I have an endless supply of money, Mother and Father say it’s guaranteed as long as the Republicans stay in power. Mother told me I’m earning my money the old fashioned, hard way, I’m going to inherit it. The problem with inheriting money, I have to wait for Mother and Father to die. I’ll be able to wash myself in money when my trust fund kicks in. The only glitch holding up my trust fund is I have to work for five years. I calculated I have 1823 more days to live before I can tap into my trust fund. I’m making a list of paid holidays, sick leave, personal days, workshop days, wine tasting days, massage days, and food fest days. If I can get my work week down to one day a week, It’s manageable. The only way I keep my sanity is knowing fate brought my soulmate into my life. My African queen, my Aphrodite, my black Venus, the Rolls Royce of women is within my grasp.
That’s my problem. Day two, group ended before lunch. My black Venus decided to go drinking without me. I don’t think it was something I said. She’s fighting with her inner goddess. Her inner goddess is telling her to go for it, you only go around once, take a ride on the Sanderstuff train. She wants J to give herself to me, completely, without reservation. I agree with her inner goddess. While her outer goddess is telling her to go slow and let love grow. How do I know this? I was talking to Carlos the custodian who came into the office to clean it. Carlos found me slumped on my desk whimpering how much I miss my caramel creamed colored vision from heaven.
Carlos said, “What’s wrong, man?”
I lifted my head about an inch off my desk, then laid it back down without saying anything.
Carlos said, “Man, you got it bad. Your black lady is una mujer caliente.”
I lifted my head a bit, “Speak English, Carlo. I’m bilingual, my other language besides English is money.”
“Señor Marty, it means a hot woman.”
“Tell me about it. She’s so hot Carlos she can start a forest fire by thinking about it. She’s so hot, she can turn the ocean into a boiling cauldron. She’s so hot …”
“I get it señor. She’s twisted you inside and outside. She’s all you can think about. This happened to me about ten years ago. I tell you, man, there’s nothing you can do about it. You got to ride the storm until it passes.”
I sat up, grabbed a Kleenex and blew my nose. I tossed it toward Carlos’ open trash barrel on his custodian wagon. I missed. I said, “I’ll get it, Carlos. I can’t think straight. I can’t shoot straight. I can’t see straight. I can’t …”
Carlos cut me off, “I get it, señor. You having trouble sleeping?”
“You having trouble wondering where your next dollar going to come from?”
“If you went to a singles bar tonight, you have a problem hooking up for the night?”
“I think I see your problem.”
“You do? What is it Carlos? Please tell me.” What am I doing asking someone from the peasant class for advice? I crossed a line that could get me barred from the country club. I might lose preferential seating at all the best restaurants. I might not get RSVP’d to the most fashionable get togethers. My heart raced for a moment filled with the frightening thought Pettibone placed a hearing device somewhere in the office to record all my conversations.
“You okay, señor? You look like you either have to go to the bathroom real bad or you are going to have a heart attack or somebody stole your BMW I seen you drive.”
“I afraid someone planted a listening device in my office and they’re recording all my conversations. If he heard me asking you for advice, please don’t take this personal, my lifestyle is over.”
Carlos started laughing. It was more a cackle than a laugh. I could see five teeth, two of them gold. Three on top and two on the bottom. The teeth that were not gold were an off brown color. Obviously, not veneers. I should mention veneers to Carlos if the moment is every right. He’ll thank me.
“Señor, señor,” said Carlos reaching into his pocket. “I saw this tall skinny prick sneak in your office after you left yesterday. He don’t see me. But I keep my good eye on him.”
I stopped Carlos, “You only have a good eye?” I asked sounding empathetic.
“Ha! I have one good eye and one bad eye.”
“You can’t see out of the bad eye?” I asked.
“Oh no. I can see fine out of both eyes. My bad eye it’s the one, how do you gringos say it, looks for eye candy when my mama is not with me. You understand?”
I nodded. I wondered if I had a good eye and a bad eye. Carlos might be on to something. I said, “Go on and tell me about the skinny prick. Did he have a combover and act like he was better than everyone else.”
“You met him, señor?”
“I have a good idea who it is,” I said.
“After he left, I went into your office and nosed around. I know he was in there doing something and I was going to find out.”
“What did you find? I asked.
“I found this little thing. You know what it is?” said Carlos pulling a small electronic listening device out of his pants pocket. “Don’t worry, my son, Marco, took the battery out. It doesn’t work. You think this prick works for the government? What are you up to, señor. Are you a legal immigrant? You got your green papers? If you don’t I got an amigo who has an amigo who has amigo who can sell you green papers, a social security number, a drivers license, even a garage sale permit. Never mind. I don’t want to know. I already did time in prison about fifteen years ago for stealing watermelons.”
Carlos flipped me the listening device. I caught it in my left hand. Carlos didn’t realize it, but he handed me what I needed to win J over. I pulled out my calfskin wallet and took out the smallest bill I had. It was a fifty. I folded it length wise and handed it to Carlos.
Carlos took the fifty, flashed his five toothed smile at me and said, “I got your back, man. Don’t you worry. I watching out for you. Next time make five tens, it’s easier for me to spend in my barrio.”
Before I left my office, I took three steps toward Grandmother Houston and finally had the nerve to speak up to her. I said, “When the trust fund kicks in, I’m going to take your ashes and dump them in a doggy park so I can take photos of them lifting their leg and squatting on you. I’m going to post the photos on Instagram with the hashtag #ThisOne’sForYou.”
Then I did what I secretly wanted to do since I was six years old at lunch in kindergarten. Our lunches were always catered. We had linen napkins. The wait staff served milk in champagne glasses. And, we had our choice of appetizers, entrée and desert. I was sitting next to Wilson Willett. His face was red. His eyes were puffy. And, snot was running out of his nose.
I said, “Wilson, what’s wrong?”
Wilson gave me my first lesson. He said, “That bitch, Ms. Apple didn’t give me a smiley face on my drawing. What will Mother think? She’ll think I’m a failure.”
I was in love with Ms. Apple. I didn’t know what a bitch was until I went home and asked Mother if she knew Ms. Apple was a bitch. She withdrew me from the school the next day and found an even more exclusive school for me.
Wilson’s second lesson quickly followed the first lesson. When Ms. Apple’s back was turned, he flipped her off. I said, “Do you have to go pee?”
Wilson looked at me and for the first time at lunch smiled, “No, bird turd.” Bird turd was Wilson’s nickname for me. He then told me what the extended middle finger meant in very graphic terms. When I went home I practiced flipping Mother and Father off when they couldn’t see me. It was great fun.
I felt a rush telling Grandmother Houston off. It probably was the first time in her life or life beyond life on Earth than anyone told her off. I turned and started to walk out into the hall. I remembered something I forgot. I turned and chucked the bird at her. I did it with both middle fingers. It felt so good. I stood there and did it until my arms got tired.
Suddenly, I realized I’m having a breakthrough. I’m releasing anger. If I had J’s phone number, I’d call her and tell her all about my breakthrough. She’d stop whatever she’s doing and run to me, wrap her strong, toned, arms around me, and carry me to bed. She’s strong enough to do that. That’s what lovers do. Unfortunately, I didn’t have her number, she refused to give it to me. She said she didn’t trust me. She was afraid I’d start sexting. I made a mental note to delete several photos I thought might impress her.