J said she would drive to the restaurant, which was good, since Oscar drove me to work. I like Oscar. I’m a bit concerned that Mother’s daily massages are too much for a Latin stud like Oscar. He’s lost weight and is popping blue pills like they’re candy. I wonder why Father doesn’t use the blue pills. Maybe he does. Maybe that’s why he spends every Tuesday and Wednesday with his secretary, Noreen at the family condo overlooking the bay. Mother doesn’t mention Oscar and Father doesn’t mention Noreen.
When J and I reached the lobby of the Loomis Building I started walking toward the valet station.
J yanked on my sleeve and said, “This way.”
This way? Where was she taking me? I’ve never been this way or that way for that matter when I need my parked car. It is the reason God made valets. Mother said valets are like drone bees. The only useful purpose they serve is to park cars.
I walked next to my black angel, my life’s partner, soon to be my mistress and my lover and a bit later, my wife. We walked through a corridor and came to a door with a sign above it reading, Parking Garage. I’d never heard of a parking garage. Is this a place where lovers come and park their cars and sit in the back seat and make out and then have back seat sex? I’ve heard about it. I didn’t know the idea was commercialized. If it is a public commodity, I want to buy its stock.
J stopped in front of an elevator. She pushed the up elevator button. We stood and waited. The elevator appeared stuck at the sixth floor. I wanted to start a meaningful conversation and impress J that am a serious dude. I said, “Do they have condom machines on each level for the parkers?”
J turned toward me and said, “Say what?”
I was sure her mind was thinking about our forthcoming wedding and she wasn’t paying attention to me. I repeated my question, “Do they have condom machines on each level for the parkers?” I upgraded my comment by adding, I’ve never had an STD, you don’t have to worry about it.”
She turned towards me, hands placed on either hip. Her head cocked slightly to the left. She leaned a bit toward me. I couldn’t tell if she was going to attack me or initiate a passionate kiss. Something made her stop mid movement. She said, “You’ve never been in a parking garage, have you?”
I answered quickly, “It’s a relatively new concept. Do you know if anyone has a trademark on the concept? If not, I’m going to tell Father tonight to grab it before it gets away.”
J slowly turned back to face the closed elevator door. Her eyes lifted to the lit up numbers above the elevator door. The elevator car was now on nine and moving through the countdown. She mumbled, “I really need a life. There has got to be something better than babysitting a thirty-three year old filthy rich, spoiled mama’s boy. Dear Lord please open a door for me..”
“Were you speaking to me?” I asked.
J’s prayers were answered, the elevator door opened. Carlos pushed his custodial cart through the door. It hit the back wall of the elevator cab and bounced forward a foot before coming to rest. He saw J before he saw me and they kissed each other on both cheeks. What about me? I deserve kisses on both cheeks,, but not from Carlos, but from my delicious mocha colored woman. A sudden bolt of fear raced through me, Was J a virgin?. I have to ask her. Maybe she is a virgin and saving herself for the right man. Here I am, my mind screamed. Take hold of her, show her how much you love her.
“Stop it right there, Double M,” said my conscience.
“Why do you show up at all the wrong times? Get lost.”
“No can do. I’m working twenty-four seven with you. I don’t get a break. Consider yourself in conscience boot camp.”
Carlos peered around J and saw me, “Hey Double M. What’s up man?”
I said, “Hi Carlos. J and me are going to lunch. We’re going to talk about our forthcoming wedding.”
“You the man. I don’t think any man, man enough to get this woman. She is something else. You going to invite the old gang to come to the wedding? I think most of them probably still have open arrest warrants or they on death row waiting for their appeals to run out before they’re executed.”
The elevator stopped at the 4th floor before I could answer Carlos. J pushed the open door button and stared at Carlos and me. She acted like she was attending a local actor’s guild play with two characters who’ve never acted in their lives. She glanced at Carlos and said, “Don’t buy a wedding gift, and don’t watch the mail for an invitation.” Then she look at me, “C’mon Double M, let’s have lunch with the gang.”
My heart beat to a drum solo. Ed Sheeran sang a love song in my ears, my Venus protected my gangbanger cover with Carlos. Only a woman madly in love with her man will make a lie sound like the truth. She’ll fit in perfectly with Mother.