The fire was warm and welcome, in the big fireplace, something I had only half expected. This was late August after all, and even this far North the days were not only long but also very warm.
I guess there were more than a dozen men seated around the great room, enjoying the fire and male company. Far as I knew there wasn't a real life feminine curvy woman within two hundred miles of this place. Probably some native encampments weren't much farther than that, and Lost Mule was just over that to the Southeast.
We were in a fly-in fishing lodge, Crazy Charley's to be exact, smack dab in the middle of the mountains covering Western Canada. Far as I knew everyone was having the time of their lives. At least according to their stories, or lies, we had all harvested all the fish the law allowed. Now it was time to take a break after four 'hard' days canoeing and hiking to fishing spots around the area. This was the first time everyone had assembled together and tomorrow morning we were all flying out. Separate airplanes of course since we were going separate directions. Crazy Charley had done this before, so I trusted he had some answer to the potential Air Traffic Control problem.
It wasn't late yet, but some of the guys were getting restive. One loud-mouthed jerk had shifted the stories to women. Now all guys like to talk about women, but after a certain age they don't get into particular women. A lot of reasons for that, the most respectable being that we did indeed now know, after the chaos of puberty, that all women were individuals and most deserved our respect. The least admitted reason was we didn't want to get our asses kicked, sliced, diced and/or shot. That last was a distinct possibility as most of us were carrying belt guns. Not to protect ourselves against the Grizzlies that we occasionally saw, but hopefully to make enough noise that we could scare them away.
And if that didn't scare them away, hopefully some of our fellow fishermen would be able to find the remains and send them home to the women we didn't appreciate someone else talking about.
Most of us were too settled into the big upholstered armchairs to be driven away. Unfortunately my son, the one who was treating me to the trip, wasn't one of them. He got up almost as soon as the talk turned to women and left.
I scooted back in my chair, nursing my scotch and listened without comment.
As expected the loud mouth ended up monopolizing the bragging. Until one of the younger guys got tired of listening to his talk of meet 'em, bed 'em and leave 'em and suggested that I, in my position as eldest bull in this herd might have something to add.
For some reason it struck a chord among those gathered and there was a thoughtful pause as all eyes turned to me.
I snorted, took a sip of my scotch and started to make a particularly scathing comment. Then a memory popped up, and it dawned on me that it might be of some use here. Maybe even loud mouth would listen and learn. Doubtful, but it was worth a try.
"Well, fellas. It's been some years since I was a young bull, or even a mature bull like you fellas. Yet maybe I have a story you'd get something out of. Listening to the stories here tonight, I'm afraid it's not on the same level, but it kind of shows something about the way womenfolk work. And that knowledge, earned long before this thing took place, has come in 'good stead' to me. Whatever good stead means!"
"My kids were all grown, my wife had died, and I was in that age when the miracle drug, Viagra, was sometimes needed. Sometimes not, but to be safe should be taken when you weren't sure, or you might very well be sorry."
"I was living in a small house, three bedroom rambler, in a small collection of newish homes all constructed in the same year. You all know the kind, a bedroom community, mostly young couples with lots of kids, and all clustered around one road that curved away from the county road, then returned to it a city block further on. A couple dozen homes on both sides of the street, with a kind of village green between the county road and the homes on that side of the half circle road.
"We had an eight foot fence blocking what was almost an acre of green space from the county road, with fences behind the homes backing up to it. The kids had a great place to play. As a group we had added a barbecue pit, some picnic benches, and the builder had thrown in swings, slides, climbing contraptions and what all for the kids. It had been a nice attraction for the young families, a local kids park all their own. For me too, I liked watching kids play now in my retirement and afternoons in season I was the de facto baseball/softball/soccer/basketball referee, umpire or what have you. I even got asked to skip rope and play hopscotch. Kept me young.
"Young hell! They kept running my ass off!
"But it was fun, kept me in some kind of shape, and much as I like to read it gave me something to do that kept me out of trouble.
"Some smart cookie decided we needed a community party, and everybody either enthusiastically loved the idea or kept their mouths shut. So we all pitched in and scheduled a big blow out. It was to start on Friday evening, the week before Labor Day, when we would have a barbecue. When it got dark they planned to gather up the younger kids and settle them down in the rec. rooms of two houses across the street from our park; boys would be in one house, girls in another and the houses were separated by three other homes. A couple of the young teens were assigned to each 'barracks' to keep order.
Two of the guys got together and cobbled up a 'dance floor'; two by four frames supporting plywood sheets. And damn if it didn't work well. I was kind of the elder statesman, lending a hand where it was needed, but mostly having a grand time with the kids and teasing the ladies.
"After the kids were down, a bar was set up, serve yourself, a long extension cord was run from the back of one of the homes and a someone's stereo was set up to provide music. Quite an eclectic mix of music, I even snuck some of my swing music collection in. Surprised me that everyone seemed to like it. But what's not to like about the Count, the Duke and the King. Of course I had some real laid back stuff too, like the Ink Spots, Ames Brothers, Ella and "The Sassy Miss Sarah Vaughn".
"Sometime around 10:00/10:30 I realized I had a shadow. Abie, one of the young wives that had just moved in seemed to be tagging along where ever I wandered. This was certainly no hardship. She was dressed in what I called tan shorts, but probably had some more exotic name that told women precisely what the color was. To me it was tan. She was wearing a thin, very pale green sleeveless top with wide lapels. The buttons only came up to just below her breasts, but the fabric was cut to meet almost all the way to her throat. It was just long enough to cover her to the top of her shorts. When she bent or turned an entrancing strip of tanned flesh was exposed between the blouse and those shorts. Even more interesting, when she bent forward the neckline fell open from her throat down, showing some of her cleavage. Her arms, nicely rounded and pretty, were shown off and that hint of cleavage, though very modest, made all the men crane their necks to see if he couldn't get a deeper glimpse down that cleft. White boat shoes with no socks completed her ensemble.
And, yeah. I was spraining my neck to see, too.
Abie was early 20's, slim but curved appropriately, soft brown hair that seemed always to have been just brushed before the wind blew a couple tendrils loose. She wasn't much shorter than my 5' 8", and had a killer smile, which always seemed to be turned on. Her legs reached all the way from the ground up to where they joined a perfect derriere. I didn't know about the other men in our little community, but seeing her always made my day a little brighter.
Smart, too! She and I had a bunch of slangfests, which she won as often as not. So her presence certainly wasn't unwelcome.
I had been sipping on a brandy all evening. Nice and smooth, it just kept me kind of loose. Abie on the other hand was hitting Vodka Martini's pretty steadily. Being a small girl, she was definitely beyond the feel good stage.
Along about 11:15 I got around to asking where her husband Harry was. Turns out his boss had sent the good man off on a trouble shooting trip Thursday and he wasn't expected back home until Wednesday or the coming Thursday.
The good part was that Harry was going to be given a five-day weekend when he got back, maybe even taking the whole four days after Labor Day off to give them a week off. They were planning a camping trip, but tonight Abie was lonely. They hadn't been in their new house more than six weeks, and Abie didn't feel like she really knew any of the neighbors except me. The poor woman was afraid of the other husbands, even though their wives were with them so she stuck with me for safety.
Needless to say, this was not an ego booster. Yet at the same time it made me feel good. Would have been nice to have an attractive young thing like her think I might have SOME sex appeal but, what the hey, what I got wasn't all that bad.
As the evening progressed, I snuck in a few dances with some of he other women, being sure to pick something where I wouldn't embarrass myself too badly. Toward the end of the evening, which was fast reaching its ending for me, Abie and I enjoyed a few of he slower numbers ourselves.
.... There is more of this story ...