"I don't know, Minnie, it's just so damnably frustrating," said Isabel.
"Izzy, count your blessings. Your last husband, Hollis Cort, beat you up—regularly!—and that the whole one and a half years you were married to the asshole," said Minnie. "The way I see it, you've got no gripe. So what if Irv is kind of a pussy. He works, pays the bills, and treats you pretty good as far as John and I can see."
"Yes, he pays the bills—barely. But, he's been passed over for promotion at least three times that I know of because he refuses to do what he has to do to get one, a promotion that is, and he could get one. Keeps saying he's going to but never does. Hell, I make as much working for MacDonald's as he does selling software for Ritter. The good news is that I do get to keep my money or most of it since he does in fact pay the bills. So yes, okay, you're right, I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly, at least not for the time being," said Isabel, but plaintively.
"Izzzzyyyyy, are you saying what I think you're saying?" said Minnie. "You're not thinking of divorcing that good man for that part time lover of yours are you? I mean mister big shot who isn't a big shot but thinks he is that is to say?
"Let me ask you. How long has it been since you and Irv have done the deed?" said Minnie. Isabel Davis nee Porter, had the decency to look as guilty as she felt.
"A while, I guess," said Izzy.
"A while? How long is a while?" said Minnie.
"A couple of months maybe; I don't exactly keep a journal you know," said Isabel. Her friend had fire in her eyes.
"You idiot!" said Minnie. "A man can't go months without getting any. A man, any man, needs it pretty nearly all of the time. You've only been married for what—four years?"
"Yes, about that. Four years next month," said Izzy.
"Yeah, I know, I was your maid of honor. So what? You plan to let him have you as an anniversary present! I'll say it again, you're an idiot!" said Minnie.
"No, it's not like that," said Isabel.
"Oh, then what's it like? Let me see, you've been denying him the undeniable. You hold him in contempt. You've got a lover on the side. So, yes, tell me, what's it like?"
"Oh I don't know! Frankly, he just doesn't turn me on anymore. I mean he's a good guy in some ways. And, yes, I do feel guilty keeping Hardin Karpis on the side. And I do feel guilty having to fake pleasure when Irv and I do do it. But..."
"But nothing. You need to get your act together, baby doll. You need to fuck your husband tonight, and he better not get the idea that you're faking it. If you don't get your act together muy pronto, girl, you're going to lose that man. And, I can guarantee your skinny pink ass that somebody else will be picking him up not all that long thereafter!" said Minnie. Her friend sighed.
"I suppose you're right, Minnie. I guess that I, he and I, have just been kinda goin' through the motions these past months. Anyway, I'll be thinking about what you said. He does deserve better I suppose. If he just wasn't such a wimp! He needs to man up, and be the guy I know he can be or thought he could be—or—or something," said Isabel.
"Yeah right! Listen girlfriend, you're the woman. It's your job to train the guy. So do so!" said Minnie. Her friend nodded, but it was a nod of resignation.
I took a deep breath. She was in the kitchen. I'd finally decided to lay it on her. I knew she would probably be mad at me.
I hung up my coat and set my briefcase down on the coffee table. I headed into Dante's Inferno.
"Hi hon," she said. "How was work?" Her good mood stopped me.
"Uh—good. Sold some stuff. So, good. How was your day?" I said, following her lead.
"Also, good. Got off at noon. Minnie came by, and we gossiped a while," she said.
"All nasty and graphic stuff, I hope," I said, now in a good mood myself and pushing it. She snickered.
"Yes, all nasty and graphic. Minnie did say that I need to fuck you more, says I've been neglecting you," said my wife. My look got a smirk from her.
"Really? I knew I liked that woman," I said.
"Yes, well tonight I'm going to drain your ball sack and leave your penis begging for mercy. Seem like something you could get into?" She said.
"Uh—yeah—I can go for that—get into it," I said, "no problem at all."
Dinner was good and mostly on the quiet side. Dishes done and dried—I did the drying—we stood and kinda stared at each other. She smiled.
"Well," she said.
I went to her and kissed her gently on the lips. "Let's go into the living room. I want to take you on the couch," I said, not quite rubbing my palms together. She smiled yet again and did as I asked.
I led her to the couch and knelt in front of her as she remained standing. I let my hand reach around behind her and cup her buttocks. I pulled her, still dressed in her skirt and blouse, to me and sniffed at the depression where her mound lay still hidden from view. I heard her stifle a giggle.
I lifted her skirt and saw that her white panties were damp in front. I kissed them and inserted my thumbs into their waistline. I eased them down to her ankles. She stepped out of them kicking off the black flats she'd been wearing in the process.
I stood and turned her around. I leaned into her pressing the hardness of my cock against the fabric of her skirt. I coaxed her to a kneeling position on the couch and dropped my pants and underpants kicking them and my shoes off and to the side. My cock stuck straight out from me threatening to spear her from behind.
I lifted her skirt and flipped it up onto her back.
"Spread wide for me, honey," I said. She did and arched her back inviting my invasion of her pussy.
I knelt once more, but this time behind her exposed slit. I sniffed her woman scent. I licked and kissed her pussy and her anus. I sucked on her clit my nose rubbing against her sphincter and was rewarded with mooing sounds that I was sure were genuine. As to that, I had in recent times suspected her of faking interest when we did do it, but I was pretty sure, that for the moment, her interest was the real McCoy.
I stood and slid into her. God, she felt wonderful. I drilled her for some minutes doing my damnedest to not cum too soon. I wanted more than anything for her to make it. I felt her stiffen and shudder; she had made it. I was sure of it. I began ramming her for all I was worth trying to bring her off a second time as I unloaded inside of her.
I sagged forward across her back as she in turn sagged onto the cushions of the couch. I'd unloaded a goodly cum into her. Her? No, she hadn't made it the second time. I let myself roll off to the side, legs splayed obscenely I was sure, but caring not a whit.
"Was it good for you, hon?" she said. I turned to her. There was something odd about her tone. I was sure she'd made it once, but...
"Yes, Of course," I said. "You?"
"The best," she said. "We'll be doing this more often. No more neglecting you. I promise."
Something was wrong. She was—something—too businesslike maybe. Kinda like a prostitute that, having done what she'd been paid to do, turned her attention, her focus, to other things, like needing to get ready for the next client. Me? I was barely getting my breath back. It was clear, in any event, that she wasn't thinking about how it was for her, no, she was concerned about me. She was bored, but at least mildly concerned about me!
I was now remembering what I had determined to do before I got home when she'd short shanked me with her offer of sex and goodwill. Why had she been in such a good and giving mood? Maybe it really was because of something Minnie Fowler had said to her earlier in the day. Well, we'd be talking now for sure, but not tonight. Tomorrow we would do the sit down thing. For the moment I was going to have to pretend that everything was peachy, I was too tired to be an effective inquisitor, but tomorrow, tomorrow would be the day.
Oatmeal again, well it was good for the waistline, or so she regularly assured me. I sat with my coffee across from her. It was Thursday, her day off from Mac's. She seemed in a good mood; no doubt feeling good about successfully fulfilling her "duty." I had to think that her feeling so might be short lived. This time there would be no dodging the subject. I wanted to know what was going on, and I wanted to be more than sure that whatever it was, was history.
"Feel good this morning, honey?" she said, setting her cup down in front of her.
I took a sip of my coffee. "Hmm, I guess we'll know about that shortly," I said, at last.
"Hmm?" she said, still smiling.
"Last night. It was great for me. I mean 'if' it was for you too?" I said, clarifying things.
"Well of course it was good for me," she said. She forced a smile that was so phony, I couldn't help it, I laughed.
"What?" she said.
"You didn't cum did you, I mean even the first time. It wasn't all that good for you was it; really. You didn't even enjoy it, doing it with me, did you?' I said.
Her expression suddenly morphed from pseudo-smiley to serious.
"What's going on, Izzy? What's going on! Until last night we hadn't done it in almost three months. And last night, well, it was like you realized how long it had been and decided to maybe, what, make amends, do your duty. Right?
"Minnie really did advise you to fix things between us didn't she? Please, the straight of it. Whaddya say?" She dropped back into her seat. She almost seemed relieved. Yes, relieved, relieved that I'd caught her.
"Irvin Davis..." she started, but then stopped for a long moment. "Yes, Minnie and I talked about you. You know like I told you yesterday."
"Yes?" I said.
"Irv, I have a confession make. Actually more than one, and you need to shut up and listen. I have to get it all out in one go, and it isn't going to be easy for me. Okay?" she said.
"If it's that bad, maybe you should rethink your decision to tell me," I said.
"No, gotta get it out. Gotta," she said. "It's time." I nodded.
"Okay, it's your—our funeral—I guess," I said. She grimaced at my words.
"Irv, Minnie was here yesterday, as I told you, and she did advise me to do you right last night. I decided to take her advice, and for the record, I'm glad that I did. You deserved it and a helluva lot more of it besides. But, that said, Irv, I have a big problem with the way you've turned out to be these past almost four years. You're a wimp Irv, a candyass of heroic proportions. You're smart, but you have no get up and go." I could feel my face cloud over.
"That it," I said, my voice barely a whisper.
"Almost. Irv, I'm going to tell you something that will undoubtedly hurt you. Can't be helped. But, I will no longer hide anything you. You deserve better than that. Hell yes, you do.
"Irv, I have a lover. His name, if it matters, is Hardin Karpis. He's a good guy. I don't love him, but he does fill a need I cannot deny. I'm going to keep on seeing him. If you want to stay married to me; well, I will be thrilled to death. But if not, Irv..."
"It's the highway for me. That about it?" I said.
"Yes," she said. I nodded.
"Well, at least I got one last good piece of ass before you fucked me over. I'm figurin' it might be a while before I get another. So I thank you for that!" I said.
"Irv, really, Hardin does not have to be a reason for you and me to end it. Think it over before you do anything rash, please," she said.
"No, I'm already gone. You're working 5:00AM to 1:00PM tomorrow, right?" I said.
'Yes, but what does that..." she started.
"I'll be leaving in a few minutes. I'll be shacking up at a motel someplace for the night. But, I will be back tomorrow morning to get my stuff while you're at work. Please don't change your schedule and be here. I couldn't handle that. Really. Okay?" I said. She nodded, I think she was starting to cry. But, hell, so was I. "I hope this friend of yours is worth it."
And I did pack an overnight bag and I did leave in less than fifteen minutes and I was brokenhearted and so was she; and then, I began the "climb" into the absolute heights of rock bottom—and so what if that is a non sequitur.
Neither of us had any close family. A few distant relatives here and there, but no one to notify or to be concerned about in terms of our divorce. It had been part of the reason, I suppose, that we'd gotten together and done the matrimony thing in the first place: we needed each other, we had no one else. And even that, the marriage ceremony, had been in front of the justice of the piece with Minnie and John Fowler standing in as witnesses. And, now we were done.
It occurs to me that I have said little of our situation or described us at all.
I'm Irvin Davis, my friends call me Irv. Isabel, Izzy, Davis is my soon to be ex-wife. Izzy is pretty; tall, at five-eight; slender as a willow branch; great butt; and A-cups that give her, along with the rest of the package, the look of a teenager. Her hair, by the way, is brown and of medium length. Me?
I'm okay looking, I guess. Height-wise, same as my wife at five-eight, but medium build, and definitely A-cups, no tits at all really. Hair, brown like hers and still with me.
We are both twenty-eight years-old, no kids, a nice little two bedroom apartment, and two three year-old cars—both Chevys if it matters; but mine's a Silverado hers an Impala. I work as a software salesman at Ritter Inc. Average maybe 31K annual. She's an assistant manager at MacDonald's. Earns right at 28K annual.
And that, for what it's worth, is pretty much us on the eve of our divorce.
"I don't know, John. She's kinda fed up with this lackadaisical way of living and working. They're doing okay financially, if not wonderfully, but Izzy wants more. And, I'm not even sure that's right. But, I am sure that she wants more effort from her hubby, her otherwise soon to be ex-hubby," said Minnie.
"Wow, that's a shame. I really thought that they'd grow old together. I guess one never knows about these things.
"So you'd advised her to do what, exactly," said John.
"To do him and to do him right and that immediately. I think she will, but I'm not sure her heart's really in it," said Minnie.
"Well, one can hope, I guess," said John. "You know, I could talk to him if you think it might do any good." She shrugged.
"I don't know. I guess you might if the opportunity presents itself and making sure it doesn't appear that we are trying to interfere in their personal lives.
"Okay, if an opportunity presents itself," he said.
The Price-wise Motel was a "wise" choice for me: cheap and close to work. I would be able to walk to work in good weather which would be good. In my current emotional state driving would be at best ill advised.
Four years of mostly happy times. Well, except that the last year and a half, as I now realized, had been increasingly downhill as far as our sexual relationship was concerned. I had to believe that her extracurricular relationship with this Karpis guy was the reason for that, but who knew for sure. Well that, and except for the fact that she clearly thought me a wimp, I could not really guess why she was so down on me, but then again, apart from her thing with him. But, maybe that was enough by and in itself.
I felt empty and alone and needed someone—really her—to be with me. Thinking about it all now, I wondered if I would not have been better off accepting her offer and becoming her knowing and willing cuckold. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. But, no, I would have been torn up inside knowing she was out doing him on any particular evening. I'd been bothered enough wondering why she had become so distant from me as it was. But knowing she was fucking someone else, and probably talking smack about me behind my back, no, that would have been even worse than what I was going through now. I had to get my act together, and do something about being a better man, more of a man; Clearly, my Izzy didn't think me one or not much of one. But how to do it? Hell I didn't know.
We'd had no children, Izzy and I. We had talked about having them, but in the end Izzy had been of the opinion that it would be best to wait until we were better off financially though as for me I thought we'd been doing well enough; but, it was what it was, and completely moot in view of our current situation.
"You're working kinda late tonight, Irv," said Annie. Annie Campbell was our common girl Friday. That is the sales force's aide and secretary; there were six of us under her wing.
"Yeah, kinda behind on my paperwork. You'll be getting it tomorrow, hopefully," I said.
"Hmm, yes. You okay? You look a little down," she said.
"I'm fine. Thanks for asking," I said. I turned back to the computer I'd been pounding away on hoping she wouldn't ask any more questions. I knew for a fact that I would breakup if she did. I got my hope, my wish. She headed back to her station to finish up whatever she'd been working on.
I looked up at the clock. It was 5:40. I'd always gotten off at 5:00. It had occurred to me that I was usually among the first to leave; today I was already the last.
It had been six days since my break up with Izzy. I'd left work as usual the following Monday. Tuesday I'd stayed a half our off the clock. Today—Wednesday—I figured to be headin' out after 7:00. Work, I had discovered, was cathartic.
Yes, being at work was cathartic. Work kept my mind on things other than my lost love. Yes work was a catharsis, but unfortunately my work production was not much catharticized; I was behind big time; bonuses would likely not be forthcoming.
"So you gave him what he very obviously needed, but it blew up in your face. Is that what you're saying?" said Minnie.
"Yes—well—not exactly," said Isabel.
"And that means... ?" said Minnie.
"Well, yes, it was what he needed, and it is what I gave him, but then I kinda outted myself," said Izzy.
"Oh shit. Or, should I say no shit!" said Minnie.
"But, I told him, assured him, double assured him that Hardin was no threat to him," said Isabel.
"But?" said Minnie.
"I did tell him I was going to keep on seeing Hardin, and well, Irv didn't take that too well," said Isabel.
"Oh well, that's surprising as hell—not," said Minnie. "And he walked out on you, just because you were adamant about keeping your lover. Gee, how freakin' narrow minded of him."
"Yes, frankly it was—is," said Isabel. Her friend nodded. "It's only the physical stuff with Hardin. Hell, Irv should have seen what I said as taking the pressure off of him. And, as I also intimated to him, my outing myself was going to result in him getting a helluva lot more attention too. He shoulda been cheering inside if not exactly showing me how happy he was that I was offering him a way for the both of us to be—if not exactly thrilled about things—at least satisfied. But oh no, he has to see it as some kind of threat to his insufferable male ego."
"So what do you do now?" asked Minnie.
"I don't know. If he were to come back, I guess I would try a little harder to get him to understand. I just don't know," said Isabel.
"And if he doesn't come back?" said Minnie. Isabel shrugged.
"Then, I guess we'll be getting a divorce," said Isabel. "It's his decision to make. Like I said, I let him know that I would be thrilled if he would commit to staying married to me. But, he opted to dump me instead."
"No he didn't and you know it," said Minnie. "You made the decision to allow him but two options, neither of which were very appealing from a man's point of view," said Minnie.
"I guess," said Isabel.
"I did talk to John about you two. He's willing to talk to Irv if you want," said Minnie. Her friend shrugged.
The two women started at the slamming of the back door.
"Hi, you in there?" said the man.
"Hardin! What are you doing here!" said Isabel.
"Hah! You'd like to know the answer to that one wouldn't you," he said.
"Hardin!" said Isabel.
"I saw your husband checking into a motel across the street from the Hard Hat. I was playing some pool and having a couple of brews with Max Jethcote," he said. "You two have broken up haven't you?"
"Maybe, not sure. But I can't believe you risked coming in here without so much as a how-do-you-do or a by-your-leave. You don't know; he could've been rethinking his decision to dump me even as you drove over here. So, you can't stay. You gotta get outta here right now," said Isabel. His smirk was evidence of his resolve to ignore her, at least for the moment.
"What happened?" he said.
"I outted myself. It's more complicated than that, but I do not have the time nor the inclination to discuss it right at this moment. Okay?" she said.
"Oh and hi, Minnie," he said, as he moseyed over to the frig. "Got a beer in here, Izzy?"
"Hardin, no, not for you. Those are Irv's beers, not yours. Get the heck outta here before..."
"Before what," Izz," he said. "Before you find some other nine-incher to do you up right?" He snickered his contempt for her show of bossiness. He continued scanning the frig for his quarry.
"There it is. I like your soon to be ex-husband's tastes," he said, pulling a PBR from its hiding place.
"Take it and go," she said. "Call me tomorrow at work. But, now you gotta go. Okay?" she said.
"Okay, okay. But if you outted yourself, I guarantee he will not be coming back tonight if he ever does. He's gotta be cryin' in his beer right about now about losing a piece as good as you.
"Anyway, Izz, Minnie, see you all later," he said. He disappeared the way he'd come, taking a swig of the PBR as he went.
"Kinda full of himself isn't he," said Minnie as the door closed behind the man.
"There's no kinda about it, but unfortunately there just aren't all that many nine-inchers out there to choose from, so I grant him some latitude," said Isabel.
"He gets latitude, and Irv gets ultimatums. Hmm, gotta say, you might be wantin' to reassess your priorities, girlfriend," said Minnie. Isabel sighed.
"Yeah maybe," said Isabel.
I was sitting in Mac's, and no not my wife's venue. I liked the quarter pounders; well, I could afford them. I didn't notice him at first. But, he noticed me.
"Hi yuh Irv," he said. "Mind if I sit with you for a few?"
"John! No, of course not, have a seat," I said. "What brings you to this establishment dedicated to the more refined elements of Scottish cuisine?"
He snickered. "Yeah, right," he said. "No not the food. I'm kinda on a mission of mercy."
"A what?" I said.
"Yeah, Minnie told me to come talk to you," he said.
"Minnie? Huh?" I said. Then, I began to come around to his purpose. He could see I was on to him.
"Yes, you got it. Minnie asked me to talk to you about the thing with your wife—and—her boyfriend," he said.
"I don't know what you know, John, but she wants me to be okay with her fucking another man and that regularly. Some guy named Karpis," I said.
"Yes, I know. Minnie thinks he's short term. Thinks you'd be over the top to dump your marriage over Isabel's playing. But, I gotta tell yuh, I think you're the one in the right here. Izzy is a great gal, but sometimes maybe, well, maybe not all that bright. Minnie thinks that if you hang in there that she'll come around and be properly remorseful for her crimes of a sexual nature," said John.
"I don't know, John. I need a one man woman. Isabel isn't one of those. More's the pity," I said.
"Yes, but you can't fight the evil dragon if you're not there to do the fighting. Anyway, I'm here to ask you to think about it and to not go off the deep end until you have," he said.
"I'll think about it, John, but, it is more than doubtful that I can bring myself to sit at home while she is out on a date with the guy; even with, the promise that when she returns that I will be handsomely rewarded; I mean if you get my drift," I said.
"I'll tell 'em, well, Minnie. And for the record I do know where you're coming from," he said.
The Hard Hat was pretty much just that: a hangout for the guys who worked in 'em, hard hats that is. It was just across the street from my motel room. It was where I had determined to spend my off hours ruminating over the disaster of my home life, my marriage.
What I kept coming back to, remembering those final minutes of my marriage, was the dichotomy of the two streams of thought that my wife had presented me with. On the one hand, she had earnestly contended that she would be thrilled if I would stay with her, and accept her dalliances as little more than play. But, on the other hand, that if I could not see my way clear to accept her terms, that divorce would be the inevitable result.
Logic would have seemed to dictate that a divorce, would have at least for her, have a result at least as thrilling as my acceptance of her cheating on me. Hence, follow up logic dictated that I get out of Dodge. And, so I have.
Wonderful it is to be oh so fucking logical. But what wasn't so fucking wonderful was the indisputable fact that my logical choice had left me at least as miserable as I might have been had I stayed and been her willing cuckold.
I had the feeling, the thought, that Isabel loved me on some level; but that, whatever it was that I really lacked, left her needing to fill a need, that I never had or even maybe could, fulfill. I was sick at heart, lonely like nobody ever was, and no longer gave give a rat's ass what happened to me. I just worked, and that not very well, and then worked some more. I guess what I was really doing was killing time waiting to die. For damn sure I had no life, none that mattered at any rate.
It was early, a little after 7:00PM announced the wall clock with the red and white label of Budweiser emblazoned across its face. I'd just arrived and commandeered my now usual seat at the end of the bar.
"How yuh doin' there bub?" said Cody Williams, bartender extraordinaire, as he poured my second JD. I gave him my usual exasperated look.
"Not as good as I will be after maybe my third or fourth one of these," I said. Cody smirked.
"Yeah, well I can dig it," he said. "So you say your wife's got a boyfriend?"
"Yeah, some guy named Karpis," I said.
"Karpis? Hardin Karpis?" said Cody.
"Yes," I said. I watched as Cody's eyes floated to his left eight or ten seats down the long bar. So that was my replacement. A couple of inches taller than me, but kind of paunchy. He was talking to some blond arguably ten years his junior. Looked like my replacement might be a player.
I Pulled my cell phone and took a pic. I hoped it would turn out to be a good one. The blond moseyed away from his sexmanship. I had an idea, an inspired idea actually.
I headed for the pillar where one slotted one's quarters to play songs on the computerized music machine. I'd gotten a couple of bucks' worth of quarters from Cody. I could play five songs. I chose two, and turned around to the man seated at the bar behind me, yeah, none other than Hardin Karpis who was watching me: that was my cue.
"Got a favorite?" I said. He smiled.
"Yeah, I do," he said. "Making Memories of Us," by Keith Urban. Well, I couldn't fault his taste in Country music. I punched in the numbers and added a couple more songs. They started to play.
"Your taste and mine seem to be alike," I said, trying to get him into a conversation to see what I could learn.
"That right," he said.
"Well, Keith Urban, anyway.
"Saw yuh talkin' to that pretty blonde a while ago. She your sister?" I said, laughing.
"No, just a local prostie, goes by Carrie. Comes in here once in a while trolling," he said.
"She may be a hooker, but she sure is a looker," I said, stating the obvious.
"Yeah, she is I guess. But, got me a regular piece, don't need no pro," he said.
"Wish I did," I said. "Well, some got it and some don't I suppose. I'm one of the have nots." He laughed.
"You're not a bad lookin' guy, you'll find you a honey," he said.
"Yeah, well, I hope so. I'd be satisfied with almost any woman so long as she wasn't married," I said.
"No-no-no-no-no," he said. "Marrieds are the best. Usually they're just in it for the sex. No commitment and somebody else is payin' the bills.
"My honey's married. Got a wimp for a hubby who has just lately left her because he couldn't deal with the fact that she was seeing me; she essentially told him to tolerate being her cuckold or to get out. He opted for out."
"Really?" I said.
"Yes. She'd pretty much cut him off these past few months anyway. He wasn't worth a shit in bed, or so the woman says," he said. "He edged close to me and whispered what I suppose he thought was a big assed secret.
"The woman says his cock is about the size of an average man's pinkie—her words." I could feel my face cloud up. I'd been sick to my stomach before, but now I was even more so.
"At any rate," continued my rival, "he 'was' paying her bills, but according to her, truth told, he barely made enough scratch to even do that. She said he was kind of a loser. Said she loved him, she thought, but kinda glad that he's now out of the picture. I'll be moving into her house in a few days. Hey, it's free and unrestricted 'pussy'," said mister Karpis.
"Wow! You are a lucky stiff for sure," I said. I needed to get out of there before I started to out-and-out bawl. It was without doubt the worst day of my life: I'd discovered what my wife really thought of me and none of it was good.
Work became a chore after my education by mister Karpis. I mean it had always been a chore, but now it was more than I could handle, at least not easily. The good news, or, maybe it was bad news, was that it soon didn't matter—I was fired.
"But, mister Marks..."
"I'm sorry Irv. You've always been a dependable employee, but lately you've kinda disappeared from the radar, and at a time when I'm being forced by upper management to cut payroll. I can no longer afford to keep you on staff.
"But..." I started. He held up his hand as if to say that there were no 'buts' that would make a difference.
"I'm afraid you'll need to be out of the building by day's end, Irv. See Annie for your final check. I have included a letter of reference for you. I'm afraid that's that best I can do, Irv. Best of luck to you," he said.
He nodded for me to leave and busied himself with paperwork of some kind. I guess he was kind of embarrassed to have to let me go. And as bad as the news was, I couldn't bring myself to hate the guy. Hell, I knew I hadn't been up to snuff since the breakup with my wife. And just like that, I was unemployed. I left his office on wobbly legs.
This was bad. Not only had my wife screwed me over, not only had I no home, I now had no job. I guessed Isabel, my Isabel, had been right to dump on me. It sure looked like I was indeed the nothing she thought me, that as reported to me by mister Karpis.
The rent on my little motel room, and yes, I was still hanging my hat at the Price-wise motel, for the next fifty-four days were paid: I'd paid for three months in advance so as to not have to deal with paying the rent every month. Hell, the room was cleaned daily, and utilities were included; except for my cell phone which service would soon be cancelled.
At any rate, having paid my rent up in advance worked for me now because I would need a little time to get me another job, one I would not be taking for granted, no sirree; I told myself.
And then it was day fifty-three and I still had no job. I was young, at 29, and not without some skills, or so I thought, but no one was hiring—at least not hiring me. And, then I was on the street with a wheeled suitcase packed with everything I owned of any consequence, mostly clothes and a few personal items. I'd probably need to be getting me a grocery cart pretty soon.
Some might be inclined to ask why I hadn't fought harder for my—our—apartment and its accoutrements. Simple, I didn't make the bread to pay for the place and all of its expenses by myself on my own; and, for that matter neither did Isabel, no doubt the reason mister Karpis was being allowed to move in with her—well—one of the reasons anyway. That and the hurt I was feeling militated against me wanting to stay in the place alone with all of its memories, both good and bad.
Adding to all of that, I was confused. There was no doubt Izzy was smarter than I was that contrary to what John Fowler had said. Hell, she was an assistant manager where she worked, probably going to be manager before long; then, she'd be making more money than me, well, than I had been, maybe 40K annual. I knew Mac's was a good company to work for in most respects. At any rate, when I left, I took only the things I'd be needing on a daily basis. The only thing extra I took was our wedding picture; she'd looked me askance, when I'd done that, but she'd not tried to stop me. Why that item when we were clearly done, as I saw things, as a couple? A no brainer, I still loved and needed her more than anything.
Whatever, I was out on the street now, and I didn't much like it.
I was able to eat free once a day at the downtown rescue mission, an area crowded with losers like me. And on really cold nights, and it was getting to be winter, I was allowed to sleep in a nearby covered truck park and kind of act as an unpaid security guard at the place—Allied Cargo. Actually there were two of us allowed to sleep there. Mister Hal Hensley, the boss at Allied had looked with a sympathetic eye on us. Alexander Barclay, a guy even more destitute than I was, was my compadre in poverty. We'd met at the mission and decided to be each the other's backup: the streets weren't the best, and certainly not the safest of places for indigents like us.
And as bad as the days were, the nights were infinitely worse. All I could think of was Isabel and our toasty bed with us curled up tightly against each other. I missed her more than anything. But, that said, when I did dream about her, my thoughts were uniformly interrupted by the image of mister Karpis banging her with his huge sex engine and the two of them both laughing at me. Those thoughts hurt, a lot.
"What you thinking about, Irv?" said Alex.
"Same as always, her—and him," I said. My bud nodded.
"I can dig it. Women! You can't trust 'em worth a damn," he said. My turn to nod.
"So he's two months behind in the rent on the place?" said Hardin.
"Yes, I called his office and found out he didn't work there anymore. I guess he got a job somewhere else, but as to where—well—I just don't know. It's taking every dime I make to just keep the place now. And, being two months behind in the rent, well, I might have to get a second job just to get by," she said.
"You need to divorce him and get on with things, Izzy.
"But, anyway you and I made a deal: if he didn't keep up the payments I would; I mean since I live here now."
"Let's go out and celebrate our new and upgraded situation," he said.
"Let's," she said.
"Evening, Cody," said Hardin. "This is Isabel my squeeze. Couple of red wines if yuh got 'em."
"You too," said Cody. "Nice to meet you ma'am. And, Hardin, you know I've got 'em," said Cody, heading off down the bar to fill the order.
"Good 'ole Irv never brought you here before?" said Hardin.
"No, we didn't spend a lot of money going out, and if we did it was usually just to eat, hardly ever to drink or dance or anything like that," she said.
"Well, now that you're my full time woman, and I'm payin' the rent; we will be doing stuff," he said.
"Your full time woman am I?" she said.
"Oh yeah, that sucker you were married to..." he started.
"Still am married to," she said.
"Yeah, I guess for now. But, he was crazy to move out. I mean leave a piece like you to graze in other pastures? Not real bright of him," said Hardin. The drinks arrived.
"Start a tab," said Hardin. "We're going to be here a while."
"Okay," said the barkeep.
"No, Irv would never be described as being all that bright, not stupid, but well ... a good guy in a loser sort of way," she said. The two of them laughed.
Neither noticed the Bartender half listening to their exchanges. He knew that Irv had lost his job. He hadn't been in in a month because, as Cody knew, Irv was broke. He'd never met his wife until now, but he could see why he, Irv, was dispirited: she was a beauty.
"Tell me again about him trying to get you off," said Hardin. He was trying not to laugh outright, and, succeeding to some extent.
"He tries, he desperately tries. I'll give him that, but never has. I've told you that a hundred times," said Izzy. "His three and half inch dick just can't get the job done. I don't blame him for that. It's a physical impossibility for him. He's too quick, too small, and way too ignorant of a woman's needs," she said.
"You could have taught him," said Hardin.
"Did. He thought I was badgering him. I gave up. Anyway, he's gone. More's the pity. He was useful if only to pay the bills," she said.
"How's the drinks," said Cody, noticing that hers was almost gone and the guy's half gone.
"Yeah we can do with refills," said Hardin. He poured the drinks from the bottle he'd brought down the bar with him.
"You know a guy named Irv Davis?" said Hardin.
"Irv? Sure, used to come in once in a while. Came in more often after his marriage cratered. But no more," he said. "Not since he lost his job. Hear he's on the street now. A friend of his told me so a while back."
"He lost his job?" said Isabel. She had assumed that he had quit his job to get away, but lost it...
"Yeah, after his marriage went south; he seemed to lose interest in work, everything really; told me that himself," he said. Isabel nodded. "Sounded like his wife did him dirty." Isabel took on a sad look.
Neither of the two of them picked up on the fact that Cody'd pretty much ID'd Isabel as Irv's wife. He'd wondered off down the bar looking for an empty glass to fill.
"Jesus, my own personal pathetic asshole is on the street," said Isabel. "Gotta feel sorry for the poor guy."
Hardin was suddenly serious. "Yeah, really. That's tough," he said. Isabel looked him askance.
"I'm going to the little girls' room. I'll be back in a couple of minutes," said Isabel. He raised his glass in a pseudo toast to nature's call, she snickered and made to go.