Wanda Ward Williams was born forty years before to the very day when I met her. I walked into the Holiday Inn on Wrightsville Island around 9 P.M. It was not the optimum time, at least that was the myth. It was Thursday though not Wednesday again not the optimum time. The myth went that by Wednesday night the mommies left with the kids, by the high powered daddies, were horny enough to stray a bit. The daddies went home to work or to play with the secretary during the week, then came back on Friday for a couple of more vacation days. On Sunday it was back to the grind and new set of mommies and daddies showed up to replace them.
I didn't put a lot of stock in the myth. Then again if I wanted a mid week beer, I did make the seven mile drive from Wilmington. I had wanted one that Thursday night, so it was a quick drive to the ocean front lounge. The beer was a little too expensive but the view and the company would I hoped be worth the price.
The place wasn't really as crowded as some of the other nights I had been in, but it wasn't empty either. I sat at the boat shaped bar while I drank a beer so cold it made my teeth hurt. After downing half the glass on a single pull, I swung around to look at the room. Myth or not there were more women than men in the lounge. The trick had never been finding a woman. It was always to find the right woman.
At thirty two my choices were wide open. I could go with either a twenty year old University of North Carolina at Wilmington coed or the female professor who taught her chemistry. I did draw the line at the male professors. I might be pretty modern, but I was still a little old fashioned. I slept with women and only women.
When it came to the right woman, age was less important than body type. It's not what you think. The woman had to be a little tall because it helped to make them presentable. The woman needed to be about twenty pounds over weight. Preferably ten of it on her chest and the rest resting in her tummy and hips. In other words a large but well proportioned woman. I know you wonder why a man would look for that body type. In my case it was the type that I had the most luck with. I am absolutely sure that other men felt differently about it. The twenty or so pounds of extra weight might well cut down their options but it increased my odds.
I also like troubled women, but not too troubled. I know that there is no way to tell at a glance, but usually there are hints. The returned stare, the nervous quirks, even the looking around the room with dancing eyes. They are all clues but in the end they really mean nothing.
Wanda was a bottle blonde and not even a very good one at that. There were darker streaks at her root lines. She needed to have a touch up more than the glass of liquor sitting in front of her. I was sitting close enough to notice the big gaudy ring on her wedding finger. The ring in no way disqualified her. But it did give me an idea how to proceed. After a thorough survey of the place, I determined that Wanda was the most likely to be available, ring or no ring.
"Well hello," I said moving the three seats to sit beside her. I had waited patiently for the man she was ignoring to give up and leave. He did around 9:30.
"Go away." She definitely was not going to be grateful for the attention.
"Well, I can't say that this is the only seat, but I can say it is the only seat beside you." I smiled as I moved back to my original seat. I made sure I didn't make any faces or gestures that she could see. You just never know she might change her mind, I thought.
I had spent a half hour with a single beer so I ordered a cup of very bad coffee. It was free, since selling it would constitute a crime. Yes it was that bad. The coffee came from a pot brought in by the restaurant when it closed for the night. It had been around the bar for an hour and probably another hour in the restaurant at least. It was thick and black but with a little half and half from the bar's stock, it wasn't too awful.
I drank the coffee and worked on a knotty problem in my head. I had the weeks scheduling on my mind when I heard her voice again.
"Do you often come here to drink coffee?"
"Not all that often. I might stop in a couple of times a week."
"Doesn't your wife object?"
"No idea. She lives two hundred miles inland. We had a major disagreement."
"Over a woman?"
"Over a man."
"So you swing both ways?"
"Very funny, but the man was hers."
"And you objected?"
"I know that makes me small minded but yes I did." I thought a long while before I continued. "In our case it was probably a symptom not the real ailment."
"Would you like to move closer? I am having a very hard time hearing you."
"Are you sure. I'm not sure I could stand the embarrassment of being sent away again. At least not in public."
"If you behave, you can stay." She was smiling at last.
"Now I'm curious," she said as when I was seated. "What happened with your wife."
"I travel some, a couple of nights a week. Once a month I am gone the whole week, but that is just once. Truth is, I think she had some childhood issued that required her to have constant attention. When I wasn't home to give it to her, she went elsewhere. That's just my theory,"
"Why not just that she was a slut?" Her choice of words surprised me. She was the first to drift into that kind of vocabulary.
"Frankly, she wasn't all that hot on sex. Don't get me wrong, she was great in bed. She just never was the aggressor. Her attitude was more, sure why not."
"Kind of payment for the attention?"
"I guess that is true enough." I noticed again the ring on her hand but I chose to ignore it. She might well be willing to talk about my wife but she might get huffy when the subject turned to her family situation."
"Actually, I can relate to everything you are telling me. I think I am pretty much in the same boat."
"Are you married?" I asked it innocently.
"You know I am. I saw you looking at the rings."
"Guilty, I just didn't want to be the one to broach the issue."
"Yes I'm married. I am also alone far too often."
"Does your husband travel?"
"Worse he is a sports addict. He is glued to the TV every night. There is always a new or rerun of some event he can watch. From 7 P.M. till after midnight every night he is glued to the TV."
"I guess that is better than a woman?" I tried to sound neutral.
"Maybe but the consequences are the same. You are right though it isn't the sex so much. It is more the being alone. I just hate being alone."
"I suppose you have exhausted all your friends by now. They all have their own lives."
"I only had a couple, and yes they can't be away from their families all that often."
"So where are you supposed to be now?" I asked it trying to be supportive.
"He doesn't even ask where or when I will be home. Just nods when I say I'm going out."
"I'm sorry, I can't even be very helpful. I can understand your point of view perfectly. It's like Sarah used to say. You can help it Charlie, you can get a job that doesn't require you to be gone so much. You are in effect choosing the job over me. She was right of course."
"Yes she was. So did she leave with another man?"
"She is never without a man. It just isn't in her nature to be alone."
"So your Sarah was good in bed?"
"Very good," I replied.
"I often wondered, what makes a woman good in bed?"
"Enthusiasm, there is no special technique involved at all. She just has to be into it. Aggressive or submissive depending on the situation. Not just willing but delighted to be adventurous."
"Oral sex?" she asked.
"Just a part of the package, but yes. She should be willing to do anything that isn't dangerous or especially painful."
"And the man should be the same?"
"I can't speak for other men but for me yes. But you know sex isn't all of it."
"I have the other already. It's the attention and the sex I don't have. Well at least not the good sex. The sex that takes hours from the first kiss, until the fireworks go off."
"Nobody gets enough of that sex."
"You mean you don't either?" She was grinning ear to ear.
"If I was getting all the sex and attention I need, I would be drinking better coffee, in a better place."
"Well Charlie, it has been fun." With that she stood to leave. Just to get one last shot at the apple, I handed her my business card.
"Just in case you need someone to talk to."
"Since it doesn't advertise you as a master lover, I can keep it."
It was late when she left, so I packed up my lustful thoughts and drove home. Home was a garage apartment in a less desirable part of town. It wasn't quite a ghetto, but was only a couple of steps up. There were no car on blocks in the street, but in the back yard, adjacent to my garage, a man worked on a derelict white van. I didn't mind since it was a kind of hobby with him, not an occupation.
The garage under me was for storage not automobiles. That being the case it had almost no visitors. That suited me fine, since my neighbors were a mixed can of nuts. I am sure they thought the same of me. The house in front of my apartment was in fact a duplex. It had two units with two people each.
The A unit was occupied by a couple of social security age. Both were retired and both were nosey as hell. They had nothing better to do with their time, than to snoop on all the residents of Pender Ave. I am sure they had a list of all the strange car's license plate numbers. I hadn't added many to it but a few.
.... There is more of this story ...