My wife Ginger and I—my name is Max Bertulucci— have been married twenty-one years. We have three children all girls. My day job is as a manager for an electronics warehouse in the city. Ginger is a full time housewife. But, lately she has become restless as the last of our babies has finally left the nest. She's become antsy and is easily upset by even the smallest thing, and it had begun to bug me. What I didn't realize, was that she had become vulnerable, vulnerable to other men.
Oh, by the way, my real job is as a black-hand lieutenant; that's right, I'm a mafioso. I run the gambling part of our enterprises—actually just sports cards, but make no mistake it is a very lucrative part of our family's business.
Enzo Bertulucci is my uncle. He's the head, the capo; of a local, newly formed element of the—it shall remain nameless—over-family in Philly. Our family's particular interests lie in the southwest, which part shall also remain nameless. Like most real mofiosi, most of the time we do nothing but live normal lives doing normal things while dealing with the normal trials and tribulations of everyday life.
Ginger has been a wonderful wife and a wonderful mother. The fact that she is the mother of our children, and that she is doing so well at the job, are the reasons she's still alive. Let me explain, and let me say right off: Ginger has no idea what my main job is. I do very well in the electronics business and she appreciates it and makes the most of my income and legitimate business interests. One of my business interests, which she has been making the most of lately, is Mark Williams, my boss at Electro-Mall.
I have always been protective of Ginger. She is always going here there and everywhere. So, I assigned a family soldier to watch her—read watch out for her not spy on her—whenever she was going to be gone from the house for any length of time. The Result? Carlo has come to me with the most humiliating news I had ever had to face. My wife was fucking my day job boss. I told Carlo to get me hard core proof.
It took a couple of weeks, but Carlo had gotten the evidence: photos, videos, audio files; the works. She broke my heart.
I went to my uncle. He told me to stop whining and to take care of my family business or he would do it for me; Then, he slapped me—hard—and told me to stop crying like the baby I was. His last words, again, were for me to handle it, and he walked off.
Handle it! I knew what that meant, and I just couldn't "handle it." Maybe my asshole boss, but not Ginger. I had to come up with something, but what.
I took a couple of days off from the job; I had to think, to plan. I told him, Williams, that I was going to be out of town for a few days. And, I told him why—the truth—that my wife and I were having problems, and I had to have time to think and to get my act together. Mark, bless his stinking soul, was more than happy to give me the time off I was asking for; he couldn't know how happy he'd made me. The fuckwad was faunching at the bit to get into my wife's pants.
When the time came to pay the piper, I was going to be more than happy to be there and to deliver the bad news to the asshole myself. In my mind I could hear him now: begging, screaming, and praying for mercy. There would be none. One does not mess with another man's family, not ever.
I packed my bags and did all of the right things necessary for someone about to leave town. I even had Ginger iron extra shirts for me in case I would be delayed in my return.
"Do you really have to go, Max," she said. "Why can't I go with you? I could use some unwinding too." She was good.
"Ginger, I am going to be doing some business too. I have some other things to attend to. I will be back by Thursday unless something untoward comes up. Okay?" I said.
She made as if to pout, but I could see that she was not all that shaken up with my going. I was wondering what she would have said if I had agreed to her phony wishes and said, "Oh yeah go ahead and pack a bag." I thought for a minute. I decided to do that very thing. It would be telling.
"Ging," I said, after seeming to have rethought my words, "I have decided that you are right. Pack a bag; I'm taking you with me."
Her face clouded over. "No, honey," she said, "I would just be in the way, I guess; you know, of you doing your business. And, I need to be here for some other things this week having to do with church affairs. Father Mario needs me for the sodality meeting Wednesday night."
Yeah, I thought cynically, sodality business my ass. Fucking Mark Williams isn't really high on the list of sodality priorities, but I guess it is of yours you cunt. I was getting dangerously close to doing something precipitously; I had to get outta there. I wondered if she'd ever considered fucking Fr. Mario. She kissed me passionately as I headed for the door with my bag. I kissed her back, and hustled out to the cab that had been waiting for me.
The cab was driven by a cousin of mine, and he dropped me six blocks away to a waiting rental car that I would be using for the next few days. I wanted to catch them in the act myself. There's just something kinda neat about nailing cheaters in the act. It doesn't make up for all of the pain that they cause, no way, but it does feel pretty good. I was planning on feelin' real good for sure. But, I was also sick at heart. When a woman chooses a lover over her husband the degree of hurt is almost beyond measure. My stomach had not stopped churning since Carlo had laid all of the hard evidence on me.
I checked in at a local motel and then drove back to a street one over to wait for the asshole's car to come by; his mustard yellow Z-car would be difficult to not notice. I could have had Carlo sit and wait for the guy, but this one I had to do myself; no, I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to experience firsthand my wife's infidelity. I didn't want to just hear about it, see pictures about it, or any of that; I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I'd already seen the damn pictures! And, as I said, I also wanted to see their faces when I caught them with their pants down.
I knew he'd soon be going to my house once he was sure my plane had taken off; I knew because of the bug I'd put on my phone at the house: working at an electronics firm for more than twenty years had its upside.
Evidently, I had no more than told Mr. Williams about my plans to be out of town than he was on the phone to my beautiful and traitorous wife Ginger making a date with her. I listened again to the tape I'd recorded.
"Hello," she said ... Oh, yes, Mark ... really ... yes ... I'll be home tomorrow ... the idiot is going where ... oh, okay ... park a few houses down ... yes, after dark ... don't want the neighbors getting nosey ... okay, see you tomorrow night ... love you too ... bye."
She was worried about the neighbors. That was something. We had bought the house we currently lived in because of the treed nature of the neighborhood and the privacy that it afforded. Yes, it was possible that someone might notice a strange car at the house, but it would have been unlikely to raise any red flags. Different visitors had come over, and often stayed over, fairly regularly over the years. We had a lot of friends and relatives—we were Italians for cryin'-out-loud!
Idiot? She referred to me as an idiot. She was insulting me on the phone to the asshole. I hadn't heard all that was on the tapes that Carlo had given me yet. I wondered what other insults I was going to have to endure. I was pissed before, but I was more than pissed now, and I was hurting. My wife! She was my wife! I loved her. I couldn't believe she held me in such contempt. I had always been good to her. I thought back over the past year. Had there been any sign that something was going on? If there had, I hadn't seen it. I still didn't.
The sex had been regular if not spectacular. The bills were paid. The children were our pride and joy. Both of our families were supportive and always in evidence. What was the hang up? What had I done? What did Mark Williams have that made me expendable as a husband? What made her call me an idiot? Again, what else had she called me, I wondered? Was she thinking of divorcing me? I'd heard her say she loved him. I had a lot of questions. But, I would be patient; I would have my answers one way or another.
I had decided that I wanted, no needed, to know everything I could. I had determined to not just walk in on them and bust them. I wanted to hear more and be there when I heard it. If I just broke them up, I might not ever know the real reason that she was doing this to me, and I really-really needed to know, for my own sanity.
His can of mustard passed me at low speed. I followed him; I knew where he was going; I didn't need to hurry.
He'd followed her instructions: he parked four houses down the block and made his way up to my house. I parked right behind him and checked to see that the little recorder I had brought with me was ready to go. I got out, made it to the side of the house, and quietly went around back.
Our house is actually three stories, though appearing to be but two stories from the front. Built into the side of a gentle slope, the basement is accessible only through the back. Unless they were planning to fuck in the basement, unlikely because of the large sliding glass door, they'd never see me enter the house.
They weren't in the basement, and they didn't see me. They were howsoever in the den, just off the kitchen. I could hear them clearly.
"He got himself off and gone then," said the asshole.
"Got off?" said my wife.
"You know what I mean, he left, he went on the trip," said the asshole.
.... There is more of this story ...