J.drove twenty minutes to a part of the town filthy rich people ignore. Mother told me that is where the undesirables live. I asked her who was undesirable. She marched me into her bedroom and stood me in front of eight-foot mirror framed in mahogany. She stood next to me and pointed at our images, “Martin, who do you see in the mirror?”
I answered, “I see you Mother and me. Why?”
“Anyone who does not look like us is undesirable. Anyone whose net worth is less than 500 million is undesirable.”
“That doesn’t leave many people who are desirable, Mother,” I said.
“Exactly, Martin. It is an exclusive club.”
I never thought about it again until today. I wonder if Mother knows it turned into a huge urban prison because all the house have bars on the windows and doors. Those in charge of the prison must be trying to rehabilitate the prisoners through art. Interesting abstract and graphic art works covered the sides of most of the buildings, bridges, and billboards. We hadn’t driven more than three blocks when I changed my mind. I was sure J surprised me and had taken me to an urban movie location. The setting was perfect, most of the buildings were boarded up or had broken windows, a SWAT team and four police cars with sirens blaring passed us.
I said, “Who’s staring in the movie? What company is producing it? If it is one of the big three, Father will get us tickets to a preview screening.”
We came to a stop at a red light. J glanced at me, “You think this is a movie set?”
“Got to be. I’ve seen a few movies that look like they were filmed here,” I answered. I wanted to keep the conversation rolling so I added, “Are you taking me to lunch at the movie studio?”
J didn’t answer. She gripped the steering wheel with both hands as if she were trying to squeeze the life out of it. Two blocks later she pulled into a parking lot surrounded by an eight foot chain link fence and topped with razor wire. The parking lot was next to a concrete one story building with big neon sign that would make a Vegas casino proud, Harvey’s Huge Hamburgers. The H on Huge was shot out as well as the H on Hamburgers. I said, “What’s a amburger?” I was trying to impress J with my wit.
She said, “You open your mouth like that when we get inside, it might be the last time you open it. I will not protect you.”
My wonderful lover is always watching out for me. I bet they’re filming inside the restaurant and we’ll be extras. Mother and Father will be elated to learn my betrothed is connected to the movie industry and my betrothed and I will have a cameo in major film studio.
J turned off the engine and said, “You have never been on this side of the city, have you?”
I didn’t want to tell J what Mother taught me about this side of the city when I was a kid. I took a different tact, one that would impress her. I cocked my head a bit toward her and said, “Cut me a little slack, J. Before I had to work, my day was packed. I slept until ten. I went to the gym and worked with Carolyn my personal trainer for an hour.” I caught myself almost mentioning that many of the workouts between Carolyn and me didn’t take place in the gym. I continued, “After the gym, I had lunch at an exclusive restaurant with a friend. After lunch, I either played tennis, golf, or had a massage.”
J interrupted me, “This was your typical day?”
“You interrupted me. I didn’t tell you about my nights.”
“I don’t want to hear about your nights,” said J.
“Excellent, J. Don’t ask, don’t tell is a good policy for us to set as the foundation for our marriage. Does this place have an off the menu, menu.”
“What are you talking about?” asked J.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell or the off the menu, menu?” I responded.
J closed her eyes and rubbed her caramel colored forehead. I wanted to reach over and rub her right shoulder with my left hand to help relieve the tension built up inside her. It must be hell for a woman to be alone in a small car with a filthy rich sex magnet. I can only guess the internal struggle she’s going through to keep her hands off my body.
J opened her eyes and said, “The off the menu, menu.”
I said, “It’s common knowledge, if you give the waiter a big enough tip and ask for the off the menu, menu, the waiter will nod, and come back with an exclusive menu available to only those who know about the off the menu, menu.”
J is very religious because she keeps talking to Jesus. After she finished talking to Jesus, she said, “The menu is on the wall behind the counter. There is no hidden menu. You buy off the menu on the wall or you don’t eat.”
“Do they have a wine list or Perrier? If this is a BYOB, is there a liquor store nearby?” I asked.
The Toyota Corolla was filled with raucous laughter. It started to shake. I tightened my seatbelt in case J’s body movement flipped her car. When she regained control she said, “Wait until you see Harvey.”
Harvey? Who was Harvey? A boyfriend? A lover? A former husband? A husband? I subconsciously braced myself for an uncomfortable truth. J was going to introduce me to her boyfriend, lover, or worse, husband. I haven’t crossed the line as an adulterer, yet. I believe Mother and Father practice adultery they way they practice golf. In J’s case, I had no choice but to cross that bridge. I can’t live without her.
I said, “You and Harvey got something going? Let me know now. Don’t make me cry in public. I can’t handle rejection.”
J’s big brown eyes widened and she started laughing, again.
TRUST FUND BABY CONTINUES WITH CHAPTER 28 ON MONDAY