"Harry Westin! Phone call!" yelled the large aging proprietress of the aging motel, awakening Harry. Barely conscious, he threw on pants in the dark room lit only by a small window cut through the white cement block wall above his bed, and stumbled out the light green door, spongy from many layers of paint and down the hard cement stairs to the pay phone. As he reached it he noticed the proprietress's big ass being struck by the screen door as she exited.
"Hello?" he growled through a voice box unused for several hours.
"Mr. Westin?" said the medium high too perky female voice.
"Yeah," he grunted.
"I'm at the restaurant across the highway. How soon can you get here? We'll have breakfast."
"Half hour," said Harry with the first businesslike tone of the day.
"See you then," she chirped and hung up.
He showered in what could only be called a water closet. No bathtub was present. His medium 6'2" frame crowded into the stall. Not much for tight spaces, he made quick work of the shower. The shave and hair and tooth brushing continued the quick efficiency, leaning over the tiny sink to see his big soft skinned pale oval face containing an array of genetic influences, from Scotch/Irish to Native American to Eastern European Jew and its own mix of Slavic, Germanic and Semitic, a muddy, All American visage reflected in the low and diminutive mirror the towel wiped clear.
Once the faucet silenced, he heard the gentle muddy waves of the Mississippi River quietly slap the shoreline just outside his high window as he dressed. The sound located him in his mind, a forgotten motel on the western edge of Wisconsin several miles south of his four bedroom upper middle class Edina, Minnesota home. Looking to lure urban escapists, the motel never managed to be at the right location or destination to succeed in its lurid, now faded pink and green 40 years of existence.
Absence ruled the block and a half walk on the crunching stone and dirt road leading to the two lane highway and the massively thick presence of the Hideaway, a block and a half being a relative and uncertain term since the one small road crossing his path appeared even smaller and more derelict, and the small clapboard white houses numbering three in all gave little substance to the concept of a city or even a small country town and their measurement of a block.
The Hideaway was a successful steakhouse way off the beaten path, making it a special destination for citizens from Madison and Eau Claire and other smaller towns to have a special family dinner of steaks and prime rib and rich cheese infused rolls of moderate and stomach expanding quality. Aside from the rolls, the dark red hardwood interior, plush and decadent, with sparse images in sepia tones in ornate frames of Mafia gangsters from 1920's Chicago dimly lit on the walls and rooms upstairs from the restaurant historically preserved to show how these gangsters lived while hiding from the law after a bloody hit, the rooms shockingly small yet amazingly comfortable for their time; the museum concept mercenarily embraced back on the main floor with a successful souvenir shop set off to the left of the entrance door enticed visitors.
Finding the outer door locked, Harry pounded on it with unexpected force. The massiveness of the door and the building that it protected seemed to require effort in order to be heard inside. Moments before knocking, when he found the door locked, he wondered if the conversation he had had a half hour before occurred in a vivid dream because the meeting apparently was happening in a closed restaurant, but being an ultra realistic materialist, he laughed off the thought and then that laugh made him wonder how his steady, safe, successful and secure life of regional sales manager and fairly large stock holder in a Fortune 500 insurance company, with an attractive if subtly fattening brunette wife who fought the aging process with a fine tennis game and a low handicap golf game with an especially strong long shot, and three pretty good, pretty smart, pretty daughters ranging in age from 11 to 16, and despite being in those rebellious adolescent years respected though occasionally became embarrassed by their parents, following the even, well paved path he had been on for so many years, he could make such a violent detour on a path more rough hewn than the one he had just walked.
A heavy, low thud brought the bolt out of its mooring, but the expected creak of the door didn't happen, the hinges being well maintained. In the relative darkness of the entrance stood an attractive blonde of medium stature, her hair pinned up on her head with wisps of it drifting in the mild draft where they missed out on the pinning, the ears beneath these fringes small and tight to the head and naked of baubles. High rounded forehead and wide sensuous lips shared her face with a small rounded nose, medium light brown eyes a fraction of inch more separated than expected and a slightly pronounced chin which elongated the face's general circle. The white dress she wore hung tight at the bodice, clinging to her substantial breasts, leaving her healthy broad rounded shoulders bare, the top edge of the bodice being straight across her chest revealing a hint of cleavage. The tightness revealed the voluptuous curve of her waist as it flared out to pronounced hips, not matronly, but proportional to her bust. The skirt hung over her pelvic area, ending just above her knees, and where it ruffled out from the tight bodice at her abdomen he noticed a slight and healthy bulge. Her knees and thick muscular legs reinforced her healthy look.
"I didn't expect the restaurant to be closed," said Harry.
"We're not open for breakfasts. Johnny is preparing omelets. Come in," said the blonde cheerfully.
The entryway darkened markedly once she closed the heavy door and sent the bolt home. Red lights to the right cast dimly onto a ten foot wide entrance with a heavy maple podium at the left leading into a dining area of booths and tables.
Harry followed the woman into the restaurant, enjoying the subtle shifting shadows of her well maintained posterior, the muscular activity visible even in the dimness. When she stopped suddenly and turned, she caught his eyes' direction, and when his lifted to hers, he could see the cheerful smile bent a touch to the left with a hint of seductive evil.
"Have a seat Mr. Westin," she said, gracefully waving her hand across a booth table lit by the small flame illuminating an amber glass candle holder.
Once he slid into the booth, the friction of his pants against the Naugahyde seat producing a low squeal, the woman poured coffee into a mug bearing the restaurant's logo and an illustration of its formidable exterior sitting at the setting in front of him and topped off the nearly full cup at the setting across from him where after putting down the carafe of coffee she sat.
"The juice is fresh," she said, commenting on the full heavy glass stemware. H e drank a pleasant mouthful before adding the two containers of cream and a packet of sugar to the coffee and stirring. "Let's talk when ... Oh here he comes."
Johnny, a large black man, ebony skin contrasting the white of the cook's uniform, despite his size and the roughened and indelicately aged face as well as the thick boxer's hands he used to place the plates in front of Harry and the woman, revealed a kind and wise and more than a little sad nature in his eyes.
"He was more of a brother to me than he ever was to you, but he seems to need you," said Johnny in his deep, resonant voice, a voice that beckoned to be heard telling fascinating stories, a deep southern drawl beneath a layer of gentlemanly refinement.
"The omelets look wonderful. Thanks for ... well, thanks," said the woman.
"Thanks for letting me see him. I'll give you privacy as soon as I finish cleaning up."
"We'll talk soon."
"I look forward to it," said Johnny, giving Harry an inscrutable glance, sad, wise and kind before he turned and left.
"Miss Riemer..." began Harry,
"Please call me Lyndy."
"Of course; and I'm Harry."
"You know when I anticipated this meeting I figured I'd call you Mr. Westin even if you insisted otherwise. From what I learned, I figured you expected respect from the young, leading such a devoutly respectful life, but now that we've met, I can see my prejudice. Let's enjoy Johnny's omelets while they're still hot, Harry." Her pretty smile appeared genuine.
"Eat first, then we'll talk," she said, a slice of omelet dangling from her fork. Harry smiled back with a lot more unease than hers.
After the two dedicated themselves to the delicious breakfast, making quick work of it, they set down their forks and stared at each other.
"You know I haven't seen or heard from my brother in at least twenty years, since..." said Harry.
"That's not actually true," said Lyndy.
"What do you mean? You'd think..."
"You would, wouldn't you, except he became for you in the way you look at people an invisible man. You saw him several times on Nicollet Mall while walking to a restaurant for lunch, maybe looking through him, but on occasion you gave him money, so you had to have seen him. Your brother said you could be quite generous if sporadic, dropping a five dollar bill into his cup more than once."
"I don't understand any of this. How could you know what my brother said?"
"Your brother was the love of my life."
"You're kidding. I'm sorry for you then. He was a murdering motherfucker!"
"I know. And I know how much you hate him."
"But you don't know how desperately, eternally, unquenchably sorry he was."
.... There is more of this story ...