Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent flower,
But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch,
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
We will speak further
Only look up clear.
To alter favor ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me
“Unsex Me Here”
Why do I hold Lady Macbeth in such high esteem one may ask?
Isn’t it patently obvious?
She is cunning. She is manipulative. She is strong. (Much stronger than her husband)
“Screw your courage to the sticking-place,And we’ll not fail.”
She is intelligent.
She is ‘ambition-on-steroids’.
She is resolute.
She is brave.
She is Affectionate and Loving.
(Yes! Oh Yes She Is!—To her husband)
She is loyal (The whole world of her ambition is her husband)
She is broken.
She is madness. (In mind and in deed)
“Out! damned spot! One, two, — why, then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? – Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”
She is Beautiful.
She is Beautiful.
She is So Very Beautiful
In very many respects, she reminds me of Shonnie.
But now she is gone.
“Out, Out Brief Candle”
And now for something completely different…
Just a little levity.
‘Tis Good For The Soul.
Street Cred For Vid: Wisecrack
Author’s Note (And Two-Cents):
Yes, I know.
Roman Polanski is an Asshole.
Anyone who ‘reads me’ knows my position on ‘artists’ and art.
If you do not, here is the ‘short’ version:
“I don’t give two cups of warm spit about what they (artists, creators, movie stars, entertainers, et cetera) do off camera, off stage, away from the set, away from the recording booth.Or whatever they choose to do while in their boudoirs.
All I care about is what they create.
Does it enrich my life?
Does it entertain me?
Does it educate me?
Does it make me laugh?
Does it make me cry?
Does it move me?
Or Does It Waste My Time?
These are the only measures of worth I employ.”
Anything Else IS A WASTE of my Mental Energy and My Time.
And My Time is the Most Valuable Thing I Own.
Or as we say in Texas (Usually about Land, but it fits even better in this context):
“Time, get all you can.
Keep all you can.
They ain’t making any more of it.”
That door swings both ways:
So, I hope I have NOT wasted YOUR Time.
More Two Cents Worth Regarding Art and Artists Here:
Below Please Find The Relevant Text If You Do Not Want To Follow The Link To The Complete Post Above.
Now I am cognizant of the fact that there are myriad ‘Madonna Haters’ out there in ‘Radio Land.’
Here is My Philosophy, (Well-Documented in some of my posts) and some advice:
You don’t have to love the ‘artist-person’ to love the art. There are lots of performers I detest because of their off-stage persona or antics, or just piss-poor personality in general.
But… That does not stop me from enjoying and appreciating their art.
I do not give two shits about their politics, arrogance, religion, sexual preferences, et cetera. If their art entertains and enriches my life, I am good with them.
On the other hand, they can be as wonderful and charming as all get out, but if they have no true performance talent, I move on.
Here is the advice part for anyone out there who may need it:
Do not be so narrow and small-minded, and full of your own morality that you prevent yourself from enjoying good art.
That loss is yours.
And yours alone.
Believe me, the artists, the great ones especially, don’t give a shit if you boycott them or not.
Try to remember:
“Life is a Cabaret”
Enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t deny yourself value and enjoyment in your life just because some great performer pisses you off due to their persona while off-stage.
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 allowyou 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 . . .
“Oh Good God! Lance is posting yet more ‘driveling-snivelings’ about writers, writing, and his writing travails! He wears me out!”
“Well, you may thank Mister Ohh over at His Place for prompting me to resurrect this long since dead post on the subject. Have a pleasant journey and be sure to give him my best regards while you are there. Ohh! (See what I just did there?) Oh btw, the password is “Mo’ Sent me.” ‘Mo, being shorthand for ‘Moron.’ Gawd! I crack me up! Ha. Ha. Ha.
The Angry Mab
“I dreamt a dream tonight.”
“And so did I.”
“Well, what was yours?”
“That dreamer’s often lie.”
“…In bed asleep while they do dream things true!”
“Oh! Then I see Queen Mab hath been with you!”
–R&M: Romeo and Mercutio
“Peace, Good Mercutio. Peace. Thou talks of nothing. Thou talkst of nothing.”
“True. True. I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain. Begotof nothing but vain fantasy, which is as thin of substance as the air and more inconstant than the wind who woes even now the frozen bosom of the north, and being angered puffs away from thence, turning his side to the dew-dropping south.”
Thou Talkst of Nothing
After a night of hard blogging and writing of drafts, and becoming somewhat disillusioned and more than daft, I perished toward my bed, reaching out for the Arms of Morpheus.
Within moments I slipped into that Hypnagogic Sleep, that strange place between two worlds, that semi-conscious state of being, yet not being,
Salvador Dali 1928
Sleep, but Not Sleep.
Then I began to dream things that should have been true.
But were not true
Yet so true.
Wonderful words words words!
Words to sate my unnourished prose.
Words swirl’d about in my mind like so many fireflies on a summer’s eve:
“Words, words, words!. Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups of clay. Love that overthrows empires. Love that binds two hearts together, come hellfire & brimstone.”
— “Will Shakespeare in Love”
I had it (them, those) words… goin’ on.
Brilliant words. Beautiful, poignant words! All right there!
Right there In My Mind
Hovering, floating just above the surface
I reached out my finger to tap the “Publish Mouse”
Early the next morning, I ordered coffee and then waited outside to catch the room service dude/dudette before they could knock on the door and awaken Sleeping Beauty.
(Yes, we had that coffee maker in our room but I wanted ‘real-brewed, bona-fide coffee’ for us and not some Taster’s Choice shit.)
Presently the coffee arrived and I laced mine with Jim Beam, poured lots of sugar and lots of cream into hers.
Very gently, I woke her.
“Ahhh, what time is it?” She said while yawning and reaching for the ceiling, stretching her slightly freckled arms, splaying her fingers, undulating her hips and moving her head round and round as if she were performing some exotic aboriginal dance to summon up a God or maybe a lessor Daemon.
I sat down on the bed close to her, preparing my aim to land a kiss on her lips.
“I smell ‘real’ coffee. You got us some real coffee!” she said, quickly sitting up as my aimed kiss landed on the pillow where her head had been just a moment before.
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“I was hoping to get at the very least, a kiss out of the deal.”
“I need to pee. Be right back,” she said, jumping up from the bed. “And while you wait, lots of cream, lots of sugar, ‘Sugar,’” laughing at her own joke all the way to the head.
“I Already Did That!” But she didn’t hear as she entered the bathroom and slammed the door shut.
Shonnie, in case you haven’t noticed by now, never, ever does anything delicately, daintily, half-way, or without lusto-gusto.
After what seemed at least an hour, but was more like six minutes, she marched out of the head. The sleepy look had vanished from her eyes, her body language was all energy now. She planted herself in the chair by the bed next to the night stand.
“Here ya go Darlin’,” I said as I handed her, carefully prepared by me, the cup of real, bona-fide coffee.
“Thanks Lover. Now, if you’d be so…”
“Yes yes, I know,” I said, as I lit two ‘Cowboy Killers,’ passing one to her.
“Much obliged,” she giggled, laying it on really thick.
Nervous apprehension descended upon me as I got up and dropped some already queued up, soft and low music into ‘lil boom box’:
The first few notes of Kris and Rita‘s ‘Help me make it through the night’ began. Satisfied it was still queued properly, I immediately shut it off.
“Name that tune Shonnie Girl.”
She took a sip of java, a slow, deliberate drag off her Marlboro, levelled her eyes at me, and said while exhaling, “Uh… ‘Goodtime Charley’s Rag-Tag Band with Tacos and Tamales on the horns section’. Song is called ‘He’s just another dead fish goin’ with the flow’.”
“That’s not even a ‘real’ song. You just pulled that outta your ass,” I protested.
“Of course I did. You wanna a ‘real’ woman in your life or you want one who wastes her time getting ready to be on lame-ass TV game shows?”
“Perfect Segway into something we need to discuss.”
My so well-rehearsed plan was coming apart at the seams. I had not meant to push the Red Shonnie Button. I had meant to push the Blue Shonnie Button.
Obviously, I had missed.
Trying to recover lost ground, aiming at some humility and some seriousness, I broached,
“Shonnie, I’m sorry. But I want you to indulge me for a few minutes. Can we shelve our little ‘word trysts’… sorry, our little ‘romantic word battles’ for a moment. I want to talk to you serious. Have a seat on the bed please.”
Suspiciously, she moved her props (ashtray and coffee cup) to the side of the night stand closer to the bed. Then she lay down stretching out and crossing her legs, seductively opening her bath robe as she did so.
“Ok, you have my attention. Do I have yours?”
*This Woman! ¡Ay, caramba!!*
“Shonnie, Baby, I want you to listen to this entire song without saying one word. It is a song I am sure you have heard many, many times, even several times while with me. Pretty certain you know it by heart, but this time, try to listen as if this is the very first time you have ever heard it. And then allow me to say something before you say anything. Will you do this for me?”
With a raised eyebrow, she said, “Uh, sure. Light it up.”
I got up from the other chair in the room, walked over to lil boom box and pressed ‘play’. Then I got into bed, lying close to Shonnie, reached out and grabbed her left hand, entwining my fingers with hers.
The beginning piano chords… as I lay there, using my fingers to tenderly stroke hers.
Kris began the duet:
Take that ribbon from your hair
Shake it loose and let it fall
Layin’ soft against my skin
Like the shadows on the wall…
As the ‘duet’ part of the duet began I stole a glance at her eyes…
I don’t care what’s right or wrong
I won’t try to understand
Let the devil take tomorrow
But tonight I need a friend
And discerned some tears welling up in them.
Shonnie knew where this ship was sailing.
Sailing headlong into dangerous unchartered waters.
And it’s sad to be alone
Help me make it through the night
I don’t want to be alone
Help me make it through the night
The song ended. Shonnie was weeping.
And so was I.
I sat up and pulled her into an upright posture. I faced her and took both of her hands in mine, looked straight into those intensely blue eyes,
“My Darling, I don’t want you to help me make it through a night. I want you to help me make it through a life. Our life. Together.”
“I love you Shonnie.”
Through blinked back tears she said, “Yes yes, I know. Have known. Just did not know how you were gonna deal with it. Were you gonna run away scared? Or were you gonna stay not scared?” She tried to produce a laugh as she said, “I gave the ‘stay part’ forty-sixty.”
I drew her close and kissed her very lightly on her neck, then deeply on her mouth.
She continued as I kept her locked in my embrace, “Lance, you know I love you too. Have loved you ever since…”
“Ever since our first night?” I interrupted. “Me too. I loved you from that night.”
Joni was well into the next song on my homemade cassette,
Help me, I think I’m fallin’ in love too fast
It’s got me hopin’ for the future and worryin’ about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot, hot blazes come down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin’ (lovin’)
But not like we love our freedom
Neither Shonnie nor I suffered fools lightly, but we knew we were both fools whenever we were together.
How could we even dare to hope for a happy ending to our story? Both of us so headstrong and so independent. She of course not quite as subtle in showing her traits as was I with mine.
And not to mention the two other salient realities:
We were both married, but not to each other.
I was a sailor, and would be compelled to leave her for recurring lengthy deployments at sea.
Liberally and loosely stealing from Shakespeare, we were ‘Star-Struck’, ‘Love-Struck’, ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ living in a stolen season.
But at that moment, we didn’t care.
We made the most tender, yet passionate, slow passionate, if there is such a thing, love we ever had.
It was, to tritely yet accurately describe it, ‘Heaven on Earth.’
We lay there in the warmth of each other, knowing full well our relationship had been forever changed. And I am certain she, as did I, hoped it had changed for the better.
It was already perfect, but now it had the potential to become ever ‘more’ perfect, which I suppose is impossible grammatically, kind of like being ‘more unique’ or some such nonsense, but damn it all!
If we could form a ‘More Perfect Union’ then by God we would!Come Hell or Rapture!
Just hoping we hadn’t fucked up what we already had.
After lying there for half an hour, wrapped around each other and not saying even one word, just listening to Joni, we got up silently and sat down in our respective chairs.
Shonnie lit a cigarette and took a big sip of what had to be by now, horrible-tasting cold coffee.
I took a sip of mine, but it had been perma-warmed with Beam.
We exchanged loving, lustful, provocative looks.
Not being able to stand the silence or the exchanged and corny goo-goo eyes any longer, she blurted out, “You gonna teach me that Goddamn card-counting shit or what?!” Then she laughed loudly and hysterically.
And so did I.
Our previous rapport had been spared from our love confessional and thankfully remained fully in-tact.
“Drag your ass and your chair over here while I drag the coffee table between us,” I said.
“Fix me a drink while you’re at it will ya? This coffee tastes like shit which hasn’t even been warmed over.”
“You got it, Darlin.’”
“And stop callin’ me ‘Darlin’ all the damn time. Come up with something new, will ya? You’re wearing me out with that Texas Darlin’ shit!”
I had to laugh. See why I loved her so? What the Hell is not to love about a woman such as she?
However. I think she was trying just a little too hard to make sure that I knew and she knew that our previous tête-à-tête way of banging our respective relationship heads together remained firmly grounded and fully preserved. In other words, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
I began teaching her how to count down the deck.
“Shonnie,” I said. “Aces count as zero. Two through nine count as plus one. Tens and the rest (face cards) count as minus one.”
“You’re gonna sit there and keep a running count in your head while you place two-dollar bets. Don’t get fancy. Just use the basic strategy I taught you.”
“When the count goes hot, I mean, when the count goes real positive, anything over plus five, you light a cig in your left hand. I’ll be at the bar and come on over, playing a drunk with a lot of money. Should just be a bit-part for me. No acting required. I can do ‘drunk’ slicker than owl shit.”
“Wait a minute!” She said. “You’re gonna ‘play’ a drunk?”
“Yeah. So what?”
“Never mind. But you probably might need to ‘rehearse’ a little bit.”
“Funny. Anyhow, we’ll go to the El Cortez this evening and you’ll go in first. Take a seat at the blackjack table closestto the bar. I’ll come a few minutes later and park my butt, watching you from the bar.”
“When you signal, I’ll stumble on over and start throwing black chips around. You hand off the count to me by stacking some chips to your right. Five six, seven… Whatever it is. I’ll pretend not to know you while I pick up your count.”
“If all works well, I’ll score a grand or two or three, then feign needing to move on, color my chips and bug. You stay for another twenty minutes or so and then meet me back at The Plaza. Got it?”
“Great Girl,” I said.
“Oh Yeah? Fuck you! If we get into trouble, it’s on your ass.”
“Honey, nothing illegal ‘bout countin’, but they do frown on it. We’ll be fine. Just lay off the sauce a bit.”
“Double Fuck You!” she said.
“There’s that Girl I love.”
“Love? I thought we had alreadysettled thatissue.”
For the rest of the morning and slightly into the afternoon we practiced her ‘counting.’ She was surprisingly adept and dare I admit, picked it up much quicker than I had back when I was floating around in the Northern Indian Ocean trying to teach myself.
I pronounced her ‘Ready for Prime Time.’
“Ready? I was ‘ready’ two fuckin’ hours ago. I’ve just been humoring you. Can we have some food now?”
Love is a Many-‘Splintered’Thing… and a Double-Edged Sword of Damocles.
And absolutely extraordinarily exhilaratingwith Shonnie.
Part X: “Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Chapter X: Dalliance (and loyalty in Las Vegas)”
Coming Very Soon
Update: Part X 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:
Below You Will Find Most Of The Original Posts. Once / If You Arrive At Thirteen There Are Links To The Final Few Chapters. Please keep in mind however, that each and every one of them is in the process of being rewritten: first to last. This will probably take at least two or three weeks.
(This book must be a later edition. The one I worn out reading, I purchased from a book store in Hong Kong. Same title, but published in the late Seventies if memory serves. Was not aware of any later editions. Might be the same book, just a reprint.)
I taught Shonnie just the basic count. Not as powerful as the more sophisticated ones (for example keeping a side count on Aces). The thing I learned from Uston was the concept of the ‘Big Player.’
The easiest way to get spotted as a card counter is to be betting small, then suddenly when the deck goes ‘hot’, start betting large. Sure tip off. Having someone else counting, then walking up and immediately placing big bets is safer. Usually.
Thanks for your comments and for the visit. You are correct. I need to finish this up. I aim to.
Exile on Pain Street July 1, 2014 at 06:24 Edit
You make counting sound so easy! If you don’t have a brain for numbers or, like myself, a functioning brain at all, you get pretty tripped-up in the pluses and minuses. But that’s a pretty concise explanation.
I know my way around a craps table but don’t know nuthin’ ’bout no stinkin’ cards. I’ve sat at black jack tables and fucked it up for everyone. Boy, do they give you dirty looks!
I think it’d be cool if your last name was Corporal. You’d be Lance Corporal. See what I did there? Finish this up. Did you get busted?
LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:22 Edit
It’s a grind if ya do it right Sadie. More and more difficult these days. Most of the Joints deal from a six-deck shoe and reshuffle halfway into it. Tough to get a real advantage.
Thanks very much for reading and commenting.
LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:21 Edit
Laughing my ass off!
LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:20 Edit
You could be right Mark.
Thanks for the read and your comment. I appreciate it.
LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:19 Edit
Yeah, I think I know that guy.
Thanks My Friend.
happierheathen June 29, 2014 at 22:26 Edit
One of my cousins is a nice guy who dresses well and speaks softly, and if you aren’t careful about counting cards in certain Vegas “properties” he’ll drop by and invite you to take a walk with him. Good thing you didn’t get to meet him.
markbialczak June 29, 2014 at 19:14 Edit
Somebody’s gonna end up either beat to a pulp in the back room of the casino or bloody face down on the pavement in front of the joint, and I sure hope it ain’t Shonnie. You know how to build the tension, Lance-a-rooney.
Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 29, 2014 at 19:12 Edit
“There’s that Girl I love.”
Methinks the cat just landed amidst the pigeons!
~ Sadie ~ June 29, 2014 at 18:42 EditDamn – you can get an education anywhere 😉 I want to try that card counting shit, now!!! Thanks Lance for teaching me something new & the continued saga . . . great writing & storytelling!!
The Song was actually vocalized by Emmy Lou Harris, Allison Krauss, & Gillian Welch
“Welch was an associate producer and performed on two songs of the soundtrack of the Coen brothers 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a platinum album that won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002.
She also appeared in the film attempting to buy a Soggy Bottom Boys record. Welch, while not one of the principal actors, did sing and provide additional lyrics to the Sirens song “Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby.”
In 2018 she and Rawlings wrote the song “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” for the Coens’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, for which they received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Welch has collaborated and recorded with Alison Krauss, Ryan Adams, Jay Farrar, Emmylou Harris, the Decemberists, Sam Phillips, Conor Oberst, Ani DiFranco, and Robyn Hitchcock.”
WayAbove:One of the best scenes from this magnificent movie.
(Which I am re-watching for the umpteenth time.)
Guess this to be my “Siren Song.”
Before I embrace death.
But what a way to Go!
Trapped/Bound by the Arms of a Beautiful Siren!
Kailee Morgue, world-renowned Siren:
Artist: Kailee Morgue Cred for Vid: ‘Lyrics video‘
Cred for Vid: ‘Sarah Mc.‘
Not Really a ‘Siren Song,’ but Sade is one of my Sirens and this is MY Post.