When I got to her house at six, I found Shawn excited to see my trike. At seven years old of course he wanted to ride it. I had to explain that he was a hair too young. “You have to shave to ride a trike with a motor, It’s the law,” I explained rather glibly.
“So what do you shave?” he asked innocently.
“Shawn, you know women shave their legs and under their arms. You have seen me do that,” Wilma said. sure I wanted to ask if that was all she shaved but I kept quiet.
“You will have to wait until you shave your face the way grown up men do. Then I will let you take it around the block.” I said
“Do you promise?” he asked.
“I promise. So what’s for dinner?” I asked.
“Lasagna,” Shown informed me. “Do you like lasagna?”
“To be honest, I think so. Your mom and I have had dinner before and she knows most of what I like to eat. I am going to trust her on this one.” I replied.
“Mom told me that sometimes you forget things. She said you were a hero and got hurt saving someone’s life.” Shawn said.
“To be honest Shawn, that is one of the things I forgot,” I replied.
“Well, I don’t think you have to remember, as long as we do,” he said all serious.
“That sounds good, you can be my memory. If I ask you, do I like lasagna. Next time you can tell me whether I do or not.” I suggested.
“I can do that,” he said. “We are also going to have that fancy toast stuff.”
“Cool,” I said with no idea what he was talking about.
“Here this is for you, do not open it until you get home,” Wilma said handing me the white envelope. It was the right size for a check to be inside, so I assumed that the size of the check was her party answer.
“Good, I love a mystery,” I said to her smiling. “So you came home and slaved over a hot stove. How long are we going have to wait for dinner?” I asked worrying a little about the ride home in the dark.
“It’s made in the crock pot, so it has been cooking since I came home for lunch. It is done now, and I’m about to put the garlic toast into the oven. So go fix yourself some iced tea and have a seat at the table.” she demanded.
The dinner was excellent. Not only that I found the conversation with Wilma and Shawn to be fun and informative. I wouldn’t remember it the next day, but it was still fun and informative as it happened.
When I left at 8 pm, Shawn and Wilma both came out to watch me ride away. I enjoyed showing off for them. I suppose there was at least a little bit of exhibitionist as well as voyeur in me. The ride home too about twenty minutes putting me in my condo a little after 8:30PM. It took a few minutes to secure the trike in the storage area of the building.
When I finally got to my apartment, I put some of my slightly old coffee into the Microwave. Since I was curious, but also cautious, I made a big deal out of opening the envelope. The check inside was for five hundred dollars and a hand written not which said. “I will pick you up sometime after 8PM on Saturday night.
I awoke on the next Friday morning with no memory of Thursday at all. It wasn’t unusual for that to be the case. A real memory of the day before would have been unusual. My schedule advised me that I would be headed to the office to stir the mash. Since I didn’t have to look up mash or my office, I considered it a good day. I did look up breakfast to find out what I usually did for breakfast. I decided to do something different that morning.
I remembered what pancakes were and knew that I liked them. What I had to look up was where to get good ones. Since I didn’t have a note in my life file, I went to the Internet. I found a local chain with only three locations. It was highly rated, but not so high as to frighten me away. I also found a map to the place, so that I knew where to head. I had a great short term memory which held up a until I went to sleep, so I didn’t bother with GPS on the trike.
I found ‘Texas Mike’s Pancake House’ without any problem. It was also inside my power zone.
“What can I get you?” the young black waitress asked.
“I would like a big stack of pancakes with greasy sausage,” I informed her.
“You want the five cake stack or more than that?” she asked.
“Let’s start with the five stack and see how it goes,” I suggested.
I got through half the of the five stack before I realized, I had over estimated my ability to eat in that kind of volume. I returned home to be miserable for a couple of hours. I long stay in the bathroom solved most of my problems. I hadn’t had more than a teaspoon of sugar a day for many months. That morning I had about a pound, I think.
It took till noon for me to be sure that I was back to normal. That being the case I planned my trip to the office. It was after 1PM before I got the trike out for a second try at the office. I managed it and even managed to stir both buckets of mash before I headed back to the condo. Once I got home I didn’t leave again that day. I was too afraid of an emergency bathroom need, and no place to find one.
I made a note under breakfast in the computer file. ‘Do not eat pancakes and greasy sausage ever again.’ It seemed like the right thing to do. After that message I fell into bed and then to sleep. As usual, if I dreamed, I didn’t remember it.
Royce called me on Saturday to fill me in on the weeks numbers for the delivery service. Royce had hit the ground running for sure. It was a small profit that he made on week one, but it was a profit. We both found it hard to believe.
The customers came from the advertising on the cruiser, and the customers spreading the word to friends, and there there were Royce’s friends. “Royce tell me these aren’t any of your old drug friends.” Yes I had looked Royce up while he talked on and on about the business.
“The people who are calling are absolutely not from my drug addict days,” he informed me. He seemed a little hurt, but he shouldn’t be. I had a lot at stake in the business, probably more than even I realized.
It was still before noon when I broke the connection on my conversation with Royce. I got the trike out of storage then headed to the marina. I decided that I wanted to go fishing. I had loved the bamboo pole fishing with Shawn so much that I bought a simple plastic telescoping pole. One that I could actually carry on the bike.
When it arrived from Hong Kong, I found that it went from 15 inches closed to 8 feet open with just a few manipulations. I had none of the parts to use with it. Sure I had bought some extra hooks and weights but those stayed in the trunk of Wilma’s car. The break down poles Shawn and I used and all the extra parts were left with Wilma, because her car’s trunk could handle them.
So I bought a roll of kite string to use on the new plastic pole. Since I had also left all the spare parts with Wilma, I picked up a six pack of plastic floats in addition to the hooks and weights. Since I had no desire to really catch fish, I also bought a half dozen plastic worms. I just wanted an excuse to sit on the bank and quietly assess the slowly approaching evening.
Since it wasn’t a real bamboo pole, the fake one had one line guide on the tip and one at the end of the first 15“ section. I had a full spool of kite string, so I rigged the pole with about four extra feet of line. I have no idea where I learned to do it, but I could use it almost like a fly rod to bait cast. With the 8“ pole and the 12“ line, I could cover a pretty good area. The float kept the plastic worm from falling to the bottom. When I move the pole, the worm appeared to swim. I caught and released two small fish, I have no idea to this day what type fish they were. I was pretty sure they were not Tuna, otherwise I was lost.
On the way home in the late afternoon I stopped for a plain cheese pizza. It seemed like a pretty sensible meal before a night of debauchery. I watched old TV shows on my computer, while I ate the pizza.
“Hello Wilma,” I said into the phone. I had no idea if she was in the parking lot of calling from home to cancel.
“Hi, is it too early to leave?” she asked.
“Probably a little come on up. I have some cold pizza,” I informed her.
“Sure why not,” she answered.
When I opened the door for her, I realized how unbelievably nervous she was. She was much more nervous than I had been my first time. “I’m not sure I can go through with this,” she said.
I went to the cabinet where I kept the white liquor. I used it to fix her a drink. For her I cut it was coke. “Drink this it will relax you,” I suggested.
She took a drink then said to me, “That is good, what’s in it?”
“No idea, and old client gave it to me. I made him drink some first to be sure it was okay. Since he didn’t choke and fall over dead, I have been drinking it now and then when I need to relax.”
“It is going to take more than this, but it is a start,” she said.
“As I remember, it doesn’t take a great deal to relax you,” I said.
“Seriously Lucy, I need you to promise me something. I need you to promise to stay with me and take care of me.” she said
“Oh course, if that is what you want,” I replied.
“I have thought about this and I want to do it, but I want to be sure I don’t get into too much trouble,” she said.
“Let me tell you this, I will be sure no one forces you to do anything you don’t want to do. However, you have to say no forcefully, so that I know your no isn’t really maybe.” I said.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Lots of women, me included, sometime say no. when then don’t want to be seen as easy or too kinky. So if you really don’t want to do something, say no very forcefully. You do that and if I have to, I’ll cut their balls off to keep you safe,” I said. I didn’t need to remember anything, to know that I was capable of doing just that.
“Alright, I will whimper no, if I just don’t want to be seen agreeing to something, but I will shout no, if I want your help. Is that okay?” she asked.
“That’s just perfect,” I said that as I made myself a drink using the moonshine. Mine was even weaker than Wilma’s. I had no idea how the babysitting gig would work out, but I was going to do my best.