There was a time when I didn't have a lot of patience, y'know?
But, then, after my wife had gotten her CAP score -- a 7.7, as she related, when leaving the closest Confederacy Testing center -- she was collected when she and our children stopped for lunch on the way home.
I went from having a wife and five kids -- two of which were over 14 and had 7+ CAP scores themselves -- to having no family at all. Collecting the car was the least of my problems.
It did not take me more than a couple of minutes to realize that I was not going to be happy without my family.
So I put off my own CAP interview as long as I could get away with it, almost a year. I had all kinds of excuses, but, then, it usually doesn't take much to lie to yourself.
My wife, oddly enough, had been the major bread-winner, given her work as a doctor, with me, able to tele-commute, acting as 'Mister Mom' and dealing with the kids when she couldn't.
The Confederacy did provide some monies to compensate me. The house mortgage was paid up and I had well over a hundred thousand dollars left over.
My wife and I had met on a blind date that had been arranged by mutual friends ... and had hit it off surprisingly well. That I was suddenly on my own now with none of the companionship I had gotten spoiled by, even with the rough and bumpy spots all human relationships are prey to, was not what I would describe as "comforting".
Making things worse is that I didn't have even a minimal set of dating skills or the confidence to even try.
I spent some time considering the idea of quitting my job -- I'm a techie -- and then just touring the country before the Sa'arm could arrive and make a mess out of it. I just carried on as best I could and worked in my cube more often than not, just to have some people around me, instead of tele-commuting from an empty house.
Sure, I've tended to think of myself as something of a loner ... but human contact was something that I had developed a craving for, even if I wasn't very good at all of the little niceties of socializing.
When I did finally go for my CAP interview I did not linger when I reached the lobby to get my new ID card. I barely glanced at the card, much less the receptionist, as I just zoomed out the door at full speed, avoiding the thought of failing.
Like I said, I don't have a lot of patience.
With already having pretty low expectations for my CAP score I was not eager to see the number, so I avoided looking closely at the card and getting disappointed, so my quick glance from the corner of my eye provided me a reason not to look more closely. I really did NOT want to know my score, kind of like not wanting to check a lottery ticket to allow the quantum event to NOT collapse until I felt the need to abdicate or defecate.
All right, so I had a lot of practice living my life like Schroedinger's Cat, neither alive nor dead. Yes, you can take this as an opportunity to laugh.
Unfortunately, my one very quick accidental glance seemed to confirm my former wife's opinion that I qualified as an idiot. It looked like I had scored a 5.8, the sense of dread and disappointment enforcing my decision to not look more closely. The card was buried deep within my wallet where I would not have to see it, again. I did not need to reminder that I was going nowhere.
I got out of the CAP testing center's lot pretty quickly and headed back to work.
The sentence passed on me by my disappointing CAP score -- marking me as an undesirable, something reminiscent of a SciFi story I had read by James White -- hung over me like a sword, finally pushing me to the decision I'd been putting off. I quit my job and walked out. To hell with my empty house. I had no real reason to return there since everything I needed was in the rear of my camper van.
My first step? Leaving Raleigh and work my way up the coast to see Boston.
It was almost a pity that I had never went for my passport, but, with the way I felt, I wasn't going to wait for one to be sent to my home.
Let me tell you that, in hindsight, I admit that I did not realize that the CAP card I had hidden from myself in my wallet was the ultimate kind of passport.
I worked my way, for the most part, along the periphery of the continental United States, travelling in a counter-clockwise direction, with some forays away from the edge for some of the more impressive places to sight-see.
The US of A had a lot of beautiful sights to see, mixed into empty space, but, truly, none of the citiescapes impressed or moved me. I could regale you with stories of the places I had been ... But I won't. That is not what this story is about.
This story is about how I left earth.
It was Wendy who was the catalyst, breaking me out of my cycle of depressive thoughts of the the past. She got me living in the moment, again, instead of the past.
No, Wendy is not really her "proper" name but I could not pronounce her name in her Native American tongue and it translated, roughly, to Wind Chaser ... but her Arizona State Police ID listed her first name as "Wendy".
There I was, minding my own business...
Yeah, it is a common idiom, isn't it? My ex-wife related plenty of funny stories from her work in the ER that started with a patient uttering those words. Most of the stories, at the time, could have me howling in laughter.
So, there I was, minding my own business, when flashing lights in my rear view mirrors let me know I was wanted, though not in a way I would have preferred...
I wasn't even speeding, dammit!
The smooth contralto voice of the officer still qualified as seductive even when she said "License, registration ... and CAP, please. What is your CAP score, by the way?"
I told her "I recall it as 5.8" before sighing and fishing out the items she asked for by touch. She told me -- much later -- that no one she had ever asked qualified the answer with uncertainty. Most people knew it cold and wanted to project that they felt the score was important.
This was, incidentally, the first time my CAP card had gotten any fresh air since it had been issued and interred into my wallet. She returned to the police cruiser while I sat there, wondering what was going on.
All right, so I sat there, kind of blank, feeling a bit low, so I wasn't paying any attention when she walked back up to my window. "Sir, please come with me. I've got a tow truck coming to collect your van."
Now, really, anyone who hasn't suffered from the kind of emotional roller-coaster I had been on will not understand why I didn't ask her why I was being arrested.
Only ... I wasn't being arrested.
Well, not officially.
I was put into the caged back seat of her cruiser but I hadn't been cuffed, not that having my hands free made any real difference. We talked until the tow truck arrived, and, despite being trapped in the back of her car, I enjoyed the conversation and company more than I had enjoyed any company in over a year.
What may be considered strange is that she avoided any mention of why I was locked in the back seat of her cruiser.
She brought me to her home rather than a lock-up, cuffed me -- with my hands to my front -- and lead me into her house, where she chained me to a big bed, kissed my brains out, cut off my clothing and then got my ... ahem ... equipment standing at attention.
All right, so, despite a lack of practice over the last year and some months, this did not take her much time.
Wendy -- and her cousin, Still Waters, who she shared the house with -- then fucked me senseless, leaving me with a smile that a mortician could not remove, short of cremating my remains. Early on my hands and feet were unbound and I used them to keep me there, not to escape the loving clutches of these two lovely women.
By the next morning I was happy to stay with both of them. It did not take long for us to find ourselves compatible when out of the bed, too.
It had been a while since before my wife was picked up but I was feeling a lot happier, even though, in the corner of my mind, I was still certain that I was unlikely to be going any where.
Now, really, there was that hope that maybe Wendy had a high enough CAP score and had decided to take me with, but, again, my desire to maintain a level of uncertainty to keep my hopes up kept me from finding out for certain.
Over the next month at Wendy's house I was introduced to three more women who also showed me more than a little bit of affection. Somehow they moved in to Wendy's crowded little house with us ... but I never felt like we were being squeezed together.
It may have been subconscious at the time, but, I guess, I probably was still hoping that Wendy had a high enough score to take us all. I sure enjoyed the time I was spending with all five of the women.
I realize that many men do much, if not most, of their thinking with their gonads, enough so that the joke about it being the reason that some men name their willies so that their decisions won't be made by a complete stranger.
It can be claimed that I was letting my dick mack my decisions, too, but, to be perfectly egotistical, I prefer to claim that my genitalia only influenced my thinking, not controlled it. I could be giving myself the benefit of the doubt, but, I believe, having my balls and prostate spend so much time empty, I want to believe that I was able to use my brain to do my thinking.
All right, so I didn't spend any real time feeling "horny", most of it was feeling satisfied and relaxed. It can be argued that this 'satisfaction' may be a stronger conditioning event than constantly salivating over one -- or more -- women.
In other words, reality trumps fantasy.
Each of the women I was introduced to had her own strengths and qualities outside of the sack (or kitchen, for that matter) that made them good all-around companions for me. All of them were bright and we could talk, enjoy movies together, eat together, walk, hike, go sight-seeing ... and, of course, cuddle.
Being in my forties, it seemed a miracle that I could ... ummmm ... rise from the dead more than once a day. With my five female companions, I got a surprising amount of exercise, usually two to three times a day. It seemed to get easier over time to rise to the occasion more frequently.
Over the next month, I realized that, if I wasn't already in love with these women, I had never been in love, before, even with my ex-wife.
But, then, I felt valued and appreciated. It was easy to give the women attention and to help them in any way I could.
Wendy let me know that she had no problem sharing me with her friends and family.
Besides Wendy and 'Tillie' (as I mangled Still Waters' name), there was Kim, a tall thin woman of Korean descent who taught high school, with long straight black hair that attracted my attention away from her otherwise under-endowed body, Jane, a blonde amazon RN who belonged on a bikini team somewhere ... and Caitlin, a hefty older black woman who, I learned, could cuddle anyone's brains out and talk about damn near any subject under the sun. She and I could hold conversations that the other four claimed sounded like gibberish, part of which was due to her age being close to mine, another part due to shared tastes in reading ... and being a parent of a teen-age girl, also sharing the house. Kathleen was a surprisingly happy young teen who reassured me by letting me act as her "dad".
In hindsight it is obvious why they were all desperate to bonding with me ... and me with all of them. At the time, it felt like I was really wanted, for once, for something other than 'work', despite my unimpressive CAP score.