My friend Kerry, who everyone thought was a girl's name, and his wife Kim who was also my friend, threw a party. When they throw a party it's talked about for weeks afterwards. They always go all out. Food, liquor, a live band, fireworks, entertainment for the kids.
People were traveling in and out of their house. The den was full of men watching a boxing match, women talked in the kitchen, kids ran in groups, laughing and screaming.
I met Kim first, she was working in her mother's store, attached to a trailer park, where I was living at the time. She was a year older than me and we found we had a lot in common, but there was no romantic interest from either of us, it just never materialized. At the time I met her she was a very lovely and very big woman, but she had that aura of a care taker about her, she was always worried about me because I lived alone and I didn't have anybody taking care of me. She became one of my closest friends and I don't have many. She was the one I felt I could trust and tell her things I never told anyone. She told me about herself and how she had an abortion when she was younger and it still haunted her. When I met her she had a baby girl that over the years I watched grow up.
At the same time I met Kerry, he was in the air force. It was amazing that we looked similiar in appearance. He had a very high I.Q. which intimidated me at first and it was through him I found I was lot smarter then I ever thought. We would play chess and other games that stimulated our minds. He lived in the trailer park and had girlfriends coming out the ears. He told me later he thought maybe I was gay, but I never hit on him so he decided I was okay (he's is very homophobic, he was stalked by a man when he was younger and it left some scars in him).
At the time Kim was dating his older brother, so she knew Kerry but didn't see him all that much. Whenever I would see her we would talk and catch up and I would tell her about this new friend of mine. When we made the connection that she was dating his brother she didn't seem to want to talk about him anymore.
Then I didn't see either of them for about nine months, I heard he was in a terrible accident on the night of his wedding. It took some calling around, but I finally leanred that he and Kim had finally gotten together. His brother had slapped Kim around and she had gone to Kerry, because she knew I trusted him and she spilled the story, he is very compasionate and a dreamer really, he comforted her and that night they fell in love. They got married two months later.
Kerry had been driving home a drunk friend when he was hit head on, luckily he was driving an old american made car and he suffered a broken leg. There are so many stories involving them. One day I will have to pull them out and write them down. Kerry and Kim have three kids, he raised her baby daughter as his own and I was like a surrogate uncle.
We are both involved with computers, and that gave us even more to talk about. So here I am with my two closest friends in the world and I have secrets they have not even told each other. Kerry one accused me of sleeping with Kim and it was so funny I actually had to sit on the floor.
First of all I told him. She is to good a friend for me to sleep with, second, I wouldn't do that to him. Thirdly, she wouldn't do that to him. He is her bestest friend in the whole world, I come in second. I have stuck with them through hard times, have lent them money. When he was going to college and they were broke all the time, I bought their kids new bikes, all three of them at the same time. I appreciated that they just accepted them with no thanks or undue gratitude, it made me family. I have cooked for them, I have sent them off on romantic interludes while I stayed and watched the kids, which I enjoy very much. They are like my own kids and if it is in my power I would do anything for them.
Their oldest daughter confided in me when she was thirteen that she liked girls. She didn't want to tell her dad because she was afraid he would hate her.
She liked to dress like a boy and she always had a lot of girlfriends, she dated boys in highschool but she told me she wanted to date girls. So I took it upon myself to gently ease the idea into Kerry's mind that maybe his daughter Tammy was interested in girls.
He argued that she dated boys. I told him she looked at girls with more interest, he seemed to watch her more and one day he told me he thought maybe I was right. We had a long discussion, his wife, him and his daughter. I told him she would still be his daughter, but wasn't it more important that she be happy? She's living with the love of her life now and my two friends thing she is the best thing to ever happen for Tammy.
Okay, so here are my two best friends, that I love very much, more than I do a brother and sister, they are my family. They don't like to see me alone. But that's my problem and they both know why.
That does not stop them from trying to set me up with every woman they know.
Kim set me up with a woman that is a very good friend of hers. Her name was Betty, she was/is a school teacher. Her ex-husband was stalking her. She had a lot of baggage and a small daughter.
She was pretty, with black hair and blue eyes, she was a little plump, but that womanly plump that you can hang onto. She had a nice body and good personality. We just didn't hit it off. She was to stuck up for me. She was very finiky about certain things. Kim is very earthy, nothing at all surprises her. She has described giving Kerry a blow job. She told me has the biggest dick she as ever seen. Kerry actually showed me to prove her right. I was impressed with both of them. Because she told me likes to deep throat, it makes her orgasm. Go figure.
Anyway Betty, thought herself better than this. Now I can be as sophistcated as the occasion needs. I am comfortable drinking beer from a bottle or sipping fine wine. I have been around the world twice, on my own, sometimes I just start to travel and see where it takes me. I am not ready to settle down. The women I have known were for one night. Some I paid for some I didn't. I never led any on, they were one night stands. I am not an asshole. I offer dinner, a movie, time to talk, but I make sure they understand it is not anything serious. It wasn't what I was looking for when I was younger. I even had a vasectomy, I don't want to bring children into this world. Basically I find it a hard place to live in.
Betty didn't agree and we argued the entire time she was visiting with my two friends, they knew it was impossible. But they were looking for that long term commitment like they had, they wanted me to be as happy as they were.
Now this party was due to the fact that Kim had an elderly aunt whom lived in Kentucky, her faimly owned all this land going back about a hundred and fifty years. It turned out that when the old lady died, she left it to Kim, her two brother's and her sister. They all inherited about three million dollars and there was another fifty million that would be distributed over a ten year period.
It was a great party. I knew some of the people and they seemed to know who I was and Kim was introducing me to every single woman in the place. I would greet them, make idle conversation and then move on. I know I wasn't what they expected. But my life had changed in a lot of ways, I was settled, I had my own business going. I was looking for the one, the one woman that you click with. Kerry mentioned I needed someone like Kim. After all the years and times we spent together, I still thought of Kim as my older sister and I loved her dearly, but yuck.
They lived out in the middle of nowhere, lots of privacy, the band could really crank up and play. It wasn't my kind music, more for the younger people I assumed. I went out to get a breath of fresh air. They lived out in the desert, the moutains surrounded them and at night the stars were so bright it hurt your eyes to look up at them. Off in the distance you could see the lights glowing in Los Angeles, and the towns spread out below. It was like being in a low flying plane. Off to the west was a military base, we were always seeing white vans and cars heading out that way in the early morning, with no insignia, we had seen helicopters flying over taking photos of the house, we had seen huge transport planes come in so low you could see the piots faces in the windows. We used to watch them test the SR71 spy plane and the new stealth bomber. This little brown plane would zip over and then about twenty seconds later we would hear it after it was out of sight.
I was just sitting way out by myself like I am apt to do at times when I feel like I am having to much fun. I can't drink, not anymore, highly allergic, so I stick to soda. Can't eat spicy food and have to watch what goes in my mouth. I hardly sleep because of all the shit going on in my head, two to three hours a night does it for me. I spend a lot of time working to fill my time. I like vintage rock from when I was in high school, back in the seventies, just before the death of music, disco and rap. I was lost in thought, I knew someone else had come outside, away from the party. I heard the flick of a lighter being struck and then the sweet aroma of weed.
I had tried it before, but I didn't like the fuzzy feeling it gave me. It was to easy to like.
"Want a toke?" a soft feminine voice asked me, in that manner of someone trying to hold the smoke in.
I turned to look. She was maybe in her early thirties, hard to tell in the dark. Very tall, taller than me. I am five ten, she must have been six foot. Black hair cut short, I think you call it a pixie haircut, she was wearing big hoop ear rings, they make my skin crawl, I once say a girl in a fight who was wearing them, almost had half her ear ripped off.
I knew her, but I couldn't place her. She was wearing a dress that went down to her knees, very modest looking, the top filled out nicely, her breasts were not overly huge, just right for her slender build and narrow shoulders. She had a long graceful neck, wide hips, I guessed 130 pounds in all the right places. I could tell her legs were bare, no hose or anything and she was wearing sneakers. She was holding the joint out to me in her fingers, she had long fingers, with short nails, not bitten, just clipped short. I type a lot and keep my own fingernails cut short and usually women do too. But, I knew her from somwhere, I couldn't see her face to well in the dark.
"Do you want any? Anthony." she said proving she knew my name.
Now I don't mind Tony, but it sounds so in the gutter, "Yo, Tony." you know. I much prefer Anthony, it has a strong ring to it. It's a powerful name and it's so much more fulfilling. If they are very close friends they call me Tony, if it's at work It's Tony, but if I meet a woman, I tell her my name is Anthony. So at sometime, I had met her before. I just couldn't place it.
She came over and pulled up a lawn chair to sit next to me.
"Off the weed too, no alcohol, no sex, no weed. You may as well join a monastary." she said crossing her legs. She reached into her pocket and took out a box of Virginia Slim 120's, she removed one from the pack and put it to her lips.
Being the gentleman that I am I took her lighter from her and offered her a light.
She still held the joint in one hand and reached to touch my hand as I lit her cigarette.
Her eyes drifted up to mine in the dark. I had to look hard because they were as dark as the night.
Then it hit me. I smiled at her.
"Lisa." I said and she smiled.
"About time. I was wondering if you were ever going to talk to me in there." she said indicating the mad house.
"Not much into big parties. I like the close personal ones, you know, two people." I said.
She handed me the joint, she already knew I used it, at least when she knew me. I took a hit off it and passed it back to her.
"Okay, tell me, where have you been, what have you been doing?" she asked me.
This was wierd, Kim had contracted appendicitis one summer and kept complaing her stomach hurt, we took her to the doctor and they passed her around told her to go home and in the middle of the night she woke up screaming. You never saw two men run so fast. She had a friend that would watch her kids. But Kerry couldn't drive he was holding onto her. So I drove, never dropping below ninety and we had a flat. It got changed in about two minutes and we made it to the emergency room where they took her in. Kerry spent an hour filling out paperwork, while I kept the coffee going. It was really late, around two in the morning and we decided to sit ouside the recovery room. He was about to go nuts so I went and found a nurse.
Lisa. I told her the story and she went to find out how Kim's condition was, she came and told us that the doctor had pulled it out and it burst in his hand, we had made it in time. I'll admit, we looked like shit, wearing dirty clothes we had just thrown on, tired sleepy wrought with worry.
Lisa is a true care giver. She bought us up some sandwiches and I we talked for a little bit. I was interested in hearing about nursing. I like to hear people's stories, they intrigue me.
I asked her how she got started, why she like it, how much it paid.
We finally went home when Kim was out of danger and they told us they would call.
The next day we go in to see Kim, I bought her a little plant, Kerry bought her a bouquet of flowers. I sat outside while they talked and waved at Lisa, she had some wierd hours, She smiled and waved but we didn't talk.
Then Kim calls me into her room. I kissed her cheek and she chased her husband out.
"What did you do to that poor girl?" she asked me.
I was lost.
"What girl honey?" I asked thinking she was on drugs or something.
"Lisa, my God, she asked me ten thousand questions and if you don't ask her out she is going to keep bothering me." she said punching my arm.
"I just talked to her." I told her. Kim is a healthy girl and when she punches you she means it.
"I'm in pain here and she's going on about how interesting you are, and are you seeing anybody, who are you, what are you?" she complained.
She looked at me and pointed a finger at me.
"She doesn't need you in her life Tony, she's nice." she said to me. I knew what she was she talking about.
"Not to nice?" I said.
She punched me again.
"Okay, I'll talk to her." I told her rubbing my arm.
So I went down to the nurses station and Lisa was all smiles. I asked her if she wanted to go get some coffee on her break and she agreed.
I was going to tell her that at that time I was not looking to get involved with anyone. Talk about childhood baggage. I had a steamer trunk full.
She looked kind of dissappointed so I told her maybe we could have dinner, as friends.
She agreed to easily and to eagerly.
I have had people subtly try to change me. It doesn't do any good. I have known who and what I am since I was eleven years old. Who I was, was cemented into my id at that time.
This was some fifteen years prior to that night of the party and we had one and half dates. The first was light and easy and when she asked if I would see her again; I told her I really wasn't sure, she was nice, but it seemed to me she was looking for something long term in her life. I wasn't. I did not want to waste her time.
But we did go out again. I took her to a park and sat her down on a pic nic bench I told her who I was and why.
I was born in 1957, I have one older sister. My parents were poor, I mean poor. They both worked menial jobs, we lived in a small town so small you could throw a rock from end to end. An older cousin used to watch us when my parents were at work. I never really did like her, she had a cruel streak in her. Which when I was eleven she used on me. I didn't know it was sexual at the time. She would tie me up and take my dick out, she would call me fat, stupid, lazy, that my dick was so small it could never satisfy a woman and she would hit it, making it stand up. There was only pain no pleasure. She would twist my nuts until I screamed or cried or both and then slap my face to shut me up. She would tell me if I told anybody about our little game she would tell everyone what a little dick I had.
I was young enough to be intimidated by her. Then she would bring her friends over, and they would humiliate me, make me crawl around and... well do things to them that scared me and made me sick. If I threw up I had to clean it up with my tongue. Up until I was about thirteen they did this to me. Not all the time, just when she was feeling mean towards men in general. One afternoon she began punching me, so severly it put me in the hospital, I think she got sent away. I didn't see her anymore, I never got therapy and no one talked to me about it. Maybe if they had I wouldn't be so fucked up in the head about sex.
I have never had a relationship built on trust and love. It has to be quick and painful and I have to be in fear otherwise I don't respond. I didn't think I would ever find any woman who would want to build a life around that. Sometimes I feel like I have to be in charge, revenge and I want to make the woman feel all the hurt and pain I have felt. Usually, if I get to far gone and the woman, even if she wants it, seems surprised when I collapse and just cry. I want it, I don't want to do it. I need it, but can't accept it. I tell myself I am not that way. That I am a caring person, that I care about people, I don't want to be hurt or hurt anyone. I cut myself off from intimate relationships. I run in fact.
I told her all this and she had a sad look on her face, she just held my hand and tried not to let me see the tears in her eyes. After that I never called her again, I did see her as she and Kim became friends. But this was the first time she had sought me out.
In response to her question about what I was doing, I told her about my business, computer services, I had bought a house, nothing fancy, just a little two bedroom out in the valley.
She lookd surprised and asked me how close to St. Joseph's in Burbank it was. I told her just around the corner actually and she told me she lived about five minutes away in Studio City, we were neighbors.
She had in fact been into my store and purchased a video card for her computer.
"So have you found her?" she asked me as she took another drag on the joint. I could tell by her words and the way she was just kind of sprawled out that she had been drinking and smoking a little to much pot.
"Who's that Lisa?" I asked taking the joint from her and knocking the cherry off. I slipped it into my pocket.
"Her, the one that can hurt and love you at the same time." she said in a rushed voice.
"Oh her! No, but I really never looked for her. I don't think I would want to meet her anyway." I said laughing.
Lisa wasn't laughing however.
"I really liked you, Anthony. A lot, I felt like there was a connection there and you didn't even give it a chance." she said sadly. She threw her cigarette down and crushed it out with her sneaker.
"I didn't want you to get hurt." I said taking her hand.
"You never gave me the option, did you, you just decided for both of us. Fifteen years, Anthony. I never found anyone that made me feel like you do and I never even really knew you. One and half dates and you got in my heart." she said.
"You never got married or anything?" I asked her, not feeling a ring on her finger.
"Hell no, I lived with a guy for five years, we even talked about marriage, but it didn't work out." she said gazing off into the night.
"I'm sorry." I said.