Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Oh No

Christmas Eve. The Ex, Dick, came over. He did. I let him.

He has been dropping all out hints since I have been speaking to him again. He is blunt. Raw and blunt about me. I have been ignoring him for weeks.

He blurts out what he wants to do to me, what I do for him by just existing, or just the sound of my voice on the phone while I am trying to speak to him.

The mistake was my desire to try a new cocktail, Cointeaupolitan. It was pink, my favorite color. It was delicious and I am not one for sweet drinks, but the lemon juice cut the sweet just right.

It was a cold, cold drink, having left it sit on ice before pouring.

After about four to five of these, I was a little loose. Dick was practically pornographic all night, trying to get me interested.

The drinks let my guard down. Dick is extremely handsome, tall, dark hair and blue eyes, and strong. He is very controlling though as if he owned me.

He is also the only man who I have met who is inexhaustable sexually. The man is a powehouse. Girls I am talking HOURS. I used to fall out from sheer exhuastion. He is also very considerate. If it was to be all about me, then so be it. He would not feel slighted at all, which was good because sometimes a girl just does not want to, you know what I mean? In otherwords, as macho as he is, he never had any problem putting my needs or desires first and never getting to his at all.

But that was unable to keep me, and he is trying to keep me again. I am not a kept woman.

"Muse, you look beautiful tonight," he would say.

"Listen Dick, do you think you can remember how to mix the damned drink or do I have to bring the damned computer to read off how much of what we need to mix?" I would say to ignore him.

"Muse, you look very sexy in that shirt you are wearing," he would observe.

I had on a long sleeved crew neck that was loose. It was battleship gray. It was not sexy at all.

I cannot repeat what else he said because it was very graphic. He speaks his mind sexually. He finds it a normal part of life. I find it annoying since I was not interested since we were no longer going out.

I just want him as a friend.

But the Cointreau wanted a lover. Damned orange peels!

Now, we did not have sex, because he was on his way to midnight mass that was changed to 10 pm, but he did take a bit of the edge off of me tonight. I was on my tip toes hanging on to him and he had his hand on the small of my back supporting me. The man is strong, girls. I was able to propel backwards while he held me at my waist, almost suspended above the floor.

He wanted to come back after mass, but I shooed him out. I told him I was tired and was going to retire.

At 12:05 Christmas Day, or tonight as I see it, he rang to tell me what he was going to be thinking about in his sleep, what he thought about while singing carols during the service because of my lingering scent on his hands.

And he has no idea that I supposed to be meeting Quiet Man for coffee later on this Christmas day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So We Meet Again, Mrs. Quiet Man

The party was on a Saturday, December 8. I was having one of my normal lazy days since my mother died. Even if I rose early, I would vegetate for most of the day, during weekends, not rising to shower until past 12 pm. On this day, I remained in bed most of the day and at about 1 or 2 pm, rose to shower for the party that started at 4.

I must have put on four to five outfits. What would you wear to a Christmas Party thrown in a garage full of strange looking cars from years gone by? The garage was very clean and spotless and that meant I could wear anything and it would not soil.

I tried on two black cocktail dresses but decided against them for two reasons-too revealing for a garage and it was too damned cold to wear them even under a full length coat. I tried various sweater and skirt combinations and finally settled on a sweater I wore last year only and I knew Quiet Man would not remember it an if he did, so what? I could hardly pull myself out of my own bed, how could I have shopped for something new?

The sweater was tight fitting and did not have a plunging neckline. I wore it over a dark wool below the knee knit skirt and had on the olive colored stilettos, without stockings. I powdered my legs with Warmth, that nonsense I have not found any other use for from the Bare Escentuals kit. I did not have time to apply any bronzer, but the bare skin that was showing was not bad.

I left my home at about 4 pm, to drive the less than ten minutes to the garage. I made the turn towards the garage and I was met by a gaudy black Cadillac making a u-turn in front of me-he was obviously going to the party and got lost. I recognized this idiot as a local mafia wannabe, in other words, a short graying EYEtalian with some money who thinks more of himself than others think of him. I was annoyed he slowed me down because he drove slow.

I end up pulling into a spot next to this idiot, who I was glad to not have seen for the rest of the night.

I see Fred pulling trays of food out of his car. We greeted each other hello. I went into the office and was met by a female acquaintance who was friends with my mother. She was there with her two teenage girls. I thought it was odd she brought them, but she let everyone know that she was scheduled to attend another Christmas Party. Like we cared.

I saw Mrs. Fred, who I had met previously and chatted with her and her two girls. The eldest girl did not attend.

So my mother’s friend, Laura, becomes my minder, which I despise. She starts off by insisting I hang out with her, eat with her and drink with her. I was wishing her nerd assed husband would come already and take my place.

I saw Ricky at the bar and we both “screamed” out greetings to each other and embraced. Laura of course was observing, what I don’t know. Minding was more like it, I thought.

Ricky asks me what I wanted to drink. He offered a few liquors, but I declined. He told me he had the wine we had previously, knowing to not say it was the night we all hung out until past 4 am.

“Oh, thank you, Ricky,” I told him, while feeling Laura’s minding gaze on me with Ricky, “I love that wine.”

He poured me a glass and we then toasted amongst ourselves. Laura was drinking some nonsense trying to get me to commit to a coffee date with her. I tried to act as interested as I could, since she was working closely with the son with the famous mother and don’t think for one second she does not relish that or throw it around for you to drool about, or so she thinks.

I saw Quiet Man in the corner of my eye, running around doing things. I decided to ignore him. I did not see Mrs. Quiet Man but I did see his son. It was weird she was not there and I thought to myself, good thing.

As I was talking to Laura, trying to not assume Chinese water torture was a better fate, I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and it was Quiet Man. He was dressed very casually with a brilliant red shirt which looked fantastic on him. In fact, I was the most formally dressed person in the place, but what was I to do? I had my long locks curled and partly piled in part high in the back of my head, with the rest cascading down my back past my waist. I had on only mascara on the outer edges of my eyes, elongating the lashes and the vinyl pink lip gloss that was doing it’s thing.

Quiet Man touches my shoulder from behind and reaches to embrace me and I responded. We hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. I could feel Laura’s eyes boring through my back, the bitch. We said hello to each other while leaning back still holding on to each other and then we continue on with what we were doing prior to saying hello.

I turned to look at Laura and introduced her quickly and Quiet Man had not any interest in meeting her.

I saw Berman with Mrs. Fred, whose name is Marsha. Marsha called Laura and I in to eat. I really did not want to eat, but there was nothing else going on, since people were not arriving steadily. Marsha cooked, I have to admit, the most delicious mini samosas, which I never ate before, and the most non greasy and delicious chicken wings. I told her the same as well.

I decided to sit at Quiet Man’s desk which was in the room where the food was. It also was the same room people came into the party. I knew I was going to be drinking regularly that night and since I had not eaten that day, due to my sojourn in my bed, I made myself a plate and ate.

I sat there eating, with of course, Laura right next to me and she was next to me at the food table. Quiet Man came by for a few seconds, and insisted I not move from my spot, for he had to get something out of his desk, which was the cigars we smoke. He lifts out the beautifully made box and points to the lovers on the lid. I don’t know what he meant by that, but I acted like I did not notice he did that because the minder was watching. I told him I was going to put my evening purse in his desk, which was fine with him. The minder I felt, took that information and made mental notes to use later on for whatever devious gossip she had to generate.

I was being “noticed” by a few men at this party. There were some wealthy men there, who were interested in the cars as well and who were friends with Quiet Man or Fred or both.

I was trying to only make small talk with Marsha. Fred comes by and winks hello to me again.

“Hi Fred,” I said, wishing he did not do that.

“Marsha,” he says “Muse is the girl who was with me that night, referring to his almost arrest at 1:30 am.

I rolled my eyes in disbelief that he just did that. I don’t understand Fred. His marriage is an arranged one, and he vascillates back and forth from faithful husband to cheating ass husband. I wish he would just keep to one persona so I could keep track of him.

Now I know Marsha has no idea that her drunk husband had his hands all over me, but I know it was just the liquor talking that night and Fred and I talked about it and its an issue that is over.

Marsha looks at me smiling, saying “Oh.”

“Oh Marsha,” I started to beat her to the punch, “I felt so bad for Fred, the cop was so abusive to him, I never saw anything like that in my life.”

I did not let her get in one word edgewise as I continued to pummel her with the details of the night as it concerned the “evil” cop and her sitting duck husband.

She seemed interested in the details of the almost arrest, and questioned me about various things such as time and places we went. I answered her easily, not saying anything about the go-go club. Berman is her best friend and he took me aside and told me Fred was honest with her about the whole night, EXCEPT his grabbing me, and she knew we went to the go-go club.

Marsha has the intelligence level of a turnip, but a dogged one. Despite this skill, she is not any match for me. I basically told her that she was lucky her husband was with me that night; translation: I don’t like him in that way. I re-iterated that I was her husband’s friend for over a year and she never went to these events and he does speak about her and their children and his mother often.

We even discussed getting together for coffee. Fred came over at this point and was so happy I was making friends with his wife. I think he thought I would be taking some of the pressure off of him with her.

Weirdly enough, we chatted and laughed at the party like two girl friends. She even took me around to see the cars, which I am totally not interested in at all. Later on in the party, she stuck to Fred like glue. He was nice to her, sitting with her and taking photographs of he and she in various cars and poses. She showed me the photos which I complimented heavily.

After that, Quiet Man stops to chat with me after I was sick and tired of the cars. He introduced me to his son. I was just trying to get back to the bar where Ricky was to chat. His son was cordial but neither of us had any interest in the other.

I go back to Ricky for more wine. I notice the red headed man who Fred introduced me to at his party. I was so glad to ignore him. He was there with a date or his wife, yet trying to catch my attention. He would pass me, then turn to look at me. I ignored him.

I went back to what I call the food room, and Marsha and her daughters, who are so cute, were trying to get Marsha to eat something. She refused. I asked her why.

“Fred no like,” she said in her lilting accent.

“What do you mean, you are on a diet or something?”

She giggled a bit and looked at me and said “Well, yes.”

I asked her if Fred looked like Hercules. She looked at me oddly and said no.

“Well, until he looks like that, you can eat what you want.”

Fred is this small spindly man any decently shaped woman can back had very nicely. His fabulous wealth must give him that je ne sais quoi I happen to not see.

Marsha laughed and then ate a sandwich made with crackers for bread made by her middle daughter.

Berman was there smiling ear to ear. I did not know at that point Berman provided most of the plattered food. He seemed to take an inordinate type of pride in having plattered food for this party.

I was making small talk with Berman when Marsha, time bomb that she is, tells me her husband came home that night of the almost arrest, at 3 am. Acting with genuine surprise, I looked at Berman and said, ”Now Berman, where on earth did you and Fred go after you dropped me off at home?”

Berman was quite shocked and surprised that he could not answer right away.

“Marsha, they dropped me off a 1 am and I cannot believe that the ten minute ride to your house took two hours!” I declared.

Marsha did not know what to say. Berman was still looking for something to come out of his mouth.

“Muse,” the rattled Berman said, “we went straight away to Fred’s house after we dropped you off.”

“You did?”

“Yes, Muse, of course!”

“Well Marsha, all I know is I was home at 1 am,” I told her.

In fact, I really thought I got home at 1 am but when I thought about it two days later, it really was closer to 3 am.

At this point, I had about enough of Marsha as I could take. I made my way back to Ricky, who jumped up as soon as he saw me coming. Ricky is a big flirt because he likes me. Quiet Man told me such.

Faithfully, Ricky fills up my glass. At this point, I was like where is Quiet Man? I thought he was sitting at his desk. I glanced in quickly and saw him. I was going to go in and talk to him talking to Fred, but then I saw Mrs. Quiet Man enter the room.

I stayed where I was at the entrance from where the cars where kept and Quiet Man’s office. I was thinking, OK, let’s see how this goes. Quiet Man always says his wife does not question what he does. Well I guess that was kind of true, because she never calls him when we are all hanging out. He says she goes to bed at 9:30 am each night, and well, that may be why she does not call. Quiet Man says he sleeps mostly 2 hours per night. He is that weird.

“Muse, Muse!” Quiet Man calls to me.

“You remember my wife?” he asked me.

Damn him, now I have to talk to her.

“Dalma, you remember my friend, Muse?”

“Hello,” she said to me smiling.

“Hello Dalma,” I greeted her.

“Muse, you introduce my wife to son with famous mother and all others you know, OK?” asked Quiet Man as he left me with his wife.


“Well, if I see them,” I replied, thinking, there was no way in hell I was going to introduce her to anyone; if someone came up to greet me, then yes, I would introduce her.

“I am so sorry about your mother,” Dalma told me.

“Thank you,” I replied, ”It was a horrible thing.”

Dalma was very nice, I could not say she was not.

We made some strained small talk, not because she was unfriendly but because I was weird-ed out standing next to her.

Somehow I managed to leave her in her spot. She went back into the food room. She was talking with Marsha. I found out a few days later from Quiet Man that she was telling Dalma of her worries about me being interested in Fred. Dalma had no interest in talking to the turnip Marsha because Dalma does not want to be Marsha’s friend. Following all this, because it’s too weird for me.

I knew at the party Marsha would be involving Dalma in her jealously conspiracy. Marsha would be better off having a more intelligent grip on her husband than the nonsense she uses now.

Apparently Dalma told Marsha that I and Fred are mismatched in her opinion and what would I, Muse, see in Fred? Made sense to me. How odd that Dalma would be defending me, a person she does not know.

I decided at this point that from thereon in, I was taking my place next to Ricky behind the bar.

Ricky was more than accommodating. He told me his wife did not come to the party because she was sick and even if she was not, she did not like to come at all. Ricky then grabs me around the waist to give me a quick pull.

Whoa, Ricky I told him, hold your horses-he laughed.

So I was leaning on the bar, and Marsha and Dalma come to stay at the opposite side of the bar. I made talk about Marsha’s food-so Dalma bring over to the bar the two trays holding the samosas and the chicken wings.

They begin to chat with us and eat. After a while, they start to hang out in the vicinity of the bar. Quiet Man enters the room with a rush, he was drinking Chivas on the rocks for quiet some time, and tries to give me a cigar.

“Muse, this cigarra, is for you,” he said using his own language for cigar.

“Oh, no thank you Quiet Man,” I pleaded.

There was no way in hell I was going to smoke with him in front of the minder, Marsha and Dalma. What was he thinking?

He kept trying to give me a cigar. He gave one to Ricky, who lit it up and started to smoke. Ricky was wondering why I would not take the cigar. I whispered to him that the women would gossip about me and he said, yes, they will all talk behind your back, those bitches. I really liked Ricky then. I told Ricky to tell Quiet Man in his language why I did not want the cigar Quiet Man placed in front of me.

“Muse, this is for you,” said Quiet Man as he plopped the cigar sealed in it’s own glass case in front of me.

“Quiet Man,” I said, “come around here, we need to tell you something.”

He came and Ricky told him in his native tongue about the women and Quiet Man seemed to understand. Later, Quiet Man told me he did that to show that nothing was being hidden from anyone, and he did it on purpose.

Quiet Man went on his way again. I was watching him every once in a while, seeing him drink, smoke and laugh with the men. Mrs. Quiet Man was pretty much on her own, except for a few times he introduced people to his wife, made a joke about meeting her in church and wanted to see more than her legs in a skirt. I think he glanced at me when he said that, because I was probably so obvious in listening in that loud conversation. Once he was holding her around her shoulder and kissed her on her forehead. It was kind weird his interaction with her.

Eventually she left, I do not remember her saying goodbye to me, but she probably did. I found out later from Quiet Man, she came late to the party because she was not going at first, because of death in her family in their native country and a friend called and asked he why she did not go. That is when she decided to come for a while. Her son left at the same time she did.

Quiet man was dragging around a glass bottle of Chivas that was so large it had its own handle. He was holding his liquor pretty well.

He came around to see what I was doing eventually. He would hold or embrace me while he was talking to others. He would hold me by my waist or put his hand on the backside of my hip. At this point, I was, what do I care? The attention filled an empty void for me. Also, he held my shoulders as he did his wife and kissed me on my forehead as he had kissed her. I thought that odd. No one raised an eyebrow or thought it lurid in anyway, because it was not, at least to me.

Eventually the party was dwindling down. Ricky was demanding to know what I was doing, because I made a mention of leaving.

“Oh, no you are not going,” said Ricky,” you are going to stay with us for later. I told you that, so you are going no where!”

“Ok, Ricky,” was all the invitation I needed. All I was going to do was go back to an empty house.

Prior to the dwindling down, I was back in the food room with Marsha. I was standing next to her, talking with her about stupid stuff, like how I would tell Fred to be more romantic with her. Fred runs into the room and says hello to me again. Another guest entered the room and Fred greets him and turns to me and by mistake introduced me as his wife.

We all started laughing, even Marsha. So I corrected Fred’s glaring error. It was weird, yes it was, for all the mistakes for Fred to make!

“Oh, no!” said Fred, laughing and slapping himself in the head. He could think of nothing to explain why he had a slip of the tongue.

I wanted to re-apply for like the fourth time, my lip gloss, which was in Quiet Man’s desk. There was Quiet Man, Fred and Marsha sitting talking to each other. I was so proud of Fred, sitting with his wife, finally. He looked like he was half in the bag too.

Quiet Man insists I sit with them.

“Freddy, if Muse’s mother was here with use tonight, we would all be sitting here talking and laughing with her, wouldn’t we?” said Quiet Man

“Oh, yes, Quiet Man, with Muse’s Mother, we would be having a good time with her, of course!” replied Fred.

They were so sweet. They really liked my mother and that is something I find so nice in them and why I like them so much.

I knew Fred was trying to get his wife to leave to go home with the kids so he could hang out with us. But Marsha was not having any of that-she insisted on driving him home. I agreed. Fred could not risk another almost getting arrested night, now could he?

No, he could not, and thank you so much Muse, for your unwanted two cents, was how Fred was looking at me. Oh, Fred, you are so welcome, I stared back.

Then only Ricky, myself and Quiet Man were left. We poured our drinks of choice and Quiet Man lights my cigar for me.

I then I see an older gentleman come in right when Fred was leaving. This was a 70 year old man who I later found out met Quiet Man in the strip club and when the man was going to tip the stripper $20, Quiet Man yells out to him, you are so cheap Grandpa. That was the beginning of their friendship.

The older man was quite wealthy and Ricky filled me in, “Muse, do you know that Dane lives in a Tudor Mansion?”

“Well, I know they are nice, but I have been in a real Tudor in England,” I replied. I really did not care if Dane had money or not. I truly despise men who believe their attraction is measured by the size of their wallet.

Well since he showed up, Dane joined us in drink.

Quiet Man sat next to me and began to tell stories that made us laugh. As we were drinking, I would squeal with laughter and interrupt Quiet Man when something popped into my head about whatever he said. He and I would roar with laughter. I don’t know if Ricky or Dane did, because I really did not notice them to much, due to the liquor.

At one point, Dane decides to say to me the following:

“Muse, do you think you can let him finish the story?”

And, Ricky, pipes in with:

“Muse, you are really hammering Quiet Man, why don’t you let him be?”

I was affronted by these two remarks. I know they made them because Quiet Man and I interact as if there is not anyone else around us, but not on purpose.

I retaliated to those comments the only way I knew how.

“Quiet Man,” I said, as I took a long drag off the cigarra, “Am I doing anything to annoy you?”

“No, Muse, you are not.”

“Are you annoyed when I comment on what you say?”

“No, Muse.”

“Do you think I am hammering you?”


“Am I bothering you?”

“Muse,” he said, ”Am I saying anything to you at all?”


“Well then, why do you care what they say?”

So there, Ricky and Dane was what my smirk to them said. So there.

We eventually moved into Quiet Man’s office so we could turn up the heat. We smoked our way through the cigars. Dane decides he wants to go on ebay to look at Bentley’s. He was like a girl, I thought, trying to engage Quiet Man in having an interest in what he wanted.

Dane, you idiot, you come and interrupt us drinking and smoking and though you never met me before, you are not going to dictate what we are going to do with our time, was what I thought.

Quiet Man was sitting next to me and holding my hand or my fingers. I was holding his hand and as is my habit with men’s hand that I like, I was rubbing his hand as he placed it in mine.

I was thinking, OK, this is as far as it’s going to go. I was going to cut down on the wine, so I would have more control of my senses, my interest in Quiet Man being so piqued, I did not want to do anything I would later regret. Or enjoy, then regret.

Eventually Dane went home. He probably thought I was his party pooper. But Dane, did let me know about Quiet Man having girlfriends. I told Quiet Man, oh so you lied to me. I told Dane what Quiet Man previously told me. Before Dane told me that Belina was a girl friend of Quiet Man, which was quite a shock because I knew in the back of my mind that there was something odd about Belina, but she was also a “dancer”-OMG I could not believe it. Dane only told me this because he asked Quiet Man if he should tell and Quiet Man said his usual, “of course.”

Quiet Man told me previously that Belina slept with Fred. I was shocked with the scandalous information about Belina who I met the same night I met Quiet Man. How odd the pieces of this puzzle are.

I do not know quite what Dane means about girlfriends, because at his age, you never know. He is also married and told me, going to see girls at strip clubs is a man thing, it is what men do.

“You can’t change that Muse,” Dane told me.

Well I am not out to change men, Dane was what I thought.

Dane told myself, Quiet Man and Ricky that he was going to cook a meal at his house for myself and Quiet Man. He said he was a fabulous cook of Armenian food. Dane is Armenian. Poor Ricky, he was not going to get any Armenian food. Men are strange.

Eventually Dane went home. Then it was just Ricky and ourselves. Quiet Man sends Ricky out for more smokes for himself. After he returned, Ricky, announces we all should go home. Quiet Man, takes a drag of his cigarette, looks at me, then up at Ricky. He says nothing. I finally say to Ricky loudly, if he wants to go home, then go! He did.

After Ricky left, Quiet Man who was still sitting next to me, since he had to switch seats with Dane who wanted to look at ebay, puts down his cigarette. He is smiling at me and I at him. I was getting a little weirded out, since I knew what he was thinking, what men think, when they look you in the eye in that way. He was still holding my hand. That broad, strong hand over my small one. I was facing him and he I.

I was sitting with my legs crossed and was swinging one foot with the olive stiletto. My skirt was over my right knee, but was revealing part of my left thigh, that was facing Quiet Man’s desk.

“Muse,” he said softly, while moving his hands to my right calf, “Why you have no stockings?”

He had my upper part of my leg in his cupped hands. He lifted my leg slightly, holding it and still looking in my eyes.

OMG, I began to flush and my heart was beginning to race. I looked right back at him, pushing out my activated imagination of pulling my leg out from his grasp to push him into a position where I could jump into his lap.

My response was to laugh. I tried to remain calm and unfettered.

“I don’t have stocking on Quiet Man,” I told him, “I am not cold, and besides I put color on my legs which you are going to rub off!”

He was looking at my calf and ran his hands down the backside of it to my ankle. Inactive as I found myself, my mind was racing. It was like slow motion at the same time.

I took the opportunity to place my foot on the part of the chair between his legs to get his hands off of my calf.

“Aren’t you cold, Muse, without stockings?” he asked me while still holding my leg.

“No,” I pondered, “No, Quiet Man because it does not bother me to not have stocking one in this weather. I really don’t like stockings anyway,” I replied as demurely as I could.

He gave me a small deep laugh as he held onto my leg that was being held up by the chair and tried to turn me so he my exposed thigh would face him.

“OH MY GOD,” I yelled out while laughing, “WHAT are you looking at?!”

“Muse,” he said softly.

By this time I had wriggled out from his hands, grabbed my skirt and pulled it down over my locked knees.

He reached for his cigarette and leaned back while watching me.

Since I was taken off guard and as is my normal reaction to such things, I began to chatter and chatter and act like nothing just occurred.

We spoke that night until 6:30 am. We continued to drink and talk as if nothing happened. He told me some of his deepest thoughts of how he has viewed his life. He told me of his country and how he wants to return to it after his children finish college. He told me that his family would not want to go back to live in their country, including his wife. He pondered that he wanted me to see where he came from. I did not respond to much of this; I just listened.

When we were leaving his office, it was still dark outside despite being 6:30 am. He was locking up and I had started out into the parking lot. The soft yellow illumination from the outside lights, cast a romantic glow on the falling snow.

I was ahead of him and he hurried to catch up to me. I had stopped walking and turned to watch him approach. He was hurrying due to the falling snow, which gave us each our own adoring veil of white on our hair.

Quiet Man put his arm around me as we briefly spoke before we were going to say our usual good byes after these marathon talks.

He held me tightly around my waist next to him. He was looking afar in front of us, chatting. I then put my arm around him, laughing. It was cold out and he was warm.

Of course, I was chatting away, running on about nonsense. When I briefly stopped, waiting for a response from him, he was looking down at me. He pulled me towards him and kissed me.

Well, what he did not expect was that in the split second he leaned in to me, I turned my head to speak, since I did not want to be looking into his eyes while in his embrace. So, his kiss landed somewhere between my check and the outer edges of my sealed lips.

So, he leaned in and kissed me again but squarely on my right cheek while my face was buried in his shoulder. His warmth felt good, his embrace made me feel safe.

I leaned back to look at him and he was looking at me. I don’t know what we said to each other, but I leaned in to kiss his cheek, but due to his height, it was his neck.

Then I decided it was time to go home. I pulled out from his arms, and said good night to him. I thanked him for his hospitality with me.

“Good night, Muse,” he said, and turned to walk to his vehicle. I entered mine and we both drove out to go home.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hello, David

Last night, I was home alone after visiting my brother, his wife and my beautiful nephew, who is about eight months old.

I called the ex, Dick, and was going to invite him over to eat with me. I was preparing a steak chili, which was on my mind since that morning after arranging the cans in the cabinet, having read the back of one of them.

My sister in law and I had gone to the local Mall that day in the hopes of finding a realistic and traditional Santa for my nephew's first Christmas. We are all trying to normalize things despite my mother's killing, and this was one of those activities in the attempt at making the normalization process work.

I called Dick again, no answer on his cell. I decided to make the steak chili anyway, figuring it would last me for a few days. I am not used to cooking for one, having come from a family of five siblings, having cooked for the lot of them for most of my life.

I prepared the chili and it's accompanying cous-cous. Depsite having omitted most of the ingredients the canned recipe called for, such as sugar, cinammon, tomato soup and oregano, the chili tasted pretty damned good.

After I finished eating, Dick calls. He was in the supermarket, buying King Crab.

As I previously relayed, Dick is a Taurus and their fascination with food is uncanny. What is also unfair is his ability to not pack on the pounds and cut a very striking figure.

For instance, true to form, I was speaking to him the other night, telling him instead of meeting him, I was going with a friend who was picking up something she wanted from FreeCycle. I happened to mention I was eating a grilled cheese sandwich, something quick and easy because I was getting picked up in few minutes.

No sooner were the words out of my mouth, I heard the lust of food in his breath before he said that sounds so good; and with that, he ended the phone call because he was well on is way to making his own grilled cheese concoctions. It is literally as he became blinded or mesmerized by the suggestion of food.

So he asked me if I wanted King Crab. No, Dick, I do not, I just ate. He asked if he could come over with his groceries and though I was tired at this point and in sleep wear, I agreed.

When he arrived, he had about three pounds of Crab, four cannisters of Pillsbury Crescent rolls and one pound of butter.

I had a large pot ready so he could steam his crab and pre-heated the oven for his crescent rolls. He melted one half pound of butter into which he put his de-shelled crab. He also dipped those already buttery crescent rolls into the melted fat.

As he sat at the table eating, he was unable to finish because he had a large bowl of steak chili, proclaiming his approval of its goodness, with every other mouthful, prior to shoveling large spoonfuls into his mouth. He scoffed at the cous-cous since it did not contain any oil or butter.

I had the television on in the kitchen and we watched television as he ate and I drank a cup of hot tea.

Dick is the most prolific channel changer, having to have total control of the remote. I never did enjoy watching television with him due to this unruly habit of overworking the control; bits and snippets of various movies, shows or news was not how I enjoyed the television. On occasion, he would have the opposite effect of his regular viewing habit-he would doggedly watch something he found of interest.

And last night, he had on the Discovery Channel's secrets of the Free Masons, talking his way through this program, complaining every time a commercial was on. This was about 1 am and I was beginning to think it was a creepy show. I am not a fan of being creeped out knowing I was alone at home for the night after Dick would finally leave. He insisted on relaying to me information about various evils. We went from watching the Food Network to creepy Free Mason secrets.

As I was sitting there, trying to not fall asleep, hoping Dick would decide to go home, I see my new blog friend, David, on the television. When I first saw him, I was a bit confused. Having had the initial instinct of recognition, it took me a minute to remember where I had seen that face. Albeit, his hair was short, but it was he. I was so surprised, I called out, I know him! Dick was demanding how I knew someone who was obviously living in England.

No one I know, knows about this blog. I had to fend for an explanation of how I recognized this man, David. My explanation was truthful, having read his wonderful words on his website about London.

Hello, David, so nice to have seen you last night. Good thing Dick was more interested in his cup of hot cocoa laced with Bailey's; and my promise to provide him with homemade marshmallows when I get around to making them, and, permitting him to see how it is done. A good thing.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Party a Go-Go, Quiet Man

Fred’s party was supposed to be on December 1. Quiet Man told me he changed it to December 8. Hmm, I thought, he did not tell me.

Maybe, about, I would say, a few days prior to December 1, my cell rings with Fred’s number displaying.

“Hi Fred,” I said as sweetly as I could, because that is how Fred is-you need to be upbeat with him.

“Muse,” I heard Quiet Man say to me, rolling the R in my name like a cigar being rolled between the thighs of some native lady, “it is Quiet Man.”

“Oh hi Quiet Man,” I said just as sweetly.

“Hi. Ah, Muse, we have two questions. Can you help us?”

“Sure Quiet Man, what is it?” I replied wondering why I was getting this weird phone call.

“When is Mass for your mother?”

“It is Friday. November 30,” I told him, wondering why he asked when I had just told him not too long ago.

“Oh. Ok. Ah, Muse, what you think?” he started, ”about our party,” rolling that R again.

“Your party?”

“Ah, eh. Muse, we thinking of doing something. With the cars, Muse,” he started.

“Do you mean what Fred was telling me before?” I told him.

The week prior Fred was telling me about his party. He told me I was the first person invited. I made a big deal about it, joking around, and we reached over the counter in his store and hugged each other, laughing.

Fred wanted to have women in bikinis to sit around the cars. This party was to promote his antique and luxury cars. I started to laugh about the poor girls in December in bikinis having to lay around those dopey cars. I told him, well if you can’t find any girls to do that, don’t worry, just go and hire the girls at the go-go club, I am sure they will oblige.

If you can see Fred talk about girls, it would be funny. He opens up his eyes and then they squint in laughter. When he laughs, he always takes a step backwards and then kind of sways side to side. Usually with his right hand in his pocket and his left free, to the side.

“Oh, sweetheart, you know it, you know it,” he said, mulling around in his mind the thought of those go-go dancers prancing about on the hoods of all his cars, or him.

I hear Fred in the background blabbing at Quiet Man, probably directing him to say something he was not saying.

“Yes, Muse, what you think?”

“About what?”

“Girls,” he said.

Quiet Man says the word girl in a distinct manner. Giurrrl, is the best I can phonetically spell it.

“Quiet Man, are you asking me if you should have a gentleman’s party, with cigars, hard liquor and go –go girls?”

“Ah, yes,” he said, “what you think, Muse?”

OMG. I started laughing. I could not believe they were calling me asking me about semi nude women hired to lay around on cars.

“Well, why not, if that is what you want. I bet you will sell a lot of cars.”

“See Freddy, Muse thinks so,” said Quiet Man, talking to Fred.

Fred then grabs the phone from Quiet Man.

“Muse,” he said, in the sing songy way he says my real name, “You think it’s a good idea to have the girls?”

“If that is what you want. You know I don’t care.”

I paused and continued, “Well what kind of party do you think you are having?”

Fred went on to explain that he printed the invitations and called it a Christmas party.

You have got to be kidding me. A Christmas party?

“Fred, listen, what are you asking me? You want the girls or not? And, if you do, you better change your invitations, because that is not a Christmas party. If you send these men an invitation, and they are going to bring their wives, and it says Christmas Party, what do you think will happen?”

“You are right, Muse, yes,” Fred pondered.

“If you want to sell cars, then just tell the men by word of mouth what kind of party you are throwing, they will come and without the wives. What do you think Mrs. Wrong would think about that? She does not even know Mr. Wrong loves the go-go clubs.”

I hear Fred and Quiet Man chatter on about the girls and the party.

“Change the invitations then if you want the girls. Did you pay a lot for them?” I asked him. I also could not believe he prints up invitations for a party that he is having in less than a week.

“No, no, price does not matter Muse,” he said about the invites, “You see, the business, we want to promote, and the girls, you know Muse,” he says and starts to laugh.

I hear Quiet Man and Fred begin a conversation amongst themselves.

“Freddy, Muse is right, the girls sell the cars.”

“No, no, Quiet Man, we have to think about these things. But the girls, I would like to have the girls,” says Fred.

“If the object of why you are having this party, is to have girls to sell cars, then you can’t invite wives. You can’t have an invitation about a girly party either, so forget about that as well,” I offered.

Quiet Man and Fred went back to their own wacky world where they interact so interestingly. Quiet Man was debating about the proper way to have a party to promote the cars and have girls at the same time. He was viewing it in a business like manner, more like a gentleman’s club-no women allowed. Fred was debating promoting the cars with the girls and having a good time about it, because in his mind, a good time means good profit. Ugh.

Fred gets back on the phone and states, ”OK, Muse, I will take it from here!” and gets off the line.

The day of my Mom’s Memorial Mass, Fred handed me my invitation. It said Christmas Party.

About two days prior to his party, I see Fred in his store about something, I had to run.

He tells me, “Muse, bring a date if you want.”

A date? That is what he said.

The next day I had time to think about what he told me. I went back into the store and asked him if his wife was coming to the party.

“Yes,” he said.

I asked if that is why he told me I could bring a date?

“No, No, Muse,” he said.

“Is your wife going to give me problem about the night you almost got arrested?”

“Oh, No, Muse.” he said.

“If she does, I won’t go then.”

“No, Muse, you come. My wife will not bother you. You will see. I will be there,” he replied.

“Well I don’t know,” I said, thinking it would have been better if it was a go go party.

“Muse, you come; you come, Muse. Don’t worry,” he said.

“OK,” I decided. So the wives where coming. Eww, was what I thought. Mrs. Quiet Man. This was going to be interesting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Friendship, Quiet Man?

After hanging out with Quiet Man that long night, the next time I saw him was when he pulled up surreptitiously into a parking spot and went into Fred’s store. I was on my way to get some coffee and was further into the parking lot, walking towards the stores.

I don’t know if he saw me, but if he did or did not, he continued on and went straight into Fred’s store. I saw him from behind, walking, because I was looking at something else. So if he saw me, he just continued on. If he did not see me, he continued on. Not any difference.

I had spoken to Quiet Man on the phone about something and told him about my Mother’s Memorial Mass. He thanked me for telling him and mentioned that Fred did not say anything. Weird.

At the end of the Mass, I saw Quiet Man and Fred on line to go past the vault that was in front of the altar. I was very happy to see them out of all the throngs of people that came to say goodbye to my Mother. I embraced and kissed each of them.

Fred and Quiet Man did not attend the reception we had after the Mass. The generosity of friends left us with so much food that we were scrambling to find a home for it all. I had made two platters of cookies. No one wanted them, so I decided to give one to Fred for his children and another for Quiet Man for his office or his family, whichever.

I walked into Fred's store and he came out. I plopped onto the counter the trays. Just then he had to help a customer. Then much to my surprise, Quiet Man came out to see me.

“Hello Muse,” he said with his rolling accented English. My real name has an R in it and his accent is deep, guttural and rolls the R’s in the same manner.

“Hi Quiet Man,” I said. He was leaning over looking and me and I just looked back.

I asked him why they did not come to the reception, and he said because a mutual friend was in the Hospital and they went to go and see him. I was shocked to hear about this friend. I figured Fred wanted to get back to his store and Quiet Man had to oblige. No worries, I told him. As I was questioning him about the condition of this friend, he stopped talking because two women customers where hovering around us.

“Well, whisper it to me,” I encouraged.

He would not, he just kept watching the women and acting frustrated they were in the vicinity.

“Well, we can always go into the back, if I am permitted back there,” I chided. Fred had something in the back of his store, and I was never asked to go back there. He and Quiet Man loved being in the back.

Quiet Man agreed and motioned me around the counter and ushered me into the bleak grayness of the back rooms.

It was nothing at all. Fred had a simple office back there. Quiet Man sits in front of Fred’s desk and motioned me to sit next to him.

We sat there and chatted and laughed at all the stupid things said between us. Fred then joins us. It was weird. I think Fred was tired or something like that.

Eventually Fred talks about the party he went to the night before. He starts to tell me things and Quiet Man interrupts him.

“Now, Freddy,” as he calls Fred,” tell her what happened.”

Then Fred tells me something else and continues on about this boring event.

We go through this scenario about two more times. Then Quiet Man interrupts for a fourth time.

“Freddy, you tell Muse what really happened,” he emphasized.

Fred breaks into a smile.

Quiet Man ends up telling me. Fred met another potential girlfriend. Was I relieved. She was supposedly, and I say supposedly, a Nicole Kidman lookalike, with three kids. Right up Fred’s alley.

Fred looks a little embarrassed and then very confident about this woman. I could not catch exactly what the truth was.

Quiet Man continues on with how this senior citizen who uses a cane to walk, tried to move in on Fred’s conversation with the Nicole K. lookalike. Quiet Man said she would not give it up, trying to get Fred’s attention. I was howling with laughter about Fred’s big attempt to score with this woman while trying to fend off an old washer woman with a cane. I looked at Fred, who was trying not to laugh and was rolling his eyes.

Then Quiet Man became Mr. Future. He proceeds to tell me that, wait Muse, you shall see, that a local young and “handsome” politician has an interest in me. I say “handsome” because he is not my type but the girls fall all over him. He is very good looking but I know this person and I definitely have not any interest in him. He has a girlfriend who he uses, that looks like a bobble head and maybe comes up to his shoulder.

Why thank you Quiet Man, for thinking of me, was what was rolling around in my head.

Quiet Man, then to justify what he just said, goads Fred into a verification process that a code cracker would have a problem unraveling.

“Oh, yes Muse, Quiet Man is right. The Politician is interested in you, he is,” said Fred.

“What? Are you two crazy? I think you both are crazy!”

“No,” said Quiet Man slowly, “ we are not crazy. It’s 100% Muse, you will see.”

Who can argue with these two or with those odds? 100% my ass.

I then find out that the Politician and his bobble head were asking Fred at a previous dinner about one or two months prior, I believe, if I was Fred’s girlfriend.

“WHAT!” I screamed out, “WHY would he say that? What did you tell him?”

“Nothing, Muse, nothing,” replied Quiet Man, ”but it’s true what I am telling you.”

“I did not answer him, Muse,” said Fred as if that would end the matter with the Politician or myself.

If you did not answer him, Fred, you idiot, then you are confirming it, was what my mind was telling me to scream at him. I did not.

I don’t care about the Politician and I did not care why he was asking Fred if I was his girlfriend. I really cannot believe that Fred was asked that. I guess his Leo pride could not pass it up.

Fred then began to call people and do his wheeling dealing, while Quiet Man could not keep very quiet, whispering loudly what Fred should tell these people in New York City, where he was dealing. Fred had them on speaker phone and it was ridiculously funny. How these people did not know others were listening in due to Quiet Man’s loud whispering and Fred’s answering him in non-whispers I do not know. When Fred or Quiet Man did not like what the other person was saying, they motioned a hand job; if they were getting sick of listening to the person, they threw their hands up into the air. When the person offered a lower price, Fred refused, making some weird marks on his lists and then ending the conversation. Quiet Man then would bet on how fast the person would call back and order at full price. He was right many a time.

After a while, Quiet Man and I got up to leave Fred to his own devices with his phone calls. We walked out into the store and they discuss who would get what platter. Quiet Man took the biggest one, while Fred the smaller, but with more variety of cookies. I laughed watching them negotiate the cookies.

As we were walking out, the man who insures Fred’s cars walks in and Quiet Man lags behind to say hello. I said my goodbye’s and went to my car. As I was driving out of the parking lot, I see Quiet Man, bending over into the trunk of his James Bond BMW roadster, carefully placing the large tray of cookies into the car. I stopped to joke around with him. We chatted so much, I was holding up traffic so I pulled into the space next to him. He came to my car window to chat. We joked around and laughed some more.

We then said our goodbyes and I went to meet my two brothers, sister in law and friends who were at a local watering hole to pass away the time and remember my Mother.

The next week, Fred and Quiet Man were to have a holiday party at the garage where all the expensive cars are stored.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

You Are Caring, Quiet Man

It was one week to the day, a Monday, that my mother was gone.

I felt a bit antsy or something like that. I was still not in the office officially. I felt like a wanderer, roaming about, listless and lifeless. My mind was racing and swelling with all my thoughts, my re-visits to the week prior and an angst that was causing me to feel displaced. In other words, I was looking for anything that would take my mind away from me and substituted it with something else. Anything else.

I had seen my friend Harry I believe almost each day since the killing. He was getting on my nerves. He was of the opinion I should be proceeding in a manner in which he saw fit. I guess he meant well, but the manner in which he provided his opinion, left me with a profound distaste for his thoughts.

If I was able to recant about Harry, I would. He is one of the oddities of men I seem to collect or interact with in my life. In the days before blogging, or knowing about blogs, I used to share with girlfriends via email about my experiences with Harry. They were so unusual in their existence, that I could not believe myself they would occur.

One particular girlfriend, with whom at the time I spoke with almost on a daily basis, would get the complete and most immediate update from the night before with Harry. We would squeal with shock and laughter, because I was able to laugh about it at least. This friend, unbeknownst to me, had used my experiences to entertain her monthly Bongo group [I can’t remember now the name of that stupid card game they played] about myself and Harry. She slipped one day and told me what a following I had, across the country none the less, about myself and Harry.

Harry and another, Dick, were topics of endless emails and conversations about their oddities over the course of a few years. Alas, I erased those detailed emails and I now I wish I had not. What has not been erased is either Harry or Dick, who despite my efforts to eradicate them from my life in the nicest of ways, pop into it on various occasions.

Both Harry and Dick are Taurus men who I have since learned that with them, even people are their possession. They are prolific collectors of material things they crave and love, which can take over a major part of their lives, at least to an outsider. But to each of them, it’s a normal part of who they are. I believe I have found myself in each of their respective collections.

These are two Herculean, protective Taureans, with big hearts but with the most suffocating control. I believe I also am at fault for continuing on with the lot of them, for I have always had an enormous soft spot for the beautiful (and they are), strong, masculine and protective bulls. It’s a Capricorn-Taurus thing.

I had read once in an Astrology book that with these two signs, that no matter what has occurred between them, they can find common ground to once again continue on harmoniously. It is true. No matter what screaming accusatory fits I have had, or what shut the door and ignore me things they have done [and oh, they are good at ignoring something they find unpleasant and good luck in trying to change their minds on anything at all] we have been able to overcome it, or ignore it, and be in each other’s lives again until the next round.

So back to Quiet Man.

That Monday, I had not spoken to Harry at all and he did not call me. I went to see Fred about something, just to give myself a break from dealing with that busy mind of mine.

Fred had told me Quiet Man was in his office and to go and see him about helping me with my low tire warning. I thought the tires where full, but being I was really looking for an escape, I used him as an excuse to help me.

“Fred, can you call him to make sure he is there?”

“Muse, he is there, just go,” encouraged Fred.

“OK. See you later, Fred.” I said as I was walking out the door.

I drove the two minutes to the office.

I pulled into the parking lot and the front window was blocked off by all the cars they had in the lot. Quiet Man and Fred are into antique and luxury cars. They were parked all over the place.

I sat in my car for a while. My heart was racing. I was nervous as usual. The last time I was here was they day I found out he was married. Ugh. I felt like I had a stone in my stomach.

Why was I here, I thought? I was lonely, sad and looking for human interaction and yes, it was my attraction to him that I know I should not have. I did not care. The urge to be in his company was compelling. I don’t know why. Yes, I think I do.

I have this compulsion, with anything, to satiate myself with whatever it is, a new love interest, a hobby, a project at work. I just do not rest or stop until I there is nothing left to know. The attraction to Quiet Man lies in my mind. I am mentally attracted to him far beyond the physical.

I get out of my car. I start to work the maze made by the oddly parked cars to the front door. The reflection on the glass to his office did not permit me the luxury of seeing what was going on inside while I approached. I hate that.

I was able to see in for a second and I see he is talking to someone sitting in front of him. I did not see him looking out, but I suspect he saw me.

I opened the door, walked in and saw that his door to his office around the corner, was closed. Oh geez, I would have to knock. This was becoming more difficult and unsettling. I wish Fred had called to announce my arrival.

I tip toed to the door as best I could to not clank on the floor. I reached and knocked on the door.

I heard a loud scramble for the door as if it could not be opened fast enough.

“Muse! Muse, how nice to see you!” I heard.

Ricky opened the door, with a smile. He said hello warmly. Quiet Man was up on his feet. He grabbed my hand as usual to kiss it and we embraced. He “ordered” Ricky to vacate his seat and to let me have it. How funny these two are.

I was very stiff with them, feeling out of place. I quickly told Quiet Man why I was there and he told Ricky to go out and check my tires. He jumped up and went out.

Quiet Man was just staring at me. I felt a bit uncomfortable, so I started to do what I do when I feel like that-blabber on.

I told him about the sulfur smell in the car. He knew about it since Fred told him. He leans over as a medical doctor would to tell me bad news.

“Muse, you need your whole exhaust system replaced.”

WHAT? I was upset. This was a brand new vehicle. The dealership never told me that was the problem.

Quiet Man then leans back and smokes his Marlboro, so I am now viewing him in profile while his chair squeaks.

Ricky came in and said all my pressure was fine in my tires.

So, we chatted for a couple of minutes about filters I should have the dealer replace or put in or something like that.

It was about 4:30 pm I would say at this point. I was like, OK, this is about all I can milk on this topic, and I should get up and leave.

I started to say something about leaving, and Quiet Man says to me, “Muse, would you like a drink?”

“A drink?” I said in disbelief, what was he talking about?

“Yes, a drink,” he said calmly.

“What kind of drink?” I asked.

“Wine,” he told me dryly, “Ricky, go and get some bottles of wine.”

Apparently they keep wine in the back. Ricky jumped up to get them.

“OK, Quiet Man, I will have a drink,” I said giggling, happy to have had an invitation to stay.

Ricky came back with about 4-5 bottles of red wine.

“Muse, I am so sorry,” said Quiet Man with sincerity, “I don’t have any glasses.”

“You don’t?” I said, “Well what are we going to drink out of then?”

Quiet Man had me pull out three plastic tumblers that had on them coffee logos. I pulled off the plastic and opened the tops. The lip of the tumbler had threading on it, and yes, we were going to use them.

Ricky was having trouble uncorking the wine. They did not have any corkscrews. Quiet Man told him to get a screw, drill it in, and yes Ricky used a hand drill, and then used pliers to pop out the cork. It worked magnificently.

As the night went on, we finished the wine, and smoked cigars. Yes, I do enjoy a nice smooth cigar, while drinking, with a man only. Quiet Man had to light mine due to my in ability to suck in the air from that particular cigar. He had his lit and hanging out of his mouth, so we exchanged. It reminded me of Dick, who introduced me to the cigar and liquor routine. It was more of foreplay of things to come between us, he is a Taurus you know, and very sexual. But with Quiet Man it was just fun.

Quiet Man and Ricky were telling me of their homelands. I had been there and recanted my travels with my then boyfriend at the time.

We were sitting in Quiet Man’s office. I before him and Ricky to our side. Quiet Man reached behind him and pulled out a map. A freaking map of his country. He had his birthplace marked with a dot. He did. He showed me with pride and told me something about his place of birth. Ricky, who was from a different part of the same country but was not of the same nationality as Quiet Man, showed me his part of the world, lower on the map. I mean who pulls out maps? I was roaring with laughter. They thought I was odd about the map. Like I carry around a map of the United States with my birthplace marked?

Quiet Man showed me a photo of his children. I thought the boy in the photo was his daughter’s boyfriend, but it was not; it was his son. I had seen that photo the last time I was there.

Quiet Man is drinking and drawing on his cigar, while looking at me as he usually does.

“Muse,” he said, in his thick accented drawl, “ you know who is this man?”

He motioned to a black and white photograph of a young man pictured in profile.

“Who, that man?” I asked.

“Yes. That man. You know him?”

I looked at the photo and was trying to think who it was. I badly guessed a few names. I failed.

“That,” he said, “is I.”

I turned to look again. The young man was extraordinarily handsome. Gorgeous I thought to be precise. I would not have guessed it was him, but then I could see it was.

We laughed for some reason. Then he pulled out an identical photo of what was on the wall. He handed me the younger version of himself. I could not help but to continue to gaze at him as a young man of about 21. I was thinking, if I knew him at 21, that boy would not be free of me.

“Muse, you want?” he asked me about his photo.

“Yes, I do!” I told him. He then took my photo and then handed it back to me.

I started to scream with laughter. He had autographed his photo for me. It was very funny.

That photo was mine for sure, with “Quite Man” signed in the bottom right corner in the most beautiful handwriting.

I looked at how he signed his name and examined it. I was once a student of graphology. I was pleased to see the signs of a good, kind and honest person. He was confident and strong, while generous and considerate. He was just Quiet Man.

Ricky was really pounding down tumblers of wine. We had nothing to eat. By about 12:30 am, Quiet Man sends him out for cigarettes and snacks.

Alone, Quiet Man and I continue to talk and banter and laugh. Ricky previously commented about our interactions with each other. It was a smooth and even flow.

“I can’t believe you two,” he would chime in once in a while, “ Look at you.”

“Look at what Ricky? Do you think there is something wrong?” I demanded of him playfully.

“Just look at the both of you,” he would answer, laughing. I knew what he meant. He noticed how Quiet Man and I interacted with each other, as if Ricky was not really there. The interest in conversing one took with the other. Seamlessly and effortlessly.

During our in depth conversations of whatever topic Quiet Man chose, Ricky would keep interrupting him to turn to me to translate what Quiet Man just told me.

I understood Quiet Man, he speaks English. What was it with Ricky? We could not get him to quit it, he just kept offering his United Nations services in translating what Quiet Man said in English to me in Ricky’s accented English. So odd. So funny.

By the time Ricky returned with the smokes and snacks, they eat some. Ricky kept announcing we needed to go. Why, I thought?

Ricky is declaring, “Guys, it's 1:30!”

“So?” was our response.

Eventually Ricky realized we were not budging. So he bids us farewell.

Quiet Man and I spend the next few hours together, talking and laughing. Sometimes the conversation was somber and I just listened. I found him fascinating. He was interesting. He was so attractive.

We continued on until we left our separate ways at 4:30 am.

That night, for the hours I was with him, removed any angst and anxiety I had felt earlier in the day, and he replaced it with the caring company of a friend. He did that for me and I did not realize it until I alone entered my home. For days thereafter, I drew comfort from that night of laughter and friendship. It was something I needed and he cared enough to give to me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thank You For Your Love, Quiet Man

The morning after my mother was killed, I was in her house. It was empty, meaningless and it felt so strange. Her phone was constantly ringing and so was my cell phone.

Fred rang my cellular. As I looked down, I was happy to see his name pop onto the screen, but I did not call him back immediately. I wanted to wait until I was done with the calls on the land line.

When I did call him, he was so very nice and kind. The day my mother was killed, I had been at a Wendy’s near Fred’s store. It was about 3-3:30 pm in the afternoon. I had this strange urge to go and eat a baked potato, not because I was hungry but because when I did want one, I would sit in the car, feeling guilty for using the light sour cream that Wendy’s hands out with the Sour Cream and Chive version, and watch who ever would be going by.

I had pulled my car backwards into the space, so I could see everyone. I glanced over at Fred’s shop and could not see in due to the reflection. I was thinking, why was I eating this potato? I was not even hungry and since I was going to go to the gym at around 5:30 to go to a kickboxing class, why was I weighing myself down with starch?

As I was pondering these stupid thoughts, I saw my mother driving through. I watched her drive her way out of the plaza we were in, stop at the light and then turn left. I wondered why she was cutting through the plaza, since if she went there, she would visit the food store and would use another entrance.

I saw her very clearly, her face intent while she drove. The late afternoon sun illuminated her face and hair with a soft and golden glow. I had felt very sad looking at her drive and I don’t know why I had this feeling of her being alone and lonely.

I dismissed those thoughts and said to myself, if she was to go into the food store, I would drive over and surprise her while she was shopping. As I watched her drive out, I thought she was going to the office of someone I told her she should not bother with-and then I thought, well I would see her later either before the gym or after.

I then finished my potato and went back to the office.

After I went to the gym for my 5:30 class, having arrived prior to five to do the circuit and three other leg machines prior to the kickboxing, I headed home. There was this traffic jam. As I approached my intersection, I saw two roads each flared and yellow taped with a Sheriff’s Deputy standing guard. I thought, I hope it’s not my Mom. I needed to backtrack the way I came, via a back route. When I made the turn opposite the second Deputy, I did not see any car crash or vehicles and thought, good, it’s not an accident.

I went to my mother’s house and let myself in, thinking she was arriving soon. I called my brother and asked him if he seen her, he said no, she was probably out helping the one I told her not to go to at their office. I asked him if he knew why those roads where blocked off. No, he said, but he saw the blockade.

I went to my youngest brother’s home. About two hours later, I found out my mother was killed by a car around the same time I was at the gym. I was never to see her again. I saw a mangled and disfigured face of a lady at the hospital. There were towels around her head, which was previously blood soaked. Her skull was caved in like a bowl on her right side and her left eye was bulging. Her nose was cut in two and flattened, as was her swollen face. It was not my Mother. Harry was with me. I lifted the sheets on the gurney and saw feet which were my Mother’s. They had minor cuts on them, but they were hers.

Fred’s voice was solemn and kind. His tone was soft and steady. He was telling me my mother was in his shop talking to him and Quiet Man the day she was killed. They were making plans to go to the party of the son with the famous mother and to another party as well. I did not want to go to the other party and she did. I was not keen on driving her there, telling her she should just to go to the son’s party.

Fred and she were making plans to go to both parties and he along with Quiet Man, welcomed her to go with them and Fred was going to bring his Rolls Royce and pick her up in it to go in style.

Tears where striping my dry cheeks as he was telling me the story. I was happy to know that when I saw her she was happy and not lonely. She must have been so glad to have a “date” with Fred and Quiet Man for those parties and to be in their company. How kind of Fred, I thought. I was so grateful for his kind treatment of my Mother. I was grateful that Quiet Man was there with her and making her feel included and wonderful. Quiet Man really has/had such a kind and gentle manner with my Mother, it was touching. I was glad to know both he and Fred made her feel magnificent.

I got off the phone with Fred and eventually checked my office calls.

I hear the deep and thick accent of Quiet Man, leaving me a message of condolence, with the genuineness of an old and caring friend. I began to cry. It was something about his voice, his sadness that touched me about his sorrow about my Mom.

I called Quiet Man back later in the day. I had stopped for coffee and went and leaned on a light pole in the parking lot of the 7-11. I dialed his number. He answered and as soon as he heard my voice, his changed with a caring emotion.

I thanked him for his call and tried to speak to him without my voice breaking. I tried to quelch the lump in my throat that made my voice quiver and break. As I started to weep, I heard his voice deepen in a comforting gesture towards me.

Speaking to him lessened the sadness for a moment, and brought me some comfort in knowing he is a kind and caring man.

The night after my Mother’s killing, my two brothers, my sister-in-law and I decided to still attend the party of the son with the famous mother since she was so anticipating going herself. Besides, the son’s assistant, called us to assure us we had to go for our Mother.

I was dressed very demurely: a black knit skirt below the knee with a white ribbed turtle neck, no make up and stilleto olive green heels.

As I made my way into the restaurant, I was greeted by so many friends with condolences and embraces. I was klinging on to them, with tears streaming down my face because I was weeping with such grief. I saw Fred, patiently waiting next to me to speak with me. I was unable to free myself to go to him. I had looked up while weeping and I saw Quiet Man leaning against a wall holding a drink. He was looking at me crying, making my face swell and being unable to stop. He looked so pained. I could feel his hurt that I was hurting, his gaze being so genuine and concerned. He watched me for a while and I was embracing the son with the famous mother who asked if he could say a few words about my Mom. Of course, I told him. It would be wonderful.

As I was able to pass through into the restaurant, I did not see Fred. I turned to my right, and I saw Quiet Man walking towards me. I fell into his arms, embracing him for a long time. He held me for as long as I wanted to hold him, and as a protective father would his daughter who needed his strength and understanding.

He took me to the open bar to get a drink. Between he and I there exists some sort of unspoken understanding, a link of acceptance and knowledge of the other. I felt safe and at peace with him.

He stayed with me throughout the night.

We held up a corner of the wall. We chatted and laughed. As people where coming to speak with me, he kindly stepped away, yet remained near. I eventually stopped him from doing that by holding on to him so he would not go.

When Fred found us, he embraced me very lovingly and asked what he could do for me.

“Just be my friend, Fred, just be my friend.”

“Of course, Muse, of course!” he assured me.

Eventually Fred went off by himself leaving Quiet Man and myself.

I had felt this secure place with Quiet Man that night. I was thinking of how short life is and how I wanted him to be in my life. I thought about his marriage. I thought about what had transpired since I had met him.

“Quiet Man,” I began, “can I ask you something?”

“Yes, Muse,” he said in his throaty accent, looking at me.

Quiet Man was hovering over me, holding his drink as usual.
I was thinking how was I going to tell him what I wanted to tell him? How was I going to manage to say to him what I was thinking?

The party was in full swing. People where enjoing the open bar, the catered dinner, all of which I was not interested in at all. I wanted to fill the void I had and reap the comfort of Quiet Man, who was standing next to me.

I can’t remember exactly how I said or what I said, but I asked him if we could be friends, real friends. I wanted him to be in my life and do things with me. I did not want to have a sexual relationship with him, but a deep friendship. I explained to him that it would be important to me and I had other such relationship with men who were my friends, even after their marriages. Nothing inappropriate or lurid. Just the feeling of having the closeness of a man, as close to me as a brother.

I believe he agreed, because I can’t remember what he responded, I think because I can’t remember exactly what I said. I hope I am not remembering what I think I said and what I think he said.

“Muse, you are my friend,” he said looking at me.

I just smiled. He held my hand for a second, and then put his arm around my waist. It felt good.

Fred came around again and invited me to go with he and Quiet Man to the other party. I said yes but would have to tell my brother since we all drove together in one car.

Quiet Man went to go and get the car. Fred and I waited outside. It was cold.

“Fred, can you hold my purse?”

“Of course, Muse,” he said and held my champagne bag.

Quiet Man pulls up the Rolls and we get in.

We go to the other party, which had maybe 15 people. Quiet Man escorts me in and the three of us are the target of immediate gossip since I am with them. What I like about Quiet Man is that he could care less what anyone says.

Quiet Man and I are standing together. I knew more people there than he and they started to come and speak to me, offering condolences.

As Quiet Man was standing next to me, my friend Henry, who is about 65 years old, came over. Henry was so drunk and sweating out his liquor. He told me he was so sorry about my mother.

“Henry, it is so good to see you. I have not seen you in ages!”

“Oh, yes you have Muse.”

“When?” I asked.

That is when Henry went on and on in his drunkenness about the last time he saw me. He was even telling Quiet Man, who apparently did not like hearing it and went and got himself some fried calamari.

Henry was re-living the last time he laid eyes on me and it took me off guard. I never saw him like this before.

It was the black dress. The one I had on the night Quiet Man was mad about Tigo taking away my attention. I never saw Henry that night, but he remembered me in that dress and apparently did not forget.

It made me laugh and I know Quiet Man heard it as well. I don’t know why it was “important” to me that Quiet Man heard Henry fawn all over me and lusting about the black dress.

At the end of the night, Quiet Man and Fred, true to their word, drove me to my Mother’s home, where I was staying. I got out of the car, said my goodbyes and did not turn around to see them leave.

I entered the dark and lonely house, which was previously a home the day before and began to cry. I cried because my mother was killed. I cried because I was all alone and I cried because I was sad that Quiet Man and Fred dropped me off and left me.