Murder in the Grand Canyon
Susan and her mother would take the Greyhound bus on their vacation each spring. It’s not that they had a fear of flying or an abundance of time, but they preferred the intimacy of long stretches on the road together, the hypnotic blur of white lines marking their progress. They particularly liked the periodic stops along the less-traveled roads where they could get out, stretch their legs, and grab a quick bite at the truck stops. And while the food might not have stood up to more discerning tastes, what they lacked in décor and interior design was counter-balanced with their no-frills hospitality and charm.
They were from Whitefish Bay, just outside of Milwaukee, and had mid-west sensibilities and mid-west manners. They weren’t naturally suspicious of people’s intentions the way big-city folk tend to be. They were always polite. Always courteous. Always assumed people said what they meant and meant what they said.
It was at one of these scheduled stops along the road where the incident happened.
Neither Susan nor her mother noticed the man sitting at a back table, just another fellow traveler on a journey. He was wearing thick, black-framed glasses that distorted his eyes, making them appear larger than they were. As he lifted his cup of coffee, he began to sway, its contents hitting the ground, sending the dark liquid flying in all directions. Everyone froze as the unexpected explosion of the cup shattered the early morning conversations, and an eerie stillness descended over the place. The man fell over as if in slow motion, collapsing onto the worn linoleum floor. A collective gasp fell over the diners, silverware froze in mid-motion, yet they all remained glued to their seats, no one ready to abandon their eggs and bacon and buttered toast.
No one, that is, except Susan’s mother. Being a retired nurse and no stranger to the fragility of the human condition, she was already by the fallen man’s side attending to him. She had a deep, hoarse voice, the consequence of a nicotine habit of too many years, which seemed odd given her diminutive presence and sweet demeanor.
“Back off” she commanded to no one in particular given that not one customer had left their seats.
“Anyone a doctor?” was followed by a prolonged dead-silence.
Susan was accustomed to her mother’s good Samaritan deeds and had seen her take charge in a crisis before. But now something else caught her attention, and looking to her right, watched as the young waitress behind the counter opened the cash register and relieved it of its contents.
In life there are serendipitous moments where we’re faced with decisions made easier by an odd confluence of events and this was one of them. The young waitress had forgotten to have the surveillance camera repaired which had stopped functioning the day before, as her abrasive boss had asked. It wasn’t purposeful, it had slipped her mind. But now with a jammed camera on the ceiling and a broken man on the dirty linoleum floor, they had inadvertently come together to create the perfect diversion for an amateur heist. She may have been invisible to the electronic eye, but not to the human one.
Susan watched as the waitress shut the register and stuffed the cash into her apron pockets. The young waitress almost immediately felt the heavy weight of Susan’s gaze upon her and slowly looked up, locking eyes with her. Dread gripped the young girl and she could only stare back in a cold panic, the language of silent desperation filling the void between them.
Meanwhile, the man who had feinted into a heap on the floor was coming to his senses, and he fumbled with his thick glasses, his eyes still foggy and unable to focus. But Susan’s mother already had him sitting up.
“OK, the party’s over” she barked, and spontaneous applause broke out across the rows of tables. And along with the collective sigh of relief came the familiar return of small-talk and clatter of metal forks and knives.
The waitress, slowly, deliberately, walked from behind the counter to Susan’s table and stood there. A long, tense silence settled over them both but the young waitress spoke first.
“Can I get you something”? she stammered, clearly terrified.
“Have anything green”? Susan casually asked.
The waitress gasped and took a deep breath.
“Listen lady”, the waitress said under her breath, “a lot of people do things they regret later, stupid things. They get hit by trucks walking across the street. They get too close to the edge and fall off cliffs taking selfies at the Grand Canyon. Dumb accidents. It’s not like I killed anyone”, she said quietly enough so only Susan could hear.
Outside in the parking lot the big Greyhound blasted it’s horn three times, the driver signaling it was time to re-board.
Susan got up as her mother approached the table and put down a generous cash tip, folding the bills neatly between the half-eaten plates of food, while the irony of the gesture wasn’t lost on the waitress in the apron.
Susan and her mother gathered up their things and walked out the door, the waitress following a few steps back.
“Have a nice day” Susan’s mother said to no one in particular.
It was only after the girl watched Susan and her mother climb the three tall steps into the bus, and the big doors closed behind the last passenger, that she felt like she could breathe again. The bus made a slow U-turn and pulled out of the gravel parking lot, kicking up a stone-dust cloud, and she noticed the red letters on the front of the bus.
“Grand Canyon” she mouthed the words to herself.
She watched the big bus maneuver out onto the interstate, walked across the parking lot, lifted the heavy steel door of the trash bin, and vomited her breakfast. She untied her apron, wiped her mouth with a twenty-dollar bill, and threw the apron and all the the cash into the bin.
In the parking lot an older couple of retirement age saw the girl bent over the garbage bin and asked if she was ok.
“Morning sickness” the girl said.
“Well don’t worry”, the older woman said, “it will pass. You’ll make a great mother”.
The waitress walked to her old Toyota, started the engine, and slowly pulled away from the scene of the crime, the broken surveillance camera, and the bus headed to the Grand Canyon, watching until they were all just a small cloud of dust in her rear-view mirror.
Mary Gatheru is a junior in college at Salem State University. She majors in psychology and minors in English. Her work varies from poetry to short fiction. She has poetry published in Oddball magazine and Voice of Eve magazine.
Beauty and the Beast Rendition
Growing up in Oxford was like living in the sticks, country side-like. Occasionally, Hannah would go to the city in Worcester to do grocery shopping for her father. Her father was in no shape to make that voyage because of work. In worcester there was this man named Peter. Peter was the ideal partner to every girl who knew of him, except Hannah. Peter liked the fact that Hannah didn’t go crazy for him the way other girls did. As Hannah was roaming the grocery isles he followed trying to start a conversation with Hannah.
Since Hannah wasn’t that interested, the conversation was cut short as Hannah traveled back to Oxford. When Hannah got home she made her father his favorite meal because he was coming home from a long day of work. Usually her father Frank is home by 6:00 pm the latest, but tonight it hit 8:30pm and he had not arrived yet. Hannah decided to go look for her father. As Hannah was traveling in search for Frank she saw his toyota corolla parked outside a mansion in Shrewsbury with two flat tires. Hannah decided to go inside because that is where she believed Frank was.
As she entered the creaky door, she saw Frank locked in a dungeon like room alone, locked away. Hannah was relieved to see her father was ok. Frank on the other hand wanted her to leave immediately. Hannah became confused at her father’s reaction to seeing her. As Hannah and frank bickered back and forth a large shadow appeared from behind. As Hannah turned around it was a tall 6’7 man, dog like teeth, completely covered in masses of hair, with not the best hygiene methods. Frank shouted “Hannah run!” Hannah decided to speak up against this beast like man. Henry told Hannah her father was not going anywhere. Hannah responded with “ Let my father go and I will take his place in that cold dungeon room you have kept my father”. Henry standed contemplating what to do.
After thinking for some time, Henry decided to agree with the terms Hannah had proposed. As her father was released they shared a heartfelt hug because Frank didn't know if he would ever see his daughter again. Since Frank had two spare tires in the back he changed them out and headed back to the city to find help. Instead of keeping Hannah in the cold dungeon room her father was kept, he let her stay in a warm,comfy bedroom and allowed her to roam around because he boulted all the doors for his height to reach and only his. While Hannah was laying on the bed she started to cry. As tears rushed down her face, a little teacup on the dresser asked her if she was ok. At this moment Hannah thought she must have inhaled cocaine because talking teacups could not be real.
Hannah then rubbed her eyes in hope to fix her vision but when she opened her eyes the lilac lamp and plush pillows joined the conversation. Since Hannah had no one else to talk to she conversed with them. Overtime Hannah was told the story of why Henry looked and was the way he was, and why inhuman objects were talking which put Hannah at ease.
Over the course of two weeks Hannah and Henry became very fond of each other. One night after they had dinner Peter and his gang pulled up to Henry’s mansion in search for the beast like man and to in hope Hannah would reciprocate the same feelings if he saved her. Peter and his gang barged into the house with multiple illegal weapons; all in search to kill Henry. After hours of fighting going on in the mansion Peter and Henry were feuding on the balcony and before Peter could stab Henry, Peter plummeted to his death. When Hannah finally made her way up to the balcony she found Henry laying on the floor in bad condition; he was beaten brutally.
Hannah began to cry because she fell in love with Henry. Hannah then gave Henry a kiss of love. After she did that magical sparkles and lights which were completely supernatural arose Henry back to health and back to the man he was before being put on the spell. Henry transformed into a 6’7 handsome man. All the inanimate objects that spoke became the people they were before. Hannah explained things to Frank, and Frank then approved of Hannah and Henry’s marriage. From then on Hannah and Henry lived happily ever after in Shrewsbury with all the staff he had living with them.
THE DOG WALKER
Titus came in the cafe and shrugged his pea jacket so the snow flew off. Ron was there in a front booth and beside him was the one they called Susan the Witch bent over a half-eaten muffin. Larissa leaned across holding Susan’s hand. Titus sat in the booth beside Larissa, a gaunt woman with speckles of gray in her long dark hair.
“You didn’t hear,” Ron said.
Ron nudged his heavy fist in Susan’s direction. Her face was red and blotted with dry tears. She couldn’t look at anyone.
“Corinne died. Fell on the stairs. The widow, you might remember her, came in here once in a while. Kind of scraggly. Wore the same orange raincoat all the time, never talked to no one.”
Susan let out weak cry.
“She... she was lonely. Didn’t have no one. Me. Sometimes. She let me sleep on her sofa. I told Lariss’. Oh....”
Ron winked at Titus to withhold the sarcasm, knowing Titus had a mean streak. Titus could vaguely remember the woman Corinne.
“Sad she passed away.”
“Her time was come,” Larissa said. The women exchanged glances like a nod to each other. It was time for simple acceptance but no one could.
Titus watched Susan bent over and inconsolable. It seemed appropriate that they called her Susan the Witch because she always dressed in black, had needles and pins stuck in her cheek. She walked with a gnarly wooden cane topped by four silver skulls. She was known to everyone but spoke to only a few. She scared some people, which Titus assumed was part of the plan, though she never pretended to be a real witch, far as he knew. That was just what people called her.
“I didn’t know her.”
“A nice lady. Lived in that apartment building up Danever street. Been there for years.”
“How did you find out?”
“Susan found her.”
Susan swallowed and licked her lips.
“I shoul’n’t have. I just come in,” she murmured as if drunk. None of them drank, Titus knew; they didn’t have the money. Susan was homeless. Ron and Larissa had small rentals in the projects.
“Found her all crumpled up. Her silk robe. Been there for... nobody around in the day.” Susan started to cry.
“Easy to slip on silk,” Ron said. “How old people dress. It’s like glass, you know? I can tell ya one time my ex-wife before she passed away. Had so many them dresses. I don’t know how she wore them all. That had to be, lessee...”
“Stop. Stop. Stop,” Susan cried. She slapped him hard on the thigh.
Ron, who was naturally talkative, even hard to shut up, was in a sober mood now. Being flanked by two women in mourning should have given him pause. Titus looked over at Larissa. He could tell from her glance that Corinne’s passing was only important because of Susan.
“I fixed her a meal sometimes,” Larissa let on. “She wasn’t poor just cuz she lived in that little apartment. She just didn’t like to go out. Did she, Sue? Gave you some when you needed it, didn’t she?”
Susan breathed thickly and wiped her face with a napkin.
“Uh-huh.” Susan sniffed. “Yeah,” she went on. “When the man in the black hat came to the window. Uh-huh. He’d reach her lunch to her and she’d count it out and always, always, she’d give some extra. I’m sure of it.”
“Came to the window?” said Larissa. “She lived on the third floor. Can’t no man in no hat come to the window there.”
“Well, I know. He levitated maybe. He got there. I never asked her. I don’t think you should pry too much into other people’s affairs. I mean not pry pry. But I know for a fact he had a black hat with a snake in it. Only the snake stayed coiled up most of the time. It was green, a nice snake.”
Ron glanced over the gaggle of people in the cafe. He was groaning inwardly with the story he had heard before.
“So if we go up to her apartment and hang around there’s going to be money coming out the window?”
“Wouldn’t come for you,” Susan said mournfully. She thought soberly and blinked. “I think.”
Dox breezed in, all business with her manner of always being in a hurry. She ignored them at first but Ron made a point of not letting her go.
“Hey, Dox. C’mere. D’you hear what happened? In your building.”
Dox, with her angular indifference and ruddy flare of hair turned abruptly but wouldn’t come over.
“Yeah, what? Well?”
For once Ron seemed mindful of Susan and a little diffident.
“Well, it, um,... I don’t want to shout it to everybody. C’mere. Okay, in a few words...”
“Well, it can wait then.”
She hurried off to her usual booth in the back. She was mostly abrupt and secretive, like a lot of people Titus knew from the cafe. He guessed she was running from Mondo, her Uber cab driver significant other who doted on her. He’d appear soon enough, if he knew where to find her.
“Hey, Ron, you didn’t even....” Titus began.
“Let her go,” Ron said. “She’ll catch on soon enough.”
Titus bought them hot chocolates and they waited in silence. Soon another figure came in, throwing open the door to a flurry of snow. Her unfurled coat was clutched tight to her chest where a furry white face licked and looked curiously about. Sheila Tamm, the dog walker, greeted them all.
“I can see you heard.”
They agreed they had. Sheila nuzzled the pooch and gave a slinky look over the cafe crowd.
“I don’t suppose they’ll mind. Little Gus won’t make a sound, will you, Gus?”
“That’s your dog? I thought you just walked them.”
Sheila looked around.
“Of course. I walk Gus. He’s been to the vet. Before it happened. That’s how I know. I went to return Gus and the police were there. Yellow tape, the whole bit.”
“And they let you keep the dog?”
“Actually, I didn’t say it was hers. I guess I was too surprised. I looked in and saw. Before the medical examiner arrived, they couldn’t touch her. I heard what they said. I just wanted to get away. I waited for an hour at the vet’s. So who’s going to take care of him now? Poor little guy. Um-yuuh. Gus is in his eighties in dog years. Yess.”
She nuzzled him and unraveled a leash to let the dog secrete himself under the table. As if sensing the need for affection Gus curled around Susan’s feet.
“No concern to you I guess,” said Ron. “Did you know her?”
“Well, we talked. I know Gus. She didn’t have anybody else. ‘Cept him.”
“And you. And Susan.”
“Yeah.” Susan nodded as if it was a broad truth. “It was illegal for me to stay there. Even one night. She could’ve lost that apartment, did you know? They want to empty that building. Make it into bigger apartments.”
Titus looked around wondering what other piece of maudlin news would show up, thinking if Corinne had been more decrepit people would have been planning on her death before this. He watched with some hunger as two mothers with strollers conferred about vagaries of food and infant sleep. One played with a plastic bauble she dangled where her offspring batted it with joyful fascination. On the other side of the cafe a student hunched over her laptop raised a glance of acknowledgement to Titus but said no more. Conversation seemed more paralyzed than usual.
“So,” he turned to Sheila, “you’ve got a new charge.”
Sheila bent to look under the table and see if Gus was okay.
“Don’t know what’ll happen to him now.”
“Looks like you’ll take care of him.”
“For a while, I guess. Till my cats chase him out.”
That night Titus couldn’t sleep. After some tea and a shot of whiskey didn’t work he decided to go out despite the storm. He walked along deserted streets till he came to the street where Corinne had lived. The building was a red brick affair meant to house twenty small homes at the end of a block of normal houses. It seemed in the gloom ancient but historyless, not so much to have been built there as to have been incongruously beached on this alien shore. At the top was a ledge of imitation Greek entablature meant to give the place distinction in some other age that only mocked it now. Titus turned into a park nearby. As the wind picked up, he sheltered in the branches of a fir and waited thinking that if the chill brought exhaustion, well then it might also bring sleep.
Off to his left where the light was poor a dark figure appeared. In the wind it seemed ghostly and shapeless and Titus could not even make out if it was a man or woman. The form hesitated in midstride, turned now in one direction, now in another. Finally it approached a large bin, stopped for a second and then sped on. Titus even wanted to hail the person in his own vagrant hope of companionship on this stark night, but he refrained. In a moment the figure with an angular stride had merged with the indistinct dark. By the strange light he was sure it was a woman. He waited if the wind would die down. It didn’t. Finally he hunched his collar high and strode over to the bin. Every piece of trash, bottles and candy wrappers, all was covered with snow save the one sack on the top. Titus fished it out. Inside was a box of inlaid wood, something of a saleable find he instantly thought. He would have looked more but his fingers were cold. Without more thought he swung it with him and found his path home.
Next day Titus talked with other clerks in and around the county offices. No one had heard of Corinne Fitzsimmons. But Nancy, who knew someone in the prosecutor’s office, read about it and said there had been no interest in the matter.
“She fell down stairs. Nothing very complicated in that.”
“No, I guess not,” Titus admitted. “I just know some people....”
“Friends of hers. A friend.”
“She had no relatives, they’re sure of that.”
“There is one curious thing though,” Nancy went on while she fingered through a file. “The owner of that building, Wycliff, he came in that day. Before anybody even knew about it. Talked with Dinmore. Not for long.”
“Well. And Dinmore told you?”
“Don’t be silly. But I know. That’s it, Titus, sometimes you just know things. My guess, Wycliff didn’t want any big investigation about that woman. And you want to know why?”
“If you want to tell me.”
“Ya see,” Nancy went on, staring through the wire window at the leafless trees, “it’s a real estate thing, that’s what it is. Big investigation, puts a jinx on that apartment. And there’s what, ten in that building? Maybe a jinx on the whole building.”
“Well, some people I suppose....”
“But that’s not the worst.”
“Oh, there’s worse?”
“See, Titus, an investigation would tie up the property till the next of kin came around. Maybe longer. Seal the premises. Could be an estate thing. Taxes pending. Accrual unpaid. You know what that means?”
“Um... delayed revenue?”
“You could call it that. Revenue you may never get. Wycliff didn’t want that, my guess, so he spoke to the prosecutor, not to tell him, mind you, but just saying, asking if it was going to be a big deal. And it’s not.”
Nancy sighed because it was too much like business she heard about every day.
“And why not? The police didn’t want to mess with it anyway. That’s my guess, ‘cause Wycliff never comes around here. Just to dig up titles. Besides she just fell down stairs, isn’t that it? Like old people do; an investigation would just muddy the waters.”
“Yeah, sounds reasonable.”
That evening Ron, Larissa and Dox were sitting in back when Titus came in. Ron had obviously cornered the women with his endless talk about movie stars and TV serials which he knew by heart. He had endless judgments and either-or questions he would put to them hoping to squeeze out a defining answer. Larissa argued with him. Dox fidgeted with her coffee and wouldn’t leave.
“Mondo was supposed to meet me. He was supposed to be here,” she kept saying with impatient glances at the door.
“Good night for business,” Titus said. “Graveyard weather.”
Dox in her block-assed way pushed aside all sentimentality. Looking at her rugged face Titus indulged the thought that she was pretty lucky to have Mondo. The big lug doted on her, could think of nothing else apparently. With a sudden gesture Dox yanked out a little bag from within some other bag she carried and produced a vial of nail polish she set beside her cup. She opened it and, stretching her fingers, began meticulously painting.
“You do your nails in public?” Larissa asked interrupting Ron.
“I like doing my nails.”
“Nice habit I guess. Relaxes you.”
“Why not? Plus I get a few whiffs in.” She paused and looked fatefully at the door. “I’ll say one thing. Mondo don’t get his ass in here soon he ain’t getting dinner or nothing else.”
Titus shuffled now there was a pause from Ron.
“What, to take you home? C’mon, Dox. You could walk.”
“I ain’t walking. Anyway it’s cold. He can drive me.”
“He gets good fares, this weather,” Titus mused turning his neck to the front.
“Yeah....” her eyes drifted.
“Hey. Where’s Susan?” Titus asked.
“Down at the shelter, I guess,” Ron said. “We’ll go look for her later. She’s still broken up. Still talking about the man in the hat and the silk dress.”
Dox carefully swiped one nail and held the brush out for an esthetic appraisal.
“That’s it,” she said. “You hit it right there. The witch. She isn’t being objective. And how come she got in the building to discover the body anyway? I seen her on the stairs now and then. She comes and goes but she doesn’t live there. Ever think of that?”
“Never said she did,” said Ron.
“Well of course. But lemme tell you, you know who makes the money? It’s morticians. They don’t report nothing. ‘Cause who’s gonna call ‘em out? Tax assessors, they’re too embarrassed to talk to them. I mean what you call them, ministers of death, they’re sacrosanct, you get me? Nobody wants to get involved.”
“Wonder if they went through her apartment,” Ron said.
“No, I think not,” Titus said since he’d kept an ear out.
“Well of course. You think them city officials come around on the dot when somebody croaks? Nah! The owner would like ‘em to. Clean the place out. But they won’t. Take their own sweet time. Nah! Them guys. And they picks up a little bit every trip, don’t you think they don’t. Nice job for light fingers. Yeah. Let me tell you about the time....”
“You’re changing the subject,” Dox intervened, “but it’s exactly my point. It’s just the county and they don’t care. But you know who’s really happy? The owner. He’ll clean the place out and raise the rent, see if he don’t. Get two thousand and it’s no bigger than our place down the hall, see if he don’t. Didja see them attorneys going in the back for their pow-wow this afternoon? Right here. I saw ‘em. Busker and Nuveen and Dinmore and the little Jew—they all know the score. It’s like they’re dancing on the old woman’s grave if they get rent stabilization repealed. See what I mean?”
Ron was brought up short.
“Don’t say none of that to Susan. I told you, she’s still broken up about it.”
“Of course. She’s got no place to sleep. Nobody’ll take her in now the owner’s on the lookout. Can’t have double occupancy that kinda place. No.”
“She’ll sleep on the floor of the shelter, I guess.”
“Well, what do you expect?” Dox went on, carefully appraising her work. “See, let me tell you something. There’s your graduations of crazy, you follow my meaning? Your lunatic crazy is different from your talker crazy and that’s different from your silent crazy, you get me? Then again you have your obsessed crazy. That you see in business and with their video games all the time. After that there’s more. It’s your coffee crazy and your foodie crazy, your political crazy and your quasi-crazy. Then again there’s your witch crazy, which she obviously is.”
“You got it all worked out,” said Ron.
Mondo came in and Dox started looking for her scattered things. The big man was wet and when he sat down the chair bent. He stamped his feet in Titus’ direction, giving Titus the thought that he might cadge for a couple dollars.
“There’s business.” The big man heaved. “I ain’t going.”
Titus sucked his lip and watched to see if he knew anyone else in the crowd.
“Cold night. Rough traffic.”
“I ain’t made of chocolate,” Mondo said.
“No, I heard.”
The big man breathed back, avoiding the eyes of the others who for some reason didn’t want to speak in his presence. Dox was cramming bottles and boxes and wrapped up food in her bags.
“Kilt a dog once,” he said out of the blue. “Did I tell you?”
“Yeah we all heard the story,” Ron said.
Mondo’s brutal features took on a strangely philosophical cast while the others only sat back to watch. They knew he had a record. As if they weren’t even there he went into his monologue about fights with people and with one large dog in particular. With his bare hands, he elaborated, he had caught this Alsatian by the collar and strangled the animal. He went over the whole bit, ejaculating with his fist to make sure Titus in particular could see it happening.
“Dead dog. Ya get me? That’s! Dead! I ain’t made of chocolate. What I mean.”
Titus leaned back with a skeptical smile.
“Still,” Titus said spreading his hands. “Good you got a place, night like this. Lot of people don’t.”
Mondo was silent, looking at his hands. Dox was getting up, pulling her bags and scarves around her. She pushed past Ron.
“Kilt that dog,” Mondo said in a haze. Dox stood behind him, pretending disbelief at this beast who, once started, wanted to go on talking.
“Got parked up that....”
“I gotta wait for you? Waited for an hour. Come on!”
Like a beleaguered puppy the big man followed her out.
There was a pause and then Ron got up.
“C’mon, Lariss’ Let’s see if we can find Susan.”
Stoically Larissa went with him and Titus sat back alone. There wasn’t much reason to go home. He would have a snack and see if anyone else showed up. He was hoping for Sheila, valuing her intelligence more than the others. He ordered food and patiently waited.
It was getting close to closing time when Sheila in fact did come in. She looked harried and ordered some soup to go. Titus got her to sit with him.
“I got something to show you.”
He pulled a plastic sack out of his backpack and showed her what was inside. He made space on the table for the inlaid wooden box. Sheila opened its compartments.
“It’s a jewel box. Pretty neat. Where’d you get it?”
Titus told her. He let her poke around.
“There’s a false bottom. See?” he said. “You have to know to press on the side.”
“And you found money inside?”
“I found nothing. But it’s pretty, no? Would you like to have it?”
Sheila fiddled with the hidden drawer. With a long nail she fished out a shred of paper with a number on it.
“Lookee. Eleven thousand seventy four. Could mean money.”
Titus looked at it. The paper was torn, perhaps from a private ledger. It had more numbers on it, but the eleven thousand was the only one that he could read completely.
“Anyway, you want it?” Titus wanted to make it a gift.
Sheila sat back. She seemed a little amused.
“I don’t need it,” she said.
“Did you see the monogram?”
He pointed it out. There had been letters glued on but someone scraped them off and left only a trace.
“G. E. F.,” said Titus.
Sheila let her fingers pass over worn space.
“Maybe it’s C. That could be Corrine. Corinne’s initials.”
They went over how he had found it. Sheila thoughtfully turned away.
“Why would someone throw away something like that?”
“It seemed odd. Like a ghost. It was very cold.”
Sheila indulgently smiled.
“It is pretty. It’s a thing a person would keep.”
“Hm. I guess. You don’t want it?”
Titus turned and watched over the last departing customers. He pawed the inlaid tiles of the box and felt a drape of shame fall over him for how naive and selfish he had been, offering her a castoff gift.
A few days later Titus asked Nancy about Corinne’s name. Nancy knew.
“Corinne Evelyn Fitzsimmons. Funny you should ask. They found some stuff. Old letters. Turns out she had a next of kin.”
“Wow. And they didn’t talk?”
“Apparently not. Odd. It’s her son.”
Turned out that the man hadn’t talked to his mother in years. Nancy elaborated how she had heard about it from her attorney friends.
“He’s coming from Sitka. You ought to tell your friend who walks dogs. Because the woman’s dog, you know, is a sentimental thing. He’ll probably want it.”
“I guess. Well, he could. I’ll tell her when I see her.”
Nancy half turned away.
“You socialize with funny people,” she said with a quirky and pitying look.
“Yeah, I ain’t particular,” Titus sighed. “I hang out with crazy people. Better than drinking.”
“You’re a weird one, Titus.”
“Well, not everyone likes my sense of humor.”
“I didn’t know you had one.”
That Corinne Fitzsimmons had a relative, even a son, was news to everyone. Ron in particular grew expansive.
“I can see it,” he said philosophically. “Home is where the Hell is and a lot of people flee it. My ex-wife, did I ever tell you, she had a brother she hadn’t seen in years and come one Christmas, about now, out of nowhere....”
Susan wailed. Titus walked away.
After Ron and the others left, Titus went to the back of the cafe and found Dox, who sat alone. She had seen Ron and Susan leave.
“That bitch,” Dox muttered. “I don’t know about you, Titus. You sit with these crazy people. You even listen to them.”
“I listen to you.”
“That bitch, you know why she was crying the other day? Because Corinne died? Yeah, she’d like you to believe. You know the real reason? It was ‘cause she was staying there. Corinne let her sleep on the couch so the Witch didn’t have to go to the shelter and sleep on the floor. I know her. She don’t care about nobody. Even takes Corinne’s dresses, wears her clothes, I seen her.”
“Well, Corinne probably knew.”
“Ngh! That witch knew. She probably....”
“You knew Corinne yourself.”
“Nah. Just to say hello in the hall. She don’t talk to nobody.”
“Sheila seems to know her, at least knows her dog.”
“Yeah.... Now tell me, can’t she walk her own dog? Has to hire someone. Yeah....”
During the pause Titus let his gaze wander. Then he came back to Dox.
“Her son is coming.”
Dox grew still. She turned in her seat, stirred her coffee and waited with a long sigh.
“I thought she didn’t have no son.”
“No. I heard. The police found letters. Funny it took so long.”
She didn’t seem to want conversation and after a moment of silence Titus walked away.
Titus went to Domrey’s and had a beer. Several men he knew were gathered around the pool table and even offered to buy him a drink, but Titus demurred. After one drink he left and walked toward home. There were few people out. There was promise of more snow but none yet despite the wind picking up. Along the empty strip of shops he saw Sheila approaching. She wrapped her collar high against the wind.
“Still got Gus?”
“The son is coming. From Alaska. He’ll probably take Gus off your hands.”
“Corinne had a son. Estranged, I guess. They found his letters.”
“Yeah? Okay. Gus will.... be happy.”
“Funny. Families. You can’t figure.”
“How’d you find out?”
Titus told her. She nodded looking in the wind. She had to raise her voice to be heard.
“Yeah. That guy, whoever he is, he’ll make a stink,” she said. She cocked her chin at the high light with a gesture to dismiss an errant thought.
“Why’s that?” Titus asked.
The wind howled between them but Titus caught in the bad light how her eyes were staring hard at him.
“Titus, don’t you know?”
“The woman, the woman Corinne, she was murdered. My bet, the son, when he comes, is going to know. Then there’s going to be a big stink. Because just think of it. Everyone’s going to be embarrassed that they did nothing. No investigation. Nothing. For real estate. Just skipped over it.”
“Corinne was murdered? Aren’t you being a little dramatic?”
Sheila rolled her head as if to shake off an annoying web from her hair.
“Think for a minute, Titus, for God’s sake. It’s the dead of winter and Corinne was going someplace in her housecoat? And where was she going to go? She didn’t talk to anyone in her building. She wasn’t going out in her slip. Anybody could see that. I don’t know why you didn’t.”
“I’m not a detective, Sheila. Come on.”
Sheila smirked. Titus stared into the streetlight till the images stuck to his retina.
“Well, if you’re so smart, why didn’t you tell the police?”
“And get involved? Don’t be silly. They’d turn on me. And then the ones who did it would turn on me. Don’t be supersilly. Because they...”
“And who’s that?”
Sheila leaned forward with her gloved hand gripped in the air. Titus had seen that before with her: she would not explain, as if explanations were a perverse, blank betrayal of truth that could never be explained. Instead, the wild glance she gave him said that she expected him to understand. If he did not, then in her whole manner it was obvious: he was untrustworthy and further talk with him would only disgust her. It was a reaction out of all ken with what he had seen in other women.
“Titus, you don’t.....”
Abruptly Sheila turned into the storm and fled down the icy street. In a moment she was gone.
On reflection that night Titus decided that he too might be wiser keeping out of it. He knew nothing the cops didn’t know. Even less. And if he came in trying to play sleuth, good chance some people would decide he was overstepping and maybe he’d been too long at his job at the County Clerk’s office. He’d be seen as cockeyed and not knowing his own business. Sheila was right. You got nowhere being a smartass. He was going to let the matter lie. Anyway that’s how he felt till the next evening at the cafe.
Mondo was sitting alone when Titus came over.
“You’re looking down. You didn’t save money on your car insurance?”
Mondo didn’t laugh.
“She’s going away.” He moped in a morose heavy way, as if any movement would be too much. “Dox.... Dox is going away. I gotta take her to the airport.”
“Hm. Where to?”
“Duluth. Visit her cousin for a week.”
“Duluth. Hm. Kinda sudden. Bad weather for... you know, the Midwest.”
“Cousin needs her. So I’m seeing her off.”
Titus nodded and let the quiet around them collect. Titus’ voice took on a sardonic sneer.
“Bet she left you some money, though. Since she’s going away. I mean, for a while.”
“Some. How’d you know?”
“Just a wild guess. Parting shot. Women do.”
“Five hundred. Yeah. (He patted his jeans.) That’ll keep me over. Till she comes back. I got the place to myself, anyway.”
“There by yourself. Hm. Not bad. Good for you. Till the son shows up. Starts asking around.”
Mondo was silent, staring.
Titus paused, letting the smell of things percolate in the air.
“Oh, Dox didn’t tell you? Must’ve slipped her mind. Of course, we can guess Dox has got a lot more than five hundred after what you did.”
“Whatta you mean?”
“I mean she’s giving you five hundred. Nice of her. Like a tip, wouldn’t you say?”
“What’s the son got to do with it?”
“Nothing. I mean, if he talks to the cops....”
“Why would he.... She’s doing the right thing. I know my Doxxy-Dox. She does... ”
“I bet she does well. Takes care of Doxxy-Dox. Leaves you here. Real nice, have that little place all to yourself.”
“It’ll be all right.”
Titus slowed his voice till the syllables slipped out one by one.
“Of course. You just sit and wait till they come for you. Then she’ll come back. Sure she will. Long as you go on thinking she will, sure, she’ll be coming back.”
The sleazy sound of Titus’ drawl finally got to the big man.
“I don’t know what you’re....”
“She’s not coming back, Mondo. Duluth, she told you?”
“She’s not coming back? Wuh, she said she wud....”
“Isn’t that amazing, Mondo, that she’d say one thing and do something entirely different?”
“You’re making fun of me.”
The big man bent and held his hands between his knees as if he’d got a finger burnt. Titus leaned close to his ear.
“But she isn’t really coming back, is she, Mondo? Cause she’s gonna leave you here to stand for it by yourself. The lonesome pony. For having twisted the old lady’s neck and thrown her down the stairs so it looked like she tripped. Now wasn’t that clever? You couldna thought of that by yourself, couldja? But who got the old lady’s money, Mondo? She said she’s going to Duluth? I bet it’s a little farther off than Duluth. Like maybe Katmandu?”
Dox came in. With a mad look she swung in their direction. She was slung over with straps and bags and bits of fabric and boxes trailing from pockets in the bags.
“Come on! I called you, you shit! Aren’t you ready?”
She whirled around and yanked at the door till she was out.
“Check her purse, Mondo,” Titus whispered. “See if it’s really... really Duluth.”
The big man lumbered out. Titus watched from the window as he opened the door for his beloved. He helped her with the bags and slammed the excess in the trunk. They were down the street when the fight began. At a green light the cab was braked. In a moment the yelling was out on the windy street. Carousers strolling on the sidewalk stopped to stare. There was a brutal swing of arms and when Dox fell spread out on the pavement, her boxes and bags slapped on the slushy curb. Then someone called the cops.
Days later Titus saw Sheila on the street. The weather was fairer now and she showed the full of her hair in the wind. She had gotten rid of Gus and even assured him safe passage, she said, to a warm home in Sitka.
“So you figured it out,” she smiled broadly.
“I didn’t. They did. The money Corinne kept somewhere. And the plane ticket Dox had.”
“Plane ticket. My, my. Where to?”
Ricky has been married 44 years with ten grandchildren. Ricky has written five novels, four short stories and one children's book.
The Boy With The Steel Hand
Gary and Sandra Stone sat in the waiting room with uncertain trepidation. Their son had been brought in the hospital a few hours earlier from a serious automobile accident. To their understanding after the car had rolled several times their son had been ejected. The driver did not encounter the same fate for his seatbelt kept him firmly in the seat but his injuries where to serious for him to survive. Will’s life was now in the hands of the doctor’s has his parents waited and prayed.
Sandra and Gary’s hands where clinched together when the waiting room door opened.
“Mr. and Mrs. Stone,” Dr. Williams spoke out. Both parents stood to their feet giving the doctor an hope full look. “Your son is going to be fine.” In unison they both gave out a sigh of relief. “But there where complications, Will’s right hand had to be amputated because of the severe damage from the crash. It must have somehow got caught under the car when it rolled over, other than that the rest of him is unscathed.”
“Thank you doctor, how soon can we see him?” asked Sandra.
“He’s been taken to recovery so it could take an hour or so for him to come around, just stay here and we will let you know.”
The Stone’s hands remained clenched even after the doctor left the room, then came the tears from Sandra.
“Oh Gary, he lost his hand. How will he cope?
Always being the positive kind Gary gave a positive response. “With today’s technology they will fit him with a hand and he will be good as new” Gary paused, “almost”.
Two days later Will sat on the side of his bed gazing at his newly fitted hand. The nurse had just placed five small electrodes to the end of his arm which connected to his new mechanical hand. Will raised his arm as his parents looked on not sure of what to do next.
“How does it feel?” The nurse asked.
“Kind of heavy, how does this crazy thing operate?”
“You’ll get use to it and it will feel normal.”
Normal he thought, he would never be normal again.
“The electrodes connected to your arm will give your hand flexibility. You can move your fingers and make a fist. With time and practice you will be able to pretty much do anything you want to. This hand is very sophisticated and is almost human like. Try and see what you can do with it.”
At first nothing happen but then he got the fingers to move and even made a fist. “How is this possible?”
“The electrodes are connected to the nerve endings in your arm.”
Will’s ten year old brother Nathan looked flabbergasted. “Hey Will, you’re like the Terminator.” He said with a big smile.
“Great, a freshman with a steel hand; just what I needed.”
“It’s not so bad honey.” Sandra spoke up trying to give her son some confidence.
“That’s right sport, you’re great grandfather lost a leg in WW2 and he made out all right.”
But Will wasn’t so sure, how would everyone at school react to his very noticeable hand, he would soon find out.
He had been out of school for over a week so Will had some catching up to do. All of his friends had heard about the accident and most were sensitive to his dilemma. Some even offered their help when they saw how difficult it was for him trying to write. He tried his left hand but it looked just as bad, chicken scratch his grandmother use to say. He had to try for he had no other choice. Even his teachers said he could type out everything on his computer if it would help. He had to live with this for the rest of his life so he had to make it work. The bell rang out to end his first class which meant PE class came next not a favorite of his anymore. Having to wear shorts and a tee shirt his hand were constantly exposed not just for viewing but for ridicule. Before he had been a fair basketball player but now he had a hard time controlling the ball. His new hand couldn’t grip the ball which made shooting impossible. He mostly just felt in the way why everyone else played the game.
A sharp bounce pass came in his direction which bounced off his hand going out of bounds.
With a sad look his countenance dropped and a low response “Sorry guys.”
“Hey crip, if you can’t handle the ball get off the floor,” sounded Brad with a loud voice.
Will started to do just that when his best friend Todd caught him by the arm. “Forget it.”
Things smoothed out for a couple of minutes until he caught the ball with his left and tried to do a crossover dribble without thinking. Another mistake, the ball bounced off his leg and went out of bounds once more.
“Old crip did again.” Laughed Brad giving Will a huge shove causing him to fall to the floor, Brad went and retrieved the ball then returned hovering over Will’s fallen body.
Will slowly got to his feet giving Brad a hard stare.
Another laugh came out of Brad’s mouth. “Hey fellow’s old crip just don’t have it more.”
The whole class looked in their direction as Will’s hard stare continued in Brad’s direction.
“So you want the ball crip, you think you can take it away from me?” Brad twirled the ball in his hand turning his head to the other classmates with a snicker.
When he turned back toward Will from out of left field Will threw a right cross with all the force he had landing square onto Brad jaw. Brad stood frozen for a couple of seconds, his eyes glazed over and his body dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes.
“What a shot!” exclaimed Todd.
You could hear a pin drop for no one could believe what they just witnessed. About that time the PE teacher came out of the locker room.
“What’s going here? What happened to Brad? Mr. Snider bent down beside Brad as he started to come around.
“I think he tripped and fell, sir,” answered Todd.
Mr. Snider could see no one else would disagree with Todd. “Alright, break it up and get to your next class.” Mr. Snider helped Brad to his feet.
Todd threw an arm around Will’s shoulder. “You, the man Will.”
One thing for sure the PE incident spread through the entire student body, It became the best worse kept secret. Especially after Brad came to school sporting a huge black eye. Will didn’t hear anything more from Brad or his parents, he didn’t know what he told them. Not one person in the entire school brought it up for discussion. But out of the situation came a reputation for Will, not one he was proud of. Don’t mess with Will or he will knock your lights out. Brad had become the first person he had ever hit and Will wasn’t planning on there being a second. In some ways he regretted throwing the punch although he didn’t want to be made fun of. He may never live down what happened even among his friends. His life would now be marked because of his steel hand.
Friday had arrived at school which meant football night. It also fueled everyone’s eagerness to leave school in a hurry so they could return for the big game that night. The parking lot full of cars always made departure slow for all the drivers. But Will didn’t have to content with the traffic because he still road the bus, a good thing on a Friday at 3 o’clock.
A few hundred away sat the bus with motor running when a student raced into the street trying to beat an oncoming car. But the car stalled and the engine went dead. The oncoming driver’s speed wouldn’t allow him to stop in time even after he hit the brakes. A hard impact into the students rear fender spun him around in the road then slammed him into another car on his passenger side.
With a loud crash of medal caught everyone’s attention and some of the other students headed toward the crash. In seconds a fuel line had erupted and soaked the under part of the car. Now flames were streaming a path up the driver’s side door before the students could get there. By the time they got there the door appeared blistered with red heat. The driver hadn’t moved and must have been knocked unconscious from the crash.
“We’ve got to do something!”Yelled one student as the flames got worse.
Will took off in a sprint and parted a sea of people to get to the car. “Look out,” he shouted.”
“ Will what are you doing? Are you crazy?” Shouted Shirley, at the top of her voice.
Will rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to the elbow then reached his steel hand to the hot door handle. With no panic he squeezed the handle giving it a hard yank releasing the door.
He reached across the driver unbuckling his seatbelt then dragged him to safety away from the car. Everyone cheered clapping their hands for Will. In the meantime Will sat down cupping his face with his other hand. Steam emanated from his steel hand because of the intense heat from the door.
Within minutes EMS, fire department and the police engulfed the scene taking control of all parties involved.
“That’s the bravest thing I’ve ever saw.” Spoke a voice above Will’s shoulder.
Will turned and looked upward as a hand reached down to shake his. Brad gave Will’s steel hand a solid shake.
“You are the man, Will Stone.” With a kind smile he walked away.
THOU SHALT NOT IVY
One night, some years ago, I awoke suddenly with the consciousness one of my personalities, Ivy, who lived rather than a half of mile away from me, would come and she would take with her. I sprang from my bed; I went to the telephone table and I lifted the telephone and I called up my therapist Nancy. Some minutes later, I heard her sleepy voice and I begged her to see me.
“Oh, please, Ivy. It’s three o’clock in the morning!”
“I need to see you!”
“Not now, Ivy. Please, go back to bed and I’ll see you at ten, okay?”
Well, that is me. At the same moment as the reader would verify later on I do not want being so anxious of telling you anything, but I do not pretend to say this was a real vision, as well as it certainly seemed to show that in tragic happy moments of existence two souls which were united by profound tenderness might be able to mingle, to unite themselves, from a distance. I have reasons you would not understand this enigma, which I was not, however, to confine a fixed moment what I expect.
I went back to sleep and a quarter to eight, I woke. The morning was radiant and sexy in which I could watch its light through the open window and I thought I had emerged from a world of foggy waves and I smiled at the morning day as if it was the first time. Yet if I would stop thinking, I’d not even realize such beauty when I get out of my world, I am not even going to play girls’ dream anymore, and what am I going to turn to? Maybe someday I can become a teacher, but even with that, once I pass a certain age I am out. I’d rather take the best of both worlds of being me and let the world to swallow me with hairs and all.
Walking with porteuse grace, I entered into the bathroom and took a cold shower. All night alone I felt my body and this intoxication of the spirit appeared to kill me, which the damned cold did not help me to invigorate my soul. I dizzied my heart with glee and when I moved to the mirror, with pensive look, I looked at me.
At just that moment, I returned from a world of guessing to this one, the real one, and believe it or not I do not give a thing about.
I am living. That’s important. I am living being with more strength than a white whale.
For the next minutes I concentrated exclusively on my makeups and clothing. I used red lipstick and shads and that chromatic coloring for faces and eyes. I retouched my lip and they looked luscious and so provocatively unique. I selected from my 1920’s pool collections a sexy corset, underwear and a silken charming dress office.
I stared at myself in the moon mirror. I felt good in my forties. In strange fashion for others I almost felt as if I have become someone else from that era, which before I had felt my sexuality as doomed and dead. Now it was overt and strong, almost as if it had a force of its own, a force I could not control, and I smiled mysteriously, beastly. Surprisingly, it had years I do feel that way.
It often happened when I dreamed to myself, and a few moments later, I walked out of the apartment. I crossed the private hallway to the private parking lot. I clicked. My 1950 Jaguar Mark V’s interior flashing as I stepped in.
An hour later, I was being driven along 14 Freeway Northbound near Santa Clarita. My T-Mobile started ringing. I pressed my Bluetooth earphone. “Ivy!”
“It’s me. Nancy. I put you down at 10:45.”
“Ah, Dr. Millbrook, I am all right.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“No. I do not.”
“But you called me at three o’clock and it did not sound so great. “
“Well, I am. I am great and happy and hot.”
“Promise me you will call me if there is something unpredictable will pop up.”
“I promise you.”
I turned off my blue and I paid attention to the movement of the freeway and I wondered for a second why I am a single. Then there was that physical energetic voice but who care really?
Before KABA’s facade, my 1950 Jaguar Mark V smoothly glided to a stop. I left the sport car and walked to the massive door. I found Christine Balderrama already behind the information desk and eating her country crisp cereal with nonfat milk, a dry slice of bread, a half of apple, for which the past two years I haven’t seen her change to any kind of breakfast. Her face was dark gray, with young age spots, deep-set eyes and burnt almond short hair. Three times married and three times divorced and with three kids and one ought to figure if they were from the papa. She wore a Walmart combination executive dress too tightened up around her flat breasts and when she saw me she smiled at me graciously.
“Jesus, Ivy! You look awesome this morning with this silk striped wool.”
“Well, thank you, Chris,” I said paunchy my curvaceous body down the hallway and with self-conscious movements of my right hand I pressed the door in. A loud concerto of good mornings reached me. Underneath them, there were curious glances and the comments. I kept walking until reached my cubicle. There were only seven people including the gregarious Bonnie Johnson. I am not considered her a friend, but rather a job person to talk and she seemed the only I have done that so far, but for the past two years she try to find me a cocky lover.
“Is this a new piece, Ivy?”
“Yes,” I replied putting way my sexy purse. “I got it from eBay. Do you like it?”
“Yes, I do, but—”
“Be honest, Bonnie. You know I hate lies.”
She was the only person I allowed her to say things about my body and what I am. She was extrovert and she and I have a long conversation why I was still single in which already had been a puzzle to her. I looked at her and she had that autonomous expression across her lovely face. If I was a lesbian, a street one, you know, I would do all in my power to persuade her and to fuck her brain off.
Bonnie Johnson was a stunning twenty-eight-year-old. She was tall, slender, with those angelic hazel color eyes and with a history men in and men out, who had not found yet love or happiness.
As I was about to pick up the telephone to call Valley’s Taco for my breakfast, I heard her, and I paid attention to what she was going to say.
“It’s about your weight.”
Pleased, but self-discerning, I said, “We spoke about my weight before. I have told you a few things I’ve learned of being Ivy… hardly attach to other people’s opinion, Bon.” When I saw her smiling, I added: “It’s because of that, isn’t it?”
“The dress is well defined who you are, I guess.”
“Thank you, Bon, you make my morning pussy wet.”
“You are such a bitch, Ivy!” She laughed with gusto.
“I am a woman, you know, and that makes me so important and supreme beyond God himself. Not since it happened, but since I am grown older and moving.”
“You are not immortal, Ivy! Hell not! I can see none of us can reach that level of visualization and perfection like you have. Whatever that sound rights, you really need a man, you bitch, and I am sure all these attitudes of yours will be gone.”
I know what you are thinking, especially from my female readers what is my position before all of these. I tell you that right now. I’m going to freak you out. Bonnie was right. I have been back there in three and half years or longer. I do not know what happened. That’s a lot of fear. There were no men and no exhaustive moments. It’s like I am living alone in this planet and I breath only Ivy everywhere. Again, I am Ivy and that is the important thing I love. Me.
Placing my orders to Valley’s Taco, I turned to Alecia inquiringly. “If I get in shape, if I develop a more attractive body, I’d be more popular and I will have more cocks knocking on my door, is that you are trying to me?”
“You know what I mean, Ivy.”
“I may but the reason of that is makes me wondering,” I said. “It’s because I want to be like I am, which it’s like the way life is around me. Believe me, Bon, I am a 47-year-old weight woman, which means that my weight can’t go above 290 or below 120. Naturally I am a big girl and I was made up by such exactitude of being only me.”
“What about boys, Ivy? You have told me you haven’t dated for the past three years, and you must see it as a great distance.”
“Jesus no, Bon! I am not an athletic market or attraction mall, because there’s so much pressure on women like me to act opposite on that notion. Men scare to have paramount women like me, because they are scared. So they are more interested in finding weak and coward ones, which I tend to go exactly the other way around, to avoid that competition. I am a quirky beast, and I work out like a dozen of sexy birds at once!”
Alex smiled. “You’re all right,” she said as she focused on looking good in front of me. “But you will accept my invitation to go to Las Vegas this weekend, will you?”
“Yes, Bon, but you will not go to change me to sleep with one of those uniformed boys of yours.”
“Of course not,” she replied. I just wonder what turn you on.”
Carl’s voice, the delivery boy from Valley’s Taco, interrupted me. “Good morning, Ivy”
I reached out my purse, fished a bill of twenty and gave it to him. “Keep changes.”
When I deposited the macho burrito on my desk and to ready to eat, I heard her speaking again.
I nodded, turning my attention to Bonnie who slid onto the surface of the desk her low calories breakfast.
“Your preference, Ivy, heard me.”
It took me a moment to reply and I did it unconsciously truthful:
The morning talking kept on in-between telephone calls and gossips, while I was thinking if my anxiety would come back come or that nightmare I have last night. So far, I felt good and I would look forward to have a glass of wine at Leon when I left office at 4. Alone? Well, yes. Alone! I don’t need anyone next to me to drink a bottle of Gallo or just to go home and lay there in the coach what I am going to do next.
For years and years, two deep notions had been at war inside me. When momma left me in this world alone at age ten and living then with her independent dad in this huge cottage in front of the ocean, overran all my emotion in tinny cup of roses or castles made up with sands, and claimed that I was older enough to see the world of it was. I do remember he was a lovely dad as he gave me all freedom I need to do whatever I please. Yet I recognized as I was his rightful daughter it was not enough. I wanted his love and that heat-body touch of affection and every day I want to hear the I-love-you word that most parents say to their children. Yet dad’s love was a most unusual combination of freedom and discovery that I was the one I must discover. To look at him hastily from a ten-year-old girl, would cause one to denounce him not as perfect daddy, a papa whom a girl would be all right being with him. To study him a while from my woman perspective, might cause him to label him a monster and selfish until I recognized which way I should choice not burry him as a monster or an imperfect being. But facts were facts. I grew up literarily without mama and daddy. During all these years I was growing independently alone, and I knew it was part of my word. There was no imagination for me, an imaginary world that I can see myself as a princess, because I was already a princes and I do not need to prove it. Yet I was in, that darkness, which fears as if one I would lose him as I lost my mom. As thought I did not lose him, I did notice little by little I was moving away from dad. It seemed as if I could not care less about him anymore and I started to him without t giving him any excused why so suddenly I began to hate him. I was a young woman and all my strength was stronger enough as I was able to call myself I am a woman and what the hell. I know he tried to go deep inside me to decode my hatred. I won’t let him to come close to me. All emerged when I told him about mom and that he killed him spiritually and emotionally. One day, he had just given up. Not knowing how to cope with my staggering situations, he had secured me for life and he decided to disappear from my life. However, hidden deep in my heart and conscience was the terrible, unquenchable remove of a young woman could not able to understand her own world before her or there was indeed a lacking the courage to fulfill what my mother was unable to fill. If this was the first world I past living, the second was attached to it, and that had terrified me since. It because I have no easy to cope of the real Ivy, and for listening women it sounded confuse, some kind of seethed existence brazen by such phony emotion, and yet it’s true. I am still with that bondage, unable to comprehend why I hated so much my daddy. Again, there was something appeared to hold me to go and to see him.
As the midday approached, the full hour of the night appeared to emerge above me. The sight of this fat bird stifled laughed at me. I try hard to avoid eye contact from Bonnie or Alext focusing in the remained hours to leave and free myself by drinking a glass of wine or lay there in my favourite couch. I was thinking to pick up the telephone and making a call to Nancy, and whatever it may be, to keep my appointment with her.
I almost jumped in my chair. Still holding the telephone in air, I glanced at Bonnie. “Yes?”
“Lunch at Bloom?”
“I thought to call up for pizza.”
“Let’s do lunch girl.”
“All right. Let’s do lunch at Bloom.”
Bonnie and Alex looked at me. I learned a long time of ago how to hide my emotion from inside out before them and what I felt. Let us admit at once—whether or not my reader is convinced by this point of view, which I contended objectively is as sound as most personal argument and scathing insults at intellectual. At an office like this one that only women dominated all angles I admit sometimes they were curious about my persona, such as how a 47-year-old woman had no boyfriends or any venture to tell in Monday, and who always was alerted about her personal life. Yet I am not an autonomous being or monastic on that matter. I just shared things that won’t come to hurt me. Frankly and without reserved I am a careful person. It was perfectly good when I am dealing with woman’s concept.
It was precisely 1 o’clock when we entered into Bloom Restaurant a mix of self-serving gathering and friendly baseball fan platforms. The place got almost everything in and it was huge and its food was excellent. It was the second time I stepped in. I avoided those seasons of football frenzy or other noisy sports. Masako Nakada, a short petite and sexy American Japanese woman, approached us. She addressed Bonnie with a smile.
“Good afternoon,” she said affably, extending her hand to right side. “We’ll open this section.”
“What do you think guys?”
“Don’t you have tables on the other side?”
“It’s only boxing, Ivy,” Alex said.
“It’s nosy, Alex.”
“I have tables at that side.”
Bonnie and Alex looked over their shoulders. Convincing themselves that men were looking at them. Instead, Bonnie and Christ could hold man’s eyes. Bonnie was tall and she had brownish-reddish hair. At first I thought it was fake as well as her natural busts and butts appeared to have such enigma before man’s and woman’ eyes. She was a hundred percent American girl who seemed to have fun and nothing else; but for the past years she seemed to control her sexual appetite for something solid. For friendship first and that was truthful, and I noticed she was indeed a good friend. She dressed always to kill. She was air of superior goddess or harlot and she did not give any credit to her past lovers. Saying no for her it’s a ritual of prowess and perception I have seen over so unique. She had lived alone since she left her filthy town in South Carolina and moved to LA and without having to return. Pretty and naughty as she was she knew what was good her or not.
When she stepped ahead of me, I knew this was her show and she was damned serious to make a statement,
Light complexion, strawberry long hair, full lips, medium built long curly eyelashes, Alecia Muralles was a sensual and classy young woman. She was honest and direct made her impossible to take advantage of this unique of her. I watched her admiringly and adoringly and I would take her as a sister. She was slim, sexy and her eyes had such mystery and appeal. Still living with her sick mother, she did not relate to any one; except her own dream of finding a passionate, romantic, honest, and independent love makes it real.
She was cool and walked silently she crossed Bonnie and stood. She was looking for the perfect table and the perfect angle to sit.
I was making my deductions as Alex was doing. By the time Bonnie was languid of her observation and glanced at me.
“What? I try to find a best table.”
“I am not talking tables, Ivy. Look! All papitos are looking at you.”
“We come here to eat Bonnie.”
Alex smiled. “They have looked at her since she stepped in.”
“I haven’t any such intention of being a pick,” I answered them tonelessly. “I’ll talk your words for it.”
It was true. Those male eyes seemed to pierce me and I do not care. Well, I do actually because I know what I have. One would think me as eccentric or a crazed being or a mealy-mouthed woman in deep-thinking pond. Wrong! I know who I am and what I got. Yet I am an impressive woman. I am almost six two, almost two hundred sixty-five pounds. I am not considered a fat being or overweight bovine for my own standard. I am very muscular in certain places, shapely arms and curvy legs. I am indeed a curvaceous female who has such beautiful images, and I cannot hide them. With these combinations of green color eyes, magnolia long hair, and the perfect sizes of my buttocks and breasts many men are afraid to approach me as a woman.
In front of Bonnie and Alex, I am who dominated the show, and Alex seemed to notice it.
“You know well enough they admire you.”
“No, Bon, they want to fuck me.”
“Jesus Ivy! You do not know that after you heard them.”
“Bon! They are just looking at me or you or you. Is anyone here?”
“Don’t be a defensive bitch, Ivy!”
“I am not Bon,” I replied. “And you better know what I am trying to say.”
“What does it mean Ivy?”
“You two bitches cut off. Waiter is coming.”
“You know what I meant Bon.”
“Hey Cleopatra and you the Bond Girl cuttin’ off!
He handled us the menus while other waiters by magic slipped a basket of warm bread and glasses of water and a moment later they were gone as they had appeared.
Alex began to order from the menus. “With my main dishes I would like to have a platter of steamed clams and scalloped oysters, eggs drop soup, applesauce cake and a glass of Cobernet Sauvigon.
Bonnie jumped ahead me and she said, “Let me have a filet of Sole with sweet carrots, vegetable soup and mocha frosting and a glass of Spanish sangria.” She held as she made the waiter to looking at her. “Ah. Would you bring me also peaches with raspberry sauce to go?”
“May I have tenderloin medium in red with babe sweet potatoes, broccolis and boiling tomatoes, onion soup and Canadian water?”
“Yes. Cheesecake, please.”
He bowed to us and moved away from our table.
“So, Ivy?” Bonnie said as she wanted to keep our previous conversation alive. But Alex had brought our attention. “What?”
“Is this Audrey?”
“Where is she?”
“Over there! To right.”
“No way! My God! What happened to her?”
Audrey Habib of Holdings Inc. She was a KABA former employee and any reason she quit a week when I was hired. She was a former model and there was rumor she was in relation with a KABA employee. It would emerge later she indeed had a relationship with Tanya’s husband. It was a scandalous as everyone had accused of being gay or something else. She never revealed who was the real target.
“Should we call her?”
“I don’t care.”
Bonnie called a waiter and let her presence to come to our table.
By the time our orders, she made her appearance. Her orders shifted to our table and made us to laugh. I was older than her and she had beautiful curves and she was Dutch African woman decent. She loved talk about everything and I loved the way she approached life.
“You guys gotta come this weekend to my home.”
“We planned go to Las Vegas.”
“Hell not!” She looked at me. “You’re new at KABA, aren’t you?”
“Well, you’ll love it.” Her iPhone rang. “I need to take it.”
She got to her feet and walked to the bar.
“Let us eat.”
For a moment we enjoyed our food. Each one of us picked here and there another’s place. The oysters were good and salty. And my red loin was perfect. We drank and browsed here and there. And when we finished Christ called the waiter. We were thinking how it would. We paid ours independently or shared it.
He came over and told just the lady in blue took care of our orders. Then he gave to Bonnie a business card. “She says to call.”
We collected among ourselves waiter’s tips and tossed them on the table.
It was a quarter to two when we arrived in the office. Each one of us split to our respectively cubicles. I sat at the desk and I did a dozen of financial entries. I did automatically. There seemed to be something hypnotic about the way I was working. When I was alone I paid attention to my manners and gestures. From what I was told, this might be good for my health. At the same time each gesture or manner I could control regularly. I remember when I told such intensity to my therapist Nancy she appeared to focus really what I felt. During that accident almost lost my life because of drinking, who was far-gone what happened, I had done that since. There was no reaction. I held. I glanced down at my hands and they were not shaking.
“What’s the matter with hands?”
“Nothing,” I said as I looked at Bonnie across the hallway.
“Alex and I will step into Ilean Bar. It’s Friday to be ready.”
“What for! We’ll get a couple of pints.”
“No, Bon. I will pass that.”
“What I tell you, Bon,” Alex said, peering over her shoulders, as if she seemed to confirm her previous conversation she had with her somewhere in the office. “You’re out of league.”
I did not give any one of them a reason. I just glanced at them while I was still thinking about my hands.
“What if we decide to go Audrey’s house, do I make a call?”
Alone I looked once more at my hands. Slowly, artistically, I lifted a pencil and held it out. I smiled. I did it perfect. On my cellular, I found my Ivy’s File. I wrote time, date, and my process, and the 190 days without drinking or having any hallucination.
For a moment, though, the invitation was different. I lifted the telephone. I had that impulse to call Nancy and to ask her if a glass of alcohol would reverse everything. I did not. When I put down the auricular I have fearful thought of what to my own concern in the way I did not accept them. I guess there was a reason but I did not know what it was.
Watching the picture of my mom and pod on the desk, I felt I was suspended by invisible hands. I was safety here in this level of clear-cut profile. I did not feel I was helplessness and hopelessness and I got that sense of humor that all before me was just related to the torturous feelings of worthlessness and guilt in depression. I smiled inwardly and I got to my feet, moved down the hallway, and headed to restroom. Here, I looked at myself in the mirror, washed my hands, and then I dried them slowly.
At this moment, Amanda Holt entered into the restroom. She was an attractive and petite Asian female in her later twenties. She was indeed a playful and open-minded being. She had the same sensual look of Alex; but she could penetrate your skirt and beyond. Yet she had an apparent dualism through the coexistence of these opposites within a woman she was very proud. Dressed crisp pique jacket dress pairs in she was by herself and she recognized it.
She went to the both. Without closing its door, she removed her jacket and put it somewhere, and then she pulled her dress up. She took a minute or two letting me to her Victory’s Secret panty and that a snake tattoo rolled up her leg. I casted my eyes down quickly. She grinned lovely and sat at the toilet to pee.
“How tall are you Iv?”
Without looking at her I replied. “About six I guess.”
“You’re so impressive!”
“You will be perfect in modeling.”
I did not reply. I just wanted to get out but an unknown force held me there. I smelled her body, and as I was about to turn, Josie Richardson stepped in, catching me looking at her. Amanda had done urinating and she was standing there across the booth as she was pulling her panty up.
“Would you go to Ilen Bar?” Josie asked moving a booth and without sitting, she just pulled her panty and started to urinate.
“Who? Me? No.”
“You can come with us Iv,” Amanda said fixing her jacket and moved to one of the sinks. She glanced at me through the mirror. “It’s more fun.”
“It’s a new place called Light Out,” Josie said as she was still drying her drops urinate and then tossed it in container.
She was quite opposite Amanda in different way. There was no rumor she was a lesbian and loved to navigate at different water but she discard what others thinking. She was younger than Alexa and her twenty-five she had already a son from a “passionate” and “tumorous” relationship to quote her own world.
Josie Richardson was all well God put together in a woman. She was five eight, good shape, height and weight proportion, with a great appetite for life and men or women. It does not matter. She loved her black hair short, less makeups her Sagittarius pretty face and her brown color eyes.
“You’ll be fascinated what you will find Ivy,” Amanda said.
Now I heard the place before. It was formerly called Chamberlin. A gathering place for hard-working women where others guests included the royals and the city players. In 1980s, Chamberlin Club went under construction and a year later it emerged as a place of Latino salsa and merengue. During 1990 the place changed again. It remolded. The gay community took a hold on it and everything changed as it extended to general audience, such as LGBTQ, several years later.
“Well, if you change your mind, we will be here until 4.”
Quickly, I let room. I halted for a moment in the hallway. Frequently, I thought of the society gaps I had left behind in my small town. At this point try to comprehend those who had rejected me. Now I welcome this darkness of being a single woman and the reasons appeared controversial. Perhaps, my social triumph comes when I do not follow rules of being a woman, which the friendly invitation to be legit of that or being then could not chores of everyday living or to see me as I am. Truly, I keep to myself, which few have not much in common, especially love for the new freedom and Ivy’s enigma.
When I reached my cubicle, I found myself alone. The cubicles almost empty and I felt so deep into this world that one of my personalities wanted to keep me there.
A few minutes I heard Josie and Amanda echoed good night. They followed by Valarie Mungal and Deborah.
I started to prepare to leave. I noticed Bonnie’s note and the sad face telling me she was going to miss me at Ilen Bar.
The lobby was already in dark. The night guard was already there and waved to me.
The afternoon sun replaced itself across the street. I did not move when I stepped down onto the sidewalk and stopped in the outdoor parking lot. It was long after reckoning before I decided to move on. I quickly reached my 1950s car. I climbed in and drove to place.
Undressing I picked up a short pant and I did my excises. I tried to concentrate. I knew I would not go stay in.
When I finished doing excises, I bathed and began to select what I wanted to wear. I chose a 1925 Parisian flock and wearing nothing beneath. I can see the delightfully feminine style of my body, but unfortunately I cannot visualize the reaction of those who admired the 1920 sensibility of a woman.
Modeling before the mirror, I astonished hot. I curled my hairs and tightened them up against my skull in place.
By nine I was out of my place.
The night was bright and there was moonlight, and I was again at the wheel, driving to Ilen Bark. I do not know what Bonnie and Alex would think when they see me. I felt a steadily satisfaction of being me. A code of erotic zone never happened to me. At the same time that reaction of narcissus.
An hour later, I pulled in front of the bar and I took a deep breath before I stepped out. A Hispanic approached me and gave him the keys.
I walked slowly toward at Ilen, a place that was the first I stepped in years. Past nights reached me. Drinks and good times lifted me as I moved. There had been so many good days and bad ones.
Doorman admired me. He opened the door and held it out for me.
“Your card?” a hostess said.
“Bonnie Johnson,” I answered.
She found Bonnie’s name in the guess lists. A short, medium man guided me toward the salon where I saw Bonnie and Alex sat at the best table.
“Holly Shit! Look! Alex? Look who is here?”
I smiled at her coolly as I was waiting Alex’s reaction. She was excited too and more surprised than Bonnie. Then each one focused on what I wear.
“I love this dress Ivy,” Bonnie said. “1920?”
“This Twenty’s stuff fixes on perfectly.”
“I like it.”
“Hey! Baby!” Alex called the waiter. “We’re already for our second tips.”
“What are you going to drink Ivy?”
“Coke? Are you fucking kidding me Ivy?”
“No Alex. I just want a bottle of coke.”
“Besides that, you just bring a Bloody Mary just in case.”
“Why did you change your mind Ivy?”
“By the time you left me a note.”
Bonnie laughed finishing her margarita drinks.
“Well, thank you for joining us.”
The drinks arrived. Alex slid the Bloody Mary next to me but I keep on my American favourite drink.
Alex’s friend seemed to pop up somewhere in the floor. Escorted her there were two young women. Alex got to her feet and gave her a big hug. Paula Siebens introduced her friends to Alex. Alex gave at each other a hug. Then she introduced Paula, Deidre and Ceclia to Bonnie and me. Deidre Nack walked to Bonnie and squeezed Bonnie’s hand. It followed by Paula and and Ceclia.
I did not get up but there was a momentum of recognition. Alex pulled chairs from distant tables to accommodate her friends. They sat and quickly Bonnie called the waiter.
“What are you going to drink?”
“And your Paula? Right?”
“Right! I am a fuzzy navel.”
“Me. I’ll get an Appletini.”
The waiter arrived as Bonnie took over. “Let us Amaretto Sour, Fuzzy Navel and Appletini.”
Paula was all talking. Changing from one subject to another, she was everywhere. Surprisingly, we followed her from Facebook’s events to Twitter and from fashion to beast men in manner of minute. She was in her thirties, and she was a black feminist. She fashioned her hair with salt and pepper touch. Her eyes were large and alive. She was a former bowling and pool and who made a name for herself in Las Vegas and around the country. Alex and she went back when they were in junior school.
“I ain’t right to make begga for him. Girl, took me as a wrongly bee? Yeah he was and now a history!”
“I drink for that! Alex said.
Ceclia Monysky spoke Caribbean accent. She had green eyes, light brown eyes and light complexion. She was very pretty with her florid short dress and she knew it. Both women were talking and having all the opportunity piercing men from behinds and fronts. In this Deidre joined the conversation once again while Bonnie and I were just listening to them.
“May I remind you that I do not need a man to survive through the winter,” Ceclia said.
“Mebbe ya’re not but I do,” Paula said laughing.
“It’s a matter of taste.”
“Another tip?” Bonnie called.
“I see you are drinking coke,” Deidre observed.
“Shit me!” Ceclia exclaimed.
“No. I do not.”
“What?” Paula asked as she gazed at the Bloody Mary.
“It’s a matter a taste!”
A couple of men flew over our table and held there.
“Soon, they will move,” Alex predicated.
“So?” Paula said.
“Are we letting them in?”
“Not my taste.”
We looked at Bonnie, and we halted there.
With certain laughers we were passing a good time. There was a hundred of men and good-looking. I didn’t it ever occur to me that there was one for me, or whatever I name is, that could be a critical point of my life and the entire universe, and that was as far I would ever to reach,
The night reached a level of coolness as the girls called off for tonight. They were on control and I guessed none of the beast Geeks or Romans was able to elevate interest among them. For me it was all. We joked about our single king in our place and the no-commitment from him.
We shared our drinks. We exchanged information such social media emails and telephone. Outside we talked more, and when Paula and her party left, Bonnie confirmed me about Audrey’s party in which I accept.
We kissed at each other and then all was gone.
It was about twelve and the night seemed so beautiful. Somewhere, I was there lying, watching the moonlight, listening the sounds of the night. That was where I found him. Richard Fronche. I greeted him, and I sat at a table facing the ocean. It had been exactly from I left daddy ten years ago and I returned to LA with master in business. I was a clear, looking forward to make my life of a woman. I was ready to face anything but good and a man to give my virginity and being her girl. I was looking someone safe and sane, endowed, fun, loving, and spontaneous stable, and especially who liked having a really good time together.
Yet I found it when I met Richard Fronche.
During the three years where we together all was a paradise. He was a French Canadian, fair complexion, nonsmoker, affectionate, loving and a hell in bed; but he loved to drink. Towards those long public events, family gathering in his countryside of Alberta, weekend getaway, I learned to drink like him.
I wanted to be perfect.
Not confused of what I felt and love.
Then there was drug and sex replaced the sweetness of his voice and the mysteries of eyes, which all of these things seemed suckling my brain out and stopping all the energy of irritation. Slowly I moved back from him with tugging feeling. Sometimes, he was neat, persistently charming, seizing my mind just for that opportunity of power and sex. He had become an unscrupulous plotter, where we appeared to encompass for less all movements at one; and then right there let me to run with myself into nothingness or to that explosive but barbaric impulse to keep her forever in shadows.
I screamed. I did not know how times, but he did not listen my screams. Nevertheless, I did love his concentration and that delicate finding and that systematic mode of man which I admitted I was thrilled about.
Yet as a man Richard Fronche was unable to see through my heart and heard those whispers that some men would do all they could to see beyond my intoxicated face, and to hear my cry and to hold me until my heart would be rewarded in compensation.
I realized I needed something more from a man like him to relieve myself, but Richard Fronche and I began to see ourselves as dangerous creatures.
Once day he beat me, and that day I left Canada for good.
Now I watched myself recognizing I was a fool. How I could let that happened? As I see, I am not a perfect being but I tried to see my own point during those three years in front of these long fractions of singleton and fear.
Many days over he wanted to see me. I let him to see me. We had a great time in France and Italy. He told me he quit drinking. Me! I was so devastated behind lies.
One day he promised me to give me a ring.
It was a single ring for me.
Married? We will be together at last.
The clock hanged opposite of me striking one o'clock like a primitive chart betraying my feeling and it was creeping already my nerve to see him, to the promise of that ring.
There was nothing about that damned ring!
I was so angry if he was before I would able to kill him.
Suddenly, I threw the glass filled with wine against the wall and returned to the window, and it would be my fault if the strange feeling which had just begun growing inside me. I moved around and grasped a Mexican bottle of tequila and in second I emptied it.
At this moment I was very upset with hatred, sweating thoughts by wicked joy, unwinding emotion, and as I asked to myself why I let this asshole again cross my path.
I picked up the phone and called up his home and the answer machine responded for him. I called him again. I kept calling until I reached that female voice.
“What the hell are you?”
“You heard me? What the earth are you? Put Richard at the phone bitch?”
With fiery gesture I threw the phone away. Literary I ran toward the window. My innocent's soul went to the wind, and my sexual desire for him was just as an obstacles as well as a removal pain seizing my long waiting relationship and it was remaining me that I was still suspending with all mean.
I swung back violently.
That means going out to find my freedom and dancing under the light with my whole soul, my body, and as they will be immensely wrapped with anger and lust and with a tremendous delight to growing absolutely for me in speed.
Does he desert me? my inner voice with consternation rebounded within me when I arrived before the mirror straggling my face and my hair. What he would do then for me?
I just was wondering if it would be very fascinated or dangerous moment to conquer.
As I knew as soon as I stepped out it would not be the same, I put his name aside. However, I was always on control (was I?).
I, with my womanhood, to which for “some” people it's still the weaker and the poorer soul with a thousands of unfinished and unfilled tumults to go by, I still believe on the strong sex: the development of every form: the vivo monster who appeared always in change and not the animalistic ego the so-called man. Either way, or almost thorough it, with arteries and fusing mode of myself because I could longer be in control and I just hate the way I lose.
On the other hand, I began to drink heavily. I see myself as the victim. The objection-man whom had such appetite to recall every witness likes a falsehood state. In the other hand, from which one was missing piece of beauty, sparing every cross-examination when somebody met someone, it was such a mess. Ah, such as those believers they were thinking woman likes I was just a stupid unbroken feeling, matchless to any retrieval and negative establishment. No. Let it out of me. That was something perhaps dying and this was just enough for me.
I was as good as I could be, and then I laughed in angry.
“Hell to them!”
Six months later they hospitalized me.
I just wanted to pass freely to other life but they told me I was not ready yet.
Nurse Carol Morgan gave me another shot and it followed by a friendly talk with Barbara Mylan in an outdoor sitting across the green garden of Malibu. Barbara was in her fifties and she had a long history ups and down until she beheld herself to become a counselor like me. She was good in explaining me the problematic anger circle from the early relationships with my dad and Richard and them the later relationship against with the two figures of my life for which the unrelieved anxiety and anger were paralleled until I found Richard. Yet I told her I had been looking at him as a daddy’s model. Past problems with dad were complicated by the fact that I manipulated this as an unwitting and passive platform for love and protection and I do believe it was not readily identifiable as anger but I was angry with daddy. I had told that daddy story to him many times.
Richard appeared to change that with his charming and his presence. My early conflict discontinued mysteriously and it appeared to overcharge in trust, but I was dependent and identify totally with Richard’s overpowered presence during which expressions of past anger were forbidden or ignored because I have him. I was then off guard when that power and love and trust he messed me up with alcohol. A source of tension for me emerged. I needed to follow him rather to please and to keep him to my side. All before me blinded. Relationship with him was just a blind hole. How times has he cheated of me? How times has he hit me for which it has become a dominated factor by attempt to rid my innocence of these blinded tensions in other ways by telling me he loved me pressing my naked body against the bed?
How many times?
I do not know.
They were many times and behind alcohol and drugs I identify myself as an alcohol abuser where there was a physiological dependence on it and such tolerance for increasing. I have never been apprised of the death of any one by sort of apparition of myself. Ivy for whom I knew very little about her, but I once had a presentiment which, although it occurred under very different circumstance I knew there was a problem.
As I was fighting to darkness, Ivy flashed at me constantly and telling me I was a fool. She seemed to explode inside in brutal ways and reminding me I need to get my shirt together from the ground zero to the fat one where my presence ought to be known. Everyone cut off from me, and the few friends I have they become to blink off. During these years (these three fucking long years) I grew bigger. It was my wake-up call from Ivy to me and hell in-between. Believe it or not I realize I did not give a shit. I feel myself and I feel I was reborn.
And Nancy Schaff had noticed it.
I do like her because she was different and open. She was not a hypocrite as many therapist whom I have the past four years. She was exhibitionistic, outgoing, misanthropic and dogmatic; but inside her heart was indeed a woman’s heart and I think that was what I liked of her.
“Is there anything I should know about your weight Ivy?”
“How do you feel then?”
“My Little King Helps Me!”
“Talk about a real one?”
She leaned back. She considered me with a long look.
“It has been more than three years Ivy.”
“My vagina isn’t ready to fall in love with a new cock.”
“Who says you should fall in love?”
“Fuck off the Bible!” (I smiled) You need to release natural energy from a living phallus.”
“I use Little King Vibrator regularly and that is indeed a natural source of energy.”
“It is not same Ivy.”
We went back and forth about natural energy and false one. It was a good argument for which men were indeed so ignore about this closer examination. I am sure that part of that was because of this discovery. Lovemaking was so much fun, but certainly messy when men do not know how to do it.
We laughed but I was behind my star.
By now Nancy gave herself up and shook her head.
“I forgot him.”
“Good.” She wrote her thought on her yellow and closed it. “Let us get lunch.”
Our meetings were all Tuesdays and Fridays since I become her client. She was all women and she was a single, independent mother of her fourteen-year-old Lesley. When she decided to have a child, she found a man somewhere in the street, dated him for the last twelve months. And when she got pregnant, she found an excused between them and tossed him off. No, I am kidding. Once she told me she hated formality in men, such long talking of convention, the power to persuade and unreal debate of two sexes. She particularly hated when a man acted in accordance of his position before women and the foolish that follow, which happened often because women were such a mistake to thrust.
Every Friday we conquered a new restaurant and Nancy loved to different thing. She drove all to Laguna to visit to family restaurant called Snail Place. We sat at the rustic 18th-century room and she ordered salmon stuffed past shells. For me I got a della zoppa ravilis. For drinking she got beer and water for me to drink.
We began eating where our conversation reached a sense of being woman, alone, without any worries of being us in this planet without beasts.
Then she emerged like me. A regular one, with dream, and desire, which life and succeed had a different meaning of happiness.
“I don’t blame Ivy.”
I held my folk wrapped up with past. “About what?”
“What sometimes we were made up.”
“I try to figure it up.”
“No. I’m serious.”
“What we are.”
“Do you believe we have to surrender?”
“Someone like us will.”
“I was there.”
“A change then?”
I swallowed pasta with water. “I am quite worried at first over leaving this world with regret.”
“You seem to grow.”
“No fat I hope.”
“I know what you mean.”
Nancy sucked one of shells and smiled. “No, you don’t.”
“My decision. You know, Lesley asked me the other day about her father.”
“I thought it was fixed.”
She fell silent. She grasped the bottle of beer and drank. She got another shell and ate it slowly. “Something bothered.”
“I cannot a damned thing. Don’t me wrong I love Carlos.”
“Well, it’s fucking too later.”
“Yes. I was a brutal bitch.”
“Should we make it as a rule?”
“I hope not Ivy.”
Today was Saturday, not special day really; it was any given Saturday day, such as clean the house, caring my small garden, making a list of grocery, and washing myself with that identical diction of drugs and moodiest night since this morning it bothered me. I have experienced female ejaculation since my second nightmare. Since my sexuality had become a trapped and back then, I discussed it my therapist and recorded it, I only had to assume that I was moving too far from reality.
One the other hand, in that moment, I realize my body was just a blossom under the sun, squeezing out, flowing down, with so many curves that were floating in a sudden prelude of blue veins and loosely flesh. Nothing there was beauty anymore, nothing there was colorful as the ribbons or as the garments of Cupid, and nothing was no longer had the admiration but the delusional belief of posture and ghost.
A scream came unwillingly out of me.
Yes! It's me. I was a being so desirable, and so drenched out by the waiting. My God, what is this? Ce qu'est! He said laughing!
Ah, the rocky thought! Ah, the identical Addition of post-it and forget it!
When the readiness of this body no longer was mine, but the reflection of daybreak, then I know there are no auditory hallucinations or visual.
I held myself in the middle of living room while I was thinking. I think it is too much to make it works.
The telephone rang.
I reached quickly the telephone and answered it. “Ivy. Hi, Bon!”
She lay on the floor and painted her fingernails. “You decided to go Audrey’s party?”
I turned around and watched my place. “Who will be there?”
“I mean who are they?”
“They must Audrey’s friends. I can ask her.”
“I can’t believe would do that.”
“Why not? You wanted to know.”
“You don’t need to drive. I called a rental SUV Service and all be settled.”
“She was who called me and gave the idea.”
“So Las Vegas is off.”
“We do not know yet. Dependent.”
“How Audrey’s party is you silly.”
“We’ll pick you up at 3.”
I set the phone down and gazed at it for a moment as I realize I need it. A little quickly I finished vacuuming the living room and the corridor. There I halted and eyed the photos of mom and daddy and when I was a girl. Next to my daddy there were the same messages. Call him today. I dropped my eyes away from those messages and I moved to the room.
Of course I wanted to call him. I have looked thoroughly for an excuse. I found nothing at all. But I was sure I would find one when I try to call him.
When later I bathed, dried, and completely naked, I began to select the clothes what I was to wear. I was not in mood for 1920’s outfits.
Instead I was today in the mood for love, making it with fury and breaking it up like a boat.
I am the mood to make love for hours and to play anywhere on the beach or the car and I have that mood since this morning. I am felt so damned hot and unpredictable like a hyena in season.
Therefore I selected a voodoo vital white and floral mythic butterfly dress after I decided to go into timeless. It fixed me temptingly lovely so that it was easily within the means of my curvaceous figure. When I paced before the mirror, I did not like the way my hair was in front of this outfit. I have natural mahogany hair. I did several experiences with black wigs.
Hell not Ivy! It does not work.
I combed my natural hair here and there. Then, I decided to go with it.
Smelled good and with that natural scent of a female animal at large I made my final tips on my round hairline and round chin line I looked at myself.
Damn girl! You ravish! Hot!
Exactly 3 o’clock the telephone rang.
“We are here!”
Young bachelors, sugar daddies, and matured tigers with a hell of patience and determination. That was the first impression about male peoples. Among the female crowd they were all mixed up and well set. Then there was Audrey’s party, as she called herself, wore like a royal madam with white silk and the effectively adorned of her jewelry, greeted us (Alex. Bonnie and me) admiring our outfits and making open comments that one of us was in the mood for love! There was a healthful expression between Bonnie, Alex and I. We really felt good about it. We felt of being women and being in this planet of mystery.
Minutes later she introduced us to her circle from CEOs to adventurous ones and my eyes locked him. David Fiero. They were the seniors, the socially impeccable and financially approachable. Bonnie pressed eyes on Corneilus Levinson and Alex over Pirjo Randolph. Before Audrey moved away from us, we knew all about them especially to my nonverbal David I thought it would be a challenge for me.
Little by little we moved onto casual conversation. Hours later the food called out and we began to eat in the spacious courtyard of Audrey’s house.
David opened to me. I listened to him. Carefully, I monitored his words and action. During my stay at the party, he did not yet touch alcohol.
Pirjo and Corneilus brought more fruits and drinks. Again, David declined in a social but apology way. Later, we moved into the living where Audrey’s lover, Michael Saito, began to play piano. The evening musicians arrived and there was jazz and then tango and salsa. There was a general moment of fun.
I danced only with David.
After several dances, we rested for a while Bonnie and Alex were keeping with Pirjo and Corneilus. David brought a tropical blend with strawberry mango. My favorite fruits. I decided.
“It does not have alcohol Ivy.”
I rewarded him with one of my most seductive smile.
“Thanks.” My long fingers took the glass and carefully I drank. “Did you make it?”
“I gave him instruction to do.”
“Where is yours?”
It made me to look at him. “Real?”
“Well! You won’t. It is too delicious to share it.”
“No! It’s personal taste!”
He laughed. He was all that I dreamed.
The evening passed lovely. There was a dilemma. Bonnie decided to make Corneilus to suffer. He was ready to tear Bonnie’s blue dress and to go deep into her underwear. Alex’s Pirjo was cool. He passed all evening talking and admiring Alex.
When we stepped into the bathroom, Bonnie told us she would not go to open her legs to Corneilus. The reason was that she seemed to find her match.
“I want to lay egg but he has been all wordings.”
“It’s good Alex.”
“Really Ivy. You told us before we reached you were on the mood of making love.”
“Well, yes. But I do not want to ruin it. David seems different.”
“What are we going to do? Go home?”
“No Bonnie. I want to feel myself tonight.”
“Play you up Alex.”
“No. Jesus Ivy! Don’t make it easy?”
“I won’t take him. I want to see how he is.”
Alex and I looked at Bonnie. Inside me I felt different. If David made his move, I was not going to deny that pleasure.
“Home, okay?” she said icily. “You guys have to change their mind. I thought you were ready.”
“Are you upset then?”
“Never mind Bon!”
“I am not sure. You guys always telling me I need it.”
“Then you are arousal,” Bonnie said.
“You can go ahead.”
“If David asks for it, I will.”
Alex and Bonnie looked at me.
We returned back.
David was talking with Pirjo and Corneilus. I was tensed. We were when they looked at us when all perspective changes into a more intimate set.
“Have you free for the next week?”
Alex and I looked at Bonnie and then we looked back at David.
Corneilus spoke. “David has invited us to surf around California coast in his yacht. There will be Monday holiday.”
“Ivy?” He looked at me. “What do you think?”
“Would I be able to see before that?”
It was an open question and answered it casually.
It was remarkable blue and high. All around us was the living things. After the cruising David and I became a little closer.
Three days in Montego Bay we have shrimp cocktails with Jamaican Rum and Oriental herb tea after lunch, cannabis such as a straw between words and the pleasure of Companionship. It was a beautiful day here in Jamaica and lots of things had been unfolding among us. There were the amazing events of gossips from those conversations where women always have that status quo. I was there, drinking my non tropical drink and smoking and watching the sea and I felt so lonely and distressed though there were Bonnie and Alex. I got this feel to jump into the space, vibrant and effective, like a great fighter, and I lose myself into the depth of the water.
Now what? What is the goal by doing this? What is the positive role and what kind of memory I left behind in achieving that?
Poor soul! Poor devil.
And from my personal experience that journal will be no easier to return. Then I slipped off from the seacoast cottage and wandered with myself down the beach and reached this gathering. I still had the effect of Jamaican joints and I saw all in twilight. I heard a voice. I turned, and this individual looked at me. I asked for more drinks just as I turned my head away. This individual had a Great Smile, I thought. Can be a model from a Local Magazine? And there is no shame to be observed I guess.
Then it comes the components of the game. Look, you don't have to do this.
Excuse me! Of course not! I said looking at this male sexuality and at the holly-sea waves and at the eryngium bourgatti but it did not help. I said he's a hunter and stay away from the heat.
At this moment, I want to cry, so I did... I want to draw my conclusion as I did... And I want to walk, as I did... And when I moved along the shore, I knew I was in pain.
Slowly, which the aphrodisiac expression was well gone while I, so that we could have better off, remained there, completely lost.
Bonnie came to me and said, “What the hell are you doing here alone Ivy? David is looking for you.”
I turned and glanced at her. “I am a messed soul.”
“What? Are you crying? What are you crying for?”
“You do not want to know me Bon.”
“No! You don’t.”
“Then tell me about it Ivy.”
“You should can babe girl.”
She held me and she seemed so concerned what I feel at this particular moment. She shook me a little as if I where her sister and I got that feeling of protection. I looked at her and I knew I was crying, seeing me as the real Ivy.
“I am scared about life and I am scared about David and about everything!
“Oh Ivy! How deep it is.”
“Since I was a little girl… since my mother dead and when I lived with my father. I have such life of freedom for which I hated so much before my father because I was such a pain, and I was so conscious of having someone to hold me.”
“He made you what are you.”
“No Bon! No! He didn’t. He just left me alone in front of this open world and just left me alone to figure everything by myself. I hated him for that Bon.”
“You should. You have taken as a punishment.”
“I cannot see it Bon. I grew in pain and I was anxious to find someone. For some time I found and I realized it was not enough. For years I become a ghost within me. The long of mediation and therapy until David has emerged so innocent. I do not trust him.”
“Ivy! He has so dammed cool as far I know. Or maybe you are frightened.”
I moved away from her a little which caught myself in these momentums of black souls.
“Hey! Here are you?”
It was Corneilus. He was not alone. David was a little behind and looked at me.
“I thought this was my night.”
He came over to her and embraced her.
“It’s yours Babe!”
Bonnie tossed an arm around his neck and they walked together down the sandy pathway. David did not move. He just looked at me from that position.
Slowly I walked to him. “I am sorry.”
I nodded and morosely he grasped my hand and let me through the pathway to the cottage where Alex and Pirjo and couples of Jamaica husbands and wives were. I held. He looked at me.
“You aren’t going to ask what bother me.”
He came closer to me and looked deeply into my eyes. “You will be Ivy.
Suddenly aware that he was closer to me and I smelled him I was so unpredictable. A dreadful thought had just hit, and as I was about to walk away, I felt his presence behind me and blocked all those dreadful thoughts. I turned and I was a kind of animal instinct. I pressed myself against him before I realized I was able to see. I kissed, and God he was just a master of representation. In seconds he controlled my manner of kissing and that aggressively approachable when several moments let me to do whatever I pleased with me. He straightened up the moment I was all over him.
“I can wait Ivy and to see me I am real.”
“I don’t want you to wait.”
Well, he took my words for it and that evening I was punishing with kisses and finally I was completely naked before. That evening my lovemaking was not as good as I have expected. I gave myself to him too damned so quickly.
When the following day arrived we left Jamaica past two o’clock because a hurricane was moving in. We arrived at Florida, a beautiful Sunday welcome us. Everyone decided to stay in Florida until Wednesday. Alex, Bonnie and I exchanged looks at Tropical Hotel’s lobby in Florida thinking about the excuse to give to our bosses. Hell! There will be an excuse and we did in accordance what happened.
Corneilus Levinson, Pirjo Randolph and David Fiero for none of them needed to report to anyone were standing on the reception desk negotiating the rooms. They wanted to be on the room. They found three suites at third floor.
“Are you okay with that?” he asked me when we stepped on the floor.
When we arrived in the room it was suite and all separated.
“I have taken the liberty.”
I grinned. “I am afraid of darkness.”
He smiled. “I’ll right in the second room.”
“We decided to go at six and then to visit Wind clubs. They have the salsa and bolero.”
“I will be ready.”
“See you then.”
He smiled and he elegantly walked thought the door to the room and closed and behind him. Once he left I paced around the room and admired the luxury suite. I jumped down to the gigantic bed and rolled down and up. I felt happy and the sense of woman little by little was coming. I made faces at the shadows just as I heard voice.
“Sorry,” he said carrying my traveling bag. “He thought you were in the room.”
I was sure he was able to see me on that position: My soft skin or something else. If he was ready to make his move, I would be sure this time he would need to work hard to get me. Once he had read my mind or to read these woman’s codes only an experimented man like David was able to decode he began to look me more carefully. I had seen no fear about my paramount figure. He must have about the edge of understanding. He seemed to admire all what I got. As he began to move slowly toward me I might have given him all female authorization of his desire to play a role I was aware he was indeed quite different from Richard.
He still dressed Jamaican loosen pant and long tropical T-shirt. He removed his t-shirt and there was a heat seemed to wrap me. I just smiled at him. He kneeled and grasped my feet to freeze all my body. I picked here and there his gesture. From that moment on I could not turn my head away from him. His fingers were delicate and strong enough beginning that Oriental message. Whoever told him about that part he must be magician. He made pressure around my feet. He examined them and smoothed his fingers between them. I looked at him. He looked back. His hands moved up like those reptiles seeking warm spots in the desert. I thought I should have a moment to stand up and done with it. I would be premature again. He covered half of my legs with skillful finger-touched caresses. He dropped his hands and began a new odyssey thoroughly my hips and pressured those muscles without touching the one so hidden behind layers of silk.
By magic I was vulnerable before him. I covered my symbolic moon with hands. Squeezed my legs tightly as I was ready to defense my kingdom for all cost what was mine. Yet I was far to know him and what he wanted to accomplish. He circled my hands and the road that I was defending from those snaked fingers and those large palms until his hands began to make magic tips. Those tips eventually have begun occurring in section, such as he performed deep on tissue messages on my inner thigs. His hands appeared to take me to another level. Now I saw him concentrate, making me aware this would long and unexhausted fight. My hands slowly let him. He was not interested to my precious moon. He worked on vertical and horizontal touches, and he went deep from G-nodes to e. Not knowing what I expected, I touched his arm. He kissed my hand and he kept on particularly to my breasts. I felt a sensation like the hissing of a bee… not aware of my effort to be calm.
He slipped to one side, behind me. My body tensed. My heart hammered violently against my chest, but he made himself visible, his intention, through those lymphatic nodes, while I was moving dangerously closer to that zone that all was good and impossible to back up. I turned here and closed his fingers sharply in the lower extremely, then, without looking at the pelvis, his hand walked away, picked up my breasts and his fingers brushed them, and began to mix such as details of energy. I gave myself a glance in his eyes, but he had no intention of bathing himself into me yet. With body players and I have no trouble in obtaining a piece of him. He smiled. He kissed me.
His kisses smelled to wet tongue and bubble gums and tropical mint. He deepened his tongue inside my mouth and stroked mine in short repetitions and light fun to make it over again. I liked the effect, though…how a man should make a woman walk as if she were icy ground. He bit my lips and they become red and my skin sweat for inspiration and smell and my nipple hard. The bed appeared too gigantic; the time was painful long. Being ready for him, he reduced me to beg. Like a deaf, blind man, he continued his journal.
A few minutes before I lost the reality, he finished my breasts, pelvis, and back and legs. He turned elegantly, and he put a hand underneath me, and he set down himself to admire what I have done so much cover. Instead of thinking to move away, I welcomed him. He didn’t have to command me for confirmation. I switched on the same spot and rest patiently what he accomplished.
I closed my eyes for the first touch of his lips just as I lifted each body mine and began to move bravely which way he wanted me to go.
Alex and Bonnie rode together to lunch and they asked me if I wanted to go with them. I was not sure because David called last night promised he would be at LA tonight from Michigan. I did not want to be interrupted with the idea of picking him at the airport.
I was so anxious so I left earlier from office. I wanted to see him and I called him two times and he confirmed he would be LA.
“I am flight with my corporate jetliner.”
“Would you like me to pick you up?”
“Yes. I am sure.”
“Very well. It’ll land around 5.”
There was the sound of the wind and each moment it told me.
I don't know about that now all has come down too fast. Not by the personal grievance, of course rather by that wondering thirst that I am not able to see my thrill voice. I don't want to sound so abstract and so dumb. There is a cherry tree down, thinking that I do not posse my wet roots beneath those goddamned layers that running parallel under those goddamned hills as the last Flowery Gardens. I thought I will make it.
I called up Nancy and told her my last encounter and she was very happy.
“Remember Ivy, you should take one piece at a time.”
“I remember that.”
“Do I keep you regular appointment?”
“Yes. I want to be sure.”
I made another call and I reached Dr. Felam.
“How are you doing?”
“I am quite well but these changes.”
“Why those changes?” LaTanya Falam said in her private office in Orange city.
“Funny things I guess.”
“Have you started dating?”
“Have you used protection?”
“I can see you next week. I am free.”
“I will see you then.”
With a mysterious grin I turned off my blue.
I was in a deeper mode driving to the airport. Why I have to pass through this transformation? Why now? Where is the symptom of living? Is it attached to my own symptom of being involved? Can I retrieve the preface that affects about an eighty percent of the population? Is there a trail? Is there a past? Can I be able to beauty it up though my flowery channel is just gone?
I immediately accepted the challenge. I was obviously not in a position to change the presence the full evidence I had managed to secure a moment like this. I included a further explanation so that I would be prepared.
Finally, I arrived at the Hollywood airport, and I checked the waiting area and the terminal. I went to the private flight and I noted David’s flight. I backed up and ordered herb tea at the terminal. A few moments later I received text message from David acknowledging my messages and his arrivals, but he was already there standing there with the cellular at his ears and speaking with me through it.
Trembling I got to her feet, and he came to me and kissed me. He took all my lips and it seemed forever. I felt his heart pounded violently in his.
“How the flight?”
“It has been the first someone picked me up at the airport.”
I’ll doubt it. Even he lied to me. At this moment I believed it and I felt rewarded. I held and pressed myself against him. “I was thinking to cook. I mean…”
During this period, I continued to acknowledge him my likeness to him and then it came my confession of a past for which he listened to the end.
“I will never go to hurt you Ivy.”
I must confess across the table what I had suffered and what I would expect from him. He had no interest whatsoever in any of my painful adventures and that transition. At first, it socked me as I backed up. It was a moment that remained totally alien to me until I met his only relative; his sister Sandra for several months later. He was cool. He made comments that past must remain as memory, experience. He was beyond to the wording he would be part of that.
A few weeks later, we visited San Francisco. I began to know him and I was not afraid to approach him and to make love with him.
When later it took me some consideration time to convince me that I was feeling for him, he surprised me with a gift.
We were in San Diego. At that first encountering with his circle of friends, I was able to feel I was part of this circle. I was quieting and looked at the San Diego wonderings where the gulls could be seen where I was able to touch them. My eyes fell from the sky and it was a period away after I moved. It was the sensation of panic. A seizure, and a unusual gesture.
Yet in San Diego's arena I have dreamed in those unusual ways because of delusional sexual nightmares and the fear. I concerned with my life. And then all had gone.
I closed the book and I remained there, wondering.
For a moment I cried
And then I fell asleep.
When I waked, David was there next to me. He handled a book. It was the same book was reading.
“It’s the same book.”
“No. It isn’t.”
“And open pages 301.”
“I haven’t reached that page yet.”
I opened Page 301 and there was a ring.
“David? This is going too fast.”
“Then you keep reading the book. By the time you reach this page; I hope you will have another idea.
As the evening moved further I was listening to June Christy from across the spacious room filled with Picasso and Manet and Velasquez. Beyond the Spanish and Greek marbles, the couples were dancing and they were feeling themselves elevated by the stars.
Here, sitting on the large Roman cushion, drinking my Cuban favorite drinks, mojito, I watched them. I almost think if I could put my mind into it, and if I could make it possible, the ground of a paradise would open.
I felt the mood -- the emotions, the experience, the bizarre thoughts-- then reflections, the impairment movements, followed them by the procession through it was grateful it was me, and the irritation so excessively elevated by my own euphoric mind from a past little by little was moving where it was suppose. It was then my self-esteem fell, but not too much until this individual arrived. I couldn't believe it. Youth. Muscled. He was self-assurance by the sequences of great a bear, and he began speaking a topic unknown to me.
I looked at those lips, and I looked at those eyes and I looked at those movements and those foothills and for the last minutes those colors emerge before me.
Shall we dance?
“My Dear Logan, she is taken.”
Sandra Fiero touched his face and made to retreat.
She had all David’s looks. She was older for a month. Both sister and brother loved to each one dearly. Tough when she confessed him she was a lesbian, and from that moment further, five years ago, their love solid more. I was taller than her. She had feet and seven and she was her own. I liked her when I met and it was like instantaneously.
“You have been the first woman he has brought in this house after the tragic accident where my father, mother, and my sister died. It seems a miracle, a reborn.”
I looked down where he was speaking with people and quests.
“He has not said anything yet about that.”
“Don’t you think I bother him?”
“I am his sister and there is no secret.”
A German young came over and saluted me again. “Hi Ivy.”
She looked at Sandra. “Ana wants to see you.”
“I thought she was sleeping.”
“She was and asked for mom.”
“Excuse me Ivy.Ah, Ivy.You have right to take my brother from them. He’s bothered.”
I smiled and I did just that.
He kissed me and held him there.
“It’s time to go.”
I nodded. “Hmm-hu.”
At this time our lovemaking was sweet. I was all over him and controlled all his movements. At the end he just left me alone. I joyed myself. I got it all myself. My freedom held it back and hurried it in seconds. I was planning to spend this night of freedom loving David with all my strength. He kept there. I might have asked him to all okay.
I touched his face. I squeezed his chest and I kissed him as I looked into his eyes. He took another moment with his hands to hold me. I was very self-conscious about it so he tried to hold me once more. But my strokes had just natural given, the way I danced in Florida, and all the while I were teasing him with my heart, so at the end he closed his eyes. It took a second I should stroke again, suddenly, as if he had caught off guard he stared at me. He opened his mouth and he let himself go.
I took all the moments to cover his face with kisses.
The following months, three days a week I see my therapist.
Nancy seemed to have authority to my effects of elements where she and I were discussing things. She admitted I am overreacting and that there is nothing wrong with me and that there nothing to be ashamed of and that there is no cloud to think every day about sex and suicide and pregnancy and that I gave all to the world: Two children and that I am a grandmother from another planet and I will love them!
In another session we discussed about homosexuality as normal and about homosexuality as abnormal and the last choice of sexual deviations and the dryness as a normal standard of my age and sexual and emotional setback and women with women fantasies when I am with David.
Self-perception! She said now with a husband and three beautiful children and a seven-bedroom house in the hill.
We debated the psychic pleasure, the moral, the loneliness, and television's ads.
And this it appears to confuse me
I am so anxious that by day I am the best leader and by night, I am just as weird as a frightened beetle.
That is unfair! I am a being like my mother who has died so young. See, I deserve the best of everything. I paid my dues!
Indicating good pains, good emotions, and of course, the movements of the stars, as I tell her that Ivy appears like me. Ivy.
Nancy says I am proving myself to the world I exist. It's only in your head that I began to “see” solving problem. I smiled. I looked at her. She is so gorgeous and she has those normative behaviors of staring. In those grief moments I asked myself. Do I love her? That during these three years I feel so attached to her. It weighted all my body and a yes came justly through my throat. I loved her!
Every minute! Every tear of mine!
What are you thinking? Oh, about you and I.
It was a sweet moment. She just nodded her head and smiled at me.
“You silly Ivy! Let’s get lunch. You pay!”
Dr. Felam helped me remove my legs from the silvery stirrups on the examination table here in her private office at Orange City. She smiled slightly as I strengthened up.
“I call up Marina to help you get dressed and I will see you in my office.”
I grasped the flowery robe and wrapped it up around my body. “I can manage it.”
“She will be here soon.”
She backed and walked out of the room. I remained there as I watched the room and those frontal sections of reproductive system pictures described all a woman was about, like a cow skeleton head lay on the sun, and these ones like an ocean map where the vagina had such a position as iceberg and these ones as a psychological Rorschach Inkblot test images. There was not sexy at all here. All were muscular canal opens like caves and porous like Swiss cheese. I could imagine anything else and I felt a kind of embarrass.
“Hi Miss Lieberman.”
She brought my clothes and before here I dropped my flowery robe. I started dressing and finally she handled my jacket.
‘It may be expense.”
“It’s Kohl’s sale.”
“You know how to buy.”
I found LaTanya sat behind her desk. She indicated me a chair and I sat. She read more lines from a master medical file and rested it open on the surface of the desk.
“You are not pregnant but I am worrying about those pains and this lack of estrogen Ivy.”
Here it went again. My 47-year-old life rolled in and rolled out. I did not reply whatever it might be. I just closed my legs and leaned backward.
There were other things that could generate now not all my private as estimated pains, but also the discovery of estrogen especially when Dr. Falam told me earlier there was a way, a removal, a skin patch, a “fix”, got me on track. As long as I take ERT and she concluded over dinner all would be all right. “You don’t need to worry.”
Yes! I have to worry because of this menstrual flow she said: It'll be sufficient anticoagulant and kept it pure and cleaned flow from clotting so it could pass easily through my soul and vein she kept saying between spoonsful of pasta and shrimps at Boca Venetia Restaurant.
I am suffering here, I said in tears while I am still having those hot flashes.
And a week earlier (before the second medical appointment) then under the light of the room, I pray to Eve by saying why you, bitch has given us too much pain for a life? Why so much shit is going on inside our body: Exam on pelvis, breast, Pap smear, progesterone, endometrial biopsy, hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, mammogram, urinalysis, hemoglobin, hematocrit battery blood, blood sugar, liver, thyroid, triglyceride, cholesterol, phosphorus, etcetera and etecera.
Oh, Eve, where I stand here? I am worried about me. Is there another person I have to pass the same tunnel of survivor?
In that afternoon, after a long walk after dinner, I met my old friend mine named Lisa Galson, and she is still wonderful and I don't know how she keeps her color and herself under that brilliance of diet and plastic surgery as I gazed upon her face, although the color surely of her was not meant to stare; but I felt so jealous and envious and ruinous for the first time when I met with my regular doctor LaTanya Falam.
“How do you do Ivy?”
“Great!” she said looking at me like an endangered gall. “How is your life?”
She met my sexual life, feeling toward the beauty of Eve's feminizing hormone bitches, the one that God screwed her and went mad by the genital blood-flow sensibility of Adams and the sexual falling. Oh, it's great said, turning my eyes away from her face and my mug of cappuccino, and that effect were rude.
There are two fifties out of being focused. She is guessing because somehow I did not give her such satisfaction I am younger than her. No food and diet to which our aphrodisiac sense could be beyond to a chronic disease. You are suffering, are you? I heard she said that.
“Of course not! I am happy! I lied to her about man telling I am not finding yet a man since the story of Richard, and then I confessed all in Tears that I am not sure.
I am not dying, you know -- I said feeling nothing than a way of emptiness. As you grow older especially after menopause you are nothing, Lisa. There are many reasons you should not want to live. You just want to lay there and die. Instead you choose to continue and to find again the pleasure of living, the pleasure of losing yourself into that pool of pleasure and balance. Once again, and completely aware this will be your last change. I want it very much, Liza, and I don't know if you understand that thrill.
Everyone reacts differently to that period of our life, she said. Check me out! I feel it and I usually take it as it is. I want to die. Many times I want to kill myself, Liza, I have no idea how hard will be to reach that level of appeal. This only convinces me that I am nothing, an empty animal with many unanswered questions in my mind and inside my body after I have passed for many tests and examinations. I just want to kill myself!
You should not, she said, and she gave me that name and number. Call her up. They could help you, and before I say thanks, she added: Life is so damned ghostly and as it is, we must get the best of it.
I heard Falam’s voice, “Hey Ivy! We are going to win this,” she said.
My voice was trembling. “I am still in these shadows.”
“You are not Ivy.”
“Why all of these happen now?”
“It has happened before.”
“Damn it! I start enjoying sex again LaTanya.”
“And you will.” She read more from my file. “Is this real?”
I was busy thinking about David. Is he real? Could I consider the ring and his attenti9on and his trips and no complains about his presence? I do not.
“I feel a little safer with him.”
“You never told me really how many men before Richard and David.”
There was a factor I kept under control. Bonnie and Alex had noticed it. Besides, it was all mine and nobody business. How many?
I do remember… I know it was not so important. Perhaps. It was right off after Richard or someone else.
Well, let me tell you about this, and please you female readers do not judge; you just kept to yourself. Regarding to male readers, you could think whatever you have mind because you are not going to convince me
In July, one week I pissed off Richard, I could not be so damned good like a real queen without going outside of my home. I could be good nothing or less as any work I’ve done so far on everything issue: making love, cooking and stepping inside the road.
It's everyone concern, I guessed. So I see as it along as a different focus: the game, the winner, and the loser.
Thinking all these turns and curl thoughts, I've seen myself on the hallway walking towards the garage. I clicked the alarm of my 1950 Mercedes 300sl Gullwing car and the door flying open. I got in and started the motor. The lights of the streets sparkling beautifully in front of my car as the car merged onto the street and all things like a supplied song beginning to take form like a suddenly mold of shadows and tropical blues and gardening sky. I was at any rate, on my own state, hot and dangerous. My self was glittering mad like an awful battle of nightingales. I smiled and turned the radio.
beautiful like you
oh my way...
The song began circulating through my veins, saintly, biting inside me, changing awful thought to beauty; my secret's mine like a poem from 1812 without any conventional despair, took me which I could ever yet see what was it, to another world, and entangled myself in the deepened water of this evening. The picture was bright, happy, cool, dreaming, misery, tenderness, while the hushed waiting I began myself to drop little by little through the visible color of my world --my world!-- where I might be the only one left.
The whole qualification of life takes place so quickly that I could not control for a few moments all senses. They appeared to come up alive like wild butterflies, and they go through my eyes, so wildly as the only way I could satisfy them. I thanked God to create what I was now: a woman. You must believe it, a damned good woman!
I loved being a woman without barrier. I just felt my womanhood. Without fear, the lights became clearer in front of me, and they were motioning straightforward to my heart. I cradled my buttocks on the chair of the sporty car and leaned backward, put an arm over the top of the other chair and arched my arm on the wheel and looked ahead toward the avenue.
Life is good...very good!
I was a living being, and now perhaps I contradicted myself by saying I am not a woman as they say, with my weakness and painful tears. No! There was no way to see it. I laughed, taking the way for more laugh, for more page to my history. (I will no yield at this time). Because all rise in amazement speed as I was still at charge of my own expectation. They were bastards, men are bastards; they were no lovers. In front of me there was just me. I laughed again, driving up in speed, thinking about a Spaniard born, or an European slave, or a bewitched American, yet no more king but a free night where I shall smile next to my naked soul, and forever, be woman and dangerous, no a strange ego by its desire lucked up by his.
I exited Hollywood Boulevard, made a right turn in Highland Avenue. Skillfully, I was heading toward Sunset Boulevard. There in the corner I made a left turn and, with a charmed smile and happiness, I went all down until Wilshire, carrying myself toward the blindness salute of my wishes, be freed tonight. How they see it into my monarch's womanhood? I didn't have any idea. Perhaps it would be too many thoughts, self-love, self-confidence, or nothing which I desire to be: I just said as Homais from The Royal Mischief play by Mary Delarivier Manley who says, “That led me on to this extravagance, proves much mere coward than the hearts he fills...” She was right indeed!
I made a stop in Fairfax and then I kept going on.
The red light came up. I stopped my German car in the intersection waiting for the blue light. When I was thinking in the blue light as privileged of promises under a marvelous performance between me and my wishes, to the other extreme, an 1960 Mustang stopped. Driver Mustang’s eyes were compelling caused by my position as a passive mirror, smiling up and offered himself to be funny and closer in a hurry time of pleasure and machismo.
“Where are you going, baby?” A nobody man said behind the wheel of his Mustang. “Where you headin'?”
I turned and looked at him, and then raised my hand. I gave him a gesture --a classical finger up-- which he took it as a disturbed glance while I pressing gas to my sporty car. My car fled ahead, like me, and when he looked around with a denied privilege as an offering loser, I was several blocks ahead. He would be very surprise. But who care? I have power now and no one couldn't touch me or take it away from me. It makes me so excited and I wouldn't know how far I am going from here just as my internal voice telling me I am the woman.
One reason was why I became so unique and free by the first-hand?
It pleases me but no for him.
My body belonged to me. It should be one self-life, passion, positive, which I recognized as a self-portrait; also as a witness of myself to be sure how much I would like to take it. I couldn't promise that but I'll be the only one to ask for it when the time was right.
I laughed again while Bonnie Raitt's Something to talk about hit my ears. For a few minutes, I paid attention to the song. It fixed right in me, and I gave a reply for what I felt but it wasn't all bad shuddering to it.
Thinking I had to allow to have a choice (it does necessary doesn't it?) Hell no. Not me. But it seemed to me that there were strong eyes that would give me inspiration, which others want to take it from me. I should give love to them, it would be more inciting sights and from it I would remained as a victim. He was something they should be gradually deceitful being free by me. I would see this as an approach where Richard had played a trick off me and he did not understand who the real value between him and me was. But that was an infallibly past. He always thought I will be the one of the under-neck. It drives me nut! What a delusion to be a Devil but not a woman.
I looked forward to it.
“So it is!”
Separated by the seducing look, I parked my blue convertible Mercedes 300sl Gullwing sport in from of the Beverly Century Club and got up.
For a moment I was shy of my impetus and over my hesitation all my thoughts had come up to stop. By any way these thoughts did not control me. While the valet parking attendant took the key of my car, I took a deep breath and moved forward to the entrance and came in.
I had intention to go to the lady bathroom but it was just an excuse to calm myself down. I decided to go the counter and fight for it. I did it well and that was very important. I walked swiftly to hallway and stepped on the right wing of a golden square. Drifting up into an unknown place, the atmosphere was wonderful, but I was still feeling that invisible hand of Richard was still over me. I looked around, breathing calmly as I did when I went to the gym. It was efficiently nice and there were a lot of people.
On control now, I became the woman again, the woman I wished tonight to accomplish. Deep, on that unique way, I positioned my body nearest men to see myself if I would show any sight of weakness. But no. Either when several guys looked at me and asked for a dance. I prolonged my self-esteem.
“No. I don't want to dance.”
“Why are you standing here for?” he asked me without any recommendations or a polite smile.
“I am just looking?” I answered to him knowing really about his reaction and false smile meant to me. He looked back but without saying any words he moved on his hunting. I hoped it wasn't any evidence across my face that I was out to fish any guy and took him with me to bed. But excitement was clearly in evidence as my heart beating so far by climbing up to this expectation. It was a long time ago that I didn't step into a club. That's somewhat a goal.
On my assignment I started to enjoy myself. I smiled a lot to my thoughts while I moved for a while by the beat of the music.
Suddenly, I turned my eyes. I don't mean it to be like that. But one knew how this could happen. My friend Carlotta who lived now in Japan had a name for it, “Thriller-madness howling’s reaction” or “crazy-bastard handsome eyes” or “it’s just a moment to step off” as Bonnie loved to say.
He was there as I prepared crossing to order a drink. I reached across the counter when his eyes followed me all the way down to the corner; and when I got there and his masculine figure leaned against the counter, he was smiling up at me. I knew right away that would be a serious match. But the word COWARD did not exist yet in my dictionary. I guessed so, therefore I wasn't sure what I meant by that.
“Can I have a glass of Spanish Sangria please?”
“Melted with ice?”
The Waiter looked at me and smiled and turned sharply. He knew about these eyes of mine. So newest; when they came out of this place, and being followed, those eyes always seemed to miss something. Mine were not and I reaffirmed his assumption when he brought the drink, but when I prepared to pay for it, the man just turned his head and pointed me over there where the Masculine figure was standing.
“That Gentleman paid for it”
I made a promise to myself to be the only one. That's all. I won't let any bastard in paying for my drinks. But I had stopped during a thoughtfully speech. “Why not?” I thought.
However, it had been so quickly and I refused myself to go on. I looked over my shoulder toward that Masculine figure and I gave a smile like “Thanks!” and then then I looked back at waiter.
“I'm sorry. I pay for my drinks!”
Nice guy, huh, it seemed what the waiter's eyes were saying when he stared at me, and then smiled.
“No problem”, about the same time he turned and left the money where I put them.
I've made a fool of myself. But I supposed it was the right thing to do. So I smiled when I was drinking. “So no problem”, I said to myself trying to forget this accident. Not really. It would not be the last decision of his, because in a few minutes later that Masculine figure came to me and anchored besides me. He just stood there, very quiet, smiling at me with passivity eyes. After a time he slightly turned his eyes toward me, and very still asking me if I want to dance. I tried to turn around, getting a little attention to my inwardly emotion. But it has begun to stroke me when I said yes and he, very slowly, took my hand and pulled me and led me the dance salon.
The music was too much for my ears, making me feeling uncomfortable. I found place to pick up the rhythmic but with tenderness from my uncomfortable being. I'm not made for hype music, that's all.
For me it was fun. Brought up all excited I was beginning to suck from my mind what could be next. So after that the music tunes changed into a slowly, perfect romantic sitting, and I still shy. Afterward trying in that slowly tempo I felt a little relax. I could not regard it as a motive as much as of the approval of getting to know him. At that moment when he held me closing and nestling against his, gently the nourishment mind of mine slowly went through a series of firmly drives searching his, too. His body pressed all along against my body. I could feel his through the rhythmic of the music and eventually it was swimming to that circumstance. I traced back and forth into my mind the regulation contact of his and my dry breathing at first, became as a suggestive nightmare of happenings.
My Goddess, I thought, at least, he was not going to be a bad dancer, much less as a murder or gentleman either, but a scholar executive judged his own movements and his statement, with honorable pause of taken as an example of circumstantial courtesy. I decided to let myself go. I started to enjoy his dance, but nothing became evidence in the proceeding into his head. Because the jazz was lovely and it helped me to relax without taking place behind any principle or exclusive secret. I enjoyed one of these intermissions of suggestive music and maybe one will be saying, of reservation, as his face slightly touched mine, where our eyes under the sparkling of discovery and silence understanding, I held them, like my hands now, that I were putting them on his shoulders. His arms were too high to be passive; but when he just squeezed my waist and I cried an “Ah!” I looked up into his eyes. I did not see anything there, nothing perverse. He was quiet, gentleman with some problems or wanderings? He really was enjoying what he was doing but he didn't want bring any suspicion before my eyes? My mind was a little drifted, yet without irony. He smiled to me as if everything would be all right from now on and that he was telling me his history and that music was nothing of his fancy. While I believed he was beginning to read my mind, too! I closed my eyes. Even though his quietness of face and his delighted gentleman's armor, I knew he felt also my body, my breast, my perspiration, my womanhood surrounded by perfumed scent and that unwillingly sexual excitement to be touched and quite unexpected. Just as that trembling of me so close that I felt the heat, and no longer I had no shy but the new sensation that his body--and mine-- squeezing throughout our dancing, it began to create an explosive answer to this night. I noticed it, but I didn't know if he felt my shuddering in this short period.
Like a soft drink at delicatessen, my vulnerable undesirable female's will, seemed to have a short lifetime. Gradually I see myself before the mirror--my mirror-- and there's more fear than courage. I thought I was fine; no incompatibility over a topped, unattractive slices of woman's achiness. Because this disposition was danger and it could violate any rule of mine. It also would give me the power I wish. I rocked to see if I have control as faster as I could see it a clear shot and that figure before me who was squeezing each step and corresponding it by the music, there's no any stupidity of form but just a man. He knew it as his breathe seemed to burn my neck was calmly but it was aroused me and awoke my feeling that I never thought he could.
But I was still on control while my first personality in front of that cleverness suffering a setback and it produced another dimension of me that I wanted to avoid, and excluding any law of seduction and radiation among him and me.
When the music stopped, we did not move. We remained motionless there in center of the dance floor like some dancers did. Selflessly I responded to willingness to see how far I could go. I shared it with a great deal of intimacy since he smiled in a gentling proof sight that it was up to me to admit it. The music started again. It was a little different that previous tunes. But like our thoughts, it wouldn't have effect over us.
“Can we rest for a while?”
“Sure”, he said, guiding me through the people dancing and where I have my glass of wine.
I listened with expectation his response that I'd be waiting for more words. He shut his mouth with a smile after he tried to fix his tie. And when my observation on the place was something a meaning to speak again, he just gave me a ray of smiling, drawing in a circle with his right hand, and shut off himself again. I said to myself, well, what a man!
Our conversation, however, moved in any direction and in front of anything muttering approach as well.
“You always behave like this?”
He smiled. “Like what?”
There was no sign that question would jump him forward and he would tell me all kind of bullshit what I heard from men before. Instead it moved him slowly in a short-term basis of opening his chest and bombing words against in a world of quietness. I dug into my head for another question. So I led forward to my drink with unnecessary move around him and to his side.
“Would you come often?”
“Spare my time. Sometime.”
“I can't hear you. Please speak more aloud.”
With apprehension and with his unmistakable scent of quietness and a gentleman, he said, “Sometime.”
Now the closeness of our bodies brought up a slightly but intensely sensation inside me. I tried to avoid his smiled eyes, I couldn't. But I was feeling good for myself of guiding it.
“The people keep coming and going. It's part of it, isn't it?”
“Right. Nothing is stable.”
There was a tension between his. And I missed the Revelation of his eyes because the darkness of the place. I smiled and he saw that I enjoyed it. Together with my womanhood and my decision and my free time, I could touch my power and that commitment to be always in control. But did he suspect it of me?
“Who are those people?”
“Can I hear you?”
“Like us. They are middle class losers and winners. All sound right.”
“Yes. I heard.”
“Like you. Story of what and when.”
“Go on. I drink on you.”
“I'm not a loser. Maybe.”
“Today? You're very handsome being one.”
“Not for long. I joy now.”
“I love this place. Some are unforgettable.”
“We are, aren't we? I pay it.”
“I like to do it. Tell me what?”
“Things could be unwillingness or inability.”
“To reveal the truth. She left you.”
“No, thanks. More ice, please. Say what?”
“Did you hear me?”
“Suppose I don't. But I imagine.”
“Why she did it?”
“What her? It isn't important. Losers are everywhere.”
Silence. He smiled. “You!”
“Can we dance?” I said without any way of understanding about this question. As a result, he looked at me, in a deep and satisfaction but discreetly cancellation under his quiet smile. Because I am encouraged to focus on him I came here to forget a past and have a good time. He swung his head toward the salon. I had been attempting to take his arm and pulled him back into it. As my own mission being the strong mind, the modern woman, and yet, it was hard to do it. Mainly until that gossip liberation of the twentieth century I was still expressing my motion “picture.”
He turned to me and very quiet, he said. “Would you like to go outside? I care to smell some fresh air. Walk.”
The invitation struck me. I didn't know why. Could it be that in my mind, my focus between him and his exploitation of gentleness could be misleading me? Yes, it did. He was a smart hunter. Not those hunting men with their aggressiveness destroy everything. Also he wasn't these boring guys either; because something of him was too much on control than that I was very pleased surprised to finding it in him. It would always be difficult, after I was spending with him seventy-three hours together; I confessed that I never knew him completely. He did not say much. He was a good dancer and a good listener and he was also a good lover all the way more than that “One” of mine.
He was, however, a stranger to me-- an exotic Prince of thousand oh three that made me screaming for more and more from him. For me he was still a desirable man looking to satisfy any women or me. He did and I was still looking for his return. He was really good and he listened to the heaven that was whispering over me.
I walked on the street with him and he made me very happy, whom I adopted his fantastic smile and calm of his over my personality. By returning it back, I had given to him my entire story. There was, for him my story was a discovery, and he found it like a splendor, and with a remarkably exaggeration by nature.
“What did you make fun of this?” I asked him interrupting my story.
“I am not a spectator Ivy, but a listener,” he said, always under that analytical shadow of his.
“Very well, I'm 25 years old, single, graduated of university, am a Protestant, and work in the business field.”
“Have you thought it is necessary?”
He interrupted me again with a handful of happiness and smile into his eyes, now dark blue that they seemed deeper in his face.
“Again? Yes?” I was saying very cheerful, enjoying myself looking at this Masculine figure entirely mine.
“Forget me. Please go on”, he said quietly.
“So... I was born in Yonkers, New York, to European immigrant parents, and grown up in San Diego, and I gained all teenage years back to San Fernando Valley. My mother died when I was then and I went to live with my father. Since I was ten years old, I was very an independent girl; I was always dreaming to be a businesswoman, the best on the field of Management. Maybe that was when I was seventeen before I finished my High School I told my daddy I would look for a job to have my own place to live. He told me I was not ready yet. Years passed. I began to hate my dad. Then I decided I’ll be a businesswoman consult of any power company. As I am now...so I finished my completed years of university. I never thought I have a beautiful image....” I look straight into his eyes.
At first he was waiting my sentences. But I repeated the phrase again, and he smiled. He got the message, but I did not catch any awkwardly feelings from him at all. Or anything that encouragement me see what he was feeling, proving what I say. I smiled back to it. He was really a cool guy, I thought, and without any guilty whenever I said about my “beautiful” image, I kept on. “Well, many lovers came into a little box but I could not turn someone head down. It happens. Year after my second anniversary and my hundred days in my job, I dated Someone. He was all.”
“It's a past.”
He looked at me able to do anything he wanted at that moment with me. At his instance I felt very weak. He was, anyhow, irresistible, wonderful being who was trying to be an innocent boy caught up in some illegal act. He really enjoyed my trembling voice and that rejection (without having it as disrespect) of my shaking.
“That's right. Now, well,” I looked at him openly. “I was in love with him but he didn't know as...one day, zap! I left him.”
I finished in a suspecting way that the truth was a whole unattractive goal. I was afraid he would ask me questions. But he did not. However I was not certain if everything I told him he had believed it as fact. As it was, of course, more short pan.
Aware that he was looking at me, for the first time, as I met back there in the Club, I caught him looking at me as a real woman, a woman, a being made by God only for pleasure nest.
His look-attitude was not like that. He came to me and held my hands.
“Where do you live? I can call a tax.”
“I have car!”
“I suppose another thing could happen.”
“So I'll take you back.”
For a half minute I asked him, when he got in my car because he wasn't have one. “Where do you live?”
“Oh, there is no problem. You can dropping me at Houser, three block down at La Brea. I can walk from there to my apartment.”
I could feel my heart beating into my chest. I had changed my mind again. This time three times. I turned the wheel and headed to my place.
“I'm wondering where you take me?” he asked me with his quietness voice. But I just looked at me and smiled.
For a half hour when I pulled off my car in the garage, he said conveniently silly. “I was kidnapping?”
But for me it was all I got. Casually I touch his face after he'd closed up the elevator. “Maybe...” and then, I remembered as I said it to him, “What were the things that have pleased you tonight?”
“You. I guess.”
This effect was unspeakable.
Today, for the first time when I did it, I’ve taken a closer look about this or at the whole finding, and getting that action as it was very well done. I can't help but myself to say I enjoyed that. Even though I am still independent from one of them and my lover past, his quiet manhood still like foreplay and teasing before me.
I suppose I determined to do that and being expressed by my own feelings and previously thoughts along with this all-matter concern that were really counted. Perhaps, I still loved him, and I meant, with Victor, or Vincent or Daniel or Felix. Perhaps he would be part of a past, too, which was easy to step ahead. And that was all what I wanted to said -- because I was not free at all as the first time I was born.
Since the last time I saw Dr. Falam before my third examination and after that traumatic shock of pregnancy, I have not being affective to my sexuality and as a haze, the idea did come to me that night in Hawaiian Bay. I was surprised and little aback.
Oh, what a moment! I confessed to my Therapist Nancy. For a few minutes we laughed a little. Laughing like two crazed friends, we drank homemade Mexican Margarita and I felt so good.
“And you are not in that vice of suffering,” she told me in a family way.
For the first time, I realize that life was not so bitch after all. You know the Old cliché: You're old and a waste to start a new family.
At that moment as good as Nancy said that I cried. Not as an old-fashioned way, but rather I cried because I don't want to miss everything. I'm not a young bitch but a forty-seven-two-year-old woman, and I feel so dammed dry sometime. I am active and I like to give David’s phallus that pleasure or anything else.
“You will be just fine,”
Nancy replied as we were spreading ourselves along the courtyard on her Monte Nido home. I've been thinking it will be fine like that and tomorrow. I got up and I was little drunk. We both understood it. I don't have to send anyone to fuck off. I go out of the pool and dry and I wanted to go home. And we both understood tomorrow I will be just fine.
Months later many times, I say to myself today this pain will go away and there will be a beginning out there better than this one. In order for me to better understand now my spirit and how it works I cry a little more. But if the psychological problems afield what is my other choice? How I know what I am doing is right to my weight and to my sexuality? Where are my ends? I cannot relocate my passion by looking at the moon, identifying colors as a teen in love.
I am forty-seven for God's Sake Ivy! What is the problem?
I think I am in the need to feel my surroundings, and I am dying with desire. I see I lost the simple ability of “feeling” when I was battling with alcohol and drugs, such as making myself aware of movements and the truth. I'm persisting in the touching the Concept of interacting, expressing, focusing on any visual that brings pleasure. No! It's difficult to read that sensation and my wondering is the perception of being. Why have I to pass to these silly changes in personality and mood? Why I cannot feel as a teen feel? Wild, careless, and hot!
I must confess I hate myself: By body, my breasts, so disgusting and large, and without any grace and movements, and when I looked at those voluntary movements of waist (oh, my God! ) My buttocks are like a muddy hill: Ugly! Although no human could have such ugliness thickly as mine, I must tell myself one day I'll remove those chin and lifts, this hip and thigh lipo I am going to show the world that a new being is born.
At this moment Bonnie and Alex exchanged looks between them.
“Ivy! What the hell you are talking? Are you telling us you want to go under plastic knife?
“I am fat.”
More shocking among them.
“You’re talking nonsense Ivy.”
“I am not Alex.”
‘Is David involved with it?”
“What is the bloody problem? You have said he has been over you since you met him and he has made love with you with such passion?”
“I want to change.”
“To please whom Ivy.”
Bonnie and Alex were puzzled and impossible to follow.
“Where are you going Ivy?”
“I lost my appetite.”
I got up from the table. I fished some money and tossed them on table.
“I have to go.”
Outside I breathed. I knew they would not understand. What should they? It was part of destiny. It's just because I can lose my day and time, and I am going to do it for myself. I am not a teen, and definitely I am not a street picker.
At this moment, I got a telephone call.
“Do I expect you tonight?”
I was so damned nervous. I was before a thirty-eight-year-old god. For the first time I recognized it. Oh, this is crazy, I say this molestation! Do I care?
Are you acting always like this?
Like Vertummus and Pomona or the immortal feebler
That we could not match?
Rather, he took my glass and drank the poison. We both laughed. I am finding the opportunity to walk and to control myself. I am not a nanny and not either a babysitter.
The smell of oyster was remarkable salty and tasting. And for the last ten minutes I was just a story-teller, a way of delivering my fine trust.
And you the real Ivy I know?
No, well yes. I say... I am designed Ivy! I replied. Do you like to see me thin?
Excuse me? Thin? Slender?
Well, there is the natural quest of tasting.
What was that?
Wait Ivy! Are you testing me?
No! Why should I? My question is yes or no.
Well, I am astonished what I see and it would be hard to see otherwise.
“Yes or no David?”
“No Ivy! I met you as you are and I keep on it.”
“I’ll do it. I look awful.”
“Are you serious Ivy?”
“Please you do not spoil it.”
“You just got this wrong.”
“Yes! You David.”
He looked at me a total surprise.
“I am a little lost here.”
What happened next that I just blew his mind away?
I got to my feet and walked away.
“You what? Did you break with David?”
“Yes Bon. This past week.”
Bonnie came into my cubicle and rested her lovely buttocks against my desk.
“Please Ivy tell me why?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
Alex reached my cubicle carrying a series of wedding dress matches.
“I am here Alex.”
“I haven’t seen you coming Ivy.” She held. “What is going on?”
“Ivy thrashed David.”
“What! Is true Ivy?”
“Please guys! What the hell!” I looked at Alex as she looked at Bonnie. “What?”
“I am pregnant Ivy and two weeks from on, Pirjo and I will marry in at Las Vegas.”
It was hard for me to accept it.
No! I can’t.
“We thought you and David and Bonnie and Corneilus to join us honorable boys and girls.”
I got up and moved out of the cubicle. I went to the restroom and locked myself into one of them. I began to cry. A moment later, I heard Bonnie and then Alex.
“Please go away!”
I did not know how many minutes I had been sitting at the toilet, but when I moved out Bonnie and Alex were still there.
“We can talk after work. It’s Friday and we can take our time.”
“I will leave earlier.”
“None is broken and this happen every time.”
“You were so suddenly.”
“I’ll see you Monday.”
“Then you won’t be at my wedding,” Alex said kept holding those matches. “I will give it to you. In case you change your mind.”
By the time I reached my car I got three messages from David and this one sounded a little. I guess it’s a real especially when I tell you are the one.
I closed my eyes tightly but I have not strength to reply this one. Believe it or not, I do not know what to say.
I reached home and I was so jumpy. I did my exercises like a crazy person as I tried to shut myself before this world. I couldn’t.
Quickly I went into the bathroom and stood before the mirror. A moment later I had made up my mind. One on either side of my abyss was Ivy and I. I lowered my hand and touched myself. Down there I felt nothing. There was dryness. Since my dry season such series and minding thoughts that my body was beginning to slow down, reaching among the sincere and misguided sense I am getting old, I began feeling the dryness again. Now in my heart, the pain, through the effects of thinking, feeling, movements, and behavior, I seemed I was losing myself.
Next day I tried to see Nancy. We spoke and she saw my manic feature again. There was no drinking or smoking but a long lecture of defense and outcome. The recycle of living had stopped, and that was so weird, and I was anger. At the same time it was so immature of being so weak. She diagnosed me with major depression and anxiety disorders and for the past six months I've been taking Prozac. One year before this sexual impulse stopped and over a few days I developed a fancy of being well, not guilty for my pain but penetrated by ants and Australian creatures.
This began to ruin my head.
Are these nights part of a rainfall, where a bird was flying over me as a phantom to personify himself as an evil? Where there was a fear to the darkened nights that terrified me. But I was doing my best to float; picking sounds that could be part of this understanding ground, shaking under my feet the bad sleeping and my wet sleeping that always awake me!
What form of control do I have on those dreams where I see myself so young, so beautiful, and I surrounded as a pool fills with fished and shrimps.
I was not crazy and I didn't have any particular reason to become a crazy being, especially if by so doing it I could have something thing, I knew there would be a waiting period. Which one, I must ask?
Now I was before this grace of dryness.
I have no lovers.
No coming season just the falling, the falling for which those moments brought to me such pain.
Then I stop.
It took me more than three hours for things that meant balance, but every once in a while I felt all insides shaking with hunger and I was so encouraged following through.
Another time I couldn't urinate and all that pass or hold it was like burning sun. It's not at all uncommon for me to tell it to my doctor. There were no urinary infections or any bad unknown agents, she said. But there was that dry, itching monster and the tenderness when I try to think about it.
After our session Nancy said it was the premium's place of origin virgin we're laughing at Dori's house. She was fifty-nine, a modern's day active soul, with a baby as a lover, giving account between good grasses and rum someone among us makes a joke I was uncertain if was Misty I had never met her and let her to tell me the story.
“I was going to drink to that,” Peggy, sixty-one, said, sucking the grass with gusto, another active soul next to her Latino lover, Victor.
Me, too, I followed Micaal, and there was a look on me. I was crying.
All have lovers except me...
I thought it too. What the hell! I was going to have a great time at Dori's house and I was a little drunk, not horny, but relaxed as I was increasing the need of what I am. Everyone was laughing! I can't help telling them my stories and those damned dreams.
Everyone was laughing!
I could tell them more stories wishing them to understand.
Today was my birthday and I would drink for that.
Sarah Vaughn was singing, More Than You Know, from the old 1950 Jukebox.
"Yes Ivy?" he said as he walked along the narrow pathway behind the counter. "I'm here babe."
"Give me another."
Tony grasped an old bottle of Bourbon under the counter and poured half liquor in the glass.
Without looking, I raised my hand. I made a move indicating my glass to fill it up. Tony followed it without seeing a word and then watched me, but I did not have any intention to look at him, who had become a regular face during those tumultuous months.
My face reflected in the mirror. I lifted the glass and drank halt of it, then I slid down the glass onto the counter. I tasted the liquor as I let it ran down through my throat. I then went to my own position, burning the floor with my red eyes.
"Get the hell outta here!" I roared. "I'm not in the business of pleasure!"
He stared at me as he giggled drunkenly.
“I should not! Beat it, will ya?"
From the opposite side Tony made sighs to a blonde man to leave me alone, but he rolled in like a poisonous rattlesnake in the sunny desert just as I turned with aggravate attitude.
"Hey, I tell ya! Shoot it somewhere else! You'll find a hundred of blowers around Mares Street!"
"You don't have to be so damn crude!"
"Please, Claudio stops it," Tony said, reaching out a pin of beer. He put it in front of him. "Take it! And go!"
"Tony, I'm not begging you for a lazy drink or to anybody else. I got money. I just want to have a conversation, you know?" the man named Claudio Sender said, striking me with his eyes heavily filled with street desire. His eyes now fell as if they were jetliner's wings. "Who thinks she is, Cleopatra or Celina or something?"
"You right-me in again, I'll make you part of a TV show, you mug tipper!"
He glances up at me.
"What did you call me?"
"Hey, this is a free country and I can be anywhere."
"No, you are not! This is my joint and I can throw you out, Claudio. I got right to do so."
"I'm a citizen and I’ve voice with my amendments."
"Perhaps," I shouted out," but the kind does not matter. What matter is to leave me alone?"
"You're a female animal."
I hammered the counter with my flat right hand, turned tightly, my eyes glued unclear against Claudio's face, "So what? That isn't you goddamn business," I hissed. "Even if I am that kind, I won't uncouth it before you!"
I was not angry with him, but I was angry what was happening to me, and this balance of what I was doing in drinking.
Tony realized in this particular moment he recognized I was not in the mood.
Claudio had done it before. He understood there was more from me. Not a last stance for men like Claudio because Tony had known a lot of them around him, including this particular one named Marlisa, a Los Angeles singer.
Claudio continued until Marlisa noticed I had drunk the last drops of my Bourbon.
Silently she moved toward him, stopped directly beside him, her eyes fixed on his strong neck.
Quickly, Claudio gripped her by the neck, forcing her look at him. "So what?"
She tried to turn her head away from him but Claudio's fingers squeezed her as he stared at her angrily.
"You have changed, Claudio! You were so sweet... so kind, a gentleman..." Suddenly he pushed her. She glanced back at him and turned away. “Perhaps that fat one would give you what you are looking for.” She looked at pin of beer and grasped it and moved to right. “You owned be that much!”
"You'll forgive me, Tony," I said quietly after a long thinking, gathered my control with a dried gaze, and made a gesture toward the empty glass, as they looked at each other in a different style of recognition that this would not happen again and what I meant.
“You should think it will be enough.”
“I will tell you, Tony.”
Yet Minutes past I did not say anything else to Tony, who was carrying the bottle of Bourbon, poured liquor in my glass. He looked at me with a dead fashioned era in it his green eyes. "Well?"
"It's nothing, Tony.”
"It does Ivy," he said quietly, doing his best not to look or to tilt his head toward me, proving it with such an act of weakness. "I was saying so only out of thinking to that past. The best way you can hold some kind of decision and happiness."
"You never care for that Tony!"
"You may care Ivy then.”
“You are my friend. The only thing I mind about this time is to be left in peace with my feeling and pain."
"Why it is so damned important Ivy after too many years? I mean --it's been a long time since I declared my inclinations for you."
"Only four years Tony!”
“Godman you Ivy! Four damned years aren’t enough for you! Have you forgotten it Ivy when you tell you about that asshole Richard? It's not a long time yet uh? December 24! Tell me, Ivy, it's gone out of your head, woman? I would everything for you without any comment here in this place!"
"I feel awfully sorry for you by thinking in the way you're thinking Ivy. I really am. I thought the sooner it's over the better for everybody, but you are still coking on that. I wasn't belonged to you anymore Ivy. Believe me! I was in pain like I am now."
"Then I shall say you try to make more impeachable."
"Of course not Toney,” I said remembering those days. “I could not. Tony, this isn’t you."
"Tell me the truth Ivy."
"What now Tony?"
"If you have one loved me, would you be here now?"
"What does it mean now Tony? What's that?"
"Please Ivy. Answer me that."
"Do you want the truth?"
"Honestly, I’ve never loved you Tony. You were so brutal with me and you were so damned arrogant to give me everything without knowing my past, thinking by buying jewelry and spoiling me like a child there would grow love in my heart. I can say there was in your initial what a woman needs and then you just were acting scornful and immortal."
I was suddenly sober while my face shadowed underneath the dimly bulb light of the ceiling, and my still eyes in red, my hands were resting like cat, as if I were going to jump over Tony.
"Now I'm out of your pity."
Tony dropped his eyes on that shadowy drawn of my face as I was unable to find his eyes.
I felt tears in my eyes. “You asked me for the truth."
"That is not the whole truth and God has mercy on your soul Ivy, and you know it! Whatever it is you still loved me." Now he leaned a little over the counter. "I know you, didn't I Ivy? That day back there in that booth," he indicated the booth with a movement of his head," you told me about Richard. It appeared to break your heart with that bimbo, remember? How stupid was that when you tried to tell how stupid you were?"
"That was a mistake."
"Yes Tony! I was jealous of you... "
"I was jealous of me Ivy? Are you kiddin' me now? For God's sake Ivy! I was your lover before you met Richard and she was so attached to my words! How possible you were jealous of me, woman?"
"I was Tony! Don't you get it?"
"No Ivy! I do not! Jeez!"
Tony held my eyes. He looked very much down; not only about that old thought of jealousy and during the years beside Richard. He still afflicted with Richard’s fairness and my pure love toward him, who never had considered him as a truthful lover, which seemed to have a special virulent germ inside his heart. But positively, somehow, Tony recognized, I had loved Richard.
The fact that I never, at the best of my times and my fear with Richard, had been very well-groomed by him, but in such play game of soul and body, and Tony always had believed he would give me the best gift by acting as my angel. Sometimes I would lie for Richard’s affection and I would tell him things only I would like him to hear.
Tony never thought it as an assurance of superiority before him. And yet, in my heart (Tony's heart) I was all for Richard until the last summer I told Tony I had enough of being loved Richard without any return. That moment, Tony felt so good. He had that thought that I would ask him to come with me, but I was ready a messy young woman.
"You lie to me Ivy."
"You haven't changed a bit Tony. You're still the same man some women will dream to find. You’re haughty, cavalier."
Tony turned to serve a client.
Frank Sinatra replaced Steve Tyrell's With All Of Me.
I looked after him.
"Tony?" I called up his name.
"I wonder whether you knew also that I was pregnant."
Tony served the client. He deposited a platter with peanuts. He charged his forty-five and twenty cents. He backed up. "Yes. You told me all in the letters. You’ve all of them Ivy."
"Not all letter I hope."
"I got all the letters Ivy? You wrote them with a single name Ivy and what was going to through you. I told you I didn’t care but you called as you always have called brutal and with too much love. You go figure!”
I grinned. “You also have the letter I wrote it to you on the day of her delivery and later her death."
"I tell you I got all." Tony hit the surface of the counter with his cleaning towel, but that action was a message. "What are you trying to tell me Ivy? It had been a long time. Four years remember? I might have forgotten all about it when I saw you crossing that door."
"I am not! If you have burned them when I asked, I would not come here.”
“You never asked me to burn the letters before. What are you thinking?"
"Damn you! If I told you I would need to have a break from all of these you would not agree."
"Right off before that letter of your problem, I guess that Nancy, I was ready."
"Oh Tony, you're a sick bastard!"
"I could have made you happy Ivy, but you never ever seen inside me, though we made several times to together," he said calmly. He lifted his personal glass underneath counter and drank. Moving back, Tony stopped across the counter. He turned back to me. “Why are you here?”
"Why I shouldn't?”
“It will be better to tell me.”
“I could ghost you to see."
"Perhaps,” Tony answered. “But you know the reason well. All your letters are mine. I will not burn them or I will not give them to you."
"I see." I paused but I was afraid to look at him. I did. "Now tell me the truth Tony."
"About why what exactly Ivy?"
"Tell me, what, Tony?”
“You tell me Ivy.”
I stared at him womanly. “That I was really mad about you, that I was waiting for you all night in that hospital to save me after my life appears to close out? That I was sure you were unfaithful with your own brutal honest toward Richard? That I was pregnant for your babe and you didn't care? And that I have to tell you lies after lies about you being busied in your own blindness? That is what do you want to hear Tony? I am sick and tired to be putting between men Tony! You never have given me a thing about what I felt! You have always used me to show I was my fault. You destroy me to send me to other man’s arms. You seem to destroy me everything you built."
"You are twisting all these now Ivy,” he said. “Have you hated so much now?"
"Well not anymore Tony. I'll speak. Yes, goddamn it! I loved you! I tell you now Tony! I always have loved you when you introduced me to Richard back there. I would be happier with you. Oh, no. I loved you... the handsome boy from San Barbara... the tall dandy. And now, fuck you!"
Suddenly I got to my feet as I turned to leave.
"What are you going?"
"Don't you hear me Tony? I’m leaving. I've done with my life, serving my own soul with nonsense and listening to my sadness... my loneliness... my jealousy. I should have done this long time ago..."
"No, no...Hey Ivy! I don't want you to go like this.” My eyes troubled. "Ivy, please. There are plenty of us back there."
"No, Tony. It's me. Ivy! This isn’t my world. And there is plenty of me who need to breathe again."
"For God's sake Ivy!"
"You know I came here to have a drink and to let you to make love to me. You appeared to spoil everything Tony. You still loved me. It's time to put an end of this and move on."
"Not like this Ivy. Why don't you and I walk?" I halted as I heard him again. “What do you think?”
I watched the dilemma from the clients lined up along the counter demanding drinks and the bills, such as Tony had just removed his apron. I had been doing a lot of thinking. What I wanted of myself - to join the list of guilt and hostility toward David and now Tony? He was the only individual who had helped me when I arrived in Los Angeles from New York City when I finished my schooling, and the one who had convinced me that there was a new world of being her own boss, but that never had been materialized what he tried to tell me. He didn't have Richard's charm and David’s talent or voice. Tony did not have woman or kids. He was lonely like a bachelor, thinking constantly in the past, about a woman he met somewhere in Santa Catalina Island as if all had been broken there and there was no link to a tomorrow. Besides, he did not have that handsome face of Richard, who during these years it seemed unchangeable. He was short, and his face was not a modeling star and he had lost a lot of time behind this counter showing me he really love me. And yet Richard did not appreciate his friendship, his honesty. From what Tony had said Richards was really a man of guilt.
If there was something, anything at all, I wondered, that what he said would contribute if his love for me was truth, then he would stay and both of us would staring at the past.
Later evening, when he closed for the tonight, he looked at me. "Once you told me I was just as narrowed as short sighted," Tony said as he brought a bottle of the best stuff and popped it up. "I thought it was a joke. You said it to me in front of Richard that day. You know, it hurt me so much Ivy I closed myself out. It really hurt me. Now it doesn't matter. I was not born to be together. I learned my lesson..." Tony filled his glass and lifted it up to his lips. He drank it once gulp. "So long Ivy!" he said as his eyes were filled with tears.
“Don’t toss me like that.”
“It’s not me Ivy.”
“Yes. You’ve come here for you.”
“No, that was not truth.”
“Yes is it.”
He turned off the last light and led to the door. Outside, I do not realize I was telling it to you as a way of inspiration.
“I want to be with someone Tony.”
I notice a car parked across the reserved spot and a woman had got out and remained next to the car.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me."
"Please, Tony! Don't go like this!"
Tony slowly backed up and walked to the car. He kissed her and he got in.
Suddenly I felt so damned lonely. I looked at the bottle of whisky. As I was about to drink, a star fell. I glanced at the site the star had fallen.
A moment later, I had spent a great deal of hell thinking what I was going to do as I came over to the car and moved in. I sat behind the wheel.
Without knowing what I was doing, hours later, I was before a graveyard. I found her and I kneeled the white marble.
I began to drink from the bottle. Somewhere I could see my mother laughing, smiling, cursing, or just moving slowly from me until I passed off.
It was morning when I came to myself. I cried a little and kissed her marble and moved to my place. Bathed and dried I lay on bed. I was thinking.
Slowly, I slipped off bed and dressed. I selected a relaxed-fit stripped tunic one of those drop-shoulder styling, crochet edging and side slits. I was easy with makeup and hair stylish. I let my hair cascaded over my shoulders and I done with it.
I called off from my office.
Hours later, I was being driven to Half Moon Bay along a hill street near the beach. Before an old face, its wood dried and painted in white, I pulled my car. I left the car and stood there. I looked off.
I remember my mother standing there in the large porch watching me.
I walked toward the house after an absence of fifteen years. At that particular moment, as I might have expected but I was afraid of what it could happen, I did not see my father there, and suddenly I sensed a cold feeling hide through these years broken over me; it was a well-founded feeling that had such parent-child love: hostility, jealousy, passion, as well as the fondness and that combination of confusion being before this sad moment.
In that way, after months of intensive thinking and reconciliation and preparation, I have returned home. A woman, having no husband whose life was still shaking, but I still a daughter would be able to handle things right. I feel vulnerable in front of this depth and complexity of parenthood and filial understanding. I do believe there would be a reason. For instance in the way I left daddy as if I were a thief, breaking hearts.
My daddy had never refused to choose me as such, and that was what he did not allow me being part of that part. He took my departure without anger, and not accepting any emotion for what I have done. During the past years, a young woman without soul, I realize I had missed both of them (my mother left me when I was ten and my daddy), and I could put on indifference just because my daddy had not preference how handle my angry.
Was this a complex and contradictory feeling of parents and child’s love to a grown woman, while the other has emerged as a disable? I did not know, but what I knew I could not forget what I had done. And now I know I loved my dad and mom very much.
At the same time, I wished to delete that past, bury deep in rocky hills, for which my purposes in a hurry had now an objective point, a care, a man named David (I’ll hope still love me) with love, and a child on its way. Is this what I want? Is this my own redemption before them, especially my dad during his suffering and my lack of consideration? Time would tell, but the important dedication is that I am here, alive, a woman --greater than anything before.
Slowly, I smiled at my stepmom, and slowly I opened my arms letting her to come to me. Gently, very gently, I squeeze her fragile body as if she were my mom. I know through letters for the past years she does not feeling well. I heard her crying. I let her to look at me, touching my face, all through her tears, fat and salty, as they are running from her wrinkled face, that I am holding it now after years --this face that seems to be made up at this particular moment entirely for me -- and that it has been a reward in heart. And me --I am just watching her, watching her face and her eyes, her long and black hair, which now it was completed white, which she bundled it up and explained nothing else than an old woman wanting to meet her maker soon. As I touched her white hair with so delicacy, I am thinking for myself what a sacrifice has been chosen for years to make her strong and what meaning of God’s Principle has been built in this moment of peace of hope before her stepdaughter? Yet, my dad had replaced my real mother quite well.
“Ivy!” she said, her voice sound with that flattered sound of her health, coughing a little, making a long gap between her words. “Should I have thought anything else about you changing?
“Time is all, Mom,” I said, taught myself to make the best of it. “It may be a gift of changing, I guess” I looked around when I have not seen yet my daddy.
“You are right about that,” Lorayne observed.
“How are you doing, Mom?”
“I’m fine. The so-called matter of waiting” She smiled and her smile was so beautiful as it was a God’s image and likeness, both matter and spirit, both good and the belief that she had reached a level of peace and that there was not any illusion of physical weariness, and I am really loved that smile of her. I really do as I recognized there was another smile from a ten-year-old who was still there.
She smiled again, and a bright future seemed to eclipse beyond her and beyond everything life, just as I turned my eyes toward Diane, my stepsister and a future mom herself.
Stepmother introduced her as Mrs. Diane Bojorquez. I saw her smile grew; her pallid face filled with blood and her slowness a little high.
“Mom has to introduce you as my sister,” she said.
Diane and I embraced, kissed at each other, and there were more smiles as Diane announced to me she’s expecting her first child –her first child from her husband Ernest Borjorquez together after three years of marriage, December 2001.
And then there was calm, and we were there, silent, looking at each as if we were only understood the value of the quietness.
And finally, I asked her that question I’ve been rehearsed for years.
“Where is Daddy, Mom?”
“He’s in the stable.”
“Is he all right?”
“Yes. He is.”
“Then he saw me coming.”
“I quite sure he did.”
“Why there? Is he there because of me?”
She looked at me. There was no reply. She just looked at me waiting for me to speak. Then she walked me to a sofa, and we sat. “No, Ivy. It’s not about you.”
I knew it was. I did not call her or him I would come. All his calls he made to me had been unanswered.
It never occurred to me at this moment he could be anything different. I completed my interrogation as if she were a criminal element before a pretty thief who had returned and wanted to fill with guilt those gasps left behind. Now I wanted to convey to others, especially her. I saw tears again and at this time they were not enjoy. What kind of right do I have in front of her? Did I suffer more than her? Did I have right to tell I was just a young woman I left? Is this effect of my changing?
But I didn’t realize I was hurt her, making her now to cry with bloody tears, choosing nothing that pity. Yet there were times -- at least once in a while --when my thoughts raced beyond my expertise and hostility in which I am still having that anger.
“What if I were Diane, Mom?” I asked her as she stood staring there at me so frightened. “What if I were Diane? Will he be in the room? I mean I am his daughter, too. But that he did not occur to him I have feeling, too.”
“God, you are still having that awful past inside you, Ivy.”
“No, Mom! No!”
“How silly it must be! You think too much about that. That isn’t going to work before him, understand? He won’t identify it. You left him, Ivy! I am different from him, because I am your wife and a woman who has been trying to fill your gap and yours! And notion of such a possibility you must consider it, you tore him apart.”
Slowly, but with energy, she turned and went out the house. As I was there, trembling, thinking I have lost my last attempt to make peace with my stepmom and my dad.
She stopped, and gently I put my two hands around her shoulders. And gently I turned her to me.
“I am sorry.”
She smiled. But that smile was not the same as the previous ones. It’s a dry.
“Can I see him?”
“Not yet Ivy. I fix you a hot mug of chocolate. Soon or later they will be here.”
Yes of course I don’t want being alone with them. This had not been made for me, but for the rest of the family. Frank and his wife Karen are unknown for me, and their kids and Danny. All illusion flattered again.
“They are your sister and your brother Ivy.”
But my mother did not hear me as she was moving into the kitchen. Diane glanced at me and rubbed my shoulder. I glanced back at her; she smiled. I smiled back.
“It will be all right Ivy. You will see it.”
A quarter to five Frank arrived with his wife and their five kids. My stepbrother had grown bigger and there was a moment of expectation and inverted feeling between him and me, but this was not my concern. I favored Dianne before him. I think it has nothing to do she was a girl, because she would be always by my side when I tell her my real story. My stepbrother had that broad smile like my dad since we were kids and very honest. He was not heavily with ugly pimples. He was handsome, tall, and so sweet, but I hated him when my dad made it official of being my brother. Now, he was so distant, but his smile was still the same.
He embraced me spontaneously.
I cried a little after many years I had not seen him. I did not mind for which he let nothing to think out as a past. My sympathy in my heart was a little suspicion at first. By then he introduced his wife and his children. I noticed too Karen was expecting -- a girl, his wife replied quickly as a challenge of natural selection, while it was not decide yet from our doctor.
Diane’s husband Roman was a nice person. Karen told us (Diane and I) alone after a call from Lorayne in the kitchen that he would be a little later.
An hour later, the fellow arrived. He was slender-built, serious fellow, with deep brown eyes who had filled my stepsister’s day with love and promises and a house filled with a dreamed house somewhere in Fresno.
In Karen was different. My stepbrother had filled with kids and built a house in Oklahoma. It never occurred to Karen after many boys that life could be anything but happy with Frank. She worked as a consult for Matter’s Family Clinic and after too many years of loveliness she finally found my stepbrother and married him in a hurrying day in Las Vegas’ Sunshine. The reason was my Karen was already pregnant.
But there were times up and down--angry, despair, irritation--all then sadness, surprise, and love, which all with that combination of tenderness and understanding. I guess that is what a marriage is about isn’t it?
“It’s a nice guy, Ivy. I was expecting to see you in our official baby shower. Did not you receive my letters?”
“I was out of this world. I am sorry,” I replied.
“It‘s all right. It‘s a past. How is with you then?”
“I am pregnant but I do not have a man.”
“That isn’t cool Ivy,” Dianne said.
“Do you know who is?” Karen asked.
Karen and Diane exchanged looks. “You are quite different.”
“You just disappeared,” Diane said as she tried to change the subject.
“Yeah. I did.”
“Are you still mad with our father?”
“I grew older, Diane.”
“But you are still thinking about that indifference and treating from him toward you.”
I crossed my legs.
We were at the corner of the living room. I was able to see my stepmother and my stepbrother talking in the hallway while Karen’s kids and her Diane’s husband playing.
“I do, Diane. I thought today…”
“Mom told us.”
“What about Frank?”
“He does not care much about it Ivy the way you do. He almost forgets how you look like. Honestly, it’s timing to me and our kids.”
“I thought I will be the first to say that.”
“It’s a past. Jesus, Ivy!” Diane exclaimed.
And there was my hostility, giving her such a mental breakdown of pain.
“I am your sister, Ivy! I got the same blood of yours!” she said almost with tears in her eyes. “Frank is your brother! We love you very much since pop told us the real story and you should focus on something else. For instance that child is inside you. What is your problem with you?”
Less than forty minutes later, about seven-ten showed in the wall clock, Vincent arrived. He was all that started. He was my real brother. My mother’s guilty. He was able to walk supporting himself by his two clutches fitting under his armpits, with the dedication of his wife Cynthia, who had given him two beautiful boys. He stood, with that radiant face, in the middle of the room. He had not changed a bit. He was the star of the family. A renaissance man --he was good in sport, school, and job, almost everything --he was perfect, and my father loved him deeply. But when the war with Iraq broken, Frank refused to go. It was Frank’s medical condition as an excuse in which he would not go to reveal. My father told him it was nothing and he had to go, and that he should let Danny to keep moving to his heights. Frank refused again angrily and somehow, Danny went to war. Three years later, he returned as a hero without legs --and the relationship with my dad and Frank since that day had been broken.
Does it happen to me?
I don’t know, and what I know now seeing him there, standing with his two prosthetic legs, he was filled with happiness and he was very healthful.
Filled with enthusiasm and energy, he looked at me. I was waiting. I did not know how it would be his reaction.
Abruptly, as it was a jump from his wife, he left the crunches and walked several steps toward me. It was magic. Everyone was expecting he was going to fall.
“Ivy! Ivy! I was waiting for this moment to show I am walking again!”
I walked a little toward him and embraced him, but his hug of his was strong, almost fortified by how strong was he indeed. He kissed me, and he looked at me and then, there were his tears.
“My little Ivy! I miss you!”
As I was exploring into his eyes, in that moment, our father appeared, as he found us like that.
I did not say a word. Our father looked at me. Everybody was silent as his sturdy and brawny persona was moving toward us.
I began trembling. I felt Danny’s hand squeezed my body, and then my father opened his long arms, and he hugged me as if I were a little kid, an independent girl.
I said, “Dad! I thought…”
“You are a woman!” he said.
And he did not say anything else; I was just looking at him. We looked at each other under Danny’s eyes, and I think you need to understand this part, but I would not tell.
My dad held me, and smiled.
And he said finally, “Let’s eat first, and then we can talk later. We have too many things to catch up!”
We walked down the flowery pathway where we could see the watery coast. We looked like two beings attached to the mind, two admirers who grabbed our heart. And one tinny thought seemed waving from the hill as long I felt it was all right for both of us.
I smiled at the face of my dad.
“You have been difficult Ivy.”
‘I know dad. I know.”