Saturday, February 23, 2008

White Into the Night

I thought I would post a photo of the winter wonderland we are experiencing. I love it when the roads are black and the snow has not melted. The pine trees are dressed in their lush and heavy winter white, glistening not only the lilting light of the day but the luminous nightly moon, illuminating everything.

When I come home late into the night, I feel the resonating quiet of the cold air and my eyes dance over the moon lit snow, under the dresses of luscious conifer which at times sway to the whispering musical wind that makes it way through from the north.

There is something special about a snow covered earth. It is as if it's a magical wonderland that beckons you to revel in it's purity. The slender icicles harbor the reflective light tossed to it from the snow below and I remember that as a small girl I would not hesitate to pluck one from its perch and slide it into my mouth, drinking the cold, refreshing drink it became.

The air is crisp yet warming; I feel it's cool caress and am able to welcome it into my lungs, refreshing my sense of smell as it passes.

A slight wind rustles my long hair and kisses my now rosy cheeks. My eyes widen to take in the beauty of the white night as I look at familiar surroundings, remembering the past.

As I turn my back to this wondrous landscape to enter the warmth of my home, I think of how lucky I am to have partaken, if ever so briefly, in the virginal beauty of such nights.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine

As I am writing this, it is almost one half hour before Valetine's Day is over. It was an uneventful day, except one thing.

I arrived home, tired and worn. The day was cold but did not chill.

This holiday from early on has not interested me, ever. In fact, I had to remind myself throughout the day to remember.

I pulled into my dark driveway, looking at the house, empty and alone. Glancing at the front door, I saw what looked like a notice propped up on the firewood I had on the slate porch and was too lazy to move into the house.

Damn. Was it some kind of notice of some kind? Eh, I would soon find out.

I collected my things from my vehicle and trudged in the semi-lit walk to the front door. I picked up the white paper that was oddly and prominently placed.

It dropped from my hand.

There was something attached to it; I was so annoyed that it fell, I barely glanced at it in the semi dark light.

As my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit area that only let me view things in black and white, I noticed the single, luscious long stemmed rose.

Who could have left it I wondered?

I opened the door, entered the foyer and headed into the house.

Putting my things down, I looked at the red velvety rose. The note was written to me in a handwriting I recognized.

"Dear Aunt Muse, would you be my first Valentine? Love, CD."

I started to weep. CD is my beautiful ten month old nephew, my most wonderful Valentine.

Friday, February 8, 2008

You are so Complicated, Quiet Man

I went out with Dane on a Thursday night.

On Saturday morning, Quiet Man rang.

I was lounging actually just finishing the post about Dane when my cell sounded. I looked and noticed that Quiet Man was calling me from the office number rather than his cell phone as he usually does. I also did not forget that I did not hear from him in about two weeks. His curiosity or jealously must have peaked.

About three weeks ago, I got a call from Quiet Man on a Sunday. I was just coming out of the mall in the next state. I had just picked up some things at Sephora including Agent Provocateur, actually.

He wanted me to do some work for a friend and Ricky had mentioned it to me about two weeks prior. At the end of what he wanted to talk to me about, when he asked where I was, I told him.

"Oh, Muse, so how is Dick?" he asked me slyly.

Now Quiet Man knows that Dick lives in the city where the TJMaxx is located, as does Harry. Why was he asking me about Dick? He was jealous. I could not believe it, that he showed some indications of keeping track of men in my life.

"No, Quiet Man, I am not with Dick," I shot back.

"Ok, Muse," he replied.

Smug, stupid man.

This was after the New Year.

Prior to the New Year, the last I heard from Quiet Man was Christmas Eve. He was supposed to meet me at Fred’s. We were going to hang out with Fred until he closed his store to keep him company. I went to see Fred by myself to wish him Merry Christmas and to drop off some homemade cookies for his children. I did not hear from Quiet Man until after I left Fred’s. He had left me a message on my home phone about having gone to Fred’s earlier in the afternoon. I returned his call and we chatted. He was to come to his office sometime on Christmas day and we were going to meet to greet each other Merry Christmas.

It turned out he did not call on Christmas as he had on Thanksgiving. But I did not give it much thought. I found out later from him that he was sickly on Christmas and stayed home. But he made the point to tell me without my asking.

So, back to the first of the year.

I had spent New Year's with Dick. Quiet Man was supposed to spend it with his wife. We were both invited to the same New Year's Eve party by the same person. I told he and Fred I was not going. I went last year and it was not that great and those two did not go at all. On Christmas Eve, I was sitting in Fred's store and the person who was having the New Year's party came in and asked Fred if Quiet Man was going to his party. Fred said yes he was and then motioned to me with his hidden hand that Quiet Man was not going to go. After the man left, Fred said they just tell the guy yes, but no one was going to go, yet Fred still was sending in a donation for the fundraiser, the reason for the party.

So, I never thought about it again, except when the person who was throwing the party's mother called me umpteen times on New Year's Eve day to see if I was going to go. I was with Dick, who spent the night, and took me for a seafood lunch along the water in the next state. She called while we were eating.

When we went to walk on the beach, I returned her call and told her I was not going because I was in the next state. She insisted that I could still go since it started at 9 pm and it was only 3 pm now. She would not take no for an answer and insisted I bring Dick, to lure me to attend.

If I went, I did not want to go with Dick, but I could not tell him that. I had been avoiding the party also because of Dick. He wanted to do something for New Year's but did not know what. I wanted to stay home. Dick was up for that, but wanted us to go to a house party of a mutual friend.

We headed back home and I had to go to the supermarket if we were going to celebrate ourselves at home. I also dreaded, sort of, Dick's amorous nature, because he really does tire me out and when he is in the mood, he is not subtle at all about what he wants and when he wants it. I also felt sick from eating so much fried seafood, Dick's absolute favorite. This was what he wanted to do for New Year's Eve day and by gosh we did it!
While at the supermarket, Dick decides we should go to the house party and he calls our friend, who is happy we are coming. This friend, Teddy, also has a thing for me, despite being married. Teddy is a good friend and will drop anything to come and help me. He also professed his love for me a few years ago much to my surprise. I was so grossed out, I ignored his behavior and we never spoke about it at all. Dick is aware that Teddy is, as he puts it, "in love" with me. It never bothered Dick, because we would laugh about it a lot.

So, we make our way to Teddy's house where it was so snowy. Dick loves driving "recklessly" in bad weather despite knowing I am white knuckled on the OH SHIT bar of the car.

I was bored out of my mind at Teddy's house. Dick did not get ready to leave until about 4:30 am. After being pulled over by a cop at 5 am on the way home, I was able to fall blissfully asleep in my own bed without Dick at 6:00 am.

When Quiet Man called me on January 3rd he wanted to know where I was on New Year's Eve. He went to the party! He was looking for me. He told me that his wife did not want to go and he decided he was going because he believed I was going to be there.

He told me that the mother of the guy who threw the party even was asking him where I was. Great, I thought. I must be the most gossiped about person in our social circle if the mother, Trudy, was asking Quiet Man about me, when I had already told her I was with Dick. Maybe she thought I lied to her and was with Quiet Man on the QT.

"Quiet Man, I spent New Year's Eve with Dick," I began and made my New Year's seem so fantastic I almost made myself go to confession for telling such big tales.

He did not comment after I told him that. He just went on to tell me how there were not any attractive women at the party. He told me a funny story about a woman who was trying to pick him up and was so DIRECT. She was asking him if he would dance with her and he told her NO, very flatly and meanly. She did not give up and then tried to put a party hat on his head and he took it off and threw it to the ground. This still did not detract her. She continued to come up to him and whine about if he would take her out on the dance floor. He refused.

As I was listening to him, I said, “Why did you just not say, leave me alone, honey, I am married?!”

Quiet Man ignored this because the point of his story was two fold in my opinion: He was trying to let me know he missed me at the party and then found out that I was with Dick, so then he tried to get me jealous about the woman that was hitting on him. Of course, if I was there, this would not be happening to him because he basically almost ignores anyone around us.

I was second guessing my rational decision that it was a good thing I was not with Quiet Man on New Year’s. For one, he is married. Two he did not ask me about going to the party nor made plans that we would both show up. If I was there, and got drunk, I think our guards would have been let down, or the very least, Quiet Man would have suggested we leave together, if only to go and talk by ourselves and from how steamy the last time we did that, I was not sure if I had the will power to say no.

Sometimes when I see this man, my mouth fills with such lust that I can taste him. My heart races and I begin to feel the swell of attraction that overwhelms my body. I feel the rush of blood through my veins that makes my face flush and makes it difficult to breathe normally. It is a struggle to think clearly. It is almost impossible to not touch him in any manner, to keep to myself. I imagine the sensation of being in his arms, where, if he does not hold me, I would collapse, from sheer attraction.

One thing I fail utterly at is to not look at him. He must see what he does to me, how can he not? If I avoid eye contact with him, it is easier, because I can see his wife and what a tonic to reality that becomes.

So, I answered my cell phone.

“Ah low, Muse?!” said the deep tonal voice.

“Who is this?” I asked.

“Ah, it is I, Quiet Man, Muse,” he replied, sounding confused.

“Oh, Quiet Man,” I said calmly, “hi; I did not know it was you because I did not recognize the number.” He was calling from his office phone and I knew it was the office phone.

“I dialed your cell phone, not your office,” he told me.

“No, this number, 123 555 1212 was what showed up on my cell. I did not recognize it Quiet Man.”

“It did not say it was my office?”

I laughed at his thought that my cellular company would have the name of his business flash on my phone.

“So how have you been, Quiet Man?” I asked him. I knew why he was calling.

“Muse, how are you?” he snickered, “I hear you were with Dane last night, no?”

So I rehashed the story. Quiet Man then told me his version and the truth lies somewhere in the middle between his version and Dane’s. Quiet Man was so very interested in what happened that he spent an hour on the phone with me discussing the events of two nights prior. And discussing his analysis of how Dane operates in general.

He told me he was busy at the office when Dane called him and he told Dane that he was not sure if he could make it for a drink.

“Muse, I am so sorry,” he told me, “I would have liked to have gone with you for a drink and have fun with you.”

“Really?” I begrudgingly pondered.

“So what else Dane do Muse?”

“Well, he pointed out to me one of the girls there,” I began.

“Who?” he asked innocently.

“Oh, the one who wants a more serious relationship with you, that is who,” I said directly.

“Me?” he said.

I was unable to catch on the phone if he was lying or not. I really did not care much because I was disgusted and changed the subject.

We continued chatting until he had to answer his cell phone.

“Muse, I need to take this call,” he told me.

“Fine. Bye Quiet Man, take your call,” I replied.

“OK, Muse.”

As he sometimes does, he remains silent on the line without hanging up.

When I heard him begin to speak, after such an inordinate pause, I hung up on him.

I find his behavior so odd that it defies any sort of ascertainable logic. If it is not that, then I am severely lacking in recognition skill, and I do not believe that is the case. No, I do not.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Agent Provocateur

I am sitting here this morning while I should be at work. But I am not.

Multitasking as usual, lounging in bed, talking on the phone, listening to the television, reading the Internet and typing.

I am exhausted, tired and getting sick from smelling Agent Provocateur.

Why do you ask?

I will tell you.

Despite the life sucking experiences in the probate court I have to deal with, I have tried to manage to hold it together. Really. But, the stress is overwhelming. I am convinced it is going to age me.

The day before yesterday I had endured a six hour session with a judge, a graduate of a law school that leaves much to be desired and whose stubbornness and demeanor is more akin to Adolf H. rather than to the position he holds. A product of political pull rather than intelligence. This is sad.

So, yesterday after running around to pay property taxes, I went to my office to have a cup of coffee and try and relax while catching up with what I needed to do.

A long time friend came to see me about something and he was off almost as soon as he came, asking me if he could see me today. Fine, I told him. Not a problem. I wanted some calm solitude to drink my coffee and call a friend to discuss what was occurring in the probate court, my current, unwelcome obsession.

The phone rings.

"Hello!" said the voice.

"Muse?" it pondered, "It's Dane!"

Dane if any of you can recall is a friend of Quiet Man. I met Dane when Fred had his car Christmas Party.

Prior to yesterday, about I would say 2-3 weeks ago, I was talking to Quiet Man on the telephone.

"Muse, what you doing?" he asked me.

"Why?" I asked suspiciously.

"You free to have lunch?"


"Dane is here with me and we go to get lunch and we want you to join us," he explained.

"Sorry Quiet Man, I have a lunch date."

"You do?"

"Yes, with George," I said, hoping it would sting.


“Well Quiet Man, I have to go, tell Dane I said hello,” as I hung up the phone.

About the second week of December, Dane called me about a friend of mine who may be able to put him in touch with Martha Stewart. He wanted to cook for her because he felt she would enjoy it. Do not even begin to try and rationalize the irrationality of that concept. Quiet Man rolled his eyes when Dane was putting this thought of his out into our conversation which had nothing to do with Martha Stewart.

He gave me his business card which had a glossy photograph on each side, so I could email him my friend’s response. [Which I did.]

Dane also told me that he was going to have rotator cuff surgery just before Christmas. Why someone would choose to have that at that time, is beyond logic, but he just wanted to get it over with; and it could not wait until after Jan 1, just for personal convenience? No, it could not according to Dane.

After Christmas sometime, Quiet Man told me Dane had his operation and was fine. I asked him to send Dane my best regards. He said he would. Then he said Dane would invite me to his daughter’s wedding. Does that make sense? No it does not, but this is Quiet Man. Sending one’s regards now equates to a statement of invitation by people I do not even know.

So yesterday; I was quite surprised to hear Dane’s voice. He wanted to ask my opinion on something very idiotic. This is a married 71 year old man. So I answered it suspicious this was not the reason for the call.

It was not, as I suspected. He invited me to go out with him and Quiet Man later that evening for a drink. I told him I had a dinner date but was free after that.

“Oh, you have a date?”

“No Dane, it’s just for dinner, nothing at all. I could use a drink to take the edge off all of this stress I am under right now.”

So he told me he was going to call me. I told him I was so tired and very tired looking.

“Oh, you are gorgeous!” he said, trying to gain favor with false compliments I ignore.

Throughout the conversation I thought Quiet Man was with him, but Dane told me he was not with him. I hung up and really did not think about it at all.

After dinner, my cell rang. It was about 9 pm. I remembered Dane. Well, a man who does what he says he would do, and I pondered, do men have to reach the age of 71 to accomplish that?

“Muse!” he bellowed into the phone, “Are you coming?”

“Well is Quiet Man going?” I asked. This was supposed to be a group thing. I was looking forward to de-stressing with Quiet Man, laughing and joking.

Earlier that day, Dane asked me if he should tell Quiet Man that I was going or should we surprise him. I told him he better tell him since I had not heard from Quiet Man nor seen him in about two weeks.

“Quiet Man and Ricky are going, Muse,” Dane told me.

“Well, were are we going? We are going to get a drink, right?”


“Do you want me to come and pick you up at your house? Because I can get you if you want,” Dane continued.

“I don’t want to go to the strip club Dane, and if that are the plans you made with Quiet Man, I don’t want to go.”

“Why? It does not matter. We will all be there.”

And on and on it went. The allure of a drink and some company compelled me to agree to meet him at the local Dunkin’Donuts’ parking lot.

“What are you driving Dane?”


“What color?” I inquired, as if he would be the only BMW in the lot.


“OK,” I said, thinking, I never saw a maroon BMW.

After going around and around about Quiet Man and Ricky still being at the office and how they were getting there and not being able to hear Dane clearly on the cell phone since he was on his cell phone, I told him he could fetch me at the local DD.

Having only one half hour before I had to meet Dane, I get home with twenty minutes to spare. I did put on some Smashbox something or other on my sallow skin, a touch of lipstick to guard against chapped lips, a touch of mascara to my outer lashes and for good measure, a dose of Agent Provocateur.

I made it to the DD about two or three minutes after Dane. He was parked aggressively, in his shiny maroon 7 series. He was dressed in brown and camel, to match his light tan leather interior.

I got out of my vehicle, locked it and said hello to Dane and kissed him on his cheek after he rolled down his window.

“Get in, get in!” he said.

How cute I thought, he was all duded out. He told me his wife knew he was going to meet me. Good I said, it’s nice to know you can be friends with someone and go out for a nice drink. I really believe this.

On the ride, I chatted with Dane about his operation. I told him I knew he was doing well because Quiet Man told me he was ok and I sent my regards.

“You did, Muse?”

“Why of course, Dane. I was worried about you and the operation. And I told Quiet Man so.”

He turned to look at me and said, “You know what?”

“What Dane?”

“He never told me,” as he was trying to understand why Quiet man did not tell him of my message.

“I have no idea Dane, but I told him and even when he wanted me to go to lunch with you a while ago, I told him again.”

“Well, he did not tell me.”

So he drives me to the damned go-go club. I really did not want to go in, but he assured me Quiet Man and Ricky were not far behind.

The weirdo feeling of walking into a men’s club with a 71 year old man who is not even charged a cover is difficult to explain.

We sat there until 1 am while Dane greeted most of the strippers, one of whom he believed was an undercover cop. A young man came over to say hello to him. Dane told me that Quiet Man was going to back him up in his restaurant venture. Are you kidding me?

As the night progressed, all I could do was down Belvedere on the rocks. After the second one, I became very chatty because my usual rationale is I can talk a man out of anything he is thinking about me I don’t want him to think. And I think at the end of the night, I did.

What I feel sort of bad about was that since Dane brought up Quiet Man quite a bit, I blathered on and on and told Dane stories about what Fred, Quiet Man and I did in the past. Fred does not like Dane. I can’t remember why, I told Dane, but Quiet Man told me the reason. I thought it was about some go go girl. You know, the usual.

I think I burst Quiet Man’s cover because I do not think Quiet Man told Dane the truth about some things, which are not bad things but were told to impress Dane. I was on my third Vodka at that point and I was also doing a good job about Fred.

I think this was precipitated by Dane pointing out one stripper [eh go go girl, sorry] that was after Quiet Man. Dane said her problem was she wanted something serious with him. This made me re-evaluate Quiet Man. Dane insinuated and rolled his eyes like a Ferris Wheel when I told him about Fred and Ricky insisting to me that Quiet Man was so faithful to his wife, which I never believed.

I also filled in Dane about how I met Quiet Man and gave him a condensed version of our short history. Dane was eye popping as he listened to me. I believe he was getting annoyed the conversation was dominated by my tipsy recants of Quiet Man’s antics with me.

The vodka was a-talking last night. I am now beginning to regret having spoken the truth right now.

Needless to say Quiet Man and Ricky did not show up or call Dane, who called them twice each.

I interrogated Dane about whether it was it the truth they were supposed to meet us, and he said yes; then admitted that Ricky said he might come. He told me that Quiet Man was the one who had the idea to come that night, despite having been there, I think with Dane and Mr. Wrong the night before, who spent about $4,000.00 on champagne. According to Dane, Quiet Man stops in at the go go club almost every night.

This whole thing is kinda sick, and way too much information.

The owner of the club stops by to say hello to Dane. He is dressed very conservatively in a sweater vest. Harry knows this man as well and his wife owns the club. I felt better when I saw some normally dressed women in the club who were the wife/owner and other women Dane said helped the girls get dressed [or undressed if you ask me.]

The male owner welcomed me to his club and I informed him I was told I was going out for a drink, not coming to his strip club and made it quite clear I was not happy about it; he said something I cannot now recall, but I told him a lady has not any trouble being a lady in any circumstance. He looked surprised when I said that and he agreed.

Dane was commenting that the people in the club were probably wondering what a beautiful girl like myself was going with an old man like he. I agreed with him, especially in strip club. I was wondering the same thing myself, having been sort of duped to accompany him. But it made me laugh because men do not think normally.

As I sat in the half booth with a table in front of us, I had my legs crossed over one another. I was wearing sweat slacks by Vertigo with elaborate embroidery along the hips and on my hip bones on the front. I had on high heeled boots and were swinging them hoping that Quiet Man would show up.

He did not. And I was so grateful I did not call him at all. I wonder why neither he nor Ricky answered Dane’s call.

Dane told me that when he told Quiet Man I was going with him, Quiet Man was very surprised and could not believe I was going.

“Yes she is,” Dane told him.

This was all before I even said yes to Dane. I was beginning to wonder about Dane. I was so glad the go go girls kept him occupied by saying hello. I was beginning to think they would able to hustle Dane for some cash; he is a wealthy man. Dane told me they know they cannot hustle him and he pays them their lap dance money but does not accept the lap dance.

Then why on earth are so you fixated with a go go club? He usually sits at the bar and pays the pole dancer inside the bar money. Oh, in Dane’s’ world, that makes sense.

I looked around at the unattractive men and women who were in this place. One particular nerdy pasty man was hanging on to stripper who was with him most of the night. He provided entertainment while we were on the Quiet Man wait for an arrival that did not occur. She took him for at least three lap dances for the time we paid attention to them. In between, she would dump him for other business. When she went back to him, he held on to her as if she was a real girl friend and he would look at Dane and I sideways as if to say, see the hot girl I have?

I could not believe this man thought like that. Did not the payment of money give him any clue as to why this woman was embracing him and hanging on to him without puking?

“No, Muse, men don’t think that way,” said Dane, “they just see a semi naked girl is hanging on to them and paying for it is not a concern.”

“Oh. Too bad so many men have low self esteem that the payment part of this ‘relationship’ is eradicated from their memory even prior to pulling out their bills,” I said to him.

To that Dane shrugged his shoulder. Did I forget to mention poor Dane had his left arm in a black arm swing over his camel blazer?

During our visit to this strip club, we were attended to by Elvis, Belina’s brother, who used to work at the go go club. He brought us our drinks and collected his tips from Dane.

I felt that Elvis was trying to figure out what Dane and I were all about. His eyes were like saucers when he saw me. I was thinking about his sister who used to work in this strip club and weird it was she could dance naked in front of her brother. Each of these two are married, and I believe it is for papers, but I cannot say for sure. It is merely a suspicion.

On the way out, I hear my name called. How weird is that?!

It was Elvis.

“Good night, Muse” he said from behind the bar. I did not even see Elvis and I don’t even know if that is his real name.

“Oh, good night, Elvis,” I muttered as I continued past without hesitation and with the slightest turn of my head to look at him.

The Agent Provocateur has stayed with me throughout the night. For all those hours in the go go club, it was emanating up from my scarf-ed neck into my nostrils, with its heavy scents.

I was surprise that the heat of my body had kept the scent so strongly.

As I walked out into the cold air into February, when I had just entered it in January, the scent dissipated. I left it behind in the go go club, it did not appear at the local diner while Dane shoveled down eggs, toast and hot sausage with a decaf coffee.

It did not surface on the ride home while Dane and I pondered why Quiet Man did not show up and I dismissed Dane’s supposition that Quiet Man was jealous I was going with Dane.

It remained hidden while driving back to my car and as I retired for the night.

As I awoke this morning and for the last three hours writing this post, I was inundated with the heavy lingering scent of Agent Provocateur that has made me feel sick.

How sad; I would like to employ its alluring smell once again, for it was the only feminine in my night in the world of men.

How apropos; a choice to wear a scent for a role I un-intentionally play: a woman admitted into the world of men. A true social agent provocateur.

If only I could avoid provoking unrest amongst these men while being a part of them.

I could have done that by avoiding invitations by 71 year old men I consider friends. Also, laying off the vodka would help as well.

We shall see.