My very words ... not two seconds ago.
Two days ago I left Chicago on my dad's Catalina 33 ... was my father's ... it was mine now. It had sat on its cradle for the two years it took for my older brother and his penny pinching, money grubbing, bitch of a wife to finally run out of courts to appeal the ruling laid down by the Clinton County Circuit Court Judge.
The will plainly stated, after the houses, lands, cars and businesses were granted to Charley, exclusive of the vacation home at 201 Carroll Street in Pentwater, Michigan ... that:
As the eldest son has never shown any interest in my hobbies, to the contrary, he has begrudged every penny I spent on them, I therefore leave to my second son, David James, my boats.
One Catalina 33, serial number 25xxx, stored at Major's Marina in Chicago, Illinois.
One Baltic 50, serial number 9x, stored at City Boats and Bait in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
One Beneteau Oceanis 40, serial number 6x, stored at the Cleveland Yacht Club in Cleveland, Ohio.
Along with sufficient funds to maintain said boats, sufficient to be determined by a reputable ships surveyor not chosen by Charles, his spouse or any relative of his spouse.
My dad didn't like her very much. He had excellent taste.
My aircraft, my firearms and appurtenances.
There were over a thousand firearms. She was a liberal Democrat.
My camping gear.
Daddy had gear from mild to wild ... from useless to perfectly suited to conditions ... all conditions.
Oh yes ... Daddy, ever the Lawyer, laid it all out, right down to the penalties for each and every attempt to break the will...
An additional sum of One thousand and one dollars per month for life for each lost court appeal ... along with the dockage or storage penalties accrued.
The will was so cleverly crafted that I never once had to hire council. Every time the bitch opened her mouth in court a little piece of my brothers' inheritance found its way to my pocket ... and she would NOT shut up. She finally gave up when she realized the Cleveland Country Club home would have to be leased to pay for her big mouth. Of all the family homes, it was her favorite.
As far as I was concerned, Daddy had his revenge on me with the last sentence of my part of the will...
and the sum of one thousand dollars a month so long as David can show legal income of one thousand dollars a year.
I am a lazy bastard. I hike, run, swim, climb, mountain bike, fly, sail and fuck with healthy abandon ... and a dedication that my father thought I should extend to wo ... wo ... wo ... employment. I do not like to wo ... wo ... work. It's not that I am above wo ... wo ... wo ... employment ... it's that I do not suffer fools gladly and I never met a boss who wasn't a fool.
Casting about for a suitable place of employment, I was at a party given by my good friend Billy M ... when I happened to mention the dire terms and conditions of that curst document, the Will.
"Thousand bucks a year?" asked Billy.
"Before or after taxes?"
"Oh God ... that word..." I almost swooned.
"Oh please ... refrain from such vulgarities."
"I'll pay you one thousand dollars after the governments' cut for nine nights at Christmas break, three nights during spring break and seven nights during holidays ... from the last of September until the first of May. Nineteen night shifts Five pm to Two am."
"I own Ms Kitty's."
"Across the street from the hotel?"
"The store with the rocket scientist?"
"That's the one."
"I'll d-d-d-do it."
I now had legitimate employment in a Porn store. Oh yes, nothing so remotely acceptable an occupation as a clerk in an Adult Establishment ... I managed to secure a position working spring and fall holidays and Christmas break at the only dildo shop in a small college town. There were nine thousand residents and seventeen thousand students ... half of whom were cornfed midwestern blondes of the female persuasion.
Ms Kitty's was the ONLY outlet for relief from male idiots who comprised the other half. The only adult store in one hundred and twenty five miles in any direction. It was the only adult store due to changes in the City Charter after the wife of the Mayor caught him in one of the 'booths.' Ms Kitty's was grandfathered in.
The only way Ms Kitty's would lose that grandfather clause was by a unanimous vote of all 19 council members. 18 of them were regular customers.
The rocket scientist was blonde, statuesque and blindingly smart. Her Junior year she off campus interned with NASA. One of her design ideas flew ... is flying ... it's up there ... circling the planet, sending ultra secret information to the Federal Alphabet ... we'll call her Sarah.
Sarah is one of the reasons I wo ... wo ... wo work Holidays and Christmas and have from May to September off. Cindy is the other one. I am their substitute. I am grateful ... it's a great place to wo ... wo.
I learned a lot and answered some mighty embarrassing questions.
It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. Take me! Take Me!
At the time I was amazed at the naiveté of college freshmen. Where did the government obtain the statistics about middle school sex? These girls knew how cows did it but never for a minute imagined that humans did 'That', too.
I volunteered to cure the ignorance but, alas, I was, at 25, too old for serious consideration from the freshmen ... and not old enough for those with a father fetish. This hellish condition existed for a year... 19 nights of stay at the dorm during breaks and holidays students. The breakthrough came at the beginning of my second year, Thanksgiving shift.
The door is locked at 12:30 ... the hour and a half between 12:30 and 2am was spent mopping up the splooge in the viewing booths, counting out and placing the bank bag in the timed safe in the back, and counting booth tokens. And vacuuming the maroon carpet.
The first thing Billy wanted to see when he came to work in the morning was the vacuum cleaner by the door. Evidence that the nightshift had, indeed, cleaned that expensive carpet.
Chores done, I was preparing to leave when a timid knocking was faintly heard on the smoked glass of the front door.
"Who is it? ... We're closed." It wasn't Billy, he had keys and he'd never knock.
"Mister?" A female voice.
'Young, ' I thought.
A second voice ... also female ... also young.
"What?" I asked in my very best snarl.
"We want to buy a movie. We heard something at the bar and don't know what it is." Spoken like twins.
"We're closed. Come back in the morning," I said in a slightly less belligerent voice.
Money was slid under the crack at the bottom of the door. "We want a movie about Manage a tro."
You have no idea how long it took me to decipher the words to understand they meant Ménage à trois.
Shit ... the bill slid under the door? ... it's a fifty.
"Pick one out and keep the change," the timid voice said.
"Bring it out with you, we'll be in the Volvo across the street," said the other voice.
"Listen ... the three of you find a bed, take off your clothes and let Mother Nature take her course," I suggested.
"We need three? There's just two of us."
Big heavy sigh..."Ok ... stay away from the door. I'm armed."
Fifty bucks ... I could get one of the nine dollar movies ... but we just got in a shipment of PRIVATE ... first class European porn shot on film with excellent direction, a plot and a cameraman who understood the word, Focus.
They were expensive ... and the only movies I couldn't take home to watch while I introduced Mr. Happy to Rosie Palmer and her five daughters. I stuck the fifty in the bottom of the register with a note to Billy and picked the one titled Ménage à trois, Italian Style.
I checked the monitored outside cameras ... nobody outside ... nobody in the alley ... and only two sets of small footprints in the new fallen snow. I put the movie in a Ms. Kitty's bag and held the store .38 behind the bag.
One thing I knew about college girls ... they get laid anytime they want ... unless they're barkers of the first water.
Two young girls going home alone fit the barker designation.
You know the old saying, "A two at Ten is a ten at Two." That's rating the prospect on a scale of one, "the worst imaginable," through ten..."OH MY GOD!! I've died and gone to heaven!" If you haven't picked up a beauty by closing ... any port in a storm.
I set the alarm and let myself out. The door shut, I listened for the automatic lock. I put the store gun in the dropbox slot. I heard it fall in the basket.
It's fucking cold... 2AM ... new snow ... wind blowing like a motherfucker. Windchill is probably 5 below zero. Buck up, David ... home is only a mile walk.
Across the street, a red Volvo 245 was surrounded by exhaust steam.
I know that Volvo ... um ... ah ... Brittany? ... yeah ... Brittany.
This doesn't make a dime worth of sense ... Brittany was an easy eight, borderline nine...
Who is that with her? A swirl of wind blows the steam away from the windshield.
... OH MY GOD...
Keirstann of the amazing 32DD boobs ... Keirstann's boobs can not hold up a toothpick. She doesn't sag enough.
Keirstann's nipples cut tiny quarter sized figure eights when she runs.
Speaking of running ... cats in a bag fighting to get out. That's Keirstann's ass in ski-pants.
Keirstann ... the only eleven on campus.
I had seen them both on the slopes. Last year, neither one acknowledged my existence.
The window rolled down ... I handed Brittany the movie ... the window started up ... Keirstann leaned forward and looked, "David?"
Now I Am shocked ... Keirstann knows my name ... she knows what I look like ... There's only one explanation possible ... I must have frozen to death ... I am in heaven.
"David ... get in this car. You'll freeze to death."
"Too late ... you spoke my name ... I've already died and this is heaven ... Damn cold for heaven, though." I was babbling ... my mind had done flew de coop. I was reluctant to ride the chariot through the pearly gates.
"Aw, that's sweet ... isn't he sweet, Britt?" Keirstann opened her door. "Get in the car."
"For angels, you two are dressed for the cold."
"David, get- in- the- car." She slid out, grabbed me by the arm and pushed me into the car. She got in.
A Volvo 245 wagon is a pretty big car, as far European cars go, but it's still two bucket-seats and a console. It's a stick shift on the floor ... there's no possible way I can sit on the console. There can be only one explanation. God is reinforcing the fact I'm dead.
Keirstann is on my lap.
"Hold on ... Something is trying to push me off your lap ... Oh." She blushed, "OH! ... Britt ... there's a baseball bat in David's pants."
Brittany looked between Keirstann's legs ... she turned on the interior light. "Ann, that's not a bat."
Keirstann reached between her legs ... I clearly wasn't thinking clearly ... i tried to stop her. I failed.
"It feels like a bat, Britt."
"In about five seconds," I garbled, "That bat is going to make a mess in my pants ... Let go."
I said I wasn't thinking clearly ... mostly I wasn't thinking at all ... my brain had no oxygen. It had no oxygen because all my blood was concentrated in my 'bat.'
"Ann, let go." At least Britt was thinking. "I want to feel." No, she wasn't.
I knew I'd died ... I didn't know angels drove Volvos, though.
"Oh God." Too late.
"It's shrinking, Britt ... do something." Keirstann yelled.
Britt did something ... she turned into my parking lot ... shut off the car and hustled us up the stairs ... how did she know where I lived? How did she know I lived on the second floor? No doubt in my mind ... Angels ... both of them ... God told them where I lived. It's the only possible explanation.
How did I get naked? ... and wet ... and where did these marvelous boobs come from and that's a wonderful place my bat is ... wet and warm and slippery and slippery, and slippery ... oh shit.
"Dry him off, Ann ... he can do us some good now. He's tasty ... you'll love it."
I assume Keirstann did ... I know I did. I am eternally grateful that I didn't have to go to work tomorrow.
I know that doesn't explain, "What the Fuck?" but it does explain why I was in the middle of Lake Michigan sailing north into a northern half gale.
Well, the girls wanted to go sailing ... in November ... and the Catalina was the only boat I owned that wasn't already on the hard at the yacht basin in Pentwater.
I had moved the Beneteau Oceanis 40 from Cleveland during the warm and balmy months of May and June, sailing from the Yacht Club to Sandusky and overnighting at Cedar Point harbor. It's a hop, skip and a jump from Cedar Point to Kelley's Island and its interesting Museums.
People forget we fought the British twice ... the Revolution and the War of 1812. Sailing north between South Bass and Middle Bass to Put-in Bay, where our fledgling volunteer Navy fought a much better armed but slave British one.
I know ... Pressed Men ... not slaves.
If a man is hit over the head and wakes at sea, where he stands a very good chance of being hung if he doesn't obey ... where a failure to perform is punished by 12 lashes from a Cat-O-Nine Tails. Stripes that take the flesh down to the bone and leave a mass of ugly scars. If he's stuck in that ship until the war or in this case ... WARS ... are over ... that's slavery. Some men survived FIFTEEN years of slavery to the British Navy. If that same man is traded to another ship? Slavery.
There are at least 13 sunken warships in and around the Erie Islands area.
From Put-in Bay I sailed the Oceanis to Monroe, Michigan and put in for the night. I wanted to sail to the Detroit River in the daylight. Hugging the left side of Grosse Ile I sailed near the old Naval Air Station.
One of my teachers at home loved to tell the story of his duty station on an island three thousand miles off the California coast. He spent the entire Korean Conflict and all his reserve time as a radar officer with 120 enlisted men under his command. If you got him drunk enough, he'd tell of using scuba gear to swim to a foreign shore and smuggle whisky back to his men. We were certain he was somewhere in the far reaches of the Pacific, but we couldn't find a 'foreign shore' close enough to a Navy base to swim to. Fly? ... sure. Swim? no!
Finally, one of the smarter students obtained a protractor and a chart of the Pacific from California to Hawaii. There ARE NO islands with US Navy bases three thousand miles off the west coast that anyone could possibly swim from ... to a 'foreign shore' for whisky. We obtained the same scale US map as the chart ... Grosse Ile NAS!! Confronted ... he confessed. Whisky is much cheaper on Bob-Lo Island, Ontario.
Sailing north past Belle Isle but still on the river I put up at the home of one on my fathers associates on Windswept Lane, Grosse Pointe. Nice house. One morning I ventured out onto Lake Saint Clair. The trip up stream ... and it is up stream... (The difference in mean lake water level is 32 feet from Superior to Erie.) across Lake Saint Clair ends at Harsen's Island. Then it's the Ste. Claire River. There are several ways to sail around Harsen's ... The long way, the old way and the dangerous way.
Anchor Bay to Pearl Beach to Algonac is the long way. Anchor Bay is an extension of Lake Saint Clair but it's way west. The river turns north at Algonac. This is the long way. It was wide and deep but it was through Michigan and Michigan taxed foreign boats.
Years ago the Canadians dug a canal from the river and funneled Canadian ship traffic through it. It was hell to maintain, but it was faster and cheaper.
The border between the countries has always been the center of the main channel of the river. The canal was changing the direction of the flow to the east. A Fort was built to protect Canadian interests. The Americans started a Canal of their own ... bigger, deeper, wider than the Canadian canal. The ground at Harsen's must be softer than the glacial escarpment on the Canadian side because the canal suddenly became 'the river'. This is the old way. But it put Harsen's Island in Canada.
Finally, a compromise was reached, a combined effort saw the short way. But it's filled with lake boats going both ways; up river and down. Lake boats are death traps for sailboats. And that's why I'd been sleeping in harbors throughout my trip.
I sheltered at Algonac in the afternoon. My intention was to run the river under power. I fueled up and checked everything. I even hired a surveyor to make certain I wasn't going to break something and drift. Drifting can be hazardous to one's health in crowded waterways. Lake boats are big, heavy and they don't stop.
The throttle cable was 'sticky'; I got a new cable. There was a glitch in the depth finder; I bought a new one. We lifted the boat and checked all the zincs, the through hulls and the keel bolts. The rudder was fine. All the cables for the pulpit steering were pulled, greased and reinstalled. The stainless rigging was checked and I bought a new radar reflector.
I left Algonac at first light and made the run against the current. My knot meter said I was doing twelve knots but against the current I was making eight over the ground.
Lake boats are upwards of 800 feet long and the Beneteau Oceanis 40 was tiny and hard to see. Eventually I made Port Huron and put up for the night. I even went to the bar ... to celebrate my escape from Davy Jones. Jones is the Grim Reaper of the sea. I stayed two nights. It seems I celebrated a little more than was wise.
I really wanted to go to Bay City but the bay is notorious for sudden fogs so I anchored off Captain Morgan's Grindstone Bar and Grill and called for a delivery. Porterhouse, baked potato and a Caesars along with a micro brew or two and I snuggled down for the night. It was pretty dark and foggy out.
I had night visitors. I had expected problems near Detroit but this was Bumfuck, Egypt, as far as the sticks on the Michigan thumb were concerned. I was surprised. The deck was wired for sound.
I listened long enough. I put several nuts in my pocket and my pistol in a rubber bag.
I heard one of the guys whisper, "Laurie, you strip off and knock on the hatch."
"You sure, Billy?" Laurie asked.
"I know he's got money ... it's Beneteau," Billy slapped a heavy canvas sock across his palm ... rocks or lead shot. "half a million dollar boat."
"Jimmy delivered dinner and got tipped twenty bucks," the other guy said. "He's alone. Jimmy said one meal."
"We'll whack him and run the boat out where we can dump the body."
One guy and the girl dropped down in the cockpit. The other one was laying down on the cabin top. I went out the forward hatch. I dropped my painters ladder over the side and went overboard. Just a little bubble of a splash.
"Man," whispered Billy. "That was a big one. We'll go fishing when we're done."
I untied their little dingy from the anchor rode and towed it around the the stern. I tied it off to the swim ladder, and swam back to the painters ladder.
I could hear Laurie knocking on the hatch. "Mister?"
I stood on the ladder and mostly dripped off.
Laurie was a real treat ... she couldn't have been sixteen.
The two boys were watching her.
Billy whispered to the other guy, "Fuck, she's hot ... we'll tap that when we're done."
In the gleam of the anchor light reflecting off the white fiberglass, they were watching her boobs bounce. The second guy got to his feet for a better look.
The second guy whispered to Billy, "My dad, the Sheriff, will front the boat ... my uncle, the judge will..." something, something, something..."just like the others."
I stood there behind the one on the deckhouse ... Shit, they were going to kill me and they'd done it before. I picked a nut out of my pocket and tossed it out to the port side. It splashed. He looked ... I snapped his neck and eased him down on the deck. He was still alive ... but not breathing. With his spinal cord snapped all he could do was die.
Billy was whispering about the fish. I threw another nut. This time off the stern, he turned to look and I broke Laurie's neck.
"Wow ... that was close ... we should fish right here"
I picked Laurie up and laid her down on the deck. Her eyes were fluttering ... I could tell she was thinking, 'not me ... it's supposed to be you ... I'm going to live forever.' She didn't.
"Knock one more time Laurie ... Laurie? Laurie?" The last nut took him right between the eyes.
By 3am, I was twenty-five miles out in the foggy lake. The bodies were in the little boat and I jumped in beside it. From underneath I stabbed several marlinspike holes in the bottom and made them bigger with the tire iron Billy was going to use to kill me. I dropped the spike and the tire iron. Bill was still alive and telling me what he was going to do when he got loose.
"Fuck your ass and stick an icepick in your ear ... that's what ... tear you a new one."
I had the boat tied fore and aft with slipknots and the three of them were snarled in a huge wad of fishline The little boat sunk. I watched Bill drown and slipped the knots. Lake Huron is deep and cold. They might not gas up and float for a long time. They might not ever float. It's real cold down below. If they did come up it would look like they had been fishing and Laurie had had a bad cast.
I motored along until the sun burnt off the fog, and raised sail ... I just love roller booms and genoa. The breeze freshened and I was making wake Square stemmed sailboats were really new when Pops bought this one. The waterline length was damn close to the length over all.
Speed is proportional to waterline length. The longer the WL the faster your boat can go. There are ocean racers that can plane ... go fast enough that the whole hull is out of the water except for six or eight feet of stern. Thirty knots? ... no problem. Daddy said he'd had this one going fast enough to drag a waterskier.
Before I knew it, Mackinac Island was over my bow. They've got a nice little marina. I rented a slip ... backed in, tied-off and went ashore. I was stepping off the dock when the ferry pulled in. A gaggle of college girls stepped off and I was surrounded.
"You have a nice boat, mister."
"We watched you tie up."
"Take us for a ride tomorrow?"
"We're at the Hotel."
"Me too," I said.
They took me to dinner. I took them to breakfast.
South of the Island is a jut of rock with an abandoned Lighthouse on it. It's got a deepwater pier. They wanted to explore. I delivered. The iron circular stairs were rusty but intact. The clockwork post was still good. They climbed, I watched. After they disappeared through the light platform hatch I went outside and got my camera. Telephoto lens up skirt shots. They were sure nobody could see them.
Two went inside and two stripped off and sunbathed on the grating platform. I took a lot of pictures.
I heard a clatter inside and found a screwdriver on the floor. Those goofballs were trying to steal the light!!
"Get down here ... Right Now. That's a felony ... stealing from the United States Government. Come Down NOW!" I hollered up at them.
They all climbed down but were pretty pissed about it.
"Shame on you! I should spank your asses."
"Oh, Dave ... Would you? Please."
You know the girls in the castle in Monty Python's Holy Grail? Yup ... that part. The knight left. I didn't. In the morning I stood at the hatch as each one came out in their boy shorts and thin halter tops. Each one kissed me and fondled Mr. Happy as she went by. They trouped to the waiting passenger ferry, boarded and settled in. When the ferry left I explored the Island. Foot or bicycle ... no cars.
After that the trip under the bridge was cool but everything was pretty damn dull. Pentwater was simmering in the sun ... I motored down the channel and around to the Marina. I shut down, gathered up trash and a whole carton of used condoms, stepped out, carried my trash to the dumpster, called to have the holding tanks pumped and sanitized and went to the office.
"Bottom job, Mr. Mike. You might as well haul her and put her away. I've got to go to Milwaukee and get the Baltic."
Because I'm such a good customer ... and the trust was paying like clockwork, Mike drove me to Ludington. I rode the Car Ferry to Milwaukee harbor, called City Boats and Bait. They sent a driver and I sailed the Baltic the 65 miles to Pentwater ... it took a whole day. Whoopee. After the Cleveland to P-water run ... Whoopee.
I know I left out a lot because it took me two months to sail from Cleveland and about fifteen minutes to write about it. I had a good time ... gave people rides. Sold a few people on Beneteau boats and got a commission for it
There were a few girls who wanted to fuck at sea and I obliged. I spent a week in Grosse Pointe playing caddy for my father's associates ... went to Boblo Island and remembered my youth. Like I said ... I had a good time.
When the girls said they wanted to go sailing ... I succumbed. I think I was balls deep in Britt's ass, but I'm not sure.
Keirstann was holding on to my dick leading me out to the car and I'd follow that hand ... and ass ... anywhere.
"Come on Dave, It'll be fun."
For two days we sailed on a broad reach to Wisconsin, come about and broad reach back to the Michigan shore. For every one hundred and sixty miles east and west, we made twenty-five to thirty miles north. Thank God, the weather was improving. The waves were down from a 'Holy Shit' twelve or sixteen feet to a mild four.
The girls were below trying to keep hatches closed and broken crockery swept up. I was huddled up behind the Cat's Destroyer wheel and paying really close attention to the depth finder and the radar while keeping an eye out for the next wave. I had just come about and was heading back to the Wisconsin shore when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. Holy Shit.
"Hold on," I hollered through the top slat of the hatch. We pitchpoled. That was the biggest wave I've ever seen on the Lakes. The monster was twice as tall as the Catalina was long. We went all the way over. I was out of the water and in the water and out of the water and back under again. Upside down the mast hit something hard. The rigging broke and the mast pitched itself out of the hull. We came back up again. Thank God the diesel started. I got her turned and started climbing up the side of an even taller wave ... The world turned upside down again and I was dry. The boat was out of the water and being lifted gently inside what could only be described as a flying saucer. That fucker was huge. Things were still falling inside the boat. Then it was quiet.
"What the Fuck?"