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.


Glamourpuss said...

Dane sounds like a bit of a creep. And certainly no gentleman.


Gucci Muse said...

Creepy is something I would not call Dane. What was it that made him sound creepy? The go go club?

He is a sweethearted old man with a heart of gold, according to Quiet Man, since I have only seen Dane three times in my life. I think he is very lonely.

As it is in America, being wealthy does not mean it gives you a cultured manner. Dane has money, but lacks refinement.

I think he finds exitement in Quiet Man for some reason.

ShadowFalcon said...

Dane does sound like a lonely old man but I'm not sure his intentions with you were that honorable.

Maybe Quiet Man doesn't like those clubs after all and goes to merely humor his friend

Gucci Muse said...

Shadow-Dane has been inviting myself to things since I met him and the last invitation was for Quiet Man and I to go to his house and he was going to cook for us.

Whether his intentions were honorable or not, the fact that he is 71 with an arm that just went through rotator cuff surgery renders him pretty impotent in a lot of departments. ;)

And Oh, I think Quiet Man really likes those clubs, why else would there be a topless dancer wanting a more serious relationship with him, because to me, when Dane told me that, it meant they had some kind of relationship to begin with.

But then again, knowing Dane, I cannot be too sure if it is true or not. He is pretty crafty with how he presents things.

In hindsight, I should have just stayed home. I was overexhausted and really did not have the energy to think rationally.

David said...

As a man, who tries to be a gentleman, the radar pings strongly over Dane. May you be blessed with both less stress and less causes of stress.

Gucci Muse said...

Aw, thank you David-from your mouth to God's ears............... I wish it were that easy-

All of you have found Dane to be lacking in the skills of a gentleman, and I shall bear that in mind.

I think I overlooked that because I also felt very sorry for him-I did not mention that he lost his only son when he was 16 and had some type of argument with his son who left the house after the argument to be killed in a car accident.

This was so many years ago and when he was telling me this story over the phone in December, he broke down into sobs and tears.

He made me cry too.