It was a little odd to see someone else passing out bags at the Sit Down, but it had been that way for a couple of days, so I shouldn’t have felt let down. I did feel it, whenever I looked up and the washed out blood woman wasn’t there. I rode the bike that morning, even though it was still a little chilly. the stretching and pull of the muscle while going up some of those nasty hills was my rehab for the day.
I didn’t ride the bike far and I did stop it now and then at the top of the nastiest hills to let the pain in my calf bleed off. I cursed myself and the world sitting on top of those hills. I could have turned around and gone back for the cruiser. It would have ended my agony, but giving up just wasn’t part of my history. In other words I had zero experience in quiting.
After breakfast I went to the mall. I missed Tiny Dancer, and it was probably a good thing. I still wasn’t really for Ballet moves. I was stretching the muscle, but it was like an ax blow not a rapier thrust. Tiny Dancer being the aristocratic rapier and me being the peasant ax, those were my images.
I rode the bike by Sue Ling’s place, but her car wasn’t in the parking lot. Just as well, the idea of paying to get beat up was just a little too kinky for me. I had noticed at the sit down that Willy was my shadow with a camera for the morning. It was my guess that Earl was still in bed with Amy.
When I got back to the apartment, I wasn’t surprised to see the note on my door. It read, We need to talk, Lois.
Since she had to have put it on my door sometime after I went to bed the night before, I didn’t feel too bad about knocking on her door so early. “What can I do for you?” I asked when she answered quickly.
Maxine, I’m not sure what to do. Those TV people want my apartment, and well to be honest Dennis has asked me to move in with him. I don’t know what to do.”
“The TV people contacted me as well. They offered to take over your lease, if you want out, but that decision is up to you, not them. If you want to move in with this Dennis person, go for it. Life is too damn short to sit around with regrets. Should you ever need a reference, I will say nothing but nice things about you.” I didn’t add, you might need a place, when Dennis proves not to be the man you were dating. Men, women to, never were the same on a day to day basis.
“Maxine, you are a doll, I guess I need to make a plan then,” she said. We had both known from the start that it was what she wanted to hear. So Lois was out and more TV people were in.
My little empire was changing daily it seemed. I expected Cheryl to be out next. I was absolutely sure her dad left her a chunk of change in his will. He felt that he had failed her when she went inside. At that time he couldn’t afford the best lawyers in the world, but he got rich while she was inside, so he did everything he could for her.
He wanted her to do something big, in Cheryl’s case I expected it to be something helping women. Abused or parolees or just prison reform were the kinds of things I would expect from her. I felt pretty sure that she would do something she knew about, and that was prison and being abused.
Once they were both gone, the place would change in character, I had no doubt. If it was going to be full of TV people, I might as well go for the Swamp Thing deal as well. I had such plans for a nice quiet retreat, and it was turning into an extension of the rest of my life. Life was just one drama after another. I know drama happens when you allow it to happen. I could always say no to the jobs that came my way. I guess, if you are an adrenaline junkie, there is a price to pay.
I spent most of the day looking at the information which Lucas was amassing on Smiley. The longer he dug, the more slimy Smiley looked. I had no idea how the cops had missed him all those years. Probably on the child abuse, he skated because the kids were afraid. He had convinced them mommy knew. When they figured out it was bullshit, he was gone and then it was, please god don’t let mommy find out I did it with her boyfriend. She will be so pissed.
It had never happened to me, but I could see how it would play in a child’s mind. Smiley didn’t just need to be stopped, those kids needed justice. I had no idea what justice was, but I was going to do something for damn sure.
The time passed quickly, before I knew it, early dinner time arrived. I needed to eat early, so that I could pick up Bernard Apple at the airport in Tryon. It was early, but I wanted pizza and salad again. I didn’t do it myself, because I wanted good pizza and salad. I showered even though I hadn’t done anything to need another one. Then I drove to the Pizza and Pasta Pit.
I didn’t realize until I walked in that it was their all day buffet special. That being the case, I had the fanciest salad I could imagine. I used a couple of slices of pizza as bread sticks for my salad. The place was pretty empty at five p.m. so I got to choose from everything on the menu. Older people had started to drift in, when I paid my bill. I immediately headed to the Tryon International Airport for Bernard.
Bernard wasn’t just gay, he was a flamer. I mean he shouted gay without opening his mouth. When he did speak, he was the very definition of flaming faggot. I had to laugh and he knew why.
“Tell me what is so funny and I will laugh with you,” he suggested sarcastically.
“Is that really you, or are you acting,” I said it with a school girl giggle.
“It’s me, but I know what you mean. I don’t even try to tone it down, so I do look like the poster boy for fagville.” he broke into laughter as well.
“Okay long as you can laugh, I’m good with it.” I replied. “How you fixed for Balls?” I asked.
“I got two and they work just fine. Why?” he said.
“You wanna go to a Cowboy Bar and Grill for a beer on the way home?” I asked it with a wicked laugh.
“You are kidding right?” he asked
“Not a bit, you don’t have to do it. I just thought you might like to see how the other half lives.” I suggested.
“Are you as bad ass as they say?” he asked.
“I ain’t lost a gay guy yet.” I replied.
“Then fuck, let’s do it.” Bernard said in his swishy way.
“Hello there Joyce,” I said to the bartender.
“Hey there Maxine who’s your friend?” she asked.
“This esteemed gentleman is Bernard Apple. He is a world famous makeup artist.” I said.
“Well he certainly is distinguished looking.” she said with a cute little wink..
“I’m sure you can’t tell love, but we are attracted to the same type.” he said. He paused then added, “men.”
“Oh really, well I’m attracted to Max,” she said breaking into a laugh.
“Give the man a drink Joyce, and I’ll have coffee.” I said.
When she had gone down the bar to get Bernard a glass of white wine, I said, “She thinks I’m a recovering alcoholic, and I have decided to let her think so for a while. So don’t give me away.”
Within a few minutes Joyce had spread the word. “Women came by to chat with Bernard. He was giving them makeup tips, while I drank my coffee and watched the crowd. I wanted to stop any trouble before it boiled over. The women were all giggles and there were even some down right nasty suggestion going around.
“Okay, I hate to break this up but we have to go. I want to get him out of here before some one asks for blowjob tips.” That brought the cluster of people to tears, they laughed so hard.
“So how much do I owe you Joyce?” Bernard asked.
“You come back another time, and we will settle up then,” she suggested.
“Fair enough,” Bernard said. Once we were outside he added, “That was a blast. Some of those guy are cute in a greasy kind of way.”
“So where do you plan to stay?” I asked.
“Let’s have a fucking party. Let’s get the rest of the reality network folks and get drunk as hell.” he suggested.
“Didn’t you recognize the redhead with the cell phone?” I asked.
“No, was she your camera shadow. They told me that you had one and to be careful what I said and did.“ Bernard informed me.
“I see that you didn’t listen. Good for you,” I said.
“Glad you see it that way, so let’s have that party,” he demanded.
I was shaking my head in amusement, when the phone began playing Mag 7. ”Don’t ask,” I said to Bernard. Then I said, “Hello,” into the phone.
“We all need to let off a little steam, let’s do it.” Earl suggested.
“Suits me come to my place in twenty minutes, but bring your own booze. I barely have enough for me and Bernard.”
When everyone was assembled, I had Bernard, Willy, Earl, and even Amy scattered around my apartment. They began telling stories about the Reality Network. It actually was very interesting. It didn’t take too long until we were all pretty shit faced.
By midnight I figured they were drunk enough to ask, “So Bernard who gives the best blow jobs men or women?”
“Men of course, that’s like asking who eats pussy better men or women?” he replied.
“So you are going with the old, we just know what fells best.” I said laughing at him.
“Well it’s a fact,” he demanded.
“Of course, none of the women have an opinion?” I asked.
“Earl can tell you about mine, so I’m not getting into this,” Amy said.
“So you don’t mind if Earl tells us?” Willy asked.
“No I don’t mind at all,” She was really drunk for sure, I thought.
“So Earl how is Amy’s blow job?” I asked.
“Amy does it very well indeed,” Earl said smiling at her.
“Then you would say her ex husband taught her well?” Bernard asked.
“I guess so,” he replied.
“So, Amy did your ex teach you well?” Willy asked getting into the act.
“It wasn’t him that taught me. I didn’t do it for him at all.” she admitted.
“So who was it,” Bernard asked. I could tell he was enjoying her discomfort.
“The first guy I seriously dated after the divorce. He made fun of me for not doing it. He told me that, if I ever wanted another husband, I better learn. Then he almost forced me.” she said.
“That sucks,” Willie said.
“I think so too,” she said looking hard at Earl.
“So Earl, I guess you should give Bernard a spin. Then you can tell us who was best,” Willy suggested.
“Whoa, no way, no offense Bernard, I just don’t bat from that side of the plate.”
“How you gonna know if you don’t try?” Willy asked. She was showing some animosity toward Earl.
“Now if he does that, I’m going to have to eat Amy, so she can judge as well,” I suggested.
“Then you will have to give me a blowjob, so I can tell,” Bernard said.
“This is too complicated, everybody out. Bernard you can sleep on my sofa, or call a cab.” I suggested as I went to bed. It could have turned out much worse. Someone had said. “Hell yes, its time to party.” Then it might have been on. It was all talk, at least that night.