Trust Fund Baby ~ 45 A Satire

Chapter 45

J was giving me a look I can only compare to a Discovery Channel show about ravenous mountain lions. I tried to smile but my lips felt glued shut. J said, “I advise you not to interrupt me, make a smart ass remark about sleeping with you tonight, or ask me to run off and marry you within the next five days. We are going to have a talk after the group is finished. We are not going to a restaurant. We are not going to a bar. We are not going to a coffee shop to have this talk. Do you understand me?”  

I nodded. A sudden impulse I can only attribute to the goddess of love forced me to speak, “Does this mean you’ll contemplate marriage after five days?” 

J rolled her eyes.

I wasn’t through. I said, “I’ll take that as a yes. Next question, You didn’t eliminate deli’s and eating on a bench overlooking the ocean? I take the pout on your beautiful pouty, kissable red lips as a definite yes.”

“You are hopeless,” said J. 

“Well? Can we,” I said in a pleading tone.

“I will say yes to the deli and the ocean side bench. Not to marriage in six days.”

I started to speak and stopped when J shook her head and turned away from me. I was only going ask her if seven days would work.

As J was leaving my office, she turned and said, “Get ready for group. I hear them in the reception area.” J closed the door to my office and I imagined us making out on the bench overlooking the ocean after we finished our meal. 

From the receptionist area J gave a quick hell fire sermon, “You better find a bra or you’re going to find a knuckle sandwich.” 

I have to ask J, when we were sitting on the bench overlooking the ocean, if she is open to conflict resolution with Amber. I rolled my chair from behind my desk to the top of the semi circle formed by the group’s chairs. I hadn’t thought about the group since I last I saw them. I suppose I should prepare, but I don’t believe in preparing for group sessions. It’s my scholarly opinion based on hours of research at Foxy’s Sport’s Bar with my friends, that non preparation is the best preparation. When you non prepare, you then prepare for any circumstance. It’s counter intuitive. In non preparation for the group, which will be entering any moment, I took a nail clipper out of my pocket and began trimming my nails. I wasn’t quite finished when they marched in led by their drill sergeant, J.

I looked up from trimming my nails and was disappointed when I realized no one was missing. I went back to trimming my right thumbnail. Mother always said, trimmed nails on a man are a sign of good breeding. When I finished trimming my nails, I crossed my legs and removed my right foot Nike and sock. My intention was to trim my toenails. 

Amber spoke, “Would you like a pedicure, Doctor Sanderstfuff?”

From the outer office J’s voice bounced off the walls in my office, “Strike two.”

I thought this might be the perfect segue into dynamic group growth. I stretched my leg out so that the bottom of my right foot faced the group. I said, “What do you see?”

From the outer office, “Oh dear Lord save me from this insanity.”

I must be a great psychologist because all five members were waving their hands competing to be the first to speak. I called on the muffin top, Tito Perez, “Okay muffin top, what do you have to say. Sorry, I didn’t think to have jelly donuts for you.”

“Doctor Sanderstuff, I’m sensitive about my weight. I’m calorie challenged. It’s not politically correct to call me a muffin top.”

“I didn’t realize you were calorie challenged, Tito. Your records didn’t say anything about you being calorie challenged.”

“Thank you for being sensitive, Doctor Sanderstuff. What I see in your foot is an image of a croissant in your arch.”

“Very good, Tito. I’ll make sure we have some croissants at our next meeting for you.”

“Thanks, Doctor Sanderstuff.”

“What do you see, Jill?” Jill’s the Amber wannabe.

“I see toes I want to kiss …”

Jill didn’t get a chance to finish. She was interrupted by the one with super hearing in the outer office, “The only toes you’re going be licking will be mine and I will keep my shoe on. I hope you like the taste of leather and shoe polish.”

I was getting tired holding my leg up, I said, “Well that about wraps it up for today, we’ve had a big breakthrough. I’m glad you all could witness it.”

Prince spoke out without being called on, “I missed the breakthrough, Doctor Sanderstuff. I was thinking about something else. Can you tell me what it was?”

“That will teach you to pay attention, Prince. Things move so fast in group, it’s no telling where and when the next breakthrough will happen,” I said knowing I didn’t know what I was taking about. One of my drinking friends used the term breakthrough one night when he was talking about his relationship status. Or, was it breakup? I’m not sure. This was a good time to toss it out.

“Can I tell you want I was thinking about?” asked Prince.

“Well, hurry. I have an important luncheon date and I can’t be late,” I said.

“It’s only nine forty-five,” said The Sage.

“Did anyone ask you the time?” I said.

“No, I was just trying to help,” said The Sage.

I said, “You’re regressing. Trying to help is counter productive to helping. Wrap your peanut sized brain around that one.”

“That’s telling him,” Amber cooed. 

Prince raised his hand again, I said, “You’ve already taken up too much of the group’s time, Prince. I’ll let you speak, but you can’t speak at our next meeting.”

“Thank you, Doctor Sanderstuff. As everyone here knows, I was convicted of bigamy. I had three legal wives at the same time. For my part, I only lived with one at a time. I never bothered to divorce any of them.”

“So?” I asked.

“So, I want to propose to Jill. Jill will you marry me? We can share the same cell. It will be kind of cramped, but we’re both up for full release in six months.”

 “Tito?” asked Prince.

Before I could delve deeper into Prince’s proposal to be his fourth wife while he is still legally married to three other women, Amber blurted, “Doctor Sanderstuff, Doctor Sanderstuff.”

I turned toward Amber and saw she rolled up her top to the top of her bra. I said, “Nice navel ring.”

“Doctor Sanderstuff, I know you’re infatuated with Ms. J, but did you know her blonde hair is not hers? It’s either a wig or extensions.”

The door to my office burst open. J’s eye’s flashed like a pit bull’s eyes when it see raw meat. J snarled, “Strike three. All you loser but balloon breasts clear out.”

There was a mad stampede for the door. I hurried in front of Amber, I held my arms out, “J listen to reason. You don’t want to join Dante in prison, You want to honeymoon with me in Tahiti.”

J grabbed me by my arms. For a brief moment, I thought she was going to throw me out the window and Amber would soon follow. I had to do a pattern interrupt. This is another term I learned watching afternoon TV over cocktails at the club after a grueling round of golf. I took my arms and wrapped them around J and pulled her tight against my body and placed my lips on her lips and kissed her with the passion bottled within me since I first saw her. Five seconds, ten seconds and then I felt J slide into a state of relaxation and return the intensity of my kiss.

Neither one of us knew it at the moment, but Amber slid out unharmed to catch the bus ride back to the prison. 

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Trust Fund Baby ~ 36 A Satire

Chapter36

I drove past the risen gate bar and glanced at the fifteen story high rise to my left. It looked like it was built a half century ago and hadn’t had a facelift since. It was past time for a redo or an industrial strength Botox injection. If Botox was the answer, Mother could serve as a consultant. At one time, I imagine it was a clean cream color. I’m only speculating about the color because years of dirt, pollutions, and pigeon poop gave it a spotted grayish hue with the look of impending death. 

I drove to a small oval leading up to a large faded green awning in front of automatic glass doors. I pulled under the awning. I glanced up and saw three bats hanging from metal rods supporting the awning. I turned the engine off, took a deep breath, and checked my pants to make sure my zipper was closed. I didn’t want get things off on the wrong foot. I stepped out of the car and walked up a slight incline and waited for the sliding glass doors to open. An black doorman with short gray curly hair and a face with more wrinkles than the bark of a giant Sequoia tree sat behind a U shaped enclosure. An entrance door was off to his left and an exit door off to his right. I intuitively knew the function of each door by signs above each.

The doorman lifted tired droopy eyes and looked briefly at me. I wasn’t sure of protocol in an intercultural environment. Mother always said, ‘Martin, when in Rome do as the Romans.’ It wasn’t Rome, but I hoped her advice applied. I said, “Hello, I watched Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when I was in eighth grade. I had my mother write a report on the video. I got an A on it.”

The doorman’s jaw dropped open. His head tilted a bit to the left. For a moment, I thought he was having a stroke or heart attack. His chin slumped down to his chest, his eyes closed. I started counting to one hundred. I did this for two reasons, one he might be taking a senior nap. Or two, if he died, someone might show up who knows how to handle this situation. I only got to four when he lifted his head and spoke.

“You a jackass. No, you more than a jackass. You six or seven jackasses. What you doing telling me stuff like that. You don’t even know who Dr. King was or what he did. You had your filthy rich white mother do all your work for you while you was out in the cabana by your Olympic sized pool trying to get the halter top of off one of your filthy white rich girlfriends.”

I’m not one to argue, but I wanted to set the record straight. I said, “Excuse me. I admit I am a filthy rich white guy. I admit Mother is a filthy rich white woman. But I was not in a cabana doing what you said, I was in one of the ten guest bedrooms doing my best to get her halter top off.”

He shook his head, “I don’t have time to waste with you. Who you hear to see?”

“Ms J. Her last name is Johnson.”

“I know her last name. You don’t have to tell me Ms. J’s last name. Do I look stupid? Do I look like I have dementia? I know her name. I know her mother’s name. I know the names of all 235 residents in this rat infested, sewer backup, mold covering the walls like paint apartment building.”

He lowered his eyes and shuffled some papers around. He found what he was looking for then looked up at me, “You Doctor Sandystiff?”

“Doctor, Sanderstuff,” I corrected him.

“Did I say something different? You don’t like the way I talk, is that it? What kind of doctor are you? You don’t look like no doctor I ever seen. Where’s your stethoscope? Something wrong with Ms. Evelyn I don’t know about? If it is, you better tell me because Ms. Evelyn and me been seeing a lot of each other.”

I said, “No, I’m here to see Ms. J.”

“Oh hell, you the filthy rich white boy who’s the proctologist.”

“No, I’m a psychologist,” I said.

The old man started laughing, “No difference. Hell, anybody can be a psycho. Henry over on Delancy, he gives the best advice and he never been to school. What do you think of that? See, he’s black and he’s never been to school, that don’t make him less smarter than you. The other day, I said, “Henry, should I buy me a scratch ticket? I only got one dollar left to pay day tomorrow.” You know what Henry said?”

I said, “No.”

“That goes to show you. Henry is smarter than you. If you was as smart as Henry you would’ve told me what I should do, but you didn’t. This was a test only you didn’t know you was being tested.”

My head was spinning. He might be pushing 80. I’m sure I can take him, tie him up, gag him, and roll him under his desk. Nobody will miss him. How do I stop him from talking? He won’t stop. I can’t get past go. I decided to help him along, “What did Henry say?”

The old man said, “He said, ‘Deter. Deter’s my name my mama give when I was four. Before I was four I was Lotus. Lotus was the name my father give me, but he took up with a younger woman and my mother threw them both out. She changed my name to Deter. Anyway, Henry says, ‘Deter, you only go round once in life, buy a scratch off ticket.’ That’s what I did.”

“Did you win?” I asked.

“Hell no. Nobody wins with a scratch off ticket. Those things fixed so you buy them but you don’t win.”

“Why was Henry’s advice so great?” I asked.

“Because when I was walking out of the convenience store there was a twenty dollar bill on the ground looking up at me. So I spent a dollar and come home with twenty. See, Henry knew this and you didn’t.”

I took a step closer to the front desk. The old man lifted a can of pepper spray. “One more step filthy rich white proctologist and I’m going to spray you with my pepper spray.”

I said, “I mean no offense. I only want to see Ms. J.”

“Why didn’t you say so,” the doorman said. “I’ll let her know you’re here. If she wants to see you, she’ll come down. If she doesn’t I’ll call the police.”

He called and I assumed he spoke with Ms. J. My nightmare would soon be over. He put the phone down. “She be right down. How you get to be filthy rich?”

“I was born to filthy rich parents,” I said.

“Hah!” he slammed his palm down on the front desk. “I was born to filthy poor parents. My momma said, you filthy rich white folks got a surprise coming when you see all us filthy poor people sitting at the banquet table in heaven and you got to wait on us.”

My Sunday school lesson ended when Ms. J opened the exit door. Oh Lord, did she look delicious. She was wearing a black crepe jump suit that wetted my appetite. I said, “J, you look, look, look …”

The old man said, “The filthy white boy never seen a beautiful black woman dressed up like this. He can’t handle it. Maybe I should call an ambulance for him.”

I said, “Marry me tonight. I might die if you don’t.”

J rolled her eyes. She said, “You’re fortunate mama can’t hear too well. You keep quiet about marriage.”

J stepped out from the exit doorway and held the door open. She waited for a moment, then said, “Mama, M is here to take us to dinner.”

Us? What is J talking about Us. 

A half moment later a bent over black woman wearing a dress that went to mid calf, and a velvet black hat with a red rose on it sat lopsided on her head. She was bent over pushing a walker.

J beamed a smile and said, “M this is Evelyn, my mama.”

Trust Fund Baby ~ 35 A Satire

Chapter 35

It was five after seven when I pulled off the loop and onto West 98th. Fifty yards off the exit ramp a dirty looking high rise apartment building towered in front of me, A female voice on my GPS said, “You arrived at your destination. The GPS system is now turned off.” I don’t know about the GPS system, but I was turned on knowing in a few moments I was taking a piece of chocolate cake with caramel colored frosting out on a date. I pulled into a left turning lane to make an entrance into The Mayor Ronald Bitters Low Income Housing High Rise Apartments. So much for the trust fund baby report to Father. 

An eight foot chain link fence with razor wire atop the chain link fence surrounded the property. A guard house stood in between a single lane road leading in and a single lane road leading out. A large bar blocked the entrance road just beyond the guard house. I pulled the BMW up to the guard house and lowered my window. A bald headed black guard wearing a holster and gun on his hip, and a short sleeved bright yellow shirt made of Spandex clinging to his body as if it were his skin waited for me. If he had an ounce of fat, I couldn’t detect it. His biceps stretched the Spandex to the breaking point. I’ve see smaller full grown tree trunks. The guard scowled at me. If he was trying to intimidate me, it worked, he didn’t have to do anything else. I told myself, no wise remarks, no comments about what kind of shoe polish he use on his head, nothing about how he pumps air into his biceps, no questions about where he gets his steroids. I’m convinced he can pick up my BMW and toss it over the horizontal bar blocking the road in front of me without any trouble.

He spoke in a baritone voice as smooth as silk and as menacing as mountain lion’s growl, “Who you here to see, Doctor?”

I said, “How did you know I am a doctor?”

The guard said matter of factly as if it were common knowledge,“Only three kinds of people gonna drive an M760i. The first is a doctor. Doctor’s got plenty of money. The second is someone who is filthy rich and either inherited it or made it off of a pyramid scheme on Wall Street. And the third, is someone who stole the car from a doctor or someone who is filthy rich. You don’t look like someone who knows how to steal cars. There is no reason why a filthy rich young white guy would ever shows his filthy rich white face around here. That means you are a doctor. Who you here to see?”

I wanted to get on his good side. I was also thinking of Mother and giving Oscar a helping hand. I said, “How would you like to have job where you are paid double what you make now with a lot of side benefits? Can you do massages?”

The guard stared into my eyes. What was I supposed to do? Was this an eye staring contest? The only time I won an eye staring contest was with my teddy bear when I was seven. The only reason I won, was because I pushed him over and said, “You blinked.” The teddy bear didn’t complain. Instead of staring at the guard’s eyes, I stared at the spot where his torso and his head connected. He didn’t have a neck. 

The guard said, “You lose. You moved your eyes. Who you here to see, filthy rich white doctor?”

I said, “I’m here to see Ms. Johnson and her mother. Did you know you don’t have a neck?” I was trying to be helpful. I’ve never saw anyone without a neck.

“What makes you think I don’t have a neck?” said the guard while he was looking at his cell phone.

I wanted to sound intelligent, after all, I am a doctor of sorts. I said, “The neck is the space between the head and the torso.”

The guard turned away from his cell phone, took a step toward the M760i, placed two his two hand on car door. For a moment, I believed he was going to rip the door off of the car. “You see this?” he said pointing to his Adam’s apple.

“Uh huh,” I said in a high squeaky voice.

“That’s my neck,” grumbled the guard.

“Gotcha,” I said hoping to end the confrontation. Some people are very sensitive.

The guard started laughing and he tapped something on his oversized cell phone. A long second later he said, “J, the filthy rich white boy is here to see you and Evelyn.” He disconnected the call, “I thought you was a doctor, you’re no doctor, you’re one of them shrinks, a head guy. My brother Leon sees one every week at Lawton. Lawton is the high security prison you never visited.”

I interrupted, “I flew over it once on my way to Paris.”

The guard shook his head and said, “You filthy rich white folks got it all wrapped up and you won’t let anybody else play. No offense intended. Just stating a fact of life. I’m going to give you a warning, filthy rich white boy. You so much as make Ms. J shed a tear I’m going to personally kick your ass so hard you’ll be orbiting the planet. You understand, amigo?”

Was he making me his friend calling me amigo? Was getting my ass kicked by the guard a sort of gang initiation? I have to ask Carlos about the initiation process. I’m not sure I want to be a gangbanger anymore. I smiled at my new amigo and said, “Mother would agree with you and so would Father, amigo.” 

The bald head shook and his eyes rolled. He pushed a button on the side of the guard house and the security gate rose letting me drive onto the property. 

Trust Fund Baby ~ 34 A Satire

Chapter 34

I left the estate around six thirty that evening in my new M760i, the most expensive BMW on the market. Mother always tells me go for the best and leave the crumbs to others. I could have taken the Porsche or the Mercedes, but Father told me the M760i would impress my future bride. Earlier in the afternoon when I told Mother and Father I was going out with the future mother of the future heirs to the Sanderstuff fortune. Mother reminded me to take condoms in case the relationship didn’t work out. Father asked me to ask her what her net worth, if she is a trust fund baby, and do they belong to the country club. Mother and Father always have my best interests in mind. The filthy rich like to stay filthy rich and pass it on to their children so they will be filthy rich. It’s an economic schema they only teach in Ivy League schools.

I took the city loop. It was an alternative to the most direct route suggested by Google maps. When I showed Oscar the shortest and fastest route suggested by Google, he said, “Man, you take the direct route through the city with your M760i you gonna get car jacked, rear ended, or kidnapped. These are the least of your worries. If they take you alive, no telling what might happen to a filthy rich white guy who decided to ride through the city without four bodyguards in a car guaranteed to be eye candy for gang bangers. I got to ask you a question, is this woman you’re dating a color different than you? I ask this because you are first crossing over Plantation Street, which separates the rich and the filthy rich. Then, you are crossing over Fargo Ave, which separates the rich from the middle class. Then, you are crossing over Chavez Drive that separates the middle class from the dirt poor, gangs, pimps, migrant workers, homeless, people the rich and filthy rich forgot about and who the middle class wants to forget about. Then, you are crossing MLK Drive, which separates the Mexicans from the Blacks. I got to assume, your honey is black.”

Oscar sounded like he went to the university and earned a doctorate in sociology. I said, as if color didn’t matter to me,  “She’s a shade darker than me, you can hardly tell.”

Oscar stuck out his muscular brown forearm. I saw a few bruises on it. I wondered if Mother put them there in a moment of intense pleasure. I have an inquisitive mind. 

Oscar said, “Is she lighter or darker than me?”

“She’s a different shade of dark. She is the color of the perfect blend of coffee, cream, and love.”

“She’s black, right amigo?”

I said, “She never said she was black. Besides, love doesn’t know a color barrier,” I said defensively.

“She must be good in bed for you to take a chance like this,” said Oscar wanting to know more. “You want me to give you some Latino lover secrets? The secrets I give you, she’ll become obsessed with you. I give this warning to any guy who wants my secrets. It’s like the stuff they put on medicine. You know, my secrets got side effects like if you drop a woman after using my secrets in bed, she might want to kill you. She will definitely stalk you. And, you can be sure she trash you on social media. The last one is okay, it’s like free advertising. You know what I mean, amigo?”

Mother doesn’t like me to be so familiar with the help. I’m glad she didn’t hear Oscar calling me amigo. Oscar is an alpha, macho Latino male. He sweats testosterone. I’ll admit I have a strong sex drive, but Oscar plays at a much higher level. I think it’s his Latin blood. I made a mental note to ask Oscar how much he charges for a pint of blood. I’d like two or three pints, not all at once, I’d have to get used to it first. I didn’t want to disappoint Oscar and tell him the truth that J and I hadn’t even walked to the starting line to have sex. So far it’s been a fantasy, all mine. He’d lose all respect for me. I said, “I’ll hold off on the lesson, Oscar. A gentleman doesn’t tell tales, know what I mean?”

Oscar gave me a fist bump, a wink, and said, “You the man. You remember, you get the secrets anytime you want them, except at 9 a.m. that’s when your mother gets her daily massage.”

And, I thought, the secrets in action. Mother would never stoop to being violent with Oscar. Although, she might hire someone to kill him if he quit the daily massage. 

I was in a great mood as I drove the loop to get J. I took note of how the billboards changed along the route. In the area where the rich and filthy rich live, there were no billboards, there are city ordinances passed to keep the rich and filthy rich areas green, free from advertising, and discouraging to anyone of lesser status.

When I was driving through the middle class section of the loop, billboard appeared. There were billboards for fast food restaurants, billboards for insurance, billboards for banks, billboards for realtors, and billboards for a half dozen churches promising salvation. The tone of the billboards changed when I skirted to boundaries of the Mexican and black sections of the city. I saw billboards for bail, criminal defense attorneys, divorce lawyers, adult video and toy shops, and lawyers wanting to defend anyone who was in an accident with a sixteen wheeler. My mind was quickly filling up with too much information to process. I didn’t know a world like this existed. For a quick instant, I thought I might have crossed an invisible barrier and entered an alternative universe. Relief flooded me when I saw the exit sign for West 98th Street.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 33 A Satire

Chapter 33

 Friday morning I asked Oscar to call Pettibone and tell him to cancel my group session. I knew Pettibone would ask why and see through my lies. Whereas, Oscar, balancing at least three affairs not counting his free lance massage work with happy endings for Mother, developed lying and misdirection to the professional skill level. I asked Oscar to put the call to Pettibone on speaker so I could listen.

“Mister Pettibean?” said Oscar with a distinct Mexican accent.

“It’s Attorney Pettibone,” said Pettibone.

“Who is?” asked Oscar, is sounded more like a running series of e’s.

“Me. I’m Pettibone.”

“Can use get me Pettibean. I’m calling for his filthy rich client, the trust fund baby, Doctor Sanderstuff,” said Oscar gesturing with with left hand as if he were polishing a car with it.

I heard Pettibone take a deep breath. Then he said, “Well, what is it this time? I’m sure he gave you a fabricated excuse.”

“He didn’t say anything about fabric. Me, personally, I like linen. It’s got a nice feel. Are you Pettibean? I’m supposed to give this information to no one but him.”

“Okay. I’m Pettibean.”

“Sounds good, Prettything.”

“I’m not Prettything. I’m Pettibean.”

“I never said you was a pretty thing. I’m straight, man. I got not bias if you’re gay. Some of my best friends are gay. Don’t get upset with me. I’m only the messenger.”

Oscar was playing Pettibone the way John Coltrane played the saxophone. I could almost hear Pettibone reaching for his angina pills and Prozac. 

“Please, please, just tell me what you are supposed to tell me,” begged Pettibone with a deep sense of weariness in his voice.

“You are to keep this private between attorney and client. It’s like I just killed somebody and told you about it. We understand each other?”

“Yes, yes. It’s in the vault. Did you kill someone?” asked Pettibone. I could hear Pettibone’s sense of caution. He never liked Oscar, but Mother refuses to take Pettibone’s advice and fire him. 

“No, man. I didn’t kill anyone but I like to kill my girlfriend’s husband if I could get away with it. If you come up with a loophole about killing rich lawyer husbands who don’t know how to make love to their trophy wife, let me know. You know how it is once a trophy has a hot Latino it’s all over for the husband or boyfriend as the case may be. Back to business, Doctor Sanderstuff can’t make it to group today, he has to go to the free clinic to get checked for a sexually transmitted disease. He said it could very, very, very serious. He personally used the word very three times. I swear on my sister Rosie’s grave.”

Oscar mixed the perfect levels of concern, compassion, and a tone of voice a lie detector couldn’t detect.

“I don’t believe you,” demanded Pettibone.

Oscar didn’t miss a beat, “About what part, my sister Rosie, killing my girlfriend’s husband, the virility of the Latino lover, or Doctor Sanderstuff’s sexually transmitted disease? 

“I … I…I don’t know,” Pettibone stuttered.

“Well, I’ll help you out. The only thing that was true was the virility of the Latino lover. The rest was a fake so I was testing you to see if you were the real Pettibean. I can’t be too careful. Doctor Sanderstuff can’t come in today because he had a personal breakthrough yesterday and realized how he has disrespected you. He is going to see a spiritual counselor and seek forgiveness.”

Where does Oscar come up with this stuff? He is a master. I wonder what he tells Mother when they’re getting it on.

“Wonderful news. Tell Doctor Sanderstuff  his spiritual growth takes precedence over everything. It certainly is an excusable absence,” said Pettibone.

Oscar ended the call and gave me two thumbs up.

I was a school kid who just learned he got a snow day. I was like a guy who got to take the prettiest girl in the school to the junior prom. I was like …”

“Enough with the smilies,” said my conscience. “Do you realize you had Oscar lie for you? You used your power as employer to have him do something wrong,” said my conscience.

“Take it up with Oscar. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell him what to say. All I told Oscar was the outcome I wanted and that if I got it, I’d tip him a hundred dollars.”

“You didn’t fall far from the tree, did you?” said my conscience.

“I never fell from a tree, what are you taking about?” I innocently asked knowing full well what he meant. So what if I was like Mother and Father. This gave me pause to think about my surrogate mother. It couldn’t have been someone poor. What if they adopted me?  Maybe Father had an affair with a foreign princess. I might be royalty.

“You’re on your own. Having a conversation with you is like talking to a brick wall,” said my conscience. What did he mean by that?  

I reached for my wallet and gave Oscar two one hundred dollar bills. His performance was worthy of an Oscar. 

Oscar left thanking me and saying he had to freshen up to get ready to give Mother her daily massage. As he was walking out of my room, he half turned and winked at me. I can only assume, Mother will be in a good mood for the rest of the day.

I text J and told her Pettibone was gracious and gave us the day off. J gave me her mother’s address, 3718 West 98th Street, apartment 405. I never heard of the street. I’d have to plug the address into my GPS. She said she’d meet me at her mother’s apartment at 7 p.m. It was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to pick up J at her apartment and after our date, take her home and be asked inside for coffee or wine and whatever comes next, if you know what I mean. Anyone who knows me has to admit I am the eternal optimist. They might also say immature, narcissistic, and insensitive. Don’t condemn me, no one is perfect. Although Mother thinks she is as close to perfection as a human being can get.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 32 A Satire

Chapter 32

J parked the Toyota on the gravel at the edge of the road. We got out of the car and walked to concrete picnic table ten feet away. There was a large green barrel with the word “TRASH” printed on the side. Flies and bees buzzed around the top of the barrel. As we got closer to the barrel, I wondered if there was rotting flesh in the barrel. The sudden thought hit my brain as if it were swung by a sledge hammer. Is J a black widow who kills her males after she makes love to them? Did she want to make love to me on the cement table top and then chop my body into little pieces and feed it to the flies and bees and ants and raccoons and whatever else would desire the flesh of a filthy rich trust fund baby?

My train of thought hit a brick wall when J tugged on my arm. Was it foreplay? I wasn’t quite sure. I’ve been misreading signs all along. I chose to refrain from throwing myself at her. If she makes one more move, I’ll not have the strength to resist her seductive charm.

“Give me a break.”

“I thought you were taking a break. Leave me alone.”

“I can’t. I was sent back in. I’m the only conscience willing to work with you.”

“Do you really think her touch was foreplay?”

“Uh huh. So what if she’ll kill me after she makes love to me. I’ll get to heaven early. Maybe I’ll be someone’s conscience.”

“Oh, please. Try treating her with respect and kindness,” said my conscience.

“I’ve heard of the words, but these are concepts foreign to the filthy rich. We can get what we want by buying it in one form or another,” I responded.

“How’s that worked with J?”

Before I could answer, J tugged on tapped me on the shoulder.  “M, stop,” said J.

She called me M. She didn’t call me Double M, or Martin, or Marty, or Artin. I’m sure it was a term of endearment. Someone should make a film with that title. I turned and said, “What?”

J said, “This is disgusting. Let’s get out of here.”

I turned toward the trash barrel and said, “Don’t you think we should see if there is a body in there first, so we can call the police?”

“I wasn’t talking about the trash barrel. I’ve smelled worse.”

She smelled worse? My poor black Venus. I have to rescue her. I can’t imagine anything smelling worse than the trash barrel. I said, “What are you talking about?”

“I apologize. I was angry. I can’t eat this food. Didn’t you read the menu?”

“What menu?” I asked.

“The one on the ordering board.”

“That’s a menu?”

“Sort of,” said J. She continued, “They bragged that their beef is non organic, uses the best hormones, and only the highest quality antibiotics.”

I said, “That’s good, isn’t it?”

J took a step toward the trash can, squared her body toward it, and sent the bag of food flying through the air and dropping into the middle of the can. The two sodas followed, one after the other. “Nice shooting. Did you play basketball in school?”

“Why? Because I’m black? Is that what you think?”

I said, “It’s a legitimate assumption.”

“M. What am I going to do with you? Please tell me.”

“You’ll tear off my ears if I tell what you can do with me,” I said.

J started laughing. “You’re right. Don’t get me started. I’m still hungry. What about you?”

I said, “There’s a taco food truck on Ocean Drive three blocks past the Loomis Building. I never ate there, but Oscar recommended it to me if I ever worked past lunch hour.”

“I love tacos,” said J and I had a tiny feeling J was warming up to me. It was time for me to do a full court press. I’m trying to stay with a basketball metaphor.

It was a twenty-minute ride to the exit to Ocean Drive. J took exit 3 toward Loomis Boulevard and Ocean Drive. Loomis is one way ending at Ocean Drive. Ocean Drive runs above the coast and unfortunately giving the general population access to some prime beach estate. Mother claims it’s evil to allow anyone with less than thirty million access to pristine beaches or mountain views. I don’t think I’ll share Mother’s view with J. Once J marries me, she’ll be filthy rich and understand the logic behind Mother’s reasoning. 

There were no on street parking spots available. I pointed to a parking lot charging five dollars and hour in the next block. I’m hoping lunch at the taco truck will lead to a walk along the sidewalk overlooking the beaches. If that works out, I’ll head J toward the best ice cream shop in city. A mid afternoon ice cream cone while we get to know each other. Once J understands who I really am my plan is to have us spend the rest of the day and evening at the Del Norte, a five star resort with three restaurants, each receiving Zagat’s highest rating. 

J tapped my arm and said, “Whatever you are fantasizing, it is going to stay a fantasy. Don’t get worked up.”

J’s in the wrong line of work. She should have been a tarot card reader.

We got in line at the taco food truck. There were three people in front of us. I never ate a taco, let alone order one. I don’t know what they look like. If I like them, I wonder if Victor will make them. Mother doesn’t like ethnic food. She says it brings us closer to the common classes. 

“What do you want?” asked J.

I didn’t know. I figured the only way I could get through this and continue to work my plan was to let J take the lead. I said, “J, why don’t you order for the two of us. I’ll have whatever you have.” I handed J a twenty. She handed it back.

“I’ll pay,” I said.

“No. I tossed away the Burgers. It’s my treat.”

“But I have tons of more money than you,” I said.

J came right back at me, “I have tons of more self respect than you.”

That hurt. I felt like J kicked in the cajones and in public. “Before you pay, you can’t count it as a business expense. I can. I’ll tell Pettibone we were discussing work.”

“I’m not going to talk about work.”

“He doesn’t have to know. Father said Pettibone will do whatever we tell him to do and if it’s dishonest, Pettibone will claim client and lawyer privilege,”

J ignored me. She spoke to a dark skinned man with a full mustache and thick black hair. She ordered two fish tacos with the works, whatever that is and two sodas. She turned toward me, “It smells really, really good.”

The dark skinned guy handed J two tacos wrapped in white butcher block paper. She grabbed a hand full of napkins, and turned toward me. “Make yourself useful. Carry the drinks. We’ll sit over by the fountain. 

When we sat down, I watched J sit her drink down to her side. I did the same. She placed her wrapped taco next to her drink. I did the same with my drink. She picked up a paper napkin and unfolded it and shook it out. I did the same. She looked at me, “You never ate here or at any food truck before, am I right?”

“Sort of,” I said.

“What do you mean, sort of?” asked J.

“I’ve thought about it, but I didn’t have anybody as beautiful or as nice as you to go with me.” I surprised myself. I was being honest.

“That’s sweet, M,” said J. 

“Why are you calling me M,” I asked.

“I can’t stand any of your other names.”

“What about Double M?” I asked.

“You are no gangbanger. Don’t even pretend. You wouldn’t know where to start. You’ll only make a bigger fool out of yourself than you already are.”

I changed the subject, “I love you.”

“You going to start that again?” asked J.

“I never stopped. You have to admit my assault of the barrier you built against true love forever, TLF, if you’re into social media jargon, has been non stop. I’ll admit I’ve made a few missteps, but any misstep hasn’t deterred me from trying.”

J turned away from me and seemed to be staring out over the ocean. It was clear day with hardly a cloud in sky. I wondered where her mind was traveling. Was she thinking about us? About her? Was she thinking of some place she visited? She had this look in her eye that said ‘Don’t bother me, I’m taking a brief detour from our conversation while I think things through.’

It was a long couple of minutes before J reached over and picked up her taco. I did the same with my taco. She unwrapped it. I unwrapped mine. She rewrapped the lower half of the taco with the butcher block paper. I did the same. My mind didn’t understand why the wrapping and the unwrapping and the rewrapping. Was this the way Mexicans ate their food? I’m not aware of any Mexican customs. I made a mental note to ask Oscar about the wrapping and unwrapping thing. J took a bite of her fish taco. I took a bite of my fish taco. I’ve got to tell Victor to make these. I was having a culinary orgasm. 

J tossed a glance my way, “It’s really very good. Nice choice.”

All I could say was, “Uh huh.”

J stopped chewing her food. Took a sip of soda. I did the same. She put the soda container down and said, “You want to date me?”

I almost choked on my food and I didn’t have any food in my mouth. 

My conscience was back, “Don’t say anything stupid. I heard about lunch at the taco Food Truck and new I had to be on duty,” said my conscience. He continued, “If you mention sex or marriage, she’ll drop you faster than an escargot will slip off your fork.”

I was pleased my conscience was using a metaphor I could understand. I said, “I got it.”

J said, “Who are you talking to?”

“You wouldn’t understand and the answer is yes, I want to date you.”

“You didn’t mention sex or marriage. I’m impressed. That’s a good first step. Tomorrow’s Friday. We can go out then. First, I want you to meet my mother before we go out. I’ll text you her address. I’m giving you my cell phone number. If you abuse the trust I’m putting in you I will take your cell phone and … never mind.”

“I won’t. Promise. Promise. Promise. What’s your mother’s name? Did you get your beauty from her?”

She is a sweetheart. Her name is Evelyn. After we eat, I’ll drive you back to Loomis and you can have Oscar pick you up.”

I smiled. My world was okay. Life is good and getting better. I hoped Oscar and Mother were through and Oscar was not worn out. It didn’t matter how long I had to wait. My black angel wanted to date me.

THE STORY CONTINUES ON MONDAY 

Trust Fund Baby ~ 31 A Satire

Chapter 31

J drove and drove and drove. It was obvious something was bothering her. I thought about it for a quick minute, then turned my attention to Instagram account. When she comes out of her funk, I’m going to ask her to join me in a selfie. It will be our first photo together. We were now out of city limits traveling away from the ocean and heading east toward the mountains. Vegas was only five hours away. 

Since J was talking, I didn’t some self reflection. The first conclusion I came to was that I don’t need a conscience, I’m doing fine on my own. Any advice my conscience might give me would have been the stuff you hear on Oprah or some other show women mostly watch. My second conclusion is that my conscience is a female who masks her voice to sound like a male. Next time he or she talks to me I have to ask about the technology he or she is using. My conscience has an unfair advantage being able to use voice altering technology humans haven’t yet developed. 

We were ten miles out of the city when J finally spoke, “I’m hungry. Because of your stupidity, I missed Harvey’s food. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to show my face in there again.”

I had no clue what J was talking about. Surely she was thinking of the plus size woman and her bibbed overall friend at the table next to us. I said, “What did I do? I asked you to marry me. I told you how deep my commitment was to you. I talked about honeymoon sex. Help me if I missed something?” I realized we were having our first argument. I read in a men’s magazine where makeup sex is the best kind of sex. I started looking for motel signs. 

For an instant, J drove no handed. It was as if an invisible hand guided the car along the highway. She thrust both arms over her head and started banging on car roof with her fists. “Ouch,” she said.”

“Are you okay? Is your blood sugar low? Are you suffering from being enclosed in a cramp space?” I learned all these questions by watching ads for drug prescriptions on television. 

I felt better when I saw J’s hands return to the steering wheel. She was breathing as if she were in the last stages of an anaerobic workout. I said, “Can I hold your wrist and take your pulse? I want to make sure you don’t have a stroke.” 

 I think J’s having arm spasms, both fists hit the car roof again. Again, she said, “Ouch, damn that hurt.”

J signaled to take the next exit two miles ahead. I noticed there were several low end motel chains located at the exit and a couple of fast food restaurants. I was putting my money on the low end motel chains. “Good decision,” I said.

“What?” snapped J.

“To pull off early at a low end motel so can create memories of our first sexual experience with each other,” I said nonchalantly.

“If I wasn’t driving and if both of my fists were not sore from banging on the car roof I would carry through on my threat to rip off your ears when you asked me to have sex with you.”

“Whoa. Wait a minute. Who’s not listening? I didn’t ask to have sex. I only filled in the blanks to the conversation as to why you chose this exit instead of heading non stop to Vegas.”

“Dear Lord. If I kill him and leave his body in the desert, will it be a sin? I will be doing a favor for humankind. Taking care of him is almost too much of a burden to carry.”

“What did God say?” I asked. I had a vested interest in the answer. 

All I got was a cold glassy stare. I felt the car pull on to the exit ramp. When we reached the end of the exist ramp, J stopped at a red light. To the right there was a Fairfield motel and a Super 8 motel. A truck stop sat between them with a gas station and restaurant. Mother always said, never eat where truck drivers eat, the food is terrible and the drivers have body odor. I was pleased when J gave her left turn signal. I stretched my neck and saw a Holiday Inn and a Comfort Inn. Where was the Four Seasons? Doesn’t every town have at least one five star resort and restaurant? 

When the light changed J turned left and stayed in the left hand lane. It was the same side as the Holiday Inn. Hope springs eternal or something like that. She went passed it and pulled into Buddy’s Burgers. She drove into the drive through lane and stopped at a large metal sign with a complete menu and a speaker in the middle. This is a new experience for me. Mother and Father will want to know about it, it saves on tipping. 

J turned toward me and said, “You want anything?”

I wanted to prove I wasn’t a snob. I could eat lower class food. I said, “I’ll have albacore tuna on lightly toasted rye bread, put the tomato on the side. I’ll also have a side dish of hummus and freshly baked flatbread. “

A voice came out of the menu, “Can I help you?”

“I’ll have two double cheeseburgers, two orders of fries, and two large diet Cokes.”

J must be hungry. I didn’t hear her order for me. I said, “Can I order now?”

“I ordered for you. Give me ten dollars.”

Oh my fragile, love sick heart, beat on. She loves you I thought. She asked me for money to pay for a meal. I pulled out my wallet. I carry nothing lower than a twenty. I wanted to show my generosity. I said, “Tell her to keep the change.”

J pulled up to the window where you paid for your food, then received it. “They don’t do tips at the drive through,” said J reaching for the food and the change.” She turned toward me, “You want extra ketchup for your fries?”

“What are fries?”

“Extra ketchup, please,” J said to the girl at the register.

J handed me the bag of food. I’ll admit it smelled different than anything I’ve ever eaten in my life. She said, “There’s a park across the street, we can eat and talk over there.”

I said, “This is a date. You can’t deny it. I paid for the food. We’re eating in a park. It’s our first date.”

“Is not a date.”

“Is too.”

“Is not.”

“Is.”

We started laughing. I don’t remember the last time I laughed. It felt good.