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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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.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 23 A Satire

Chapter 22 

I thought of praying the group planned a mass escape and commandeered their bus; however, I was never taught to pray. Mother told me reading the Wall Street Journal is better than reading the Bible. Since I didn’t know how to pray, I decided to operate by a tried and true psychologist and patient principle, if a patient is one minute late, the patient is charged for the session and the psychologist cancels the session. I intuitively learned this principle from my filthy rich Uncle Jeffrey Feathering. Uncle Jeffrey, Mother’s older brother and mentor, pulled me aside at my tenth birthday party and said, “Martin, I going to give you the secret all the filthy rich people keep to themselves.”

I said, “Are you drunk, Uncle Jeffrey?”

Uncle Jeffrey said, “Yes, I am wasted. How could you tell? Never mind. I am going to tell you the secret before you have your bar mitzvah.”

“I’m not Jewish, I won’t have a bar mitzvah,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter, you look Jewish.”

I said, “No I don’t. I’m not circumcised. I’ll be eventually discovered when I take a high school physical.”

“Jeffrey, my boy, you’re still young. Choose a different obstetrician. Get circumcised.”

“I don’t want to be circumcised. I’m happy the way I am.”

“You need to see a Jewish lawyer to get you a special dispensation.”

“Can I skip the bar mitzvah until I decide if I want to be a lawyer or a doctor, Uncle Jeffrey?”

“Brilliant thinking, Martin. You’ll have to skip your bar mitzvah. Are you disappointed?”

“Do you get lots of money at a bar mitzvah?” This is a question filthy rich kids always ask.”

“Tons, that’s why I suggested it,” said Uncle Jeffrey taking another glass of wine off the tray of the beautiful woman carrying the tray of drinks around to the guests at my party. No kids were invited to my party because Mother said she can’t stand the noise two or more children make when they are together.

“We’ll talk about the bar mitzvah at next year’s party. Here’s the secret of the filthy rich people. If it feels right, it is right. It doesn’t matter if everybody else thinks it’s wrong. It only matters what you feel. This way, Martin, you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, and not feel guilty.”

“Really?” I asked.

“It’s what filthy rich people have done for centuries. The poor haven’t caught on, that’s why it’s such a closely guarded secret. I got to be going. I want to see if the beautiful waitress will have sex with me.”

“What will Aunt Emily say?” I asked.

“She’ll say, Jeffrey if it feels right, it is right. Do you mind if I go shopping?”

“Wow. Thanks Uncle Jeffrey.”

That’s how I came to this way of thinking. Uncle Jeffrey gave me the keys to the castle. Now I understand another of Mother’s maxims, rules are for the poor, money is for the rich. 

My conscience spoke, “Do you believe all the crap your Mother tells you?”

“Who are you? Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m your conscience. I tell you what’s right of wrong.”

“I’m calling Mother. She told me not to talk to strangers who are not rich. Get lost.”

“You need some serious rewiring,” said my conscience.

Before I could offer an counter argument, I heard J’s voice,  “I’m going to say it once, that’s all. Amber, slip this sweatshirt and sweatpants over your outfit.”

Amber pouted, “What’s wrong with a mini baby doll outfit? Can we let Doctor Sanderstuff decide if I can wear it?”

“Sister, you can wrap a frail male ego and a mind that can’t function when the libido is engaged around your little finger and impress them with your silicone, but I’m calling the plays. Think of me as the team coach and Doctor Sanderstuff as my star player. Now, all of you drag your butts into group. The doctor is waiting for you.” 

My precious love called me her star player. What does this mean? Is she telling the group we are in an exclusive arrangement? I’m ready to fly with my Venus as my navigator. She didn’t have to protect me from Amber, I have the moral fiber of a … I couldn’t come with an image that fit. What’s wrong with Amber modeling for me? She probably want’s my opinion if her outfit will help her find  future employment when she’s fully released from prison. I’m going to put in a good word with Mother about Amber. Nicole could use some help.

“Have you thought this one through?”

“Why are you back? I thought you left,” I asked my conscience.

“I go where you go.”

“I don’t remember you ever being with me before.”

“I was always with you, but you stuffed me so far back into the recesses of your consciousness I couldn’t see daylight.”

“I was happy when you were stuck back there. Why didn’t you leave well enough alone,” I said.

“You opened the door to my prison and let me out when you fell in love with J. Now, I’m free and I’m going to torment you until you get your act together.”

“Did falling in love do this?”

“I’m afraid so,” said my conscience.

“But, Uncle Jeffrey said, “If it feels right it is right. I think I’ll give Amber permission to take off her sweatsuit. She can’t see you and only I can hear you.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?  How will you feel if you spend the night with Amber?”

“Great. Exhilarated.”

“How will you feel when J asks you how you enjoyed your night?”

“Who’s going to put that question in her head? You wouldn’t?”

“Oh, yes. I’ll make sure it goes off like an alarm clock and it will ring until she answers it.”

“Okay, the sweatsuit stays, but you are no fun. No fun at all.” Between J’s voice and my nagging conscience, my hopes for an early work day were dashed. 

J opened the door. She stood there looking like Aphrodite. My sex goddess. 

“Are you okay, Doctor M? Who were you talking to?” J asked. 

My mind slammed into a brick wall at one-hundred miles an hour. My gaze riveted on God’s masterpiece. If it were true that tongues could be tied, mine was braided into a thousand tiny knots. 

J kept the group in the outer office. She came over to me and bent over to speak so only I could hear. Her breath was as sweet as the fragrance of honeysuckle. Her skin as smooth as a new born baby’s skin.

“Ouch. Why’d you do that?” I said after J smacked me on my cheek.

“You’re losing it. You’ve got to get out of the love funk. Stop being obsessed with me.”

“I can’t help myself. Will you take a selfie and text it to me so I can have a tattoo made of your image on my heart? Ouch.”

“Earth to Double M. It’s group time.”

I heard J mutter a prayer, “Dear God in heaven, why me? I’m a hard working black woman. I go to church every Sunday. I honor my mother and father. I was the first in the family to graduate from high school and college. I don’t lie. I don’t cheat on my taxes. I’m kind and respectful to most people. Why did you put this man in my life? He is a burden almost too much to bear.”

Trust Fund Baby ~ 21 A Satire

Chapter 21

I froze, unable to move or utter a word. I knew I died and an angel greeted me. The only thing missing was the white light. I made a mental note to telepathically send Mother a message that there are black angels. I heard her telling Father she studied scripture with her filthy rich friends at a filthy rich church where only the rich attended and she learned only the rich, the really richly rich had eternal spirits. Everyone else had to go through a series of reincarnated forms until they learned how to be rich. This was how God made heaven exclusively for the rich people. 

At the time, I wondered, if Mother’s reasoning were true, what she was in a former life. I wondered how many reincarnations she’d been through before she was born a Feathering. It was one of those thoughts best left unsaid. Instead, I reasoned there might be a flaw in Mother’s logic given I was staring at a black angel who won’t be among the filthy rich until she marries me. J will have to go through a period of adjustment learning to be filthy rich. I’ll have to ask Mother if there are schools that teach you how to be filthy rich.

“Doctor M, snapped out of it,” J said now standing and exposing her perfect figure. I caught a glimpse of her aura. Shades of green, blue, and turquoise surrounded J telling me she was everything all men desired, yet only one man on the planet could have her, me. My spirit came back to me and whispered I had to return to reality. I smiled at J and said, “I go by a new name now. A spiritual messenger gave me the name Double M.”

“What is this spiritual messenger’s name,” asked J.

“It’s Carlos.”

“You mean the Mexican custodian who works in the building?” asked J.

“That’s the one,” I said.

“You high on drugs? If you are, don’t come any closer. I’ll Taser you. I have one in my handbag and I know how to use it,” said J. 

A glazed look came over my face. I said, “I’m high on love.”

J sat down behind her desk. The extended her beautiful, toned, right arm toward me. Slowly, seductively, she curled her right index finger toward me, just like the vision I had earlier. Only this time, she wasn’t nude. It was okay, I had a clear image of her body, every contour, each rise and fall of her flesh. Call it obsession, call it lust, call it whatever you want, it had hold of me and wasn’t letting go. Her magnetic attraction pulled me toward her the same way a compass points to true North. Within seconds I was standing in front of her desk gazing into the deepest, most beautiful dark brown eyes ever seen in the history of the world.

“Double M?”

“May I ask you a question first?”

“It depends. Are you going to ask me to marry you?”

“I’ve already asked that question and your body language accepted. It’s only a matter of us choosing a date, hiring a wedding planner, and making the decision when we’ll start living together. I have a question that precedes all that,” I said.

J sighed, “Ask it.”

I gave J my most disarming smile and said, “Until we formerly announce our marital plans, do you want me to refer to you as my mistress or my lover?”

It happened again. J broke into a wonderful laugh. Her mouth opened wide as she roared aloud. It was an erotic performance on her part to let me know she was happy with either term. I entered a blissful state while J’s laughter continued. I stood patiently in front of her waiting her her laughter to subside. I was well aware when her laughter subsided, J would come around her desk, embrace me and enter into a kiss so deep, so long, and so emotionally charged there would be no return for either one of us for hours.

Five minutes later, J’s laughter eased the way a dawn eases into the day. She made eye contact with me, “Double M. I should be offended. I should file a sexual harassment law suit. I should come around this desk and kick your ass. I can’t.”

“Is it because you’re coming home with me tonight to meet Mother and Father and we will formally announce our wedding date?”

“Oh hell no. It is none of the above. You ever go to the city animal shelter? Don’t answer, I already know the answer and you don’t even know what an animal shelter is.”

I nodded my head in agreement.

J continued, “Most normal human beings enjoy seeing little puppies, they’re cute. You can’t help but want to pet them, and pick them up, and cuddle them.”

“Am I your little puppy?” I hopefully asked.

I watched J fight the urge to start laughing. I knew I was making progress.

J said, “No, you’re not my little puppy I want to cuddle and pet. You’re more like a foster child who needs adult guidance to grow into a mature adult. Sometimes it takes tough love to make this happen.”

I interrupted J, “I’ll take any kind of love. Tough love sounds kinky. I’ve never tried it. I don’t go for bondage or anything degrading.”

It happened again. J began pounding her desk with her fist, gulping in large quantities of air, reaching for Kleenex to dry the tears streaming down her face. I know she loves me. I saw a romantic movie where one of the characters said the first stage of true love was the ability to laugh at each other.  I watched J come around and scribble something on a notepad. She was writing her first love note to me. She pushed it across the table and turned it around so I could read it.

Go Into Your Office and Get Ready for Group.

TRUST FUND BABY CONTINUES ON MONDAY

Trust Fund Baby ~ 20 A Satire

Chapter 20

When I have a mood swing and my mood hits a note high enough to shatter glass. I’m closing in on shattering all glass within a mile radius. My kindergarten teacher taught me how to control my mood swings by telling me to have a third person conversation with myself. 

“Life is good, isn’t it, MM?” 

“Who’s MM?”

“Why you are MM, MM. Think about it, your first name is Martin. Your second name is Milgram, hence MM.”

“I’ve always hated the name Martin.”

“You can use your new legal name, Artin, MM. Have you thought of that? Then you would be A M. Everyone would think you’re a morning person. We both know that isn’t true.”

“That is a stupid idea. I hate mornings. Mornings were not made for the filthy rich. They were made for people who have to go to work. You have a way of popping my balloon. Forget my great mood. I forgot all about work. Help me out, I’ll be at work in ten minutes. My ebony goddess is waiting for me. I want to take her something special. Something, when she looks at it, she’ll melt and see me as the most sensitive, caring, male she’s ever known. She’ll throw herself into my arms and we’ll have office sex.”

“MM, at times, you’re even too weird for me and I’m you. Here’s my idea.”

I gave the keys and twenty to the valet. Walked into the lobby, waved at Joe Maples, security. He didn’t wave back, He glanced and me and the bag I was carrying. “It’s a gift for J. Is she waiting for me? Did she tell you that she placed me at the top of her list as her most admired man in the world? I believe I’m now number one on the speed dial of her throw away phone.”

Joe Maples stared, not a muscle twitched. His right hand rested on his gun. I stopped and waited for a response. He finally broke the stoney façade, “Hurry, or you’ll miss your elevator.”

He must have agreed with everything I said because he didn’t disagree with anything I said. I attended one logic class and then hired someone to take my place for  the next fourteen weeks and take the final exam. I have a difficult time thinking logically. As I walked across the lobby, I diverted my eyes from Genevieve  Loomis’ eyes. I think Genevieve, Grandmother Houston, and Mother all hired the same artist to paint them. The artist gave each of them the same set of eyes that look as if they were taken from a feral cat stalking a rat. It probably took the artist longer to paint the fifteen story portrait of the old broad than it did for Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. 

Today, I dressed for success. I left no stone unturned. I decided to pull out all the stops to hit everyone of J’s love buttons. When I reached the bank of elevators, the suits, that’s what I call the people who take work seriously like it is really important, all scooted away from me and quickly moved toward an elevator and the far end of the bank of elevators. They couldn’t handle my unbridled optimism, my joyful exterior, and a heart playing Schubert’s symphony in C major.  The elevator in front of me opened. I waved to the suits, no one waved back. I stepped into the empty elevator. “The twenty-first floor,” I said to the elevator. The doors began to close. The moment before they closed, a broom handle wedged itself in causing the closing doors to come to a screeching halt. The doors slowly retreated into the sides of the elevator. Carlos the custodian pushed his custodian wagon into elevator compartment.

“Buenos dias, amigo,” said Carlos. I made a mental note to learn Mexican or is Spanish? He gave me a wide five brown stained teeth with two golden teeth grin.

I didn’t want Carlos to know I didn’t understand what he said. Mother taught me to never admit to the lower class you don’t know something they know. She said there were no exceptions. I had no choice but to answer him in Spanish. I said, “Fajitas and nachos.” These are words I learned at a Mexican restaurant. 

“How did you know what I had for dinner last night? You are one smart hombre?”

There he goes again tossing a Spanish word at me. My mind raced for Spanish words. I needed a comeback and I needed it fast. We were on the tenth floor and apparently going non stop to the twenty-first floor because Carlos likes my company. My brilliant mind flashed with the name of a fast food Mexican restaurant. I said, “Thanks, Carlos. I am one loco pollo.”

I don’t know what I said, but it must have been perfect, because Carlos started laughing, and said, “You are one crazy chicken, señor. I like you even though I don’t know your name. You got a good sense of humor.”

I said, “Thanks, Carlos. I go by the name Double M or MM whichever is easier to remember.”

“It sounds like a name you picked up as a kid in a gang. You still a gang banger?”

Me? In a gang? I know I have a dashing, rugged, go for it all look that only one woman in the entire world can resist. And, in a few minutes, my black goddess will fall under the spell of Double M. I like the sound of it. I’m going to have Parvobone or whateve the lawyer’s name is get the sign on the door changed. I don’t know anything about gangs except the stuff I see on television or in a movie. I don’t read books, so I can’t add that one. 

I nodded and said, “Carlos, there are things in my life I can’t talk about. Names, I can’t divulge. Gang signs I’ve sworn not to reveal, and tattoos that are covered for security reasons.”

“Man, you must have been in one of the bad gangs. Sometimes the guys who don’t look like they are bad asses are the baddest asses, know what I mean? You still active? You know. You doing drive-by shootings. Pimping? Running drugs?”

Was Carlos telling me I didn’t look like a bad ass? Did he give me a clue how to win J’s heart without knowing it. Did I have to learn how to be a bad ass to win J’s approval? 

Since I was lying, I decided to make it one even I might believe. I said, “I was an active gang member until a year ago. I made a vow to my mother to lead a good life when she was lying on her deathbed. She held my hand and said, “Double M, please stop being a bad ass gangbanger. Marry one of the girls you’re pimping.” She said these words. I nodded at her and kissed her forehead, and she died.” The lie flowed from my lips like honey on hot summer’s day. It was sweet, simple, and I believed every word of it. I really need help.

Carlos blessed himself with the sign of the cross four different times. He said, “Double M, you are like a saint walking the Earth. I need you to pray for my friend Paco who is on trial for car theft. He can’t do any more time. He gets convicted, he’s going in the slammer for life. He’s already got four convictions and seven deportations. Even Mexico doesn’t want him back.

Me, a saint? Wait until I tell J what Carlos said. On second thought, I better not. I think she’d prefer to make love to a bad ass former gangbanger than a saint. I made a mental note to ask Oscar to tell me how to be a badass and to bring me up to speed on being a former gangbanger. 

The elevator announced the twenty-first floor. Carlos and I fist bumped. I looked at him and said, “Don’t worry about Paco. I got him covered.” 

“Man, you are the best, Double M. You are the best.”

I smiled and walked into the corridor. I congratulated myself on being the best. No doubt about it. I am the most sensitive, kind, compassionate, and wonderful human being on this planet. A tiny sliver of doubt popped in my mind, what if Paco is found guilty and sent to prison for life. I had to call Pettibone and ask him to take care of Paco’s problem. I opened the door to the office and my black Venus was behind her desk. Oh my, I felt dizzy. I placed my left hand against the door jam to steady myself. What can I say? My black goddess was wearing an off the shoulder black casual top that was a size too small for her. I think I was having an atrial flutter. 

“Get a grip,” said J.

“Huh?”

Trust Fund Babe ~ 19 A Satire

Chapter 19

I ate dinner with Mother and Father. Mother sat at one end of the ten foot cherry table. Father at the other end. Me on the side placed exactly the middle. My place setting was not one centimeter to the left or to the right. It sat exactly in the middle. Mother is obsessive compulsive about order. According to Mother, everyone eating dinner arrives precisely at seven-thirty. Arriving a fraction of a minute late brings an icy glare from the ice maiden. Father and I stood behind our chairs until Mother nodded. She nodded in a way that let both Father and I know she is in charge. I notice she has a bit of a glow, then I remembered today was her day with Oscar. I wonder if she had a happy ending. I decide this may not be an appropriate question for the heir apparent to ask his mother.

Once we sat, Mother placed her two cold, passionless hands palm down on the table. I wondered if there was any blood circulating in her fingers. I saw similar fingers several years ago on an episode of the walking dead. She looked first at me and said, “Martin, where is your tie?”

I said, “I don’t know. The last time I wore a tie was for Grandmother Houston’s funeral. Nicole tied it for me.”

“Martin, you are going to have to be comfortable wearing a tie if you want to go anyplace in this world.”

“Can Nicole tie it for me?”

“Martin, Nicole is not in your class. You have to stop fixating on her body. Think about her net wealth,” said Mother. She has a way of making clear what is important to her.

I was feeling feisty. I get it. I’m upset over J going drinking without me. I’m worried J will quit. I don’t know what I’ll do with my life If J walks out of it. I made a mental note to ask her about her net worth. 

I reacted to Mother and said, “Mother, I am thirty-three years old. I am living at home. Each time I bring a woman home to spend the night you lecture me the next morning about practicing safe sex. I don’t know how to work. I’ve worked for two days and I’m overwhelmed. I’m burned out. I want a life. I want my trust fund. I want J to accept my marriage proposal. I don’t want to live with you and Father. I don’t mind Nicole, but you two will be history.”

Mother’s back stiffened. She moved her head slightly away from me toward Father. She looked like a Canadian goose. Unlike a Canadian goose’s neck, her’s is wrinkled. If I mention the wrinkles she’ll be in surgery tomorrow to have them removed. She pointed her beak at Father. “Father?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“We’re you listening to Martin?”

“I didn’t miss a word, Mother.”

“Please correct his thinking so I won’t lose my appetite.”

I didn’t know what my thinking had to do with her appetite. I spoke before Father had a chance to speak, “If I may?” I said not asking permission. “Mother, did Oscar cut the massage session short today?”

“Why, yes. How did you know,” she said.

“I have a feeling you didn’t get everything you expected from the massage and you are taking this out on me. I have not worn a tie to the dinner table since I went to college.”

Mother looked at me and said, “Let’s leave Oscar and my massage out of this. Father?”

“Son?” Father started right on cue.

“Yes?”

“I know work is maddening, I’ve never experienced it and I never had a trust fund. Grandfather Sanderstuff didn’t believe in work for the wealthy. He always said, “The wealthy need time to think. Those not wealthy need to serve the wealthy. These words are as true today as when he sat me on his knee and made me memorize them.”

“You made me memorize it when I was three, Father. What’s your point.” 

“Mother and I had a long talk last night. We want to meet your betrothed.”

“That’s my problem, Father. I betrothed her. She didn’t accept my brothel. She said she’d rather betroth a gorilla than betroth me if we were the last two people on earth.”

Mother chuckled, “Oh, Martin. Surely, you can see through the very flimsy façade she placed in front of you?”

Suddenly I saw J dressed in only stilettos, her body gesturing and gyrating back and forth toward me. Then, the voice of the ice maiden.

“Martin! Martin! You’re glazed over. Pay attention. When you see Ms. J tomorrow, casually ask her how much she will inherent. I assume she is an only child.”

“She has a brother, Mother. His name is Dante.”

Mother clasped her right hand over her tiny right breast. A look of rapture filled her face. She said, “Oh good heavens, he was named after the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. I can’t wait to meet this family. Is Dante a poet like his name sake? Please invite him for dinner, Martin.”

How do I tell Mother and Father Dante is doing 8 to 15 years for burglary with a deadly weapon. I took an evasive course of action, “Dante’s calendar is filled to the maximum for the next ten years.”

“Surely, Martin, Ms. J can pull some strings and help her brother break some of those appointments. After all, it’s not everyday a Sanderstuff invites you to dine. Tell Ms. J to tell Dante that we’ll invite only the wealthy to dinner, those who believe a million dollars is spare cash.”

“Good one, Mother,” said Father giving a chuckle that sounded more like a gerbil grunting when it’s having a bowel movement.

“I’ll mention it, Mother.”

“Very good. I’ll have Victor get started on planning the wedding for Ms. J and you. We’ll make it two years from now. It will be perfect. Of course, I’ll have to have a nip and tuck here and there. Oscar will have to help me firm up. It’s time to eat, I’m famished. Isn’t wonderful how we can talk about difficult issues and resolve them. It’s what the wealthy do, Martin. Never forget that.”

“I won’t, Mother,” I said relegating myself to living the rest of my life as an adult child living in my Mother and Father’s mansion. At the peak moment of self-loathing, my cell phone vibrated, I checked my text message and my heart did three orbits around planet Earth. The text read, Sorry I left the way I did. I should have smacked you aside the head and given you a good kick in the ass instead of walking out. Don’t think you have my phone number, this text is from a throw away phone. I still don’t trust you.

It was J’s way of saying she loves me.