The Leaf – Conclusion

The Leaf Chapter 2

Charlie called today asking if I would like to go out for dinner. I said no. I am not sure why I have been pulling away from him. Nothing has changed I know I am in love with him yet I sit here by the window crying as the rain pelts the glass wishing I could remember what my grandmother whispered in my ear to make me feel better.

Music played in the background of my thoughts, a serenade of notes I used to enjoy considering they used to be uplifting but at this moment it sounds more like a dirge. It has been a year to the day Kyle was taken from me. Our music we used to dance to with every intention of culminating our lust now sounds more of a cosmic longing. I want my Kyle back yet I feel guilty for loving Charlie. What was it my Grandmother whispered in my ear I need to hear it again, I need to feel the comfort of her breath on my skin and the words of comfort.

There are no bright lights on in the house only a lamp on the table next to the chair I am sitting on. It is autumn the rain is still pelting the window, a car pulls into my driveway at the same time an oak leaf drops from the old oak tree and sticks to the window. The car lights illuminate the leaf long enough for me to see each vein and the graduated color of fall etched upon the thin veil of the leaf. My soul is stuck to the window understanding the leaf’s loss. I felt as though the rain was pelting against my soul.

Footsteps pulled my attention to the front door as the hand used its fist to intrude on my thoughts all decorum said I should get up and answer the door.

I forced myself to get up and answer the door. Charlie stood dripping wet with Chinese food in his hand. His smile was tenuous when he said: “I hope wine goes well with Chinese I am not in the mood for Shoji .”

I smiled despite myself while Charlie took his wet coat off and shoes I placed the food and wine on the dining room table. When I turned Charlie was at the CD player placing a CD into the slot. An old Bonnie Rait song came on ‘Let’s give them something to talk about.’

I walked over to Charlie he leaned in and whispered ‘ No matter what Madison I will always love you.’ I started to cry uncontrollably Charlie held me and asked: “Why are you crying?”

I said: “Ever since Kyle was taken from me I have been trying to remember what my grandmother used to whisper in my ear when I was upset. She would always say, ‘no matter what Madison I will always love you’ It always made me feel better.”

The Leaf Chapter 1

The Leaf

 

Today I moved furniture in my home and in my life. It is symbolic not just the need to clean in the corners although there are webs in my heart and my mind. I was there when he needed help to go to the bathroom. I was there when he took his last breath. I was there while the hospice nurse checked for a pulse and made the call that took him from me. I was there numbly watching as they descended the stairs and took him from our home.

I stood at the top of those stairs for the longest time trying to remember what my grandmother whispered in my ear when I had colic and would not stop crying. She whispered in my ear the same thing each time I cut or bruised myself. I searched within my memory just for the slightest remembrance of that special whisper that always gave me comfort. Why can’t I remember?

The cloth in my hand is soiled to the point of needing to be replaced; yet I cling to it and continue cleaning, not convinced I am accomplishing anything yet I cling. Finally after 8 hours of moving, arranging, and pitching things I believe I accomplished only one thing, emptiness. Shopping is the first thing which came to mind, yet I know the mere purchase of a new item will not fill the void I feel I need a change in my nest. This house used to be a home but to me now it is only a nest. A home you plan on staying in a nest is easily left by the wind beneath a wing.

It has been a year since Kyle crossed over to his new home and yet some evenings I sit tensing my soul trying to listen for that voice that kept the bad dreams away. What did my grandmother whisper in my ear?

Someone new has come into my life; this excites me and scares me all at the same time. I had the best of the best with Kyle no one could live up to what we had together, the good and the bad in each of us seemed nothing compared to what the world pressed against us we stood together stronger than any storm that came our way.  This new man seems distant yet close as though he is waiting to see if I am going to make a home with him or a nest. I really don’t know. I do know I am in love with him and at the same time, I don’t want to be in love with him. My confusion is what keeps him distant no matter what positive, loving things I say and do he knows my heart is not in it all the way. My toes are in the water but I am not ready to swim the current might be too strong this time.

Processing loss

This walk is a stumble
Each step I trip
Over heartache
Of memories and wants
Knowing yet remembering
Each klutzy moment
Brings a fresh memory
As a whisper
A Breath of the past
My future is before me
My past clings
Causing another stumble
Yet I rise

The Summer Star

The Summer Star

Each summer I go back to the beach where I went every summer with my parents, I lay out a blanket stretch out under the night sky. I search for that one star that stands out amongst all the rest. I know that is Charlie with his winning smile telling me all is well with him. My heart aches now still even after 10 years since his death. We were just kids screwing around playing in the water that day. It was right after a storm the waves were still raging as the sky was clearing. It was fun to stand and let the large waves hit us and rock us back and forth. There were times the waves knocked us over.

The thunder had moved on but we could still hear it in the distance. Being kids we ignored the saying “If you can hear it you can be struck by it.” We thought it was nonsense. I retreated to the beach before Charlie. Charlie jumped up trying to leap over the oncoming wave. I laughed when it took him down. Charlie was walking back to shore when I heard the clap of thunder, the expression on Charlie’s face occurred in slow motion. The pain, Charlie fell to his knees just as he reached the sand. They pronounced him dead on the scene. The lightening that was heard and not seen.

I became a Meteorologist because of that day. Each year I make it a point to visit schools and share my story. Invariably one of the kids and even an adult will say.

“You cannot be struck by lightening on a sunny day.”

Myth: It’s not raining here, and skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm. If storms are in your area, but skies happen to be clear above you, that certainly does not imply you are safe from lightning. Though these “Bolts from the Blue” are infrequent, lightning strikes 10 to 15 miles away from the storm are not out of the question.

Being a Meteorologist helps with my survivor guilt, it gives me an outlet and allows me to do my penance. I loved Charlie I dreamt one day he and I would get married and have kids of our own. We were 13 and were intimately acquainted with each other. He was my first and thus far only love.

I drove slow on my way back home deciding to have the windows down to dry the tears as I drove. I cannot seem to take this trip without mourning all over again. My ritual was to stop at the small ice cream parlor on my journey. I always order the same thing Charlie and I would share a Root Beer Float.

I passed the road sign directing me to the parlor as I slowed down to make my turn the oil light flickered on my dash. There was a gas station next to the ice cream parlor I decided to pull in there first and see if someone could take a look.

As I stopped my car a gentleman came sauntering over wiping his greasy hands. He leaned toward my window and asked: “Can I help you?”

I told him what had happened and he motioned for me to pop the hood. He checked my oil and told me I was a quart low he also suggested I get the car checked for a leak. I told him I would when I get home. He poured in the quart to top me off, I filled my tank with gas then pulled over to get my Root Beer Float.

Tonight I promised myself I would move on and not come here to beat myself up every year. While I was lying on that blanket under the stars a thought warmed my soul “You can see me in any night sky anywhere you are.”

Don’t move the Furniture Chapter 7

Don’t Move the Furniture
Chapter 7 Sybil

Sybil called Elizabeth every day, I presumed it was just to converse and feel connected. A month into our marriage Elizabeth asked me, “Morty I am concerned about Sybil. She doesn’t seem happy. Her husband Charles works a lot of hours which leaves Sybil home alone with the kids. It seems as though she is raising the kids alone. I want to help somehow; I get this dark feeling something is not right.”

I said: “It can be pretty dicey to meddle into someone else’s marriage but maybe a girl day and have a chat over lunch.”

Glad you said that. It is exactly what I was thinking; you just confirmed how I should go about this.” Said Elizabeth

Since Sybil could not get a babysitter I volunteered. I found it funny no one was concerned about leaving the kids with me. They probably would have been had they spoken to Connor first before saying yes.

I know I will have to keep them away from those special brownies; I am sure we can find something fun to do. All elders love when children come for a visit.

Sybil arrived with Jeff and Matilda. The introductions were made and once Sybil and Elizabeth left Jeff spoke up and said; “I am the oldest so I should say what we should do today.”

I looked him directly in the eyes and said: “You must not know all your numbers. I am the oldest and I will say what we will do today.”

Matilda laughed and punched her brother and said: “Mom told you he wasn’t any push over see you should have listened.”

Of course the conversation melted into the shut up one up- man-ship.

I put a stop to it by saying: “Shut up both of you mutts!”

Jeff scowled at me and said: “Were not dogs!”

I said: “You do what I say. If I tell you to bark then you better bark.”

Matilda said: “You can’t make us bark!”

I laughed and said: “Oh I have my ways by the time I am done with you; you will be chasing your tails and barking.”

By the looks on their faces they were convinced I was crazy enough to do just about anything.

Now that we had the pecking order established we started out for the activities center.

As soon as we walked in the door there was a round of awes and oh’s, aren’t they cute. Neither Jeff nor Matilda was impressed with the attention until I took them into the exercise room. They each took turns on the machines until they got bored. Jeff was the first one to say he was hungry. I took them to the dining room, sat them at a table and walked over to the kitchen and asked Mark if he could give us some soup and grilled cheese. I like this facility they are so accommodating, especially when there are children involved.

We finished lunch; I then took them over to the gaming room where we could watch a card game. Jeff said he was good at poker, he sat down at a table and asked if there was anyone who wanted to play a game of poker. Two guys sat down and the game began. By the time they were done each man gave all their nickels to Jeff. I patted Jeff on the back and congratulated him. To my surprise he shared his winnings with his sister. Later I found out it was hush money since Sybil did not want him playing poker.

I called Elizabeth to ask how much longer they would be, she said probably an hour. I told her no problem I could find one more thing to keep them occupied.

I took the kids into the gathering room where everyone goes just to kick back and chat. I said to them; “I am going into the library to see if there is a book I could read to you. Your mom and Aunt Elizabeth will be back in an hour. They both nodded their heads as I walked away. It took me longer than I thought it would. By the time I got back Jeff and Matilda were on the floor playing with something. At first I had no idea what they were playing with until Mel walked over and said: “They looked bored so I figured they would have fun playing with some of the toys I had in a box.”

The first thought that came to mind was “Oh Shit.”

Just then Lucy came around the corner with a plate full of brownies. I put up my hand and said: “Lucy you will not corrupt these kids.”

Lucy laughed and said: “OH, Morty these are kid recipe brownies.”

I answered: “Okay I was just making sure since I am their step grandfather now.”

Lucy also had single cartons of milk to go with the brownies. I patted her on the back and said: “I bet you are the best grandma around.”

Lucy said: “Oh thank you Morty that means so much to me.”

Just as the kids finished their brownies and milk I received a text from Elizabeth saying they were home. On the way back to the condo my gut when in a knot when both kids started to chatter up a storm about their dad and how he likes to keep secrets. I knew I was in trouble so I asked what kind of secrets. Jeff said: “The one about the lady who stopped by our table at Chucky Cheese and asked directions to dad’s office because she said she must be in the wrong spot since the man taking care of her file was not at his office like he said he would be.”

My first thought was, I am going to kick his fathers ass.

We walked in the door Jeff was still chattering. I stopped listening 5 minutes ago. Sybil spoke up and asked: “What did you do to my kids?”

I shrugged and said, “ Lucy said they were Children recipe brownies.”

Elizabeth bust out laughing. Jeff finally shut up and laid on the floor and went to sleep. Matilda was snoring on the sofa.

Sybil said: “I thought your Daughter in law Kay Lee was joking. You really are a pain in the ass.”

I handed Sybil Connor’s business card and said: “Jeff and Matilda was chatty on the way back here. I believe you may need some legal counsel.”

Sybil looked at the card and then back at me and said: “Aunt Liz already gave me a card thank you I have an appointment in 15 minutes. Hope you do not mind having the kids for a little while longer?’

No I don’t mind looks like they will be sleeping off the brownies.” I answered

Before I leave what was Jeff going on about vibrating toys?” Sybil asked

I shrugged looked over at Elizabeth whose eyes were wide as saucers. I said in my defense, “I went to the library to find a book to read the kids by the time I came back to the gathering room the kids were on the floor with the toys and Mel came over said he thought they looked bored. Would you explain to Sybil while I go out and get myself some beer?”

Elizabeth answered:” Sure but next time bring something home for me while Mel is not looking.”

I laughed headed out the door and I was relieved to hear both the girls laughing. Once Sybil divorced her husband Jeff and Matilda spent a few days a week with us while their mother was working. I was surprised I started to enjoy having those Mutts around. We now have this thing we do anytime someone says something we don’t like we start to bark.

 

 

 

Don’t Move the Furniture Chapter 6

Don’t Move the Furniture

Chapter 6 Reality check

Connor had the best solution to the Sybil problem, he drew up a living trust for Elizabeth, and he added the stipulation that if anyone of the kids raised a fuss as to how the estate would be distributed they would be immediately disinherited.

Kay Lee is a gem she loved the fact that Elizabeth and I were married and she couldn’t wait to meet Sybil. Kay Lee has a dark mischievous side which I adore. The kids arrived all at once. The normal introductions were made and the first one to speak up was Clay he shook my hand and said, “Glad to meet you, my aunt, Elizabeth tells me you’ve swept her off her feet.”

I laughed and said, “She has that backward.”

Clay smiled giving my hand another shake. Nice guy, I think we will be just fine together. Next Estelle came over gave me a hug and said she was glad I was part of her Aunts life. Now I am wondering what Sybil would say. She did not say a word nor did she even acknowledge my existence. I walked up to her gave her a hug and said, “Nice to meet you, Sybil.” She did not exactly scowl but she did tense up.

I watched how she interacted with her brother and sister. She went over to Elizabeth and whispered something in her ear. Elizabeth gave her a rocking hug wrapping her arms around her as though she was an injured child. That is when it dawned on me this was not about the inheritance this was about her feeling as though she is losing her aunt. I asked everyone if they want something to drink help themselves, I gave the full list of refreshments available. The grandkids already had their juice boxes. My son Connor grabbed a beer, as did Kay Lee. Estelle poured herself an ice tea, Clay grabbed a beer and I poured and handed a glass of wine to Elizabeth and Sybil. Sybil finally made eye contact which gave me the opportunity to say, “Sybil, I am the sort of man that is good at sharing. You are not losing your Aunt you are gaining a crazy old fart.”

Her eyes widened with surprise I heard everyone else laugh. Sybil started to cry as she wrapped her arms around Elizabeth.

Clay blurted out, “Oh for heaven’s sake is that why you have been such a pain in the ass?”

Sybil spoke through her sobs, “Mom’s gone all I have is Aunt Elizabeth.”

Kay Lee went over to Sybil placed her arms around her and said, “I could really use your help with the old fart.”

Sybil laughed and blew her nose. She came over to me and gave me a hug then said, “Give me any trouble old fart and I will kick your ass!”

Another round of laughter Connor asked everyone to sit down around the dining table because he needed to talk to everyone. The kids were watching a video so the adults did as they were asked.

Connor went through the living trust he set up for Elizabeth explaining each detail. Once everyone was done with questions they seemed to be happy with the results. Sybil said to Elizabeth, “Aunt Elizabeth you do know it was never about the money? I just did not want to lose you.”

Elizabeth said: “You have not lost me you have gained an Uncle.”

No one picked up on that right away. Finally, Estelle said, “Wait! Gained an Uncle?”

I said, “Yes we were married last week. I promise it was not a shotgun wedding.”

Once it finally registered what happened another round of greetings went around the table. This time it was more amiable.

The meal went splendidly, we said our goodbyes as each of the family members left. I turned to my wife picked her up and took her to bed.

The next morning I asked Elizabeth why the spouses did not come with the kids. She said she had asked Clay and he said they felt this was more of an immediate family issue, besides the spouses begged off not wanting to get in the middle of a feud.

I was glad Sybil came to terms with my relationship with her aunt. I am glad to have more grandchildren to spoil given the chance I will teach each one how to be a pain in the ass.

 

Don’t Move the Furniture Chapter 5

Don’t Move the Furniture

Chapter 5 Meeting the family

Elizabeth and I went out to breakfast. She started to tell me of the chaos it caused when she told her nieces and nephew she was seriously seeing someone. Her niece Sybil (which by her description was aptly named)

Sybil picked up Elizabeth and was the first to go off on her about getting into a relationship at her age. Sybil gave her all the cliche reasons why she shouldn’t get involved. 1.after your money 2. do not really know him 3. you will regret not enjoying singleness 4. should play the field. 5 repeated #1

I Told Elizabeth, Sybil was in it for the money she is worried about her inheritance and how dare you to risk it all.

Elizabeth nodded in agreement. The nieces and nephew and their spouses were in Sybil’s backyard when they started to argue among themselves. It bothered Elizabeth that upon Sybil hearing about the relationship she quickly called the rest of the clan to tell them they needed to have an intervention. She told her brother and sister they should get babysitters this needs to be adults only.

While Sybil’s brother Clay and sister Estelle were arguing among themselves one of Sybil’s neighbors came over to see what the commotion was. Janice the neighbor whispered to Elizabeth ‘Would you like me to drive you home?’

Elizabeth readily said yes. Sybil was upset that her other siblings did not agree with her assessment. They believe their aunt should live her life to the fullest.

I said ‘So there is hope that this will calm down. Not that Sybil will come to her senses but if she gets into my face I will set her straight.’

Elizabeth said ‘I know I can count on you no matter what I say to that girl, she never listened to me’

Elizabeth explained she wanted to give the kids a couple of weeks before she invited them over for a meal. She will make the stipulation that if they do not bring the kids they need not come.

I love the woman’s spunk so I suggested “Elizabeth, let’s have a bit of fun with them. I have a friend who is a real estate agent. I could borrow one of his for sale signs and place it in front of your place.”

She smiled and said ‘ I am ahead of you Morty. I am wondering what you would think of me moving in here. I like where your place is set off to the side and have woods off the deck. Gilbert my neighbor was talking with his friend John about friends of his wanting to move here but there were no units available. I told Gilbert that mine might be available fully furnished.’

I leaned back and said ‘I love the idea and would like to up the ante. Let’s get married. Not tell anyone. Then spring it on your family at the dinner. Also, I would like to invite Connor and Kay Lee as well as the grands. I will give Connor heads up on the whole ordeal. This would be one way to once and for all put Sybil in her place.’

Elizabeth took a breath and said ‘I will give Gilbert a call. You let Connor know. After I have moved in we can set the date and time.’

I said ‘First things first let’s go to city hall and tie the knot.’

She agreed, she went home changed into a beautiful beige silky dress, pinned her hair up added a little jewelry and makeup. Stunning she is stunning.

When we arrived home at our place I did my best to do the groom thing. I unlocked the door picked her up in my arms to carry her over the threshold. I nearly dropped her but we made it through the door laughing like two little kids.

After we disrobed and sealed the deal with an under the sheets meal, we showered and began to make the phone calls. I told Connor about Sybil and her siblings. Then told him Elizabeth and I were married. He laughed and said ‘Oh Gawd Dad you are a pain in the ass, did you not consider a prenuptial agreement?’

I told him no, I believe I am a good judge of character also with the irrevocable living trust I believe the inheritance was set. Maybe that is needed to put Sybil’s mind at ease but first I want to have my fun with her.

 

Don’t Move the Furniture Chapter 3

Don’t Move the Furniture

Chapter 3 Monday Madness

As I walked into my kitchen on Monday I started to take stock of everything that happened since Marie passed 2 years ago.

Day of the funeral my daughter Connie was so distraught she had an asthma attack. They could not revive her. We buried her next to her mother 3 days later. Brent, Connie’s finance was so distraught at the funeral he screamed obscenities at God. Left the cemetery. The police report stated there was alcohol involved when he hit the tree. We buried him next to Connie 3 days later.

My son Connor was a bulwark of faith and strength. He got that trait from his mother. Marie had a way about her, which calmed the retarded teenager in me. Early in our marriage, she watched me wind myself up about something as trivial as the yapping neighbors dog. Before I had a chance to plot the little rat canines death Marie had me planning what color to paint the kitchen or what tree to plant near the azaleas.

I am not good on my own. I will admit I am a better man due to Marie’s gentle and kind heart. Proof that I am not 100% rehabilitated my latest Neanderthal adolescent acting out.

I realized this morning I have feelings for Paula. Realistically being nearly 20 years her senior would not be good, for her. What I can do is set her up with someone I believe is good enough for her. Being she is independent in thought and deed my planning and execution will have to be stealth

Any of Connor’s associates are out of the question, unlike Connor they are ambulance chasing minions.

Rick Nagel would be my choice. X navy seal, paramedic. Manly enough to go toe to toe with Paula. Heart of gold. Good friend to our family. He took care of Connie and did his best to save her. Also was with us when we were informed about Brent’s accident.

With Rick I will be straight about my intentions, to be sure he would be interested. I picked up the phone chatted with Rick, we made arrangements to meet for coffee so I could give him the low down on Paula.

We sat chatting for awhile. Rick is good at what he does I had no idea I talked for an hour about myself, how I was doing, my antics, Paula when I finished I sat staring across at Rick and said: “You son of a bitch you got me doing the whining little bastard routine.”

Rick laughed and said “Really? And you do not feel any better?

I nodded and said, “I do it did help sort out a few more compartments in my baggage.”

After paying we agreed the best approach is for Rick to accompany me to the activities building on the premise that I was showing him around.

We walked in the front door and I burst out laughing. Someone had moved all the furniture. Paula was standing with her hands on her hips turned her head to look at me. I raised my hands in surrender and said: “I didn’t do it I have an alibi.”

Rick played along “I can only attest to the last 4 hours.”

She smiled nodded looked directly at Rick, he did his handsome grin. Paula walked over for introductions. Her hand was out to Rick as she introduced herself. Rick did his part and held the hand for a count. Now that is out of the way I asked Paula “Do we have any suspects?”

She looked at me and said “Copycat in all areas of your escapades.”

I raised my eyebrow and said, “Excuse me?”

Paula had a twinkle in her eyes but kept a straight face “Seems Mel decided to date one of your X conquests Martha. Seems she is a bit of an exhibitionist now that you showed her the initial thrill.”

Oh, I smiled thinking I could show Paula the same thrill and said: “How can you be so sure it was Mel and Martha?”

Paula said “Because at Breakfast the whole place was in a twitter about what they saw on their way to the dining area. Martha without even a blush proudly said ‘Instead of criticizing you should all try it!’ Mel swaggered in leaned over and gave Martha a wet kiss.”

I shook my head and burst out laughing. I never figured Mel had it in him. Guess I was wrong about Martha as well. Rick did not show much of what he was thinking. He stood quietly and listened to the banter back and forth between Paula and I. Finally he broke his silence and said: “Maybe this facility needs a designated activities room for adult entertainment.”

Paula and I both laughed I said: “Oh what could go wrong?”

Paula still laughing said “Oh the liability when one of the women get pregnant.”

We all stood laughing when one of the residents came up with a stern look on her face and said “You all are a disgrace. This is not a laughing matter. This needs to be dealt with I am offended by this behavior!”

I leaned over gave Lucy a peck on the cheek and said “Oh sweetheart I remember those brownies you baked for me. Do not stand there being spiritually superior.”

Well, that put an end to her complaints. Paula looked at me and said “And on top of everything else do I have a dealer in this place? I feel as though this is a frat house for heaven’s sake.”

I said “Well I could give you the low down on who has all the sex toys. Mel used to sell them for a living he still has connections. When we set up that special activities room make sure there is a trapeze, handcuffs and such.”

That comment just made her spin on her heels and walk away.

I looked at Rick and said “Sorry I screwed that up I had hoped the conversation would go a little longer.”

Rick said “No problem I will take it from here. I already got the go ahead.”

I know the question was written on my face Rick laughed, shrugged and walked towards Paula. I stood back looking on. Rick leaned over said something quietly to her, she smiled and nodded her head. Rick turned walked up to me gave me a goodbye handshake and took his leave. I stood there dumbfounded.

Now what to do with the rest of the afternoon. I think I should go ask Lucy to bake me some brownies. I could keep her entertained while the brownies were in the oven.

As I was walking out the door in the direction of Lucy’s condo I was confronted by this very elegant looking woman about my age and height for that matter. She had white hair, tanned skin that should have more wrinkles. Eyes the color of the sky. The sight of her made my knees weak. The heck with Lucy I have to find out who this ravishing creature is. I strolled up to her with my best George Hamilton swagger and smile. Reached out my hand to introduce myself. She looked directly at me and said “No introductions needed your famous around here amongst the female residents. I will not shake that hand because I can only guess where it has been tickling. My name is Elizabeth Compton. Don’t you dare call me Liz or any variation.”

I stood there smiling looking directly at her and said “I assure you before and after I dine I always wash my hands”

She actually laughed and said, “Yes you are living up to your reputation as a scoundrel.”

We both just stood there for a moment before I came to my sense’s “May I take you to The Melting Pot Bistro in town for lunch?”

What time would you be picking me up?”

How about right now?”

Oh, my I am not at all presentable for lunch at a Bistro.”

Darlin you are the most ravishing woman I set eyes on. You are more than presentable.”

With that, I put my arm out for her to hold and escorted her to my car. Suave right?

Opening the door of my car, after she settled in I gently closed it walked around the front of the car so she can get a good look at my ever handsome being. I sat down, put my seat belt on put the key in the ignition and said: “How long have you been at Pleasant Ridge?”

She answered “Just little over a week. Moved in after my house sold I decided I did not need to live in a big house with a big backyard all by myself. My husband of 40 years passed away 2 years ago. It took me awhile to let go of the place. It was my dream house. My dream died so it was time for me to leave.”

That sent tears to my eyes I had felt the same way when Marie passed. Just like my dream died. I told Elizabeth what I was thinking. We drove in silence to the Bistro. Now I was hoping we could get back to the congenial conversation after that.

I wasn’t disappointed. Once we were seated the owner of the establishment came over She is also the chef. She told us the specials and asked if we would like wine she then suggested two that would go with what we ordered. After she left the table I looked at Elizabeth she was sipping her wine with such precise delicate moves I said “You really are stunning, and no I do not say that to all the women. I have only said it to one in my life.”

She smiled a sweet sincere smile and said “Thank you it is so kind of you to say. You don’t remind me anything of my husband Joe.”

I laughed out loud and said, “Good because my ego could not take comparisons.”

That made her laugh as well. This Monday is going much better than I expected. After a glass of wine each our meals came. She ordered Shrimp in garlic sauce over penne noodles, I ordered the prime rib sandwich with a salad.

We chatted about ourselves between bites. I learn they had no children. She adopted dogs, trained them and used them as therapy dogs. Her husband was a Veterinarian and a Vietnam vet. I told her what I did and how people naturally assume I am an attorney and how I use it to put people off their game. She said her husband would have liked me. That statement left me wondering if she was ready for a relationship. Once I laid eyes on her I knew I was ready.

After a few times out together, breakfast, lunch, dinner some meals I grilled. Elizabeth asked me just as we were settling in to watch a video we rented. Picture this; she was standing in front of me, the remote in my hand. Looking down at me she asked, “What is wrong with me?”

I was astonished beyond reason. It is rare I have been left wordless. This should be marked on the calendar I did not have any satirical come back. I said, “Nothing is!?”

She pressed her knees against mine and said “The other women in this facility said you were a hound, baying after whatever was under a skirt. Yet you have not made any move in that direction. I am not an exhibitionist I like to keep my crazy private.”

Well, you have to know what all my parts thought about that as I was mulling this over in my mind. I said, “what do you have in mind I was wanting a long term relationship, not a one-night stand.”

She said, “If you do not want to be compared to my first then you will need to get creative.”

By the time she was done saying that in what seemed like one move she had my belt off pants and underwear down around my ankles. Lifted her dress enough to straddle me. Put go juice on me and sat down with pleasure. I am here to accommodate.

We finally disrobed to the bone of nakedness. I turned on the stereo we danced literally cheek to cheek, hip to hip, and the full frontal Monty. From there we danced the dance of demons, not angels. Oh, what a night was a lyric we both sang when we were finished.

After pulling our clothes back on Elizabeth told Me she was going out of town for a few days to visit family.

Morty asked, “Would you like me to drive you?”

Elizabeth said “No. Soon you will meet my family. I have not told them about us yet. I wanted to first decide what we are?”

Morty said, “I hope we are an item.”

Elizabeth said, “ I believe we are and can be more.”

Morty said, “Good then we are on the same page.”

Elizabeth went for her purse and Marty said: “Aren’t you staying?”

Elizabeth answered “I need to sleep in my own bed so I can be rested for the trip. I will be gone for 3 days do you think you can behave till I get back?”

I laughed and said I would give it my best shot.

 

 

Don’t Move the Furniture Chapter 1

Don’t Move the Furniture

Chapter 1

I moved here because of the insistence of my kids. I have to give them credit; it is not a nursing home nor is it an assisted living. They call it senior living center. The rules I have problems with. I have always had problems with rules especially decorum. So when push comes to shove I screw with people any chance I get. For example, the first day here, after Connor left I went to the clubhouse. It was well laid out with furniture, lamps, media center, big screen TV. The rooms were large and sectioned off by well-framed windowed walls. Everything is organized by what I would call an uptight feminist they called the administrator. There are chairs and wingback loveseats. I felt it could be better utilized in different areas.

Consider being in a comfortable chair near a window wall watching a well-built woman on a treadmill or better yet a stair master. I did not place them conspicuously, only changed the wall and angle they were on. Next day they were moved back.

I heard the Neo woman (administrator) say something to her associate asking if she knew who keeps moving the furniture. This associate whom now I refer to as Neo’s Sidekick, said she did not know who did it. I guess it must bother the Neo woman because she put up a sign stating she did not want the furniture moved. I laughed at the sign and decided I would really have fun.

I put a nanny cam in the flower arrangement, cameras pointing in several directions. It had a live feed so I could sit in my room watching them blow a gasket. Neo Woman came out seen the furniture not only moved but standing end on end with a sign saying “If you do not like this wait till you see what I will do next” Ha! I was married for 40 years there is no woman that can tell me what to do and what not to do. When I am told what not to do everything in my testosterone says: “Game on!”

While all this was going on I set a date with one of the gals. I like that she is 5 years younger than I am. At 70 years old a 65-year-old looks like young citrus

I first took Martha for a ride on the Chief. Not what you think; it is a call and rides a bus for the community. We went into town for lunch then walked in the park. When we were in the park she said: “Morty, I need to go to the bathroom but I hate public bathrooms, you can get all kinds of diseases if you even touch a handle, never mind sitting on the seat.”

Martha you can sit on the edge of a picnic table and take a piss.”

Morty, I could not do that in public!”

Martha! We will pick one secluded; I will stand with my back to you and watch for any passerby’s.”

She agreed and just to mess with her when she was in midstream I said: “Martha someone is coming.”

Morty, I cannot stop, now I will be arrested for indecent exposure!”

My laugh gave it away. Hey, it worked well the danger turned her on. The next thing she said was “Morty! I thought you were Jewish! You’re not circumcised!”

Martha, my mom loved the name my dad said you should never cut on a boys privates it will stunt the growth and his manhood.”

Martha and I had a few interludes one of which her daughter walked in on. Not sure why she thought it was unseemly to find her mom and myself in the activities room participating in an activity. What is the room for anyways? Her biggest beef was the window. She screeched something along the lines of “Did he move the furniture so others could watch?”

I yelled back “Hey it’s what gets her off calm down and get some excitement for yourself!”

So the Neo woman called my family in and suggested they find another retirement community for me. My son said, “We will talk to his doctors he may have some issues that can be dealt with.” I said nothing, he is my son. I am hoping he is screwing with the Neo Woman. Then again he may be screwing with me. Oh, I would be proud if he were screwing with me. He is bright but not bright enough to win.

My son did make an appointment for a checkup just to appease the Neo Woman. I am fit as a fiddle, body, and mind. This gave me a magical thought of how to screw with the Neo Woman.

After my appointment, I went into the workout room. I was on the treadmill when I heard the Neo Woman’s voice. She was berating her sidekick. Saying something along the lines that she is responsible for the activities and keeping the seniors busy so they do not get bored and participate in unsophisticated activities. When I heard that I laughed out loud and said “Darlin you need to get laid, come on over here and join me. I will show you what real men do well.”

Neo Sidekick whispered, “I thought they put him on meds.”

Neo Woman said, “Maybe they need to up the dose.”

Obviously, Neo Woman has not been to her office yet. I’ll know when she has. There will be no way she will be able to prove it was me.

When the scream came, there was much swearing. I stepped off the treadmill and said to Neo’s Sidekick “That is not sophisticated speech she is using.”

Neo Sidekick said, “What did you do?”

I shrugged, eyebrows raised “Me nothing whatever do you mean?”

She walked away in a huff towards the office just as Neo Woman stormed full speed ahead out of the office towards me. What happened next took me by surprised and turned me on all at the same time. She has a great right hook. There were gasps, some cheering from a jilted lady or two. Martha came over asking if I were all right and if she should call the police. I said “Martha, maybe just some ice and a cup of coffee.”

We meandered over to Martha’s place I could hear Neo Woman justifying her behavior sputtering out the horror of finding porn on her home screen. Here I thought she was an animal lover.

Once in Martha’s Condo, she placed ice on my eye and herself on my lap. Yes, indeed I am feeling better already.

Later that day my son called asking me if I put the porn on Neo Woman’s home screen. My defense was that I do not know that much about computers plus her password is something that protects such a thing. I told my son maybe she forgot to erase it before going home last night and she needed an escape goat. So unless one of the jilted ladies spews the fact she taught me more than sideswiping sex I am in the clear. I started the rumor that Mel might have done it because he did not get the book that Neo Woman had promised him.

Mel was walking around like a rooster pretending to be offended at the mere suggestion he did it. Mel loves the attention and he probably like’s the idea people believe he is maniacal enough to do such a thing, when in fact, he is an unimaginative wimp.

My son had called said he was stopping by after work. Knowing what it was about I made a trip to the store to get a beer and snacks figuring we could kick back while I faced the music. This time I know I went a bit too far, I can’t actually apologize it would let on that it was me. I will not press charges and speak to her superiors on her behalf explaining my arriving at the facility took adjusting for both of us. Being a rebellious sort, to begin with, which did not make the transition easy for either of us. I drafted a letter sent it out wanting a signature from whoever took possession of the letter. I kept a copy for my son and sent a copy to Neo Woman. Her name is actually Paula; she really is not a bad sort just a bit high strung.

I also sent Neo Woman flowers with a card that said “Sorry for being such a hard case” Signed it your personal furniture mover Morty.

My son arrived not looking all that pleased with the world. With a beer in hand as I opened the door, I handed it to him. He tipped it back finishing it nearly with one gulp, then reached for the other.

Connor, are you sleeping over?”

He looked at me and I knew it was not all about me. My stomach ached hoping I was not the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Dad, I will be taking you up on the offer, if nothing else to keep an eye on you for at least 24 hours. Kay Lee has gone to her sisters.Her sister Morgan just got the news she has late stage ovarian cancer, inoperable due to the size and location. Dad, could you please give me your word not to be yourself for some time. I know you miss mom. I know that is why you are being such an imbecile but really, consider giving me a break okay?” Connor asked

I give you my word Connor,” I said

We sat down each in a recliner. I put 3 beers on ice set it next to Connor, then parked myself next to him. I told him about the letter, gave him his copy also told him of the flowers. I had to add for comic relief that I should ask Paula out on a date, she may be acting out because she is jealous.

Connor, as I had hoped tipped his head back and laughed.

Connor and I spent a guy weekend playing pool hanging out. He suggested I get a cribbage game going. I liked the idea but wondered if there are enough women who may be interested. Girls against girls and in time whittle the group down to play girls against guys. I had decided first thing Monday morning I would get on it. Unbeknownst to me Connor already started a list by talking to those watching us play pool. He also rallied enough players on Saturday we could start 2 groups of guys and gals on Wednesday. Paula came out to thank me for the flowers and letter also said Wednesday is blocked between 1 pm and 3 pm for cribbage. I nodded realizing Connor took care of that. I cannot take all the credit only 1/8th the credit for the type of man he turned out to be. Marie was a great mom and wife.

Something was different about Paula she seemed more human even after Connor left. Or maybe it is because I was not running around moving furniture or trying to nail any female willing.

I do not regret my behavior it was fun just like being in college except I did not have to worry about getting any of my conquests pregnant.

Our first Wednesday Cribbage group was amiable, even fun with their easy humor and jesting back and forth. I eyed the gal table wondering if any of them would be fun to play with. As I was doing the pros and cons of each one Paula came in to kibitz with each of us. What is she up to? Is she purposefully messing with my head?

After the game, all who participated helped break down the card tables folded the chairs. I was chatting with Mel who was now going to be a co-organizer of the games. He has a head for organizing, he was an administrator with a company who made personal amorous products. That is the nicest way to put it. Here I was thinking he was a bean counter instead I found out he made the beans jump and say whoopee! We were quietly discussing the difference between a personal vibrator and a vibrator called U-tuber. I may consider buying one or both as a play toy for my personal harem. Slowly but surely Neo Woman came over smiling and looking quite fetching. She nodded toward me suggesting she needed to speak with me privately. I excused myself and walked over to where Paula was standing.

What can I do for you, Paula?”

Morty, I got to thinking about your peace offering and extending yourself to my superiors. I was wondering if you would like to be my guest at the annual company picnic. I do not plan on staying long. Just to make an appearance. Afterward, we could stop and get a bite to eat.

My brain was working overtime. She is asking me out. What the heck is she up to?

 

Winters Blast

A blast of cold blew through the windows. Old beyond repair, the windows shiver in the wind. She sits in the chair near the front window with a woolen afghan upon her lap. She wonders how she will make it through the winter. She isn’t poor as some are, her checking account is substantial. The lack she feels is loneliness. Her family and friends have predeceased her. She sits by the window just to get a glimpse of joy neighbors and passersby exude.

Her fears throughout her life have now been realized. She will die alone and no one will know or look. Snow starts to fall, wet large flakes blurs her view. She can hear children laughing and calling out challenges. They know her as the lady with the cookies and hot chocolate from last year. This year has left her infirm. Her hands are stiff, unwilling to hold a spatula.

A nurse and aide come 3 times a week. Helping her with her daily routine making sure she has enough groceries, checking her blood pressure doing all their job requires. They stay the minimal time being sure to call out a goodbye when they leave. The service is costly in so many ways. She had always volunteered tended to elders, children animals. In the back of her mind, she thought karma would reciprocate. Her needs are few. Just a friendly conversation, hug, plate of homemade cookies. A little gift of love and compassion.

Darkness settles early this time of year, yet she sits at her window watching lights go on within her neighbor’s homes. Lonnie and Joel their three children across the street. She bought gifts for each child when they were brought home from the hospital. Each Christmas she would bake cookies or apple bread as a gift.

The Morgans next door have an empty nest. Their children are grown and starting their own families yet there house is always greeted with someone stopping by. She isn’t bitter just wondering how she could be so forgotten. The cold she feels deep within her being is the lack of love.

Not the kind of love a man has for a woman, nor the kind that a parent has for a child. Instead, the kind of love one would have for humanity. Neighborly love and concern. She wonders if it is the lack of personal touches with e-mails, texting. No longer writing a note and dropping it at the post office. Or picking up a phone to call and see if someone would need anything or to invite them for a meal.

The clock chimes 7 times. She drifts into a quiet sleep, the wind howls rattling the walls, not just the windows. When she opens her eyes she realizes she is cold. Her automatic lights did not go on. As she lifts herself from her chair to check the switch, there’s a knock on her door. Joel is standing on the stoop and asked if she was okay. He tells her the electricity went out. The electric company does not expect to come back on for hours. Maybe not till morning. She starts to weep. He reaches for her and says: “Wilma, grab some of your things and come home with me. We are sorry for not being attentive. Lonnie lost her mom. Within a month she lost her dad. The boys took it hard. I hope you can forgive us?”

She smiled and said: “Of course Joel forgive an old lady her lack of manners. May I impose upon you to help me gather my things. I seem to be a bit stiff.”

“No problem, I would be glad too. Lonnie will be glad you are with us. She has been worried about you. We love you like an aunt. Again let me say we are sorry to be so consumed with our grief we forgot to check on you.” Joel said.