Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part IX: “Counting Down the Deck” or “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways”

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.”

“Perfect…’sledge’…what?!”

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:

  1. We were both married, but not to each other.
  2. 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.

But…

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 closest to 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?”

“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 already settled that issue.”

***

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 exhilarating with Shonnie.

***

Previously:

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen

***

Commentary Section from Original Post.

For continuity, please read from the bottom up.

12 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE, PART IX: COUNTING”

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 10:05 Edit

Pretty sure you could. Just takes practice.

Thanks for reading Teela!

Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 09:59 Edit

I couldn’t count cards if I wanted to.

Looking forward to reading the rest.

T

LAMarcom July 1, 2014 at 21:01 Edit

Problem with me being ‘Lance Corporal’ is that I am a Sailor, not a Marine. 😉

There are many different levels of skill in card counting. I had honed my skills on a six month Western Pacific deployment. I also read Thorpe’s book and Kenny Uston’s.

http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Blackjack-Ken-Uston/dp/0897460685

(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.

Cheers,

Lance

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.

Peace,

Lance

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:21 Edit

Laughing my ass off!

Thanks Annie.

Cheers

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:20 Edit

You could be right Mark.

Thanks for the read and your comment. I appreciate it.

Cheers

LAMarcom June 30, 2014 at 18:19 Edit

Yeah, I think I know that guy.

Hahaha.

Thanks My Friend.

Cheers

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.”

“Love?”

Methinks the cat just landed amidst the pigeons!

Loading…

~ 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!!

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife Part VIII: “The Blackjack Enlightenment of Miss Shonnie”

 “I love Las Vegas! Jesus Christ do I love Vegas! I’ll make it, make it good and clear; it’s because my Girl’s Right HERE!”

–Dean Martin

“And MY Shonnie’s Right THERE!

Wearing Her ‘Come Hither’ Stare!”

–Lance ‘Martin’ Marcom

Vid Cred: icamatrix

***

I took Shonnie by the hand and we waltzed over to a blackjack table.

‘One Dollar Minimum Bet’

This was to be a training session and a trial run. An ‘Introduction’, or ‘Baptism’, or ‘Enlightenment, if you will.

Then again, it could just as quickly and easily degrade into a ‘Fiasco’, a ‘Waste of Time‘, an ‘Exercise in Futility’, given Shonnie’s paucity of patience.

“Hey! You said something about teaching me ‘counting down the deck’ in Blackjack. Was that bullshit, or what? I have never played blackjack. What is that anyway, counting down the deck? What does it mean?” She demanded.

“Lower your voice to somewhere around a three on your dial. And never use the ‘C Word’.

“Huh? The ‘C’ word?”

“Counting” I whispered.

She lowered her voice almost to a whisper, a difficult accomplishment for her. “Oh, Okay ‘Mister Mystery-Man’, I won’t use any ‘C’ words, until I call you out for being a ‘cunt’.”

“I’m a ‘man’. I can’t be a ‘cunt’.”

“Oh yes you can. I have met lots of ‘man-cunts’ in my day.” She did not whisper that, drawing some looks from nearby innocent bystanders.

Trying to ignore her remark for now, I said, “Just try to aim for ‘discreet’. This is Blackjack, not Craps. Blackjack is more subtle, more subdued, more cerebral. Craps is for screamin’ and hollerin’ and gettin’ rowdy. Blackjack is diametrically opposed and polarity opposite.”

“Do you ever speak ‘honest’ fucking English? You know, without all the bullshit fancy words that no one gives a rat’s ass to hear. You’re not as smart as you think you are, Cowboy.”

“Ah now, come on Lil Miss, Ah jes tryin’ ta inject ah little bit ah refinery into yer head.”

“Stop right now, or I am gonna ‘inject’ my fist into your head. Now, in English, tell me what is Blackjack. ‘Condensed’ ‘Abridged’ version if-you-please. See there Schmuck? I know a few ‘fancy six-bit words’ too.”

“Touché,” I said.

She smacked me hard on my ass.

I continued, “Surely you played ‘Twenty-One’ as a kid, right? Or was it all ‘Strip Poker’ or ‘Strip Her and Poke Her’ with The Boys-on-The-Block?”

“I’m warning you Asshole,” she said playfully, almost tenderly.

Shonnie is the only woman I have ever known who can successfully use ‘Asshole’ as a term of endearment.

“Okay. Okay. Seriously Shonnie, I just want you to get a feel for the game. Tomorrow, I will teach you how to count. You seem to have some ‘Rain Man’ in ya. No offense.”

“Rain Man?”

“Never mind. I’ll tell you later. You just listen to me, and as we play, and I’ll teach you all about what are called the ‘Basic Strategy’ rules of the game and more important, the rules you never, ever break while playing. Not The Dealer, nor the other players will mind or care.”

“Besides,” I continued, “It’s common for neophyte players to show up at a ‘Dollar Minimum’ table and get verbal instructions, even from the Dealer, if the dealer has any class at all, that is. Tomorrow, we’ll hit The El Cortez, and we’ll be in disguise. They have one of the last double-deck games in town.”

El Cortez is Jumpin’! Hahaha!

Worth a read: One of my ‘El Cortez Moments’

***

“El Cortez? Double deck? Disguise? Get the fuck out! And, by the way, I don’t remember seeing any ‘El Cortez’ anywhere.”

Not surprised you missed it. It’s a bit of a rundown joint… But in a good way, in the tradition of the old ‘Sawdust Joints’. Don’t worry. They used to know me there. Hopefully they have forgotten that they used to know me there. I’ll explain later. Please sit down and think about what you want to drink. The waitress will need to know.”

We sat at ‘Third Base.’ Well technically, ‘I’ sat at third base. Shonnie sat next to me.

‘Third Base’

“Card counters actually have an advantage when it comes to the seating. These players are recommended to sit in the third base position to give them more time to keep an eye on the table, as well as count, and of course bet last.”

Credit: Blackjack Australia

***

The dealer was a perky blond. Her name tag announced

“I’m Debbie-From-Des Moines”

Live it Up!”

***

This Here’s Debbie. Kinda Cute an’ Innocent-Lookin’ Ain’t She? Be Thee Not Deceived;

She’ll Take ALL Your Money Ere You Leave

(If You Grow Careless)

Trust Me

***

And as the hours passed by, I taught her Basic Strategy Blackjack. She was good with it. Grudgingly very good with it. (My gal ain’t stupid, just stubborn and impatient.)

We never bet much. This was just for training after all, (and we already had our stake from Shonnie’s earlier very profitable ‘Dice-Capades) and I distrusted the dealers at the Plaza anyhow, so we just chilled. Well, at least I chilled… and taught.

“This is boring.” she said rather abruptly.

“Honey, you’re learning the game. Relax.”

“I like craps better.”

“Darling, we all do, but Craps is all about luck and guts and gambling. Blackjack is all about skill, smarts, strategy, and patience. ‘Patience’, I realize, is not your strong suit, and I know from time to time I strain what little you have, but this game is gonna pay off for us tomorrow night. Trust me.”

“Whatever.”

We continued with the Blackjack Lessons for a few more hours.

Shonnie was growing weary and bitchy and mouthy so I called an end to the training session, satisfied enough by then with her understanding of the game.

We walked over to the coffee shop and I bought her a bagel with cream cheese (Her favorite food-of-the-moment, she claimed) Then I took her off to bed.

She was beyond ready, and fell asleep just as soon as blond hair hit white pillow. I gently pulled the blanket over her petite little, exhausted body.

I was left alone with my thoughts, my plans, and a hard on.

“Sleep Princess,” I whispered to her, “And I have something important to tell you tomorrow.”

She stirred a bit and moaned, but did not hear.

I lay down beside her, wrapped myself around her, and slept too.

And dreamt happy dreams.

***

Previously:

Part IX Coming Soon:

“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Part IX: Counting”

Update: Part IX 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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts OneTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTenElevenTwelveThirteen

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Part “V(iva) Las Vegas”

Author’s Note:

Before we dive in, I’d like to humbly request/suggest that you take the time, if you have the time, to watch/listen to all the added multi-media and follow the link to the ‘desert’ post.

On the flip-side of ‘Humble’, I’d like to add this:

A great deal of thoughtful thought and time goes into the re-working, expanding of this Shonnie “La Cosa Nostra” Series. I have mercilessly interrogated my memory cells and dragged out items I did not take the time to recount in the original series.

The original was written in a frenzied rush, usually without even one edit. I am very happy now to have the time to try to do justice to my fond memories of Shonnie. She always deserved my full, undivided attention, and my best effort in her regard.

After all these years, I think I just may have finally become “Strong Enough to be Her Man.”

***

Every new word is still the truth as I best do remember events.

I sweat every word, every comma, and every ‘Added Value’ vid and song and link I drop in.

Nothing is hap-hazard.

Nothing is irrelevant.

This is a package deal.

A complete full-meal-deal.

Don’t ignore the fries and the hot apple pies.

I’d like for you to get the ‘full-benefit’.

My fervent desire is that you enjoy it and it satiates.

Bon Appétit

And As Always, I Do Appreciate Your Time Invested, And I Do My Very Level Best Not To Waste Even One Drop Of It.

For if I waste your time, that makes me a thief. And that makes me unhappy.

Thank You.

P.S. And for any of Y’all who may be wondering, yes, ‘Shonnie’ is her real name.

***

Our road trip to Vegas takes five hours and change. Once we got past San Bernardino and well into the desert I announced it was safe to drink and drive and ride. (We had, technically, already been drinking, but neither one of us considered beer ‘real drinking’.)

Needing a break, I pulled over and as we admired the scenery, we had a couple of cocktails. And smokes.

The desert was picturesque, desolate, and wondrous thrilling to behold.

(Recall, if you have read any of my “Desert-Rat-Lance” posts, how very romantic and beautiful I find the deserts of the world)

We hit the road again. Stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots more desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday.

For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation.

At the Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, downtown: Glitter Gulch.

I never much cared for ‘The Strip’ during my visits to Vegas, but as this was Shonnie’s first trip, I promised myself I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-More-‘Glittery’-Than-Glitter-Gulch.

“Are we there yet Daddy?” she asked in a rather high-falsetto child-like voice about an hour out of San Bernardino.

“You need to pee again?” I shot back over strains of Jimmy Buffett and wind coming from my half-open window.

“Yeah. Matter of fact, I do.”

“Wimmen!” I said, as I pulled off onto the breakdown lane.

“I ain’t gonna pee here!” She protested.

“Look Darlin’, See those big ol’ rocks over yonder? You can go pee behind one of those. Nobody will see you.”

“Snakes,” she said.

“Huh?”

“Snakes. I don’t like snakes.”

“Okay, I will come with you. Just let me fetch my M60 machine gun outta the trunk.”

Ignoring my piercing wit, she said, “I won’t be able to piss if you’re watching me.”

“You’d prefer the rattlers watch instead?”

“Okay, but you turn your head at the last minute.”

“I never figured you for a prude Honey.”

“Fuck you. Les go. I gotta go!”

And off we went. There were no snakes that day, so mission accomplished, no apparent casualties, except for maybe some ants who could not haul ant-ass fast enough away.

Back on the road.

The rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful.

We arrived to Vegas about six in the evening. As we drove along The Strip, I pointed out all the hotels / casinos which had been graced by my presence (and by my money) during previous trips.

She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the true glory of the Neon City that is Las Vegas.

“Well, time enough for that later,” I mused.

We finally arrived at the very end of our road which was Fremont Street.

(This was years before they tried to re-vitalize Downtown Vegas by constructing ‘The Fremont Street Experience’ and completely shutting down all vehicular traffic–1995)

The Fremont Street Experience

***

So I checked us into my old Nemesis. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but not unlike a marriage gone bad, I just never could seem to break it off entirely.

We found the way to our room, which for me was mediocre (I have been ‘around-the-world, remember? And spent time in some fine, really fine hotels), but to Shonnie, who was not so much a world traveler—more of a life traveler—the room was amazing.

She immediately did a thorough inventory of all the ‘accoutrements’ in the room.

“Hey Lance!” she exclaimed. “Come look at this shit! There are little teeny-tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little baby-sized shampoo bottles! And some paper thingy on the toilet. How I’m supposed to pee with that paper there? And look at this!” she said, walking out of the head and back into the room, “There’s a coffee pot and Coffee! And Look at this here! A Remote Control for the TeeVee!”

(She was, most likely, pulling my leg, but I went with the scene as she had written it—hitting my marks and saying my lines)

*heavy sigh*

 “Shonnie Darlin’, Welcome to the ‘First World’.”

“Smart ass! Hey! Just look at that bed! Is that one of them water-beds?”

“I seriously do not think so. This ain’t Caesar’s Palace Baby. We are in the part of Vegas known as the home of ‘The Sawdust Joints’.”

“Oh… Well, I like it.”

“Stay tuned.”

She walked over to the little desk beside the TV and picked up the room service menu. “Now this is my idea of Heaven”, she said.

“What?”

“We can have room service! I’ve never had room service. What should I order? I’m hungry.”

“Honey, order anything you want.”

“No. I’ll tell you what I want and you order it. I don’t wanna talk to some stranger on the phone about food.”

“Very well,” I said. “Go ahead. Take your time. Then I will order us up some supper. Wanna drink while you ‘peruse’ the menu?”

While I do what to the menu?!

“Decide what you want to eat.”

“Yeah… reach me a beer and my cigs while I study this. So many choices!”

She was enjoying her stay so far. And I was enjoying her ‘enjoying’.

“Have you decided what you want for supper?” I asked after a spell.

“Yeah, but I can’t make out what some of this stuff is, so I’m shopping ‘price’”

“Baby, you don’t havta shop price. I have money. Order what you want.”

“No, I mean I am shopping Price. Gonna order the most expensive thing on this menu and see what I get.”

Good Gawd! I am loving this woman! “You go right on ahead Darlin’.”

She had picked out what she called a ‘baby steak’, based upon the photo and pricey price in the menu (Filet mignon) and then said, “I love the picture of that steak but it looks kinda tiny. Can you add some taters or something with it?”

“Don’t worry Honey, I will take care of it. I’m gonna go for ice first, then I will order.”

“That Seven Eleven we saw is way far from here,” she protested. “Don’t you leave me alone!”

“You really are ‘country’, ain’t ya? And you called me ‘City Boy’. Baby, the ice is just down the hall. Be right back.”

Over her protestations, I went and fetched a bucket of ice. When I returned, she announced she wanted a shower:

“I’m gonna freshen up. You make sure that room service guy don’t come into my bathroom while I’m in there.”

“Shonnie, I will gallantly stand my post just outside your door.”

I lowered my voice an octave or two, snapped to rigid attention, then announced solemnly,

“None shall pass.”

A throw-away line that went sailing right over her head, but it made me happy none-the-less.

She gave me a cautiously perplexed side-ways look, then quickly said,

“Uh… Well… Okay then. See ya in a few,” as she disappeared into the bathroom, almost slamming the door behind her.

The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened the bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple wants, simple tastes, simple desires).

Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ on the table, along with the white candle I had also added to the order. I lit the candle and waited for ‘Lady Guinevere’ or ‘Joan d’Arc’ or ‘Mae West’ to appear.

I never knew who I would be dealing with from one moment to the next when it came to Shonnie. She had a natural chameleon talent, backed up by intelligence and instinct.

She yelled at me from behind the bathroom door: “Is he gone?”

“Yes Darlin’. I fought him off. He shall not return.” (Until we need him again) “Come on out.”

She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, wearing a pure-white hotel terry-cloth bath robe.

Resembling a vamp straight out of a film noir, she waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked absolutely stunning, her wet hair flowing down her shoulders and dripping water everywhere. Her face was glowing radiant red and her blue eyes full of energetic mischief.

I suppose the shower had agreed with her.

She’d become reinvigorated and reborn, casting off the long hot trip through the desert.

As I filled my eyes with the complete little dynamo package that was Shonnie, I felt another brick in my emotional wall crumble into dust.

“Let’s eat! I’m starving!” she announced gruffly in that coarse gravelly voice I had grown to love so well.

We had our meal to the sexy strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from her album Hejira on my little boom box.

(I never go anywhere without my  lil boom box)

Neither one of us had any desire to watch television, as we were too much into ‘our’ music.

The music we made and the music we heard.

And too much into ‘our’ each other experience.

The TV-with-the-remote was just a novelty for her anyway; she had no desire to actually watch it.

Nor did I.

Half-way through our meal and our bottle of wine, Joni began singing this:

“A Strange Boy”

I half-hoped Shonnie did not listen too closely to the lyrics, but who the hell was I kidding?

Shonnie and I had myriad things in common yes, but paying particularly close attention to song lyrics, good ones, was damn near to the top of our ‘things-in-common-we-have’ Hit Parade.

Y’all tell me true:

Does this song hit too close-to-home in describing the relationship Shonnie and I were already so deeply into?

Do Y’all find me a ‘Strange, Strange Boy?’ Some parts obviously don’t work for my purpose here, but other parts of the lyrics work so completely well as to negate the bits that don’t work.

Y’all tell me: Enquiring minds wanna… and all that rot.

***

We finished our meal and retired to our rented, oh-so-inviting, so alluring, so sinfully comfortable bed.

We made love as Joni sang on…

Now the Title Tract from the album:

Yes. Joni was singing

Hejira’

A beautiful, yet somewhat sad commentary on relationships set to the melodious Joni voice and her wonderful guitar strains.

***

Not my desire, nor my intent to drop in any ‘spoilers,’ but suffice to say, if you watch the vid and listen carefully to the words of the song, you may come to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that I have included it here for a very specific reason.

Perhaps even a subtle foreshadowing reason.

Or perhaps not.

Or perhaps just a ‘tease’ to pique your interest.

Guess you will just have to keep reading…

***

Lying on our backs, smoking and glowing in our after-glow, she asked,

“So, you gonna show me around and about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours. Or what?”

“In due time. In due time Darlin’. Now snuff out that cigarette, shuffle off that robe once again, lie back and relax. I have something I want to do to you first.

Then I am gonna teach you how to ‘count’ down the deck in Blackjack.”

***

Previous Chapter Here:

Next Chapter:

“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife, Pt VI: Vegas ‘Soft Porn’, or ‘Blue Hotel Room’”

Coming Very Soon

Update: Part Six Found Below.

If you are new here, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey

Below and then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”

i.e., The Lancelot Links:

***

Below is the commentary section from the original post.

Please read bottom up for continuity.

***

LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:34 Edit

You should read the ones that really get thrown away.

😉

Cheers!

Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 18:22 Edit

“There were no snakes that day, so mission accomplished; no apparent casualties, except for maybe some ants who could not scurry away fast enough.”

This. Of course, I’m enjoying it all but I do have a strange sense of humour that likes these kinds of throwaway lines.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:29 Edit

Thanks Annie.

Yeah, Heathen cracks me up. We like to keep up a lively banter.

Thanks for readin’ an’ commentin’.

Peace and Beer,

Lance

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 19:25 Edit

I agree Laura. It has been decades since I have gotten behind the wheel even with one drink in me. When I think back to the Seventies and Eighties and my reckless behaviour, chills run down my spine. I am so grateful I did not kill anyone (including my self).

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Bad knees eh? Yep, I suppose that would present some problems when trying to ‘girl pee’ in the wilderness.

* wink *

🙂

lauramacky June 21, 2014 at 16:08 Edit

Ah yes, the days when we thought it was ok to drink and drive. It was only a ticket back then right? Gawd I can’t believe I EVER thought that. As for the Peeing…i have crappy knees…I need a white porcelain seat. When I was in Italy in a remote place, it really became a problem! lol

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 21, 2014 at 09:25 Edit

Don’t know which part of this I like more…the post itself, or the comments you and Heathen are tossing back and forth! 😉

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:44 Edit

I am really struggling’ too much with what passes for my current sanity to respond.

(been re-watching Polanski’s “Macbeth”)

No worries!

I shall rally manana.

How I roll, n’est-ce-pas?

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:39 Edit

No worries. I’m into my third glass of wine, and thinking about burning up some innocent flowers. These here flowers I got have way too much gravity in ’em and it’s a toss up which of us will destroy the other. I’m a-fight it to the end either way.

LAMarcom June 21, 2014 at 00:34 Edit

Ah shit!

Heathen,

Ya caught me on the leeward side of drunk.

Love this comment (and the Janis vid inspired bit.)

Promise this:

I will give a proper respond….tomorrow.

(any mis-spelled words are intent-u-al._)

–Lance

happierheathen June 21, 2014 at 00:28 Edit

Blackjack? Oh, man, there you are in Vegas with a beautiful woman and you’re playing a sucker’s game. Damn. If I’d been there I’d have slapped you up side your fool head.

I might have been there, come to think of it. My memory’s faulty. Glitter Gulch… November ’88, at the Nugget. It was ’89 for you? Didja manage to avoid the infamous Barstow bats? 🙂

***

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.

But if you can’t wait… Here ya go!

Parts One  Two  Three  Four  Five  Six  Seven  Eight  Nine  Ten  Eleven  Twelve  Thirteen