Trust Fund Baby ~ 30 A Satire

Chapter 30

I followed J to the Toyota and walked to the driver’s side to open her door. My love offensive was in full throttle. I opened the driver’s door, J slid in and looked up at me, “You can close my door and get in. And, thank you.”

“It was the first time she thanked me. I wanted to do cartwheels around the Toyota to the passenger side. The only thing preventing me from doing cartwheels is that I don’t know how to do them. So I settled for a fist pump. My team still had a chance. I got in, buckled my seatbelt, and said “Let’s go to the airport, head to Vegas and get married, and have honeymoon sex in a poolside cabana.”

J half turned toward me, “The next time you ask me to have sex with you I am going to grab hold of both of your big ears and rip them off your head. You don’t need them since you don’t listen to me. You only listen to your mother. I never met her, but if she is anything like the haggard bitch on my wall, I feel sorry for you.”

J’s understanding of my rough deprived childhood was a signal to my immature male mind that soon our bodies would joined as one, perhaps as soon as this evening. It was time to ratchet it up a couple of notches. I said, “I think it’s important for couples who are going to be intimate to be able to talk about sex. Don’t you?”

“We’re not intimate. Get it? Whatever your fantasy, we are not intimate, we are not going to be intimate?”

J’s anger was my aphrodisiac. I was so turned on, my dials were popping off. I searched the storehouse of my stored memories on how to seduce a woman. I kept coming up blank since I wasn’t at a bar. While I was sitting speechless, J started the Toyota and pulled out of the parking lot. 

My conscience interrupted me, “You want to listen to me or are you going to throw me out?”

“How do I get J to come home with me tonight. I can’t stand being without her.”

“You want sex without a commitment. You want sex without marriage.”

“What’s wrong with that?” I asked my conscience.

“If you really love J, and I have my doubts, I’ll give you advice. I’ll only give it to you if you promise me you will follow through on it.”

“What if I say I will follow through and then don’t follow through? You can’t hurt me. I got more money than you. You’re not connected with the mob or a gang, are you?” I asked. 

 “Fair warning, if you cross me, watch out.”

“Does that mean I’ll get hemorrhoids? I hate hemorrhoids. I had them once and the only good thing about them was Mother made Natalie insert my suppositories.”

“I know. Let’s not get into a discussion about your Mother. Sarah has her hands full with her and she’s begging for additional resources,” said my conscience.

“Mother has a conscience? I would have never guessed,” I said.

“She has one, but she’s never used it. I shouldn’t be telling tales out of the school. Sarah’s the low conscience on the totem poll. She doesn’t have enough seniority to bump any of us off. I need to meet with my support group, you going to take my advice or not?”

“No, you scare me,” I said.

“You’re on your own, kid. I can’t get a sub, no one wants to work with you. I’ll pick up the pieces when I get back.”

“Your lips keep moving. Who are you talking to?” asked J.

“You don’t want to know,” I said.

“Are you okay? Are you cracking up? Normal people don’t talk to nobody.”

“I didn’t start the conversation, he did,” I said.

“So, you were talking to someone,” said J.

I needed to change the subject. The last thing I wanted to do was to tell J I didn’t take my conscience’s advice. Given her high moral standards, that would be a sure turn off. Instead, I said, “Give me a good reason why you won’t marry me?”

“You want a good reason? I got so many it’s hard to choose the best one. How’s that for a reason?” said J. 

“Watch how you’re driving. You almost hit that guy with a squeegee and water spray bottle. That’s not a good reason. That sounds like something somebody in the group might say,” I said amazed at my reasoning. 

J hit the breaks and skidded to a stop at a red light. “Don’t make eye contact with anyone. Stare straight ahead.”

We both stared straight ahead. I dared move my eyes slightly to the right, but kept facing forward. I’d never seen people like this. Dickens would have described them as urchins or beggars. Mother might describe them as disgusting, lazy, and burdens on the backs of filthy rich people. I didn’t see anyone who might make the cover of GQ or Glamour. They’re carrying signs asking for money. The only people I’ve seen ask for money have been hedge fund investors, stock brokers, and people running for office. The light turned green, J pressed hard on the accelerator and got through the intersection. 

She said, “Okay, I’ll give you a reason. You never asked me to go out on a date. You asked me to get married. You asked me to have sex. You never asked me to go out on a date.”

A date? Wasn’t that a dried fruit? Going out for dinner and expecting to have sex after dinner is not a date? I need some help here. ‘Hey, conscience, where are you?’ I asked and received no answer. I was on my own and I was watching the only woman in the world who mattered to me slowly walk out of my life. I needed a lifeline. I needed to phone a friend. I needed to look on someone’s paper and copy the correct answer. 

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Trust Fund Baby ~ 29 A Satire

Chapter 29

When J ordered our drinks, I was hoping for a Bordeaux or Pinot Noir. What I got was a choice of Bud, Bud Light, or iced tea. Okay, I’m a snob, I only drink imported or locally brewed outrageously expensive beers. I didn’t dare ask for Perrier or a Pellegrino. If I asked for water, I’m sure it’d be tap water. I’ve never as much washed my hands in tap water. Mother said tap water is for the masses, not for the privileged. I ended up saying surprise me. 

When I explained all the perks of being filthy rich to J, her desire for me, my body, and my wealth would kick in and she’d be mine. I was aware I was in hostile territory. I had to downplay my riches and uppity attitude, and only use my wit and charm to win my fiery black opal. 

J was about to say something. I held up my hand to prevent her from saying something I knew she’d regret like let’s walk out of here and check into a motel and have sex. I wanted her to keep her self respect. We can have sex after lunch. I said, “You can count on me being faithful to you all my life. Although, the Sanderstuffs have great DNA and I’ll probably outlive you by twenty years. Will you mind if I get remarried after you die?”

There were three men sitting at the table to my right. Two were holding large beef ribs in their hands. They turned toward J and me. The other man, was sipping an iced tea and started coughing. He must has swallowed a seed from the lemon. On my left, there was a woman who could play linebacker for any of the pro teams and a guy in bib overalls covered with grease smears. I caught a glimpse of her tapping him on his forearm and nodding her head toward us. I turned a bit toward them and gave the woman my charming smile. I only hoped it didn’t make her become obsessed with me. 

J spoke up, “I don’t know where to begin. Didn’t you go to school? Didn’t you learn anything about relating to another human being? You don’t know anything about me. How old was the ugly bitch who hangs on the wall in my office when she died?”

I knew right away the ugly bitch J was referencing could be no other than Grandmother Houston. She had the face of a prune, the eyes of a hungry wolf, and the body of a starving coyote. I proudly said, “The ugly bitch outlived her husband by ten years. She died when she was ninety one. Everyone wanted her to die sooner because she had a temper worse than a chef who can’t find his garlic press. “

J waited until our server brought our drinks. We both had iced teas in plastic glasses big enough to quench the thirst of four adults. Our iced teas were as dark as the people in the restaurant. J watched me hold the iced up toward the light to gauge its quality. She said, “Drink it. Ask for a refill and don’t say a word. Not one word. Not one grimace. Not one snarky comment. Did I cover it?”

I love this about J. She is helping me to practice my social graces with the undesirables. I can’t wait to tell Mother how the undesirables eat and what they drink. I hope Mother has an aneurysm. Not fatal, but one where she will give me power of attorney. J interrupted my thoughts. She said, “For the eighth time, we are not going to get married. We are not going to date. I am not going to be your lover. I will not be your mistress. And, I will not have your children.”

The plus size woman from the table next to us said, “You go girl.”

J smiled at her, then looked at me. I said, “I love you. Will you marry me. I will make you the happiest woman in the world.”

The guy at the table with the plus size woman jumped in, “That’s it rich white dude, don’t quit. Fight for the woman you love.”

“You watch your mouth. He’s a white boy. He don’t know how to love a black woman like a black man knows how to love a black woman.”

I turned my attention away from J for a moment and said, “I am so sure I will be faithful to J and never, never as much as flirt with another woman that I’ll sign a prenup giving J five million dollars and a life membership to the country club.” I said the wrong thing. As soon as I mentioned five million, fifty-six black heads all turned toward me. J kicked me under the table. I recovered quickly, “That’s if I hit Powerball.”

The room broke into laughter. I felt relieved. J whispered, “I’m impressed with the quick comeback.”

The fully figured black woman wasn’t through with me. She said, “If you ain’t that rich, what makes you think you gonna be faithful to her. Tell me that one and don’t give me any white boy talk.”

I turned toward her and said, “You want to know why I’m sure. You sure you want to know why I’m sure?”

“I’m sure,” she said.

I didn’t know. The only thought in my mind was something I heard in college at a frat party. I said, “Once you try black, you never go back.”

The black male with the fully figured woman said, “You damn right.”

“You mind your own business,” said the fully figured woman to her companion. 

J stood up, grabbed my arm and said, “Let’s go before you get killed and I develop a guilty conscience. What was I thinking, thinking you knew how to act in public.”

J didn’t wait for me. She was headed out of Harvey’s as if the place was on fire. I knew she was overcome with emotion at my level of commitment. Most men, according the men’s magazines I read report that men have tough time with commitment. Not me. Once I met J, my heart stood still. I know I’m name dropping song titles, but I’m a fool in love. When I got to the door, J was half way to the Toyota. I hollered, “Stop in the name of love.”

J stopped and turned around, she said, “What!”

I kept walking toward her. When I reached her, I said, “I plead guilty by reason of being so deeply in love with you I don’t know what I’m doing. If love can cause insanity. Then I’m, guilty, guilty, guilty.”

“Oh, sweet Jesus, please help me,” pleaded J.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 28 A Satire

Chapter 28 

J led me into Harvey’s Huge Hamburgers. I stopped behind J. We stood at the back of line next to the door. My olfactory sense was in danger of short circuiting. No food I’ve ever smelled, smelled like this. I was sure it wasn’t lemony roasted broccoli with parmesan. Or, maple ginger roasted vegetables with pecans. And, I was sure Victor wasn’t the chef. If Victor were here he’d thrown himself onto his carving knife. I tapped J on the shoulder, “All I want is baked salmon on a field of wild greens. I eat light at lunch.” 

J half turned her head toward me and gave me a ‘say what’ look. It was a look I’d become used to. I’m quick on my my feet and recovered from my cuisine faux pax, “I was only kidding.”

J gave me a pretend smile. It was the first time I paid attention to her beautiful white teeth. I said, “Who did your veneers, great job?”

Three men, obviously workers turned and stared at me. J turned and looked at them, “He’s a filthy rich white boy who needs to eat something real.”

The four of them started laughing and did a set of complicated hand and arm movements. I’m sure J was in a gang when she was younger and these three men were part of the gang. No wonder she knows so much about gangbangers. 

  I stared at the back of J’s head. My impulse to kiss her neck and nibble on her ear was overridden by the knowledge that everyone in the restaurant but me was black. Was this a movie about some place in Africa? Were they all extras or crew or workers? I tapped J on the shoulder, “Are they filming a story about your people?”

J half turned toward me, “Double M, do not speak unless I give you permission to speak. I feel a responsibility to have you see how the rest of the world lives. This is not a movie or a movie set. These are people who live and work around here. These people are no more my people than all filthy rich people are your people.”

“I’ve never seen so many black people in one place in my life.” I said.

“I am one of them, if you haven’t noticed,” said J.

I stared at J for a moment and said, “No, you are the soft color of coffee and cream. You are a sweet caramel. You are my delicious milk chocolate. Technically, you may be black, but I only see a love aura. Kiss me.”

J interrupted my honey glazed description of her, “Are you nuts? Read the menu, it’s right up there on the wall behind the counter. Don’t act like a fool when it’s your turn to order.”

“What’s a fried pickle? I don’t understand pulled pork, is it meat? Can I ask if they have salmon and arugula?” I asked.

J turned toward me, grasped my right bicep with her left hand. Her touch sent shivers through my entire body. I did not want to become sexually aroused while standing in line. If J started stroking my arm and whispering sweet things to me my libido would head to the front of the line. I avoided looking into her eyes. If I did, there is no telling what effect it would have on my body.

J said, “Double M, let me order for you. If Harvey asks to shake your hand, shake it. Do not look for a napkin or wipe your hands on your pants. Do not open your mouth. Do not ask a question. If you do, I will slam my fist into a place on your body that will make you keel over in intense pain. There will be nothing sexual about what I will do.”

“Are you telling me you will hit me in the nuts?” I said attempting to clarify J’s comment.

Before J could answer, she withdrew her hand from my bicep and turned toward the biggest black or white or brown or yellow or red man I’ve ever seen in my life. His dark chocolate bald head glistened with beads of sweat. He had a dark mustache and wore a gold earring, His white apron looked like it hadn’t been washed in two weeks. Grease spots covered it as if they were dots on a road map. There was an Omega symbol branded into his right bicep. The thought of it quashed my libido and sent shivers down my spine. It must have been a fraternity initiation where he went to college I surmised. Too bad he didn’t join my fraternity where initiation was all about how many beers you could drink before you vomited.  I made a mental note to ask J if she’d ever been branded or had any tattoos that I should know about before we spent the night together.

The big bald black man spoke, “My, my if it isn’t the most delicious piece of chocolate pie I’ve seen in a while. How are you my beautiful J?”

An ex, I thought. If he got fresh with J, I wondered if I could take him. I took Karate as a seven year old. I stopped after earning a green belt. It was enough to intimidate my friend Jason who was into reading and a year younger than me. It was a no brainer, J. I didn’t think too long, J was on her own. She’s has a strong grip. I have bruises on my bicep to prove it. I will take a photo of the bruises as proof she loves me.

J spoke, “Harvey, if you weren’t married to Lorraine, I’d have a run at you.”

Wait a minute.  What about having a run at me? I’m available. I won’t resist. I give in easily. So, this was Harvey. J probably dumped him when she left the gang. She was hoping I’d turn up in her future. She might have visions others don’t have. Once we’re married, this will be helpful in predicting the ups and downs of the stock market. 

“Who’s your friend?” asked Harvey nodding toward me.

J half turned toward me and said, “This is Marty, he’s a colleague. He asked me who makes the best burgers in the city. I said there is only one answer, Harvey.”

Harvey stepped around the counter and thrust his hand toward me. I took it and saw my hand disappear into his palm. Good Lord, he’s strong. I pump iron, not a lot, but enough to keep toned to impress the ladies. 

Harvey said, “Good to meet you, Marty. Any friend of J’s is welcome here.”

I didn’t know if I was supposed to say something. I took a chance hoping if I said the right combination of words Harvey would stopped pumping my hand and release it before the bones in my hand gave way. I said, “J said you made the best fried pickles in the world.”

Harvey let go of my hand and glanced toward J, “I’m going to put an extra two fried pickles on both your orders. You should have told me they’re a favorite.”

J started laughing, “You know how you do fried chicken for your special customers but don’t put it on the wall. We want two plates of it along with Harvey’s extra spicy barbecue sauce. The kind you get all over your fingers.”

Harvey gave a wide, gold toothed grin and said, “It’s on the house, J. Nice meeting you, Marlin.”

I smiled nodded. I was about to say, “Nice meeting you, Harold,” when J pulled me away. 

She whispered, “I don’t know what you were about to say, but it would not have ended good for you. I hate fried pickles, but you are going to eat four of them. I will not embarrass Harvey. We go way back.”

“Was he a lover?” I asked.

J stopped and looked at me, “What is wrong with you? You are not normal. No normal man stops a woman in a lunch line and says what you said.”

I smiled at J. I took this as a compliment, “Mother would agree. She always said the Sanderstuffs are not like normal people.”

J didn’t answer. She grabbed a thin metal stick with the number 18 on it and carried it to a table. I docilely followed. I wanted to make up for the faux pax I committed and skirted around her to pull out her chair. She turned a bit toward me, “Thank you. Now sit down and when the wait staff comes ask for iced tea or water. The iced tea can be sweetened or unsweetened. Can you handle that?”

I quickly glanced around our table. I was the white chalk dot on the blackboard. I sat down. There was a half empty bottle of ketchup, salt and pepper in small paper containers, a plastic container of French’s Mustard with mustard crusted down the sides. There was can with plastic knifes, forks, and spoons in it. And, there was a container that held paper napkins. Only one side was full. The other side empty. A small wire basket help packets of sugar and artificial sweetener. I looked up into J’s beautiful eyes and said, “It’s too complicated. Will you order for me.”

“Oh for God’s sake. Can’t you do anything on your own?”

“Honestly? No. It’s why I need you to be my lover, my mistress, my wife, the mother of our children.”

I thought J was going to hyperventilate. Fortunately, she got control of herself and said, We’ve got to talk.”

The More He Does For Others ~ Poem from the Tao Te Ching

81 – The More He Does for Others

True words aren’t eloquent;
eloquent words aren’t true.
Wise men don’t need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren’t wise.

The Master has no possessions.
The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.

 
Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Tao Te Ching Verse 81

Trust Fund Baby ~ 27 A Satire

Chapter 27

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

Trust Fund Baby ~ 26 A Satire

Chapter 26

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. 

Trust Fund Baby ~ 25 A Satire

Chapter 25 

There, I let it out. I poured my guts out to complete strangers. I don’t want to know any of them with the exception of Amber and that will only be for an occasional night with no commitment. Jill’s a possibility, but that would only occur if Amber wasn’t available. What am I doing letting these thoughts run around in my mind when the woman I love with all my heart is ten feet away sitting next to The Sage with a bemused smile.

Amber raised her hand and glanced toward J, “I have no clue who you are talking about. I   think she’s frigid. I’m not frigid. You are the hottest, sexiest doctor I’ve ever wanted to have.”

J’s spoke in a tone a feral cat might make before it attacks a rat, “She is not frigid.”

I had to partially agree with Amber. The opposite sex almost uniformly consider me a sex object. 

“How do you know this?” my conscience interrupted.

“Intuition,” I said. “Leave me alone. I like the direction the group is taking.”

“Doctor Sanderstuff? Doctor Sanderstuff?”

“Yes, The?” I acknowledged the Sage by his first name. I wanted to show the group my sensitive side. 

The Sage pulled his lanky, six feet three inch frame erect. I said, “Before you say anything, you look like hell. Are you on a starvation diet? I’ve seen better looking specimens standing on street corners holding signs that say, I’m honest. I need money for booze. Please help me.”

“I resent that, Doctor Sanderstuff. I am a vegan. I have the healthiest diet on the planet. You would look as good as me if you ate like me.”

The group started laughing and so did I. I don’t think a psychologist is supposed to laugh at patients. I think that kind of thinking is why psychologists get bad press. I said, “I think it’s pronounced vay gan.”

“It is not. It is pronounced the way I said it, vee gan. I’m tired of this argument. I have it all the time. I think I can help you win over your woman.”

“Don’t go there,” said Amber with an edge to her voice.

J patted The Sage on the back, “Go there. This will be interesting.”

“Is she part of our group? Is she on work release from the state prison?” asked Amber.

“Who are you referring to?” I asked Amber knowing who she was referring to, but I wanted to hear J’s voice. It is like the angels singing. Her voice is the song in my heart. It is the melody in my mind. 

“Her,” said Amber pointing at J.

“I hope that finger is not pointing at me, because if it is, I might get up and walk over to you and break it,” said J.

I needed to break the tension between the two women who are fighting over me. It’s a terrible burden to carry, being loved by two women and not being able to let go of either one. I said,  “I’m getting bored The. What’s your advice?”

The Sage gave Amber a smirk, then turned toward me and said, “Have you considered asking this beautiful woman to meet you at a coffee shop and asking her to tell you her story? Personally,  I like to ask a woman on a first date to go to a farmer’s market with me.”

Tito and Prince started laughing and giving each other  high fives. Then Jill said, “I think The is still a virgin. Tell me if I’m wrong, The.”

“I’m waiting for the right woman,” said The.

“Good luck with that one,” said Prince who fell off his chair and rolled onto the floor, the laughter spilling out of him like a river overflowing a dam after a torrential rains.

“You’re losing control of the group. I warned you this was a bad idea,” said my conscience.

“Get lost,” I said. Then I spoke to the group, “I am a Sanderstuff. I am a filthy rich, white man who has never worked a day in his life until this week. I will always be rich and I can buy everything but the woman I love.”  

“I’m available,” said Amber.

“Most men know that,” chimed in J.

“Meow,” said Tito trying to sound like cat fight.

“Man, what’s else could this woman want?” asked Tito trying his best to sound like a Latino but not coming close.

“I don’t know. I’m confused. I’ve never been in love before. All the women I’ve known wanted to be with me because I’m filthy rich.”

“What’s wrong with that?” asked Amber giving me her sexiest pout. I’m wondering if I should ask her for cell phone number. I also wondered if the half way prison house allowed conjugal sex.

“Don’t go there,” said my conscience.

“I thought I told you to get lost,” I said.

“Me?” asked The.

“I was thinking out loud,” I said. Then I added, “I’m having a breakthrough. I should have recorded this session to send to the American Psychological Association. Maybe I can get Mother to write a paper about it, with my name as author and I can present it at their next annual meeting.”

The group broke into applause. Prince stood and said, “Bravo.” The rest of the group joined in the bravo chorus.

J spoke with a staccato beat, “What’s the breakthrough?”

“Glad you asked,” I said. “I’ve slept with lots of woman, but I’ve never been in love. I don’t know how to love. I think I’m in love and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know how to do it.”

J stood up, “Group’s over.” She wore a look that a Marine drill sergeant would envy. My sweet and sassy ebony angel could tell I was emotionally exhausted and the only thing to save me was her love.

Tito was the last member out and he closed the door behind him. I smiled at J and said, “How did I do?”

“We’ve got to talk. I’ll have lunch with you, but I choose the place.”

“Can I hug you. You made me the happiest man in the world. I’ll buy the wine. We’ll make an afternoon out of it and I’ll introduce you to Mother and Father tonight. We’ll soak in my tub. I’ll have Nicole bring us wine and light scented candles to set the mood for our first night.”

“No. No. No. Keep your hands off me. We are not going to have wine. We are not going to hang out together after lunch. I do not want to meet your Mother and Father. We are not going to soak together. We are going to talk, that’s all. Go to the bathroom and freshen up. You look a mess,” said J. 

I caught a hint of a smile on her face as she turned and walked toward the door.