On the way home from work, I picked up the fixings for supper—a T-bone steak, a head of lettuce and a couple of russet potatoes. I figured I’d use the gas grill on the balcony and maybe even eat out there if the weather stayed mild.
But by the time I got home, the breeze was a bit stronger and the temperature felt like it was hovering in the low fifties. I opted to cook my steak and potatoes outside, but eat in at my dining room table.
I poured a glass of Shiraz and took a sip. The phone rang.
“Hey Pal. Everything turn out okay last night?”
‘Yeah, thanks Abe—it was all good—and today too.”
“Ha-ha. You spotted the cruisers, eh? Well, that was the idea—to send a message to whoever’s messin’ around.”
“I appreciate it. I’m sure they got the message. Oh, by the way, I’d like to extend an invitation to you and Mitzy to attend a costume party on April Fool’s—if you’re interested.”
“Really? You celebrate April Fool’s Day?”
I knew it sounded crazy, but I took a deep breath and plunged in.
“Well, it’s not an April Fool’s celebration. Believe it or not, it’s my friend Cam’s anniversary and he and his wife always throw some elaborate party. This year it’s at the Palais Royale.”
“Hey, hold on Champ—that’s a bit pricey—out of my range on a detective’s salary.”
“No problem. Cam overbooked and asked me to invite whoever I wanted—all expenses paid.”
“Wow! You move in high-class company.”
“Not really. He’s an old friend—a tale of two paths diverging, I suppose—he took the high one and became a high-priced lawyer, and I took the road less traveled.”
I knew Abe wouldn’t be satisfied with a summary –he’d want details. Sure enough, he played the cop card.
“What’s his name?”
“Holy shit! —The Cam Stewart? That guy defends all the crooks with money.”
“Yeah well, like I said, our paths diverged.”
“Ha-ha—okay, Pal—I want to show Mitzy off anyway, and I’m kinda curious myself to find out how the other half lives.”
“They’re different from us, Abe—they’re rich.”
“Yeah, rich—that’s funny coming from a guy with a Camaro ZL1 in his parking space.”
I decided to change the topic.
“Speaking of which—do you know anybody who’d be interested in buying it?”
“Sure, there’s always guys lookin’ for a hot ride—but I thought this was your baby.”
“So did I, but things change.”
“Uh huh—so, Marilyn doesn’t like it, eh?”
“What are you a cop?”
“No need to worry, Pal—I’ll put the word out. Oh, and thanks, Scott, for the invite. Mitzy’s dying to meet you.”
“And I her—and don’t you worry—what happens at the A.C.C.…”
“Stays at the A.C.C.” he laughed. “I’ll keep in touch.”
By the time my food was cooked, a few stray raindrops were already slanting on the wind. A rainy night lay ahead—a perfect night for sleeping and dreaming of Marilyn—if it would only work that way.
Of course, it didn’t. Instead of visiting with my dream girl, I spent a quiet night reading in bed, listening to raindrops.
Saturday morning was cool and wet, but I decided to go to the Market anyway. I bought several slices of veal scaloppini, a dozen Roma tomatoes, a huge slab of mozzarella, and a wedge of Parmesan cheese.
In the food court, I sat sipping coffee and eating a strawberry Danish. The girls were as lovely as last time, but none compared with Marilyn and her haunting beauty.
In fact, the more I looked, the more desperate I felt—like Abe. Besides, I didn’t even want to look—I just wanted to be with Marilyn. The mere thought of her always made my pulse race—and today was no different.
Driving back home in the rain, thinking of her, I was convinced somehow the two of us were linked—but, the question was, how?
Maybe we were meant to complete each other like Heathcliff and Catherine—and whatever our souls were made of, they were made of the same stuff. I liked that idea.
But there was another possibility—mutual annihilation—the process in Quantum Physics where a particle meets its corresponding antiparticle, and both disappear. That possibility terrified me.
She called me Joey—I called myself Joey. But were we meant for fulfillment or destruction? Only time would tell.
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.