By the time the red dress found it’s way into the cruiser it was 6pm. Gwen had been on the phone several times toward the end of the shopping trip. She seemed to be in a hurry to leave. I would have paid almost no attention to her, had it not been for Cheryl’s interest. Cheryl kept a close eye on Gwen. It would have seemed casual to anyone else. I had developed a feel for Cheryl. It wasn’t romantic or even deep friendship. it was more of a bonding like family. Those lost years of hers, were a lot like my time in the military in many ways.
Cheryl was trying to find her place in a new world. It was very similar to my own position at that moment. The difference was that I had almost a year’s head start. I wanted to keep an eye on her, to make sure her choices weren’t dangerous. It was the very least I could do for a fellow traveler.
“Cheryl you look exhausted. You have done more than your duty. You stood with me against Big Al, even though I doubt that he was as dangerous as we thought. You picked out the dress, which I will wear to the prom.”
“Don’t forget I got to watch you sell the clothes right off your ass,” she interjected.
“True, now you need to go home and take a nap. 4AM comes early,” I suggested.
“True, what are you going to do?” she asked.
“I am going to Wal-mart to buy some real clothes, including some panties. Who knows, there may be a new business in panties in my future,” I said with a laugh.
I dropped them both at the apartments. Gwen had obviously called ahead, since the rental car was sitting in the parking lot with vapor coming from the tailpipe. I could have run in for a pair of panties but since I didn’t plan to try on anything, I felt that it could just wait.
The trip was totally uneventful. Being alone in the big box was like being on R&R. I didn’t have to entertain, or protect anyone. I could just walk from department to department filling my cart with junk. Well, some of it was cheap jeans and sweat shirts. Those would be useful in my real life. Much more useful than the less than two yards of red material Cheryl called a dress. I had also paid a hundred bucks a yard for that thing. Yes there was some buyers remorse there, I admit it. The truth is that somehow over the last year I had managed to accumulate more money than I had made in my whole life up to that point. I knew that it was nothing I had done, my friend Jen was responsible for that money.
It was fair, she made me a little rich in exchange for screwing my lovers. I made her life bearable and she made mine bearable. It was a fair exchange, but one not made in heaven. Quite the opposite I am sure. She even helped with my adrenaline addiction. I doubt that she knew she was helping me find my place to die, as daddy used to say.
It was 9PM, when I finished my shopping. I hadn’t had dinner, so I went to the Pizza and Pasta Pit for take out. It seemed to be just the right time for a trip to the Cop Out. I picked up the three pizzas, which I had called ahead to order, then I drove downtown to the Cop Out.
“Where the hell have you been?” Blevins asked. “This place only has pizza when you are around.”
“That’s because none of you cheap bastards will part with a dime for your fellow man,” I said.
“We earn our favors, we don’t buy them,” Blevins said with a laugh.
“Yeah, well I hand you so many arrests, I am making your fucking career,” I said.
“Used to, these days I hear you are out of town busting guys for the DEA and FBI. What’s next the CIA?” he asked with a laugh.
“Beats me, I just roll with it. I have an agent now,” I said with a laugh.
“Yeah, I been seeing those promos on TV for your reality show. What the hell is up with that?” he asked.
“Would you believe me, if I told you I had no fucking idea. I just take the assignments I want, and they film me secretly.” I said smiling. “Then they pay me.”
“What the hell, I could do that,” he said.
“I don’t think you would do it, the way I do it,” I laughed again. I pause a moment then asked, “Where is Jerry?”
“I hardly ever see Jerry except on the job. I think he is involved with some woman and her kids these days. He is most likely playing daddy or something.”
I nodded about half a minute before some paramedic asked me to dance. From then till midnight I got passed around and felt up by a dozen guys. I didn’t tell any of them I wasn’t wearing panties. I probably would have gotten gang raped. Since Mike was filming everything from a corner table, I didn’t really care for that image to get around.
From the Cop Out at midnight, I drove home. I unloaded the car at my rear door, then drove it to the parking lot and went through the security gate. I went to bed as soon as I got to my apartment. It was the end of a long day.
After that little bit of excitement the days fell into a predictable routine. I rode my bike to breakfast, even on the coldest mornings. When I returned home I fooled around on the computer, or I did things around the apartment complex. Okay six units is not really a complex but I had to call it something. I guess I could have called it Bob. It would have still been a six unit apartment building, but then no one would have any idea what I was talking about.
In the evenings I went to dinner with Cheryl or if Cheryl was napping, I went out alone. Cheryl and I spent a lot of time together. In doing so we became better friends, but less intense lovers. Yes we still slept together now and then, but it didn’t have the same intensity. Probably because I knew Cheryl was doing it with Kate, and maybe even Gwen. I wasn’t at all sure how far the thing with Gwen had progressed.
The truth is that I was fine with Cheryl’s outside relationships. I expect that I really wanted a man for a full time lover. Probably because it would make my mom happy. Since she had passed away, I don’t guess she would really care one way or another.
The point is the days just seemed to run together. It was nice to be home and catch up on my sleep and all that, but after three weeks of being domestic, I was getting bored again.
The bike had been running like crap, so on Monday of my forth week home. I took it to the preacher’s bike shop. “Mr Evans, this bike is making me crazy. I runs like crap.” I said it as if ‘runs like crap’ was a detailed explanation of what it was doing.
“So what exactly is it doing?” he asked.
“It’s almost impossible to start. After I do finally get it started when I give it gas, it accelerates a lot slower than it used to. I guess it’s sluggish.” I said it doing the best I could to describe the problems.
“Let’s try something,” he said. He reached into a drawer, took out a small red and white box, then he opened it and removed a spark plug. He had the plug switched within ten minutes of me entering the shop.
The bike started on the first pull for him. After a second to warm up it revved up just fine. I rode it around the block before I agreed that he had fixed the problem. “Okay, so now I know what that was. How much do I owe you?”
“The spark plug is $2.50 and you can make a donation to the ministry, if you like.” I felt like twenty bucks was fair, so I gave him that much. He helped me put the bike back onto the cruiser’s bike rack.
Later that night, I decided that it was time to go to the Cop Out club again. I hadn’t made too big an ass of myself the last time. I didn’t carry pizza that time though. I went in at 9PM alone and bored out of my mind.
“So how you doing Max,” Blevins asked.
“I’m bored silly, what do you hear from Anna, as she is now called?” I asked.
“What in hell makes you think I stay in contact with that bitch?” he asked. “That woman had more almost illegal shit going on than any cop I ever met. She would do whatever it takes to get a conviction, no matter how thin the line she had to walk.
“I only know that she was not above a little entrapment,” I said with a smile.
“Yeah, you know that first hand, if I remember right,” he said.
“Yes, but Blevins she wasn’t boring.” I said.
“You meant to say she wasn’t boring like me. It’s okay I hear that all the time.” he said smiling.
“I guess boring can be good, but right now I’m bored and it is definitely not good,” I said
“Where is your friend with the big boobs?’ he asked.
“Damn, I’m getting sick of being asked that. Cheryl is home sleeping, she starts work in the middle of the night these days.” I said.
“Yeah, she is such a knock out, I’m sure guys ask all the time.” he said.
“That is very true,” I replied.
I danced and got felt up for a couple of hours, then went home to bed. I was going to go crazy, if something didn’t happen soon. It was going into the fifth week with nothing happening. I rode the bike now and then. It was the high point of any day. That tells you how dull my days were.
I spend so little time being a landlady, that I had already forgotten the youngest of my tenants name. I just thought of her, and spoke of her as the college girl or the coed. Lois was happily retired, so I didn’t try to fix her up with any more part time jobs. I figured when she was ready, she would find her own gig.
There came a time when I was ready to do anything to break the monotony. Jen must have sensed it somehow because she called just before I slit my wrists.
“Hey chick,” she said. “How would you like to go on a cruise?”
“You have to be kidding. You and me on a cruise? I can’t think of anything worse for the cruise industry.” I replied.
“Not us, just you. Actually you and the TV guys. I think there will be another swamp rat as well.” she informed me.
“Do I want to know the details of the trip, or do I just say, ‘I’ll do anything to get out of this town?’” I asked.
“Oh hell, let me give you the details. You will love it.” she said.
“Should I sit down?” I asked.
“Probably,” she paused a second then went on. Your cruise is not with Holiday Cruises or any of the other name lines. Its a boat with twenty cabins. It leaves from the beautiful Island of Crete. You will sail to the coast of Somalia, where you will just cruise around for a few days.
“I don’t get it.”
“Oh you will, I’m sure. A bunch of men high on testosterone and you on a boat. I would bet my life’s savings that you will get it.”
“Hey, I’m not a hooker,” I demanded.
“Oh you can say no, and no money would change hands anyway. This all about adrenalin and Endorphins.” she assured me.