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.”

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Today’s Quote on Laughter

“A day without laughter is a day wasted. ”

—Charlie Chaplin

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.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 17 A Satire

Chapter 17

I have a difficult time being with beautiful woman. They do not intimidated me. I’ll walk up to a beautiful woman at the bar scene and use my best pick up lines. The line that works best for me is an invitation to join me on a trip to Rio or Paris or Rome. I’m like any other guy who considers Men’s Magazine his bible. It was fun but it was never fatal. I never said the L word. It’s different now. I can’t describe how I feel. The more I push her out of my mind, the more she resists. It’s in the way she looks at me. Her eyes destroy any will to resist, not that I ever had much will to resist a beautiful woman. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. I gawk. I drool. My tongue hangs out of my mouth like a dog happy its human is home. 

My beautiful, glamorous, stunning, divine, and irresistible coffee colored with a touch of cream J. It’s in the way she walks. It’s in the way she talks. It’s in her cocked hip. It’s in her perfect body made for me. Where was I? Oh, J’s staring at me from the door. I’m still sitting in my group chair. I said the first thing that came into my mind, “Do you need a back rub? If you don’t I could use one.”

“You think I’m going to rub your back? What’s makes you think such a stupid thought? Huh?”

“I don’t know. I like to toss out ideas and see what sticks,” I answered.

J put her hand to her forehead and shook it. I have a thirteen year old nephew and a six year old nephew and they both are more mature than you. How does that make you feel?” said J pointing an accusing finger at me.

I cocked my head a bit, put a finger to the tip of my chin, and said, “That’s a good question. I’m thinking you’re paying me a compliment because you’re in love with me. When I was in school I had a crush of Laura Stephenson. This was when I was in third grade. I’d take her books and make her chase me. I think this is what you’re trying to do to me.”

J turned in the doorway to the floor to ceiling painting of Grandmother Houston. She went eyeball to eyeball with her. I can’t do this. Grandmother’s  eyes are creepy. I’ve thought of having a mardi gras mask painted over her face. Even if it were a macabre mask, it would be an improvement.

J didn’t seem bothered by Grandmother Houston’s eyes. She said,  “You old fool. What were you thinking giving this dumb ass boy a trust fund worth millions. What is wrong with you? You’re wasting your money. You should have required he had vasectomy. …”

I couldn’t take anymore. I interrupted J, “You’ve crossed a line there, sister.”

“Who you calling sister. I ain’t your sister. Even if I was your sister, I wouldn’t admit it to anybody.”

“I don’t want you to be my sister. I want you to be my mistress, my lover, and my wife. Let’s stop this charade and have sex on the office floor.”

J slowly turned around and stared at me. Then it happened. Again. The laugh. Her wonderful laugh that starts down in the bottom of her belly and works it s way through her body like the tide coming in until it envelopes her entire being. She placed her left hand on the short guy’s chair to brace herself. My heart was in overdrive, I was making the love of my life happy. I was making her laugh. I wonder what it was that I said that made her laugh?

When J regained control, she said, “What makes you think I want to have sex with you?”

“My charm?”

“Not a chance,” she said.

“My masculine looks and wit?” I said hoping I hit the correct answer.

“You’re kidding, right?” she said.”

“My money?”

“Wrong again,” said J.

“I give up. Why do you want to have sex me?” 

J began to take in large gulps of air as if she were a engine on a jet plane careening down a runway. I do not. I don’t. I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“What?” I asked sincerely,

“Have sex with you, ever.”

I smiled at her, and said, “We’re making progress in our relationship. I’m really turned on, how about you?”

J sat down in the short guy’s chair and the sounds coming out of her were something I once heard at the zoo when the hyenas got into whatever they do when hyenas are having foreplay.

J composed herself. She raised her hand and turned her palm toward me and said, “Not another word. Not another word. I’m going to do all the talking. You do not speak unless I ask you. Nod if you understand.”

I nodded.

“You don’t have a clue do you?”

I looked at her. I didn’t say anything because my black Venus hadn’t given me permission to speak. I also didn’t have a clue.

She looked puzzled for a second. She was about to say something, then stopped. “I get it. I didn’t ask you to speak.”

I nodded proudly.

“Let me begin again. You don’t have a clue about being a psychologist or how to run a group, do you? You can speak.”

“What’s there to know?”

“You did more harm than good today, don’t your agree?” asked J.

I thought about it for a second and said, “I thought I did pretty good. For one, I got the short guy to express his anger. Two, I believe my encouraging the woman with small breasts and collagen lips to get breast enhancement was very creative. Should I go on?”

“I don’t know where to begin,” said J.

“How about having lunch with me. If we need more time, I know where we can go for drinks.”

“No. Please don’t ask me again.”

“Do you want to come home with me and meet Mother and Father?”

“What did I just say,” said J.

“I wasn’t talking about lunch or drinks.”

“I don’t need lunch. I need a drink, maybe more than one,” said J shaking her head and sighing. A neat trick. Not too many people can pull this off.

“I know just the place. Only respectable people, you know, filthy rich. They carry the most expensive wines in the world. It will be perfect to talk about the next step in our torrid relationship.”

J looked at me and said, “I am going to drink alone. If I turn around and see you …”

“You’ll rush to me and ask forgiveness,” I said helping J out by finishing her sentence.

“Don’t you dare follow me,” said J.

I understand, you need quiet time to think about how you’ll tell your parents you’re taking our relationship to the next level.”

J stared at me for a moment. She shook her head and walked away.

“J? J? I said calling after her. She didn’t respond. I think I’ll broach the subject tomorrow about getting a hearing aid. I’m a very sensitive male so I’ll bring it up in a way she’ll respect me even more than what she already does.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 12 A Satire

Chapter 12

The need to impress J overwhelmed me. I quickly made a plan for the rest of the day. We’d have lunch at a romantic Italian Bistro. I’d bribe the maître d for a table with privacy and a view of the ocean. We’d slowly finish a bottle of their most expensive wine. After a two hour lunch, we go to a private beach and walk barefoot in the sand. By dinner, she’d be mine. Tomorrow morning, we get up fashionably late, not show up for work, and take off for a destination far away from Mother and Father. I had the perfect plan. Or, so I thought.

J and I arrived at D’Lato’s Italian Bisto at twelve-thirty. It was bustling with the right kind of people. D’Lato’s is always perfect, being both pricey and trendy. I discreetly palmed the maître d a fifty and it worked its magic. Mother always advised me to make a small offer to those not in the Sanderstuff’s class, they’ll usually accept. Mother drives me nuts, but she is a genius. When I offered fifty to the maître d, his robotic, taciturn features transformed into a greeter at Disney World. Even though it was lunch hour at the city’s popular high end Italian eatery, the maître d found an empty table in a discreet corner, with the lights low, the ambience perfect. It gave us a view of the ocean. He lit a candle, handed me the wine menu and J a luncheon menu with six items on it. He set my menu on the table. This was a sure win because the food will be better than anything Victor can cook. I’ll never tell him. Chefs are very touchy. He’ll smell lunch on J and me when we show up later today. He’ll know exactly what we ate and where we ate. He’ll ask about lunch. I tell him D’Lato can’t compare with his cuisine. I’ve learned to lie when it’s convenient. Mother told me it’s not a sin to lie in the Episcopal church, only in the Catholic church. I sat, pleased with myself while my black goddess smiled at me, excused herself, and went to the ladies room to make herself beautiful for me. I’m not sure she can improve on perfection.

While J was in the Ladies’ Room, I thought about my first day at work. It wasn’t so bad. I arrived late, left early, and convinced J to have lunch with me. J doesn’t realize how lucky she is to have me in her life. After lunch, I’ll let the salt air and my personality work its charm on her. Yes, being rich is better than being poor. It is even better to be filthy rich. J will love being filthy rich with me. I turned toward the window and marveled at the clear view of the nude beach below. I scanned the beach for eye candy before J returned. So many beautiful women I thought and I have one who has fallen hard for me. Looking at the topless beauties below me, I felt like one of God’s angels hovering over lesser creatures. Mother told me angels have a hierarchy and we’ll be in the highest of the hierarchy when we’re called. I recall Grandmother Houston telling Mother you can take it with you. My mind drifted and I contemplated one of the world’s great questions that puzzled philosophers for centuries, to work or not not to work, that is question. All the good points were on the not to work side. I was still reflecting on this conundrum when J interrupted my thoughts.

“What are thinking about?” my Venus said as she pulled out her chair and sat down.
I turned to my caramel colored love dish and said, “Us.”

J cocked her head a bit to the side, ignored my comment and said, “I wish you asked me what I like for lunch instead of thinking you know what I like for lunch. You ever think of asking someone for their opinion?”

I wasn’t prepared for this attitude followed up by a tough question. I once heard Father tell an underling, ‘If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.’ The underling nodded and walked away. I didn’t think it was the right time to use it on J. I wasn’t quite sure J considers herself an underling. This left me with a deep dilemma. As my administrative assistant she is my underling. As the crown jewel of my love life, I wonder if she’ll be considered a trophy, bling, a playmate.

“Well?” she said.

“I once asked Oscar if I should take the BMW, Porsche, or Mercedes when I was going to a party. Does that count?”

“I will say this softly because I do not want to offend anyone who might be listening.”

I eagerly awaited J’s words. I softly said, “You’re going to accept my marriage proposal and sleep with me tonight.”

“If I didn’t think I could whip your sorry ass in five seconds, I’d walk away and hope to never see you again.”

I saw the fire in her eyes. I felt the heat of her anger, and all it did was super charge my libido. “Yes. Tell me more.”

J said, “I’ll tell you more. The only reason I accepted your luncheon invitation is because you said you wanted to debrief. That is the only reason I am here. We have zero personal relationship. Let me put it this way, M. If you and I were the last two people on the earth and we were on an island, I’d rather mate with a gorilla before I’d let you touch me.”

I don’t know what she said. Her staccato delivery flowing over the most beautiful lips I’ve ever seen mesmerized me. I leaned forward and said, “I couldn’t agree more. May I have this dance?”

“Fool, there is no dance floor,” she said picking up her menu. She glanced at it and said, “This is it? I have six choices and I don’t want any of them. This place is a rip off, thirty-five bucks for a salad and pasta dish they describe in fancy Italian language.”

“I can afford it. It’s part of my allowance. Meals are always on my parents.”

“How old are you?”

“Thirty-three. I believe there’s only a six year age difference between us. I’ll take offense if anyone considers you a trophy or arm candy. We don’t want our biological clocks to run out if you know what I mean,” I said hopefully.

“Trophy? Is that what you think of me? I am not your trophy or arm candy? I will never be more than I am to you now, a hired baby sitter. You are thirty-three and you get lunch money from your mommy and daddy? That stopped for me when I was sixteen.”

“I live a privileged life. It’s because God knows the Sanderstuffs are better than other people. That’s what I learned from Grandmother Houston.”
J glared at me. “You mean the old bat on the wall with the dumbass looking dog on her lap?”

“Uh huh.”

“You think you’re better than me?” she said with a voice that reminded me of Tchaikovsky Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet.

I don’t know where I get this stuff, it comes out of my mouth without any thought. I said, “I’m not worthy of you my black Venus.”

J sat back in her chair and started laughing. “You are too much. You know where Warren Avenue is?”

“Is it near Nordstroms?”

She started slowly, her eyes began to tear up, she pursed her lips and started shaking as if a 6.8 earthquake was centered in her navel. J no longer could stifle her laugh. It burst through her pursed lips like a dam besieged with torrential rains for a week and could no longer hold the water back. Her laugh became so loud, a staff member came by and asked if I felt threatened.

J stared at the staff member, and broke into a louder chorus of laughter. She stood up holding her linen napkin to her face and hurried off to the ladies’ room. Her laughter echoed on off the restroom walls and through the ventilation system. The uppity clientele were taken aback by a lower class creature disturbing their business luncheons, discrete affair luncheon, or backstabbing rumor spreading luncheon. The couple at the table next to ours were aghast. The young female, I’m assuming secretary and lover, asked the septuagenarian she was escorting if it was a terrorist attack. He told her thought not, it was nothing more than a pack of coyotes that wandered down from the mountains. Animal control should be here any moment and not to worry. The howling stopped as abruptly as it started. A moment later, my black Venus left the woman’s room and walked over to me as if she were walking on the red carpet. Her chin held high exposing her regal neck, her breast jutting at a perfect angle, her hips, oh her lovely hips moving to a Jamaican beat. I suddenly longed to smother her with kisses and not worry what others might think.

Before I could act on my impulse to kiss her, J pulled out her chair and sat down. She said, “I’ll have salad with salmon. I want the salmon blackened, cajun style. I want home fries with ketchup on the side. And, I want a bottle of Bud Light. If they don’t serve it, I’m leaving.”

“Has anyone told you you’re more beautiful than Beyonce? I can do this for you,” I said
J raised her eyebrows and said, “While you’re at it, I’ll take a side of beer battered onion rings.”

J was about to witness the power of money. Mother always said, “I suppose it’s nice to love your neighbor, but I’d rather be richer than my neighbor.” I raised my arm and snapped my fingers for the waiter. He scooted over as if he’d been waiting for my finger snap for the past ten minutes. He was a tall, thin man, wearing a long sleeved white shirt and black bowtie. They matched perfectly well with the tailored paints. He was bald, with a dark shadow around his ears and connecting in back of his head.
“Yes, sir?” The waiter said in a snooty uptown accent.

I said, “I want a glass of your best wine and today’s lunch special.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a money clip filled with one-hundred dollar bills. I described J’s meal to him. He shook his no five different times. I had a feeling J was ready to walk out. This wasn’t her kind of place. I placed a hundred dollar bill on the table. He shook his head no. It was only after I added three more hundred dollar bills to the stack that he bowed to J, rose, pirouetted and headed for the kitchen.

I looked at J expecting her to be impressed.

J said, “You are such a jackass. You wasting money buying him off when the four hundred dollars could have paid for meals for a week at the homeless shelter on the other side of town. When are you going to get a set of balls and stop being a mama’s boy and be a man?”

I immediately took offense. I do have a set of cajones. I chose not to argue the point. How was I to know J might be having cramps from her period. I said with a level of sincerity seldom heard on this planet, “Did your period start?” I wasn’t able to finish my sentence before J got up and walked out of the restaurant. I realized I handled this with the panache of man who’s had one drink too many, an extra thumb on both hands, and no idea on how to form a personal relationship with a woman. Does anyone know how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?

Trust Fund Baby ~ 10 A Satire

Chapter 10

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.”

“I am?”

Thugs, Do I Have an Amen?

Chapter 20

The pizza delivery thug and the driver, a tanned, dark wavy haired thug with a long beak, had Zeke and Mickey by an arm and ushered them into Lombardi’s. Gus was behind the bar washing beer glasses. Mickey glanced over, “Hey Gus, I don’t know where we’re going but can you bring me the usual.”

Zeke shrugged and didn’t say anything.

The boys were taken to a back room. Inside the room was a metal desk, three metal folding chairs. A photo of Ted Williams talking to Joe DiMaggio and another photo of former heavyweight champ, Rocky Marciano.

The driver thug, opened the folding chairs and placed them in front of the desk.

The pizza thug said, “Sit.”

Zeke said, “What’d we do? We done nothing.”

Mickey said, “Can I have my beer?”

The pizza thug said to the driver thug, “I think they’re too stupid to know what they done.”

“Don’t matter, stupid or not. They gotta deal with the consequences.”

“That’s right, you don’t do what Mr.G says, it’s like watching the Food Channel, time for a little fileting, and little grilling.”

“We gonna have a barbeque?” asked Mickey.

“Your buddy got air for brains, you know what I mean. You’d have better off if you hung around with smarter guys like me and him.” The pizza guy was careful not to use names.

Zeke looked up, “He’s a nice guy, he thinks different. We’re best friends. I’m doing okay with him.”

“You got a wise mouth and think you’re so smart. If Mr. G wasn’t coming, I’d smack you around and see how smart you was.”

“Pretty soon, your gonna be working for me. Maybe I’ll look for better talent,” said Zeke who then wondered why he said what he said.

“You gotta be driving down the wrong side Route 24 and you got a 16 wheeler heading for you and you can’t see nothing because you is more stupid than the stupid friend you hang around with.”

“He’s not stupid. How’d you like it if someone called you stupid. How would your mother feel?” asked Zeke. He wondered if were on a drug. He didn’t do drugs. Okay, he like beer. But drugs were out of the question. The wine, he thought. Nonna drugged the wine.

A knock on the door.

“Yah,” said the driver thug.

“It’s me, Gus. I got two beers for the guys.”

“What about us?” asked the driver thug.

“Mr. G didn’t say anything about giving you guys free beers. You gonna let me in?”

The driver thug opened the door, Gus walked in and over to Mickey. He handed him a bottle of a dark locally brewed beer. He did the same with Zeke. Then he said, “These are courtesy of Mr. G. He called and said he’d be a few minutes late.”

“What’s going on, Gus?” said the pizza delivery thug.

“Hey, I only work here. You wanna know what’s going on, ask Mr. G,” said Gus who left as abruptly as he came in.

The driver thug hollered, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass. I told him. I don’t like his attitude.”

Zeke sipped at his beer. Mickey let his slide down his throat unimpeded by reflex mechanism. He didn’t stop to breathe. He didn’t stop to savor the taste. He just let it flow.

“How you do that?” asked the driver thug.

“I been practicing since I was a kid,” said Mickey proudly.

The backdoor to the room opened. A third thug with bulging pecs, huge biceps and a tight tee opened the door and held it open for Tony Gallino. Gallino walked to the desk and stood behind the chair just off to its right. The bulging pec thug walked over and pulled the chair out and motioned Gallino to sit down. Once he said, the bulging thug guy helped scoot Gallino in.

When Gallino was set, he looked at Zeke and Mickey and said, “I been nice to a point and now I want the right answers or I am not going to be nice any more. Do I have an amen, thugs?”

The three thugs said, “Amen.”

What’s going to happen to Zeke and Mickey? When will Nonna’s curse kick in? What’s inside the package?