And for Mom. (Mom always wanted to be “Audrey”) To me, she was. Still is.
And for Shonnie.
Always For Shonnie.
A beautifully touching metaphoric side of Shonnie no one ever got to see.
Except for me.
Yet it was fleeting.
Like a Shooting Star or Moonlight in a Martini.
Saw it only once or twice.
But that ‘once or twice’ was enough to ensure my memories of time spent with her would live on forever.
“Shonnie Darling, my hopeful dream and only channeled aspiration is to write you honestly, passionately, and well. I am doing my best. Please be pleased.”
–The Cowboy / Sailor who keeps you and loves you still
“There was once a very lovely, very frightened girl. She lived alone except for a nameless cat.”
It’s a pretty good drive from Seaport Village to La Jolla. We stopped along the way for cigarettes, sandwich stuff and beer and arrived at “Auntie’s House” about seven-thirty. This isn’t it, but a reasonable facsimile:
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have a shit-load of money
“Your aunt rich?” I asked stupidly.
“Yes. What was your first clue?”
“Lucky guess, I suppose.”
“Come on. It’s even better inside.”
She led me into the condo.
“First class joint,” I said. “Really classy.”
“Allow me, Good Sir, to give you the nickel tour.”
(“Good Sir?” “Allow me???”)
She led me through the living room, past the dining room and into the kitchen. It was all stainless steel, dark wood, and stone.
Wow! It made my eyes hurt.
We put the sandwich stuff and the beer in the fridge. Shonnie produced two tumblers and threw some ice into each. I took the bottle of Jim Beam, splashed a little into each glass, and handed one to her.
“A Toast!” I said. “To us!”
We clinked tumblers, took a swig and fell into each other’s arms. Lips to lips. “You make me happy my dear,” I whispered into her ear as we broke our lip lock.
“I had a wonderful time in Vegas. I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.”
“Yeah, but next time please, please listen to me a little more often.”
“Hahaha! Sure Cowboy. I promise to be good… ‘Next time’. Come on. I want to show you the rest of this ‘joint’.”
We took the stairs and she led me into what I surmised to be the master bedroom suite. It was large as condo bedrooms go I suppose, but then I was no expert on anything ‘condo’. In truth, this was my very first ‘Close-Condo-Encounter-Of-Any-Kind’ experience. There were double French doors opening up to a small patio overlooking the Pacific.
The bed was gigantic. I pushed down on it with my hand and watched as it rippled. Waterbed. Last time I had seen a waterbed was back in The Seventies. I wondered silently if this one leaked…
There were Asian paintings on the walls and very deep beige shag-carpet on the floor. Some legit hand-carved Maasai Warrior statuettes stood lookout on the dresser. I recognized them from my eight days spent in Kenya back in ’86.
The bathroom had an old-timey tub, green towels, and a shower stall… and a bidet! Wow! Mishmash of so many cultures. (And decades) Well, California. What could one say?
“Why don’t you rinse off in the shower while I gather some more ice and build our bar?”
“Uh… Okay,” I said. “I’ll do that.”
After my ‘rinse off’, I wrapped a green beach towel about me, lay on the bed with my drink and my Marlboro. (Figured it permissible to smoke, as there were about five ashtrays strategically placed about the room.)
Shonnie reappeared with the whiskey, two sandwiches and a pack of Doritos precariously balanced on a serving tray in her right hand. Two longneck beers peeked out from a bucket of ice tucked under her left arm. An unopened pack of Marlboros was clinched between her teeth. Quite the juggler, she was.
She walked over to the rather huge oaken set of dresser drawers; released the pack of cigarettes from her mouth. I observed it bounce once on the dresser’s edge then disappear into the beige shag-carpet forest.
“It’s okay. Don’t get up. I’ve got this,” she said with some small sarcasm, as she set down the rest of her items.
“You must be hungry” I said.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Lose that towel.”
I did and she ‘lost’ her jeans et al.
We made slow love for some thirty minutes. Deep kisses, lots of teasing, and finally, we came together…
As we lay back in the bed, silently smoking, she turned and said seriously, almost ominously, “You’re quite the catch, aren’t you Cowboy?”
“Not sure your meaning, Little Lady.”
“Just saying. You’re quite the catch.”
“Not really. Just another lonely sailor far from his home port.”
“Yes with fireplace eyes, the gift of bullshit, some smarts, and an ‘any-port-in-a storm’ laissez-faire philosophy.”
“Somewhat true enough, I suppose,” Then added quickly and clumsily, “Used to be ‘true enough.’ Those days are long since gone for me now.”
She gave me a ‘look’ which told me she wasn’t buying it.
(‘Fireplace eyes?’ I’d only been described, accused of this once before. From…, by… my wife. Somewhat unnerving to hear it again verbatim after so many years. And ‘laissez-faire??’ From the lips of My Shonnie? What-the-hell is happening? Is this a ‘haunted’ condominium? Do I need to call an exorcist?)
From the very moment we set foot inside the condo, a change, although quite a subtle one, had come over Shonnie. Difficult to describe, but I’ll try. I sensed more than ’witnessed’ it. But I witnessed enough. More than enough.
The first change was the tone of her voice. It immediately lost a bit of its gravelly coarseness; not actually becoming ‘soft,’ but most definitely ‘toned down’ a few degrees.
Next thing was her gait or ‘walk.’ Very difficult to describe as well, but she had suddenly acquired an almost elegant manner of moving from place to place. I would not go so far as to describe it as ‘gracefully gliding’, but it was a noticeable departure from her frenetic ‘bull-in-the-china-closet’ mode of self-transport I had learned to live with and to love.
And here is the weirdest thing of all:
Her vocabulary had grown exponentially, and her employment of the vernacular was… different—sophisticated–weird.
To the untrained eye and ear, these subtle changes would have gone happily, blissfully ignorantly unnoticed. But this cowboy/sailor had not survived three years in the Sinai, Egypt, Israel war zones and four years in the Janet-the-first-wife war zone along with the Nacogdoches, Texas, ‘Boy Y’all ain’t from ‘round he’ah ar’ Y’all?’ war zone by not paying, as they say in the Navy, close ‘attention to detail.’
And always, always maintaining ‘situational awareness.’
(The very first thing the Navy did to me was drill a hole in my head and pour those in. “Always Pay Attention To Detail. Always Maintain Situational Awareness.” I already had these traits. The Navy merely refined them, upgraded them, topped them off, and permanently cemented them into my mind.)
Thusly cursed with my talent for applying ‘attention to detail’, ‘maintaining situational awareness’, and also properly cursed with a thoughtful and enquiring mind, I wondered if the Shonnie I had so hopelessly fallen in love with were the ‘Real Shonnie’ or just a ‘Make-Believe Shonnie’ who the ‘True Shonnie’ had used so effortlessly to capture my heart. Was she just playing around with me? Was she a Black Widow type? (‘Just fuck ’em and eat ’em’) Was she too clever for me? Was I in way over my head? Was my heart in peril?
I emphatically answered ‘No’ to all of these questions.
Best and most logical explanation is that my Shonnie, the one I fell in love with, was ALL TOO MUCH REAL.
I’ll admit, I did not understand the true magnitude of her deeply profound and complicated psyche at first, but I did sense it. Hence the initial attraction—an attraction whose growth I did nothing to curtail–allowing it to grow stronger and stronger day by day until I found myself in my current situation. A ‘situation’ I had allowed to flourish.
And to cherish.
And would never give up.
This may be going a ‘bridge too far’ but it was as if she had morphed from ‘Eliza Doolittle’ into ‘Holly Golightly’.
In an instant!
As if by Magic!
I found the change somewhat disconcerting, yet fascinating and tantalizing. I truly and fervently wish there were ways to fully and articulately describe this ‘sophisticated’ transformation of hers, but alas…
That would require a much more skilled raconteur than the one who is now so ‘unsophisticatedly’ spilling virtual ink on this virtual page.
Here is one thing I can unabashedly report and with great sincerity and veracity: this proves beyond any doubt, any doubt at all…
That Shonnie was the most fascinating woman I have ever known, or will ever know. I will climb even further out on this limb with my saw strapped over my shoulder:
There is no woman, real or imagined, whom I will ever love more than this biker chick. (By proxy and by definition to her core, she was a true biker chick, albeit a multidimensional, brilliantly unusually unique one)
“Eat your sandwich,” she said. “Then we can watch a movie. The night is still young.”
She got up and I watched her walk toward the bathroom. She navigated her perfectly petite body while (purposely? hell yeah! she knew I’d be watching) intentionally twitching her little ass, tantalizing me still–and although I was quite sated at that moment–I could never become totally immune to her wily charms.
I reached for the sandwich even though I was not hungry. Suddenly becoming self-conscious about my nakedness and feeling vulnerable, I got up and put my pants on. I lay back on the bed, picked up the sandwich, took one bite and put it down.
There was a large television conveniently facing the bed. I picked up the remote from the night stand and switched it on. CNN appeared. Some info-babe talking head was blathering on and on about something horrible that had just happened in Iraq:
I muted the volume.
“You’re watching the News?” She said incredulously, suddenly appearing in front of me wearing a white terry-cloth robe and a frown.
“Hey, did you lift that robe from the Plaza?”
“Don’t be stupid. This belongs to my aunt. And don’t change the subject. You’re watching The News. I hate the news. It’s always bad.”
“I think it’s watching me.”
“How depressing. You must be a very lonely man when you’re not with me.”
“Current events are important,” I said.
“Not to me.”
“Well, here’s a news’ flash for ya: You are drop-dead sexy and beautiful and gorgeous.”
“Careful there, Cowboy…”
She walked over to the ‘Entertainment Center’ which was part of the whole TV thing and began perusing some VHS tapes. “What kind of movies do you like?” she asked.
“Hysterical hilarious history drama,” I said.
“Well, that does narrow it down a bit.” She selected and loaded a tape. With a remote in each hand, she began pushing buttons. “Top Gun” appeared on the screen as if by technological magic. (Or Witchcraft)
“I was thinking of maybe something a little less contemporary,” I said as Kenny Loggins began his bit.
Video Credit: KennyLogginsVEVO
“Nonsense!” she said. “This is perfectly apropos for you. You’re a sailor.”
(There she goes again! ‘apropos’?? I am losing my damn mind!)
“Yeah I am, but not a fighter jock. And I despise Tom Cruise.”
“Relax. Have you seen this movie?”
“’Fraid I have, but okay. Kelly McGillis is never a waste of my time.”
“Well, I have not seen it. I’d like to see it. With you. Do you mind? Besides, I’ll allow you to provide the ‘Color Commentary’ which I am certain you won’t be able to resist doing anyhow.”
With that she jumped on the bed causing me to spill some amber onto the sheets and almost drop my cigarette. She grabbed my head with both hands and planted a deep kiss, sticking her tongue deep down my throat.
“Madame! I am aghast!” I said as I was freed from her embrace.
“Shut up and watch the movie.”
Kenny was just finishing up ‘Danger Zone’, and proving once again that I needed to pay closer attention to my life’s soundtrack, especially when it is foreshadowing and trying to connect.
We got through the horrible movie thanks to several glasses of Beam and a few beers and not a small number of cigarettes. It was, I have to admit looking back, the best screening of one of the worst movies of all time. I kept Shonnie in laughter as I picked apart the utter bullshit and un-factual parts of the movie. Yes, sometimes I can do sarcasm with the best.
As the final credits were rolling, Shonnie snuggled up to me and asked, “Lance, do you love me? Truly love me?”
“Probably,” I said.
“I’m a little hard to love.”
“Not for a schmuck like me.”
“I’m serious here. I have issues.”
“Yeah, don’t we all?”
“Goddamn it! I am serious.”
“’Serious’ is not something I’m good at.”
“You are EXASPERATING!”
“That’s a pretty good four-bit word,” I said with a mocking grin.
“Actually, it’s five bits, you bastard.”
I counted off the syllables in my head. ‘Ex-as-per-at-ing.’ Yep. Five.
“You’re right,” I said.
“You know my estranged husband is one mean son-of-a-bitch, right?”
“Never met the stud. Do tell.”
“Trust me. And he called me up at Mama’s the other day and asked me who was my new boyfriend.”
“Yeah. I think he’s been following me.”
“I’m not much into ‘threesomes’.”
“Listen Asshole. I’m getting scared.”
“Wanna end it?” (What an incredibly stupid, stupid, stupid bluff on my part! If she calls it, I am properly and deservedly destroyed. There are some things even I should never gamble.)
She paused and I saw some sorrow creep into her eyes. “Might be a good idea,” she said. Then quickly added, “But just for a little while. I don’t want to lose us.”
“Let’s sleep on it. I have to leave here at zero-five-thirty so I can make morning muster on my ship.”
She buried her head under my arm and we fell asleep under the blue TV screen light.
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: This is the (NOT) The End”
Update: Part XIV is up
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Comments below from the original version of this post.
Please read from the bottom up for continuity.
19 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE. CHAPTER XIII: LA JOLLA”
johncoyote October 3, 2020 at 05:06 Edit
My friend. Create a wonderful story. I liked the house and the conversation. You are making the characters worthwhile and interesting. I like how you made the small details important. The ashtrays, for a example. A vey good chapter.
Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 18:27 Edit
LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:21 Edit
Thank you Teela for the compliment.
Made my eve.
P.S. Donna was great!
Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 10:48 Edit
I was about 9 years old the first time I heard Donna Summer, after that, I fell asleep listening to her.
Have I told you lately that you are an amazing talent?
You are, I meant that.
LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 02:10 Edit
This made it’s way into my spam. Sorry ’bout that.
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 15:59 Edit
She truly was a rare talent.
Mélanie July 14, 2014 at 15:57 Edit
I loved la Jolla… 🙂
P.S. I was in Naples, Florida when Donna Summer passed away, 2 years ago, RIP. A wonderful artist and a lovely lady!
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 10:46 Edit
big ol’ Texas smile *
lauramacky July 14, 2014 at 10:44 Edit
lolol you’re welcome Lance. I always feel like I’m in a time capsule when I read your posts. Love ’em!
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 10:37 Edit
Especially the dysfunction junction!
Thanks Laura for the read and great comment.
lauramacky July 14, 2014 at 10:29 Edit
Brings back such memories for me….the music, the wild times and the dysfunction LMAO.
artourway July 14, 2014 at 09:15 Edit
Je peux pas parler longtemps … if you would like to now Lance
artourway July 14, 2014 at 07:21 Edit
LAMarcom July 14, 2014 at 00:58 Edit
Thank you my friend.
inspiredbythedivine1 July 14, 2014 at 00:43 Edit
I’m really enjoying these tales.
LAMarcom July 13, 2014 at 21:39 Edit
Great clip/song Sadie. Thanks for taking me back. I remember when I was at SFM back in the late Seventies and Rod Stewart came out with his ‘disco’ album: ‘Blondes Have More Fun’. Most of us at SFM were hard-core rockers and despised ‘disco’ (although I had a secret major crush on Donna Summer… please never tell…)
We even had our own pure rock band there: The ‘Sisco Ducks’ — get it? Hahahah
Anyhow, when Stewart let loose that ‘Disco’ Album, all said,
“Whelp, I bet that’s the end of Rod Stewart as a serious musician-man.”
Glad I did not take that bet. (and you know I am a gambler)
Rod Stewart is absolutely one of the all-time greats. And he do have some longevity too!
Your comments always brighten my day/night/mornings.
Cheers & Thank You,
~ Sadie ~ July 13, 2014 at 21:21 Edit
Damn it Lance LOL!! You are killing me here . . . . 😉
Like I said before – great storytelling & great suspense!!!
Breathlessly . . . you just keep me hanging on . . .
(one of my fav albums!!) 😉
Mickey Rooney almost ruined the Movie, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’
But he couldn’t.
He had not the talent.
(Look it up)