It’s the first official day of Spring Break, and here I sit with a fever. Of course, I didn’t just wake up sick today. I’ve been nursing something foul since Friday evening, when I chose to attend an outdoors pre-break celebration with a bunch of friends and a certain lady named Belinda. |
Belinda. Perhaps I’m getting just a little bit ahead of myself here. Let me rewind a bit and start from the beginning.
On Being a Philanderer – A Redguard Tale
Romance. Love. Call it what you will, it’s always provided me with an unending series of seemingly unfathomable complications. I try, but somehow it just never works out. Somewhere in the middle, things go haywire. It always starts out splendidly, but sooner or later people start shouting and pulling knives and whatnot. Lives are threatened. Egads man, the raw passion of love always seems to slip the reins and vault the constraints of rationality where I’m concerned. Why? I do not know.
For a while, I thought it must’ve been me. Hell, maybe it really is me. God knows I’m far from faultless. But, wait a minute here, I digress.
Maybe a more appropriate title for this piece would be “Fear and Loathing in Loveland” or something like that. Drugs could be the answer. They always seemed to work for Hunter. Yeah. Maybe if I loaded up on Acid and Weed, this whole thing would seem normal to me. Chase it all with enough beer to drown a horse, and everything would be peachy. Or, at least it would seem peachy (I’ll tackle that perception vs. reality bit later). Maybe the Acid alone would be enough, or perhaps I’d need to devise some devilish new cocktail to subdue the senses. Ack, this calls for some serious experimenting. We’ll have to wait and see.
Oh yes, where was I? The beginning of my tale, that’s right. Well, it all started several months ago on my very first day of school…
Rahizanel. Yep, that’s her name. Interesting, isn’t it? Beautiful. The name of an angel. It certainly fits her. From the moment I first saw here standing there in the cold, dark morning, I was captivated. Immediately, I drew the impression that she must have been a dancer. Her physique was too symmetrical and lovely for anything else. She’s a tiny thing, all of 5’2” tall with dark hair that falls in waves all the way to her dangerously curvaceous hips. Her features are so delicate as to suggest that they might have been lifted from one of the more exotic porcelain dolls that pose in the windows of expensive Paris boutiques. Rahizanel…oof.
So, in my normal cavalier fashion, I sauntered up to her and introduced myself…and was rewarded with a cold and very haughty indifference. Now, I am used to this sort of thing. I am, after all, something of a plain man. You know, very nondescript and average. To think that a creature of such exotic beauty would find me interesting was a tremendous leap of faith to begin with. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?
So, self-esteem none the worse for wear, I retreated and turned as if to address my sack of belongings. It was then that I first caught sight of the other: Belinda.
Oy, mami. Make it stop. With Belinda, there was no mistaking it. I locked gazes with her, and instantly knew that she was at least as profoundly attracted to me as I was to her. And, let me tell you…I was very, very attracted to her.
She is something to look at, I tell you. “Beautiful” falls tragically short of hitting the mark where she’s concerned. Where do I start? Her eyes are indescribable. I have not seen the like before. When I am near to her, I am mesmerized by the way her eyelashes meet at the sides and mesh in delicate backward curls, each one perfectly spaced apart from the next. There is a bizarre tranquility in her gaze, and a self-assuredness that is rare to find these days in women. I find it very hard to tear my eyes away from her face. Very hard indeed.
Shall I go on? I think so, yes. Her head is topped with a luxuriant shock of oil-black hair that ends, square-cut, at her lovely shoulders where it struggles vainly to hide the subtle perfection of what must be THE most beautiful neck I have ever seen. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph…I tell you, I’m not usually the type of man who gets turned on by peoples necks, but my, my, my. Swans would duck their heads in shame at the absolute feminine grace of this lady’s neck. Goddammit, I tell you, I want to bite it right now.
To top it all off, she’s got all of these beautiful accoutrements piled atop a body that is finely honed from a lifetime of assiduously training her physique. She works out. I like that. Everything is firm where it should be firm, and wonderfully soft where nature and good taste demand it to be so. Oh jeez, I’m tearing up here. Hold on…
So, after the initial thunderclap of “call it what you will” that passed between us, I walked up and greeted her a lovely morning.
Things went well. They went very well, indeed. They went so well, in fact, that I felt for a moment, a little bit like a cross between Fabio and James Bond. Her initial reaction to my gentlemanly greeting was a glazed over gaze and a half-mumbled, “Oh, wow.” Let me tell you, kids…it doesn’t get too much better than that. At least not for me, it doesn’t.
So, we chatted for a while, and within five minutes I had procured a lunch date, a Friday night dinner date, and a phone number which I hurriedly secreted away in my wallet for later use.
Class went well that day.
Lunch went even better. I received an opportunity to acquaint myself more appropriately with the lovely Ms. Belinda (whom I had, by now, dubbed Pesquesa in honor of her salaciously inviting neck).
She was a peach. Really, a bona-fide peach. We talked straight through lunch for an hour and a half. No awkward pauses. No moments of struggling for something interesting to say. Everything that she said WAS completely riveting, and I think it’s safe to say that she found my own repartee to be equally involving. It was only the first day of school, and already I was falling in love. Wonderful, right?
It didn’t take long, of course, for everyone else in the class to notice the energy that passed between us. I didn’t mind. I rarely do care what other people have to say where I, and my affairs, are concerned.
Belinda, on the other hand, seemed to mind tremendously. She had expressed her discomfort with the attention that we were receiving from our other classmates. I suppose it was her opinion that many of the other young ladies were openly jealous of the fact that she had won my attention. Whatever the case, I never perceived it to be so (why would they be?). And, at any rate, I really didn’t care.
So, the first three weeks went by quite comfortably, with Belinda and I growing closer to one another by the day. Then, it began. One Friday evening, she cancelled on me, citing that she was too tired to make our date. It was fine by me, of course. I am, after all, no stranger to exhaustion.
The weekend passed by, however, and nary a word from her. When I finally did see her on Monday morning, she was distant and aloof, as though I had somehow managed to offend her. After our first quiz, she and I met in the hallway outside of the classroom and our eyes locked in that familiar way again. It was like that first moment that we had met, replayed over in this place, all magnetism and the hungry lust of youth. She drew near to me and I to her, and as I moved to embrace her, she suddenly pulled back and asked me what I had planned after school.
Odd, I thought, but I answered that I had planned to go to the gym. She hastily invited herself, and I, of course, acquiesced.
The rest of the school day passed without much incident, although Belinda had left partway through the final period of lecture and had chosen not to return. Still, I expected to find her at the gym, so off I went with all intention of finding out what had gone amiss.
Well, I got to the gym, but Belinda didn’t. She never called to tell me why, either. Naturally, I was concerned, and when I returned home, I hastily dialed her up to see if she was okay. I received no call back. The next morning, Belinda came to class as usual with neither concern nor apology for having cut out on me and failing to return my call. She also chose to make herself scarce for lunch, and spend it instead with a rather portly woman who sits in the back of the class and resembles one of the characters I’m convinced I’ve previously seen lurking around the shadows of the Cantina scene in Star Wars.
Now, I am not one to rush to hasty judgment, but neither am I a fool. In the face of this kind of cold response, I opted to strike out and find my romantic fortune elsewhere. Wouldn’t you?
So, the days went by and I commenced to date.
First, there was the Lady Michelle. She was a lovely, statuesque blond, who not only possessed the nearly picture-perfect face of a newscaster, but also had the tabula rasa mentality, as well. Summing up her personality would be something of a task were I not somewhat linguistically able. Hold on. Let me find the proper phrase. Wait. Here it comes.
From the very first moment we sat down to dinner together, I was utterly dumbfounded by her absolute lack of coherence and intelligence. I mean, c’mon here. The very first thing that she said went something like this:
“Oh James, you know, I’ve never been to a Japanese restaurant before. It’s so neat. I have a coffee pot that’s a Braun. That’s a German company, but the other day I lifted it up to wash it and I looked on the bottom and it said it was really made in Japan. I don’t think that’s right. Do you? Gee. This place is nice. What kind of food do you think they serve?”
Right. Not being the one to cast stones where none are due; I reserved judgment for the moment and pretended that I had not heard what she had said.
She promptly followed it up with something that went disturbingly like this:
“You know, I come from Holland and my family speaks Dutch. I speak Dutch, too. A lot of people make the mistake of calling it Hollish instead of Dutch, but that’s not proper. It’s really Dutch. Did you know that? It’s sort of like the way that Norwegians don’t live in Norwegia. They live in Norway. Did you know that? My feet hurt.”
I fed her. I drove her home. I bade her good evening. I left, never to call or darken her doorway again. So, sue me.
Next, there was Monica, whom I had gleefully dubbed, “Waif model.” She was another delicate and rare beauty. For the life of me, I still cannot understand what her fascination was with me. As I said before, I am overwhelmingly average. Plain, you understand? That a ravishing young girl like this could swoon over someone like me simply does not compute. Nevertheless, I’m not one to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, so I ran with it for a bit. What the hell, right?
Monica, Monica, I fell a little bit in love with the innocent way that she’d blush each time that I looked at her. She was demure. Very demure, in fact. I find that intensely attractive in a woman. More than that, she was bright and engaging with a solid sense of self-worth that I never expected to find nestled there within the heart of her.
She was young, far too young, in fact. Only twenty years old, and I a doddering thirty-one. I think that’s the thing that clinched it for me. Were it not for her age, I probably could have lost myself within her for a long, long time. As it stood, I knew that she deserved something more than I had to offer her. Her life was new, fresh, and still full of wonder. I didn’t want to take that away from her. So, a few nights huddled together on the shore of Huntington Beach, whispered intimacies, shared embraces, and in the end I left the space of her as chastely as I had entered it, both of us better people for having shared the moment.
I do suppose that a part of me loves her still and always will.
And so, a few more days slipped past between without the sheltering grace of a woman’s presence to guide me. I thought and thought again. Belinda still occupied the vast majority of my mind’s free time. I had begun to become morose as she chose still to remain distant and aloof. I wanted to touch her. I wanted to reach out to her. For the life of me, I thought I had expressed myself to her rather plainly. I was sure that she had done the same. I couldn’t fathom what strange obstacle had managed to worm its way between us.
Still, when our gazes locked, I could see it in her eyes. It may sound arrogant of me to say so, but I could see the desire behind her eyes. Desire that, for some undisclosed reason, she chose to hold in check. I tried several times to break through to her. I tried to speak to her about “us,” but she wouldn’t have it. Again, it has always been my habit to speak plainly. Shunned again, I turned away once more to seek my solace elsewhere.
I found it, yet again, in rather short order.
I suppose the next chapter started on that one fateful day in clinical. I chose to interrupt Rahizanel while she was in the middle of performing a patient examination in front of one of the professors (usually, quite the tense moment). See, earlier I had been rooting around the place, searching vainly for a rectal thermometer (don’t ask) when I casually stumbled into her exam room. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, but I glanced over and saw the big red-tip hanging out of her patient’s ass and rather smoothly reached over and extracted it while saying, “AH HA, BE BACK IN A MINUTE!”
(Sadly, I am becoming quite well known among my peers for such unforgivably malfeasant acts.)
While the professor sputtered incomprehensible incredulity at my behavior, the lady Rahizanel broke down in exaggerated fits of laughter. I heard it all from the examination room next-door, where I had hastily retreated. She began wailing like an aggravated idiot, and soon even the professor joined in, cackling like a hyena.
As I stood there in the adjoining cubicle, easing the freshly borrowed and cleansed thermometer into the anus of a totally incapacitated stranger, it occurred to me that Rahizanel possessed the most beautiful laugh. I had never heard it before. She never laughed. Ever. Too uptight, I guess. Well, that was what I thought at the time, anyway. I was intrigued by her then; much moreso than I had ever been previously. I was thoroughly intoxicated by the delicate sound of her elfin voice, her crystalline laughter.
So, I drew my temperature, swabbed down my thermometer, and boldly strolled back into her examination room where I returned the instrument to her, and promptly received a stern dressing down from the (still teary-eyed) professor.
Shortly after clinical that day, she approached me and asked if I would consider tutoring her in anatomy. Eek. I paused for a minute, all of the social interpretation cells in my head on full alert. Was this a tongue-in-cheek come on, or a serious cry for help from a drowning colleague? I was, after all, in the top one percentile of the class. That in mind, I knew very well that she could actually be making an honest request. I chose to interpret it as a very genuine one, and assured her that I would be available to study with her on the coming Saturday. I gave her my number and told her to call for directions when she was able. As I placed the tiny scrap of paper into her waiting hand, I was struck once again by the porcelain-doll quality of her beautiful face. Egads! I knew that I had to be careful here, man. I was strongly attracted to this lady, and didn’t want to behave in a manner that could be interpreted as being improper. Always a gentleman, right? Right.
She called that very same night, and we ended up staying on the phone for quite a long while. She was interesting, disarming, and I came to understand in rather short order that her wall of haughtiness was nothing more than the defense mechanism of a woman with a tragically misused sense of self. Of course I couldn’t understand that at first. One does not, after all, generally assume that astonishingly beautiful women will be insecure about themselves. She was.
It took several conversations before I came to fully understand her reasons for being so. The men whom she had chosen to share her life with in the past had horribly mistreated her. Fucking takers always leave their mark, don’t they? In truth, I am still stunned that someone so pervasively beautiful on so many different levels could be made to feel worthless and ugly. More to the point, I cannot put a “why” to it. Why would someone do that to a person? Why would anyone do anything other than honor and venerate that which deserved to be treated so? I don’t understand it and I suppose that I never shall.
She came to me, and we studied…for a while, anyway. Very soon after our first session, we began to become distracted with one another. Very distracted. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves spontaneously locked in a passionate embrace that ended, long hours later, with us lazily sprawled across the couch that occupies my front room. It’s after moments like that when you really tend to get the impression that things are going along rather swimmingly. Know what I mean?
So, I reclined there for a while with her in my arms, savoring the moment; gently caressing her; losing myself in the raw carnality of being close to her, when there came a pensive knocking at my front door. Obviously, I was in no hurry to answer it. I chose, instead, to remain on the couch with her, breathing in the heady scent of her, dreaming while awake.
Then, the gentle knocking gave way to a rather vicious banging. Someone was truly mishandling my door. That made me angry. Still, it is a stout door, and I was somewhat preoccupied. I chose to remain on the couch for a moment longer, although my attention had now been diverted away from the lovely lady Rahizanel, and was now directed solely at this new turn of events. Hmmm, though I. Whom do you suppose this could be?
I might have stayed put on that couch through earthquakes, floods, banging, or anything else that one could possibly imagine. When I noticed someone trying the knob, however, I got pissed. That’s one thing that I DO NOT like. As soon as I noticed that, I jumped up, strolled briskly into my bedroom, grabbed up my handy iron pest-deterrent, and returned to confront this mysterious trespasser who was trying to gain unlawful entrance into my abode.
I strode to the door, flipped the latch, popped it open, and…
No one was there.
“That’s odd,” I thought. “Could it have been filthyevildirtybastard ghetto children, attempting to rip me off?”
“No,” thought I. “I have relatively little to steal, and besides…all of the filthyevildirtybastard ghetto children are my friends. Hmmm….”
New mystery at hand, I shut and latched the door, and turned as if to return to my room when I noticed Rahizanel sitting there on the couch, biting her nails. I had never known her to bite her nails before. Again, things had begun slowly piecing themselves together in my mind.
I returned to my room for a moment and allowed the facts to stew in my brain for a while before returning to the front room to sit beside the suddenly nervous Rahizanel.
I looked at her for a moment before finally asking, “Are you okay?”
She stared at me, the nail of her index finger lodged cleanly between her front teeth, and asked, “Why do you ask?”
“You’re all bunched up in the corner of the couch, and you’re biting your nails. I’ve never seen you do that before. What’s up?”
“Oh nothing. I’m just cold, I guess,” she replied.
Cold didn’t seem to explain the nail biting bit to me, so I scooped her up, pulled her to me and sat for a while, waiting to see what course things would take now that I was near her. Minutes passed, and still she nibbled those tiny nails. Something was clearly amiss.
“Rahizanel,” I asked, “are you involved with someone else?”
“NO, of COURSE not,” she hastily replied, “What would make you ask such a thing?”
“Well, I know I’ve asked you before, but I just wanted to make sure. You’re acting just a bit tensely since that whole door incident.”
“James,” she said, “there is no other man in my life besides you. You know that. I’ve already told you. The only other man that I come into contact with on a regular basis is my roommate, and he’s just that. My roommate. Nothing else.”
Right. Now, I’m not a jealous type of guy. I never have been and really don’t intend ever to be. I DO, however, draw the line where certain things are concerned. Principally, I DO NOT philander. I do not go about the place gleefully humping other people’s wives and girlfriends. That sort of behavior goes against everything that I believe in. I consider it reprehensible in the extreme, and as such, I do my utmost to avoid partaking in it.
Keeping the aforementioned in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you that I tarried for a while and then asked, “This roommate fellow, does he know that you are not involved with him?”
“Well…no,” she quietly replied, “but I’m going to tell him soon.”
RIGHT, again. Okay. Up I stood, as quick as quick could be, allowing the lady to slump sideways onto the seat of the couch where she lay for a brief moment before righting herself.
“What,” I calmly asked, “did you just say?”
“Well, I really can’t tell him yet. I’ve been meaning to, but it’s just not the right time. See, I’ve got school and everything to deal with and I don’t know how he’ll handle it. Can’t you understand?”
“No,” I replied.
“Well, you just don’t understand, James. I can’t just walk up to him and tell him something like that. I’m not prepared to handle it right now and neither is he. He’s still trying to pull himself together after the whole Tennessee thing.”
“Tennessee thing,” I asked, “what Tennessee thing?”
“It was really just a horrible misunderstanding,” she said. “William was home, sick for the day, when the mailman came to the door. He rang the bell because there was postage due on a letter or something…I don’t know. Anyway, William jumped up and attacked him because, for some reason, he thought that the mailman was having an affair with me. He’s very jealous, and not very rational sometimes.”
“Attacked?” I mumbled.
“Yeah, he hit the postman in the head a couple of times with one of the bricks from our front planter. I think he really hurt him. That’s why we came out here. William had to leave Tennessee because he’s got a record and if he stayed around after that, he would have had to do serious time.”
“A record, as in…criminal record?”
“Yeah, he’s pretty violent. He gets into fights a lot. The last time he did time for anything serious was when he came back from maneuvers and found me dancing with some guy in the local bar. He stabbed him. A lot.”
Mind you, by now I was sinking into a quagmire of shock. I wasn’t verbalizing very clearly. Things were becoming clouded behind a queer amalgam of anger and horror at this bizarre turn of events. “Stabbed...maneuvers...what?”
“He stabbed him in the arm and the belly and a couple of other places and then cut his face. They guy lived, so he only had to do like six-months and then a bunch of probation. He used to carry a really big knife, but he doesn’t do that anymore. I think he used to use it a lot on maneuvers. He was a marine for a long time. Recon or something like that. I don’t remember.”
“He’s ex-marine recon, then?”
“Something like that. I never did like the fact that he was a Marine. He’s very big and very violent. He scares me. Do you understand now why I don’t want to be with him anymore?”
“Wait a minute,” I said, “exactly how big is he?”
“Well, he’s six-five, three hundred pounds. That’s bigger than you even.”
“FUCK,” I shouted, “That’s fucking bigger than you and me put together for christsakes. What the hell is fundamentally fucking wrong with you? You mean to tell me that this lover that you’ve neglected to tell me about is, and I fucking quote, an insanely jealous ex-marine recon special-forces soldier with a violent criminal history, a penchant for bashing heads in and using knives on people who look at you the wrong way, AND he’s fucking seven feet tall, too?”
“He’s not my lover.”
“Get out, now.”
And that’s about how that bit ended. Well, or so I thought, anyway.
I did my very best to avoid the girl from that point on. I’ll be the first to tell you, it was hard. Very hard. It would have been even harder were it not for Belinda coming back into the picture. She cornered me one day outside in the parking lot and we had a talk. She told me a lot about herself and her past. She talked about how she had been involved in two terrible relationships in the past, wherein she was treated very cruelly. One of them was a marriage, whose details I will omit in the interests of personal privacy. Do rest assured, however, that the details are quite horrifying. Utterly horrifying. The second failed relationship was somewhat less monstrous, but still left her very hurt and afraid to love. Hell, I can understand that. Again, however, what I couldn’t understand was how anyone could treat such a beautiful woman so poorly and with such a complete lack of honor. Ah, God, but she is a flower.
Anyway, we talked for a while and she conveyed all of those knotted up emotions to me. She told me that being close to me made her feel as though she weren’t in control, and that made her afraid. That’s why she pulled back. Once more, I told her that I understood. After all, I did and do…completely. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who has captivated my interest so completely. I have an overwhelming urge to just love her; to love everything about her, every smooth brown inch of her. And, that I let her know.
So, we embraced for a while and ended up parting company, for the moment, as two people willing to give it a go, so to speak. Nice, eh? I thought so too.
I drove home with a light heart. Things were looking up. Although they had taken an honestly bizarre turn for a while, it looked as though they were coming about. The circle was closing. Karma.
I pulled into my driveway with the top down, sunshine spilling in, and a heart full of hope for tomorrow. As I spun the wheel to enter my garage, I heard the screech of tires, and a silver Mitsubishi bounded up into my driveway cutting me off and almost smashing into the front of my tiny Miata. “Ah well,” I thought, “peace is ever fleeting.”
I turned in time to see the Mitsubishi’s door swing open. The springs squealed in protest as this huge fucking mountain-gorilla of a man pushed himself out of the car. Six-five and three hundred pounds seemed a bit on the short end of describing him in both directions. He was a monster.
As he turned to face me from across the car, I was still a little dumbfounded. I looked up to his face and couldn’t believe what I saw there. His hairline was so low that there couldn’t have been more than a single centimeter between that and the tops of his eyebrows. I kid you not. His arms dangled down to a length that almost brushed the tops of his knees. Quite literally, I thought, this man is a Neanderthal. I’m about to be brutally mauled by the missing fucking link.
Immediately, I was bombarded by the contrasts between Rahizanel and William. I had this one brief moment wherein my mind was desperately trying to work out the physical mechanics of their private time together. Jesus, talk about Beauty and The Beast. Feh.
Slowly, my brain tuned back in to the moment at hand. He was coming around the car with his wallet raised above his head, flipped open, and he was shouting something.
“Do you know who this is? Do you? This is my fucking wife! Are you fucking my lady?
Before I had the chance to reply, something registered. He was wearing a police/utility belt, and on his right hip sat a holstered gun. Nice, eh? I thought so.
Me? I had just returned from the hospital. I was dressed in scrubs, and the most lethal weapon I could possibly muster to defend myself was the stethoscope hanging from around my neck.
I jumped out of the car, because I knew that, whatever happened, I wasn’t going to be getting anywhere by just sitting in my car. I had to have my feet. At least then, I had a chance.
He shouted at me again, “I’m talking to you! Do you know who I am? You don’t know me! You don’t know what I’m capable of! Are you fucking my lady? ARE YOU FUCKING MY LADY?”
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have it in me to start debating with this monkey. Instead, I popped my trunk, shrugged out of my shirt, and threw the bundled up wad of scrub/stethoscope/penlight/etc… into the trunk.
When I did that, he paused for a moment.
“What are you doing?”
“Well,” I said, “it looks a lot like something’s going to happen here. We might as well get to it.”
“Hey man,” he grunted, “I not here to fight.”
By now I was pissed. “I’m not here to fight, either. You’ve got a fucking gun on your hip. You come at me with a gun and I’m not thinking about fighting you. I’m thinking about killing you before you kill me.”
“Aw hey, I din’t mean nothin’ by dis here gun. I was jus’ goin’ ta werk. I is a secyooritee gard. Yep.”
“Well, put that fucking thing away, park your car like a civilized gentleman, and we’ll go upstairs and discuss this like men, okay?”
“Well, nope, nope…I shudin’t ought ta go up there wit you. It ain’t rite. Thas’ yer home.”
“Ah, don’t be ridiculous,” I said. “Come on up and we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
He shrugged and said, “Okay, I guess so.”
And, up we went.
I opened the door, showed him to the couch, and calmly walked into my bedroom where had told him I was going in order to change my clothes. Quickly, I grabbed hold of my 250,000-volt stun gun (I had recently restocked it with fresh batteries since I suspected something like this would be happening soon), and my Glock model 21, before strolling back into the living room.
Calmly as anything, I walked up behind him, placed the electrodes of the stun gun against his oversized neck, and flipped the little switch.
I juiced the prognathous bastard. I juiced him good. In fact, I juiced him for about forty seconds straight, lifted the gun from his neck to see if it still had any spark left, and then placed it back against the base of his skull and fired off until it was dead. Ahhhh, I tell you, that felt pretty damned good.
That out of the way, I walked over and took a seat on the adjacent couch where I casually jacked a round into the chamber of my pistol and waited for him to come to.
His first words were largely incomprehensible grunts. So were his second words. It took me several moments before I finally realized that this was his normal mode of speech.
“Why you do that?” he asked through slitted eyes while rubbing his head.
Oh boy, I was pissed off. It was just starting to settle in. this guy had actually jumped out at me WITH A GUN! The adrenaline was kicking in big time. I wanted to kill him. I actually did want to. If I were just a little more afraid, angry, whatever, I probably would have. As it stood, I raised that gun from my lap and pointed it at his face.
My whole body was shaking with a perverse need to squeeze that trigger. I don’t get it. I never have. Fucking people turn to violence far too quickly in this sheltered place. They commit irreversible acts against their brothers for the most empty of reasons. Here, violence is a game. It is a thing that children play at, and adults callously play with. There I was, shaking with the fury of it, poised upon that precipice and ready to take my leap. I was all too ready to become them. Monsters and whatnot. Goddamit, in retrospect, I wish that I would have. It would have saved everyone a while lot of trouble.
As it stood, I shared a moment’s reflection with him upon violence and the need to exercise one’s right to defend oneself from armed assailants. I was cold, and it was necessary. Eventually, I did lower the gun, although it stayed there in my lap through the length of the whole encounter. He was far too big and dangerous to take lightly.
From that point on, he addressed me as sir and continued to apologize prolifically for any inconvenience that he had caused me. So, I sat there with him and asked him to tell me what was on his mind.
He shared his concerns about his “wife” with me, and then went on to tell me, in detail, about the many men he had hurt in the past because of her imagined infidelity. He showed me his scars. Scars that he claimed he had earned in battle. Through his whole tirade, I never believed that he had been in combat. It just didn’t jibe with his apparent lack of appreciation for the ramifications of violence. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. Whatever the case, it didn’t take me long to figure out that he was extremely mentally unhinged. At one point, he wandered off on a tangent, telling me about how Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster are his clients, and that he earns $30,000 dollars per day doing something that he chose not to divulge. He was a complete fucking loon.
To make a long story just a little bit shorter, I allowed him to vent for almost two hours before finally forcing him out of my house. He left with the mumbled farewell, “Hey, yeah…maybe we can get together and have a drink sometime.”
“That’s likely,” I said, and shut the door.
Concerned with the possibility that events might turn suddenly sour for the girl, I chose to call the lady Rahizanel. She answered the phone on the first ring, and uttered a tearful hello.
Hurriedly, I asked her what was wrong. This is what she told me:
“James, I came home and I found this thing on the table. It’s a beefheart, I think. There’s a big knife stuck into the middle of it, and it’s all bloody and there’s blood everywhere and there’s a note. It says, “This is the heart that you cut out of me, you bitch. I’m going to go and cut the heart out of the devil who stole you from me, and then I’m going to come home and rip yours out of your chest. Maybe when all three are together on this table, things will be okay again. – William.””
“Oy shit,” I thought, “this bastard’s a lunatic.”
Before I could interject and tell her that he had just left my home, she told me something else. It went a little like this:
“James, that’s not what’s really bothering me. What’s bothering me is that I went to pick my daughter up from daycare and they told me that William had come by to take her for an ice cream. When I checked her pockets, there was a letter saying that I should remember that there’s nothing in my world that’s safe from him, and that he won’t hesitate to destroy everything that I love before he kills me, just to teach me a lesson.”
I'll tell you now, there's very little that I loathe more in this world than people who hurt children. In that moment, I developed a singular taste to kick his gargantuan ass...even if I'd need lots of help to do it.
Yeah, well. I finally did tell her what went down at my house. She fainted. I called the police. They came and took lots of notes. Luckily, she and her child were covered beneath some sort of “domestic terrorism” blanket that immediately endowed her with a standing restraining order (fat lot of good that does).
I, on the other hand, was informed that I should get myself down to the local courthouse where, for the small sum of $125 U.S., I could procure a restraining order of my very own. What this document ensures is that, should this fellow come to kill me, he could be promptly arrested in the moment BEFORE he actually attacks me instead of after he’s already done the deed. Well, that all depends, of course, on whether or not an officer happens to be standing RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO ME at the exact moment that he comes to do his slaughter.
I have been on the lookout for him, but he’s gone to ground. Alas. It even turns out that the name he used while he was with Rahizanel was fabricated. She never even knew his real identity.
Gone like a ghost, but not far enough. He still pops up to make midnight phonecalls to her, and to leave hastily scrawled messages at the door to her home, or tucked beneath the windshield wiper of her car. Threats. Warnings. Sooner or later, I am sure that he and I shall meet again.
But, things go on. In the meantime, I’ve been trying desperately to close that connection with Belinda. It’s there, I know it is. I’ve been a bit distracted with all of this, and sometimes I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not so sure that anything’s really worth it. I know that I shouldn’t have to fight for love. I shouldn’t have to struggle. It should come naturally, or not at all. It should come. It will come. It will, in the end. Either with her or someone else, It will come again, and I will be there to see it.
Maybe in tomorrow’s episode, eh?
And the fact that I’m still here, at all, comes down to a few words from Mr. Wilson.