyes. The author/mother is on her feet. to another. Their bizarre relationship thoroughly depresses me. such as having the audience watching them. ³Oh my. The boil would be preferable to sitting through Bluebird. I made them watch this all the way through. He would understand if he saw the play but I can¶t risk it. He from an overdose of heroin and she from an under dose of acting ability. She asks me. it was a matinee. I have never seen a boil on the ass of a rhinoceros. I get to the ending and wish someone had spoiled it for me. There are tears in her eyes. cheering and clapping enthusiastically. Then I could have left at intermission. our hero and heroine have each other. I want to slap her. but that may not play well in front of the judge. Otherwise. Thankfully.I M NOT CRAZY From one depressing event such as not having food. This is her first starring role.´ I have to stop talking or I will ask her why she did not dissuade her daughter from pursuing a career where she obviously does not have enough talent to play a coma 80 . There is a sick beauty in the finale. but she is serious. oozing pus. I am so proud of her I could burst. He might think I have an anger management problem. ³Thank you. Then she smiles at me as if we are now best friends.´ This is true. ³I must say I have never seen anything to compare with this performance. The heroine was my daughter. ³Have you ever seen anything so moving?´ I could go with the laxative answer.´ she shares. I would have had to dress for this bullshit. They both die.
I am losing my job and my husband. I could keep him there until he came to his senses. BACK AT THE DOCTOR Monday I get up and go to work and it continues to be routine. I take a shower and get ready for bed and what I hope will be a good night¶s sleep. then I would not be afraid. The reality is closing in. If I could chain Robert to a heating register. because I just smile. Seeing has not gotten me anywhere. I wonder if I can go through the rest of my life with my eyes closed.I M NOT CRAZY victim. maybe the one I¶m seeing and gotten her some help to get over her delusions of possessing any acting ability. Instead. Harold is encouraging in his own way. As a mother. Robert is in and out of the house. I go to the space between sleep and awake. she should have called for the curtain to be closed. As for cheering me up and relieving stress. but I¶m up to the task. Each coming and 81 . Nothing new or unusual. I¶m in a good mood I guess. I do not ever want to see another play in my entire life. and leave. and taken her to the head doctor. went onto the stage. If he would snap out of this and say we will stay together. feel familiar arms comforting me. I might have to beat him occasionally. nod my head. I catch the scent of an elusive perfume. I¶m tired of what I have seen and I¶m definitely not in a better place. The week is passing slowly. I do not want to see anything or anyone. As a matter of fact. and drift off to sleep. I head home. this rates right up there with getting a herpes outbreak. grabbed her daughter by the hand. It is winding down.
Were you able to find a better space. I am wondering did you take the opportunity to try a yoga class or see a play. if he deigns to speak to me at all. ³Hello Doctor. I know she is going to ask me stupid questions. he never wants anything other than for me to sign the papers. In addition. somewhere less stressful?´ ³I did try the yoga class for relaxation. I was very afraid I was going to pull something or break my damn neck. ³Why not Lynn?´ ³Well I had some positional problems. I get dizzy when I bend at the 82 . My body does not like to pose. I don¶t think it is going to work for me though´ I share with her. I go anyway.´ I state. my head does not want to go up my ass. I dress and head to see this woman I am not sure is really qualified to talk to me about the sun about shining. ³Hello Lynn. ³Yes. My next doctor visit is on my mind when I get up on Thursday. she stops faking attention and looks at me. I found it very challenging. ³Positional problems?´ she asks. In any event. I wonder what she would do if her husband of many years left her high and dry the way Robert is doing to me. I did not relax. I¶ll bet that would change her better space attitude. I don¶t care how she is and it is a pleasure to prevent myself from asking.I M NOT CRAZY going. He thinks he can wear me down. Do you really think I need yoga in order to get to better space you are so quick to mention?´ It could be my tone or maybe it is what I¶m saying.
´ she wants to know. who were both crazy as hell.´ ³How was the play?´ is her determined question. ³Umm. bad acting. ³Yes. Probably so she can figure out a way to order more torture. I think maybe yoga was not the way. and then there is my soon to be unemployed status. ³I¶m not doing anything.´ ³Tell me what you are doing during the day.´ When I say it aloud. I hated the play.I M NOT CRAZY waist. I think we really need to try the 83 . the auditory hallucinations.¶ ³Did you try a play?´ That was her other ³get to a better place´ suggestion. I didn¶t. bad everything.´ ³Lynn. I am home or working. I was pissed I paid money to see it even though it was half price. smelling the perfume or him holding me at night. I cannot lift both legs off the floor and balance on my finger and I don¶t want to be a tiger crotch. Lynn. In the end they both died. My look says µthank you Doctor Brilliant. It was about two junkies. ³Did you enjoy it?´ ³No. although. I went to the play to relax. I don¶t feel any more relaxed. MOP. it did give me some ideas. bad premise. It was bad. She might think I am crazy when I know I¶m not. If only they were legal. I probably should not tell her about the visions of Mr. He locked her to the register whenever he left home. it sounds pathetic. My husband is still leaving me.
I put it in my memory trunk because Robert said he didn¶t think I had anything to write that people would find interesting.´ I pause for a second and then continue. this cock sucking son of a bitch is still leaving me. I started writing a book and almost completed it. ³Once for two weeks.´ she wants to know. I loved writing and he didn¶t even bother to read it. I have been keeping the peace for thirty.two years of speaking in soothing docent tones. not because I am thinking of an answer. This bastard. ³When was the last time you looked in your memory trunk?´ she probes. I have to think about this for a few seconds.I M NOT CRAZY medication. because real ladies don¶t yell. I almost found myself. Now he is leaving me. ³I do not need medication.´ ³Are you angry. ³In the past ten years.´ I remind her.two years.´ she queries. I've lived thirty. ³No I¶m not angry at all. saying what he wanted to hear instead of what I believe. tell me about the best you have ever felt. ³Not cursing because he doesn¶t want to kiss anyone with a dirty mouth. 84 .´ She is dedicated to medicine. I don¶t know if I want to say it aloud and to a stranger. instead of allowing myself to be me. then I ran back to the safety and security of home.´ I never thought I was angry. changing my opinion to fit his. Doing everything I could think of to keep my family intact.
ignoring the caution to not 85 .´ I don¶t want to tell her.I M NOT CRAZY ³I don¶t know. Try it. Actually.´ She answers unequivocally.´ She is starting to sound firm about the medication. I dutifully make my appointment. MEDICATION. I don¶t hear the sounds of the people or the cars I barely dodge because I don¶t see them. and leave her office in the same space I arrived. I would like to see you back in two weeks to see how the medication is working. ³Why not. I pop two pills and head home. SCHMEDICATION I stop at the pharmacy and get the prescription for my better space. ³Yes. ³Lynn. It is too personal. and see if it improves your mood. ³Why not look it over. pick up my prescription. see what is there? I am also strongly recommending you to try medication for two weeks. People are moving in and out of the store at this rush hour time. please.´ She gathers up her belongings signaling the end of our time together. nothing else seems to work. ³Do you honestly think I need medication in order to get to the better space?´ Maybe I am angry or depressed and don¶t know it.´ This is turning out even worse than I expected. my world is coming increasingly quiet. I¶ll have your prescription at the receptionist area for you to pick up when you make your next appointment. happy pills.
You didn¶t answer your telephone. I¶m concerned you¶re not talking with us about how you are feeling.´ ³Well that¶s what happens when you don¶t eat. I don¶t know what to have. ³Mom. ³See. I go in and decide to put something on to eat. I do not want to use the menu for the week. but I can¶t remember the last time I ate. I just turned it off.´ I state the fact she should already know. If daddy were here. you would have to cook for 86 . I decide on baking some chicken and vegetables. they should stay in close contact with their family. I saw on a show when people who have been married for a long time are getting a divorce.´ Rene appears in front of me. My brain isn¶t working quite right. well. You didn¶t hear me knocking at the door. How did the food burn. ³Hello and how are you? What do we need to talk about?´ I do not feel like company. and take a seat to think. we need to talk. ³There is food burning in the kitchen.I M NOT CRAZY take them and drive. It is the last menu anyway since Robert has not made anymore. you seem to be getting strange. ³No mom it¶s not just that. I put everything in the oven then head to the living room. You didn¶t smell the food burning and it looks like you¶re losing weight.´ ³Do I look like I want to talk?´ I ask her without heat. I just put it on. pop two more happy pills. It¶s just. I am not hungry. You aren¶t taking this so well.
´ I try to appease her. ³Really. I¶ll talk to you later. I'm one hundred-ninety pounds lighter. ³Okay I promise. ³I think I lost all of the weight I need to or rather it lost me. We will get together over the coming week. we need to stay close.´ I tell her so she will find her way to the door. I don¶t know what I will be doing.´ is my response. When I feel like eating. ³I can¶t.´ Her voice is close to breaking. Let yourself out. ³Mom. I do not want to have to comfort her when I can¶t comfort myself. I go to the kitchen and survey the damage. I¶ll eat.´ She folds her arms and puts a determined expression on her face. I don¶t want to talk about this anymore. I clean up the mess and admit I have no 87 . I shouldn¶t cook and take happy pills. ³Promise me we will get together over the next week then. She believes me and heads out. we need to talk about an intervention. ³You¶re right dear.´ She doggedly states without moving an inch. when I can appreciate my food again.´ The fruit of my loins is rotten. That¶s what I am like it or not.´ She shares this as if it is not obvious.I M NOT CRAZY him. ³Not now Rene.´ she wheedles. I¶ve got to get somewhere now. You wouldn¶t be losing weight. ³Promise me or I¶m not leaving. After she leaves.
The last addition was added after his death two years ago. He told me not to be silly. When I told him I was writing a book. The first shelf holds photographs. In the largest storage area. handprints. I packed up what I had written and put it with my other memories. over one hundred pages complete. This was my time out of time 88 . plates. I look at the whiskey we got at the distillery in Tennessee. Under that in the second shelf are the school report cards. In the basement. is the out of season clothing. A travelogue intended to show the world what I had experienced in cities from Cleveland to Tijuana. I decide I need another week off work and leave a message on Harold¶s line informing him I¶ll be using some of my vacation time. My book. cards and other keepsakes. At the bottom of the trunk in a black cloth shoulder bag are the memories of him. Probably because it was giving me so much pleasure and had nothing to do with him. he laughed until tears were streaming from his eyes. the elusive orgasm. mental and spiritual level. Robert caught me writing one day and decided to show an interest in my activity.I M NOT CRAZY appetite. I take out the push up bras and corset from Las Vegas. I didn¶t have anything to put into a book. the children from birth through now. I pull out my attempt to commemorate our time together. I hold gold chains that had bound us together to experience each other on a physical. Then I head to the basement to see my memories. It has two shelves inside on top of a large storage area. in the family room in a large metal trunk four feet by three feet is all of the history.
as I try to get up off the floor to sit on the bed. I want to keep sitting and taking happy pills. The intense desire to cry let me know it is time for more happy pills. They do not seem to be working. I have to get rid of the light. I just want the dark. It is hurting my eyes. I will not turn on the light. I feel nothing. I stay in bed with my eyes wide awoke. I get into bed. Comfort for what was and sorrow for what might have been. I am going to keep sitting here. For a time. I don¶t care. Light follows dark. I slide to the floor and continue to sit. I have not eaten for some time. I can¶t smell myself. If I wake up dead. happy pills by my side. I still won¶t care. Taste eludes me. I sit. until my hand slips in the moisture. I have not bathed from some dark to light day to nighttime to the next. I don¶t see the light and dark. Dark follows light. I still will not care. 89 . I don¶t feel cold even though I¶m naked. I sleep for a while. I don¶t feel the tears falling onto my thighs. They give me comfort and sorrow in equal parts. There is probably bad food in the kitchen. Light follows dark.I M NOT CRAZY experience. I watch the window. It must be happy pill time. think about getting up. I don¶t care. I don¶t feel anything. Since I live almost alone. day and night. I take these things up to my room. I don¶t know what is going on in the world. I can¶t distinguish steak from custard so I¶m not hungry. Maybe I stink. I get up and start to leave my room before I realize I don¶t have anywhere to go. I close the curtains and there is only dark. I¶m going to sit here and keep taking my lying happy pills. and continue to sleep. maybe I don¶t.
I try to tell myself to snap out of this bad place of soullessness. At first. Life is too hard for me to bear. I go back into the bedroom. I do not see me. I see her outline. My arms are being covered by the replacement tears coming from the never-ending faucet with the unstoppable drip my eyes have become. I look into the mirror.I M NOT CRAZY Then the random thoughts come. The cold of the room does not penetrate the frigid rigid screen I have built to freeze myself. As I wash my hands. but I don¶t hear me. My mouth is moving but I don¶t get the message. I don¶t know where I have gone and I don¶t care if I come back. I stagger up and go to the bathroom. I don¶t feel the tears falling down my face and onto my breasts. I could fry a pillow if I could find a pot big enough. when I will thaw enough to truly feel again. you can grow it on a bush. the knowledge she can succeed and move past the chasm of self-pity she seems unable to climb out of right now. Illinois and Ohio to form one super state that will crown Sam Walton king and sell Chicago to Communist China. It falls on deaf ears. I do not recognize the woman there. Quarters could fly if they are dipped in chocolate. Gout and the bird flu were created by Wal-Mart to destroy poor people. The history in her face. I guess I will stay this way until some unknown point in the future. Sam Walton was abducted by aliens and travels between Mars and Communist China. My hands brush them away as I wrap my arms around myself. THE VISITOR 90 . They plan to join forces to merge Indiana. but I don¶t see her. If you put a pickle in a banana peel.
How could it be him? He died onstage in Vancouver about three years ago. it comforts me.´ Yes. I love you. stronger this time.´ How did anybody get in here? From my place under the blankets.I M NOT CRAZY After some period of time. My bed. Unmoving and uncaring of the fact my killer knows my name. I consider answering. I pull the blankets over my head. My bed lets me cry and holds me close. I reject the thought as too much work. They seem to be working. I have heard that word from that voice before. The blankets are sliding down and off my body. ³Lynn. I take more happy pills. I remain under the blankets. In two weeks of reality and five years of dreams. I make a grab to keep them from falling. My bed is becoming my lover. My bed keeps me warm. ³Lynn. I don¶t want to leave you. I go to bed and stay there. They continue to slide determinedly toward the end of the bed. it sounds familiar. ³Come. It has haunted my days and my dreams. Ever. and to keep me 91 .´ the voice beckons me. I don¶t feel stressed at all.´ the accented voice whispers to me. I remember the voice. My bed accepts me as I am. ³It¶s time to get up. ³Come´ he demands of me. My one foray into adultery. It is from a time where I ran away and was not missed by anyone.
my one indiscretion.´ 92 . I have this shell that remains and it wants to remain in bed. With the way I¶ve been seeing lately. You are going to live. They only want me for what I can do for them. Mohammed doesn¶t need to give me twelve virgins. You even left me.I M NOT CRAZY from facing my past. ³No sweetheart. ³Am I dead?´ I ask him in awe. I¶m not Jewish.O. Is this going to be painful? I was hoping for a quick painless death. Everything is gone. Will I die lying in the bed like this? Where are we going anyway? I can¶t go to Abraham¶s bosom.´ ³For what. He starts laughing. laying there?´ ³I seem to have lost myself. but he is special. I¶m ready to die. M. I think I would much rather stay here in bed. I might as well leave them open. No one really wants me for me. I close my eyes. ³What are you doing.P. ³You are not going to die.´ I think I may be rambling.´ I make a grab for the blankets. Standing at the foot of the bed is Mr. I have a fear of ghosts. I get up to face him. Everything is gone. I came for you. I am a terrible wife and an even worse girlfriend. P. My life doesn¶t mean anything. wouldn¶t know what to do with them. I must be blind. Death doesn¶t feel like I thought it would. They fall silently to the floor.´ he gently speaks. They move further across the room away from me. This ain¶t so bad. ³That is nice of you.
To become the woman you were meant to be. when we did find passion. What the hell do you want from me? I¶ve got nothing left to give. For what? So you can leave again? So I can miss you again. To remember when you. Utilize all of your senses and step forward. ³You must allow yourself experiences to sense passion again.´ he observantly states. You died.´ I tell him while turning away and reaching for my happy pills. continue to live. I want you to sense from within your own strengths.´ I tell him this as he removes the pillow and attempts to gather my body into his arms. what do you want?´ I force the words through an emotionclogged throat but my voice breaks at the end of my tirade. no. In a mumble I explain. All of my senses are on hold and my husband is divorcing me.I M NOT CRAZY ³You are no longer sensing passion. Nothing. I want you to recognize you have the ability and the capacity to start. Without the job you didn¶t really love. not merely exist waiting to die. Now there is nothing. The passion I brought back from my time with you is long gone. I have even hidden away what I wanted to share of you through my passion. ³How dare you come back here? You left me. Without a husband who was more a roommate. It is unchanging. ³I¶d rather stay in my bed. I don¶t feel anything. ³I am no longer sensing anything. Now you show up. The doctor put me on happy pills and this is me happy´ I turn to climb back in bed and hug the pillow close to my chest. Damn it all to hell. 93 . ³I want you to live.´ He urges me as if I could be any different. To relish your existence instead of wallowing in what you believe to be loss.
He smiles before reminding me.´ ³I don¶t know if I can do this. Besides. I made the choice to keep intact a marriage my husband is now dashing in my face without much thought or consideration for me. ³Where are we going. if I was going?´ I inquire as if I am really going anywhere with him. All of your senses have dulled. What¶s really holding you back?´ Hearing those words trigger memories of how and when we met. ³This is your journey to reclaim yourself. You have to sense the passion in each city for yourself. to sense passion. Come´ He has not changed at all. I could no 94 . otherwise I can be here by myself. as I did on the plane. I did run away for two outstanding weeks before I came back home to the bastard I married.´ ³Are you coming with me?´ Maybe I will consider going somewhere with him.I M NOT CRAZY ³Come.´ I don¶t want to leave what little security I have left. He responds. and offered me the opportunity to find passion with him by asking the same question years ago. everything has the opportunity to get better. The reasons I gave then had to do with a husband. mesmerized me. ³We are connected through lives and past lives. That reasoning doesn¶t apply. ³I know you¶re not really living now. I do have a life here. I start to tell him why I can¶t come with him. my home. this is your journey. He still makes me want more of him. He sat beside me. However.
³What are you thinking about. Pack enough for three days. ³Nothing. Robert has certainly moved on with his life. ³Wednesday. ³Okay.´ I crawl out of bed to stumble towards the bathroom. He is a ghost. The weather is cool so pack warm. I¶m asking because I don¶t want to be naked. You are going to Indiana. I get into the tub and feel the aftereffects of the happy pills. My overnight case had not seen the light of day since my fate touched Great Britain trip. Nothing. I¶m not worried. I think about what I¶m leaving behind. I¶m the only one stuck. Today is Wednesday´ I respond with. No one wants me and no one will miss me. The children are firmly settled into their own lives. huh.´ ³Sweetheart. It comes out to get some action now. I¶ll go. Back in my room. How did he get in here? Oh. You only need casual clothes. I start to get ready. It will be wonderful. If I just slip into the water and stay there.I M NOT CRAZY more deny him now than I could deny him five years ago. I start a downward slide.´ is the question from his perch on the sink. He can do stuff like that. you are so much more than you allow yourself to be.´ 95 . Take this journey. like his hands used to do on my ass. everything could be over. As the water is running into the tub.´ I mumble and begin to clean myself. ³What should I pack? How long will I be gone? Where am I going? What day is it?´ ³You worry too much. I¶m tired of living anyway. I want to be prepared.
Maybe it was just my happy pills in high gear. It would be difficult to explain why or anything else about this trip. I look around for him but I am alone. What could I say? The man I had an experience with five years ago when I was supposed to be going to the United Kingdom came and told me to go to Indiana. ³You will fly. as you were meant to do in life. but I can¶t fly without a ticket. I need to get back in bed. I do not want to tell anybody I am leaving. I reach for the beautiful bottle of forgetfulness. All arrangements have been made. I decide to catch a cab. 96 . Go to the airport. he has been dead for a few years now. ³GO!´ I hear accompanied by the unmistakable scent of Caesar¶s Woman.´ Driving is not an option.´ he instructs me. You will need to be there by three this afternoon. I complete my packing and think about how I will get to the airport. Of course. but we were uncommonly close. ³Are you going with me?´ There is no response.I M NOT CRAZY ³How am I going to get there? I don¶t have a ticket. I must have lost my mind.
has me thinking about the past instead of worrying about the flight to come.HOW CAN YOU MAKE WICHITA LOOK BUSY On the ride to the airport I wonder what will happen if the plane goes down. Maybe I am not allowed to leave the state. we may be hijacked.´ . If the plane goes down. I should call and tell someone where I¶ll be. There is a departing flights screen in my line of vision. It is pointing towards Delta and I head in the Delta direction. I have no idea which airline will fly me. and it calms me down. which reminds me of hot sex. In bright blinking neon pink. They might think I am trying to escape prosecution. a glance at the clock shows it is one fortyfive. At the airport. Even if the plane doesn¶t go down. It indicates what airline is going to Indiana. It¶s true because the scent. someone will inform my family I was onboard. Nobody will know to look for me in the list of casualties. At the counter. I step up when it is my turn. I inhale the scent of Caesar¶s Woman. I remember hearing the olfactory sense has a straight line to the brain and triggers memories. Besides. How the hell am I supposed to get on a plane that goes to Indiana at three when I don¶t know which plane to get on? I certainly do not want to look suspect and have the security guards notice me wandering aimlessly around. The security guards are whispering to each other and pointing my way. it¶s not as if anyone would miss me. I see an arrow along the back wall. ³I need to check in for Indiana.
It doesn¶t sound safe at all. Damn. As the desk attendant inspects my identification. I think about how easy it would be to get a cab back home. ³Do you have a seating preference?´ she wants to know. by myself. I haven¶t purchased any tickets anywhere. I could be turned away at this point and realize I am truly devoid of sense.´ The airline attendant informs me. Enjoy Indianapolis. for Indiana. a window seat. the aisle seat is empty. I start again to doubt my decision. What the hell am I doing here? I don¶t know anybody in Indiana. I can¶t believe I am actually leaving Wichita. through security. Once on the airplane. I haven¶t been on a plane in five years. no. I have gotten over the abject terror of take-offs and landings.TASTING BLOOMINGTON ³We need to see your identification. Where will I sleep. I pay close attention because this may come in handy. 98 .´ I make it towards B7. to the gate. the flight attendant gives safety instructions. She goes over what to do in the event of an emergency over water.´ ³Your seat is 9b. In the line. As we prepare for take-off. on the street or staying in the airport like the people on the news? When I get in my seat. ³Who me? Uhm. but this water stuff. Are we going over water? This is not welcome news. as your plane is almost ready for boarding. I don¶t want to fly over more water than I can swallow. I pull out my driver¶s license. Please go directly to gate B7. I don¶t know about that. I will be able to spread out.
I would be losing time taking happy pills. ³You¶re here. I should call the flight attendant. My head is getting light and I may pass out because my breathing is quick and shallow. A plane to Indiana is better than having a pity party at home. Once off the plane. The feeling of safety and contentment make sleep easy and untroubled. I am alone and come alive. the plane is preparing to touch down in Indianapolis. I would be sitting in my room feeling sorry for myself. We continue on to Indiana. My heart starts to beat faster and sweat starts to form under my arms. My breathing slows and becomes deeper. as if we belong together. I start to think about us. ³Hello. I feel my eyes get teary. I don¶t have a parachute in case of a true emergency.O. I don¶t know where I am going. feeling the afterglow of dreaming about him. This should not feel so right.P. His smile still has the power to make my vagina moist. permeated with visions of us.TASTING BLOOMINGTON I look out of the window as the earth gets further and further away from me.´ is the only semi rational thought I have to tell Mr. My head remains light because I am in such close proximity to this special man.´ ³Through life and lifetimes.´ I turn to my seatmate who has deigned to arrive.´ He takes my hand as he had done on numerous flights years earlier. You¶re here. ³Hello. Of course. M. ³You¶re here. if I were at home. The 99 . I go to sleep with his hand in mine. Surprisingly. When I wake up. My heart rate slows.´ I smile and repeat myself.
yes. We have a luxury car ready for you to pick up. We just need your signature. The gas for the reservation has been purchased.TASTING BLOOMINGTON scent of familiar cologne gets me heading towards the car rental area. ³We have included a map to your hotel in the glove compartment. Ms. Bloomington is fifty-two miles southwest of Indianapolis 100 . Have a nice trip. There is no need for you to return it on full. A luxury car is unnecessary. I see my name on the board in the back of the attendant and walk up to confidently state. I look at the map to see I am in for an hour-long ride. Helpful lets me know. He gives me a Chrysler 300 for my driving pleasure. ³Our records indicate you are driving to Bloomington.´ ³Thank you.´ Where the heck is Bloomington and why am I going there I think to myself. A compact will be fine. ³I believe I have a reservation here.´ the attendant informs me. I am. ³Yes.´ I go towards the car and give my paperwork to the car pick-up person. You can bring it back empty.´ ³The reservation is for a luxury car. Go straight out of the door and turn right to the pick-up area.´ ³A luxury car.´ A glance at the place where I saw my name shows it has been replaced with the company name and logo. µYes we do. I hand over my driver license.´ ³Trip?´ I thought this was my trip.
He has the nerve to ask. trees.´ he informs me. More trees. empty spaces where trees used to be.´ Now that civilization is at hand. ³I know that much. I have been driving out here by myself and now you show up. Trees. Finally. ³Turn here. trees. This car better not break down or my body will never be found. I have been 101 . They give me hope. I could have been attacked. trees. I am angry he left me alone. Scary barren. I wonder what there is to experience in Bloomington. ³Well. I encounter slight signs of civilization. Where am I going?´ ³To your hotel. trees.´ I look over at the voice. Then. I drive until I hear.TASTING BLOOMINGTON and is about as familiar to me as a pair of mink panties. ³By whom?´ ³By crazed lunatics that live in this forest. I¶ve lived fifty-five years blissfully unaware of Bloomington¶s existence. trees. trees. still even more trees. As I pull out of the airport. My driving adventure consists of. I never heard of it before. fancy meeting you here. I find the freeway and head out 70 West to find out.
So far. ³I am here through life and lifetimes. Well I just did. I didn¶t need him. ³We're going just ahead. I look around to see if there are loiterers or undesirables.´ ³What? Of course I did. ³You didn¶t need me. I give a loud sniff to show my displeasure.´I am surprised he didn¶t know this being a ghost.TASTING BLOOMINGTON driving through some rough territory. I have no idea if I have a reservation so I wordlessly give her my driver¶s license. and going as he has been.´ he comforts me. would have been proud. Who would have thought I could drive somewhere by myself. It looks safe enough. ³Hello. so good. He wants to know.´ I pull into a hotel right off of the freeway.´ Then I think about what I just said. The lobby is empty except for the desk clerk. I acknowledge to myself.´ I didn't want to tell him it hadn't occurred to me I actually could do this by myself. My mother. for«. for. coming. 102 . In the lobby. ³Where is the hotel?´ Inside I am proud of my accomplishment. on your left. At the same time. the queen of sniffs. She looks up. it looks clean and decent. ³For what?´ ³For. Do you have a reservation?´ Aside from the fact there does not appear to be a crowd waiting to get into this place.
O. I could turn tail and run home. I wake up once because I feel myself drifting to Robert¶s side of the bed.P.TASTING BLOOMINGTON ³We have you down for a three night stay. What the hell am I doing here? Mr. M. Heading to the room my only thought is to sleep and continue my plane dreams. A restaurant next door has me decide to sample the local fare.P. and eggs. and a smile. Enjoy your stay. Checkout is at noon. has yet to put in an appearance. The small eatery is sparsely populated and the sign at the front directs diners to ³Seat Yourself´ In a booth with a view of the I-37 freeway instead of the kitchen. sausage. Two queen size beds. except there is no one there either. I should probably eat. I wonder if she can tell this will be the first time I have spent the night in a hotel room alone by the way. but I am not hungry.O. In the morning. leaving Saturday. Instead. Why bother? I order the mega breakfast: pancakes. I remember Robert is not here and I stay in the middle of the bed. I also don¶t want to go back out since it is getting dark. Through my sleep haze. I head out in search of nourishment. no longer angry with Mr. It also comes with 103 .´ She gives me the keycard. my license. hash browns. my hand is shaking as I take my key. bacon. I make sure to lock the door so no one can come in and kill me. M. I wonder what I will do tomorrow. The room is basic. The call would generate too many questions. television and refrigerator. During the night. I sit contemplating my life. I go to bed and immediately go to sleep. I contemplate calling the children and discard the idea. a spacious bathroom. Turning from the task.
M. I stop one and ask. ³Could you get the hostess?´ I stay in what is not a line since I am the only one there for another ten minutes. I wait for the hostess to seat me as the sign says she will. The eggs are chirping and the coffee tastes like I would imagine industrial strength cleaner to taste. She does not appear. not many people are there. The pancakes are crunchy and the bacon is soft. Nothing to see there. The sausage has an extra helping of salt and the hash browns are not brown. Next time I¶ll order a vomit sandwich with sludge on top as the condiment. NOTHING. They do not offer to assist me. uninhabited godforsaken slice of hell? Now it is time for dinner. How in the world can you drive in each and every direction for twenty miles and not find a thing worth looking at. I drive around and see what there is to see in Bloomington. I return to the hotel intersection and go towards the rear for twenty miles.O. I drive twenty miles to the right of the hotel. Other employees are wandering around. Why did I let Mr. I go to another local restaurant. I go back to the hotel and go forward from the hotel in search of signs of life. unfriendly. Nothing. instead of heading back to the hotel. There is still no sign of a hostess. After breakfast. More nothing. 104 . It couldn¶t taste any worse than this. The largest facility I see is the stadium where the college plays football or basketball or jai lai. convince me to come to this barren.TASTING BLOOMINGTON coffee. I backtrack and go to the left of the hotel twenty miles. It is terrible. There is nothing in that direction either.P.
it is not doing a very good job of that. I am convinced someone in this restaurant would spit in my food. O. Unfortunately. Her blond and green hair is worn in a Mohawk. I look at her before I decline the invitation to follow her. Thankfully. Unintentionally I begin counting down the hours until I can put this place out of my conscious thought and head back to Wichita. literally. They might improve my mood. Once back in the room. I am seated and my order is taken immediately. to get a little nourishment. I should have brought along my happy pills. The steak refuses to be cut by anything as tame as a steak knife. P. Moreover. Something is crawling up the middle of her chest. dinner is a continuation of breakfast only in a more elegant surrounding. The style allows a view of the decoration of ears rings.TASTING BLOOMINGTON When she finally does come. M. I get my steak and baked potato back pretty quickly after ordering. Is there anyone in Bloomington with the ability to cook a decent meal? Bloomington has no redeeming social value except to keep this area of Indiana from being a barren wasteland. I watch the walls for any sign of Mr. It may be promising. there is a steakhouse a few doors up. They should have served it with a chainsaw. I chew the fat. Nothing. In addition. She effectively ruins my appetite. Her dress has stains and she has an open three-inch sore on her uncovered forearm. studs. and chains as they go around her ear from top to bottom and connect with the chain in her nose. More sludge topped vomit. Television 105 . I leave for whatever other place there is to eat.
aside from getting me out of the house.TASTING BLOOMINGTON holds no appeal and I don¶t have a good book. I ask the clerk what there is to see. The clerk looks at me with a blank expression before asking. I go to bed instead. This trip has not been productive. The next morning. but it is the best thing to enter my mouth since being in this city. I wonder what will become of me. in Atlanta. They do not disappoint. I go back to my room and try to sleep to sleep off the effects of the happy ills and heartache. Those thoughts are guaranteed to depress so I try to focus on brighter thoughts and a better space. Now it is time to check out a thought guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.´ is her honest answer. I wanted to see the city. JUST A SIP Driving back to Indianapolis. It may not be haute cuisine. I am up by ten. ³I can¶t think of anything. I see billboards for a winery alongside the highway. I test fate once again and go to a fast food restaurant. Friday after getting up and dressed. ³Yes. Sleep does not come easily. Lying in bed. The day is spent endlessly walking around seeing more nothing. ³In Bloomington?´ No. What do you recommend?´ I reiterate. I go to the front desk to do what I should have done yesterday. There is the quality of sameness that permeates fast food worldwide and I am ready for anything edible at this point. In late afternoon. It has to fight through my questions regarding my own sanity to claim my attention. It has guided tours on 106 .
Todd the tour guide calls out to interested visitors five minutes before the tour will begin. It started in the seventies by a woman who saw Indiana as the California of the Midwest. I definitely have time to stop. We head out to a dome shaped area to see the lined stainless steel tanks constructed to hold up to a thousand gallons. ³Clee uses a cold stabilization process in their enology. They bottle thirty-five thousand bottles per day. continues. There is more artwork from Indiana artists. I should broaden my horizons. This is the first thing of interest I have found in the entire state. This removes potassium from the wine. There are over one hundred acres to the winery. and limestone sculptures scattered throughout the walls. cheese and sweets complement the wide variety of wines.TASTING BLOOMINGTON Saturdays. The tour of the winery will start in ten minutes. The vineyards were all replanted in 2000 and we buy grapes from all over the country. I pull into the parking lot of Clee Winery. 107 . In the 1980¶s. Wine barrels are not placed on the ground when they are filled because the flavor would run out. which take six months to two years to make. The building entrance is the country store. the fancy term for wine making. We use oak barrels to make dry reds. ³Clee is Indiana¶s oldest and largest winery. paintings. Stone statues of faces greet everyone inclined to enter. Todd. I get in the group that follows him out of the back door.´ The fountain of information.´ Todd shares as if we are the first people he ever told this joke. The wine has to remain in cooling jackets to keep the temperature even. her son Brian took over. Dips. The center of the store boasts a large area off to the left where you can taste the wines.
this is just an interlude. I did it. It is also important that oxygen be kept out of the wine process. back onto I-37 and head to the airport. I am checked in for my flight without incident. So what if the trip sucked except for the wine. Alone and on my own. I do a happy dance with myself before going into the house. A centrifuge spinner removes other particles to make the wine clear. I get into the car. The flight back to Wichita is uneventful and there is a waiting taxicab to take me home. mostly. I also get a bottle of Merlot to slip in my luggage and take home with me. Tasters are allowed to select six wines for five dollars. I did it. Merlot.TASTING BLOOMINGTON ³There is a valve at the bottom of each tank. I go out and sit at the pond with its sculptures and waterfall. I decide to purchase what will be a case and have it shipped to Wichita.´ Todd concludes. There are picnic tables set up for those who would like to bring lunch and enjoy the grounds. Surprisingly. Otherwise the wine would look cloudy and the taste would be ruined. Shiraz. and the peach and blackberry fruit flavors. However. The entire tour takes about twenty minutes. Damn. I try the Chardonnay. I went somewhere where I knew no one at all and I made it back. I did it. as they flow over my tongue I can taste the robust and subtle flavors of each. I go back into the general store and take part in the wine tasting. The peace here lulls me into a desire to remain. 108 . Overall. I did it. it has been informative and given me a greater appreciation for wine in addition to sharpening my sense of taste. On my porch. I have to go back. This valve is opened periodically to remove the sediment as it settles in the bottom of the wine tank.
O.´ I end with a sniff. He wasn¶t there so I refuse to share my experiences with him.TASTING BLOOMINGTON I head to the kitchen to fix myself something to eat. I decide not to check the blinking light on the answering machine. but it was on the way back´ I 109 . M. even though steak is a Wednesday night food. the people were not friendly. ³Tell me what you found. I was miserable. My answer is repeated as a question. ³Nothing?´ ³It was a complete waste of time. The coupling takes my mouth to pleasurable abyss. ³What about the winery? Did you see it on your way there. I settle on a steak and a sweet potato. ³The winery was nice. I go to bed and to sleep with the smell of Caesars Woman in my nose and a smile on my face. The food sucked. It can wait until tomorrow.´ The sun streaming in the cracks of the curtained window proclaims morning has arrived. ³What do you want? Why did you have me go to such a hellhole by myself?´ I ask Mr. I am worn out. I hated the city and there was not a thing to do the whole time.P. ³Lynn.´ he wants to know. The wine guide suggested pairing the merlot with red meats. ³Nothing´ is my flat response. My taste buds are singing new songs and craving for the excitement. I wish the rest of me were as energetic as my mouth.´ he coaxes.
the answering machine is clamoring for my attention.´ is my grudging admission. It demanded I call him as soon as I arrive home. ³Well.TASTING BLOOMINGTON don¶t want to count it because it was good and the confession would ruin my complaining. I plan to call everyone this evening except mom. It also tells me we are out of bread. and I should be ashamed for making her worry.´ is his parting comment as he disappears as quietly as a cotton ball falling. What were you doing out of town? You 110 . GETTING BACK INTO THE MOULD I dress and prepare to do nothing. Mom called every day. In fact. I was out of town. dad called yesterday to tell me my mom was getting worried about me.´ ³Okay so the winery was nice. There are three calls from Lynnette. ³Out of town. ³No. ³Enjoy. I call her right away. it was peaceful sitting outside enjoying the view. seven from May and twelve from Rene. It wasn¶t too bad.´ I admit. Robert left a note on the table I missed seeing last night. In the front room. ³Hi Mom. You were not ready to experience it until you were on your way back. I have some great wine coming. In addition.´ I start with an explanation for not calling. they didn¶t just build it for you.
111 . Even Indiana.´ is her concerned response. ³Away where?´ Mom sounds anxious. everyone will know I am safe and I had gone somewhere. ³Why? There is nothing in Bloomington. ³I want you to be safe. For me to go anywhere is cause for attention.´ ³Honey please make sure you check in. I love you. I am worried about you. I love you too. Indiana. I¶m fine. I came over and saw your car. ³Just to get away. There is complete silence on the other end of the line.´ ³I just went away for the weekend.´ I hang up knowing before the hour is up.´ I don¶t travel at all. anywhere.´ I promise. ³Bloomington. I¶ll keep in closer contact. ³I am mom. Go to the winery and savor the reds.TASTING BLOOMINGTON don¶t know anyone out of town.´ It sounds like she has been there before. I was afraid something happened to you. ³I¶m sorry mom.´ Mom sounds relieved and pissed off at the same time.´ I share with her. MY TRAVEL TIP FOR BLOOMINGTON Don¶t go all the way there if you can avoid it. I was very worried.
Dottie is on the other end. ³Well. it could be fear. He wants the divorce to be final yesterday. almost as if she is speaking to a child. Think about it okay.´ ³What does that mean?´ I don¶t know why I am whispering. ³Lynn.AVOIDING THE EX FACTOR In the kitchen. almost screaming. We go to court on Wednesday. I have never done this before.´ I tell her for the first time. It has to be hard on you. ³Just think about how it is you want this marriage to end.´ ³I don¶t want it to end. I am speaking loudly now. The telephone demands my attention. Do you need me to come over now?´ Her voice is calm and soft. ³We can talk about it after you have had some time to think. ³I¶m sorry. I start deep breathing to help myself be focused.´ she pushes gently. This will be the preliminary hearing for the judge to possibly issue some temporary orders. The only way it can be over quickly is if you agree to cooperate and agree to everything. . I want to let you know there will be a court date coming up for the divorce. I can hear the concern in her voice.´ ³What should I do?´ I am confused and need some guidance. I think about what I have to do today. Robert wants to get this over as quickly as possible. Not much.
so I include the grocery store in my travel route. I head to the bread aisle to get the hazelnut. wheat concoction Robert says we need to eat in order to stay healthy. I want soft. I¶m not okay because my knees and hands are shaking. The rest of the day passes in a blur. At least they have a purpose.´ I lower my voice to show I¶m getting myself under control. I remember Robert¶s note about bread. ³Hello. I go home to find Robert is here. I go to the kitchen to get away from him. There is nothing to lure me and capture my interest. ³I went out of town. Distant while still bowing to basic manners.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³No. flax seed. It tastes like the underside of a car. I hate nutty goodness in every bite. But. oatmeal. I head to the fast food restaurant and listen to the old guys chew the fat. but it is good for you according to Robert. she will be company and I will feel it is my duty to entertain. When I leave. You weren¶t here.´ He upbraids me 113 . What do you think you¶re doing?´ Robert has his hands on his hips and obviously expects an answer. Good manners dictate I greet him. ³You don¶t go out of town. if she comes over. I¶m sorry I didn¶t tell you. I want to bite my tongue at the slip of an apology. I go out to be a part of something. carbohydrate-filled badness. How could you go out of town without telling anyone? That¶s irresponsible of you. ³Where have you been? I¶ve been here several times over the weekend. I¶m okay. I pick up a loaf of potato bread and head to the checkout.´ I say in my professional voice.´ Is my automatic response.
³Why haven¶t you been at work?´ Robert walks closer until he stands in front of me to ask.´ He removes his hands from his hips to reach out and shake me on my shoulder. Did I ever go against him. ³Umm. I never knew he could be so callous. You should take it and be happy. You¶re supposed to be here in case the children need you. someone who has shared more than half of my life. I¶ll expect to hear from you before Friday. Throw it stuff 114 . have any backbone? I jerk away and pull out the loaf of potato bread like it was a flag and I am in the middle of a patriotic rally.´ I got nothing. My silence is taken for consent. ³I hope you aren¶t trying to get more money from me in the divorce by getting fired from your job. The only thing that will change is we won¶t be sleeping together and you are getting too old to be having sex all the time anyway. ³What kind of bread is that? We don¶t eat bread like that. I¶m making you a decent offer. I still will take care of everything. My heart starts to beat a little faster.´ I have to stop apologizing. Amazing. I give a shoulder shrug and head roll. In addition. He isn¶t apologizing for leaving me. I look closely at him. as always.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³You¶re right. ³Would you like a sandwich?´ ³Try to be more considerate in the future.´ Robert takes a closer look at the loaf of bread still in my hand. no more going out of town without notifying me. hands firmly remaining on his hips. I take my time and open it to pull out two slices and put them on a napkin. Defiantly I ask my soon to be ex.
The warmth covers my arms and face. I will talk to you when you are more coherent and less emotional. And I happen to like potato bread. ³How dare you.´ He leaves and takes his bad karma with him. You think I don¶t enjoy making love. I go to bed and sleep like a baby. I expressed myself. I follow him into the hallway. bright and early. secure in my compliance. the door opens on all three of my offspring and my mother. held me. It tastes delicious. forcing my mouth to open.´ Robert looks as if I had stabbed him again. you are completely wrong. I turn and flounce back towards the kitchen. I plan to be more active in my own life. and stroked me? Do you think I don¶t want to be desired? You arrogant ass. he had better develop a taste for potato bread or shopping. without your telling me what to do or think of cook. THE THREE FLURRIES AND MOM Monday. I go in the kitchen and make myself a grilled cheese sandwich with potato bread. Those days are over if you leave me. Nevertheless. They are not here for a regular family visit.´ He turns to leave. If the husband I have wants to eat bread here anymore.THE DIVORCE DANCE away it¶s not what we eat here. the heat fading as it is replaced by satisfaction. here is the question. ³Clearly you¶re overwrought. This must be the intervention Rene has been threatening. Things will not stay the same. The red heat that started at my ears as I listened to Robert works its way to my brain. 115 . When was the last time you made love to me? When was the last time you touched me.
´ May forges with her sister. I bow to the inevitable.´ Mom tries to pacify. What I really want is some time for me.´ Lynnette sounds bored. we called your job and found out you weren¶t at work. (Stay close to home.´ Lynnette smiles. ³I had to tell them. ³We¶re worried and Rene says we need to intervene´ Mom holds up her end of the intervention. We understand you left town. It means so much to know you¶re here if I need you. (how will I be able to make it up to him since it is a mid-life crisis. It¶s hard. To get some perspective.´ Rene forges onward.) What to think. ³I wanted to get away. Robert may come back. ³Over the weekend. ³Without telling anyone.´ May continues. ³And talk about this.´ Rene starts the conversation.´ The children proceed to tell me how I should behave from now forward. (I will graciously forgive him and happily be the wife he wants.´ I tell them all to prevent the rest of the intervention. and I don¶t have all of the answers.) How to feel.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³Mom. ³I¶m sure you all mean well. but 116 . ³Let¶s talk. ³We were supposed to all get together.) They sound like Robert. They were worried about you. ³And went to Bloomington.
³You girls go on out. I¶m right behind you.THE DIVORCE DANCE give me some space. ³Lynn.´ Money is not a major concern of mine right now. ³Thanks mom.´ She reaches into her purse and pulls out a folded check. she is serious. ³We love you. especially with you going out of town all of the time. Her concern is touching. ³Do you want to move back home?´ Mom. but wish they didn¶t care so much. I won¶t leave town again without letting someone know. This is just to tide you over the hard times. Since I do not intend to leave town again. Then she turns to me. but I¶m okay. I feel my head to see if I have developed a cocaine habit and am so glad I don¶t feel addicted. 117 . ³Please don¶t shut us out. it won¶t hurt to make some concessions to my loved ones. you will probably need some money.´ May earnestly pleads. and delusional if she thinks I want to leave my low security prison. ³Thank you so much. I have this little something for you. where Robert pops in and out for the maximum security prison she and Dad represent. She gets it from her grandfather. I am going to find her television cable cord and cut it. I promise I¶ll stay in touch.´ It makes me happy to make the promise because I don¶t have to agree. I choose to agree. Bless her heart.´ Lynnette has a way of baldly stating a fact. ³Are you sure you don¶t need some more intervention?´ Rene asks. I love the fact they care.´ mom tells her grands.´ I plead with them.
´ ³Mom you can¶t be serious. thoughts of tomorrow cloud my mind. put it aside for a rainy day. If you need more.´ This is a shock. you can make it through this. I thought you liked Robert. If not.´ ³I tolerated him because he was what you wanted. ³Mom. Mother comfort still works fifty years later.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³Keep it just in case. ³Mom.´ I thought she would be disappointed. I know your daddy wants to give you something from us. I never needed it. It may come in handy.´ She hugs me and it feels like when I was six and came home crying from a bad day at school. He was too bossy. I love you. You are probably better off without him. She gives a royal sniff as only she can give and says. Once peace is restored after the family invasion.´ She hugs me and heads out the door.´ She presses the folded check into my hand. It is for five thousand dollars. but there is nothing like a plan B. You¶re better off without him. let me know. ³Lynn. but this is from me. ³I never liked his pretty ass anyway. I 118 . I look and open the check. I hope she isn¶t into selling drugs. Where else do you get a large sum of money without working? ³I have always believed a woman should have a little something just in case. Where did you get money?´ The name on the check is hers alone. It cheers me greatly to know she doesn¶t blame me. I have plans to go to work. where did you get this money? You have never worked. Now take it and use it wisely.
³Lynn. ³Do you think the judge would know I did it? I don¶t want any repercussions. I will pick them up when I get a chance. I¶m hearing just pack his stuff and leave out the 119 . only a demand. I bask in the glow of absolution before being doused with the reality I am going to bed by myself. I think about calling Dottie and imagine the conversation. I will return calls when I feel like talking. ³Yes.THE DIVORCE DANCE get a shower and exfoliate myself to recover from everything. The bastard. ³Dottie what do you think would happen if I put everything of Robert¶s in a large garbage bag with raw fish and limburger cheese.´ Dottie would be silent for a moment then answer. I want you to get my things packed up.´ she would state with finality and disabuse any notion I had of escaping detection. In the evening when I am well rested. ³Well I don¶t think the court would look too kindly on seeing you again.´ He doesn¶t bother with a greeting. ³So.´ I would try to feel her out and keep hope alive. ³Remember those stabbing charges that got you into therapy and working on the anger management issues you say you do not have?´ ³Yes´ I would hesitantly answer. I don¶t answer the telephone. There is a message from Robert.´ She would inform me. It won¶t be so bad now that I can have the middle of the bed. I check my answering machine.
After eating. Curses. foiled again. I call the job to let them know I will be in tomorrow. Unsurprisingly. even in my own mind.´ When she arrives. I don¶t know what does.THE DIVORCE DANCE fish. French vanilla and more per pound than good chocolate with pecans. ³Pretty much. Once in bed. ³How about having some coffee ready.´ I would breathe a disgusted breath before hanging up. but this is taking away from the time I have to feel sorry for myself.´ she would agree without hesitancy.´ I need to be clear about this. The day is totally uneventful. If this doesn¶t qualify as a special occasion. e-mails. the end of the day arrives as quietly as the beginning started. I don¶t feel like packing anything tonight. I head to the middle of the bed where the warmth is centered. I am working by rote. the kitchen is rich with the smell of my good coffee that is only brewed on special occasions. Gotcha. It is not the temperature as much as it is the emptiness. and telephone calls. COURTROOM NUMBER TWO Dottie calls me in the morning to tell me she will be picking me up for court. ³All righty then. the cold seeps to the bone. 120 . I¶ll bring doughnuts. I get up and head to work on Tuesday. I head home and do more nothing to while away the hours. I am going to make myself something good to eat before making the attempt to pack. Mail.
How is the therapy going? Is talking about it to her helping?´ Dottie asks as she reaches out to still the spinning and hold my hand. and conversation. remainder of doughnuts. of being alone. It makes sense to be afraid. I am tearing up the doughnut instead of eating it. Hard and long. I¶m afraid. She has me taking some kind of happy pills. The important part of therapy is finding the right therapist. My coffee is being swirled around more than clothes in a washing machine. I haven¶t taken a sip yet ³Of what?´ Dottie asks around a mouthful of glazed and French vanilla. She comes around the table and hugs me as if she means it. What will happen in court today?´ 121 . ³Okay. but it will be fine.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³Dottie. I think you should find someone you¶re comfortable with and try to process this through with more therapy. I appreciate the body contact. It sucks. Of the future. let me see if I can get your court date for the stabbing set and get it resolved.´ I admit. ³Well. Then we get down to the good coffee. Then you won¶t have to keep going to criminal court.´ Dottie looks concerned.´ I tell her as I watch my spoon doing three sixties around my cup in the grip of fingers that move without me thinking about moving them. ³I can understand Lynn.´ I say with disgust and pick up a piece of cream-filled. I¶ll let you know what I decide to do when I decide. ³No. They do not make me happy. of everything.
but I don¶t want to make it easy for him.´ she flatly responds. The only voice I have he will hear. I feel like I have made everything easy for him all through our marriage. It should not be this easy to dump me. For her own good.´ Dottie explains as she sips the good stuff and eats a stick doughnut. with me taking it like the woman from the play who allowed her boyfriend to chain her to the heating register when he left. Is there anything I can do?´ ³Yes.´ I try to get Dottie to understand. ³I am tired of him running over me. I may not be able to stop him from getting a divorce. I don¶t want to agree to anything.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³Robert will try to have the court adopt his proposal to end the marriage without further delay. The only stand I can make. ³I don¶t want to see you any more hurt than you already have been by this marriage. what then? Could it be over today? Could my marriage be ended so quickly? This was over thirty years in the making. ³Lynn. ³If I sign the papers he keeps bringing for me to sign. Accusations and allegations can be made about each other and people can use time and resources to stretch out a divorce for years. The people tend to get bitter and want to hurt each other instead of getting on with their lives. sometimes divorces can get messy. Why?´ Dottie is looking at me with concern. it should take a long time for it to end. I know he will get 122 . but I¶m not ready to roll over and play dead. Why do you want to prolong the inevitable? ³Because prolonging the divorce is the only thing I can do. I want this to take all the time possible. ³I don¶t want to end it like that.´ I am feeling militant. ³Lynn.
Finding a place to park is a nightmare and I am getting anxious about being late even though we could drive around another half hour and still be on time. but it serves to pass the time. I have no way to know if I was right or wrong.´ Dottie smiles and hugs me again. and everything in between. Can you feel me on this?´ ³Yes I think I do understand. Finally. The seats are bolted to the floor with large bolts. We enter the courthouse and find our courtroom. We park and head inside. If that¶s the way you want it. I want more time to get used to the idea. We are in agreement regarding how we will proceed and I am walking straighter than I have in some time. 123 . I look around and see smiling couples. The walls are a stark gray and the florescent lights serve to illuminate the depression. then that is what I will do. the remainder of the pot of coffee. Dottie goes to sign in with the court officer while I have a seat in one of the secured black metal seats. I guess to discourage people from stealing or throwing them. and some emotional conversation. No one went over-budget on decorating the place.THE DIVORCE DANCE his divorce. We are ready to leave after four more doughnuts. glaring couples. It is a cold building with tiled floors and metal seats. Dottie seizes a space in the parking lot two blocks up when someone drives out. I use the time to try to match up the husbands with the wives and guess who wanted the divorce. This is a fitting place for the ending of marriages.
Instead.´ Where in the hell did Robert find the littlest lawyer in Kansas with the biggest mouth? As they pass. I see Robert¶s attorney enter the courtroom as Dottie is coming out. do you hear me? Nothing. I¶ll have you divorced by this time next week. The blood is boiling in my veins and it takes all of my concentration to not go over and hit the little short cock-sucking son of a bitch in the top of his head. they both come back out. The attorney is about two heads shorter than Robert is and has a briefcase. Robert barely acknowledges me with a head nod. this is nothing. don¶t worry about anything. not allowing his back to touch so he won¶t get other people¶s germs on his suit. He keeps the conversation low. Robert is sitting rigidly in his seat. Then kick his client in the space where his balls used to be. I know the judge on this and it will be a piece of cake. he pulls out his telephone and dials. He stops her and they both go into the court. I do this all day every day. Robert¶s attorney 124 . How can he do that? Not speak after we have shared this many years together. His briefcase is larger than his torso and he is struggling to keep up with Robert¶s easy stride. ³Man. How can he let this shrimp of a lawyer call our marriage nothing? I turn my head to the door of the courtroom and keep it there. I know he's talking to the tramp he is seeing.THE DIVORCE DANCE Robert enters with a man I guess is his attorney. He doesn¶t look over at me. I start to rock slowly then gradually faster. He is having a hard time. He has to look up at Robert and try to keep pace. The attorney is talking loudly and he is talking about me. He has the nerve to give her a play by play of what is going on. After an hour.
Dottie rushes over to me and says. I don¶t want to be around when he erupts. ³Let¶s get out of here. Over lunch. That¶s cold. We want him to trade cars with you since your car is older and you need reliable transportation to go to and from work. she tells me she has requested affidavits from Robert.THE DIVORCE DANCE is wearing a frown. Further. Was Robert¶s attorney pissed?´ 125 . My attorney is wearing a smile. here¶s what we are going to do. In addition. I increase my pace. I wouldn¶t mind having Robert¶s car. ³Did you mean it when you said you want to make this difficult for him?´ ³Yes.´ ³Well. ³I said it¶s because we believe Robert has been hiding assets. in about eight seconds. but I would rather get a new one of my own. He is going to call my name. His face starts to form the same frown as his attorney is wearing. very sternly. Dottie starts to explain our strategy to me as we head home.´ I look back to see Robert¶s attorney bending down and talking to him. I have a job. I don¶t need spousal support. How¶s that?´ ³Damn. I can also meet the mortgage payments since the house will be paid for in another year. we¶re asking for spousal support of thirtyfive hundred dollars per month. we want Robert to continue to pay the mortgage on our home and all of the utilities. We stop for nourishment since doughnuts don¶t give much strength on a stressful day.´ She grabs me by the arm and I have no choice but to follow her down the hallway and out the door.
The little guy almost stomped his foot. When will all of this happen?´ ³The judge will review it once I submit it in writing and issue temporary orders within forty-five days. I get up and gather trash bags. I do not succumb to the urge to blow my nose on Robert¶s favorite silk shirt. I¶d say he was pissed. After I sit a bit. I do not cut all of the buttons off of his shirts.´ ³What. The request for the restraining orders on the assets is a done deal. I am in the better space the therapist said I needed to attain. While pulling clothes out of the closet.´ Food never tasted so good. Robert will kill me. Dottie and I laugh and talk until early evening. You should have seen him. I can push back damn it. By the time I finish. I am happy. I would have felt bad if it wasn¶t so damn funny. there are six large trash bags. When she drops me off. We want him to surrender his keys to the residence because his behavior is erratic. Yes. It feels good to let him know he can¶t push me around anymore. He started sputtering about how upright his client is and everything. I load bag after bag of my life and feel the high of success leaving me as I feel more of a failure. In addition. I tried not to pack them too full so I would not have a problem 126 . Dottie and I laugh over everything. I feel better and more in control than I have since all of this started. but the temptation is strong.THE DIVORCE DANCE ³As a two dollar whore missing a fifty dollar trick. the wine I ordered is on the porch. ³We are also asking for a restraining order to keep him from removing assets in the checking account or selling anything.´ Dottie laughs. I take Robert¶s things out of the drawers.
I go downstairs and open a bottle of Chardonnay. Why should I worry about taking his belongings downstairs? They are his. 127 . He is not the boss of me anymore.THE DIVORCE DANCE getting them downstairs. In an act of defiance. Let him come up the stairs and get it. I need a crate or box to put his shoes into for him to pickup. They¶ll have to wait because I¶m out of energy. Wait a minute. I move his things to the hallway so I can move around in my bedroom.
Overall. I make calls to the children and the parents.SEEING SEDONA Thursday morning I go to work and am able to make it through all of the mail and e-mail. The amount is decreasing but still the backup takes all morning. I know he understands because he has been divorced twice. My dreams are of my marriage and how content I was with my life. He is the smooth talker. I have a meal with each and Sunday I have supper with my parents. I don¶t want you to talk to me. This meal was a lot smoother than the previous family meal. There is no reason to tell him the court date is for stabbing Robert. Have your attorney talk to mine about any issues you may have. ³Robert. They go right up until the final scene with me standing beside him and him telling me he wants a divorce. Over the weekend. it was a good weekend. He is smiling and trying to go for the reasonable sympathetic angle. I let Harold know I will be out on Wednesday. The next morning I wake up far . the birth of the children. able to charm me with words as false as breasts in Hollywood.´ I move past him and go to my bedroom I take a shower and get in the middle of my bed. I won¶t sign anything. I felt the love from those I love. I didn¶t miss Robert and kept to the middle of the bed at night. and then graduations. Monday and Tuesday are workdays. There are flashes of our wedding. ³Lynn. you know this is foolishness.´ This is the Robert I met years ago. He is in the house when I got home on Tuesday and ready to pounce. They follow the same routine except for a visit from Robert. We can work this out between us.
nothing flashy. she is not convinced. Dottie calls me before I can get too deep into paranoid thoughts.´ She continues. 129 . a mere accident your cheating bastard of a husband was cut. okay. I will scream abject remorse. I don¶t even own a salmon colored suit. ³So does that mean my salmon colored suit is out?´ ³Lynn!´ Dottie warns. as a remorseful defendant. but I will not admit it. She knows you are genuinely sorry. you have been cooperating with me. ³Okay. Most of all. I can do this. AGAIN from refreshed but glad I resisted his attempts to take me back down a well-travelled road last night. Don¶t forget. and seeing a therapist for your anger management issues. ³Even though Robert has admitted it was situational violence because of the surprise of the pending divorce. I¶ll see you at court this morning. He does not want the charges dismissed.´ I try to convince her. My eyes look like a vision in red. ³Lynn. The question is what do you wear to court to convince the judge you are not a violent maniac? It was a slip of the wrist.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. I have talked to the prosecutor about this. COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. AGAIN Today I am faced with a dilemma. you have to be remorseful. He was asking for it. I will be there in the ³I¶m sorry´ colors. I have to try to beat this rap. I want you to dress conservatively. for the court today. I was just joking. You have to fit the image.´ I attempt levity. maybe I did that shit on purpose. Well.
I won¶t sign. He probably stayed here to make sure I didn¶t break and run. ³Good morning. Lynn. He has on a turtleneck and Dockers. I get dressed in a standard business blue suit. He looks well rested.´ He turns and goes down the steps then towards the kitchen. Since the accident. I guess his mind wanders to our last kitchen encounter. ³Okay. it can¶t be all bad. I resist the urge to pair it with a canary yellow blouse and opt for an unassuming cream top that buttons to the neck. 130 .´ If she can smile. AGAIN ³Lynn. He changes directions and goes into the living room.´ ³Come along. We¶ll ride to the courthouse together. What is your hurry?´ ³Come along.´ ³Um. He doesn¶t look remorseful. I thought I made myself clear last night. you can take it from there. let¶s not overdo. If I had a knife now he would look quite different. he has not shared our bed.´ ³Robert even if I. My oneinch pumps with coffee pantyhose complete my ensemble. And you left my clothes in the hallway. You wanted them packed. I see Robert coming out of the guest bedroom he slept in last night. We can¶t be late. the mother of your children have to do time in the big house. okay?´ Dottie says with a smile in her voice. You should sign the papers so I can completely move out.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE.
³Robert.´ I say out loud. He is not the boss of me anymore. To me it seems strange a defendant and a plaintiff would enter the court together. I am on my way.´ ³I want this divorce over and if I have to use this incident to make that happen. He is probably in there talking to his girlfriend. ³Go to the car.´ he decrees.´ Robert tells me. I really don¶t mean you any harm. after having rode in the same car. I¶m not trying to be difficult. He¶s trying to goad me into stabbing him again. I can handle this. trying to sound firm. I could have driven myself. It is not going to work.´ I am trying to remain calm but it is difficult. ³That is enough conversation on this topic. Is that too much to ask?´ I follow him. ³Okay. and then start to feel like a kid. Robert comes out and gets in the driver seat. ³I would not have thought you were so low.´ He tells me this in a low vicious voice I have never heard from him before. We choose not to talk to each other during the twentyminute drive. I get in his car and wait. How can I convince him we need more time to think this through more thoroughly? 131 .COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. AGAIN ³Robert. I¶ve never crossed him before. I will. You would want me to go to jail. I just need a little time. As we enter. I try to talk to my husband again. I have my head on straight. I promise myself this is the last time I will allow him to drive me anywhere. but it¶s about to happen. I can deal with this. Of course.
A frown shows the wrinkles in his forehead. It¶s a good thing you don¶t even have a parking ticket or this couldn¶t have happened. ³I wasn¶t asking permission.´ Robert. The charges are going to be dismissed. He starts talking 132 . I think we will be able to work the deal. His face is red.´ Lynnette appeals to the better self she thinks he has. ³Dad.´ Let them continue their conversation without me. I would gladly do the time and put the world out of the misery of having this selfish bastard take air and space. ³Go ahead.´ Mom and Dad acknowledge Robert¶s presence. but. the family shows up. aren¶t you going to drop the charges?´ Rene questions. ³Robert. AGAIN Thankfully. The flurries descend on their father.´ May states. Doing time scares the hell out of me. ³I need to talk to Dottie to see what is going on. No.´ If I had a knife. allows. Let Robert explain to them that he wants to have me in jail so he can have a divorce. He seems agitated. She is obviously telling him what Dottie just told me.´ I see a smartly dressed brunette talking to Robert. He doesn¶t seem too happy. I was stating a fact. ³Do the right thing dad. I see Dottie coming out of the courtroom and tell them all. ³Mom could not make it in prison.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. ³Hi Lynn. if I had more nerve« I head over to Dottie.
³I will give it my best. I feel the love and love the feeling. I should have gone for the throat. Instead. Do you think you can manage innocent and remorseful?´ Dottie smiles and gives me a wink. I don¶t know what you are talking about. in your neck.´ A little voice says µin the neck. but still. getting close and taking her personal space. Unlike me. I resist the urge to smirk at him. I had not done as much damage with my knife as that psycho had.´ I take my maybe I¶m crazy ass over to the chairs. I am ready to accept any punishment the court metes out to me. Robert soon gets close. ³Robert. AGAIN to her like he normally talks to me when he is displeased. I need you to pull back a bit. Of course. she would put a hole in him too.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. In the whole scheme of things. ³Look innocent and remorseful at the same time. she rises to her full height and says something before walking away with a head toss. I turn to talk to my daughters and parents. I turn back to Dottie. ³the man´ is probably watching me. however. ³Do I have to go in and testify? Are they going to grill me and try to break me on the stand?´ ³Lynn. butter wouldn¶t melt in my mouth. I am genuinely sorry I stabbed you in the arm. especially if it keeps me out of the big house.¶ I 133 . I sit there looking like the mother from Psycho thinking. I bet that if she had a knife. You need to get out more.´ she indicates a row of uncomfortable looking chairs. you are not Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde fame. ³What did you do to get the charges dropped? I really need this divorce. They give encouraging words and hugs. I demurely say. Sit there. He looks across the lobby at me.´ I do not shout at him. This is not Boston Legal.
´ ³I better not ever see you again or else. We respectfully beg the court to grant the dismissal the prosecution has requested. ³I regret you are so eager to get a divorce you would hold this over my head in an effort to make me sign the paperwork. From the door of the courtroom.´ he threatens.´ I would do a better job of escaping the dragnet and fleeing to a neutral third world 134 . She has a perfect record. ³What do you say Ms. ³Your honor. Dottie motions for me to come in. Dad stands apart. Words could not express my sincere regret for this incident. I go with her to stand before the judge. Westner dismissed.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. ³Are you sorry?´ ³Yes Your Honor. The children glare at their father and my mother rolls her eyes before giving her famous disdainful sniff. the State of Kansas would like the charges against Ms. This unfortunate incident occurred because she had been deeply traumatized. hands fisted at his sides watching Robert. Your Honor. AGAIN continue aloud. Westner?´ Dottie jumps in before I can say µHell yes. ³You won¶t your honor.¶ ³My client is currently undergoing therapy.´ Robert looks at me and shakes his head. Robert pushes past both of us to be the first one in the court. The prosecutor is on the other side and starts the conversation.´ The judge doesn¶t even look up.´ The judge looks up at me. not having even a traffic ticket in her history. More than I can say.
He has his pen suspended in midair and continues to look. I decline. LUNCH AND A DAD 135 .´ ³Thank you so much your honor. Mom and May ask if I want to go shopping with them. Robert is nowhere to be found. I am as embarrassed my husband would leave me here without a word. AGAIN country before I get caught by five-o. The judge proclaims. but I don¶t say it out loud.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. Dottie grabs my arm and starts backing me out. It appears he is not the friendly sort and does not want to talk.´ He stops writing and looks up at me closely for the first time. I look for him because he is my ride. I hug Dottie and thank her for everything. erect and unmoving. He stands like a post. The children and my parents start to hug me once we are out of the courtroom and away from Judge Grumpy. The judge still does not say a word. as I am that he would leave our marriage. Dad remains. ³Get out. The family gets ready to leave and offers words of support.´ he growls. He would never win a personality contest. He deigns to speak. You won¶t see me again. I¶ll never come back. Dottie quickly obeys the court order with me in tow. ³The charges are hereby dismissed.
It is a hole in the wall place with great µbad for you¶ food.´ Dottie stammers. They have a heart smart menu but I have never seen anyone eating anything from it. I greatly appreciate your efforts on my daughter¶s behalf. I am forgiven. I go along for the ride. Dad drives us to a soul food restaurant. ³Ye. ³Dorothy. yes sir. This would be a great opportunity. My dad has the ability to make the world uncomfortable because he is so staid. AGAIN My dad comes closer to us. I will be responsible for her legal expenses. Another downside of knowing someone since childhood is they know your real name and they may use it. ye. I never actually apologized for my outburst. I order the greens made with ham hocks.´ dad starts. Dad has the green beans cooked with smoked neck bones. Sometimes even a nicely worded request is an order.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE.´ He is the only person I know who calls her Dorothy. Dad has always been a stickler for making sure people accept their responsibilities. meatloaf and a side of mashed potatoes loaded with butter. fried of course. ³Your mother is worried about you. but a request. He turns to me to ask. potato salad and chicken. I will expect the statement within the week. For him to offer to pay my legal fees must mean even though he is disappointed. Her payment is one less thing I will have to worry about in the near future. ³How about a bite to eat?´ It was not an order. The food comes quickly and then he gets down to conversation. 136 . I am satisfied with the outcome of this unfortunate incident. Besides.
In all of my entire life. tell mom I¶ll be fine. She wants you to be safe. He lets me know. Patricide will definitely get me jail time. I know it¶s just his way.´ he tries to convince me. ³I love you.¶ ³Dad. Lynn? You¶ll be there all alone.´ Dad must know I would not deliberately hurt either of them. he gifts. ³She thinks you should move back home. making sure his hands stay clear and clean of the emotional stuff. AGAIN ³I¶m sorry dad. we would get on each other¶s nerves the first night. Robert will be moving out soon. make sure you get enough to eat.´ Instead. I don¶t know why kinder words refuse to come from his mouth.´ I let him know.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE.´ I reach out and cover his hand to still it from drumming on the table. He shifts affection to my mother. ³So she can take care of you. ³What about you.´ ³That is sweet of her but I¶ll be okay at my house. I don¶t mean to worry her. I cannot recall my father owning affection. If I weren¶t so used to it.´ ³Why?´ Am I on drugs? I must have heard wrong. I can¶t remember his ever saying. I know this lunch says µI am here for you. I might think he didn¶t care. but they don¶t. mother stuff. I am scared but maybe this is for the best. I don¶t want her to worry about me. What if something happens to you? Your mother loves you. I haven¶t lived with them for over thirty years. He buys things to show what he cannot put into words. 137 .
In front of the house. 138 . I have some money set aside.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. ³Dad. maybe I¶m going to have to learn how to take care of myself. She wants to do this for you. ³Your mother wants what is best for you. anywhere but at me as he asks these questions. he parks.´ he tells the windshield. ³Well. and leads me to the car without another word.´ He finally releases his equally tight hold on my hand and hurriedly rises to get away from emotion and affection.´ He signals for the check.´ He is looking all around the restaurant. ³Look in the glove compartment and get the envelope.´ Why do my parents think I am destitute? ³Your mother knows you can. Your mother wanted you to have it so you can get an attorney for this divorce. who will take care of you? What if your car breaks down? Who will take out the trash and clear the snow? Your mother just wants you to be taken care of. ³It¶s time to get you home.´ he says reaching for my face and giving it a comforting stroke along my jaw. His mouth becomes a tight line and his throat contracts several times. I can pay attorney fees. AGAIN ³Lynn. I love you too. She really cares about you. Dad. squeezing his hand. pays. This will certainly cover the cost of attorney fees.´ I tell him gently. I take out an envelope with my name on it written in my father¶s handwriting. Moisture comes to his eyes but I know he will not allow a tear to fall. He takes my hand and holds on to it for a moment.´ ³I know and I love her for that. Inside is a cashier¶s check for ten thousand dollars.
´ ³She will.´ I squeeze his upper arm. but he was mine. She will expect to hear from you on a regular basis so she knows you are doing okay. I¶ll be by to get my mail. This is still my house. They didn¶t help much before. I will start leaking and dad hates tears. I sit and stare at the walls. I drag them into the spare bedroom and don¶t care when they block the door. I don¶t want the happy pills. Robert is here. I will not cry about this. I try to freeze the blood in my veins so I won¶t feel. dad honks and drives off. ³When?´ ³When I want. then get out of the car and head inside the house. but it is already out there. Once he sees me inside the door.´ ³It isn¶t a fight. Just leave it on the table. ³I¶ll be back.´ I want to bite my tongue for the apology. Now I am truly alone and I don¶t like being alone.´ If I say anything more. He was not an ideal husband.COURTROOM NUMBER ONE. He didn¶t bother to move the bags out of the hallway. ³You won this round. After the front door shuts. 139 . Sorry you feel that way. AGAIN ³Tell mom thank you for me.´ He takes a suitcase I had not noticed from the corner of the room and heads to the door. He does not ask how I got home. The events of the day have me sitting and staring.´ He heads out of the room. ³I will. I head to bed. He looks at me with contempt and snarls.
³µbecause I am busy. ³Not you again.PACK UP YOUR TROUBLE Mr. ³Come. alone. ³Busy with what. ³No. M. Can¶t he see? I answer him.´ I need to be in misery. Come. It is time to go. ³How long will I be gone?´ ³Till Monday.P.´ He counters. You¶ll need to get a hotel in downtown Phoenix .´ he tempts.´ I tell him. Phoenix and Sedona are waiting for you. Arizona wins. but he has piqued my curiosity. feeling sorry for yourself?´ ³Looking at my life realistically. Your flight leaves tomorrow at ten in the morning. I can¶t go anywhere now.´ I share.´ he wants to know.´ ³Why not. My overnight case comes back out. ³What¶s in Phoenix and Sedona that would interest me?´ ³You¶ll see.O. ³Pack your bags. says. What is really holding you back?´ My choices are to stay here and wait for something to happen or go to Phoenix and Sedona.
³Your car is already reserved. get a hotel close by. With everything that has happened today.´ ³If you look online and find something you want to see. ³No. I go to grab a shower. There will be a concert in Phoenix for you to enjoy.´ He is smiling and his eyes are full of caring. Anything so they are not so noticeable. I try to smooth them. Maybe I should condition them. Will you be there?´ I look around when there is no response. they could form a weapon. You will be spending some time outside in Sedona.´ ³How am I going to pick out a hotel in Phoenix. sleep may not come. I get out drying off and taking the time to examine my assets.´ I am now committed to going. I start removing them only to find they are attached and are not threads from the towel. They are evidence to the fact I am graying all 141 . I see only air. You may want to take some jeans and tennis shoes.´ he tells me. I sit on the edge of the bed after getting packed. the weather is mild. ³What clothes will work best for Arizona? My closet is a long way from a boutique. They stick straight out and feel like straw. I wonder what a man would see looking at me now. Looking in the mirror. A closer perusal shows I have towel threads in my pubic hair. They are shining white hairs.SEEING SEDONA and be at the airport a couple of hours early. If too many of them get together. My reflection shows the mythical man would be in for a handful. I don¶t know anything about the city.´ ³Is it cold? What should I pack. They do not lie down.
´ My mother is not a traveler. As delicately. It was Bloomington and maybe it shouldn¶t count. but she will have less opposition if she thinks the doctor wants me to go. it is seven in the morning. They still stick straight out. 142 . are you feeling quite the thing?´ Mom¶s voice is rising at the end of the question. What do you do about that? I run to my makeup bag and get out the mascara.´ I let her know. I go to bed. Hair doesn¶t have to be hard as long as Bonner Brothers makes hair products. The first call is to my mother. as if I were putting it on my eyes. I¶m going to rub some conditioner down there. ³Mom. It slowly dawns on me there is no one to see my pubic hair. Why bother. ³Honey.´ I haven¶t been back to Doctor Flaky so the statement is not actually true. are you sure you should leave? I mean you were just somewhere already. I stroke the brush over my pubic grays. but they are now brown. the next time I wash my hair. She likes to stay put and wants everyone else to stay put also. can you let everyone know I¶m going to Arizona?´ ³For what? Lynn. ³Well I want to get away for the weekend. gray or otherwise. Nevertheless. I remember my promise to the children and my parents before leaving town. I go in the bathroom and wash the mascara off my private parts. but you went somewhere. On that realistic thought. I will probably never have sex again.SEEING SEDONA over. Sleep must have come because the next thing I know. ³Mom I need to get away so I can think a bit. The doctor thinks it will be good for me.
I promise to call when I get there and every morning and every night. Because what I honestly want is revenge without having to do time. Have a nice time. I reserve a room and get a ticket to the concert. Do you need some money I¶ve got a few hundred in cash if you need to come by and pick it up?´ She asks before we hang up. I cancel my appointment because I am leaving town. ³I¶m sure mom. I go to the computer and do some serious cutting. pasting. Once I am satisfied with my efforts.´ ³Okay honey. and writing from a place of revenge. I do not offer to reschedule. After that. I decide to write a letter to him. I search the internet to find a hotel in Phoenix close to the arena where they are having a jazz concert tomorrow. I use the services available on the internet. I might look for someone new. I print my work onto the high quality paper with a high quality envelope I brought in case I needed to send resumes. 143 .´ She concedes with a sigh. It wouldn¶t be nice to leave without a note or call to Robert.´ Where is she getting these large sums of money? My final call is to my head doctor. but thanks for the offer. someone I feel comfortable talking to. Will you tell the children for me?´ ³If you are sure you need to do this. later.SEEING SEDONA ³Where will you be staying? How can we get in touch with you?´ ³I¶ll have my cell phone with me. ³No mom.
it¶s time to go. The scent of Caesar¶s Woman has me heading towards the correct one. 7B is empty. I head to the airport in a taxi for the ease of not having to drive myself or find a place to park.O.P. it will be close to noon when I get there. M. I ask the taxi driver to take me by the post office so I can mail Robert¶s letter.´ answers Mr. I find this will be a two and a half hour flight and with the time change. As I drop the letter into the mailbox. ³Well doesn¶t the flight attendant think it strange you appear after takeoff and are not there at the landing?´ Planes shouldn¶t have people coming and going during a flight. my seatmate arrives. I know damn well we are not going over water so I zone out wondering what Arizona will be like. I get past security and on to the plane in seat 7A. After takeoff. It sounds the same as the last set of instructions. I get out and deposit the fruits of my labor. Sometimes being a bitch feels damn good. I look around wondering which airline goes to Phoenix.SEEING SEDONA Now. Boarding pass in hand. Once at the airport. Unsurprisingly. 144 . ³Can anyone see you besides me?´ I have not had any experience with spirits before now. I pay attention to the safety instructions. ³Of course. On the way. I smile. We go to the one close to downtown. He takes my hand and smiles.
³What if I want more? Remember I told you when we were together I know I¶m greedy.´ ³What?´ I ask the air as the plane touches down. encouraged me in my passion. Are you real?´ ³I am as real as I need to be. I head to the car rental area with my luggage rolling behind me.´ He assures me. but he was the most thorough. After checking in. ³Next lifetime. I admire the city on the drive to the hotel. spiritually. She and others see what they need to see.SEEING SEDONA ³She doesn't think anything is strange at all. ³So I don¶t look like I am sitting here talking to myself? It may be best not to call attention to the strangeness of you. I wish he would stick around long enough so to make it plain what we can and cannot do. My name on the signboard lets me know the right place. when you need me most.´ He informs me.´ I haven¶t had a wide variety to compare him with. Mentally.´ ³If we can¶t be together physically. Physically. look for me. I grab a magazine with an awe-inspiring picture of orange mountains on the cover and plan on having a good time in 145 . we are connected over life and lifetimes. exciting. I notice a stack of activities for Phoenix. and made me feel complete. He listened to me talk. we do not connect. how come I can feel your hand in mine? How could I feel you kiss away my tears and hold me at night?´ ³Those are limited bursts of energy. wonderful lover of my life.
deposit my belongings. Thinking about sex brings the thought to the forefront. it looks demure from the front and stops just above the knees. It makes me look like I have a shape. Cut low in the back. The mall has me windowshopping before purchasing a pink dress to wear to the concert. I go to the room. 146 . There are enough things to escape the boredom faced in Indiana. happy to have had conversation and return to the hotel to shower before going to bed. I am fifty-five and likely to never have sex again. Chocolate with Brazil nuts or chocolate with toffee and raisins should do fine. Doughnuts are substitutes for bad sex. Thankfully. Her voice exudes the pride she has for her city. and I share with the waitress my concert activity for tomorrow. A local bar-b-cue restaurant close to the hotel and it looks perfect for dinner. I leave. The food is good.SEEING SEDONA Phoenix and Sedona. sex may be over for me. I¶ll have to find a sex substitute. They have free concerts during the summer to give youth an activity. Just what I need for the new person I am now. the clerk knows where the closest mall is. totally unlike any dress I currently own. the people are friendly. It is a vibrant pink loud enough to stand out in a crowd. I watch for a time before going out to drive around Phoenix. There is not any reason to get up early the next morning. They are setting up for the concert tomorrow. and then grab a shower to freshen up. She tells me the history of the arena. It¶s been a long time. The place across the street looks busy enough to investigate. so that is where the car is headed. However. I need a substitute for no sex. I feel sexy.
I just might get lucky. Before heading back to the hotel. old toys.´ I love the look in his eyes. It keeps my attention enough to spend a couple hours looking at someone else¶s history. his eyes glued to my ass. I slip into my pink dress and look in the mirror.´ he observes. My appetite is returning slowly. stretching in all different directions. When I do get up. I put on Caesar¶s Woman at my pulse points. ³Attention can¶t be all bad. I wonder if there will be a man intrigued enough to try to pick me up. Not bad. I wish he could. it is to leave the hotel and drive around. An antique mall with armor. ³You will attract attention in your pink dress. admires from his position on the bed.O. Who knows.´ I wish I could get lucky with him. I stay in bed. I even put some in my pubic area. as if he would sop me up with a biscuit. I love making my own decisions. He is familiar 147 . I think to my reflection. THE DICKS YOU MEET ON A DANCE FLOOR Back to the hotel and my body needs another shower to clean away the sweat. I stop at a non-chain restaurant to have something to eat before going back to the hotel. tiffany lamps and stone eggs in the window catch my attention. M. I am going to expand my horizons.P. to make myself feel better. ³Thank you. glassware.SEEING SEDONA Even after I wake up.´ Mr. ³You¶re looking well tonight. train sets and other items.
³Remember. My eyes travel up and up and up at the body I had bumped into. The sounds are intense. I think these thoughts to myself as I put on strappy flat sandals. They are jamming and seem without a care. There concert will be held outside and this will be a new experience for me.´ He encourages me with those words before leaving. There is dancing. With his shaved dome. physical longing is easily appeased. could I shed my cares and inhibitions as freely as they seem to be doing? Might as well go down front and try. I hear the music before I get there. Maybe the freedom can be contagious. too light brown. I rock and weave. I watch the people in the front as they dance and enjoy life. Long legs. a mix of salsa and soul that makes me move. I move to the center of a mass of people and my inhibitions fall like leaves in autumn. swirl and twirl. but trying to internalize the music and move with feeling.SEEING SEDONA and wonderful. Enjoy. It looks like a penis on legs. What if I do meet someone tonight? What will he say? What would my response be? It¶s been a long time. letting the music guide my body. not using measured steps. he makes me instantly think 148 . about six feet six inches. Strangers are better to be with then being by myself tonight. Something. My soul wants to feel again. I head to the concert area. Forty to forty-five years old. I close my eyes and continue to sway. The music is vibrating. I continue dressing. I¶ll figure it out IF it happens. If I go down there. I bump into a body I didn¶t know was so close to me and open my eyes to administer my apology. Anything.
´ Looking like a dick and sounding like sex is a wonderful combination. ³Are you okay. I¶m fine.´ I would love to have him between my legs. I like the contact.´ he apologizes. What the hell am I supposed to say to that? ³Yeah.´ He gives me a smile and a wink then removes his hands. He couldn¶t possibly be interested in me. How often do you meet a dick on a dance floor? The excitement continues to build. I wish I had a doughnut. The thought is erotic enough to make me stop breathing. Stick doughnuts. I need a dozen doughnuts.´ That sounds stupid. Is it too forward? I hope he 149 . I stare before finally managing to squeak out a ³my bad. ³Oh. He has brought my memory of an orgasm to the forefront. This man is physical perfection. I wasn¶t looking where I was dancing.´ I smile up at him. He has enough bass in his voice to command attention when he opens his mouth to speak. He dwarfs me as he stands in front of me. I didn¶t hurt you did I?´ he asks. He takes ownership of the collision and shouts over the music. I¶m sorry. It was probably my fault. me too. He puts his hands on my shoulders and starts us moving in an impromptu loose dance ³No. A big one. I am so horny and want to get laid in the worse kind of way. I¶m Donald. It has been such a long time. Sorry.SEEING SEDONA of a penis. it¶s my fault. I get a kind of scary feeling because he is tall and attention getting. ³You can dance over me anytime. ³No.
He gently sucks my bottom lip then licks my lips to end the mouth contact. I am out of the dating. µShut up. and getting laid loop.¶ My private parts respond to my brain. the worst I ever had. If I were a tramp. 150 . What if he is not interested in me like that? He dips me gently. watch yourself. Don¶t do anything stupid.SEEING SEDONA doesn¶t think I am a tramp. I am married. the more I think about sex. He is a very good kisser. The gray ones. I have gray pubic hair and titties that resemble weenie dogs. My pubic area yells. Please do this. flirting. µLynn. The sane hemisphere of my brain speaks to me. Please don¶t fuck up this chance. My shoulder is still feeling the warmth of his hands. He smiles and takes my hands to turn me as we continue to dance. We come together. ³People are looking. enough for me to know I fit perfectly at his nipple and for him to feel my pubic hair. µYou can do this.¶ He bends over and captures my mouth. I would want to tramp with him. The more I tell myself not to think about sex. If I will ever get some more.¶ It¶s very distracting to be constantly on the edge of an orgasm. way close together. Right about now nothing is as important as getting laid. I don¶t know if I can do this. The closeness lets me know he is interested in me like that.´ I say as I pull back. we¶re taking him home to make sure everything still works. For us. mostly. The best I ever had. He kisses me. He will see me naked.
SEEING SEDONA ³Then why don¶t we go to some place more private?´ a closer pull of me against him shows. but thank you very much. he will think my fake name is a slut. Between my legs. Are you from Phoenix?´ Small talk is hard. We could go to my house.´ I wouldn¶t want to go to his house. I¶ll be getting laid. I will never see him again. I can be seen with him. My nipples are hard as jawbreakers. He could be from east hell and it wouldn¶t make a bit of difference. They tell me.¶ My titties perk up at the possibility they may get sucked. ³Yes. µNo. What¶s your name?´ Damn.´ Donald offers. he is ready and able. If I give him a fake name. Mr.P. which isn¶t a bad idea. He might think I am a slut. him being a spirit and all. Could I live with myself? Yes. Donald¶s here. is not available. He looks like he is going to be good. My car is in the parking garage on the corner. ³Okay. My pubic parts are doing the anticipation dance. ³I am staying across the street. ³I¶m Elizabeth from Jackson. M. I don¶t give a damn where he is from. 151 . At the hotel room.´ This is my concession to my brain. I¶m here. My brain wants me to stop and think. I am.´ I sound too damn prissy.O. from the feel of him. I may never have this opportunity again. µGirl don¶t mess this up. ³We can go to my hotel room. think fast. He may have bodies in the basement. I¶m horny. only where he¶s going. Men are not breaking my door down. If I can make it to getting my clothes off.
right?´ If he tries anything funny. ³Sedona. The physical attraction is undeniable. Well at least for tonight. I lead him to the desk.´ Donald takes my hand. This is going to be an encounter with a man who is not my husband. We enter the hotel. I turn back to him. My brain is being a bitch and stays blank. I hope I haven¶t forgotten what to do with him.´ I say his name extra loud so the clerk can hear me. Act natural.SEEING SEDONA ³Lead the way.´ My mind goes blank. My brain gets jealous of the workout my pubic area is in for and goes back to work. I have forgotten how to make small talk before sex. ³you¶re from the Phoenix area. My pubic area takes over. It tells me to take precautions. ³I¶m glad I met you tonight.´ I sound disjointed because I¶m making it up as I go. have someone see him just in case he is a rapist. ³Do you come here often?´ Donald asks ³No. ³What brings you to Phoenix?´ Donald perseveres. I have to go there tomorrow.´ he laughs. ³Huh?´ ³This is a business trip. room 1514?´ I ask the clerk. Act cool.´ I hope he doesn¶t delve any further. I¶m yours. there is a witness. On business. 152 . ³Are there any messages for me." I wanted to see Sedona. I think. ³So Donald.
for him.´ It will also get his fingerprints on a glass. He kisses 153 . we go to my room. and whiskey. as if she would slip him her number. We stop in and get wine for me. ³Are you sure you don¶t want to go there instead?´ The clerk heard him. I look at him because I don¶t have much of a clue on how to start and he is so damn fine. east of here´ he lets me know.´ the clerk says to tall and fine standing beside me. the bartender wouldn¶t care. he looks at me as if I am supposed to know what to do. neat. He could be a pervert and I will need you to tell the police what he looks like. take a close look. he is only interested in Donald. ³A glass of Chardonnay would be nice. ³Thank you for checking. Tramp ³There are no messages for you. If I had boobs like Dolly Parton and a face like Nefertiti. The bartender has a hard time tearing his eyes off of my partner for the night. He pours Donald a triple and gives me enough wine to wet the bottom of the glass. We go towards the elevator.´ he offers. She will be able to identify him judging by the way that she is staring at him. Good.SEEING SEDONA ³Yes. Inside the room. ³Would you like a drink? We can stop in the bar if you like. My dress is wasted on the bartender.´ I tell her so she can focus back on me. Dancing made me thirsty. Just in case. Drinks in hand.
He does some good touching and then he covers me. I should cut his 154 . The first stroke gets him a ways into me. good enough. it¶s not fitting. I don¶t know if I can do this without an epidural. Namely me. His size is impressive my hand tells my brain. I settle more comfortably in the mattress and prepare for pleasure. He must be packing ten inches. this might be worth the trip. He withdraws. Okay. I didn¶t even get a chance to move. It feels like this might not work. Three. The second stroke has him still a long way from me. Once naked. I wouldn¶t want to send him running screaming from the room if he saw me in the bright light. He has an equally impressive girth. are we? I took my clothes off for that? Hell. One. What just happened? Is he finished? Already? That¶s all? That can¶t be all. I have stretched to accommodate the birth of children. Does he think he had performed on stage and worked up a sweat? Why is he washing his balls? We can¶t be done yet. but the doctors had to damn near knock me out with painkillers for the experience. I turn off the lights except for the one in the bathroom. We¶re not finished yet.SEEING SEDONA me again. We can see our outlines. We continue kissing and start shedding our clothes. No. Ain¶t this a bitch? I am processing the speed of his completion. we climb onto the bed and under the sheet. I hear an ³aaah´ and then feel nothing except his body collapsing on top of mine. Two. I am not sure this is going to fit without tearing something. This third stroke has him embedded about halfway in and me thinking. Then this bastard has the nerve to go wash his balls.
I started taking my clothes off because I was horny. Could you please dress and leave?´ He opens his eyes and appears surprised. He starts dressing. The guy is as inept at fucking as a monkey is in a kitchen fixing Sunday dinner. I¶m sure he doesn¶t get a call back from women after their first sexual encounter. ³That was intense.SEEING SEDONA dick off and give it to him. I get up and put on my nightgown. I allowed him into my body because I was horny. Speedy comes back with a smile on his face bright enough to shine through the darkness. I brought this man here because I was horny. talking all of the time. I really don¶t sleep well with someone in bed with me.´ He lies down and closes his eyes. I roughly and firmly shake him awake. ³What is going on? That was fantastic. I should not still be horny and he should not be asleep. I have restless leg syndrome and I snore. I was not impressed. for all the women who have taken off their clothes only to be doomed to disappointment I reach over. 155 . I am still stunned he is finished. As tall as he is. What to do? I really have no choice. Then. This is bigger than I am. Do you have somewhere to go? When can we get together again?´ He puts legs in the pants I am shaking in front of him. ³You know what? It¶s time for you to go. He can¶t be. Maybe it was good for him. I like to sleep alone. Then he won¶t think about having another woman end up being disappointed with his lack of stamina Mr. as well hung as he is.
SEEING SEDONA ³I¶ll look you up the next time I¶m in Phoenix.´ I¶m ready to tie his shoes except they are loafers.´ I am buckling his belt and throw out another sop. ³That¶s where I grew up. That would give him a whole minute and a half more than he deserves. I could thank him for his two minutes of service. I fold it and stick it in his pocket as I push him out of the door. We both like to dance. ³I thought you were from Jackson?´ He stops to ask. I can¶t remember them. I¶m an ego booster. I take another number out of the middle.´ ³I¶ll write it down for you. There are fourteen digits.´ This is said as I help his arms into the sleeves of his shirt. ³7832586965154´ I tell him as I open the door. give me a call. ³Donald. but why lie any more than I already have. I have to erase because the first number was a zero.´ I run to the desk and scribble down something. He would know it was a fake number. ³That sounds like too many numbers. It looks right. if you ever get to Kansas City. ³What¶s your number? I would love to call you sometime´ He asks this as I continue fastening his shirt and putting his shoes in front of him for him to step into as he is propelled tugged and drug towards the door.´ I say this with a straight face since I¶ll never be in Arizona again. I live in Kansas City now. ³Bye. now. I move to the front to help him button his shirt.´ 156 . ³We were great together.
³I remember you too and was hoping to recapture the excitement. Are you satisfied now you are a desirable woman?´ he probes. On my glazed thought.´ I admit longingly. The next morning I wake up to laughter. I had an inept partner. dear heart. Not having sex at all is really better than bad sex. ³And then?´ he laughingly questions. M. All of that bass. I remember.´ says an excellent lover. ³He was not much of a lover. I go to sleep. ³Are you a voyeur? How could you watch?´ I want to curl up and disappear. It was a confidence booster for the thirty seconds it lasted.P. now I can lie sideways in the bed. I lean against the door and turn every lock in sight before returning to bed.O. Robert never allowed sideways sleeping. ³All three strokes.´ I ask hoping he will say no. All of that tall. ³Bravo. I¶ll get a doughnut in the morning. who is laughing his ass off.SEEING SEDONA I have him on the other side of the door and shut it on the question he is forming his mouth to ask. Besides.´ he confirms.´ is what I hear from Mr. 157 . ³I suppose you saw the performance last night. I would rather sleep alone than with someone so inept. ³There was certainly not much to see. Sleeping alone has benefits.´ ³I remember you. For what? For thirty seconds of shame. I wanted to see how it went. Bravo.
maybe I would have seen him again. I may have liked to know him better. The day awaits you. If he weren¶t such a terrible lover. ³It doesn¶t seem to have been worth the effort. ³You will tell me. Mr. She will drive you to Sedona.´ Mr. ³There was something satisfying about being wanted. 158 .´ I agree with him. Where am I going and how will I get there?´ He shares. M. I can live without ever seeing him again. laughs. I¶m still horny as hell and still unsatisfied. M.P. will pick you up in about an hour.´ is his only answer before leaving.O.O. ³Does this mean you will no longer look for physical release?´ I want to be honest. Now it is time to arise. your Sedona guide and an old friend. even by a stranger. No.´ He observes. making me ask questions of myself I don¶t know how to answer. doesn¶t let it go.´ ³What will I see there?´ I want to know. I¶ve had chocolate with cashews give me more pleasure. ³Zena.´ I confess. ³That is an understatement. I don¶t know when I will have another opportunity. so take my time to ponder the question before speaking. he wasn¶t very interesting to talk with and physically. He was a good kisser. Are you ready to see the sights?´ ³If I must. if he could get some blue pills. ³Better luck next time. In addition.P.SEEING SEDONA ³And then I wished I hadn¶t bothered.
otherwise I could not have felt the hug. Mr. ³Hello.O. ³Hello´ I greet her. She must be real.´ She has a blue t-shirt and blue jeans on with a blue and white kerchief around her neck.´ ³To what do I owe this honor?´ ³Lynn is in search of peace and the ability to see the beauty of life. M. In the lobby area there is a carryout restaurant.´ Zena turns to me and allows me to share her smile.´ she observes. The perfect place to see the beauty of life has to be Sedona. ³Hello old friend. Was it everything you wanted it to be?´ she asks him. coming back to the front of me. There was no better place to transition.P. KISS OF THE SUN AND MOON As I finish my food. I grab an egg biscuit sandwich with a cup of coffee and sit in the lobby to eat and await the arrival of Zena. ³What an interesting person you are. She walks closer and hugs me very tightly. I guess. ³I¶ll go and get the van.SEEING SEDONA I get up and dress in a t-shirt jeans and tennis shoes. my guide. ³Yes.´ A short silver haired white lady enters the lobby to say. I heard of your transition. says ³Time to go. I love Vancouver. She looks like a cherub when she smiles. She looks me over and walks around me. meet me in front´ she throws 159 .
they cross several tints of the color wonderful to scream at me and dare me to ignore them. she talks about the place we are going. Like pumpkin and salmon. After fifteen minutes of hard walking. ³Where do we go now?´ I ask my guide. Mr. A vortex is nothing to play with. It is so incredible.´ She imparts this information as though it will make me happy.P. On the drive. it gradually starts to invade my sight. I follow her through the woods and through more woods. We¶ve seen the rocks and the mountains. we come to a clearing. A vortex is nothing to casually view. Mountains. maybe we should stay in the car. ³There¶s a vortex. I get it. I don¶t need to see it close-up. There aren¶t any danger signs. and other shades of orange. We could continue our drive and I could see everything from the car.SEEING SEDONA over her shoulder. I wonder why. Zena continues to walk. but I know this is a bad idea.´ I saw a vortex on Star Trek and it almost sucked the Enterprise in before Captain Kirk got them out. We¶re going to get close to it. There is a stream running beside plateaus of red rock. Mountains so big and scraggly they make humans look insignificant greet me in Sedona. Zena doesn¶t act worried about the vortex. Zena picks me up at the front of hotel. the size of city blocks. This sounds dangerous. 160 . has gone again. I think this is enough beautiful. She gets a long walking stick and starts off down a dirt path.O. I feel it from a distance. the color of cinnamon mixed with paprika. I see the beauty of nature. ³Zena. M. When we park. I don¶t pay much attention to the scenery at first. It could take me out of this world.
´ It sounds to me as if my voice is coming through an echo chamber. ³You are experiencing the vortex. I would need to be able to live off the land and I don¶t see any steak and potatoes growing on this land. like I am connected to the earth. I hope it lasts. over your shoulder. The energy seeps into my system and feel connects me to the ground. I wish I could stay here where it¶s peaceful. What do you think of Cathedral Rock. I had missed the most fascinating sight while sitting on my vortex. I¶ll need it for the times ahead. My body feels heavy and my mind feels rested. Framed by the trees we were watching 161 .SEEING SEDONA The flatness of the plateau is inviting and I go over to sit on the red stone.´ Zena tells me as she points to my left. ³Look.´ As I sit. The sound of the water in the near distance lulls me. ³No. I feel really peaceful right here. It feels as though my troubles are being pulled downward through my feet on the ground and my hands on my stone seat. ³Do you feel the vortex?´ She is standing in front of me. Zena continues to the end of the pathway and comes back around.´ ³Oh. I¶d like to sit here for a few minutes. I see her as though she is in slow motion. Cathedral Rock rose proudly among the red and demanded homage. I am getting a shot of confidence. To stay here. My body feels tired and energized at the same time. I feel strengthened. I see her through half opened lids. The lack of ice cream would also be a drawback and there isn¶t a doughnut shop for miles. Zena smiles.
³Come we have further to go. ³And why do we need to get there. ³You will see it from a different point of view. She is halfway to the other side without incident when my mouth closes. We head back and past where we entered. We saw the rocks already. She takes off and makes her way onto the series stepping stones that are the only way to cross the creek. The various points and arches of the mountains put me in mind of pictures of ancient churches. What was hidden in plain sight.´ How many ways can you view mountains? I¶m here so I guess I¶ll be seeing at least one more angle.´ Nobody told me anything about creek crossing. I copy her movements.´ Zena turns and retraces our steps. I have never crossed a creek using stepping-stones. My lethargy leaves and I bounce up to follow her. welcoming and majestic. I go much slower because I don¶t want to fall in the creek. it makes me realize how insignificant I am in the scheme of the world. It helps to look at things from various angles.SEEING SEDONA from.´ Zena tells me this as she stops to roll up her pant legs and remove her shoes. They represent strength gained through weathered storms. ³The only way to get where we are going is to cross the creek. I have to move fast to keep up with Zena. Zena smiles. She better not fall in because I can¶t swim. Then you see what you have missed. I can 162 . Some of the stepping-stones are actually stepping pebbles. We continue to move out of the forest and up to the water¶s edge.
She leads the way the same way a mother duck would. I am content to stand. Half an hour later. I feel victorious and follow Zena into the woods again. How did this mountain come into being? This piece of perfection doesn¶t care that my husband is leaving me. those are what my breaths consist of right now.SEEING SEDONA see the bottom so I am not worried about drowning. still commanding respect. I don¶t want to have to walk around with wet clothes. she suggests dinner. I will describe my journey. Exhausted because of the heat and the walking. and reflect. I made it through the challenge. It takes twenty-three steps and much prayer to make it to the other side. She knows the area better than I 163 . It has weathered storms through decades and is still standing. Energized by the views and the sense of purpose in the place. it seems even more majestic. When we are back in the car. The grandeur leaves me standing dumbfounded. Zena is inexhaustible. This view does not have the interference of the trees. It comes as a surprise when Zena touches my arm to tell me it is time to leave. Looking up. look. I feel energized and exhausted. as navigating miles of white water rapids. With the unobstructed view. We are much closer. Zena has her shoes back on and her pant legs back down. when I tell my story. How many people have come to this spot and had this experience? Did it change their lives? If peace can be breathed. we come out on the other side of Cathedral Rock. I look at my watch and find we have been here four hours. It seems as though we just got here. I make it back across the creek in half the time it took me to get here.
we are going to the moon. I already have three marks. On the right side of us. It looks like if you could push it. Suddenly. ³Now come. How will you leave your mark on the world?´ Zena wants to know. ³If you count the kids.´ Zena hurries to complete our meal. a glimpse of perfection. Words escape me and I follow Zena back to the car. Our restaurant is located in the mountains with a view towards Bell Rock. the moon appears on the left. ³Lynn. it is time to go. That¶s what I experience. I think about the sights and the connection to earth now in my possession. and begins its ascent to meet the stars. My kids are grown. I discern the different shades of blue. I hope 164 . It looks close enough to touch. there is the sun. the earth in its splendor. black and gray are mixed with the white to make up the fluff of the moon. ³What will you do with yourself?´ Zena starts our return drive conversation. The crowd quiets as we see the greeting between the sun and the moon as they pass each other and exchange a kiss on our mountain. ³What do you mean?´ I¶ve done everything. She drives a short distance and parks. We get out on the side of the mountain to mingle with the crowd that is standing around. it would sound an alarm through the state. a true red ball.´ Zena brings my head down from the clouds. ³With your life. We eat in silence.SEEING SEDONA do and gets us to a place to eat. This is true beauty.
Back at the hotel.´ ³Sure you do. My life has changed and I need to do the same. I get out.´ She proclaims.´ ³You need a bigger stage. ³I¶ll think about it. accept it and release it to the universe. return the favor. ³What? I don¶t have anything to offer.´ She wants me to believe.´ I have to.´ ³You can anything.SEEING SEDONA I don¶t have any more marks to leave. An opportunity to grow. 165 . Now you have seen Sedona.´ ³This is the perfect time to make plans. show someone else. I can¶t. Remember that.´ µDon¶t thank me. ³I¶m not particularly skilled at anything. They have a way of falling through at the most inopportune times. You get to rewrite your future. I admit to her. life is going forward not backward.´ Zena advises.´ Zena barters. make use of it. ³Thank you Zena for a wonderful day. ³Find your passion.´ Zena seems excited at the prospect. ³I am in the middle of a divorce and am rather hesitant to make any grand plans.´ Zena smiles. Now you have it. The rest of the drive is in silence with me turning her words over repeatedly.
There is no visit from Mr. Monday morning.´ He smiles and squeezes my hand. Thank-you. you did. I have certainly seen a different side of the country here. I make my children calls before going to sleep. I go back to the hotel and get something to eat. I head back to my room. The ability to think and see clearly. I stay outside for a few minutes longer to watch Zena leave and look at the moon. ³I didn¶t do anything. There is red dirt on the street and sidewalks. the spiritual awareness. so recently mine for the touching. The weather is great. so do not return the call. Everything here is red. I barely feel it going into my nose. He also deduces I must have been sleepy because he got too many numbers. I miss seeing green.´ I tell him. You opened yourself. The air is soft. I go home. ³What did you find?´ he asks as he takes my hand. There is a message on my telephone. On the plane. I want to sleep alone without being further frustrated by him. The beauty. I will sleep like a baby tonight because I feel at peace. Everything has a red tint. I do make calls to my parents and children before going to sleep. It was wonderful. It¶s from Donald. However. ³It was more than I could have anticipated. M. Sunday I decide to walk around the Phoenix area.P. he comes to me. there is no grass.O. Red air. We hold hands and fly in silence before sleep claims me.´ I reach over to hug her ad then get out of the van. He wants to know if we can possibly get together tonight.SEEING SEDONA ³I¶ll try. He again leaves before we 166 .
´ he tells me as if it matters. ³Where have you been? You haven¶t been here since Thursday. we are getting a divorce. ³Why? As you tell me. No twice. Where have you been?´ he asks as if he has the right. I have been with someone else. Today is Monday. New habits must be put into practice. You haven¶t been to work. I told you I won¶t sign anything without my attorney. I need to talk to Dottie about changing the locks on the door. NAG Once back in town. I see Robert¶s car in the driveway. but it was a confidence builder. I don¶t like your tone. I was in Phoenix and Sedona?´ Old habits die hard and the need to assuage Robert with an apology is something I have to work on. NAG. NAG. ³Lynn.´ Robert likes to demand. I need to talk to you. I go in and find Robert standing in the living room. Someone else wanted me at least once. ³You are really changing.´ I wonder if I look different.´ ³What is it Robert.´ I sniff. ³I¶m sorry Robert. I correct myself. ³For what? I demand to know what¶s going on with you. It wasn¶t any good.SEEING SEDONA touchdown. I head home. 167 .
³You have never had to deal with anything before. I take my suitcase and head upstairs. secure in his domination of me. You aren¶t used to making decisions for yourself. I hear Robert leave.SEEING SEDONA ³I¶m sor« so glad you stopped in to visit. Sleep comes quickly after. can we talk later? I am tired. ³Leave the papers on the table and I will take a look at them.´ I confront him. but I have to change his perception. I am talking to you.´ I tell him without looking back. Come back here. I¶m just looking out for your best interest. ³You don¶t know how. Wow. 168 . You aren¶t even cooking the way you¶re supposed to anymore. I get into bed and lay sideways. The peace found at the vortex seeps from my brain to all parts of my body.´ I tell him sarcastically.´ I let him know without apology. Robert was going to sleep with me tonight. Robert looks at me as if I am an idiot.´ I look at him and cannot believe I was so lost to myself.´ Robert tells me from his point of view. I keep walking. I can¶t believe I was going to sleep with you tonight. That may have been true in the past. You should thank me. ³What do you want from me? You can¶t keep control over me like I¶m your wife and then not be here to be my husband.´ Robert says in his firm voice from the bottom of the stairs. ³Lynn.´ I state. I am most displeased. how lucky I would have been. ³I have to start looking out for my own best interest. ³Robert. I don¶t need or want pity sex.
Take a look in on the office. I have been doing some serious growing. one from each of the kids. there are messages. I didn¶t hear the telephone ringing. so why not. If you can check the mail and everything on Thursday and Tuesday. I¶ll be back by Friday.SEEING SEDONA Harold calls me late in the morning. mostly staring at the ceiling instead of sleeping. When I get back. There are five new messages.´ ³Okay Harold. I tried to call you on the house phone but no one answered. Go out to Sedona and watch the sun go down and the moon come up. we can talk. I spend the time contemplating my two journeys and the lessons learned. but I don¶t have anything else to do. I can do that. it would be great. ³Great. ³Lynn.´ Days are long and I don¶t have much else to do. Sure enough.´ I could say no and continue to use the time I have accrued. each a replica of the other. please. I get up and go to the answering machine. ³Sure Harold. You will be disappointed. 169 . I may have a job lead for you. Why aren¶t I answering the telephone? I stay in bed. My Travel Tips for Phoenix and Sedona Never sleep with a man that looks like a dick that you meet on a dance floor. I¶m going to be heading down to Florida to look at relocating.
I field the questions as best as I can. When hunger pains hit. At the end of the day. Everyone is buzzing about the downsizing. It would have to be more exciting than my current employment. Heavier fish like tuna and salmon are for the second and fourth Friday.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE I spend Wednesday walking around the house. Harold is due back Friday and from the looks of things. Responses to non-urgent e-mail and snail mail can wait till Tuesday. A new job may be just what the doctor should have ordered. drinking wine from Indiana. new people and new office politics. They think I have inside information and want to know where I¶ve been. Is a new job doable at my age and temperament or. to fix for dinner. so I can eat whatever I like. White fish is for a first and third Friday meals according to Robert. he hasn¶t been doing much of anything since I left. I have returned all of the calls and sorted through the mail. It gets me out of the house and its busy work with a change of scene. A new job. I would have to get used to a new rhythm. I have the tilapia. We are divorcing. After tidying the . Coming to work does a poor job of keeping my mind off everything else. I am not ready to sit home all day being bored to tears. is it time to find new interests. On Thursday. Thoughts about how a new job would feel creep around my subconscious. it¶s time to get up to go to work. something that involves travel would be a dream job. letters and e-mails and the welcome interruptions from coworkers break the monotony. There is little effort expended in catching up on the ignored calls.
Your friend is a home wrecker.´ Robert gives me a self-satisfied smile. you are a sanctimonious bastard. the bastard. it¶s time to head home. ³Lynn. I intend to act like it. You can¶t expect me to entertain that woman in my home. I¶m not signing. When I come in.´ Robert heads toward the door and parts unknown. ³Or you can sign the paperwork and be done with this sham of a marriage. I think you should know I intend to start bringing my friend here. The curve ball Robert threw makes me recognize the need for the assistance of a higher power.´ His comments stop me from walking.´ ³You should clean up the trashy mouth you¶re getting and give me what I want.´ He smiles at me as if he were giving me a treat. ³In our kitchen. Robert is in my house. he starts with me. This is my house too. She¶ll be here tomorrow. You won¶t have to cook for me anymore because she will see to my meals.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE office. ³You can¶t be serious. You can¶t bring her here. ³Robert. ³In my kitchen?´ I need him to clarify this for me. I call my mother. Robert is going to start bringing his girlfriend here.´ This is shared without me taking a breath. She is going to cook for him. I want to be wrong. In my kitchen. 171 .´ ³I certainly can. ³Mom. He says it¶s his house too.
³What?´ I was expecting name calling kinship of feeling. I go into them and stick like Velcro.´ My voice is steadily rising until I am speaking louder to my mother than I ever have in my life. She looks into my tear-filled eyes to let me know.´ Shock stops the tears. Now.´ she states before hanging up. so will your dad and me. 172 . she opens her arms. She rubs my back. ³I¶m on my way. ³Honey. I could have heard her wrong. What do you think about that?´ Mom asks politely. She can cook for him. recognition of Robert¶s wrongness. Feeling my tears. ³Nothing dear. if you want. ³Tomorrow she¶ll be here? Well. She pats the space beside her for me to take the space. ³I hate it. Robert can disappear. my mother puts her hands on my shoulders and pushes me back. Forever. tell me what happened. I¶ll cook for us.´ Mom looks at me with a nod. He gets to do whatever he wants and I have to take it. which in turn releases the tears I have been trying to keep inside for too long.´ Mom pats my arm and goes into the front room to have a seat on the couch.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE ³Hmm. It¶s so disrespectful but I don¶t know what to do to stop him. When she arrives. I give her the play back of my conversation with Robert. I wanted to give you something else to think about and stop your crying. It happens all the time.
Cathedral Rock would not be unnerved by anything as paltry as a bitch coming to visit and I won¶t either. I knew I could count on you.´ I hug her hard. she has grocery bags with Robert¶s favorite foods. sweet potatoes pie ingredients. Get ready for some good eating. potato salad fixings.´ Sometimes you have to tell your mommy and let her make you feel better. ³Robert will be furious. Before sleep hits me.´ Tomorrow will prove him right or wrong.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE ³Mom you are brilliant. She goes into the kitchen to start her pots bubbling. which has marched forward to afternoon without me being active.¶s music as it fills my ears prior to hearing his voice caress me by whispering. my feet hit the floor to get up and face the day.O. catches me staying in bed to think. dry your eyes. without coming up with any answers.´ ³Honey. With a shake of my head. Thanks. ³Did you expect less?´ ³No. Robert enters with two women about ninety minutes later. ³I¶ll let your father know about this latest foolishness. The next day. It¶s time to shower go shower and prepare for bed. You can do anything. When she gets here. ³You can do this. I go to the entry hall as soon as I hear them to see what his new person looks like. I love your dearly.P. Mom calls at two to let me know and tells me she is on her way over. Greens. He has a little bag of 173 . and chicken legs. I hear Mr.´ She prepares to leave.´ She gives a mischievous smile then asks. M.
she¶s cooking fish. ³I told you I was having my friend come over. what¶s going on here?´ Robert stands in the hall with his two women.´ He introduces us as though we will be having any reason to communicate in the future. Her leopard print coat clashes with her tiger stripe purse.´ I sniff while attempting to resist the urge to stick out my tongue or throw a knife. is a request for a hunter to take a shot. 174 . I ignore it and stand looking at her. She is cooking for me.´ Robert is now holding his tramp¶s hand and wearing his angry face. with her skunk hat.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE groceries that must contain what she will be cooking. this is Brenda. The Hereford cow black and white outfit. Robert remembers his manners and performs the introductions. Let me guess. this is Lynn. ³I didn¶t tell you I am having my parents. She smiles at me then extends her hand. my friend. Brenda is about forty-five and old enough to know better than to come into another woman¶s home with the woman¶s husband. Brenda has a killer shape with an unwrinkled face so perfect I want to put my fist in it to mar the perfection. ³Mom came over. I notice she likes to mix her animals. zebra glasses make me wish target shooting had been in my repertoire. and her daughter LaTiqua. ³Lynn. ³Lynn. The finale.´ I gloat. Brenda. The smells of mom¶s cooking waft through the hall and make them all lick their lips at various times.
³But not considerate enough to keep the trash out of where we live.´ is her opening salvo. it is not as if he were considerate enough to keep his ass out of my house or die before it came to this. LaTiqua is also the same shade of ugly as her mother.´ she says in an undertone.´ I say out loud She has me there. It appears she has also been here before.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE ³It was so nice of Robert to leave you this house. which is not surprising since she shouldn¶t be here. She doesn¶t attempt manners. She is about twenty-two. so I believe she has been here before. and get on my phone. She didn¶t falter. He¶s divorcing me. ³Hello. Brenda stands there with her meager little 175 . ³You¶ve got a real winner there Bobby. young enough to be stupid.´ She rolls her eyes at me and goes into the living room to have a seat on my couch. ³He is considerate enough to continue to pay the mortgage. She smiles at Robert and heads into my kitchen with her bag swinging on her arm.´ I don¶t resist taunting Robert before going into my kitchen to cook with the enemy. LaTiqua ignores Robert calling her name. Proper home training demands a response to the introduction. ³Well.´ I toss back at her. My mother has something on every available stove and counter space. But you already knew about the divorce. I watch her go before turning to look at her daughter.
He can get some too. I don¶t talk to bitches.´ My mother doesn¶t curse. Brenda keeps her mouth shut. I am not worried about it.´ my mother says without looking at her.´ This is a completely new side of my mother the saint.´ Brenda lets us know. I have a knife right here. The only side Brenda will see. ³Tell him.´ my mother corrects her as she turns to face my replacement. She draws herself up tall and sticks out her chest to upbraid my mother. A space alien must have invaded her body or I heard wrong. you better be glad I don¶t throw this chicken in your face.´ The woman who taught me those manners doesn¶t look up from frying her chicken but does respond. Manners dictate a cordial introduction. I never liked his pretty ass anyway. ³You wouldn¶t dare. I wouldn¶t do all of the time they would give me anyway. Brenda and I are both looking at mom so maybe I heard right.´ I pick up the knife and look intently at the intruder. grease and all. that isn¶t necessary. ³You can¶t talk to me like that old lady. ³Mom. ³Honey.´ ³Little slut. ³I¶m going to tell Robert. ³Mom. Brenda is outraged.´ Brenda asserts. ³At seventy-six I sure would and I would gladly go to jail. At my age.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE bag. this is Robert¶s friend Brenda. Robert must have told her of my 176 .
I didn¶t say anything I didn¶t mean. Both of your parents are gone. ³Mother Geraldine. She decides not to risk either my mother or myself in full rampage. ³What did you say to Brenda? She¶s very upset. you won¶t be here every night. Keep her out until I finish dinner for my daughter. if your friend can¶t stand the heat.´ Then she sniffs before she returns to her task. You don¶t come from a line of long livers. I will cut her if she says anything inappropriate to my mother. She leaves me in shock at my penchant for violence and my mother frying chicken. She throws over her shoulder. she did the right thing by getting out of the kitchen.´ Mom delivers this without raising her voice or losing her calm. The doorbell interrupts the conversation. ³Only if you live that long. Lynn will have to deal with Brenda sooner or later. Robert comes in shortly thereafter. With her fish bag still in her hand.´ ³I¶m upset too. Pity they didn¶t stick around long enough to see what a gem you turned out to be.´ I get close enough to say loudly. Brenda quickly leaves the kitchen before things can get worse. ³Robert. Mom is putting the sweet potato pie in the oven. 177 .´ Robert asserts. Brenda or LaTiqua must have done the honors because my father comes in the kitchen seconds later.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE penchant for knives. She closes the oven door and stands to look disdainfully at Robert.
´ Mom¶s eyes grow round. Dottie asked the judge for Robert to have a psychological exam because I think he is not in his right mind and being taken advantage of by a scheming hussy. I don¶t want to know what my dad said to Robert to get him to leave.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE ³Robert. Robert hears in male. ³What did you do at divorce court that had Robert so angry?´ The memory puts a smile on my face. a moment of your time. ³Robert and his friend regret they had to leave. He still shows no emotion. bewildered.´ Mom continues to cook dinner and I stand. Your dad is all male.´ Dad commands. I hear the door close and a car start. totally void of emotion. After dinner. Comfortable. they leave and it¶s 178 . No wonder he was so angry.´ We go into the dining room and have a great dinner. Robert follows him from the kitchen. Then we asked for Robert to complete depositions to show he is not hiding assets. A short time later. I start to follow them but mom stops me. ³Robert believes his word is his bond and the world should know he always speaks the truth. They do not think it is a good idea for them to be here before the divorce is final.´ Mom and I laugh until we are silly. Mom starts the conversation. ³Let them deal with this. Dad comes back into the kitchen. but I am thankful. Dinner tastes like my childhood. I think I should be doing something but I don¶t know what. ³When we went to court.
They made me feel loved. then sleep comes. What happened here tonight? My mommy and daddy came to my rescue. happy I did not have to endure Robert¶s asinine behavior alone. The smell of my favorite perfume then the yessss. like a mountain. there is the realization of the need to stand up for my own self and not abdicate my responsibilities to my mother and father. 179 . I promise myself to be more assertive.IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE time to get ready for bed. However.
See what you would like to do there. ³I feel useless. Otherwise. it¶s a fun place. ³Why? Is it such a shame to need.´ ³Your husband wanted to be taken over.P. So why are you blaming yourself. Come to San Antonio. If it was not for my parents. I lay thinking. Mr. M.FORGET THE ALAMO Saturday morning. ³Why not?´ I get up and start packing. Now it¶s time to visit San Antonio. ³Your flight will leave at eight tomorrow and return on Tuesday night. like I can¶t do anything right.´ . Let¶s go to San Antonio. makes his presence known by the scent of Caesar¶s Woman. come. especially my mother. ask for help when you feel overwhelmed?´ ³I want to try to do this on my own. Even though I did not confront Robert. he wouldn¶t be with her. Robert¶s new woman would have come in and taken over my house like she took over my husband. You are an exceptional woman. Think about your strengths.O. I¶ll be assertive some other time. There is much to experience. It was him. You have to find a hotel and rent a car. You aren't the one that left.´ is my token protest.´ I turn over and stretch both arms as far apart as possible. ³Darling.´ ³I don¶t think so. the entire episode left a definite drained feeling throughout my mind and body. wishing life was better. is a perfect time to stay in bed.
having more time than most mornings. The internet helps me to find out what the weather will be like and to book my hotel. Mom and dad understand of my need to get away. so there were no pictures on our walls. it is time to go to the airport. Finally. Mr. Before I sleep. After getting my reservations. They both talk to me and encourage me to enjoy myself. but we do hold hands. When we take off. but this trip is going o happen whether they like it or not. The morning inches past. We don¶t talk.O. has the seat next to me. it is time to call the children and my parents to let them know not to look for me for the next few days. On the plane. I hear 181 . It also has information about the Fiesta festival occurring over the week. There is a hotel close by downtown. The final step is to find a car to rent. M. The next morning I keep checking the time.P.´ he reminds me with a brief hug. It isn¶t easy allaying their concerns. pictures of the children now grace my front room walls. willing it to move faster. Robert never liked holes in the wall. even if you don¶t. The remainder of the day is spent rearranging the furniture and hanging pictures on the wall. ³I choose to believe in the strength of you. He thought it devalued the property. You are as strong as mountains. My daughters are all wondering if I need to go or get another intervention. With the judicious use of a hammer.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO ³Were you so sure you could convince me to go?´ I stop packing to turn and face him. he kisses me and puts his hand in mine.
the festival and mall can be my activity for tomorrow. They include jazz at the zoo and authentic food and music in the Spanish section of the city.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO the flight attendant tell me to fasten my seat belt. I spy a Ripley¶s museum along with other stores and restaurants on the street around the area. I have the hotel directions from the internet. While I'm driving over and under freeways.O. This divorce is a detour to navigate in order to achieve my ultimate destination wherever that is going to be. Mr. It is a short walk over to the reserved car rental for the luxury car. we are preparing to land. is gone but the dreams were of him and sensuous. The signs for the hotel are a beacon of better times ahead and it is finally reached. When I open my eyes. I get to my hotel after getting lost for about an hour. The curves and dips are much like what my life is like now. The car can stay at the hotel parking lot. it¶s time to venture forth. it¶s easy to compare the ride to where I am going. On the way to the Alamo. It will be easier to walk over to see what Texans are supposed to remember. The festival in San Antonio occurs in various locations throughout the city. as well as stroll to visit the Riverwalk and the Alamo. at old age with Robert. Since my hotel is close to the Alamo and the Riverwalk.P. the time helps me to get focused. I didn¶t see the detours and roadblocks. With the Riverwalk and Alamo done today. The directions have are not fool proof. I know where I was trying to arrive. dressing in lightweight clothing to combat the heat and calling the children and parents. After getting a shower. The events that are occurring at the zoo and in the cultural sections of the city interest me most. if there is 182 . M. Once in the car. Maybe Tuesday.
stopping in and out of stores to purchase various items. rocks you can break to find a treasure of beautiful stone. The purchase of a ticket and a bottle of wine to quench my thirst have me ready to cruise the river. The time goes by like slow motion. large and extra large. If the geodes represent Robert¶s head. I am a little disappointed. Other people may not be able to. The attaché museum has geodes. I purchase several and plan to break them myself. I would have expected a bit more. It consists of a pathway of restaurants along a manmade river. The tour guide/boat captain is knowledgeable about the quirky legends of the river. I¶ll go in and wander around. He tells his boatload of people trivia about the architect who designed the area and his wife who lived overlooking the area until her death. just in case there is ever a reason for me to use them. I wander around the space until the end. The store causes a smile at my naiveté in the condom arena so I decide to purchase some. but I can forget the Alamo. They start every hour from ten in the morning until ten. There is a short wait for the next cruise. There is a store offering flavored condoms. The Riverwalk is a short walk from the Alamo a few steps down the closest flight of stairs. it will be lots of fun too. The sights are unimpressive.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO enough energy left in my body. I come to a cruise office where they offer a boat ride down the river. There are various stone bridges and stairs to lead back up onto the street. Bashing something with a hammer should be a great stress reliever. I purchase the ticket to enter the Texas history. He 183 .
´ The mother of the group stops me. to make sure the picture is tight. ³We¶re down visiting our son. Well. ³Sure. he¶s going to be deployed to Iraq in three days and we came to see him for his birthday. he¶s stationed at Fort Sam Houston. They gather in a standard family pose. her two daughters. There is an alcove where people are taking pictures. My wine is only half gone when our cruise is over. the one that will win me a camera award if there is such a thing. ³Excuse me. 184 . the mother. Step by step. her brother. backing further away. Then I instruct them on how to stand for what will be my masterpiece. As I continue backing.´ The request pulls my heartstrings. I back up and for some reason think the spirit of Ansel Adams has invaded my body. My only job is to take the picture. and her son. backing up to get the money shot.´ My mistake. I¶ll take some good ones for you. Would you take a picture of all of us? We leave in the morning and don¶t have many pictures of us as a group.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO also recommends restaurants with the best foods and most reasonable prices. One more step back and perfection will be mine. people coming from both directions are stopping to help me get the shot that will proclaim me the greatest picture taker of all time. and all-inclusive. Telling them the different ways to pose and snapping pictures lasts for about six shots. Half was enough for me to be slightly buzzed. One family is snapping picture as fast as their fingers could close the shutter. I stroll along the river to get back to my entry area and close to my hotel.
In addition. Great if I were throwing a basketball at the hoop for the game winning three point play. I step and encounter nothing. stand up. Sons of bitches. I will die in some nasty ass river in San Antonio.´ ³Stand up. ³Help. now since finding life may be worth living as a divorced woman.´ I scream before starting to go under for the second time.´ I¶m drowning and they want me to stand up. They pick up the chant. The temptation to try to stand is too great to resist. I am going to die. followed by my neck and shoulder come out of the water. I glimpsed the solider and his family standing at the waters¶ edge looking and pointing in my direction as water starts to cover my head. The scream pushing its way past the terror in my throat silences birds flying overhead. As my body sinks into the river at the Riverwalk. Riverwalk my ass. They touch the bottom of the river even though my hand is in the air over my head. My knees straighten and my head.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO I take that step. ³Stand up.´ shouts the captain of yet another tour boat some few feet away. My feet go down as my body is going down for the third. Not good if I am on the edge of the Riverwalk with some strangers from Ohio and their camera in my hand. It¶s a river swim and I don¶t know how to swim. there is no solid ground to put my feet on. Water flows over my head before my flailing arms and kicking legs get me back to the top for a brief second. and what I know is the final time. But air. The water stops 185 . I don¶t want to die. my thought is. ³Stand up. Unfortunately.
I am again on terra firma coughing and dripping while I try to recover from my ordeal. Shopping is something that can wait for another day. I wordlessly stretch out my hand to them. They make me feel free. The mother wordlessly takes the camera from my outstretched hand. With a shuffle worthy of a ninetyfive year old in need of hip and knee replacements. The smell of the food stalls lead me to find sustenance make my mouth water. In bed. The booth selling fried turkey legs looks appetizing. The rest of the family gathers around and they all stare at the camera then look up at me. The family looks at the camera now in the mother¶s hand and back at me. Back at the hotel. I spend the morning wandering in and out of shops. In my hand is the now soggy camera the family has used to capture the memories of the time spent with their son. CIGARS? CIGARETTES? The next morning.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO at the middle of my chest. The turkey legs age browned with juices 186 . Solider boy on shore reaches out both hands to haul me from the water. I set off to see the festival on the Spanish side of town. I walk away from their despair filled looks. The combined weight of the stares and my soggy clothes bend me slightly. Buying a large sombrero and brightly colored scarves improve my mood. I go immediately to sleep. I get a shower again because of the humidity and humiliation. I look down at it.
Inside. The gentleman inside is of medium height. The origin is a cigar booth. I stop.´ Walking around there are cigars and cigarettes with a multitude of flavors including French vanilla. I own this place and a larger store in the mall. ³Nothing. A taco will have to appease my hunger instead.´ he points to a young 187 . Each one stands with a turkey leg as big as their head. I head closer toward the hunger killers and look over at a source of low humming. It makes me stop to watch long enough to know I don¶t want anyone looking at me the way I am looking at them. My next adventure takes me to an area where sweet and spicy scents are wafting. and ready to talk. I may want to take up smoking since chocolate is my favorite taste. dark.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO dripping into the waiting tray under the army of standing legs. chocolate and even mulberry. ³What can I do for ya?´ he wants to know in a loud booming but friendly voice. ³I¶m Kevin. it¶s time to head back towards the populated festival events. They are gnashing and gnawing like pit bulls attacking poodles. Each. I liked the smells so I stopped in to see what you have. causing them to resemble Russian nestling dolls. glass cabinets surround the walls and sparkle a welcome. including the youngest that looks about five. Each one is very round. Around a large barrel trash receptacle is a family of six Mexicans. has their grip with hand and mouth on a fried turkey leg. even though smoking is not something that appeals to me. This here is my son Kevin Jr. After eating my authentic taco in a secluded area.
³Sure. ³All by yerself? That¶s no way to see a festival. ³I¶m here visiting.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO man about thirty busy playing in tobacco. Kevin Jr. convinces me. I stop browsing and walking around to speak with big Kevin since he wants to chat. you can tag along. If after fifteen minutes ya find ya don¶t want my company. there are rapists. 188 . murderers.´ I let him know. looks up and gives a wave. How µbout I take ya µround. I¶ll leave ya be. but most murderers look innocent. My brain kicks in. Kevin Senior asks. ³Ya don¶t sound like ya are from round here. It reminds me to be careful. Big Kevin looks harmless. Lemme get my hat. Show ya the best the festival has to offer. He is from the area and must know tobacco if the aromas and the variety of his offerings are any indication. now visiting the festival today´ is how we continue our conversation and explain my presence. I¶m a looker. I¶m harmless as a pup. ³No thank you. rather a smeller. I¶ll be fine by myself.´ I belatedly invite him.´ He comes closer and smiles at me. ³Do ya smoke?´ ³No. don¶t be µfraid of me. I can tell ya more about San Antonio in an hour than ya could ever learn alone. and mass murderers around every corner. but don¶t indulge. I went to the Alamo and the Riverwalk yesterday and am. How about it?´ Kevin Sr. We¶ll be in public.´ ³Ma¶am.
I have never put my mouth on an alligator to my knowledge. as if he knew this was a fishing expedition for his marital status.´ I should have found out if he was married before now. serious and frivolous conversation until dusk settles. and not surprisingly relationships. ³Won¶t your wife wonder where you are? It¶s getting late. We cover politics. single. Besides we are both old enough to know the only thing a man and a woman do in a hotel room this time of night is have sex. Kevin smiles at me. I will not get any younger before trying a taste. he tells me the history of the city and the festival. Kevin assures me it is delicious.´ I could take the initiative by inviting him to my hotel room or play coy and wait to see if he is into me like that. I am free. the state of black entertainment. Time is short. The food being hawked is alligator on a stick. ³Would you like to come to my hotel so we can continue our conversation?´ I chickened out at the last minute. ³I don¶t have a wife right now. We go to a food booth with tables. We have humorous. and without a curfew. Kevin gets us some and we take a seat to continue our lively conversation. so why waste any. He is an interesting companion and it¶s not much longer before I start thinking physically.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO He grabs his cowboy hat and we head towards other booths and entertainment at the festival. He is a wealth of information with amusing anecdotes. All along the way. I was going to offer sex. 189 . It would be redundant to say it out loud. causing the time to pass quickly. but I am not that bold.
I find him standing at the window looking out.´ We go to my hotel and stop at the front desk. You never know when you may need a witness.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO ³I¶d love to. I slip on my nightgown before heading through the bathroom door. I ask the clerk. lead the way. He knows the business almost as well as I do.´ Kevin holds out his arm to receive mine. ³Where did you say your tobacco shop is.´ Kevin goes in to get a shower while I make my evening calls home to let them know I am in my room for the night. As I get out of the shower.´ ³Thanks for the offer. ³What about your tobacco booth?´ I forgot he was working. 190 . She looks at Kevin and makes me feel better. I don¶t think so.´ ³There are no messages. Don¶t mind if I do. ³Little Kevin will take care of it. Kevin?´ I say this extra loud so the clerk overhears. ³Are there any messages for me?´ I turn to Kevin to ask. Should I cover my grays? After the last encounter. I think about the man in the room waiting for me.´ The clerk tells me. ³It¶s in the Riverwalk area. ³Would you like to take a shower? It was sweltering out there. I scoot around him to get in the bathroom to clean myself. He comes out of the bathroom with a towel riding low around his hips. we talk a little before I ask him. Not being one to overlook a minimum amount of caution. Once in the room.
´ he smiles.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO Kevin Sr. He must be talking to me. If that is true. That is not sexy or exciting at all.´ He proudly states. ³You think of everything. extra large according to his shoe size.´ I tell him as I hand him the foil package. Why. I am not sure what condom etiquette is but I am not about to take chances at fifty-five.´ I look around the room. I look down to judge his shoe size. opens his arm and invites. About this time. ³Baby put your knees on the bed.´ I put my knees on the bed and allow him to bend me over 191 . It conjures up visions of my dad seeing me close to butt ass naked and in a hotel room with a man who is not my husband. ³You can do the honors. From behind he puts his arms around me and a hand around each breast and still has room to hold a cantaloupe if he wants. Sorry for his luck. He probably is hoping he picked up a chick with a foot fetish. It¶s just me and him. His feet look pretty big so I decide to ask. I head to my overnight bag to get out a condom. I sure do wish I had bigger breasts. I remember the old wives tale about hands being a harbinger of penis size. ³What size shoe do you wear?´ ³A size 15. I want to get laid not ripped. Did he bring a kid in here that somehow got past me? Nope. His hands make short work of my nightgown. Maybe the size of the feet would be a better indicator. Come to daddy is a mood killer. There may be a problem here. I¶d like to enjoy the view. ³Come to daddy. He decides to come to me since I am lost in thought. we may have a problem.
´ He stops rubbing to ask. I want some regular. 192 . He is spending an inordinate amount of time stroking and squeezing my rear. It occurs to me he may have unhealthy. basic sex. It¶s either good or it isn¶t. That decreases my confidence by a hundredfold.´ We better get this straight from the start. I straighten my back.´ ³Well darling ya have an impressive ass. He stops rubbing and squeezing.´ He begins stroking it again.´ I try to make this clear to him or we will have to fight. I don¶t want anything odd. I prepare to get up. but still laughing. ³What do ya mean?´ ³I just want us to be clear on where this is going.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO and stroke around my ass.´ He voices his belief. I turn around to find he is laughing. just in case. I feel him shaking. or from the middle considering we are both naked. He is laughing silently. You seem to be spending quite a bit of time rubbing and squeezing my ass. ³I don¶t want you to go poking the wrong hole. I¶m not into any kind of sticking any hole kind thing or anything like that. unsanitary ideas about sticking his dick somewhere other than where I think it should go. ³Yeah I know but I just want to be sure you aren¶t getting any ideas like« well I¶m a pretty standard woman. ³Um just so we¶re clear here. ³There¶s no such thing as standard or regular sex.
His fingers are longer than his dick. What is going on? An easy entry forth stoke has my impressive ass at his stomach.´ I pray this is not a harbinger of the sex to come. He takes the opportunity to open his flavored condom. He withdraws his fingers. Damn. I don¶t mean to laugh I just got caught off guard. He reenters to continue pounding until I am ready to scream from frustration. He could have stuck that in any hole I have and I doubt I would notice. He has all of my attention and gets a damp reception. That is all. One.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO ³Darlin¶ I¶m sorry. His fingers on the top of my hole gently tug upwards and my ass follows. He still seems to come up short. He goes in except it¶s not as far as his fingers were. He could have put it in my nose. and moves. His third stroke goes no further so I back up to get it all. He places his hand between my shoulder blades and gently pushes my chest to meet the mattress. There 193 . Of course. I start inching forward because there is not enough room. he has the stamina of a bull. I allow his hands to squeeze my impressive ass. The next stroke doesn¶t go in any further.´ he promises. Kevin puts his fingers in the important part of me. I would still have been able to breathe. I wish I were a better woman. I hear the package ripping and he says ³One minute. He slides his fingers in going incredibly far into my essence. He slips out. Two. damn. I¶m not. I feel reassured enough to turn back around. I¶ll get it in the right hole when the time comes. I choke on my own spit at this revelation. damn. I have the answer to the question. replaces them with his dick. There is no more. Three.
I¶ll let you know the next time I head back this way.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO is no need to count the strokes because I can barely tell the difference between him and the wind. ³So are you finished?´ I ask him. I cough and he falls out again. Are ya tired?´ ³Of what?´ It was a challenge to get my foot out of my mouth. He is a sweetheart. I¶m off the bed in a flash and put on my nightgown. Please more. can I give you a call?´ Fat chance of either of these events happening. He gets up and goes to the desk to give me his number. I just want him to leave so I can lie sideways on the bed and think about never having sex again as long as I live or doughnuts in the morning. He is an interesting conversationalist. He continues for what may be twenty-six more stokes. My toenails were stuck in my teeth. ³No. I will probably burn in hell for encouraging him. ³I hope ya come back soon. Great. ³You¶re really something. He probably gets that a lot. it is over. I feel his stillness and feel bad.´ I pled in a breathless voice. ³If I ever get back to San Antonio. Men are so overrated. Then thankfully.´ I commit. I quit counting because I couldn¶t tell when to count.´ Kevin imparts soulfully.´ I tell him. I gather his clothes so he will not think he is coming back to 194 . ³Let me get your number. I do not want to say what. I remember the yoga and wonder if this is a pose. I would love to see ya again. What a pity. I don¶t even want him to finish. ³Give me more.
After he leaves. The next morning. He needs all of the help he can get. No one goes to Wichita on purpose and he doesn¶t have my telephone number. Maybe it works for him. As he turns. M. Thankfully. I hear laughter from Mr. I climb back in bed.´ I hold his pants so he can step into them. I mean. and feel his lips on my cheek before sleep overtakes me. give me a call.´ I can say this without fear of him taking me up on the offer. ³Was it worth the undressing?´ 195 .O. I have to get up early in the morning to head back. I get back to the airport. On the flight. turn sideways under the covers. I help him get his arms in his shirt by going behind him and slipping it over one hand.´ He kisses me and heads out of the door. ³No. ³If you ever get to Wichita. ³No. He slides into them as I go to the door and hold it open for his exit.P. Are ya sure ya want daddy to leave?´ Kevin tries for the sexy voice but I know its all talk and no substance. he wore sandals. ³You are a different kind of woman. I should tell him to cut the daddy shit with any woman over twenty-one. I am right there handing him his shirt. my ever-present seatmate asks. and start to drift off.SMELLING SAN ANTONIO bed with me. ³Do you have far to drive?´ I¶m making small talk to keep him moving. It was nice meeting you. it is hard for me to sleep with another person. ³About twenty minutes away. Don¶t you want me to stay the night?´ He sounds serious.
SMELLING SAN ANTONIO ³You know it wasn¶t. gives me the sexy smile and we travel on towards Wichita. They have not lived up to their reputation. I¶m giving up on men. Do the cruise n the Riverwalk. ³He was interesting to talk to. That pretty much sums it up.´ I should clarify that since he was an exceptional lover. ³Maybe you should stop settling. *** 196 .´ I share with him. I was horny. My Travel Tips for San Antonio Go to a festival and eat something you never had before. Find flavored condoms to use on someone worthy.´ He takes my hand in his. ³Why did you choose him?´ my curious seatmate wants to know.
Treatment is not an option. You are required to be tested. Please bring proof of identification and an insurance card. he is in the living room on the telephone with the tramp.To Confess or Not to Confess Robert¶s car is in the driveway when I get home. My suitcase and I leisurely enter. Westner. Your name has been supplied to the Wichita Health Department Sexual Health Clinic by a recent sexual partner. She/he was diagnosed as having a communicable disease and we are contacting everyone involved with him/her.´ He shoves a familiar piece of paper under my nose. We also provide services on a sliding fee scale. In the alternative. . if applicable. We are located at 14007 Bingham Lane if you do not have a physician. ³What is it Robert?´ ³Read this. Your physician can then submit proof that you have been tested and are being treated. You are required by law to contact our office within ten days of the receipt of this notice. I feel ready to listen to his reasons about why I should sign his divorce papers. True to form. I take it and begin to read aloud: Dear Mr. you may contact your family physician within the ten-day time frame.
´ ³Lynn. You are not to urinate for four hours prior to your visit to our office.LEAVING THE CONFESSIONAL The visit may last for several hours. You will be charged with being a threat to public health. anal. we need to talk about this. We can be reached at FOR-HELP (367-4957) if you have any questions. Additionally. or oral sexual contacts you have had in the past three months. Sincerely.´ He has the nerve to demand. Your quick actions and cooperation are vital. Failure to comply will result in a warrant being issued for you arrest. ³Do you remember what happened the last time you gave me bad news? I do. we will need the names and contact information of any vaginal. They will help us in our mission to provide a safe community. as well as being a public nuisance. Sexual Health Program Staff Wichita Health Department I hand the letter back to Robert and turn away from him. ³I think you need to leave now. I don¶t think I can be held responsible 198 . Our efforts are solely to stop this contagion from spreading.
but he would be relieved to know that he is not infectious. He might get upset. ³So if she hadn¶t told you to tell me.´ ³Robert this letter was written over two weeks ago. I will make us an appointment with our family doctor. I take a seat on the sofa. ³You have to do something about this. he does not deny it. You probably got it from Brenda or some other tramp.´ 199 . Tell him that I am the one who wrote the letter then assuage his feelings just as I have been doing throughout our relationship. She said I needed to tell you. Why are you showing it to me now?´ I want to hear what his excuse will be. He comes to sit beside me. If I admit that I am the author.LEAVING THE CONFESSIONAL for what will happen if you do not leave the home you have given to me immediately. ³Believe me. you would have kept this to yourself?´ He has the decency to look ashamed. I open my mouth for the confession. I stretch my hand to his concerned face. and there is no need for him to go to the sexual health clinic.´ I¶ve warned him.´ he has the nerve to put into words what I already deduced. I keep it under my control. This would be a perfect opportunity to confess.´ He tries to take my hand. I talked with Brenda. I think a jury or judge would take my warning into consideration before coming to a verdict to convict or during the sentencing. But at least you¶re having good sex. However. Robert is not ready to cede control of my life to me. ³Ain¶t that a bitch. ³Well. I tell him. I never meant for this to happen. I am sorry.
As jobs go. He doesn¶t catch the hint strangers in hotel rooms can understand. your language. 200 . I close my mouth and stand to signal our conversation is over. I¶m learning to care more about myself. ³Lynn.´ I take ownership of my words. I gained more perspective.´ He is starting to sound like a broken record. Yes. I¶m not catholic and this ain¶t a confessional. sometimes being a bitch feels real good.LEAVING THE CONFESSIONAL Hey. I can cut and paste with the best of them Maybe I will open a revenge center for wives who have cheating husbands. ³Let me know how it goes. He really does not give a shit about me. ³Yes it is. I thought Robert was my everything. I open another bottle of Indiana wine and savor the moment. I can specialize in letters from the Health Department.´ As he heads towards the door. I think about us. I might want to consider going into graphic arts.
I alternate between hope and moping for the rest of the day.´ I give a sniff and a head toss mimic of my mother. unable to leave without a parting shot. but I want you to know I don¶t like your attitude. Your offer of money will not change my enjoyment.´ I give another head toss my youngest would envy and sashay into the kitchen. I have worked these past few years. I plan on taking advantage of my soon to be single state and seeing it. I am not going to bring Brenda back here. ³Allow me to doubt you being able to find a replacement for me. ³I¶ve decided there¶s a great big world out there waiting to see me. I think I¶ll keep you until I find a replacement. but you don¶t want to play fair. I¶m offering you a fair settlement in the divorce. thinking work is overrated. I¶m the best thing to ever happen to you. I have tried to reason with you.´ I laugh. Robert follows.´ ³A fair exchange is not robbery. I could learn to like doing nothing also. I¶m feeling strong as a mountain in Sedona and able to navigate the waters of San Antonio.Wednesday I am home. ³Lynn. Robert laughs. . My mind could change if you don¶t stop running around. I find I enjoy going. I forgot to have you tell me where you¶ve been going and why.´ I channel the spirit of my youngest.´ He beats a hasty retreat when I head to the block of wood where the knives are stored. You should take it while I am feeling generous. ³Robert. although it may have escaped your notice. ³I notice you have been traipsing across the country. Your offer may be fair. Robert comes in. And you haven¶t been home like you always were before. but I am not ready to let you go yet. I don¶t like you attitude either.
The passion you have hidden.´ ³I don¶t want to talk anymore. struck by the unwanted truth in his words. squelched.´ I want to avoid the forced introspection. ³Boy you¶re a ray of sunshine. Mr. Do what is right for you. Look into yourself and feel. He made a decision to live. denied. The look he gives to accompany his words dares me to be honest. M. ³Maybe you are angry because he did what you wanted to do. ³It was just a silly dream. Are there any other words of wisdom?´ ³Lynn. ³But it was your dream. ³You told me once you had a passion. to truly satisfy yourself. to live.O. ³Then just feel.´ He doggedly continues. ³That¶s not true. He wants full eye contact. Why should I take another trip? ´ 202 . When I head to bed. To write the words only you can write. You have done very little in the past thirty plus years.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON Hope Robert is wrong and there is a replacement in my future and moping because I¶m tired of kissing frogs.´ I am in mid-mope. confronts me. consider this.´ He accurately observes. You have a responsibility to your dream.´ I automatically deny.P. Set your own self free.´ ³I am free. Why?´ I don¶t want to tell him about my efforts.
WHAT S IN WASHINGTON ³No. It will be good.´ 203 . Besides. ³Hi dad I¶ll be going to Washington and Canada. book a flight. Go to Seattle and stay a few days. Seattle has interesting events to help prepare you for Vancouver. It makes as much sense to follow the ghost of a lover from my past as it does to pine for an almost ex-husband.´ he smiles. Your mother loves you. Why not take a trip to Seattle and Vancouver. You can clear your head over a long weekend. reserve a car and make my hotel reservations.´ ³You have your passport. I will meet you in Vancouver. Come. our borders are closed. Terrorists and all stuff like that. The next morning I get up.´ There is no point in arguing. To find the lessons that await you there.´ ³How do I go to Vancouver? It¶s in another country. for what? I¶ve never wanted to go there before.´ ³At the risk of repeating myself. you¶re trapped in the artificial life you created. so why now´? ³To experience Washington and Canada. You could take the time and leave Thursday. My dad answers on the first ring. Then it¶s time to call my parents and each of the children to tell them I am going out of town. Then you could rent a car and drive over to Vancouver. ³This traveling seems to be helping you. I¶ll tell your mother you are leaving because she wants to know you are safe. You could get a flight to Seattle and stay a few days. ³I guess. Call and check in so she doesn¶t worry. I would follow him anywhere because any time with him is time well spent.
My next call is to Rene. Again. I had never put the thought into words. I need to pack. ³Mom I¶m concerned you are traveling too much. On some level. You are gone too much.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON ³I will Dad. You should probably stay home this weekend.´ She is too unadventursome. going. ³You just need to stop. 204 . I will be busy this weekend. I love her. going. you are always going. Rene tries to give me a hard time once I share my news.´ he tells me before hanging up. ³Stay home and do what.´ I don¶t want the negativity. ³I can¶t. instead of waiting for daddy to come home.´ I can hear the intake of breath she takes prior to launching into a drama.´ ³Umm yes. ³Mom. it never occurred to me I would not want him back. I am almost single. Lately.´ is her reasoning. I hang up the phone. That might be why he hasn¶t come back yet. I love you too. And by the way. ³Rene what makes you think I would want him to come back?´ I shock myself by asking. Likewise. ³Gotta go Rene. Taking a preemptive strike. Did you want to make plans for us to do something?´ I ask knowing the answer.´ Rene is telling me. I don¶t give her the opportunity to continue her comments.
Be careful. Of course. Thursday morning I catch a cab to the airport and head to Seattle. I try to find the shuttle to will take me to my hotel. I check in the room early and the clerk suggests catching the bus on the corner and going into downtown Seattle. I¶ll stay two nights in Seattle and take in the sights. Once I learn it is on the other side of the airport. They tell me exactly where the shuttle will pick me up. He is not a part of my life on any level. I¶m going to Vancouver and I will be back on Monday. I wander around and then decide to call the hotel because I¶m lost in the airport the size of a small city. she says ³Off again. On the flight. Maybe he will look for me and miss me. I am met with her pessimism coated with happiness. my seatmate comes for the handholding as we travel. When I tell her where I am going I get the ³call in the morning and in the evening when you are in for the night don¶t talk to strangers and keep your cell phone close speech. Once in Seattle. I make it before the shuttle driver leaves me stranded. It is my life after all. 205 . For this evening. I will get a car rental when I am ready to go to Vancouver. I will try it tomorrow. I promise her I will. mom? ³Yes. Washington.´ The smile coming through in her voice is encouraging. a walk around the area will complete my adventures. Truthfully. he will not even know I am gone and I¶m moving close to being okay with being alone.´ The last call is to Lynnette.´ ³Okay.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON When I call May to tell her. I decide not to bother telling Robert.
A young man wants my attention. for Mighty Damn. seated up front cheering.. I go to the DJ and see what tunes are available for me to sing if I had balls enough to actually do karaoke. I head back to the hotel before dark. Tonight is a karaoke contest. He has yet to put in an appearance. Instead of singing to Robert. This place is a doghouse compared to those casinos. 206 .D.P. I am intercepted from my journey to my phantom lover when I come off stage. I am singing to Mr. And he can sing. Then what would I do? Instead. Next door to my sleeping place is a restaurant that has a burger and fries with my name on it. I stick around and put ten dollars in the nickel slots. Tina Turner. He looks built for sex. people might mistake me for Tina. If I had stilettos and a short skirt. the M. which is enough.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON I find a casino a few blocks up.O. M.´ He is about six feet and his name should be M. The Frankie Beverly singer. It¶s not long in coming. I hand over my singing slip to the d. ³Missing You´ is on the list and I am ready to break out. mustache for tickling lower lips with hips wide enough to spread legs.P. He has the smoothness of Marvin Gaye and enough youthfulness to be my child.D. As it is. Mr.O. M. j. Fine. then take a seat to wait my turn. Hell I forgot I couldn¶t really sing. I can move and try. I give Tina my all and she shares her energy with me. The thought depresses me enough to consider going back to the hotel and making my check in calls for the night. ³While I¶m Alone. I am channeling her and having a ball. I visited casinos in Vegas with Mr. and there is a young black man up front singing one of my favorite songs by Frankie Beverly and Maze. broad chest. I don¶t win and cut my losses early.
I stand and tell him I have to leave after hearing all of the other contestants and his life story. I don¶t want to take chocolate fantasy to the hotel.P. I¶d probably have to teach him a thing or ten and I¶m too tired for that tonight. He won first place. I don¶t feel up to the disappointment. ³Well. I express admiration for his voice.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON M. I win third place. His smile will have women throwing panties onstage when he hits the bit time. He has a beautiful voice. which is not surprising. We sit and chat for a short time and he expresses admiration for my stage persona. I hear my name being called shortly after his. He¶s headed for a career onstage. I am headed to my hotel room.O. laughs and disappears. Sure 207 . but I¶d hate to be disappointed again.´ Maybe I¶m reading too much into this. ³No. I think about coffee with him and the horrible sexual experiences I¶ve had.´ I¶m tired of kissing frogs. which is a surprise to me. THE WHEELS ON THE BUS I get up the next morning and go out to the corner. but thank you very much. would you like to spend some time together? Can we talk for a few minutes?´ Did he miss the wrinkle or the gray hair since it is dark in here? He is an ego booster. ³Coffee and then I have to get back to my room. ³Can I buy you a drink?´ he kindly offers.
Actually. the driver gets off to help a person in a wheel chair to board. Two men and two women. ³Hello. The bus stops and they get on. At one stop. The other three continue arguing. especially the two women. ³Hi. one white female. a warm brown that sparkle with an invitation to smile. I have a twenty-five dollar gift certificate thanks to Tina Turner and drunk karaoke voters. I sit directly behind the bus driver. I heard them before I see them.¶ I feel great. The bus driver says nothing. I try my best to ignore it while continuing to look out of the window and at my cross aisle companion. One Hispanic man.´ I give him a bright smile and a µhello. I get on and prepare for an uneventful journey to downtown Seattle. There is a noxious odor from the back of the bus. My new seat partner the Hispanic male with the kid¶s scooter decides to strike up a conversation. He smiles. The bus starts and stops every ten minutes. You are 208 . The new passenger is a nice looking African American man with beautiful eyes. I am in a new city. Neither does anyone else. making my own way on the public transportation system. The gentleman in the wheelchair looks over at me. Every one of them goes towards the back except for the Hispanic man who is holding a child¶s scooter. A few stops up I see a quartet of crazy. shaped like almonds. They appear to be having some sort of altercation. He speaks as he is strapped in across from me. and an African American man.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON enough a few minutes later. a bus comes. an African American woman.
I don¶t know any foreign language and certainly do not know first aid. ³What happened old lady?´ he asks as he springs into his superhero pose. Rapidly approaching from the back is a bundle of unwashed humanity. Now. but she does manage to get ³nigger´ out of her limited arsenal of the English language. Unfortunately. he will follow my lead and leave me alone. champions her cause.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON beautiful. she¶s upset or having a seizure. I do my best to ignore her and am very successful in my attempt. She is gesturing and yelling. ³Thanks. aka my seatmate Paco. This is said without accent. I don¶t know what this little four foot two inch person is saying. I do not want to talk to him and I do not want him to talk to me. Judging by her body language. she is yelling in a language unknown to me. but she smells as if she should be alone.´ As a conversation starter. He looks suspicious and he is carrying a child¶s scooter. a Rambo style hat purple corduroy pants and an orange t-shirt. the lady does not speak English as a first language. Or at the very least away from me. I want her to be alone.´ I figure if I keep conversation brief. tennis shoes. What is it about me that make men on public transportation talk to me? He is wearing a flak jacket. this is not doing it for me. Rambo¶s cousin. without any doubt. The one where he looks fierce or as fierce as one can look while holding a child¶s scooter and sitting on a city bus. She then gestures with her elbow and repeats the word as though the entire bus did not hear it 209 .
³I¶ll kick your ass as soon as we get off this bus.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON before. ³That nigger has no right to hit you. I could get caught in the kick-fire. Paco gets his deep voice out to let her know.´ The three hundred pound black man yells from the back of the bus. If that big angry black man comes down front to kick this crazy guy¶s ass. ³But he hit the old lady.´ She turns and plops herself down on the other side of me. The gentleman in the wheelchair looks over at me and 210 . I am not afraid. She shakes her head yes and says in perfect unaccented English.´ He looks at me and says ³No offense. The handicapped man across from me looks over and smiles.´ I give him my fierce look. I think I am afraid. I am a lion. ³Did that guy hit you old lady?´ Paco questions from his pose in the middle of the aisle. That¶s why I hate black people.´ Sounds like he is not afraid either.´ I am feeling put out enough to tell him firmly and without wavering. the one where I am ready to poke my fingers in his eyes because I¶m scared. ³That¶s why I hate black people. Like me. ³I¶m going to need you to calm down. On the seat behind the driver on the seat that is supposed to be set aside for the handicapped and those afraid to ride on public transportation. I will protect you and the old lady. She is looking back at the three hundred pound black guy that had got on with Paco and the two arguing women.
probably psycho man to try anything. hard. I for one do not want this extremely large. Get your ass off the bus. Just try something. The two women who boarded with Paco and the big black man start to argue louder and trade insults about what will happen when they get off the bus. You had a lot of mouth before.´ Paco opens his mouth to say what is bound to be something stupid.´ It would be difficult if not impossible to tell who was more surprised. and say from the corner of my mouth ³Shut the fuck up. I am caught between a fourfoot experience in eau de garbage and superhero Paco with a scooter. Trading insults up and down the aisle. Does anyone else see there are crazy people on the bus? Could someone please call the police? The argument between Paco and The Giant continues. It could be the shock of a fifty211 . him or me. I wish I had not gotten on this bus. The wheels on the bus keep going around.´ Paco shouts instead of staying quiet like a sane or sober person would. I take the opportunity to elbow him in the ribs. we continue towards downtown.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON smiles even more broadly before he turns to look out of the window. ³I am not afraid of you. Eventually. Now what. Three hundred pounds of angry black man says to the superhero currently sitting next to me ³Now what do you have to say. the trio from the back head towards the front. My hope is they are getting off and not getting into a fight in front of me. let¶s see what you got.
you heard what she said.´ He is right. A few more stops up I decide the area looks 212 . The man in the wheelchair is ever pleasant. ³Don¶t forget my scooter. proving he is not all the way crazy. After Paco exits. Paco eventually get off the bus. ³You just never know what is going to happen on the bus. Lindbergh Cheese beside me gets off. We did not converse during that time which was pleasant for me. The white lady ups the ante and tells the black lady what she plans to do to her as soon as they get off the bus.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON five year old lady elbowing him or it could be a kick in of common sense. The black man starts cussing. The white lady gets back on to tell Paco. I believe her. All of you are witnesses. The black lady starts running. The two ladies continue trading insults only now they are right in front of me. The doors of the bus open. three stops later.´ Then she gets off. The white lady starts cussing. Paco waves to his girlfriend. The black lady tells the bus driver ³If anything should happen to me you are a witness. The white lady and black man get off. Selfpreservation if ever I saw it.´ She heads down the few steps to the pavement. Ms. And the bus continues onward. the gentleman across the aisle says. The doors shut and we are off again. I may need to call you all to testify. but he didn¶t say a word. He didn¶t get off the bus when she did.
I end my downtown time having lunch in a Japanese restaurant. I do find my way to the Pike Street Market and watch them throw fish for a while before deciding some shopping is in order. but it was good. If no one else ever does. I feel greedy for doing so. the kiss on my cheek puts a smile on my face just before sleep overtakes me. I don¶t have a particular destination. I am thankful. The shower is warm and feels welcoming. 213 . I strike a super hero pose and expand my chest before laughing loudly at the pose and myself. My favorite must have is a sexy royal blue dress. I make my all is well calls to the family. Thankfully. When I get in bed.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON enough like downtown for me to get the hell off before another experience I would rather not have gets on. opening my pores and mind to the events of the day. the store also has a pair of kitten heel royal blue shoes to match. I can stand up to anything. I grab a bite at the karaoke restaurant and head to my room. not allowing him to blast me with his nonsense. that will be fine with me. I stood up to a complete stranger. The scallops are delicious enough to use the remainder of the bread to sop up the sauce. I hug myself before drying off. I wander in and out of shops finding some good bargains on the way. We miss most of the stops in the city and get back to where the hotel is in half the time. There is no plethora of crazy on the express bus and for this. The express bus takes me back to the hotel. I¶ve stood up for myself enough for one day. Washing quickly.
I think it is overrated. 214 . but you will be able to say you saw it. Channel Tina Turner at a karaoke joint.WHAT S IN WASHINGTON MY TRAVEL TIP FOR WASHINGTON Ride the bus by yourself so you can see the city out of the window. If you like fish. You might win. go to the fish market. Personally.
I sign the required documents to be on my way to Canada. you don¶t happen to have a little gun in that purse of yours. What are you coming to Canada for?´ ³To sightsee and rest for the weekend.OH. I look conspicuous or am on a detainee list because he doesn¶t wave me through like he did all of the previous cars. I am looking forward to a new adventure in a new country. CANADA In the morning. we have to ask. I make it to the border without incident. With any luck. Armed with directions. Thankfully. I dare a Canadian to mess with me. Although I think I can take a Canadian in a fair fight. Are you serious? What would I be doing with a gun?´ If there were a gun in my purse. ³Ma¶am. ³Well. my first call after the family is to the car company for confirmation of the pickup of my rental. I actually stood up for myself with the super hero. Why would there be a gun in my purse? ³No sir. the hotel has a breakfast for guests so I get nourishment before heading out to my next bus ride back to the airport. . The customs agent must think either there is something suspicious about my visit. We don¶t want any terrorists getting in here. I would deny it. There are not any incidents similar to yesterday and I make it to the airport without any superheroes or rotten cheese/onion smelling people. he wants to chat. do you?´ What a stupid ass question. Instead.´ I wonder what type of training is required in order to qualify for this job. I won¶t be required to defend myself.
Terrorists are smart enough to know they should lie. I think about where I am in my life. It is soothing and takes me back to being on the river in Cleveland with Mr. But I¶m going to the big city of Vancouver. I go out and walk around the hotel area. Come on in and enjoy yourself. vibrant. Everything looks alive. it would be confiscated. None of them would speak English and they would spend their days baking bread and catching snails to eat.P. Entering Vancouver brings reality back and getting to the hotel takes me through a maze of streets. Hell I¶m not a terrorist and I know that much. ³Okay. Those will have to be thoroughly explored later. After two hours of wandering. I think terrorists would all deny they have a gun. The view holds my interest and makes the drive interesting because I make up stories about the people on the other side of the mountains. I now qualify as a world traveler.FEELING VANCOUVER Personally. It is on the water and the surrounding area has beautiful sights and shops. M. They exude a different type of beauty. A pleasant little village unkissed by the ravages of progress. It 216 . green instead of the red of Sedona. The ride to the hotel takes me through mountains.´ he says and finally grants me entry to the only other country I have ever been in except Mexico. As those memories fade. and new. Surely. I go to the back of the hotel to the spectacular view of the water with the sun glistening on the surface. lush and rich instead of stark and majestic. The children would all wear the striped red and white tops and be entertained by the village mime.O. If they admitted they had a gun.
combinations swings and other settings are there for me to touch and see. It can be yours for 217 . then at me. The boutique is eclectic. Males. I wander into the shop. The color is dark caramel and the etching of each pose is in black. It may be the closest I get to sex the rest of my life. They are strung together to make up a bracelet. an area woefully neglected. The two frogs I¶ve kissed left a lot to be desired. it comes with the jade piece. They consist of eight two by four inch panels carved on each side with pictures and poses of an erotic nature. I longingly stroke it. It could be I am horny because I have not been laid properly in years. I am mesmerized by a pieces of what the clerk says is ivory. having both new and ancient products. I leave the hotel are in search of sustenance and find a Chinese restaurant with a shop attached right up the street. Just touching it creates warmth down south.FEELING VANCOUVER is too sad so I give in to the hunger that has been slowly but definitely making its presence known. which Robert never allows us to eat because Chinese food is full of MSG and everyone knows it causes your heart race to speed up before it causes cancer and kills you. ³Well. But it¶s probably the crude details in the carvings with their basic pictures of passion shared causing moisture in private places. She is looking at my fingers stroking the carving then at my purse. females. This jade is very unique as is the ivory. The bracelet sections hold a certain beauty released when you touch the panels. After the egg rolls and shrimp fried rice. This piece is calling out to me to buy and take it home with me. ³How much for this bracelet?´ I ask the clerk/waitress.
at least three times. The jade for one fifty. ³Two hundred and ninety dollars. for six hundred dollars. ³Bone is bone. going from light to dark. She obviously saw the µBitch are you out of your mind?¶ look on my face.´ The piece of jade is a green. ³Well. I don¶t want an alien spore to get out and infect the state of Kansas. ³Did you say six hundred dollars?´ I could rent myself a large African American. Nothing throws her off a potential sale. a Jamaican. and black two-inch circle about one inch high.FEELING VANCOUVER only six hundred dollars. ³No. ³The ivory bracelet is only two hundred ninety dollars. yellow. This piece. jade is not my thing.´ ³For?´ I need to have a number.´ She is in an expansive mood and whispers this to me as if it would make me spend two hundred and ninety dollars on it. It may be bone and not ivory at all. my mistake.´ She is crazy I think to myself as I replace the bracelet and start towards the door. But. no. The colors are interesting swirling through and over each other. And probably get satisfaction from each and every one. You can get them separately. and two Haitians for six hundred dollars. ³Who¶s bone?´ I stop mid stride to question. no. It would be only one hundred seventy-five for the bracelet 218 .´ she tries to convince me. it¶s not a good ivory. Naked etchings on ivory are. today we are having a sale.
FEELING VANCOUVER and one hundred for the jade. We have a lot of tourists here. ³Of course.´ She¶s still higher than I want to pay. it is something purchased for my own erotic pleasure. ³What?´ ³I can see that you have a connection to these pieces. I would have paid two ten for the both. buying.´ I am suddenly embarrassed by my erotic purchase. puts in an appearance.´ She is right.´ She smiles.´ she says with a smile.O. and full from a good meal. M. I quickly travel emotions from being defensive about it to being militant 219 . ³That is too bad.´ ³Sold. ³I hope you take plastic.´ ³What have you been doing?´ ³Eating. You deserve them. I feel really good I feel powerful even. Take them both for two hundred twenty-five. You talked me down. standing up for myself. I head back to my hotel happy for what I consider a bargain. the proud owner of a piece of jade I don¶t particularly like and a bracelet I love. I have a definite attachment to the bracelet. ³How are you sweetheart?´ ³I made it here by myself. I whip out my credit card and say.P. More importantly.´ She gets a smile in return from me. Once in the room Mr.
not acknowledge yourself. the strength you keep hidden. Our time for this life was short.FEELING VANCOUVER about it. ³Why?´ ³I have always sensed the strength in you. I never understood your desire to hide. The going and coming. ³As I want you. I have known you through life and lifetimes and know what you are capable of achieving so don¶t understand why you limit yourself. doing what I want to do. but we will be together again.´ ³Please don¶t do this to me. Flowers stink. ³And I brought something for myself. I did it though.´ He traces my lips with a finger still rough from hard use. Leave me alone. I get ready for 220 . The not enough. You can soar if you would break your invisible ties you allow to bind you. This time is because you must sense all there is in you. I don¶t want to stop and smell the flowers.´ ³I never doubted you could.´ I don¶t mean it but continue.´ ³Because I haven¶t seen me as you do. I don¶t want to go to some damn park.´ ³How did it feel?´ He wants to know. The scent of Caesar¶s Woman is all that is left.´ He shares. This is about me with all of my issues. The intense wanting what I cannot have. I know my limitations.´ he says as he disappears.´ Forced introspection is tedious.´ ³You have no limitations. ³It felt Guilty and kind of extravagant. ³I can¶t take this. ³Stanley Park. You.
They also have music there. I didn¶t see him when I first enter the park because I am minding my own business. zeroing in on me with laser precision. Do you like flowers?´ ³Yes. I miss him. just walking along. He is making strange noises and shooing me towards the opposite direction from where 221 . They have wonderful displays and the place is huge. There is a loud noise and I turn to see the killer peacock come out of nowhere. I bow to the inevitable. I am walking along the asphalt trying to get in the frame of mind to enjoy the view. I notice a large bird running towards me. The next morning I ask the clerk if there are any interesting places in the area to go and spend time.FEELING VANCOUVER bed and wonder if he will come back. I head into Stanley Park. At every level. Many Americans go to get married.´ ³Then you should go to Stanley Park. It must be a hell of a beautiful park for people to come here to get married.´ This is the second recommendation for Stanley Park. If there will be any more interaction between us in this lifetime. I don¶t know why someone would want to get married in Canada. It will be a great sight for you to see and experience. ³That depends. I guess so. I DO Fifteen minutes later after finding a parking place.
The first bride is thick. I guess the groom hasn¶t arrived. you will spend years and years with someone and they will the dump you. The time when anything seems possible except the possibility. not as thick as me. and looks mean. the killer bird finally stops chasing so I stop running. The second bride has on a patterned black dress with 222 .front shirt. I try to stand firm. While I¶m watching. The damn thing has a sharp beak he does not hesitate to point towards my calf while he flaps. They alternately hold then release each other¶s hands as a third woman speaks to them. my marriage is ending and theirs is just starting. but not suffering from anorexia. He stands guard to make prevent me from going back the path I wanted to take. directly in front of me is what looks like a wedding ceremony. They are looking at each other through eyes that can only be described as shining with love the way eyes do on your wedding day. makes noises. topped off with a tan button. She wears her short brown hair in a shaggy style that goes back in place as she continuously runs her fingers through it. I still stop to watch and allow my masochistic tendencies full reign. How touching in a bad sort of way. I bow to the inevitable again and head in the direction he is chasing me to go towards. The only thing I could want to see more is Robert lip locked with his new love. As I am running. She has khakis. it dawns on me the marriage participants are two middle aged white ladies. At this point. I am about twenty feet from the ceremony or pre ceremony since the I do¶s haven¶t been spoken by the look of things.FEELING VANCOUVER I am going.
The flowers encompass all of the colors of the rainbow. ³We need a little help. They see me interested in their events and wave me closer.´ the dark haired bride says. slightly longer hair. ³Could you do us a favor?´ ³Please. How appropriate. I stand and watch.´ It doesn¶t seem like there is much I could do for them. don¶t commit to each other. The smile on her face shows teeth and her heart as she prepares to be happy. but I doubt they¶ll believe me. ³What can I do for you?´ Memories of San Antonio fly through my mind. Here comes my good deed for the year. you damn near lose your mind.´ chimes in the shorthaired bride.FEELING VANCOUVER colorful pink and green flowers.haired bride says. Tears are forming in her eyes. The ceremony is taking place in front of a huge floral arrangement. There is a man taking pictures. I could tell them to run while they still have a chance. marriage will only end badly. The marriage conductor is a thin white woman in black slacks and a white shirt. 223 . ³Hello.´ dark. ³Would you mind being a witness at our wedding? We need two witnesses and we only have one. It provides a contrast on her pale skin. She wears glasses and is smaller than the first woman by a few inches with dark. Unless they want some advice on how to commit to someone so completely when they dump you. I could tell them. She is holding a bouquet of flowers in various shades of purple. pink and red. I don¶t know if he is part of the group or just a random stranger who feels like taking pictures.
³Same sex couples have a hard time getting married at home. ³What do I have to do?´ ³Nothing. Very low maintenance. Maybe the dark haired bride would like a little wisdom from someone who has been there.´ short hair informs me. Watching them.´ says dark hair. ³We got a license so we can get married but we didn¶t know about the witness requirements until now. I can¶t break anything and they have their own photographer.FEELING VANCOUVER ³A witness? Me? I¶m sorry. I won¶t give them wisdom from my experience. At this moment. in a state of unlimited possibilities and a future that for now includes each other.´ says short hair bride. We came to Canada so we could get married. Watch and sign seems easy enough. they have each other. Is it right? I don¶t know. I¶ll leave right for God to decide. I do know what they have seems beautiful and I wouldn¶t 224 . They look so happy and expectant I decide to keep my knowledge to myself. Just watch us get married and sign the paperwork. I¶m not a lesbian is what I mean. I could tell them how one will totally rip the heart out of the other.´ ³You don¶t have to be. I mean I¶m not sorry I¶m straight. I can feel their love and my jealousy. but I¶m straight.´ says dark haired bride. You are trying to fix her supper of stew you don¶t even fucking like when she tells you she has found someone else and is leaving you.
I know I am tired of settling for less. I can do that for you. Then shorthaired bride takes the hand of brunette bride. Maybe there is hope after all. they will learn how rough love is for themselves. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes and. crying.´ I want to add. they tell each other words of forever that will probably not come true. The conductor and the picture taker have moist eyes. Brunette bride and shorthaired bride are both crying. They may as well enjoy the bliss while they can. I think about the request Robert has made of me. They look to be in their early fifties so if they have twenty years together. I hope it does.¶ but those words would probably put a damper on things. to sign the divorce papers. and the flowers cease to be in danger of further shredding as she smiles more broadly than before. and shredding the stems of the flowers in her hand. She starts pacing. She stops pacing. so they would not have to worry about getting a divorce. What this couple is experiencing is a marriage. In time. She is obviously nervous. For their sake. The marriage conductor starts the show and like all wedding ceremonies. I am not joined to Robert. a joining. they¶ll be too old to think about divorcing anyway. µIf it doesn¶t last don¶t blame me. Nothing 225 .FEELING VANCOUVER mind being loved that deeply. ³Sure. the tears stop falling. I stand beside brunette bride. same sex marriage will still probably not be legal in the United States. We¶re just married. As I stand there watching and witnessing what they are experience. as if she could read my mind and is ready to forget all of this and get away. By the time they are in their seventies.
The piano is to the left of the stage. Listen. I see Mr. caught up in the music even though I don¶t know what they are singing and never have. we get to the main stage area. Playing in this park. and the percussions in the middle.´ He is holding out his hand for me to grasp. but it¶ll work out. ³Come. sense passion. Now I know what I am doing in this park. the sound comes through clear as glass. I sign my name to witness the event. I¶m going to be okay enough to begin. After a short walk. and enjoy life. playing and they look the same as they did five years ago except for the one I miss most. but 226 . The fellows are on stage. I know I will make it now. There is beautiful music playing in the distance. I stay to listen and remember. This must be where he made his transition. I accept the end of the wife portion of my life.O. Looking over at the place where the music is loudest. again. Brunette bride and shorthaired bride are joined. Not as intensely as I did during my time with them. I can feel it. When they start playing. sax and guitar on the right. smiling at me from the top of a small hill.P. There will be some bumps. M. I ask the marriage conductor what the occasion is and she informs me that there is a concert going on in the park. right on stage with the other musicians he always called the fellows.FEELING VANCOUVER like a wedding to make me see I need a divorce. I hope they make it. dark haired and brunette bride in the past. It¶s time to move on. It is not overwhelming but it enters me and my insides dance. The new guy on percussions is not as skilled. Through the tears. I make it to him and place my hand in his to follow him. to live life.
I am a part of the crowd and the music. is gone. I¶ve heard enough. The music continues to play. I am glad I came. enjoying through their songs. I hold my breath on a remembered orgasm. I blink and Mr. I close my eyes and feel the lure of the past. The sounds are so clear. playing me so skillfully. While listening. I blow him a kiss and continue to remember. MOP onstage. and reliving our time together. so moving they drift me back to the magical two weeks that started with such daring on my part and ended all too soon. The ladies that will be sharing their first night of many to come as a married couple are an inspiration. remembering. seamlessly. When I no longer feel our hands joined. I¶m wet. M. so mellow. Again. I look up and see Mr. I needed to be here at this time to know love still exists in the world. He was squeezing my breasts and running his fingers along sensitive flesh. seeing them. It¶s a very poignant time. No. Hand enclosed in his. experiencing the music again. 227 . He has an instrument played with what resembles an afro pick. still able to feel the individual muscles in his fingers developed by years of playing congas and jimbays. I¶m watching them again. Seeing the fellows again.O.P. they drift from one set to the other. I crave the feel of him. seeing where he transitioned closes a circle. He looks at me and gives me the head toss and the smile.FEELING VANCOUVER the feeling of the music is again deep inside. producing a scraping sound like corn being cut off of a cob. playing percussion. the smell of him even now. through life and lifetimes. An hour later. my nipples are getting hard and between my legs become damp.
O. Acceptance is here and the anger and edge of pain are gone. M. Black squirrels start running towards me and I find the car without incident.P. I cry because I am so alone in a group of thousands. knowing peace at last. but he is gone again from the stage. It¶s hard to remember without the killer peacock to guide me. I turn and walk towards what I hope is the entrance and where I parked the car. I look around for Mr. 228 . I have to get over him.FEELING VANCOUVER This trip has helped me become more found than lost. I will be fine.
They have a steam clock considered a huge tourist attraction. The clock itself is standing on the street in a very . I¶d have a twentyinch stem of thorns by the time I¶m sixty-five. Standing just inside the lobby debating how to pass some time I hear about the Gastown section of the city. I¶m a tourist. it would now have a twelve-inch stem. Various people in the group offer conversation and comments. Robert said tattoos would be a desecration of my body. What can I do to celebrate my newfound knowledge and liberation? Maybe I¶ll get a tattoo. There would be no petals. I¶ve always wanted a rose tattoo on my left breast since I was in my twenties. At the rate my breasts are drooping. If I ever went to a nursing home. After parking. If I had gotten a rose tattoo in my twenties. the aides would wonder what the hell I was thinking putting a stem on my chest. Everyone is friendly and we cover the eight-block distance in a short period of time. only thorns with larger thorns that used to be petals at the top. I watch the water and walk around for a bit before going inside. I must look lonely because I am invited to join the group of twelve who decide to go and see the clock. People in the lobby are getting together to head over since is within walking distance. A tattoo is not the way to go. That does not sound cute at all. I want an attraction.IT¶S AQUA MAN My drive back to the hotel is calming. I never got one and it turned out to be a good thing.
why not? My name is Lynn´ 230 . It is every bit of ten feet tall. With each note. He¶s six feet and has a twelve pack that shows through his button down shirt tucked into his snug fitting jeans. it is emitting puffs of steam into the night air. top and bottom. churning out the notes to an old nursery song. Some of us are going to go and have a drink. the show is over and it¶s time to go. The gas clock starts. It is time to become honest with myself again. my name is James. Is this going to be a better experience than the previous attempts? Will it be worth the undressing or come with an oral appetizer? I try to think of other things. The next phase in my life will surely come to me when the time is right. and new chain stores. Can I buy you a drink while we wait for the next chiming?´ I consider if he is worth a third attempt at good sex. A group of thirty-five to forty people is gathered around the clock. they are gone forever.IT S AQUA MAN eclectic district surrounded by restaurants. Once they are gone. he also has a full beard with a mustache I¶ll bet would feel good on my lips. As I am standing and watching. It is past time to face the future. Too soon. One of the men in my group of strangers walks over to me. to get in control as I was the one time I asserted myself and ran away. Balding. galleries. ³Hi. Nothing seems important enough to stop me from thinking about sex. but determined to hang on to the last strands of hair by combing them over his bald spot. ³Sure. Seconds are steadily ticking by that can never be recaptured. I think about my life. It is almost eight in the evening.
Even though he is staying here. Unsurprisingly. but I¶m trying. the sex conversation starts. As we walk back to the hotel. he hugs me hard and lowers his right hand to cup my ass. We talk about the general nothing strangers who know they are going to end up in bed together talk about. ³So would you like company when we get back to the hotel?´ He is standing far enough away I don¶t feel intimidated or pressured to say yes. it sounds too much like being a tramp. We have two drinks and then go out for another chiming of the clock. I feel uncommonly nervous. ³I wouldn¶t mind company. he could be a killer. 231 . He speaks fluent French and believes Canada should outlaw the use of United States currency because it weakens the Canadian economy. The best and worst sex I ever had occurred in hotel rooms. He lifts the skirt and gets a cheek in each hand then puts a finger on each side of my panties and slides them down enough for me to step out of them. Three has got to be a charm. He is a Canadian. Once the door closes. ³Would you like to go to your room or come to mine?´ ³You are welcome to come to mine. Wild unbridled sexual activity is not exactly my forte.´ I absolutely will not go to a strangers hotel room. At the hotel. born is raised. I trot him over to the front desk to go through the front desk routine before we get to the room.´ I tell him with a smile.IT S AQUA MAN We head to a nearby restaurant and order wine. I am beginning to associate sex with hotel rooms.
I remember Sedona and San Antonio and acknowledge size doesn¶t mean a damn thing and neither does stamina. James straightens. In the interest of having hopefully good sex I answer. Naked. and I don¶t know dual shower protocol. I hope this is going to be worth the effort. and at full mast a most impressive length of flesh greets my eyes.´ Our shower involves rubbing each other. He takes the time to bend down and unstrap them.IT S AQUA MAN I¶m still in my strappy sandals. ³Sounds interesting. Seeing the top of his head seems so nasty.´ I¶ve personally never showered with anyone else except Mr. but it¶s his balls that make me choke. and getting ready for the next stage of the evening. They are purple. I wonder why his balls are such a dark shade.O. He isn¶t that dark. I ask. Then we stop to kiss. M. it would be impossible not the feel the nine by three inches he¶s packing. I haven¶t heard of any disease able to cause discoloration of the balls so maybe it¶s hereditary. I¶ll bet he wasn¶t shy about taking shower in gym class with the amount of meat he¶s working with. being the color of hot chocolate. He has an odd color to his balls. smiling. We dry each other and go towards the bed. and comes towards me. ³Can I taste your DNA?´ he wants to know. However. I love it.P. A deep dark purple. 232 . kissing each other. still touching. strips. ³Would you like to get a shower?´ ³A shower together would be wonderful.
right leg. ³Sure. And just like his fingers touch me. His hands are big enough for his fingers span more than half my thigh width. Those fingers turn upward and into my dampness. Um.IT S AQUA MAN ³Um. I make sounds of ecstasy. and I¶ve got some substantial thighs. My orgasm can¶t fall to the floor or go to my feet. He goes from side to side. The drag of his tongue as it comes up one leg and then the other makes me whimper.´ I start to get wet in spite of the fact I just dried off and am so glad I didn¶t put my mascara on below to cover the gray.´ He leads me to the king size bed that dominates the room. He lays me down and continues to orally stimulate me. let¶s go to bed. in an unceasing and relentless move onward and upward. He squeezes my inner thighs. and licks his way up. The pain finally takes center stage in my brain. The pain pleasure has me confused until I sort out the facts. I feel a pain and a pleasure. It may be waterproof.´ He sinks to his knees in front of me as I position myself on the wall to keep upright. his tongue enters me. ³Baby. He moves his lips as his mouth skates on my most sensitive skin. He is licking me like icing licks cake. He puts his hands on the back of my legs. Well. His face is following his fingers. but I would not want his tongue to be the same color of his balls because I was being vain. he sucks it right out of me. I hold my breasts because they are trying to trade places with my clitoris so they can get the same good licking. We make it to the bed but not under the sheets. he will drown in my juices. The pain is emanating from my right 233 . rubs. A foot on the chair is the opener. If he is not careful. While his fingers hold me open. his tongue follows suit. left leg.
and starts a good rhythm going. My eyes drift shut to eliminate distraction.. ³Stop. I take the opportunity to escape the oncoming flood the 234 . this deluge is disobeying the laws of gravity.´ I yell loud enough to make him stop moving even though he doesn¶t stop sweating.´ I say as I dodge droplets by shifting my upper body to the left and slightly out from under him. Pleasure I have missed. Strokes one through twenty are wonderful. ³Well. He looks befuddled. He is going to drown me if I do not intervene.. Sweat covers his face and neck. Pleasure I deserve. at the moment. The nipple is hurting. Profusely. causing the pleasure. His head looks like he just got out of a swimming pool. enters me. I feel a drop of water and open my eyes to see what was going on. If my titties intrude on this pleasure again. And wet. by staying on his body. hence the pain. I can learn to like this. I¶ll have no choice but to do something drastic.´ his voice trails off as he drips all over my chest. My titty is under my arm and my weight is smashing it. His tongue is under my hood moving very effectively. I¶ll get on top.IT S AQUA MAN breast. He would be dripping on my hair and face if I hadn¶t moved. It is starting to drip down onto my dry body. Worse. I focus on the pleasure he is giving me. I rescue my breast from under my shoulder and resist the urge to tie them both together to keep them from sliding so far under me anymore. ³Let¶s change positions. He comes up between my legs.
I know I can take being unfulfilled. I¶m a man. I¶ve been married for thirty-two years to a man who had some very rigid ideas on what a woman should and should not do. ³I can¶t be on the bottom.´ ³What?´ Don¶t tell me I have found the last remaining male chauvinist sexual idiot.´ I am wet. horny and glad to be out of danger. I have to be on top.´ I inform him. yes. ³Look Aqua Man. ³You sweat quite a bit. I have overactive sweat glands.´ he explains.IT S AQUA MAN human faucet is making. I am not going to let him drown me to satisfy his machismo. After my previous sexual experiences. He looks amazed I would even suggest such a thing. what¶s it going 235 . ³So maybe you should be on the bottom. I can¶t have you on top of me. if you stay on top I¶ll drown. ³I¶m a man. You can either let me on top so we can get this done or you can hold onto your macho idea of what makes a man and go to your room unsatisfied. Pulling my leg and the rest of my body away. I get another two and take them to Mr.´ He looks like I had asked him to turn face down. He promptly soaks therm. I put up with it for the security that didn¶t last. ³So.´ Him on the bottom makes perfectly good sense to me. I have to stand up for myself this time. I go into the bathroom and get a towel to dry myself. Drowning doesn¶t seem like a good idea to me. Leaky. ³Uh.
I bring my attention back to the present. A very slow up with a very slow down followed by a squeeze of my inner walls has him start to actively participate. I am better than a doughnut. This will work nice. sulking. I come quickly. Now it¶s time for him to go. I wouldn¶t look forward to a repeat. I put towels on the bed for him to lie on so all of his water will be absorbed by the sheets and mattress.´ he pouts. Then I climb on top and position my knees at his hips. From this position. This reminds me of the last time I had been astride a man. MOP. As sex goes. I¶m satisfied. 236 . First. I look down at him and his contented smile. I had legs on my shoulders and some serious sexing going on. he wasn¶t bad. He grabs my hips with his clammy hands and grinds his way to completion. I concentrate on not leaving him in the same predicament.IT S AQUA MAN to be?´ He looks long and hard at me as he lies down on the bed. ³You can get on top. He¶s satisfied. I¶ve still got to sleep here when he leaves. He comes soon after. He¶s too wet. I get a rhythm going which is all I want to think about at this point. He is quite still with his eyes closed. Currently. I have to stay upright instead of putting my head on the pool of water that is his chest. It brings a smile to my lips for the memory of Mr. A lift and a twist get the puzzle pieces fitting perfectly. Remembering how frustrated previous encounters over the past years left me. King Neptune under me in the room.
you are dead. I¶ll try to look you up when I come to Vancouver again.´ ³No. ³It was nice meeting you also. It was«´ I can¶t say great. I hope you are not angry I wanted to be on top. ³Yes.´ ³Oh.´ He gets up and starts to dress. And I am learning I like sex. I remain silent while I help him out the door. It was nice meeting you. that would be a lie.´ Mr. MOP says from his perch on the dresser.´ ³What? Do you want me to leave?´ Maybe it¶s a male thing. He¶s not very bright.´ He concedes. I have restless leg syndrome and I snore very loudly.´ Silence may sometimes be taken for consent. You are settling for sex. ³A very pleasant evening. Mr.IT S AQUA MAN ³Thank you. ³You survived the human flood. ³There cannot be an us. this thought that after sex you get to spend the night. and sometimes not. MOP comes.´ ³Fair enough. At least he doesn¶t need me to help him. You would be uncomfortable trying to sleep with me.´ ³Why do you keep watching? You said I should experience each of the cities. ³Now you have 237 .´ ³You loved us. I wouldn¶t mind doing it again. After Aqua Man leaves. It worked out great.
IT S AQUA MAN confirmation you are desirable. Have you considered what you will do differently next time you take a lover?´ He is watching for my answer. happy with sex. I think I need a break from men for a while.´ 238 . Water is a part of life. ³I¶ll be honest. I am enjoying my life.´ ³You are content. These encounters have made me feel wanted. ³Was it enjoyable? Were your needs satisfied?´ He taunts. I don¶t want to wake up and call anyone by your name. yes.´ ³Why? It¶s obviously not the sex you want. Wanting you makes me crazy. What you want is the companionship. I dream of you.´ Then I think. but not truly satisfied.´ My voice cracks and I barely get the last words out. you don¶t want more?´ ³I want you.´ I defend my horrible choices. That is why I want to sleep alone. what more do you have to prove?´ ³I am not proving anything. Sexually you can always satisfy yourself. ³On a physical level. and your husband is an idiot. ³We connected on every level in order to achieve what we had. I will expect the unexpected. Is it fair to hold mere pieces of meat you have met on your travels up to our connection? They will never achieve it and you will continue to be disappointed. ³I¶m not going to get my hopes up too high. Everyone sweats.
The next morning I drive back to Seattle. This time when I write about the adventures of my life. even though I am alone. The sex thing isn¶t working for me.´ I decide not to tell him about the marriage ceremony I witnessed. the customs agent barely glances at me. A public diary and a testament to life. I think I¶m over sex now. Taking everything together. I pack and prepare for drive the next day then sleep peacefully.´ His laughter fills the room and then he is gone. ³Did you have a good time?´ µYes as a matter of fact I did. I see doughnuts in my future. At the airport after turning in the car. I am early for my flight and have the luxury of spending time journalizing my travel.IT S AQUA MAN ³You may be right. He might accuse me of attempting to destroy the government. I hope I don¶t gain too much weight. I turn sideways on the bed to can take up more space. My Travel Tips for Vancouver Stanley Park and the gas clock are must see must experiences. At the border. I continue my preparations to put Vancouver behind me. 239 . I will share the events. I had a good time. It feels good. Try not to get sweat on.
³Can I help you Robert?´ I inquire of my soon to be exhusband. ³They would have had to make do with you wouldn¶t they? I am so over you µthe kids need you shit. ³Well that is not a concern of yours anymore. You¶ve changed. I am used to you being at home. I went to Vancouver for the weekend.´ ³Lynn. You won¶t need it anymore.ALL KEYED UP Once I get to Wichita. The lights are on so someone must have been here since my absence.´ I decide to inform him. And that someone is still here judging by Robert¶s car in the driveway behind mine. Robert is in the living room. I don¶t know what has gotten into you. ³Where have you been?´ He demands. But since you¶ve asked. ³You¶ve just been going all over haven¶t you? I don¶t know if I like this. as seems to be his habit.´ He notices. I take a cab from the airport home. could I please have the door key. I need to get in the house if you're not . ³Getting a divorce tends to change a person.¶ They are grown. You¶ll have to think of something new. on the telephone. What do you need the key for.´ ³The judge hasn¶t ruled on anything yet. I just want to move on speaking of which. What if the kids needed you?´ Trust him to try to use parental guilt. I go in.
The shock may be too much. I need my car key too. ³Can I have that key now?´ He makes a production of removing it from his key ring and slamming it on the table. ³I need the garage door opener and the back door key. Lynn?´ Robert looks perplexed. it feels great to have hefted a knife at him.´ I state without hesitation.´ ³I appreciate the offer. I don¶t want to wait. ³I just hope you do not regret this Lynn. I need to get on with my life and it is much lighter without him.ALL KEYED UP here? What if I need to get in?´ ³You won¶t. He could not come up with a reasonable argument to keep the key. You need to have me be able to get in here. we won¶t be married. Maybe it is time for me to start looking out for my own best interest. If I have an emergency. ³What is going on. I can't help but kiss them for 241 . He could fall down with a heart attack to see his pet wife once again exert a thought other than his own. I think about Rene saying he would come home if I would just wait. It¶s time to make a clean break.´ Robert looks as if I had stabbed him all over again. I¶ll call 911 or someone who cares. I smile because even now.´ I say in my firm voice. What if you have an emergency? I am just trying to look out for your best interest. He turns and leaves without another word. I pick up the keys and garage door opener. but it is obvious he does not want to give it to me.
I officially live alone now. I am my own woman. I turn it up very loud because I can. ³I¶ve Never Been to Me. 242 .ALL KEYED UP the power they represent. I find an old Nancy Wilson song. Fully dressed. strong and beautiful. I go to the stereo player and put in some mood music. along with the responsibilities and the opportunities associated with independence.´ The words could be mine. I don¶t watch any television and I am not in bed by eleven. I stay up until I fall asleep on the couch.
He laughs. Make him sweat.´ ³Lynn you have enough time off to cover you until this is over.´ I let Harold know. how much will my severance be?´ ³You will be getting about fifty grand as a lump sum. I am feeling better about this divorce. Robert is after me to sign divorce papers. I¶ll go ahead and start cleaning out my things. but I¶d understand if you don¶t.´ ³You have been one of the best decisions I¶ve made. ³How is the divorce going?´ ³I have to admit. but I think it¶s time for me to start living.´ I leave his office and realize the curious thing is there .´ Harold requests. It should be finalized in about six weeks. ³So. I start to leave the office before remembering the important stuff. ³Harold. It¶s been great over the years and I want to thank you for the opportunity. I must confess I won¶t mind being able to sleep till ten in the morning now I¶m over the shock of being out of a job. I go to work and into Harold¶s office.´ The recognition. ³I remember how that goes.´ Harold shares. I¶ve been thinking about it and I guess there¶s no point hanging on like ivy. I¶d appreciate it if you came in once in a while and let me know how you¶re doing. statement of satisfaction in his decision is a balm. ³I¶ll stop in when I can.Monday morning.
It isn¶t something I particularly love. I gather my things and sort them for the packing Letters I had received over the years. Francis insists women have become a slave to the penis. I turn on the television and flip through the channels when the phrase ³achieve your own orgasm´ stops my fingers from moving. several people stop by. to go to an adult bookstore and find instruments for my own pleasure. What a way to live. much better than Percocet.TILL WEDNESDAY won¶t be anyone I will miss. Advice I had shared about children. During my packing. pay stubs I clean out of the middle drawer annually. Dr. The house that will shortly be mine is empty. it is time to go and amid tears and hugs. Everyone always knows to depend on me for a bag. She seems to be reading my mind as she talks about the need for women to satisfy themselves. Sleep does not come easily and I would like some company or a doughnut at about three in the morning. food and drink items I keep in the bottom left drawer for emergency hunger and thirst times. fifty thousand is a nice painkiller. It still hurts to leave it unexpectedly like this. She tells me. education. The streaming words identify the speaker as a sex therapist. All express their sorrow at my departure. However. alone with money. I put these all into bags I retrieve from the back of the bottom file drawer. Finally. It¶s amazing the things they remember. it¶s what I do to get by. relationships that somehow made an impact on their lives but slipped my mind like roller skates on ice. What 244 . Most recall situations I have long sense forgotten. I stop because I never had sex and therapy in the same person. since I¶m watching. I leave. I decide to skip dinner and go to bed early. At my desk. Work is a place to go to earn a living.
The passing car gives a honk and pulls over.TILL WEDNESDAY a radical thought. what seems like a familiar car passes. Hormones tell me to keep going. thoughts of running into friends of my daughters or friends of Robert dance on the outskirts of my mind. The only thing across the street is a car lot. At the ripe age of fifty-five. I am prepared to cross the street and test-drive a car to add authenticity to my ruse. my attack of the nerves does not subside. wet. I wake up with a smile of anticipation. brief. This must be a sign so I intend to follow her advice. That decision is just what I need to put me to sleep. It tells my brain someone. The light changes and I start the decoy trek across the street to look at cars. I park at a restaurant next door. I eat then head out to the adult toy store on the east side of town. As I walk close to the store. Dressing casually. instead. probably my parents are going to see me going into the toy store. I act as though I am crossing the street to divert attention. but had never gone in. Determined to get my own orgasm I open the door and get out. sexual interludes. The sign I had last night is going to come to fruition today. I had passed it several times. Now the time to approach is at hand and my stomach is rebelling. Shame tells me to get back in the car and drive away. Tomorrow. I am tired of short. Doctor Francis said there will be something at the toy store to alleviate my hornieness and I believe her. which is closed and makes me look more conspicuous instead of blending in. It is noon before I get up the next morning because I had been up so late. The idea of having sex with another living person leaves me underwhelmed. I plan to make my first visit to the adult toy store. Why would I have to see someone who knows me when all I want is to get something for my horny times? 245 .
books are in front. and extra large strap on penises are there for the buying.´ I mumble trying to act cool and be incognito at the same time. Double penises. one large. I consider my search and find there are many. this is not for the hole I thought it went into. The world¶s Favorite Anal Plug. videos to my left. and toys to my right. Instead. ³Hi. but I¶ve been here for two 246 . The woman is smiling. Obviously. I quickly walk to the toy department and see tiny plastic penises. I expected it to be dark in here. the breath that had stuck in my lungs since she called me comes whooshing out. but she is not fooling me. toys in the toy store. What would a man want with a tiny penis or what does this guy know that I don¶t? ³Anal Appetites.´ His voice is the cheery sounding voice usually heard in grocery stores instead of a porn shop. Little plastic three-inch penises come in all different colors. One small. I walk faster to get away. I may not have fooled her but I tried. A clever picture shows the uninformed and clueless how they are to be used. I¶m not feeling stimulated. and how are you today. The clerk greets me with. Going in.TILL WEDNESDAY The woman in the car calls me. Her voice sounds familiar. As her taillights go further down the street.´ the package tells me. ³Hello. vibrators. the adult toy store. it is well lit with bright colored paint on the walls. many. The sweat wetting my underarms starts to dry and I head back to my goal. Harold from San Antonio must have been the model for them. I pick it up and read the package because to see what the man on the outside of the packaging is smiling about. Lubricant. I pick up and discard more instruments of alleged pleasure than I would have ever imagined.
I am now in control of my own destiny and my own orgasm. In the house. No one is here but I still feel like I¶m being watched. ³I hope you enjoy them. I leave the store and make sure the coast is clear before entering my car. They look harmless enough. Maybe he had some of the same experiences I¶ve had lately. Since I dodged one bullet. They are supposed to be inserted. My guilty manner will probably have the neighbors think there are drugs in my brown paper bag. I take my clothes off and get into the bed then get up to go turn 247 .TILL WEDNESDAY hours. There is something more embarrassing than having someone see me leave the toy store. I get in line behind a young man who is telling the clerk how wonderful the blowup doll he purchased yesterday is working. Insert them carefully. It would be to have them meet me inside going through the merchandise. I look all around when I am getting out of the car. I don¶t want to press my luck. I take my bag to my room and shut the door behind me. the clerk will think I¶m a pervert. It can¶t talk back to you. I don¶t want anyone to know there¶s a toy in my bag. If I don¶t get something. the noisy bag sounds of a motorcycle in an oven because the room is so quiet. How excited can you get? You know it¶s plastic. It helps to know.´ Hmmm. a clear box holds two balls about two inches in diameter I¶d be willing to try. What happens is totally in my hands. I¶m glad Robert is not here to ask me what I¶ve got in the bag. On a lower shelf. When it is my turn the clerk cautions. so why bother. The precious purchases are riding on the front seat of the car and we go home. If so I hope his plastic can hold up under the pressure.
I am in bed. I try shaking my ass left and then right. if possible. my hearts starts to beat faster and there is vaginal moistening because soon there will be an orgasm. Hell I may as well take them out and shove them up a 248 .TILL WEDNESDAY off the overhead light. They don¶t seem to be working. I don¶t feel a damn thing. Nope that didn¶t do anything either. I¶m going to satisfy myself. It might help if I knew what they were supposed to be doing. I take out the clear plastic container that holds my silver balls. I part my knees and wiggle hoping movement and position change will get them going. with my balls. Maybe I should turn on some mood music. It will give all the light needed for me to get down to the business. I get the box they came in to check again for instruction. the source of my next orgasm. I turn on my back again and lift my knees to my chest. I¶ll just do it in silence. Nothing. Well the clerk said to put them in gently. I look around for instructions but can¶t find any. I turn over onto my stomach and still don¶t feel shit. But I don¶t. As I open the case. I¶m no closer to an orgasm than I was before the insertion. as the small packet is removed. Still nothing. No. instead clicking on the lamp on the nightstand. Then I wait for the balls to perform. I lie down on my back and put them into my waiting hole. The crackling of the bag gets even louder. I am holding the balls in the palm of my hand now. Was I supposed to turn them on? There weren¶t any buttons or switches on them now that I think about it. the ticket to my sexual freedom. They¶re not heavy but there is a noticeable weight to them. There is no place shown for batteries and a thorough search fails to turn up any instructions.
Metal doesn¶t melt unless it gets very hot. Another hand check comes up empty. The mirror is useless. Nothing falls out. How do you take them out? They don¶t have a string like a tampon. I also see all the fucking gray hair that I missed looking from the top down. Maybe they fell out. my gynecologist? Do I tell the scheduler I need to see the doctor because I put some sex balls in my pussy and they won¶t come out? If I can get into the room by saying I need a pap smear. 249 . No. Why didn¶t I think of this shit before I put them in? I put my finger in the same hole I put those damn balls in but don¶t feel them. I continue my search. Stone. I run over to turn the overhead light on. I throw the covers off the bed. I get on my hands and knees to search the floor. I can use the stirrups and insert the coochie opener before Dr. Tears have formed and are falling from my eyes. All I see is pink with one hand holding the mirror and the other hand parting my lips. Maybe they melted. Then what? I am not a contortionist.TILL WEDNESDAY wild horses¶ ass for all the good they are doing me. I still wouldn¶t be able to see inside of the dark hole. I¶m hot but not near metal melting hot. I get the mirror from the bathroom and try to see into the entrance they entered. How am I going to make an appointment with Dr. I jump up and down thinking. I¶m searching around and can¶t find them so I stand up. I still don¶t find them. I still don¶t see any silver anywhere. Oh yes. Nothing. I bend over and reach up there again. Stone gets there. Nothing. With the light on. they¶re metal. The decision to remove them is quickly followed by the question. The mirror still shows pink. gravity has got to work on this.
On the other hand. I go sit on the toilet. They¶re just going to have to stay in there. The mortician will find them and think I¶m some kind of freak. The twin balls of shame would show up. If I ever see that lying bitch. the beeping would start at my privates.TILL WEDNESDAY I can¶t I won¶t. no airports. maybe I¶ll cough them up. they are still stuck and now there is pee in the toilet. The technician would ask. There is not a satisfying clink as metal hits porcelain. They must be working their way to my stomach where they will come out in a bowel movement that stops up my toilet. I could never again get an x-ray. They¶ll just have to stay in there until I die. Better to keep my mouth shut and be thought a freak after I¶m dead. ³Ma¶am what are those two metal balls in your pelvic area?´ No more xrays. than to tell my doctor and remove all doubt while I am alive. These are my thoughts as my hand is in my vagina up to my wrist. Dr. What if they clog up my urinary tract? I wouldn¶t be able to pee. To use it and hope the force of gravity will free them. I am defeated by the desire for an orgasm. I¶ll never make it through any airport security again. I could probably give myself a hysterectomy from here and still not find any balls. When I finish. ten 250 . Francis in person. I¶ll have to get a catheter. A cavity search would be mandatory. no more plane rides. The metal would make the alarm go off. Okay. no buildings with x-ray security or metal detectors. Of course. The cervix made weak by three children and excess belly fat does not give up the two orbs. When the guards come to wand me.
´ ³This is an over lifetimes we have. ³I¶m still in this with you.´ I get up and head towards my guide. while I¶m sitting here with metal balls stuck in my crotch. I look over at arms that cannot hold me. I don¶t know what the hell it is.´ I could use a hug from those arms. As much as I resist. I 251 . What am I supposed to do about that?´ The tears dry up with the force of my longing for him that refuses to abate. Fear has me back away from his embrace. crying. I want that connection. My body is on its way into his arms. ³I can¶t do this.TILL WEDNESDAY police with tazers wouldn¶t be able to pry my fingers from around her scrawny neck. I must be dead if I can feel him. ³Sweetheart. The wall keeps me from falling. why are you crying?´ asks the absolute last ghost I want to see me in this position. The balls must have caused an allergic reaction and stopped my heart. my soul. I never want another orgasm again. I am still in this with you. Damn. I look at the floor to see if my body is lying there like they say happens when you die. It¶s not. Why did you think that you would be over this? Come. I am dead. I sink to the floor dejected. Not him again. I continue. I am unable to deal with him going and coming in my life. rocking back and forth. I know that without him I probably would not have gotten myself through everything. my lover. ³What are you doing here I ask him. And definitely not now. It¶s too hard for me. I feel his arms come around me. I forget my metal ball crisis. I am naked. I would rather not see you than to have to face the inevitable parting. deflated and totally devastated. as I hold myself. but that¶s not possible.
The he moves me closer. The second fingers are behind my ear as he gently holds me. he holds me close. I touch him. he looks at me and he doesn¶t stop looking until I look back at him.´ Before he kisses me. As he kisses me. stroking. Let me remind you of how good we are together. His index fingers are in front of my ears. this is over lifetimes.´ He rubs my arms. The pit I never want to climb out of because it feels so right. he steps even close. It will only make me wish for what I will miss. Let me make you feel again. I feel home in his embrace. He gives me his tongue and I suck it as if it is a Popsicle on a hot August day. ³Lynn. His thumbs are along my jawbone stroking. gums and breathing. the only time we can completely physically feel each other. so him. My hands clutch his upper arms to keep me from falling into the pit that is him. he puts his lips on mine and takes my face into his hands. male. I see in his eyes the strength of his desire or determination to kiss me. aroused. When he kisses me. ³Why are you doing this to me? I don¶t need to feel. Then he kisses me. between legs that have opened to accept his presence. His hands move 252 . Only until tomorrow. making the longing I have for him increase. It will never be over. inhale his scent. an opportunity to cross lives.TILL WEDNESDAY look up into his eyes to ask ³How?´ ³This is my physical time. It will last until Wednesday. This is the night we have. a willing concubine.´ I do feel though. From now until Wednesday. His tongue is inside my mouth dominating my teeth. After he kisses me.
His hand cups my breast. I was almost there. As I look into his eyes.´ His voice has the husky timber of love. feel you as you tremble in my arms. I can no more deny him than I could deny the reciprocity of the moment. ³You won¶t need these tonight. I see 253 . ³Would you believe no?´ I had completely forgotten about them once he touched me. and yearning. The nipples come to attention and beg him to never. It will leave me wanting more. Let us take the physical. the comfort. we can have this time for us.´ He drops them on the floor and takes me in his arms. I didn¶t feel them coming out. I love to touch you. I feel him parting me and cupping my lower lips. It¶s as necessary for me to touch and enjoy him as it is for the mountains in Sedona to stand and the grapes at Clee winery to grow.´ He takes his hand to put it between my legs. I feel his fingers move away from me. His fingers enter a suddenly wet passage that has been missing him for the past five years. Gently at first. were you looking for these?´ I look down into his hand to see two silver balls. Damn. I could say they are not mine.´ There is no real choice. ³Trust. he kneads one breast and then the other. He holds it as though it is a Faberge egg. the orgasm. ever. He removes his hand and I arch towards the warmth. ³I don¶t know how I can do this or if I can do this. stop. ³Sweetheart.TILL WEDNESDAY from shoulder to hip. lust. ³I love the texture of your skin. His breath is in my hair and his scent is in my nose.
He lifts me up to deposit me on his erect pulsing package. The hair on his face stimulates the surrounding flesh of my breast. I come to rest at the base of his shaft. Then he captures my mouth again. Half lying on him. Up and down 254 . Because he kissed me. Then he kisses me again. half-lying on the bed he puts my left nipple within the reach of his mouth then takes it all of the way in to the back of his throat. Then he climbs onto the bed and takes my breath away. He puts them both together and into his mouth to suck. Snug. They feel the back of his throat as he expertly licks and sucks. From side to side. He carries me to the bed and places me in the center. Damn he¶s good and very satisfying. Each of his arms has one of my thighs. One. full. Sweat starts to drip from every pore and the orgasm seeps from between my lips. I look down as I feel it being swallowed by him. The orgasm is immediate. He bends and comes up to a standing position. I can no longer stand on my own and feel myself start to slide down the wall. Like a hot dog slipping into a bun.TILL WEDNESDAY reflected the anticipation for what we have ahead. My body feels cold then hot. I watch and marvel at his ability to touch every spot I need touched in the way I need it touched. He doesn¶t move. I take his face into my hands and give him access to my soul in a kiss. A scoot gets him under me and my right nipple makes its way into his mouth. That is as far as I get before the first orgasm. I want more of him. My titty comes out of his mouth looking like it had been sucked through a straw. He prevents the fall from happening. right. I shudder from the intensity of the climax. He holds me up forever and an orgasm. His dick slips into me like a plug slipping into an outlet. His tongue plays between the breasts that are in his mouth.
savoring. I feel the size of him and it fills me perfectly. I feel every ounce of cum that leaves his body as it enters mine. It is good. He now has a perfect view of my fabulous ass riding him. Damn I¶m good even if I do say so myself. ³And I you. I turn back to his face where the magnetism attaches and mesmerizes me. The first point of the turn has me straighten my right leg and shift my body right. It is the taste of beauty.´ I tell him. I lick his legs. My titties rub on his thighs and knees. letting the physical say what words cannot describe. It comes seconds later. Remembering. I do all of this without losing a dick. We are doing some serious loving. Slowly at first. Every nerve ending is alive and I have not felt this satisfied in years. He puts his hand out and squeezes my ass with one hand while rubbing the other cheek with the other hand. I feel his pubic hair as it gently scrapes my skin. I move and feel what has been missing. ³I¶ve missed you. We still have tonight. I feel a vibration work its way up to his dick and I know the orgasm is coming and I can¶t wait to feel the eruption. loving the feel of him. He starts moving more forcefully underneath me. I execute a three-point turn like a gymnast.TILL WEDNESDAY I move. 255 . The audible sigh of satisfaction from him lets me know the judge just gave me a ten for my perfectly executed move. I want to taste him. The second point has my left leg cross his body over his face with me lifting on my hands for balance. experiencing the feel of him craving the feel of him. The third point has my right leg cross him and I am now facing his feet.´ he shares with a squeeze on my fabulous ass. From his knees.
completed and more in love with him than ever. fulfillment. and ecstasy I am feeling. he reminds me of the rightness of being with him through life and lifetimes. He captures my inner fruit with his teeth and holds it between his teeth as though it is a grape that is captured but cannot be bruised.´ Listening to him there aren¶t many breaths to another round of wanting. he expands me. My titty is enveloped in his hand as he 256 . With each position change and each stroke. I queue up some of the best loving music that I have. us in a t-shape. he fills me. I close eyes and seconds later feel his tongue slide between my lower lips that are swollen and sensitive because they know what comes next. The force of the orgasm leaves me weak. his body between my legs. He is all up in me and I am loving it. Me on top. Maxwell singing ³This Woman¶s Work. him on top.TILL WEDNESDAY I climb off of the best perch I have ever known to put on music. he is bringing me closer to an explosion. It is though I am a balloon and he is the water that continues to enter me. My knees are at the back of his head. He applies pressure between the tips with his tongue. We are fucking. The happiness shines as freely as the product of our loving seeps from my body. Then another explosion comes in waves so intense I freeze before tremors wrack my entire body. He moves his tongue sideways and allows me to feel his taste buds. With each stroke. Skin on teeth across this most tender of flesh. With each stroke. His fingers gripping my inner thighs will likely leave a bruise and the pleasure pain adds another layer of feeling to the joy. We are seriously sexing. With each stroke.
³Darling. ³Yessss. It brings me awake and searching. the touching the sharing of breath air and times. I still want him. He isn¶t. Sometime during the night.TILL WEDNESDAY comes over me and enters me swiftly. I want to memorize his features. I still need him.´ He stretches out so I can have unlimited access to his body. But it lasts over and over again between pauses for rest and conversation. 257 . I get out of the bed to look. He looks at me and I can't look away. Taste me. forcefully. ³I want to taste you.´ Then he kisses my lips and licks until I explode and then he does it again because we are loving for the past five years and the knowledge it cannot last. everywhere. tasting like love. It¶s not the sex. I reach out for him and meet empty space. one of those times I know I will remember. touch me. to touch you and store the memories. Salty. sweet. It¶s the feeling. An event set apart in time to be examined when times are unbearable and pain is the only thing you feel until even good feels bad. let us do all we can with this short time we have. He can¶t be gone. the feel of him. Know it is for always. A peak experience when I look back at my life. We continue to love late into the evening until we are exhausted and unable to do anything besides go to sleep. I see a single sheet of paper on the dresser and with a sense of resignation pick it up. TILL WEDNESDAY A Decision made. there is so much more to life. hoping against hope he is somewhere accessible to me. Bending down to savor the taste of him. Then I can remember this. I touch him.´ I tell him on one of our pauses.
through sharing. Till Wednesday. Suspending the future For the present we have. So we can be together. through you Till Wednesday And Wednesday came too soon.TILL WEDNESDAY Aware and accepting of consequences So I can have you. Till Wednesday Coming across miles. Not acknowledging the past. Till Wednesday Right now. Coming across lives. Through laughing. 258 . just now is my focus.
´ When Wednesday afternoon arrives. I smile before hearing the ³yessss. kiss the paper as if I could internalize the words and emotion to make them a part of me forever. I trace the words. I hear the telephone and decide I do not feel like talking. I hold my gift from him against my face as I climb back into bed. Decision made. I want to bask in the afterloving glow and plan for my future. alone and content. I get up to implement the ending of my marriage by signing the papers. Wednesday really came too soon.TILL WEDNESDAY Why did he do this? Writing is my passion. not his. 259 . Sleep comes easy with the thought of next lifetime. I¶m alone and fine with that state. Yes. I am away from his face and still the magnetism attaches and mesmerizes me. You betcha. I am transported back to Cleveland five years earlier when I shared my passion with him through words.
The fact I have to open it gives me a sense of power that could corrupt very easily.´ ³I don¶t care. ³Christy I insist you don¶t sign unless he agrees to sign a declaration relinquishing all rights to any moneys that come to you regardless of the source. We agree Robert¶s terms were essentially good. She will complete the paperwork to withdraw the request. Don¶t call Robert until you get my e-mail. Let¶s have dinner soon. He obviously does not like lacking control of entering and exiting at his leisure.´ I open the door wide and allow him entry. I tell her of my decision to sign the papers. We chew the fat and end with me agreeing to Robert¶s terms with one caveat.´ ³I¶ll have the form e-mailed to you in five minutes. We need to talk. What if something . Her asking for the psychological was to stretch it out at my request.´ Sure enough. ³Hello Robert.´ True to form. I take my time reaching the door. just ready to be out of the cage. cautions me and informs me of the legal consequences of my actions. he shows up without calling. I think I need to have a key. her e-maiI call arrives and I print it out before calling Robert¶s cell phone and leaving a message. ³Give me a call.Dottie answers on the first ring. being the topnotch attorney she is. She. I can sense the frustration from his finger through the chime. in fifteen minutes. ³Lynn. When the doorbell sounds. Dottie is concerned he may be entitled to some of my severance.
I am ready to end this half living. the hurt is still in there but muted. I want you to live. ³Enough. ³Yes we are and that didn¶t put a damper on you and your relationship with Brenda. He reads the form and his puzzlement is apparent. The living.´ I am not angry. Here is the reality.´ ³What are you talking about?´ ³I want you to go and live. If I can separate us. and spiritual. ³Why you haven¶t been in any hurry to sign them any other time? What makes it so different now?´ ³I don¶t know Robert. Right now. ³What do you mean moving on? You are not seeing anyone are you? We¶re still married. I very much want you to live. It may not last but it is worth the journey.´ He belatedly remembers. then I can live. To have someone that will force you to sense passion on all levels. Even though it¶s without me. If Brenda can give you that 261 . mental. There¶s really no substitute. I cut through his bullshit. too. Robert. the sorrow. which will come if you do not sense the passion. However the answer to your question is no. To answer your answer your question. physical. I made a decision while I was gone. I am ready to sign the papers if you will sign one for me. I don¶t want you to experience the emptiness. I guess it just took that last adventure to make me see that it really is over between us and to be okay with moving on.´ I hand him the paper Dottie sent me.THE END happened to you?´ he bites out with a glare. there is no one alive I want to see.
³You have to give it your all.´ ³Why Lynn?´ Robert is wary. ³I gave you all that?´ He sticks his chest out and a smug look is on his face in spite of the fact we are divorcing. that will to live. Because in my own way. ³Again. that yearning and sensing of passion. Someone I yearn for and connect with through life. There is no need to tell him. I could be honest and tell him no. You have to get through the superficial to sense the passion. I hope you find that. but in my own way. Definitely an asshole.´ ³What will it take for that to happen. I¶m feeling too good.´ I admit. ³but I will try. I could no more stand in your way than I could stop from envying you the journey. and 262 . ³What about you?´ he questions. thinking that maybe I learned something he didn¶t teach me. ³I may never find it in this lifetime again. Enough to wish you well.´ ³Again?´ Robert¶s cockiness comes to the fore. I wish you well Robert. You have to touch it and allow it to touch you. but not anymore. Not in the way I am describing.´ I smile at him. I love you. not just the physical. Please do not settle for less. At one time my asshole. Through life and lifetimes. ³Because otherwise you settle for less and really nothing less should do. to sense passion? Robert is clueless and curious. I can hope maybe one day I will find someone I can talk to in the dark. I love you. I had. You have to sense the passion.THE END rush.
This is not a through life and lifetimes loving.´ he acknowledges. He leaves. Maybe it was just the me that has always been here trying to get out. It is just not enough. ³Yes Robert. I stand and head to the door. I see the questions in his eyes. It is in the tealeaves this is over and I now accept it. Thank you for the life Robert. you have changed. He really is the honest one that said.´ I open the door for him to exit. I am alone and fine with my aloneness. I couldn¶t have done it without you. ³Please bring the papers tomorrow Robert. 263 . ³Lynn. because on some level we do love. I have. Someone that I can sense on all levels.THE END past lives.¶ I chickened out and wanted to settle for less. They are not questions should or can be answered. µI want it all. I¶ll sign them once you sign the one I just gave you.
What feel good clothes can I wear on my first single evening out. the decision made me stronger. I purchased it when I was in Las Vegas five years ago with Mr. I admire the view then proceed to take my push up enhanced self out to hear poetry at the local library.What a relief to me for this to be over. but that¶s not a problem. and at one time I thought it might. I am soon to be single and ready to embrace the changed status. So how do you celebrate a divorce paper signing? There has to be activity to get me out of the house since I am feeling restless. Memories of a red push up bra with matching thongs would be appropriate. I plan to be committed to getting out and sensing life on all levels. without Mr. they would seem a bit boring. I search through the paper for something more exciting than watching dust mites land and get me out of the house. There are about twenty people in a semicircle. Looking down at my breasts in my push up. There¶s no city I feel a desire to go visit. There isn¶t any reason to stay cooped up in the house. M. There is a poetry reading in the events section. I recognize Stephanie from the job and we exchange waves. covering . finally. it will make the evening more interesting. The program starts and everyone who wants to read is given the opportunity to do so. M. A push up enhances a knit top the way a shot of 1800 enhances ordinary orange juice. It makes me feel close to him and it brings back memories of wonderful sex. Maybe it¶s time to explore my own back yard.P. free and anxious at the same time. I don¶t expect to know anyone. The topics vary. Instead of killing me..O.P.O. The push up looks outstanding under my knit top. Besides. As I scan the room for perverts and psychos my eyes stop on a familiar face.
but I am not there yet. ³So honey.´ She is speaking directly into my chest area. I do clap enthusiastically and even stand a time or two in order to give support and encouragement to those with the confidence to share. We are both fairly healthy. Afterwards. ³Lynn. While listening as other people read their writings. are you ill. I haven¶t had any breast problems.´ I tell her while straightening my shoulders to give the full effect of my push-up. I wish for the courage to write something to read. we are after all of this time. right around my chest area before looking up into my face. Stephanie comes over to talk to me. ³I had a friend with a breast problem and her husband couldn¶t handle it.´ What a weird question. I haven¶t seen you in a while. ³I am so sorry to hear about the breakup. I hear you and Robert are divorcing after all this time.34 D the latest news through weather with personal introspection a hot topic.´ ³Yes. I mean is the sickness the reason for the divorce?´ Her eyes are still looking low. but we aren¶t close.´ I agree. no. ³Uhm. She is looking at my chest intently as it dawns on me she 265 . ³Well no. The push up must be doing its job and she is obviously jealous of my great looking rack.´ she shares with my breasts. I never knew she had an interest in creative arts.
The bottom is seeping out from under the push up bra giving the illusion of putting a rubber band around a balloon. it seems to have slipped. ³I guess it¶s hard to talk about something so personal with someone that¶s not close to you. Leaning in closer she tells me. she probably wants a younger woman and stick my twins back out. µGood luck. ³You may want to go fix your prosthesis. pulls out a card and slips it into my hand. She returns to her regular voice volume to say.´ She fumbles in her purse. Maybe I should catch up with her and tell her I don¶t have prosthesis. I don¶t 266 .34 D may very well be a down low sister. especially in the pushup. All are Welcome Why would she think I have prosthesis? I may not have much but it¶s enough to make an impressive bump. Mastectomy Momma Support Group For women who have undergone the loss Meetings are the last Wednesday of the month Location is Third Street Library at six p.m. I look down to see that my pushup had failed me. I look down at the card. She lowers her voice and whispers. Here¶s a card for a support group if you decide you¶d like to speak with other women. my push up isn¶t pushing up.´ and then hurries off. My right titty looks cut in half. The pushup is not pushing everything up. I¶d have to catch up with her first. I have a friend who¶s a member and I try to pass along the information. I can confess to some slippage. I curve my shoulder to stop her ogling before recognizing even if she is down low.
³Can Dr. Shit. Stone refer me to a doctor that does breast enlargements? I¶ve decided to buy myself some breasts. two chocolate covered strawberries. I can put my entire left titty. I grab my itty-bitty and pull it up into the cup that is obviously not running over as much as it is dropping under. I don¶t give a fuck. I clearly have breast size issues. I can¶t even use pleasure balls correctly and the best sex I have had in the past five years was with a ghost. Half my boob is hanging under my bra and I¶m in public. I know this because I tried it. Staying in the stall to collect my thoughts I wonder what else more humiliating could happen. a glass of chardonnay and the right titty in the other hand.34 D think she would believe me anyway. This I can actually do something about since money can fix this problem. a burger and chocolate with walnuts in one hand. Stone¶s office. My husband has left me. I head home determined to make a difference and go to bed after formulating my plan. Unlike other problems. I cross my arms and head to the nearest bathroom to remedy the situation. Of course. I think the problem is my titties don¶t even overlap my hands. Thanks to the generosity of my mother and father.´ 267 . a glass of cream sherry. Once in the bathroom behind the safety of the stall door. My hands are smaller than the average man¶s hand. I have money to fix this problem. brie with ginger sauce and crackers. throwing money at 34b¶s can make a change. The next morning. she¶ll spread it around Robert left me in my time of need. I¶m going to be a ³D´ cup before too many more days pass. I call and ask Rita the receptionist my question. I look up the number for Dr.
I thought they were all her from the nipple back. I cook dinner for my daughters and let them know that the divorce is final. supple. They looked natural. no one even knows I had a boob job. and squeezable. When she finally talks. He can¶t get over how good they feel.´ she says on a giggle. How do they feel? Do they hurt your back? I heard that could happen. ³I want who did yours. µMy husband didn¶t even know I had them done until afterwards. ³Well.´ I hang up from her and make the call that may possibly change my life but will definitely change my silhouette. I was an ³A´-cup and now I¶m a ³C´ she tells me.´ I remember seeing her in the office with her eye-catching ta-tas. even though it is once again declined. ³Okay give me the information.34 D There is a pause on the other end of the line. My first appointment is for next week. ³You had a breast job.´ I ask in shock. Have you had any complaints from« well you know. Each has the opinion they are willing 268 . They look good. ³I can tell you who did mine. she is whispering. I appreciate the offer. men?´ Why am I having a conversation with a woman about her titties? Cause I can and I need to know. He made them look so real. They didn¶t look hard at all. The time until then is spent having dinner with the parents and letting them know the marriage is over. They continue to be supportive and offer me my old room back. Now he loves them.
³I wouldn¶t go more than two. They seem to think that I need comforting. I assure them I do not. All of the ladies who work here have enough going on up front they are walking advertisements for implants. ³Do you mind if I touch them to see what I will be operating on?´ After I nod. familiar to the peace of Sedona that mingles with the loving that I had able to keep me focused enough to feel strength. he opens the front of the gown and feels me the way he would a tomato. The time crawls by until finally the day of my doctor appointment for a new ³me´ arrives. ³How did you hear about us?´ ³My regular doctor¶s receptionist was a patient and I was impressed with your work. I think it would be okay if we get rid of some of the 269 . I promise each of them I will be in touch and we will get together often in the time ahead. I don¶t.´ How many cups would you like?´ ³How many cups can I get?´ It seems strange to talk about breasts as if they are coffee.34 D and eager to share. The office has pictures of breasts hanging on every available wall space. The doctor is a mid-sized innocuous man who gets down to business. They believe I also need looking after. You are about an ³A´ now.´ I sound like a person complimenting an artist. There is a peace. ³There is a definite lack of mass. Each looks as though they have been successful patients at one time.
34 D excess skin. I have a view of my true cleavage. I always wondered why men would hold themselves without conscious thought. I doubt they will notice. They want to make sure no one steals it. I will tell them.´ We talk about fees and all of the specifics before I leave. just enough to notice is my suggestion. I want them to be noticeable but not enough for people to point at me and say µlook at the breast job¶ before they laugh. I think they hold themselves because they are so impressed by the fact they something to hold. the silhouette they cast is worth the pain. If they ask. 270 . One of life¶s mysteries makes perfect sense to me now.´ ³I like your thinking and agree totally. Even the nipple looks the same. prepared for surgery the following week. after the healing. They look real. My family does such a wonderful job of overlooking me. Three weeks later. However. hanging between their legs. I¶m impressed. Prop them up a bit. I have not told anyone of my decision to get enhancements. I want to hold my breasts because they look so damn good. I am understandably nervous when the time comes. I am in love with my breasts as I haven¶t loved them since before giving birth. nothing too drastic. They are impressive and they are sore. Or since I got my first corset in Las Vegas. I can¶t find any obvious marks to show where I stop and the implants start.
. Are you back now?´ ³Call Alita. The last time you were here. at least three days. Of course.P. In the dream. It is him coming through the door and towards the bed. The connection is too strong. no matter how hard I try to make it to being over you. it is of him. It was moist and warm I knew it was you. I can¶t. I was immediately drenched in my essence. I tell him. could see my titties. You drew me up into your arms and kissed me. she will explain.I wish Mr. I was watching the news and the next thing I knew my head was on bare chest. I am at home in bed asleep.´ ³What do you mean? You have been gone for years. it tasted like you.´ he whispers before taking me in his arms or a kiss and a hug. I wish I could feel his mouth on them. someone at the bedroom door and I wake up.O. Arms were surrounding me. but you are still here. When I turned my head and took your nipple into my mouth.´ ³Because I have been wanting you for so long. You are already buried. It smelled like you. I want to. You smiled at me.´ Then I lifted my head and saw you. M. He takes my hand to comfort me. It felt like you. ³Then come and bury me. I heard your voice telling me ³yessss. You¶re still here and I can¶t seem to let you go. I have the most erotic dream I have had in quite some time. I hear a noise. I felt breath on my face. of us. you said you were leaving. ³I was dreaming of something beautiful. When I go to bed. End us for this lifetime.
I shake the fuzziness from my head. she invites me to the false burial for her deceased husband. ³Hello Alita. how could it be different.´ ³When someone dies.´ ³Bon Jour Mate. This time I decide to take the opportunity to respond by calling her. When collecting the mail I see a letter in the mail written with a familiar hand. I ascribe the experience to my wanting him to see my new figure.´ In her letter. How are you? You sound as though you have released a burden. ³Lynn. We cry in the morning.´ Then she explains. Not the refined dabbing of stray 272 . I dress to impress myself and make a promise to buy some clothes that will flatter the new figure. ³Well sort of. the concept of death and dying is different in Liberia. not wanting to wake up. Always her message is the same. there is much crying.´ ³Death is death. at lunchtime and in the evening when someone comes to visit.´ Alita correctly identifies. content with where I am. The dream is fresh and pushes through my consciousness. I got your letter. your voice rings with hope. What is a false burial and how can I participate. The next day. describing the interaction and influence of the man we both love.´ ³I hope you will come. me in his arms. The letter reminds me of previous correspondence from her over the past three years.THE BEGINNING I continue to dream. ³I called because I want to know about the false burial in Liberia.´ I quickly explain life¶s recent upheavals from my point of view. ³Come.
They obviously do not compare to Liberia on a scale of cultural differences.´ ³We feast beginning in the morning. ³You don¶t have a funeral for a month? That seems excessive. I¶m sure you have seen him. ³What do you do at a false burial? He is already in the ground.´ she tells me. After the funeral. hard. Through this ceremony we release him. Additionally. He has been on watch for three years. the family wears black for three years of mourning. only sorrow. There is no laughter. Possibly longer depending on the status of the individual in the community and the world.´ Alita shares in her melodic voice. They will go throughout the village 273 . We will cry for a month before the body is buried. ³Then what?´ She has my full attention.´ Alita explains. ³On the third eve of the death.´ I am still a little confused. When everything is over and he is completely released from the physical to completely transition to his next life. but loud. The women will dance in the afternoon. ³Yet he remains here. My only travels to foreign countries have been to Mexico and Canada.THE BEGINNING tears. her voice is captivating enough she could be talking about the sand on the beach and still command listeners. The false burial is the final farewell.´ ³At least a month. soul wrenching sobs to show everyone someone we love is gone. the family takes off their mourning clothes and puts on colors in preparation for the false burial.
Once the flights are settled. bread and breakfast stops. There will be much laughter and ceremony and we will celebrate late into the night. There will be a war dance because of his status as a warrior.´ Alita explains before repeating.´ ³Come where? Alita laughs and the sound has not changed in the years since I met her. I dust it off and think about rail passes.THE BEGINNING dancing to the drums. ³We are mates. ³Come. I¶m good to go.´ I hang up and think about what I would really like to do. I pull out my computer and search for flights to Paris.´ ³I¶ll call you when I have made the arrangements. Then I look in the trunk and uncover my passport. Come to Paris. ³How soon can you get here to Paris?´ ³Are you sure it would not be an intrusion?´ I did have an affair with her husband. It is right for you to be there. we will see some sights and then we will go to Liberia to celebrate then release him. and a man I met on a plane five years ago. We will sit and watch them honor him. 274 . I make the required telephone calls to parents and children.
Lynn gets a lifeline by the ghost of her one foray into adultery who challenges her to get out and find the passion in her life. Lynn searches for strength and the courage to face her future as a single woman of a certain age. Cover design and author photo by Seg Chainberland Images firstname.lastname@example.org . Sensing Passion: Travels of a Fifty-five Year Old Divorcee will have you crying with Lynn as she attempts to overcome her feeling of failure. She is serene until she crashes into her husband Robert¶s desire for a divorce and the downsizing of her job. and cheering at her sexual escapades. Travel with Lynn as she finally comes of middle-age. laughing at her revenge methods. Sensing Passion is the winner of the Strongest Start Three 2009 contest.Lynn Westner is floating contentedly through life with the security of a twenty-eight year marriage holding her aloft. From Bloomington to Sedona and Vancouver to San Antonio. The twin blows have her questioning her sense of purpose and her sanity.