I tried to wrap my head around working with a bunch of criminals. I’ve two problems, I don’t anything about work. And, I’ve only met white collar criminals who have expensive lawyers like Pettibone who get them off. I wish I were in my favorite grade in school, kindergarten. I fell in love with Ms. Apple the moment I saw her. I asked mother after the first day of school if I could marry Ms. Apple. Mother thought I was cute. She told Father about about my request at dinner.
Father said, “Son, don’t get sexually involved with a woman who is only a teacher. She’s well beneath our status. Yes, the sex may be great, but the buzz will wear off after a while.”
What the hell was Father talking about. It was the first time either one of them mentioned the S word. I looked at Mother and she was shaking her head in agreement.
When Father finished speaking, she said, “Martin, teachers are poorly paid and they have the misguided notion they can make a difference. She’ll tell you she’s on the pill but don’t believe her, she’ll want to have your baby.”
“Mother’s right, Son. She’ll drag you out of our circle and pull into her lower class hell. Don’t worry, you’ll meet lots of upper class, beautiful, rich girls, who don’t care about making a difference, love to shop, and go on worldly excursions.”
I didn’t say anything, I went to my room and pulled the pillow over my head. I think I would have died if Mother hadn’t sent Maria, my wet nurse, in to soothe me. I just blew my mind. I think I’m having a breakthrough. I discovered why I’m obsessed with women’s breasts. It’s Mother’s fault for not letting me marry Ms. Apple. And, it’s Father’s fault for talking about sex with me when I was only five years old.
I heard voices in the outer office. J was taking attendance and giving instructions. I love that woman. I looked around my room. I counted four coffee colored with a touch of cream leather chairs and a matching Italian leather Chesterfield sofa. How was I going to keep my mind on work, whatever that was, when every chair and the sofa reminded me of the woman who was going to have my babies.
J came through the door and I entered a trance like state. She walked to me and all AI wanted to do was put my arms around and kiss her beautiful lips.
“Get your head in the game, Artin. It’s go time. You got to work with the group. They is waiting for you in my office. She put two hands on the bottom of my tee shirt and pulled it down.
“There, you’re ready. Check to make sure your fly is zippered,” said J turning toward the office door.
I said, “Will you stay and hold my hand?”
J said, “For God’s sake, it’s your group. I will not be in here to help you.”
I watched J walk back into her office. My mind only processing how I can win her eternal love. I wondered if eternal love can be bought. I made mental note to ask Mother or Father.
J opened the door and stepped in. She closed the door behind her. I held on to a faint hope she’d accepted my invitation for dinner and drinks.
“Artin, listen up.”
“Will you please call me Martin or M, but not Artin. Thanks for agreeing to go dinner and drinks with me after work,” I said.
“I don’t like the name Martin for reasons I will not divulge to you today, tomorrow, or ever. I will never call you Martin. I will call you doctor M. Does that satisfy you? No, we are not going out for dinner and drinks after work.”
“If you won’t go out to dinner or drinks, will you marry me?” I blurted.
“You are a bigger fool today than the fool you were yesterday. You doin pot or snow? I don’t work for no druggie.”
“I don’t do drugs. If you marry me, you won’t have to sign a prenup.”
J walked across the circle and sat in the chair next to me. “Doctor M, listen up. We are not dating. We are not going to hook up. We are not going to get married. I am not in love with you. I don’t even know you.”
I looked into her dark chocolate eyes and their hypnotic affect took hold of me as if I were a swimmer caught in a riptide. I said, “Do you want to go to Paris with me this weekend?”
J said, “What is wrong with you? Have you not listened to anything I said in the last ten minutes?”
“Un uh,” I answered.
J shook her head, “The group is waiting for you. You have to work with them for ninety minutes. I advised them to be on their best behavior. Remember, they are all convicted felons and this is the final step before they are released. They have a bus taking them from a minimal security facility to see you. The bus will take them back..”
I interrupted J, “Are they dangerous? My veneers cost a fortune.”
“I don’t know. That’s like asking me if my dog bites.”
“You have a dog?” I asked.
“No, I don’t have a dog. I was giving you an example. Nobody knows if a dog will bite. But if I had one and I knew you were coming down the street, I’d make sure it was a pit bull.”
It didn’t matter what J said or how she said it. Her words were John Coltrane playing saxophone. I said, “Thank you. Thank you. No woman has loved me such passion as you do.”
J cocked her hip only like she can cock a hip. She was turning me on. I think she was doing it on purpose. She said, “You little love sick puppy listen to me. Nobody knows if these people are dangerous. Pay attention. Doctor M, your eyes belong up here. First is Prince Flame. He was convicted of bigamy. He was married to three different women at the same time. He has tats down both arms. His head is too big for his body. It looks like an overripe cantaloupe. He’s sensitive about his height, he’s only four feet seven inches tall. Next is Amber Dalton. Don’t get any ideas when you see her. They’re big, but they’re not real. I can tell.”
I interrupted J, “It doesn’t matter to the male mind. At least to my mind.”
J shook her head and ignored my insightful comment. Dalton was convicted of mail fraud. She’s wearing black leather pants, a white silk shirt unbuttoned far enough so you can see her black lace bra. Remember to keep your eyes off her chest, you don’t want no sexual harassment law suit.”
I interrupted, “Do we have insurance that covers sexual harassment lawsuits?”
J didn’t bother to shake her head or answer me. She continued, Jill Marks was convicted of attempted murder. She caught her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. …”
“Did she try to kill her boyfriend?” I asked.
“No, it was her best friend she tried to kill. She was fortunate the weapon she used was the pillow. I would have worked, but her boyfriend was able to free his wrists from the bed posts in time to pull Marks off her girlfriend.”
“Question?” I asked.
“What?” J said giving me a look that might frighten most people, but I know lust when I see it. I said, “Are Marks and her boyfriend having conjugal visits while she is in prison?”
“You need help. Anybody ever tell you that? You need to see a psychogist.”
“Does looking in the mirror count?”
J continued, “I know botox and collagen when I see it. It’s not a pretty sight.”
I raised my hand for another question. J pushed my hand down. Next is Tito Perez, he was convicted of selling ecstasy. He has a muffin top but don’t make jokes about his weight because he’s sensitive, has a goatee, and he’s bald. He has a Latino name but he is not Latino.”
“How do you know he’s not Latino,” I asked.
“He has blonde hair, blue eyes, a pale complexion, and he talks like he lived in New York all his life. He had his name changed for Oscar Field so he could take advantage of people hiring minority workers. And last, there is The Sage. The is his first name and Sage is his last name. He likes to go by Sage. He is another name changer. He did time for embezzlement.”
“What was his real name?”
“Let’s see, it was Tiffany Wordle.”
“Can’t blame him for the change.”
“He’s tall. He has a high pitched voice, and no muscle tone. A strong wind might carry him out to sea.”
There was too much information flowing into me. I felt a sense of confusion rising within me like a tidal wave. I wanted to prove to J I was on top of the situation. I needed to earn her respect. “I have an idea, want to hear it?” I said.
“This better be good,” said J.
I said, “When can I meet your parents and ask for permission to marry you?”
“Do I look stupid? Tell me, do I look stupid?” said J.
I stared at my Venus for a moment and said, “You are the most beautiful woman alive. You are the shine on my shoes. You are at the top of my music charts. You are the happy meal I’ll always order. You are the whipped cream on my latte.”
“You gonna run out metaphors soon? You got a group to run. You stop this nonsense jive.”
I said, “I can’t. If I try to stop, It would be like trying to stop the sun from shining. Or, the tide from rising…”
“Get a grip, white boy. Stop with the metaphors. I’m going out that door and coming back with your group. Remember not to stare at Amber Dalton’s breast implants.”
“You don’t have to worry about me, J. I’m true to you. There will never be another woman in my life. Let’s slip out the back door and head to my parents’ island resort.”
J shook her head. You are on your own. I’m going to bring them in. Remember, you’re the psychologist. You’re in charge.”