Archive for bad men

Post #155 – Revenge is best served via Taye Diggs or something like that…

Posted in blogging, comedy, dating, life, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, uncategoried, work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2015 by tenaciousbitch

“Is your phone all set?” I asked when Jackson waltzed in the breakroom all giddy and smiling at 5:15 as promised earlier that day after he’d unveiled Gordon’s despicable motive (see my last post).

“Yes, ma’am, armed and ready,” he replied as I slipped my arm through his.

“Take one,” Jackson said laughing, encircling my waist with his other arm.

“One’s all we’ve got,” I said giggling as we sauntered into the hallway, gazing at each other as if en route to the nearest boudoir. Quite a performance since he’s gay, and I’m happily married with no intention of cheating. But Griffin and Gordon didn’t know that.

“After this, the whole office will think we’re having a thing,” I said grinning.

“Except, pardon me, but I’m pretending you’re Taye Diggs right now,” Jackson mumbled.

“Whatever works for you, baby,” I said with a giggle. “And when you’re done with him, I’ll take a turn,” I said jokingly,

Jackson busted out laughing but managed to stifle himself by buttoning his lip so as not to over-dramatize our scene.

Out on the sales floor, I could feel a dozen eyes on us. But I couldn’t tell how close we were to Griffin’s desk.

“Are they looking?” I asked.

“Yep, 2 blond idiots at 6:00,” Jackson murmured.  “And about 1/3 the sales force is gawking our way as well,” Jackson said as his dark eyes swept back to mine.

“Can’t wait for the video.”

“Oscar-worthy I’m sure,” I replied.

Jackson nodded with a giggle.

To make this moment all the sweeter, I had instructed Jackson to turn on the video camera on his phone before we embarked upon our scandalous stroll down the hallway. While only part of it is on camera (momentarily), the dialogue that ensued is hysterical.

I stole a sidelong glance at the 2 Douche Bags (Griffin and Gordon). They were slumped over their desks, their eyes plucked wide open with shock and, perhaps, exasperation by mine and Jackson’s display of manufactured enrapture.

For the coup d’etat, I batted my eyes at Jackson seconds before passing Griffin’s desk and in a sultry voice, I said, “See you round 7:00, then.”

“You bet,” Jackson said softly as I sashayed toward the elevator, shaking my ass as if it were on fire… 🙂

Seconds later, I heard Griffin say, “Hold up, Jackson, what’s goin’ on?”

I snuck a glance over my shoulder just as Griffin stood up and wedged himself between his desk and Gordon’s, so Jackson couldn’t pass by to his own cubicle cage, not 3 feet away.

A broad, devilish smile broke out on Jackson’s face, which I’m sure the miscreants believed was from basking in the glow of our lust.

“So, what’s the story with you and Mrs. Smith?” Gordon snapped.

Jackson leaned down and quietly replied, “Well, she won’t be Mrs. Smith much longer.”

“Yeah?” Griffin asked.

“She left her husband a month ago.”

“Really?” Griffin asked. “Then, why was she such a bitch when I tried to talk to her?”

“Maybe, because you’re an asshole,” Jackson quipped, still grinning.

Gordon laughed. Griffin scowled.

At which point, I was standing at the elevator sending Jackson a text.

When Jackson’s phone made that obnoxious DING notifying him of my communique, he took his phone out and held it up so that while reading my text, he was also simultaneously recording Griffin and Gordon on video. And Jackson was so kind as to enlighten me later that evening on the phone – with the details that weren’t captured on film.

Griffin’s angry eyes cut to Gordon – when suddenly, Jackson erupted into laughter. I hadn’t mentioned the particular verbiage for my text.

“She is a naughty girl,” Jackson said.

“Who, Mrs. Smith, aka Kennedy?” Griffin demanded sarcastically. “What’d she say?”

“Not much, just how much…uh, she can’t wait to cover me in peanut butter and lap me up and down,” Jackson said, laughing.

“Seriously? The uptight woman with dark hair who just left?” Griffin sputtered. “Said THAT to you?”

“The one and only,” Jackson answered, wearing a bemused grin elicited by the two confused dimwits, whose eyes were all aglow with ideas of sexual weirdness between me and the gay man.

“Bullshit,” Gordon barked.

Jackson smiled. “Whatever. See you two dickheads later,” he said pushing past Griffin.

A couple cords of laughter rippled in the background, but Griffin and Gordon were auspiciously silent.

“Prove it,” Griffin said contemptuously.

“You didn’t hear her say she was looking forward to seeing me?”

“So what?  You could be going to Bible study for all I know.”

“Oh, it’ll be biblical all right,” Jackson said with a chuckle.

Gordon laughed, but Griffin just glared at my imaginary beau.

“Okay. Let me see your phone,” Griffin insisted.

“No, that’s private. Besides, I’ve got work to do.” Jackson said, barging toward his desk.

Griffin moved closer to Jackson, growling in a low voice, “Oh, right, because there’s nothing on your phone but photos of you whackin’ off.”

Jackson and Gordon both cracked up at such a ridiculous statement. “Why the fuck would I have photos of THAT on my phone when I’ve got photos of…” Jackson began. “Never mind,” Jackson said, sitting down at his desk, while clicking over to the photo gallery on his phone. Meanwhile, the video camera was still recording every morsel of conversation.

“I don’t think so. You’re not getting off that easy,” Griffin said, grabbing Jackson’s arm.

Jackson spun around, beaming, “Well, apparently, I do, according to you…”

Gordon collapsed into nearly convulsive laughter.

“Shut up, Gordy, And yet, I’m the asshole,” Griffin said sourly…his first intelligent comment… 🙂

“Fine,” Jackson said with a sigh as if exhausted by their taunts, “Check this out,” he continued, thrusting his  phone in Griffin’s face. Whereupon, they saw a photo of me from when I was still modeling 5 years ago. I’m lying on a pink satin bedspread in a black negligee, my double D’s tumbling forward, almost completely exposed. And, funny thing, Gordie and Griffie didn’t notice I’m 20 pounds heavier now. Their brains only registered my “boobage”.

“Oh, my God, she’s…”

“I think the word you’re looking for is beautiful, dumb ass,” Jackson said. Awwwww, Jackson, bet you say that to all the girls.

“Okay, dude,” Gordon said. “How the hell did you score a woman like that?”

“I was nice to her,” Jackson said.

At that point, Jackson said the look on Dumb and Dumber’s faces was priceless. Unfortunately, all we have on film is a shot of everyone’s shoes. However, t’was a joint epiphany for my 2 blond adversaries, revealing that, perhaps, chicanery and stupid attempts at humor are not the best way to win a woman. And apparently, Griffin’s asinine question about my blouse was his convoluted attempt at humor.

For fuck’s sake, really?

The next day Gordon or Griffin’s team went on a company retreat, and I never saw them again because my assignment at Mega ended (due to lack of work) while they were gone. So, I didn’t even get to say goodbye to those who brought me so many BELLY laughs at their expense.

But I dare say, I’ll survive.

Over and out from CASA DE CRAZY…

~TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies

TB/ks

Post #51 – ASHE, the obnoxious…

Posted in college, dating, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

I met Ashe during my senior year of college, in August of 1988. He came over on sweltering hot day when even one’s eyelids might be sweating. He was a friend of my brother, Ben, our friend, Rick, and a couple other guys who helped me move to a new apartment in a 72-foot school bus, shortly after my first husband and I split up.

And, yes, I said a school bus… 🙂 – which had been the motel on wheels for Maleki, a local metal band. Maleki had just returned from a tour of every rock n roll dive south of the Mason-Dixon line. Rick played guitar, and Ashe was a roadie.

Ashe was one of those people who consumed the atmosphere. He was 6′ 4″ tall, weighed over 260 pounds, and he was sporting 52″ shoulders. However, as soon as Ashe lumbered into my house, I took an immediate dislike to him.

After Ben introduced us, Ashe nodded and barged into the kitchen. Wondering what the hell he was doing, I glanced at Ben, who just shrugged. However, my brother’s expression betrayed a hint of trepidation.

I started to ask him what he was so afraid of when he turned to Rick and said, “Probably should start with the couch.”

Rick nodded, and everyone got busy moving furniture and boxes when I realized that Ashe was still in the kitchen, so I walked in to make sure he wasn’t stealing my silverware or anything, LOL…and…

I found Ashe staring into the fridge, his arm leaning on the refrigerator door, making it sag a bit.

“What’re you doing?” I asked.

With a furrowed brow of disapproval and a hint of disdain, Ashe asked, “Are you a vegan or something?”

“No,” I said, laughing. “Why?”

“There’s no meat in here, nothing for a sandwich except this,” He replied, holding up a slice of American cheese, still in its wrapper. “What gives?” he asked, smiling.

“Ya know, Vegans don’t eat cheese.”

“Really? Are you serious?” Ashe asked, rather wide-eyed.

“It comes from cows, so-”

“Oh, my God, that’s fucking hysterical!” he said, with a loud guffaw. Then, he tossed the cheese into the fridge, shut the refrigerator door and shouted, “Hey, Rick, did you know that Vegans don’t eat cheese?”

“They’re outside loading my couch into the bus.”

“Oh.”

“So, maybe, you could-”

But before I could finish that thought, Ashe sauntered into the living room, and heaved my antique and monstrously large wing chair – over his head as though it were a box of Styrofoam. After an explosive BELCH, he set the seat of the wing chair on his head. I watched him steady the weight of the chair by holding onto its arms and swagger out of the house.

I shook my head wondering what in God’s name this guy was going to do next. All went surprisingly well though despite the sizzling 95-degree heat that day as everyone lugged all my worldly possessions into the bus.

Two hours later, I was putting a box of my dishes into the trunk of my car while Ashe, Ben, and the other guys were carting boxes of books when we heard the scratchy, cartoonish song of a…

“The ice cream truck! Oh, my God!” Ashe shouted, rather excited. “We need ice cream!” He said, handing Rick the box of books he’d been toting, so he could literally run up the street toward the sound of the truck, waving his hands and screaming, “Over here, Mister Ice Cream Truck! We need ice cream!”

You couldn’t help but laugh at Ashe’s antics. A second later, the truck bearing the twirling ice cream cone – became visible while navigating an alley across the street…when Ashe, who was 20 at the time, turned around to me and fervently asked, “Buy us some ice cream, or milkshakes!? PLEASE!!”

I glared at Ashe because I was already springing for pizza and beer for everyone, and I was an atypically broke college student at the time and only waiting tables part-time to boot.

“Pretty please, it’s so damned hot,” he whined, noticing my slightly annoyed demeanor. “You know you want it,” Ashe said, and, everyone laughed, including me.

Reluctantly, I smiled and said, “I guess.”

“ALL RIGHT!” Ashe yelled, his eyes lighting up like Las Vegas Boulevard at midnight – as he galloped across the street toward the truck where the driver was serving several ten-year-olds.

With dairy treats in hand, we set off for my new apartment. When I hopped in my Nissan, Ashe appeared in my passenger seat. “There wasn’t enough room in the bus,” Ashe said smiling, “with all the books.”

I nodded, but I just knew that Ben had purposely arranged everything so Ashe would have nowhere to sit – just to piss me off, which was Ben’s favorite form of entertainment when I was around. As soon as I started the car, Ashe took a long, noisy slurp from his banana milkshake. Then, he reached over and switched my radio station from Rock 105 to God knows what.

“Hey! Don’t touch that! I love that song,” I snapped, punching the pre-set button back to Rock 105. A song I really liked Sweet Child of Mine by Guns ‘n Roses had been playing, and I couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy.

Yet, ten seconds later, he grabbed the knob on the radio and began flipping stations again across the crackly FM band with his very large paw.

“Do that again, and you’ll lose a hand, asshole!” I blurted out, smacking his hand with a whack.

He laughed saying, “Okay, okay,” holding up his hands in surrender.

I cranked it back to Rock 105 just as Sweet Child of Mine was ending.

“Man, you’re really uptight, aren’t you?”

“No, my car, my radio. Didn’t your mother teach you not to bother other people’s stuff?”

He grinned and said, “Maybe.”

The rest of the three miles to my new digs, he talked about how great it was being on the road with Maleki. “They played at some really shitty places, but most everybody loved their music except for this one place near Nashville.”

“Country music fans?”

“Yeah, I hate that bullshit. It’s sounds like someone’s chewing on aluminum foil over a loud speaker.”

I laughed. “Yeah, not my favorite either.”

“Really?”

I didn’t reply at first…didn’t wanna reveal any common ground. Who knows how he might’ve overreacted to that…”Though I was forced to listen to Blackfoot once when they opened for Van Halen.”

“Weird combo.”

I nodded.

After we unloaded all my furniture, I pulled Ben aside and whispered, “Don’t ever bring that dickhead to my house again.”

Ben instinctively knew I was talking about Ashe. “He’s actually a really nice guy once you get to know him.”

“Yeah, uh, huh, just like a Doberman on steroids,” I grumbled.

Ben laughed. Then, surprise, surprise, less than a week later, guess who started working at the Rock ‘n Roll Cafe where I’d been working for several months? Yep, Ashe was now the full-time bouncer.

Ben knew the manager of the Cafe pretty well, so he recommended Ashe. I wasn’t thrilled about it. But I decided since Ben had vouched for him, that, perhaps, Ashe wasn’t a complete lunatic, but I wasn’t holding my breath. He certainly was entertaining.

A week later, Ashe sat down beside me while I was on break.

“This is all I have,” and he said dropping two quarters and a penny on the table. “Buy me a beer? ”

Frowning, I looked away. My tips were down. Business was always slow in the summer when most college students went back home.  Employees’ drinks were half price, but still. I needed every dime for my electric bill.

“Aw, c’mon. You’re getting a shitload of alimony, Ben said.”

I laughed. “No, I’m not. I’m getting child support for my two-year-old, and it isn’t nearly enough.”

“Please, I’ll buy you three beers when I get paid.”

I sighed and bought Ashe a beer on my tab anyway.

“Thank you,” Ashe said smiling. “So, I’m thinking we should get married, you know, just for the weekend, get a divorce on Monday.”

And, remember, this was way before Britney Spears made the weekend marriage/divorce trendy since she was in diapers at the time…

I nearly choked on my laughter and Bud Light, “I’m sorry, but did you just say married?”

“Yeah,” he said with a big cheesy grin.

“I’m already married.”

“I thought that was over. That’s why-”

“It is,” I said, “But the divorce won’t be final until October.”

“Oh,” he said, nodding.

Not that I had any interest in dating Ashe. At the time, I preferred a skinny musician, who preferred to cheat on me or treat me like shit…☺

“Yeah, well, either way, I’m the one you’re supposed to be with,” Ashe said with the most charming grin I’d ever seen…

Again, I laughed, thinking Ashe had some seriously big jewels. I was beginning to think I’d misjudged him, but he was still persona non grata on my dance card.

However, on June 1, 1990, Ashe and I got married. Seriously…below are a couple of our wedding photos, etc.

Ashe and Kennedy, wedding pic, Boyd Co., KY

Though our marriage tanked, and our divorce was final, oddly on June 1, 1995, we were always great friends. And I was devastated by his sudden death from a diabetes-related heart failure on December 26, 2005. He was 37. Therefore, ladies, NEVER say never. That maddeningly obnoxious co-worker/neighbor/pizza delivery guy could turn out to be your ex-husband #2 🙂 :)…

Ashe and our son, Max, when Max was 3 days old. May 23, 1992

Above is the house that I moved out of the day I met Ashe in August of ’88.

Over and out from fucked up central…

~KS/TenaciousBitch

Blog #40 – Mrs. Simon and her DOG aplenty…

Posted in college, relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

I suddenly recognized the incredibly foul scent of CAT POO* from many pounds of kitty CA CA steeping in sandboxes throughout the house. My eyes started to water from the fumes. I brushed away a blob of tears with the back of my hand when I noticed…

The eyes…three dozen or more sets of curious/suspicious CAT eyes  checking me out: Sizing me up, looking for any HINT of violence or disdain.

The gunfire had temporarily muted my hearing, so I couldn’t hear the cacophony of crying felines for a minute or two. The meowing fur balls were obviously disturbed by the recent throng of bullets.

The cats were perched on EVERY surface about the room. Two dozen at least twittering on the couch. Calicos. Black cats with mesmerizing green eyes. A black and gray cat on an end table. A blue-eyed Himalayan on the piano squirming next to two tabbies and a beautiful beige cat.  A small white cat scratching furiously at the love seat in the corner. A brown cat with a white nose circling my legs, a solid black cat YOWLING on a stool. Short cats. Fat cats. SCRAWNY cats. Mewing bundles of agitated fur consumed her living room.

“Wow, you have A LOT of cats,” I said with awe.

“Twenty-seven to be exact,” she said smiling. “People think I’m crazy, but I just can’t…bear the thought, you know, of them being put down if they don’t find homes for them.”

I nodded.

“So, um, should we call the police?” she asked, scooping up a disoriented black and gray cat on a rocking chair. “Oh, you poor thing, Ms. Nici,” Mrs. Simon said, easing into the rocker. “It’s okay. The bad man’s gone.” Mrs. Simon cooed.

“Yeah. Where’s your phone? I’ll call,” I said.

“In the drawer, as always,” she said, nonchalantly. “I’ll make some coffee,” she chirped disappearing into the kitchen carrying Nici, followed by several of her feline roommates.

The drawer? As “always”? I’ve never been in her house before. Can you say WTF? I gave her a ride to the bus stop once when it was snowing, and except polite hellos now and then, I barely know the crazy old bird, but obviously sans meds (I assume), or totally senile, I’m now her best chum/niece/bff’s sister’s cousin’s wife, or something

Sigh…and before I could ask Mrs. Simon which drawer, a BEAST appeared from the hallway by the front door. A ferocious-looking dog, whose parents could easily have been a Pit Bull and a Polar Bear. His short white fur stiffened at the sight of me. I love dogs. But this?

This pooch ate buckshot and bulldozers for breakfast! His simmering growl was menacing, and black eyes glistened upon his new target as if I were a ten-pound platter of bacon and bones.

All of the cats HISSED, but didn’t move one ligament. Fearfully, they waited for the intruder to pounce.  His growl gave way to a very HARSH round of vicious BARKING, accompanied by a steady stream of slobber dribbling from his huge jowls.

With frantic SQUEALS and hisses, all the cats tumbled off their roosts. They became a mad BLUR of speeding FUR disappearing underneath the tattered love seat while the Bull/Bearish dog, planted his 100-pound chassis at my feet.

“Mrs. Simon!” I screeched. “Mrs. Simon! Get your dog!”

No response from the kitchen for a moment…then, I heard “There, there, Nici, Grace. It’s okay. The bad man’s gone,” Mrs. Simon cooed from the next room in a lulling lisp to the cats who were no doubt catapulting onto the counters/kitchen table in fright.

“Mrs. Simon!” I wailed. Then, trying to sound calm, I said, “Be nice, now, Bruno,” I begged the brute as he CRUNCHED his teeth into my Nike, feverishly grinding into my toes. “Mrs. Simon! HELP ME!” I yanked with all my might against the deathly canine grip to no avail.

“Let go, you fucking MONGREL!” I shouted while ripping my shoe to and fro between the canine’s canines.

Mrs. Simon finally toddled back into the room.  “Georgie, NO!” she lambasted her DEVIL DOG, swatting at him with her hand. “I’ll get the broom. Hold on, honey, hold on!”

As she scuttled into the kitchen again, someone began THRASHING on the front door.

Georgie turned me loose, THANK GOD, re-directing his throaty YAPPING at the front door.

I slumped into the armchair, a slow fountain of blood billowing onto the rug from my shoe.

MORE THUMPING on the door.

“Oh, dear, who could that be at this hour?” Mrs. Simon said, shuffling toward the front door with her broom.

“No!” I managed to croak, “It might be the guy with the gun!”

“What? Who had a gun?” she asked with grave concern.

“Open up! Police!”

Five minutes later, two rookie cops took my statement about the gun-wielding whacko while a very handsome EMT bandaged my ravaged toes and lacerated arm.  I hadn’t noticed my forearm had gotten chafed up quite a bit from the pine trees.

Three hours and 14 stitches later (at the ER), I finally collapsed into bed (with no sign of Mark – MEGA THANK YOU, God/Yahweh/Captain Kangaroo…) darkening my door…

The police never found Mark. Apparently, he had been honorably discharged from the Army some time ago (I know, right?), so the military was no help. And he was never seen in town again, to my knowledge.

The grungy studio apartment he rented downtown near Marshall (University where I was attending school at the time) was relatively barren save for a few boxes of junk, i.e. – old Metallica and Van Halen cassettes, a few tattered car magazines, a few ugly ties, a collection of rusty nails and the like.

Mark had gone to high school with my friend, Anna. After she stopped graveling and apologizing for setting me up w/the ROCK STAR of bad dates, she said the fodder among the rumor mill was that Mark’s discharge was a tad mysterious. He’d come home for Easter a couple of months prior, acting as though he were a very contented member of Uncle Sam’s best but returned in June a brooding mess saying he’d decided not to re-enlist and wouldn’t say why…

And that, as they say, is how the cookie CRUNCHES/barks and bleeds…and who’d have thought a DOG would’ve done more damage to my person than dodging a bucket of bullets…okay, maybe, he only fired 3 or 4 times, but STILL…

As a side note, in 2007, Anna emailed me a link to a story in a Vegas newspaper about Mark’s death in a casino parking lot.  Death by baseball bat at 45. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, n’est-ce pas? I heard he was a compulsive gambler…or an ugly drag queen, one of the two (LOL)…

Over and out from fucked up central…

~KS/tenaciousB

* In Mrs. Simon’s house where I took refuge after, Mark, a crazy ex- Green Beret, took after me with his mini-canon – see Blog #39 – The Psychotic Soldier…and then some…

Blog 37 – New York or BUST Part II…

Posted in beer, college, Family, family battles, friends, grandmothers, relationships, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After Morgan dropped his heart-crushing news that he was moving in with Delilah, I rushed out onto the busy New York street, suddenly confused by the rush of people and the headlights from passing cars bouncing upon the horizon, I walked for a block or so and hailed a cab.

“Where to, Miss?” asked the cabbie in a thick African or Arabic accent, given the fact that his name was Mohammad, and his last name had like 17 letters.

“I…need, the airport,” I said while sobbing and counting the cash in my wallet.

“Which one?”

I took a deep breath. “LaGuardia. I have 19 dollars and some change. Is that enough?” I wailed, totally CURSING myself for giving Morgan $50 for gas, the bastard.  My remaining cash was in my suitcase in Morgan’s van. And I CERTAINLY was not going back to Ripley’s to ask him or Ryan for ANYTHING.

With a look of concern I noted in the cabbie’s eyes in the rearview mirror, the he said, “Yes, enough. You okay?”

“I’m fine,” I said sniveling. At which point, I started babbling about my dickhead, now ex-boyfriend. Aside from the fact that I was devastated by our bizarre break-up, I was pretty much blind drunk. We’d been guzzling beer and wine all day long.

And the cabbie just kept saying, “Oh, and such a pretty girl.” I know he didn’t understand one word I said. My speech was thickened and throttled by the current level of alcohol bashing about my veins and my brain, but I didn’t care. I just needed to let the pain spew forth.

When we reached the ramp for the BQE*, I noticed the meter was already over $20. I sighed, knowing I could’ve just wasted my last cent and then some, and I didn’t know if I could catch a flight to WV at LaGuardia or not, but I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. “Would you let me out at the nearest subway station?” I asked digging for change in the bottom of my purse, “I’ve already racked up more-”

“No, it okay. Pretty girl not ride the subway in the night by herself. Not safe.”

I was flabbergasted. I’d always heard that New Yorkers were cold, mean-assed people, but this guy was a sweetheart! “Really, it’s okay, I don’t mind, I-”

“No, in my country, my father teach us respect, protect women. I not letting you take the subway for a couple dollars. It’s not far now.”

The sincerity in this man’s voice ignited the waterworks again. “Thank you, sir,” I said, taking a deep breath to stifle the bawling, “That’s very kind. Where are you from?”

“A small village near Kenya.”

I paid the saintly cabbie when we arrived at LaGuardia and stepped back out into the frigid New York air.

I half-stumbled my way to the US Air desk, since that airline and Delta were the ONLY ones that fly in to WV. Amazingly, they had a flight out the next morning around 9:00, which cost me $120. And THANK GOD back then, everyone took checks. I did, indeed, have my checkbook with me, just in case. Doing so bludgeoned my budget for my month, but I couldn’t worry about that now.

The whole experience at the airport was colored by my hazy beer vision, but the hefty woman at the US Air desk didn’t seem to notice my lack of sobriety.

“No luggage, Miss?” asked the hefty woman.

“No,” I said, awkwardly, avoiding eye contact with her. These days that fact might cause red flags to SPROUT upon their computer system, but back in the day, not so much.

When I asked about nearby hotels, she directed me to the area where hotels had free shuttles that picked up their weary travelers just outside baggage claim. Then, I slogged my way to a phone booth. I scanned the long listing of hotels in the Yellow Pages.

Days Inn was the cheapest at $70/night. Luckily, my mother had gotten a MasterCard issued in my name when I first started college for “emergencies”, and having no clue where the hotel was that Morgan had reserved nor any way to GET there, it was either charge a hotel room or sleep in the airport. And knowing my mother, my slumbering on a plastic chair in a public place would not be HER choice for me.

And speaking of Mom, I took a deep breath dreading my conversation with her. I needed a ride home from the airport in the morning. I picked up the receiver and dialed her collect.

I briefly explained where I was and who I was with, and…

“What the hell’s going on, Kennedy? I’ve been worried sick.”

“Why?” YES, I was confused because I assumed she didn’t even know I’d left town. And I’d only been gone a few days.

“Jenny and Haden’s wedding, remember?” Jenny was a girl from church… “Your father and I went over to pick you up yesterday, and you weren’t home. You didn’t answer the phone, and no one knew where you were, not even Shauna! I thought you’d been kidnapped or worse!”

“Oh, God, Mom, I’m sorry. I forgot all about the wedding.”

“And did it NOT occur to you to tell SOMEONE you were leaving town, so you wouldn’t give your mother a heart attack?”

I winced, closing my eyes, as the guilt wrenched my gut. I laid my head on my hand…which was on top of the phone.  “I’m so sorry. It was a spur of the moment thing. We just got here this morning. I’d planned to call you once we…got settled.”

“I see,” she said, a frosty chill to her tone.

We chatted for a few more minutes, and I gave her my flight information. She wasn’t quite as peeved when we hung up, thank god.

My room at the Days Inn was plain and small but comfortable. I plopped down on the bed and called information. Unfortunately, Ripley’s wasn’t listed. I wanted to call and let Morgan know I was okay if he was still there, and/or maybe, to plead with him NOT to move in with Delilah. On the way to New York, he’d said that he was going to stay with Nigel, a friend who lived on the Upper East side. But Nigel was out of town for a few days, which is why he’d booked a hotel room somewhere near Ripley’s.

I cried myself to sleep with my clothes on. I woke up feeling like a cat had shit in my mouth even though I had used the “complimentary” toothbrush and toothpaste I’d acquired at check-in.  Courtesy of the hangover, my head was pounding when I ordered bacon, eggs, toast and a LARGE glass of milk, which I charged to the room. Since my mother was always a FANATIC about eating breakfast, I knew she wouldn’t care about the $16 for my morning meal, that I’d added to the mounting MasterCard bill.

Smiling as though I was returning from a leisurely trip abroad, my mother stood in her long white coat at our tiny regional airport (that has only three gates) when I arrived the next morning.

Mom and I talked little on the way home after I explained that I did NOT want to talk about Morgan.

“Weren’t you nervous?” Mom asked.

“About what?” I asked, surprised.

“Driving through there. Did you have to go through any ghettos?” Mom asked, anxiously, drama dripping from her tone.

“Yes,” I replied, “We came into the city through the South Bronx, and that wasn’t exactly Ritter Park,” I answered, recalling the miles of decrepit buildings and graffiti rolling along, the backdrop for dozens of homeless people with shopping carts.

Ritter Park was one of the ritziest areas in my hometown. “But no one bothered us,” I continued. “Although, some homeless guy wouldn’t stop washing the windows of Morgan’s van until Morgan gave him a dollar. That kinda bothered me. But Manhattan was beautiful. The architecture is stunning.”

About a week later, Ryan showed up at the Monarch. “You know, you really freaked me out leaving like that,” he said, sitting on a bar stool beside me where I was loading drinks onto a tray.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I tried to call Ripley’s, but they weren’t listed, and I couldn’t remember the name of the hotel where you were staying.”

Ryan nodded. “I figured you’d just taken a walk to calm down, and you’d come back in an hour or so.”

“Again, my apologies.”

“It’s okay. I’m just glad you’re all right.”

A couple hours later when I took a break, Ryan and I strolled back to the parking lot behind the bar. He handed me my suitcase from the back of the van.

“Why’d he break up with me like that, Ryan? I thought he was moving in with Nigel?”

Ryan looked away. “He’s scared, Kennedy. None of that was planned. He didn’t know that Delilah would be there that night, and…”

“And what?”

“Staying with Nigel wasn’t, well, for certain. He knew he could stay there a few nights, but he wasn’t sure about moving in there.”

“And Delilah offered after she found out about his legal troubles?”

“Yeah.”

My eyes pulsed anger, I’m sure.

“He really does love you.”

“Whatever,” I said, walking away.

“Kennedy,” Ryan called after me. I turned around. “He…had limited options, you know? And…”

“What?”

“Before Delilah showed up, he was going to ask you to stay, but, honestly, he didn’t know where or whatever, you know?”

“So, why did he CHOOSE her over me?”

“She’s a paralegal. She makes good money and-”

“Great. I got traded in for a sugar mama.”

Ryan looked at me a moment with a very stalwart expression, then just looked away.

Annoyed, I started to walk away again, but I looked back at him instead. “So, how well does he know this girl?”

“They’ve been out three or four times.”

“Jesus, freaking, Christ. She could be an ax murderer for all he knows or a complete BITCH.”

Ryan laughed, “Despite what you see in the movies, most people in New York are decent human beings.”

With a nod, that was that. My broken heart was wrapped up in a neat little package and served up with a plate of cold, hard truth. And I just wanted to go home, crawl into my bathtub and cry my way through a gallon of chocolate ice cream and a couple dozen beers. But I didn’t because I was broke. I went back to work, not knowing that Morgan would walk back into my life again a few years later…

Over and out from my Stop and Smell the Crazy life

TenaciousB and company…

*Brooklyn Queens Expressway