Sometimes I want to go back in time and punch myself in the face. Men are only born ignorant, but work overtime on staying stupid. We seem to forget that a woman may born you… love you… and mourn you… But a woman is a sometime thing. And sometime between that woman and dawn, I lost my memory… and my bike…

Whenever someone tells me to do something – even have a nice day – I often respond: ‘Hmm… I’ve been married. I know how to follow orders.’ But not very well, apparently, since from time to time I’ve been in and out of that mad institution of marriage – Indeed, it’s not a word, but a sentence!

So when this very sultry, self-absorbed woman, who told everyone she was seeking a rich husband ‘next time’, finished dancing with all the middle-aged and older gay guys at this narrow corner bar Friday night — and they all finally left with one another — she realized she had no one to walk her home.

And it was the other side of midnight.

Sooo… she strolled up to me, parked herself on the vacant bar stool to my left, slowly glided her long brunette hair away and asked expressively: “Are you straight or gay?”

Hmm… I was about to reply that I’m a lesbian! But wit is often wasted on beautiful people. And I didn’t want her to turn into a Scud missile. So I told her pretty much the same thing to the same question some of the gay guys had posed earlier. No doubt because I was wearing, as usual, my butterfly pins.

“In my next life I’m coming back as a tri-sexual so I can screw everything,” I asserted. “But in this life I am straighter than a man on Viagra.”

She smiled seductively as her dark eyes checked me out like a farmer examining a prized stud horse. At that she said: “Well, you’re walking me home.”

But of course! I mean, after all, I am smart, sexy, sociable, sanguine, and, sure enough, had a pocket full of cash — among other things — bulging in my pants.

Now, it was my turn to check her out. Diffidently. Nonchalantly. And with an attitude of ‘you’ll do.’

You’ll do!!??

Hell, even Stevie Wonder would be quacking: Yabba-dabba-dooooo! Beauty may be in the eye of the ‘beer-holder,’ but she was a six-pack of bumps and curves and slender legs you wanna dangle like earrings.

Hmm… I wonder what I meant by that?

Then again I’ve learned thru the years that men may not be born stupid, but we work overtime on staying stupid. It’s just that our blood is incapable of rushing to two places at once. Especially when we are always drawn to women who look like this. You know, G-d made her beautiful so you would love her. Then HE made her stupid so she would love you.

Nevertheless I smiled confidently and simply replied: It would be my pleasure to take you… home – even though pleasure does have a bad habit of often costing too much. But, as I previously mentioned, I am used to following orders. And admittedly sometimes action predicated on being obedient can be very comfortable indeed — it reduces to a minimum one’s need to think.

And who wants to think at an opportunity like this. Believe me, at this moment I was very straight.

Very.

So I kept the bartender busy pouring us gin and tonics as we dipped into becoming intoxicated with the elixir of each other’s admiration. That is, she talked. And I listened to her sad story of disappointment with her ex-husband.

It was the same-old-same-old of great expectations colliding with life. He apparently had more limitations than a mannequin. But, after all, he was a male model… always looking for another shoot.

Hmm… I asked if they fought over the mirror, mirror on the wall…

But, like I said wit is usually lost on the dim: I mean, many women’s beauty is in their charms. And for others, sadly, their beauty is their only charm.

And at the same time I thought about my deceased friend, a notorious Armenian divorce attorney. He once told me that 98% of all divorces come down to three main elements: Money, sex and family.

Hmm…

And there it was, beside me, downing those gin and tonics like she had elements to forget. I could only offer that you don’t love somebody because he’s perfect.

“Yeah,” she replied. “He was only perfect in front of a camera.” And then she informed me that he had put mirrors all over the bedroom walls of their apartment so he could watch only himself during sex.

“Not me,” she blurted. “Just himself.”

That prompted me to ask, perhaps a tad too eagerly: “Are the mirrors still there?”

Her gaze turned suspicious. “No,” she sighed. “I live in a little dump now. You know, I just want to marry someone who will take care of me.”

Uh-oh… I’ve sampled this tar paper before. I’ve learned that marriages may be made in heaven, but so are lightning and thunder. And from the last ex I’ve ascertained that in love and revenge women are much more barbarous than men. Hell, she poisoned me. Took everything – except my dirty underwear. Married another guy. And last I heard, is doing the same thing all over again.

Sheesh… She is like a cannibal who walks into a restaurant and orders a waiter.

Eventually this woman at the bar – her name is Stephanie, by the way, just like the last ex. Oy-vey! — got around to wondering if I’d ever had been married… and in love.

That stumped me. Like an aging wife asking her 95-year-old Jewish husband if he was coming upstairs and having sex.

“I can’t do both,” he growled.

So I posed to Stephanie: “You know what the cure for love is?… Marriage.” And then, to keep things light and humoring, I added: “You should never get married in the morning because you never know who you might meet that night.”

“Funny,” she said. “But do you ever get serious?”

“Right after I pop a blue pill,” I replied.

So I did. And buzzing from the booze we finally tipped our way out of the establishment. My bike was parked outside. And as we meandered along with burps of conversation about looking for love in all wrong places, she seemed a tad perturbed that I was walking with the bike between us.

Actually, it was keeping me steady. But she strongly urged that I park it somewhere.

Not quite an order, but close enough. So I chained it on a side street to a No Parking sign.

And then we drifted and weaved this way and that to her place. Which she was truthful about; it was definitely a dump. With an artistic sense of disorder. And with the bed unmade, it saved us time, falling in and settling down to getting serious.

Real serious.

Hmm…

Perhaps because we were steeped in gin it was at this point that I suddenly realized why the practice of putting women on pedestals died out: Because it was discovered that they could give orders better from there.

I mean, it was like I was being directed by Cecil B. DeMille from on high.

…Do this! Don’t do that! Oooh…oooh, that’s good! Now try it this way! Don’t stop… Don’t stop! Harder! Faster! Slower!… And this and that went on for about 45 minutes – give or take.

Orders and instructions. They weren’t suggestions; hell, they were mandates. She made me feel like it was my first time – only it wasn’t over too soon. Look, there is no such thing, for a man, as bad sex. It always has a happy ending. But I was just happy that it finally ended.

And apparently, a year ago, so had her husband.

So, after about an hour she didn’t tell me to leave, but I followed my own orders. Told her: “That was interesting. But I gotta see a man about a horse. How about the same time next year?”

She mumbled something about me being great.

“Sure,” I said. “A great lover is one who turns into a pizza at 3 in the morning.”

And, so I stumbled my way out into the darkness of early morning and fumbled my way, still more than a tad inebriated, all the way home.

Hmm…

By late the next afternoon things were still fuzzy. And they got fuzzier when I walked out the front door to bike ride uptown. And my trusty, blue, 10-speed Schwinn wasn’t parked and chained to the church fence across the street, as it always is.

That empty, puzzled chill gurgled in the pit of my still gurgling belly. Well, I lamented, it’s finally been stolen. And I strolled across too see if the kryptonite lock or cable were still strewn about.

Not a morsel. And after some pensive head scratching I still had no idea. I must have left it somewhere. But where?

So I walked 10 blocks to the cigar shop.

Nope.

I walked another block to Grumpy’s bar.

Nope.

I walked to the fountain square.

Nope.

I searched around Bonnie’s Tavern where I started remembering meeting Stephanie.

Ahh… Stephanie. However, I couldn’t quite recall where exactly she lived. So I sniffed my way here and there and everywhere. And what-duh-hell-what-duh-heck, about an hour later: Voila! There she was chained to a No Parking sign.

My bike, I mean.

It was slightly damaged. Somebody had apparently tried to wrestle off the front wheel. So I pulled a handy tool out of my bag. And for some reason — I don’t quite know why — I got to thinking about how life, like love, is far more complicated than Walt Disney presents.

And a few thoughts later, as I tightened a couple of nuts and bolts I informed my bike that: “Marriage may be a wonderful invention; then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.”

And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…

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