Posted tagged ‘Love Story’

Love Connection – II

October 1, 2010

Norma Jean remained active in my memory. Her eyes, her facial expressions, her voice, her touch, her embrace, her scent lingered in my neural pathways like a parallel universe. I wanted to see her again but my only connection would be through Alphonso and his only interest in me was business, a very risky business. And then there was Earl to consider.

I checked with a friend in the music industry, and he said: “Yeah, I know Norma Jean. She’s a sweetheart. But you do not want to mess with her. She’s got a boyfriend, a very big dude, and he can get nasty.” He gave me the address of the studio and I drove by hoping to see her going in or out. I didn’t notice Alphonso until he beeped his horn.

“What are you doing down here?” he said, then, without waiting for an answer, he added: “Meet me at the crib. We need to talk.”

A big shipment of powder cocaine had arrived in the city, he said, and he could get it to me at kilo weight for a very good price, if I put the money up front. I told him, even if I could cover the money, I couldn’t handle the product at kilo weight. I’d need to involve someone else who could. And that would be tricky. But, if he was interested in working with me, I could move it in smaller quantities. Which would give me a good excuse to come around and possibly visit with Norma Jean.

I felt tempted to use my line of credit from Sonny for a really large purchase but that would require a commitment to the drug business which I wasn’t prepared to make. My parole status had changed, I no longer reported for drug testing, but even a small infraction could sent me back to prison. A major bust would send me back for the rest of my life, I feared. Playing it safe by delivering no more than a few ounces of powder cocaine at a time to an assortment of trusted friends would be enough to keep me afloat. And, to account for my income, I still had my day job at the factory stacking freshly stamped gas tank panels.

I finally caught up with Norma Jean at a crowded nightclub in a downtown hotel. She put her arms around me, and whispered: “Be an angel, get me high. Can you do that? I’m performing here tonight. I’m terrified.” When I nodded affirmatively, she took my hand and led me through the hotel lobby to an elevator. “I’ve got a room on the fifth floor,” she said as the elevator door opened.

A woman was sitting in the room, a black woman, older, heavy set, attractive, well dressed. “Who are you,” she said in a husky voice when she saw me enter.

“He’s the one I was telling you about,” Norma Jean responded.

“Oh,” the woman said, leaning back in her chair, giving me the same look I had received from Earl.

I handed Norma Jean a glass bottle filled with finely chopped and fluffed pearly flakes of cocaine hydrochloride salt ready for consumption, and said: “Be careful with this stuff. A match head in each nostril is all you need. No big lines.”

“I know,” she said: “This is the best coke ever. I’m getting too fond of it. I need to ease off before going on tour.”

“Uh-huh,” the older woman interjected.

Norma Jean shot the woman a quick glance, then, turning back to me, she said: “Can you leave me some?”

“Yeah,” I said: “I can leave the bottle. I’ll pick it up later. Take as much as you want. Offer some to your friend.” When the woman responded with a blank stare, I said: “Where’s Earl?”

“Don’t worry about Earl,” Norma Jean replied: “I’ll take care of him.”

The older woman stood, and said: “How you gonna take care of Earl when you can’t even take care of yourself?” Then she turned to me, and said: “Mister, you better take that bottle with you.”

I dumped a small pile onto Norma Jean’s tooting tray, a mirror from her purse. That’s all she would need, anyway, I reasoned, and the older woman probably saved me from a mess of trouble.

While walking through the hotel lobby on my way back to the club, I ran into Alphonso. “Glad you made it, Brian,” he said: “This is a big night for Norma Jean. With recording industry executives, booking agents, and media critics in the audience, she’ll need all the support she can get. I’d ask you to our table but there’s no place for you.”

Showroom tables were either taken or reserved. I worked my way through the standing room only crowd until I had access to the bar and a clear view of the stage. A stack of electric keyboards were on one side. Electric bass, drums, and rhythm guitar in the middle. Horns and reeds on the other side. I recognized many of the musicians, all top notch pros from around town.

The band played a credible rendition of Duke Ellington’s ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,’ as Norma Jean took the stage. She had three female singers standing behind her on one side and two male singers standing behind her on the other, backing her up as she sang the original lyrics with the traditional melody. Then she began to stretch the harmonic structure while inventing rhythms with a musical insight Ellington would admire. She sang original verse bordering on rap with quick riffs from trumpet, trombone, tenor saxophone, and clarinet punctuated her phraseology.

The words were difficult to follow because of the reverberation between two different speaker systems serving the showroom and the bar area where I stood, plus I just didn’t understand what she was singing about. That changed as she abruptly morphed into the next number, an electrifying rendition of ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New,’ a 1970s hit by the Stylistics.

A male singer joined Norma Jean at center stage and she gave the impression there really was something going on between them, judging from her facial expressions, her body language, and the sincere joy expressed in her singing. I remembered holding her in my arms as she sang like that to me. I felt surprisingly jealous. And I wondered how Earl felt.

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Love Connection

October 1, 2010

Powder cocaine supplies had dried up in the white community due to a series of major busts by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The only cocaine available was crack, a form in which cocaine could not be snorted or injected but required smoking. And the main source of crack was in the black community.

A friend hooked me up with her most trustworthy connection.

“His name is Alphonso,” she said: “Don’t call him Fonzie.”

We waited inside a busy downtown jazz club. When he arrived, she introduced us and then departed. I fronted him money for what I considered a relatively small purchase, playing it safe until I knew him better.

He returned a short time later, and said: “Everything’s cool. Finish your drink. Let’s go to the crib.”

The apartment opened into a hallway that went back past the front room to the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. Walls and ceilings in the large front room were painted flat black. It was low budget yet theatrically decorated with an assortment of shaded lamps directing beams of light at various angles downward onto brightly colored furniture creating a shimmering visual mosaic.

Alphonso sat on a white leatherette vinyl couch, and said: “You are some kind of crazy motherfucker, Brian, do you know that? For coming down here with this kind of money. People will kill you for far less. What are you doing with all this dope? Flipping it wholesale? I could break it up and sell it in small units for top dollar, tonight. Make you some real money, splitting the profits.”

The front door buzzer sounded before I could reply.

“I got some people coming up,” he said: “Don’t nobody need to know what you and me got going here. It’s party time. Understand? That’s it.”

“Yeah, I understand,” I said, looking into his waiting eyes, acknowledging his control of the situation.

A tall, heavyset black man wearing black pants, suit coat, and tee shirt, stopped at the opening to the front room, and said: “What’s this white boy doing in here?”

An attractive young black woman in a bright green dress entered the room without hesitating, and said: “You got something against white boys, Earl?”

Earl followed Alphonso down the hallway to a back bedroom, saying: “I didn’t know you deal with no white boys.”

The young woman in the green dress extended her hand, and said: “Hi, I’m Norma Jean.” She looked young and fresh, early twenties at the most. Yet she seemed fearless and self confident as she took my hand and smiled. Then she turned to the radio, she said: “What music do you like?”

I nodded my approval as a dreamy love song featuring passionate voices and lush orchestration filled the room with its acoustical presence at low volume.

“Drink?” she said, hitting a switch, illuminating a wet bar I hadn’t noticed in the back corner of the room: “Alphonso stocks Tanqueray’s London Dry exclusively. You should hear his Tony Sinclair. Better than Rodney Mason. How do you take your gin? Poured over ice, a jigger of tonic, a wedge of lime, that’s how I do mine.”

While mixing our drinks, she sang along with the radio music, and her voice sounded professionally trained. When I asked, she said: “Oh yes, I’ve been singing all my life, in church and in music school. I’m working on a studio album right now and rehearsing for a tour. We’re almost ready to book.”

“You talking that crazy shit again,” Earl said as he entered the room from the hallway.

Norma Jean laughed, and said: “Earl ain’t got no music and he don’t respect nobody else’s music. But he’s my man and I love him. I’m going to need his muscle on the road.”

“You’re going to get my muscle up your ass if you don’t stop talking shit.”

“He’s been promising that for days. I’m still waiting.”

Earl sank into an extra large spherical poof chair with his back, arms, and head supported and his big feet extending out into the room. Closing his eyes, he said: “This is some good shit, Al.”

Alphonso looked at me, and said: “You smoke pot? Wanna try this?”

“I do,” Norma Jean said, singing the words.

The marijuana made me paranoid. Earl was staring at me. What’s going on here? Where’s the crack? Or my money?

Alphonso read the expression on my face, and said: “Earl’s my bodyguard. He’s armed and dangerous. We’re going out on the town to spread that crack around. We ain’t doing it here. I got more people coming. They’ll be here soon. Relax, enjoy yourself. It’s party time, remember?”

Norma Jean played a battery operated keyboard in perfect unison with the music on the radio, humming along and shaking her head in time. After a second gin highball cocktail, my paranoia dissolved along with my inhibitions. Four, five, six, I’m not sure how many people arrived next and went into the back bedroom with Alphonso. But right behind them, two black men, one black woman, and three white women arrived and entered the front room. They all seemed surprised to see me there. Norma Jean fixed drinks for everybody, making conversation like she was the regular hostess.

When a tray filled with small rocks and crumbs of crack cocaine arrived from the back room, everyone except me had a glass pipe in hand. Norma Jean sat down beside me with a lit rock sizzling in a glass tube. “Here, open your mouth,” she said, holding her eyes on me while she filled her lungs with a long toke on the pipe. Then, leaning over, she kiss me, and emptied her lungs into mine. As the cocaine reached my brain in a rush of erotic pleasure I started to wrap my arms around her. But then I noticed Earl watching with an unamused expression on his face and I held back.

Shortly afterward, Alphonso entered the front room, and said: “I’m going out. Wait here.”

Earl and some other people went with him.

Norma Jean filled my lungs with another kiss and this time I put my arms around her and returned the kiss.

“Let’s dance,” she said, pushing herself away and then reaching back to take my hand.

Two other couples were already slow dancing to a soulful lament while a rotating globe chandelier reflected ballroom lights swirling in the otherwise darkened space. Norma Jean fit perfectly into my arms and I wanted to make love to her. But then she began to sing, seriously sing. I had never held a woman singing like that in my arms before, I realized, and I began to sing in return, hesitantly at first, yet she inspired and encouraged me to sing expressively with emotional force. It wasn’t sex, no, but something very similar. And I could still face both Alphonso and Earl when they returned, knowing I hadn’t abused their trust, technically speaking.

Private Security -VI

September 9, 2010

Rob’s basic living quarters were attached to the back of the pole barn where a path into the elevated forest began sloping upwards just outside the rear door. When Janis finally awoke, Rob suggested: “Let’s go for a walk in the woods. We can climb to the top of the hill, catch the sunset. There’s nothing like it.”

She threw off the sheet, exposing her naked body, and said: “I don’t have anything to wear.”

“Let’s go savage, back to the basics, who needs cloths?”

“I do,” she moaned: “I want my things.”

“I’ll take you there anytime you’re ready,” Rob said, stressing sincerity in his tone.

“I can’t. I’m afraid. I don’t want him to kill you.”

“We can get you some new things,” Rob said, relaxing his tone: “Meanwhile, put on your army boots and let’s go climb the mountain. This here combat uniform is the perfect outfit for rough activities.”

“Oh, you want to get rough, huh?” she said, jumping out of bed and crouching like a boxer with her fists in the air.

As they embraced, Janis seemed more composed and in control of herself, Rob thought. In the pickup truck the night before, she seemed distraught and on edge while frequently smoking cigarettes. After their early morning sexual marathon, she had slept for most of the day, which could account for the change in her behavior.

He wanted to know more about her but he avoided questions that would put pressure on her. She would unfold in her own natural rhythm, he felt, and he could live with that.

The forest engulfed them in its timeless mysteries like an ancient cathedral. They stopped halfway to the top to catch their breath at a sunny clearing.

“I can understand why you called this an enchanted forest,” Janis said: “There’s a remarkable presence here. I could sense it right away as we started up the path. I feel like a Druid. I’m in love with this place. You own it?”

“I’m buying it. I’ve got the payments covered for awhile but I’m looking for a way to pay it off quickly and retire. Then there’s the taxes. The local farmer is selling it to me because he doesn’t want to keep paying taxes on land he can’t farm. But he doesn’t want it cut down, either. I promised him I’d take good care of it. And I will.”

“I feel good here,” Janis said: “Like I belong. I am the forest. We are one. In society, we all have our separate identity. It’s different here. Does that make sense to you?”

“You are a Druid, aren’t you? In spirit, anyway. That’s why I want this place so badly. My spirit comes alive here.”

“This is like another world, Rob. It’s like traveling in time, leaving all my worries behind. Here with you, Cal seems like a little man, in a far away place. And I’ve been afraid of him for so long. If I’m dreaming, I want this dream to last forever.”

Rob caught himself before reflexively saying, nothing last forever. He wanted to believe it could. Perhaps in a spiritual way, who knows?

Reluctant to Talk

June 4, 2010

Doreen seemed reluctant to talk about sex, although we had just spent the weekend together working in her studio getting ready for the sewers on Monday morning. She didn’t want attachments, she said, especially to children or to men who wanted children. But when I told her she gave me a hard on, she said: “Show me.” So I opened my pants and exposed my erect penis, balls and all. Her tongue entered my mouth as she reached down and started stroking me with her soft, silky smooth hands. To avoid a premature ejaculation, I dropped to my knees beside her, pulled down her pants, and kissed her ass.

Dust in the Wind

April 25, 2010

Bombs fell from the sky, devestated the city, leaving rubble everywhere. With an enemy patrol close behind me, I searched for a place to hide before sunrise. An opening to a stairwell, concealed by fallen timbers and bricks, led down into the basement of what had once been an apartment house. In the pitch black darkness, I heard someone’s breathing. “Don’t shout,” I pleaded.

She recoiled when I touched her and started to scream. I held her face firmly against the side of my hooded parka and whispered in her ear: “I’m not going to hurt you.”

Dressed in underclothing, she shivered uncontrolably in the cold night air. I opened my full length parka and pulled her inside. She immediately passed out. Her breathing remaind labored for a while and then she seemed to relax and fall sleep. Our breathing rhythms syncronized and then I fell asleep.

The sound of voices awakened me, enemy voices, just outside the rubble covered basement. Shafts of daylight penetrated the darkness, partially illuminating the stairwell. I held my breath while silently praying. The woman inside the parka with me shifted her position against my body but she didn’t awaken.

I hadn’t been with a woman in years and I couldn’t resist looking at the her almost naked body in the dim light once the enemy voices fadded in the distance. My eyes traveled to her legs and back up again. Her eyes opened and looked directly into mine. Our lips came together as we mutually embraced. Her soft moist tongue entered my mouth and my penis instantly hardened. It wasn’t the right time or place but I had already passed the point of no return. When I immediately started to climax my first instinct was to pull out but she said held on.

I had been seperated from my unit for several days. Staying there wasn’t the right thing to do necessarily, but, without updated information, I had no idea of where to go next. When we finally stopped fucking, I began to explore the basement. It appeared to have been a completely furnished, one bedroom apartment before being dammage during the aerial bombardment.

Her bedroom had been demolished and was inaccessable at first. We cleared a path to gain access to her cloths. The kitchen cupboards contained canned and packaged foods, about enough to last a week or two. The refregerator still contained some edible fruits and vegetables along with rotting meat and spoiling dairy products. Herbs and spices lined a shelf by the powerless electric stove. Finding water would be a problem, forcing us to look around outside.

While waiting for her to get dressed, I opened a can of chicken noodle soup. She came from her bedroom wearing a rugged military style outfit including boots and cap, her blond hair, blue eyes, and red lips complemented by black leather. Before I could say anything, bombs came raining down from the sky again and the world exploded around us.

I awoke days later in a military hospital barely clinging to life, in and out of consciousness. I couldn’t communicate for weeks. Was she alive? That’s all I really wanted to know. When I could finally speak, no one knew anything about her.

After the war, I walked through the rebuilt city, not knowing exactly where she had lived, yet hoping for a miracle. What had the war accomplished? If I could find her again that would be accomplishment enough to have justified the war, to me.

Lover Come Back

April 21, 2010

“Hey, I write in my free time, with free software. I publish on a free blog site. And you want me to charge people to read it? In my dreams.”

“Free time? All you have is free time. And all you do is sit up there in your room alone, writing or staring at the computer screen, with your mind somewhere else. We don’t have a relationship anymore. And I’m leaving you, good-by.” 

I stood speechless, in a state of disbelief, as she walked out the door. Why did she do it? Things aren’t that bad, are they?

Yes, I spend a lot of my time alone: reading, studying, thinking, dreaming, wandering around in my imagination. But I’m not really alone. I’m in an eternal space where I sense the presence of an inspirational spirit, a Muse. She can’t be jealous of that, can she?

Now that she’s gone, I can’t get her out of my mind. Her scent is everwhere. I want to reach out and touch her. I can feel her breast brushing against my face, her firm nipples leading the way to my lips. Why do I think of that? There must be a reason. I wan’t her back.

Isn’t it strange how life works, especially intimate relationships. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I received a double whammy. When my lover left me, my muse followed her out the door.