I do a lot of public speaking. It’s the price you pay to sell books. No, I’m not a bestselling author. I write for the practitioner market. Explaining boring technical shit to a bunch of nerds; all of whom are just slavering to point out flaws in your logic, or errors in your facts, is like taking a refreshing crawl across the Sahara Desert. Nonetheless, in academia, you either publish or perish. So, crawl I must.
You gotta hustle If you want to get your ideas out there. So, I have a symbiotic relationship with the big Houses. My publishers truck me into a conference in East Buttfuck Nebraska and I do my thing. It’s like leveraging your prostitution career by being a stripper. You show the audience enough to get them interested. But, they have to buy the whole package if they want to unwrap the goods.
I was painfully shy when I was a kid. The idea of talking to a room full of strangers filled me with horror. But, I grew up to be an academic. You learn to get over it after years of standing in front of students. Lecturing to students is a special situation though. They HAVE to listen. I hold the whip. It’s called a “grade.”
The group that I was speaking to tonight was another matter entirely. Each and every one of them was a gimlet-eyed C-Level. You have to be on your game with those guys. Otherwise, they will communicate their displeasure in creative and ego-shattering ways. I know my stuff. You don’t publish six top selling books in the field, without knowing your stuff. But when you are up there on stage you are entertaining, not informing.
I learned that the first time I tried speaking. I did two hours of serious and informative discussion. The reviews were less than kind. The best they said was that I was boring. That hurt. So, like the burlesque queen in Gypsy, “I got myself a gimmick.” Rational discourse doesn’t hold a candle to a guy in a mirrored suit telling you that they are going to hell. Consequently, the next time I was in front of a group I unloaded a steaming pile of demagogic shit that would have made Chicken Little sound like a starry eyed optimist. The audience loved it!!! And from that day on, I did a fire and brimstone shtick for the assembled multitude. It was full of allusions to digital Pearl Harbors and post-apocalyptic societies. I honestly felt like I was way over-the-top simplistic. Even if most of what I was telling them would probably happen. Of course, they ate it up. Apparently, you CAN fool all of the people some of the time.
There are two kinds of players in the public speaking game. One is an attention junkie. They are on stage when they do their talk. And they are even more “ON STAGE” afterwards. They hang around the event and grip and grin with all their adoring fans. They can’t get enough public adulation.
The other kind are like me. I am not the guy up there on stage. I’ve NEVER been. It’s an act. The guy up there radiates jaunty confidence and communal fellow-feeling. He’s Davey Tyler, good-old-boy. The fellow you want to have a beer with. He connects with people from the front row to 50 rows back. Everybody knows he’s their pal.
The private Davey Tyler is not a fan of the human race. So, as soon as the applause dies down THAT guy reasserts his rights. And heads for the nearest alcohol dispensary. As usual, Bernie was waiting for me. Bernie is my Development Editor. He’s the guy who ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION during English class.
Most subject-matter-experts, particularly in the technical fields, can’t spell “grammar” let alone apply it. I’m a nerd, not a literarian. So, the big Houses pair me with a DE. That’s the normal situation in the book trade. The responsibility of the DE is to turn whatever incoherent shit I give them into a product that is not too publicly embarrassing.
You interact in virtual space with your DE. The DE for my first two books was a woman. I never met her. For all I knew she could have been a 300-pound behemoth, or hotter than Scarlett Johansson. In fact, she might have actually been a guy literary catfishing me. All I knew was that she could catch mistakes that no human ought to be able to spot. And she turned my boring stuff into really influential contributions to the field.
Bernie took over for my third book. He had the same amazing skill and also a sense of humor. Producing a 500-page professional tome is roughly equivalent to a woman birthing a rhinoceros. It is exceptional agony over a prolonged period. And you need a sense of humor unless you want to go totally nuts. Bernie eased the birth pains with the driest Jewish wit ever.
Ever since that time, his services have been rolled into every contract that I sign. I finally met him at a book party. He knew who I was because I was one of the speakers. But I didn’t know HIM. All I saw was a brown bear in a wrinkled suit and sweat stains descending on me. The guy was massive. And Bernie is as enthusiastic as he is large.
He approached me with a huge grin on his face. I did the man-hug backslapping thing with him, while looking pleadingly at the rest of the people trying to get somebody to tell me who the fuck he was. Now Bernie shows up at most of my gigs. Especially ones in nice cities like San Francisco.
We were at the Fairmont this time. The bar area off the lobby is one of those big open expanses where it feels like you are terribly de rigueur if you are not sipping martinis. Bernie drinks beer directly from the bottle so he stood out. He also stood out because he is close to 350 pounds, and wears bright aloha shirts that don’t quite cover up his hairy chest.
But he mostly stands out because he absolutely radiates not giving a shit what other people think, which is pretty-much my OWN attitude. He was sitting with two guys. Those dudes were wearing suits that cost more than my car.
A woman was also sitting with them. She was absolutely stunning in a Xena Warrior Princess way.
Her facial features were absolutely perfect. But, the effect was aesthetic rather than sensual. She was Athena, not Aphrodite. She was tall for a woman, with a body that could only be described as aggressive, muscular and lithe. But it had substance to it, like she could kick your ass without breaking a sweat. She was almost mannish in her general attitude too. She came off powerful and controlled, not girly in the least. And she radiated a man’s sexuality, forceful and omnivorous. You got the impression she would happily kill you in bed; and then feed your carcass to her cubs.
Her main attributes though were two of the biggest jugs ever mounted on the species. Even though she was a substantial woman those things were disproportionately large. They must have weighed fifteen pounds each. They made me want to grab a tit in each hand, stick my head in between and go “Brrrrrrrrrrr.” Of course, serious suffocation would ensue, but what a way to die!!!
I couldn’t take my eyes off her. You didn’t need to tell me what Bernie was up to. Bernie looks after me like a brother. He had gathered a set of movers and shakers. And he expected me to dazzle them with my footwork. We run that little bait and switch game at all of my shows. And it frequently leads to consulting engagements and other kinds of stipends that fatten both of our coffers.
It had been a long day, featuring a cross country flight. And I was thinking to myself, “Shit Bernie! I don’t need this!” But a buck is still a buck and Bernie is my best pal. So, “Once more unto the breach.” I donned good old affable Davey Tyler and ambled over to the table with my legendary lopsided grin.
I said, “Howdy pardner” to Bernie.
I stuck out my hand to the first guy. I said, “Davey”. He said, “Brad.”
Same with the next guy, “Davey”, “Doug.”
I turned to the woman and offered my hand, “Davey.” She took my hand like a guy would. It was definitely NOT genteel. And THEN she proceeded to crush it. She was ONE seriously strong woman. She said “Marigold, but everybody calls me Mary. My parents foisted their bizarre sense of humor off on their children.”
They all looked me over. I am nowhere near as impressive up close, as I am walking around on the stage. The lighting and elevation change the perspective. Their disappointment in my lack of awesomeness showed. I looked THEM over.
Mary was stunning in a tucked in preppie princess kind of way. Plain black skirt, patent leather heels and very expensive looking silk blouse with some kind of industrial strength thing-a-ma-jig underneath, hoisting her girls to epic proportions. Her auburn hair, was very thick and cut into a hip quasi-Cleopatra hairdo. The bangs made her huge yellow cat eyes look absolutely feral. She had a $20,000 Rolex Yachtmaster on her wrist and enough gold to stock a pagan temple. But everything was displayed in a tastefully discreet manner.
The term “slick lounge lizard” came to mind when I looked at Doug. I wasn’t sure whether he walked or skittered. He was clearly NOT the brains of the operation. But he was probably the money. His companion Brad was radiating human attack dog. You know THAT type. Got popular in college playing middle linebacker and that’s his approach to everything in life now; including his wife, kids, colleagues, and whatever friends he can scare up.
In fact, he was so much the alpha-male I expected him to lift one leg when he peed.
Mary had obviously just come to socialize. She was a senior Partner with Deloitte in Chicago and since I have done some consulting with them I directed most of my initial conversation toward her. She kept cutting me looks like, “Can you believe these two?”
The two guys were totally oblivious to HER presence. Mary being a “broad” and all. Bernie said, “Doug and Brad were impressed by what you had to say and they wanted to talk some more about it.”
I KNEW what those two wanted. THEY wanted to shove their snouts into the Federal trough up to their eyeballs. I had been talking about a national security issue. That problem has the Feds freaked-out. And when a bureaucrat gets antsy he throws your tax money at the problem. My ideas were mostly theoretical. So, Doug and Brad wanted to hear the details.
They ALSO clearly thought that we were ripe for the plucking, because I was an academic and Bernie was a book guy. I have had to deal with that loathsome sub-species of varmint my whole career. And I learned long ago that life is far too short to spend your time getting blatantly ripped off.
I was having fun messing with them, keeping the conversation at a level where they couldn’t QUITE get anything useful. That was until I discovered that they were ALSO the sort of insufferable pussy-hounds that I avoid like the Black Death.
The problem with that kind of simple minded critter is that they just assume that every guy is as horny as they are. So, they have this wink-wink attitude among just us boys in the treehouse. Neither of them understood that women were actually living breathing creatures with her own hopes, dreams, aspirations and personal sense of values. And the concept that a woman might actually have thoughts other than, “Fuck me baby “just never crosses their mind.
All women were prey to them, just a piece of meat with a few conveniently warm orifices. I know a surprising number of guys who have that attitude. Including one in particular. But more about him later. It was beyond me how a dude could grow up with mothers and sisters and still think that every woman they meet is only there to get fucked. But they are what they are.
These two were classic examples of the breed. And they were narcissistic to a degree that would have been close to delusional. IF it weren’t for the fact that the women they considered fair game were obviously THAT stupid. There are always loads of unattached females at big conferences. And those two seemed to view every one of them with the same attitude that the Indians took to the Happy Hunting Ground.
The operative word here is “unattached”. Those women might be happily married in real-life but there is nothing like a conference to make everybody forget that kind of thing. Conferences create a sense of unreality. You fly in and all of the encumbrances of your day-to-day life are left at the gate. The mental separation and the unreal world of airline travel make it easy to buy into the idea that you have stepped out of your actual life and into Never-Never Land. And like one of the Lost Boys, you regress to an age when you don’t have commitments, obligations, or responsibilities.
That’s why I don’t hang around the places where I do my gigs. The evening parties and mixers are all part of professional networking and the booze flows. The sight of all those people racing down the road to perdition is just too heart rending.
But I DID have to admit that tonight’s two assholes had a real eye for the easy ones. And they were now excitedly calling out targets like B17 gunners over Schweinfurt. You know the routine, “Hottie at twelve o’clock high! Big boobs at four o’clock low! Check out that ass at six o’clock level!” That sort of thing.
While THAT was going on Marigold was sitting with a look of total disbelief on her face. I was probably broadcasting horrified. I glanced anxiously at Bernie and he read it. He knows my history. He rose and said, “Thank you for the drinks gentlemen, we’ll be in touch.” I smiled at the boys, not too kindly, and exited in his wake. Bernie leaves a very big wake.
I never stay at the conference venues. It’s too painful. Tonight, I was staying at the Hotel Del Sol, which is a beautiful little boutique place over in the Marina. As we walked down the broad marble steps toward the cab rank Bernie said, “Sorry about that Davey. They seemed legitimate when they approached me.” I knew what he was actually saying.
I said, “No problem buddy. No way that you could tell in advance what they were like. Brad even looks a lot like HIM.”
The “him” I was referring to was Marlon Ruffing, Lothario extraordinaire. He was a corporate superstar, elegantly tall, stunningly handsome, and as relentless as a honey badger. He was NEVER more remorselessly driven than when he was in pursuit of my wife Sarah.
Sarah and I met cute. We were both new to the Madison area. I had just taken an Associate Professor position at a university there. It had a nice salary and research stipend, which was what lured me to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Prior to that I had worked at a small, technical college in Florida. But the allure of the Big Ten was too seductive.
I was dating a woman who was a secretary in one of the little campus research shops. In my slightly more immature days, we used to call a girl like Linda a “double bagger.” Meaning she had an A+ body and a C- face. So, the bag was for her head and the other bag was for yours in case hers fell off during sex. I know it is incredibly shallow to talk about a woman that way. But what can I say? I was young and arrogant and life hadn’t taught me any real lessons yet.
Linda was a nice woman, not particularly bright or refined. But she had an incredible supple body, huge pillow tits and she loved to fuck, over-and-over-and-over. We didn’t have as much of a romance as it was a series of lustful adventures in odd places, like woods and parks and back seats and even once on a mattress in one of those big storage lockers. That was an all-day event. Fortunately, the walls of those things are solid cinder block. Otherwise the people at the storage place would have probably called the cops. Because, Linda made it sound like I was killing her.
I could never understand why she wouldn’t come to my place or take me to hers. That is, until I discovered to my dismay that she was married. I never would have figured it out. She didn’t act married. Nor did she wear any rings when she was around me. She just dropped that fact on me in the post-coital afterglow. Maybe she thought that she had me hooked. I dropped HER on the spot. I had no intention of violating the tenth commandment, unless that’s the one about coveting my neighbor’s sheep in which case it is the seventh. Fortunately, that little incident took place the week AFTER I met Sarah.
Several days previously, Linda told me that she had a hot friend who worked in her lab as a Research Associate. She said that the woman had just come to town for a post-doc and she didn’t know anybody. So, she wanted me to fix her up with one of my colleagues. I got it. She wanted to play the alpha female for one of her nerd friends.
A blind date was easy enough to arrange; since I hung out with the other unmarried faculty. I had a guy who was not particularly attractive. But using Linda as the measuring stick I didn’t figure her friend would be any prize either. So, I made the arrangements.
The second I saw Sarah Jones I knew that I had found my soul mate. I actually came to that conclusion the instant I laid eyes on her. No talking. Just immediate kismet. Go figure? I have no idea why I was so sure. I am usually a level-headed sort of fellow. And I don’t normally jump into relationships without testing the water. But I had to have this woman.
Apparently, you go through life carrying a checklist of the characteristics you want to have in a mate. I wasn’t aware that I had one. That is, until Sarah and Linda started walking toward me. THEN it was like I was surrounded by a heavenly choir. And some celestial hand reached down, ticked every box on my list and pointed a heavenly finger at Sarah.
Her face was spectacular, a perfect oval, all high cheekbones, huge hazel eyes and thick auburn hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off those sculptured lips. Some guys like ethereal and waif-like. Others like elegant and super model thin. It is sort of embarrassing to admit, but I like huge tits, big wide hips and asses. I come from generations of German farmers and that penchant must have been stamped in my DNA about the time of Charlemagne.
I mean I really like big jugs and Sarah put new meaning to the term “brick shithouse.” This woman was several of my sweatiest fantasies rolled into one spectacular package. She was not fat as much as she was curved and totally sexual. She had a truck frame. The kind that you could abandon yourself on. In fact, you could pound on that body for hours and not break it. Thirty generations of Huns grabbed their hearts and swooned like Pepe Le Pew.
Then she reached me. I had never taken my eyes off her. She looked at me like she was more than a little creeped out. After we were married she explained that she thought that I was a total asshole. I was supposed to be in love with her friend. Not leering at her. I had to plead insanity. There was no logic to explain my reaction, except subliminal chemistry.
Linda made the introductions. Sarah extended her hand and said something like, “Pleased to meet you.” That was spoken in such a smoky contra-alto voice that I checked off a previously unknown criterion on my newfound list. I had never encountered a woman who could communicate more sexuality in a simple tone of voice.
Of course, her date and my date were a slight inconvenience.
She immediately took the arm of the guy who I had fixed her up with and Linda took mine. I was overcome by waves of jealousy. I spent the entire evening trying to pry Sarah off Sid and the more blatant I was the tighter she clung to him and the happier Sid looked.
Linda didn’t seem to get the message. But, she was not the brightest bulb in the room anyhow. Sarah certainly did. She kept sending volley after volley of “back off pervert” messages. When we finally parted company I left with Linda and Sarah left with Sid. She claims she didn’t fuck him afterward. I don’t know for sure. But Sid acted disturbingly laid back the following Monday.
In the meantime, Linda insisted on visiting both front and back seats and once across the hood It was too bad that she was married. I was going to miss grabbing all that gusto. But, that cleared the only roadblock to my romancing her friend. Two weeks later I was waiting outside of their lab. My heart was being gnawed-on by a pack of ravenous Gerbils. I saw Linda come out and get in her car.
Sarah had not made an appearance. I knew she was a researcher, not a secretary, so I hoped she was still in the building doing something. I can find my way around a research facility. I spent a disquieting amount of time in school. I crept down the hall and sure enough, she was in one of the labs staring intently at a monitor. Her long thick auburn curls contrasted starkly with the white lab coat that she was wearing.
I stepped into the room and cleared my throat to announce my presence. She looked startled and then angrily at me and said, “What do YOU want!?” I said, “And hello to you too. I just wanted to drop by and talk to you for a minute. Do you have time?”
She said, with brush-off in every syllable, “I’m busy, leave me alone.” Okay, this wasn’t going like I expected. I said, “Excuuuuse Me? You can’t spare a moment of your precious time to talk to me?”
She said, with venom in her voice, “I don’t have any time to talk to asshole losers who dump my friends for no good reason!” I said, “I’m sorry that you and Linda feel that way about me. But I won’t consciously violate somebody else’s marriage vows. Fidelity is a really important virtue with me.”
I turned to leave. I am far too used to striking out with beautiful women. But the walk back to the dugout is still humiliating. She said hurriedly, “Wait a minute. What do you mean by violating marriage vows?!”
I turned back toward her and said, “Linda finally got around to telling me that she is married. And I just don’t do adultery. It isn’t right. So of COURSE, I dumped her.”
She said, “SERIOUSLY?!! Linda’s married???!”
I said, “Come on! You must have known that! Don’t you girls talk to each other?”
She looked flabbergasted and mumbled quizzically, “I absolutely didn’t know that.”
As I turned and walked out the door I said over my shoulder, “Well she should have told you before she torched me. Probably didn’t want to look bad.” I added under my breath, “Or just too slutty to see being married as a problem.”
Sarah was sitting there looking dumbfounded. The next day I came out of class to find Sarah standing in the hall waiting for me. She looked amazing. She had been working. So, she had on her lab coat, which was open to reveal a pair of skin tight jeans and a simple t-shirt. It read, “I See Dumb People.” Aha! A sense of humor.
I upgraded her body from “world class” to “intergalactic.” She looked a little chastened and wary. I was more than wary. I was pissed. I said coldly, “How can I help you?”
She said, “If you will walk over to the Union Terrace with me, I’ll buy you a beer.” One of the best things about Madison is its location on Lake Mendota. And on good days the Student Union is one of the finest places in the world to sit and talk. It’s bright and sunny with the smell of bratwurst cooking and it serves beer. After all Wisconsin was more-or-less settled by Germans and we love our brats and beer.
She asked me what class I was teaching. It was just conversation to bridge the walk between my classroom building and the Union. I told her about the ins-and-outs of “ethical hacking,” which to most people sounds about as appropriate a field as “trusted embezzling.” But my students have to know how hackers work if they are ever going to figure out how to defeat them.
Sarah seemed to get that without me explaining it. Most people don’t. In fact, she appeared to be a very smart woman, indeed. I am several inches taller than she is and I was trying NOT to stare down at her massive jugs as they swayed back and forth. I didn’t want to give her the, no-doubt accurate, impression that I was a lecher. We got our beer and we sat. She really had a gorgeous face. Sitting in the sun with the wind off the lake ruffling her hair I could not imagine a more attractive woman.
Some of my students were sitting around the terrace as well. They kept cutting me approving glances. She said, “Look, we got off on the wrong foot and I just wanted to straighten a few things out. I was NOT aware that Linda was married. And so, dumping her like SHE said you made you look like a typically heartless male.”
Then she added with some embarrassment, “It wasn’t until after I talked to her that I realized that you were just doing the right thing. To be honest, I thought that you had dumped her for me and that made you ten times worse in my mind. I would never try to steal a man from one of my friends.”
She looked at me intently and said, “I know you are attracted to me. I could tell that the minute I laid eyes on you.”
I said, “What gave me away? Was it the pawing of the ground, or just the snorting?”
She laughed and said, “Linda told me that you were head-over-heels in love with her. So, I didn’t think it was appropriate for you to hit on me as hard as you did, when you were supposedly committed to my friend. It made you look like a super-hound.”
I said, “That is because the instant I saw you I knew that you were the only woman in the world for me. I can’t explain it and I probably shouldn’t try. I never loved Linda. I was fond of her. She is a decent person. But she must have been smoking some heavy-duty crack to think that I was in love with her.
I added with a shrug, “Maybe she mistook lust for love. I don’t know? And then again, there was her totally problematic husband. YOU on the other hand are everything I ever wanted or desired in one package. YOU I could fall in love with. In fact, I think I’ve already gotten there and I am just waiting for you to catch up.”
Wow! That was semi-humiliating. I usually don’t just lay it out like that. She looked at me with smoky eyes and said, “Well maybe we should explore your little obsession. What time do you want to pick me up?”
The rest is history. In exactly four months I went from confirmed bachelor to married to the woman of my dreams. She was everything I could ever want in a wife. Sarah is a very intelligent person with a really excellent sense-of-self and a loving and giving soul. She was well-read, interested in everything and hilariously funny. She was an ideal companion and best-friend.
Oh then, of course, there was also the fact that she is a complete animal in bed. I have always believed that passion in a woman is a direct function of their intelligence. Or in simple terms, the smarter they are the hotter they are. Sarah is very smart. She is also, hands-down, the hottest fuck I had ever known; and I had known more than a few women in my day. Every man wants a lady in the parlor and a slut in the bedroom and that pretty much summed up my wife Sarah.
Most nights in the Tyler household were like something out of a Tarzan movie. She had a boundless appetite for sex, she was aggressive about getting fucked, open to anything, very vocal about what she wanted, and how long she wanted it for. And she had endless stamina.
Plus, that sturdy frame of hers meant I didn’t have to hold anything back. The vision will be forever stamped on my frontal lobe of her huge jugs with their big brown nipples bouncing on her chest, as she loudly urged me on to the finish line.
Then every morning she would put on her business suit and go off to work looking like the picture of the cool modern executive woman engineer, very sensible and controlled. Nonetheless the best times of our marriage were just sitting on our patio, drinking a beer and talking about life, in the purple and gold of a deepening Wisconsin summer evening; cicadas, crickets, bullfrogs, the whole nine yards. That was my definition of heaven. She made me happy and I think that I made her just as content. It was an ideal life.
We had been married nine years when the serpent slithered into the garden.
Sarah’s company did software for various types of medical devices. And one of them had run into a problem that involved litigation. She was not the lead on the device but she had the most technical expertise. So, they roped her into the investigation team.
The team was headed up by Mr. Marlon Ruffing, Vice President for Product Development. He sat in on all of the meetings and provided the policy perspective. Sarah spent a lot of time telling me how insightful and funny and overall wonderful the guy was.
I had never met him but I knew the type. My only advice, and I expressed it out loud, was, “Mr. Wonderful is trying to get in your pants.” She was downright scornful. She said, “He knows that I am happily married. I tell him about you all the time and he is very supportive of our marriage. In fact, he constantly tells me how much he envies you.”
Since that line was only slightly less subtle than having him outright tell her to, “Hit the ground and spread ‘em” I reinforced my point. I said, “I want you to tell this guy to back off. And I do not want you hanging around him in any one-on-one situations.”
She looked disgusted. But she said, “Well if it makes you feel better I will tell Marlon that he needs to respect boundaries. But I wish you trusted me more. You are the man I love, not him.” Not the answer I wanted. But she is willful. All smart women are.
Nevertheless, there were no further suspicious signs from Sarah, not that I was even looking. She was my wife and life’s companion and I trusted her. She also stopped telling me about Mr. Wonderful.
I know. I’m dense.
In early July of that year Sarah decided that she wanted to attend a seminar on product safety engineering. It was just a one-day technical conference in Chicago. Chicago is only three hours away from Madison and the event didn’t even start until noon. So, she planned to drive down on Friday morning and spend the rest of the day and overnight doing professional networking. Then she would drive back whenever she got rolling the following day.
The night before her conference we had a long and arduous session. Summer in Madison almost makes up for the lousy winters. This year was nearly perfect, warm and sunny with less of the humidity that I was used to in Florida. So, I went for a run as soon as she left. Running has always been my exercise of choice. And I like to do four to six miles a day. It gets all of the endorphins rolling. And of course, that kind of distance keeps me whippet slim.
Nonetheless, the separation was already beginning to wear on me. Sarah goes where I go and vice-versa. It is something that both of us prefer. There is no more interesting companion than my wife. She is a voracious reader. And she has fascinating thoughts about everything from classic literature to politics.
I was trying not to think about her. But I missed her. The seminar was only down in Chicago. So, I decided, “What the fuck! I got nothing to do the rest of the day. Why don’t I just drive down and surprise her. Maybe we can spend the weekend shopping in the City, or whatever else might spring to mind.”
One of our cars is the updated Thunderbird that Ford produced for a few years. It’s really Sarah’s baby but it is fun to drive It was only noon and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was in a mood for the open road, with the top down and the warm sun on my face.
The seminar was in session when I got there. Reading the schedule, I could see that it wouldn’t end for another hour. So, I went into the bar for a beer and sandwich to wait for her. While I was eating, I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting down the bar from me. The badge he was wearing told me that he was in the same event as Sarah.
I asked him why he was in the bar instead of the event and he said that he already knew the material front to back. But his boss didn’t know that. So, he was using the event as an opportunity to play hooky. I was thinking to myself, “Another fine specimen of American productivity.”
I told him that I was down there to surprise my wife, who was also in the seminar. He asked me her name and I said Sarah Tyler. He gave me a strange look and said, “Wow! She has the same name as Marlon Ruffing’s girlfriend?”
That statement hung in the air for several seconds before I finally realized what he had just said. I looked at him as blandly as I could and said, “Where would you get an idea like that?”
He said, “Well I know Ruffing. He’s the VP at Acme in Madison. We do business with him. He is in the event too. And a woman named Sarah Tyler has been hanging on him like she was his playmate.”
I said, “Excuse me.” I dropped two twenties on the bar and marched out to the front desk. The clerk detected fire in my eyes. Stupid move on my part. I shifted into good old affable Davey Tyler. I said, “Hey buddy, I was wondering if a couple of old friends of mine are staying here. Would you be able to look them up for me?”
He told me that he would certainly NOT be able to look them up for me; since, guest privacy was of paramount importance to the hotel. I asked him the same question again. Only this time three twenties were under the hand that was resting lightly on the counter. He looked around. I pushed the money in his direction. He slid the money off into his pocket carefully blocking the view of the camera watching the front desk.
He gave me an eager to please smile and said, “Certainly Sir, we are always glad to assist our guests.” He did a little typing, wrote on a post-it and handed it to me with a metaphoric tip of his cap. It had two room numbers on two different floors. Thank God for tender mercies!
I was leaning on a lobby pillar when the seminar broke up. Some guys might want to sneak around and catch the offending spouse in the act. But I am not one of those guys. I wasn’t going to let Sarah take one step over the line until I had a little “Come to Jesus” with her. After that she could do whatever she pleased but I would have said my piece, and it would be on the record.
I was also hoping that she had NOT done anything too unforgivable yet. She came out of the event holding onto the arm of a tall, slim and impossibly handsome guy. They were completely into each other as they approached me, laughing and talking animatedly.
I had already pinged their phones and force paired them. Apparently, they didn’t cover Bluesnarfing in that seminar. Both devices were wide open so it took me less than 10 seconds to do the Bluebugging. I owned them before they had covered half the distance.
I stepped in front of the loving couple. They sensed rather than saw my presence. And they began to move around me, like I was an obstruction. She was still looking lovingly up at him and holding his arm to her exquisite chest. He was smiling down at her and saying something witty. I took another step, to stay in their way.
He looked up at me irritated. I said in my friendliest tone of voice, “Hello Marlon. So, who is your new girlfriend?” My voice snapped her out of her reverie. Her head came around and she gawked at me, just appalled. Her face changed to a mask of horror. That was a completely and totally gratifying reaction.
Fuckface continued to look confused and annoyed. She dropped his arm like it was on fire, put both hands to her mouth and said far too loudly, “OH MY GOD, Davey, it’s not what you think.”
I actually started laughing, I turned around and walked toward the valet station shaking my head in disbelief. I turned back toward her and said. “You really need to get better scriptwriters my dear.”
Then I exited stage right. As I was leaving I heard Shithead say. “Who the fuck was THAT Sarah?” All the way home I was wondering how long THAT had been going on. There had been no signs of trouble, no working late, no nights out with the girls, or unexplained trips. In fact, she had been super loving for the last couple of weeks, which might have been the only possible red flag. She was doubtless feeling guilty.
I hear you asking why I did not immediately challenge Dickbreath to pistols at dawn. That was because I wanted to run a little fidelity test on my wife first. SHE was all I cared about.
If she arrived home shortly after I did, THEN we were going to have a conversation. If she got home tomorrow looking well-fucked, I had nothing to say to her. Plus, I had already gotten my electronic hooks set in both of them.
She came out onto the patio exactly a half hour after I got home. She was utterly shamefaced. I was sitting there with a beer in my hand and watching the sun go down. She had been crying, which was a good sign. She was wearing a loose fitting grey sweatshirt and sweatpants. She must have run upstairs to change before coming out to confront me. It looked like the gear that Rocky wore in the first movie. I was hoping that was where the analogy stopped.
She was so naturally beautiful it took my breath away. I offered her the second beer. I had gotten both out of the refrigerator when I arrived. It was kind of measuring stick for our marriage. I wasn’t going to take a sip until she got there. If it was warm and flat, then we had reached the end of the road.
She sat down and stared off into the back yard. It was getting too dark to see her face. I could sense that she was steeling herself. I was inwardly cringing from what I knew she was going to say. But I tried to look as bland as I could. I was afraid that any agitation on my part would spook her. I said calmly, “Is there something that you need to tell me Sarah?” My tone of voice conveyed my love and concern.
I could see her make her decision. She said in a voice so small that I could barely hear her, “I didn’t do anything with him, YET. But I was going to cheat on you Davey. Tonight, was going to be the first night. It is just tearing me up inside to know that.”
That information shot a thunderbolt of angst through me. But I was oddly composed. I think that I had come to some conclusions on the drive back and I wanted to see how it played out. I sat there looking at her, my expression was deadpan. This was top-stakes poker now.
She looked mortified and said, “I got caught up in it. You’ve seen him. You can imagine the effect that he has on women. Every female at Acme, single or married, was drooling over him.”
She added shamefaced, “He could have had any girl in the Company but he picked me.” That was no surprise. All you had to do was look at Sarah Tyler to know that Mr. Ruffing had excellent taste.