It was raining cats and dogs, but I didn't give a good goddamn! Herdin' a semi down the road was better than watchin' them damn soaps. Retirement-reshmirement, it sucked. Being retired ain't nuthin' but waitin' to die. Not me, not anymore, I'm workin' again. I pulled the big rig into the diner and parked for easy egress later on. I only had a couple of hours more road time, but I was hungry. The construction project would have to get along without its rebar till I filled my belly.
So "what" am I? I'm a fifty-eight year old retiree—make that ex-retiree—pushing a Kenworth down the road to the California-Oregon border, delivering rebar to AST Construction Ltd. Well, I had to do something. I really do hate soaps. I hate puttering around the garden. But, most of all I hate feeling useless.
Even my wife of Twenty-eight years, Trish, was nagging at me to give it up, the retirement, and go back to messin' with computers for a living; that was my old job in silicon country. Oh, I almost forgot, I'm Jerry McGuire; and no, I don't look like Tom Cruise; I'm taller.
I had finally seen the light, that was a year ago, and I'd gone out and gotten my class-A license. I'd gotten the bug to drive big rigs late in life, true, but got it I did, so I went for it. At any rate, like I said, I'd had to do something; I was going crazy doin' next to nuthin'.
So "who" am I? Who is my wife? Am I happy? Are we happy? I'll be getting' to all that shortly; it's kinda complicated. Anyway, I guess I should tell you a little about our backgrounds.
I was born on Oklahoma, not too far from Muskogee. My father was an alky. And, because of the heavy drinkin' keepin' a job was not exactly his thing, so we did without. We moved to California when I was a kid, I was around eight, I guess.
We were so poor that workin' the farms of the San Joaquin as de facto migrants was about all that was left to us. So we picked grapes, cotton—I hated pickin' cotton—or any other crop that was in season.
There were five us. Dad, when he was around, mom, me, and my two sisters. I always felt sorry for my sisters; they deserved a better life; mom too if it came to that; she was one beautiful lady in my opinion. Still in retrospect, it wasn't all bad. The work was hard enough, but we were treated well, and never really felt put upon.
It was the mid-fifties when my dad finally got a job he was able to keep for a while. He was a tire man for trucking company. The job and the money were good while they lasted, and they lasted about a year until he lost both: he'd gotten arrested on a DUI charge. It was the final straw for him; he left us for good after that, and we never saw him again.
Mom got a job doing laundry and we moved out of the house we'd been living in and shacked up in a cheap motel for a long period.
We kids were going to school at this time, and riding the bus to get there. For me it was good. We riders became a thing and formed a quasi-gang. We called ourselves the Narods—don't ask me why. We weren't into drugs or anything, but we were rough cut and tended to consume ship loads of beer on occasion. As a group we were feared enough that the Mexican and black gangs pretty much left us alone; I guess we were more trouble than we were worth.
As for school, high school, I got mostly C's. I played a little football, tight end, and we won some games and some self-respect while I was on the team. I quit playing after my junior year. I'd hit a guy so hard that he died from his injuries; I hated myself for a long time after that, and sports didn't seem so important.
Physically, in the old days, I was around six-foot tall and a tad over 200. I'm still only around 220, so I haven't deteriorated too much over the last thirty some years.
Girls? I feared them. Plus, I didn't have a car, and without one, I didn't have the balls to ask any of them out. So, sexually, I was mostly deprived until after I graduated from high school. Like I say, I wasn't too successful with the girls; but I more than made my case with the males around me. Most of them feared me. My compadre, Anselmo, used to say that I was tough, mean, and evil. I guess I was. Being mister macho got me in trouble on occasion, but I did manage to (1960) graduate, and it was at my graduation that I first saw her: the boon and the bane of my life ever since. Trish Mendoza was pretty, short, long-haired, big chested, and feisty. She never saw the scale that would let her top a hundred pounds, and even now she's still petite. I loved her from moment I met her at a graduation party. She had gotten the last beer in the cooler and she shared it with me; that made her a true angel of mercy in my eyes. Her brother, a Chicano gang member, was there too. As the party broke up, and we were all leaving. A group of blacks tooled by, recognized him, and chose him off.
Jose was not a big kid and I found myself backing him up. The fight was pretty intense. Two blacks ended up in the hospital, Jose ended up going home with his sister, and I ended up in jail. It seems the cops took a dim view of my stomping on the kneecaps of the two guys who went to the hospital. The one thing my dad had taught me that I never forgot was, "Son, he who fights fair loses often." Well, the advice worked for me, but it had its downside.
I had just turned eighteen, and the judge gave me a choice: reform school or the service. I joined the Navy. I was in for four years. During this time, I finally got a car to wheel women around in; and as a result my sex life improved dramatically. Trish became a primary beneficiary of my ever widening experience and sexual repertoire. Geezsus she was good. Good and insatiable. Good, insatiable, and popular. And I loved all of those things—well, maybe not the popular thing so much.
The day I got out jail, Trish had been there to greet me. "Hi Jerry, got a little time for me?" she said.
I think my smile gave me away, "Of course," I said. We headed off to a nearby diner. I wondered if she was going to like me in Navy blue. The talk was mellow and about nothing and everything. She was so damn cute that I knew I just had to have her. The good news was that she wanted me too. Our first date was two days later: we went to the drive-in, and I got my first piece of ass in a long time. I'd had to borrow a car from Anselmo, but he was cool about it. Oddly, I remember the movie; it was an old movie, the Long Hot Summer with Paul Newman.
The woman's tits were extraordinary pieces of art work. The nipples extended a full inch and they were utterly suckable. And, suck I did! As the windows in the car steamed up, I undressed her. Her bush was lush and she smelled oh so female.
"Well, big boy, you got me naked, now it's your turn," she said. She unzipped me, pulled down my pants, and felt me through my shorts. "Oh my, we are a big boy aren't we," She had me as naked as she was in no time.
We played for a little while as the carbon dioxide from the heavy breathing filled the cab of the car. I cracked the window a little to let some of the cool night air in and some of the CO2 out. Soon I was fingering her and she was hosing me.
I laid her down on the back seat, where we had adjourned to. I loomed above her. "Do it," she commanded. I pressed into her about an inch, pulled out and pushed in again, this time all the way. I relaxed for a moment kissing her. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me to her tightly. I began pumping in and out of her. She gurgled and her breaths were coming in short bursts as she got into it. Saliva dripped from the side of her mouth as her eyes glazed over in ecstasy. We came at the same time. I let the full weight of my body sag onto her. She bit my ear.
"Ow!" I yelled.
"You're too heavy," she said. "I gotta breathe."
"Sorry," I said. I was being selfish." I rolled off of her and we both sat up, still naked, I looked at her. "I guess we better dress before one of those theater guys comes around with his flashlight."
She nodded. "Yeah, I guess so," she said.
We spent the next month seeing each other almost every day. We managed to screw maybe half a dozen times during the month, and then I was off to basic and eventual posting to carrier duty. I was in the Navy for four years. Home base was Alameda in the Bay area. I got in to see Trish from time to time, and we made loose plans to marry when I got out. I say loose plans because when I broached the subject to her, her answer was curious; and I should have seen red flags then, but I was in heat; and all I could see were her tits and ass, and again, they were something to see.
"Jerry, there is no way I am going to believe that you aren't going to be dating as you travel the world, so I ain't wearin' no ring until I have you back and under wraps," she said. "And, I sure as hell am not going to be sitting around pining for you for any four years either. So, when you're here, we'll be exclusive, but when you're away feel free. I will."
I felt kinda put out by her attitude, but the logic of it was pretty good. I knew those foreign ports were going to be loaded with temptation, and she was essentially telling me to go for it. Of course on the other hand, she was also telling me that if the occasion arose she was probably going to let other guys pork her! One can imagine my state of mind.
Finally in the Navy and assigned, my younger sister, Donna, my mom, and my older sister Joyce moved to Alameda to be near me, and since I'd gotten a car while stationed there—my first—I let the family have it to go to school and do whatever they needed to do while I was at sea, which I often was. It worked well for us. It was about a year later that Donna graduated, and my mom and I were in the audience to see it. We were very proud of her.
During my service years, I saw Trish fairly often, for a travelin' man, maybe two or three times a year. We'd share our experiences, and she seemed to get off telling me about the other men that had made moves on her. She swore none had porked her, but I wasn't so sure. Nevertheless, either way I couldn't fault her: (a) I had fucked my way around the world, and (b) we weren't married or even officially engaged. So I just listened to her tales and lived with my jealousy.
After Donna's graduation, to finish a tale, we all went to mom's place and partied. I had asked Trish to come up from L.A if she could, but that I couldn't get away to come get her that trip. And, unbeknownst to me at the time, she had been at Donna's graduation; I just hadn't seen her. She showed up on my mom's doorstep now.
I answered the door. "Trish!"
"Glad to see me, big boy," she said.
"God, yes," I said. "Come in, come in.
"Everybody, this is my main squeeze, Trish Mendoza," I said. She was pleased that I was clearly so proud of her and glad to see her.
A year and half after Donna's graduation, I mustered out. I needed a job. I'd saved some money, actually quite a bit of money, and I would be good for a while; but a job was definitely my first order of business. I had moved back down the coast to East L.A. Trisha and I were once again exclusive and making plans that would come to fruition as soon as I could support us.
I knew machines, and I applied to several shops before being hired. I finally got the job because of my cussed persistence. That, as the man said, "We ain't hiring, but you've been bugging us so often that I have to hire you just to get you off our backs."
Trish and I were dating and I was being exclusive, and she said she was. I say she said she was, because I still had lingering doubts. At times I would call her, and her mom would say she was out and didn't know where to. But, always, the next day Trish would call and give me some plausible explanation. I believed her; I had to.
It was some time after this that I had gotten invited to a BYOB beer blast. I had tried to call Trish to get her to come along, but she wasn't home—again. The party was at a mutual friend's house, and I decided to go alone. I was miffed, but I knew the party would be good, and probably do a lot to cheer me up. I got there a little late. I had no more than church-keyed a beer than Trish showed up—on the arm of another guy. She didn't see me right away. But I saw her. And, I saw his hands which were all over her ass. I stood there staring.
She finally saw me. "Jerry!"
I turned and headed out. I had brought a case of Coors with me, and hadn't even gotten to drink one can. Well, somebody else would I guess. I just wanted to go back to my place and feel sorry for myself. Jesus, the woman couldn't be trusted; and it killed me.
I haven't mentioned it, but I was shacking up in a small unused store room at the machine shop. There was a shower and a head and a rack, a bed, in it; and that was enough for me. The pay at the shop wasn't much, but staying at the shop and being a de facto security guard at night allowed me to save most of what I did make. I had even planned to formally ask Trish to marry me very soon. Well, those plans were now pretty much in the shitter, or so I thought.
Trish showed up at the shop the day after the BYOB disaster. I was on a break and having a cigarette out back when she arrived. I was sitting on an old crate that served as a bench for anybody taking a break out back. Trish had evidently been steered there by someone inside.
"Hi, Jerry," she said. "I guess you're mad at me, huh?"
I didn't say anything at first. I just looked her in the eye. "I guess exclusive doesn't mean exclusive to you, huh?" I said.
"Jerry, I'm sorry. Juan asked me to go before you did, and I just figured what the hell, and I went," she said. "It's you I love, not Juan. I didn't mean to hurt you, I really didn't."
"Yeah, well you did. So, whaddya want?" I said, about as mordantly as I have ever said anything.
"Forgiveness?" I could see she was nervous, even frightened.
"Okay, I forgive you," I said. "Anything else?"
"I've gotta get back to work. What else do you want?" I said.
"Huh—well—I hoped—you know, that we could get back the way we were," she said.
"Oh, now that's a whole different kettle of fish," I said. "How can I trust you anymore? I mean you say we're exclusive and then you dump on me like that."
"I'd like a chance to make it up to you." she said. "Please?"
I looked at her. I made a decision. "I'll pick you up at seven tonight. Wear jeans and a heavy shirt," I said.
"Huh? Okay, if you say so," she said. "I love you." She came to me, kissed me lightly on the lips, touched my cheek with her finger tips, turned, and left.
Back inside the shop Barry Gilmore pulled me aside. "Hey man, Trish Mendoza, your girl?" he said.
"Yeah," I said, "what of it?"
"Hey man, I'm your friend, you know. Just letting you know. I knew her when. She likes variety man. Nobody can satisfy that girl. So, just be cool. Don't be rushin' into anything without thinkin' first, okay?" he said.
I nodded. If it hadn't been for me catchin' Trish with that guy the night before, I would have blown Barry off. But, now he got me to thinkin'."
I was right on time, seven. She was ready. We drove out to the coast and finally ended up on the pier at Malibu. There was a light fog that'd rolled in. It was quiet, just a few other guys with lines in the water. I wanted to set the mood, so naturally I took her fishin', right?
I baited the hooks while she just smiled the smile of a mermaid with another kind of fish, quarry, in her sights. We spoke little at first. Soon I had gotten a nibble or two, but she'd caught a fish. She was excited, but quiet about it—if jumping up and down while not saying anything can be considered quiet. "I got one," she said finally. I nodded and hugged her.
We fished a little more, and I moved closer to her. "Wanna marry me," I said not looking at her directly.
Still holding her rod, she turned to me. "Huh?"
I looked at her now. "Will you marry me?" I said.
She nodded yes, and then said it, "Yes. I was hoping you'd ask me, Jerry. I was so hoping. So, yes, I will marry you."
Now we both made noise, hugging and kissing and talking excitedly. We got a few looks from the other fishermen, but we were soon outta there, and on our way home.
We were married three months later. It was small ceremony, but a lively reception. My family was there, and hers. Some of my old friends from the Narods came. I guess we had a good fifty people milling around the church hall laughing it up that day. It seemed a good beginning.
A few days before the ceremony we'd moved into a small two-bedroom wood-frame in Pomona; this was before the big rise in real estate prices that was to come twenty years later. I used my GI bill to get into the place and all of a sudden I had a good job paying fifteen grand annual, we had twenty-thousand dollar mortgage, and a paid for six year-old, '62 Buick Wildcat. God! how I loved that car. It had air-con, leatherette upholstery, a great radio, and a quad fueling a 350 horsepower engine. That car was fuckin' wonderful!
Sex for us was good. We tried a lot of different things: role playing, BDSM—I was always the submissive one I could never be rough with a woman even in play—every imaginable position a woman could be fucked in, and even anal sex which last became an almost fetish for me.
I worked hard. I trusted my wife and lived by my rule #1: love and kindness are everything when it came to family. I may have been naïve, but it's what I believed. My wife and any future kids would not have to go through the hell my mom, my sisters, and I had had to endure. And at first my dreams seemed to have been fulfilled.
Trish and I had an active social life. We'd go out at least once or twice a month. We'd dance and drink, I had a personal limit of one or two drinks a night; I didn't want to end up the way my dad had. Anyway, we'd go out and fool around and generally have fun. It was good. Life was good.
We'd been married a couple of years and things had begun to settle down some. Our sex life hadn't died, but it had become a little bit routine. I sensed that Trish was not as satisfied as she had been in the early days. One night, I had gone to a local bistro after work. I had gone expecting Trish to join me within the hour. She hadn't, but her friend Penny did.
"Hi Jerry," she said.
"Penny? How are you doin'?' I said. "Long time no see."
"Good. You here alone? Where's your wife?" she said. She had the look of someone who already had the answers to her own questions.
"She'll be along. Said she had something to do first," I said.
"Penny just looked at me. Something to do?" she said.
Her tone had me interested. "Yeah, she'll be along." I looked at her and she looked away from me. "Penny?"
"Huh? Oh nothing," she said, sensing my meaning.
"Pennnnny!" I said. "What's going on? What are you not telling me?"
"Jerry, you're a good guy. Trish is my friend. I just can't—" She seemed at a loss for words.
"Penny, talk to me," I said, half hoping she wouldn't.
"Jerry, I don't want to see you hurt. You know—you know before you got together, Trish was dating the Deacon. You know him. I know you know him," she said.
I nodded, "Yeah, I know him, and he's history as far as she's concerned. A real asshole; treats women like dung." I said.
"No, Jerry, he's not history. He's with her right now. He's the something—read the someone who is doing her— that she had to do this afternoon," said Penny.
I was shocked but not shocked, if that makes any sense. We talked a little more, and then I thanked her and told her I'd see her around.
I was a typhoon of emotion. I knew Penny wasn't lying. I also knew I had to give Trish a chance to explain before I reacted. Didn't I?
I had a couple more beers; I was past my limit, when Trish finally showed up. She looked okay, maybe too good. She looked and smelled as though she'd just showered.
"Hi baby," she said, kissing me on the cheek. "You been drinking?" She meant I looked like I'd had more than usual.
I decided to gamble on the element of surprise. "Yeah, four or five already," I said. "How about you, you smell all showered and sexy. Was Deacon any good?"