I am done.
“Fare thee well Shonnie. It was quite the ride.”
“And the wind… blows me like a paper cup… down the highway…”
I am done.
“Fare thee well Shonnie. It was quite the ride.”
“And the wind… blows me like a paper cup… down the highway…”
I swerved into this while revisiting and exploring my own writings. (I do this occasionally. Not out of vanity, but out of a need to understand how my blogging ‘style’ may have changed or hopefully matured) At any rate, I do think this one adds some small value to my recently completed “Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife of Bath” story.
And whilst swerving, I swerved into this: (If you watch it, I will send you a Mickey Mouse Pencil Sharpener and a box of Gin) Trust me: it still ‘fits’ my Shonnie Story. Ya see? The Earth is a smaller globe now. (redundant?)
Vid Credit: DJ Bayonic
Any and all comments (and advice) regarding the tenor of this TT&H Blog will be greatly appreciated. So, take the time, drop a dime…
This below was inspired by a post from a blogger I much admire: Abby of Abby Has Issues fame: writer, published author, blogger, self-described sarcastic (and inspiring–my words) wench.
This should be a very provocative question for all. Some ancient guy once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
I am rapidly approaching my sixth decade on this earth and have been (painfully) taking stock of all that I could call “My Life.” What good have I accomplished? What are the bad things I have done? How many ‘friends’ do I have? How many bridges have I nuked? (I generally do not ‘burn’ bridges; I have a tendency to shock and awe ‘em—obliterate ‘em) I have put my boots on the ground on every continent except South America. What has this taught me? A lot. Did I always use this knowledge gleaned? Most definitely not.
More and more I have come to the stark realization that I must sum me up with one word:
I am an asshole. I don’t want to be an asshole, pompous ass, arrogant ass, the smartest ass in the room, (which I obviously am… maybe once in ten or twenty tries 😉 ) I do not want to be any kind of ass, but that is my reality. I have made some friendships during my life which should have lasted forever, but didn’t: Mostly from my neglect. I have had some wonderfully loving relations with women, and actually married four of them. Each one of those relationships should have been a lasting euphoria, but I did not, could not, allow that.
Wanderlust always took me away, eventually needing to ‘get outta town’, but with no malice, just gotta go… ‘This is the part where the cowboy rides away’–find some elusive spot half-way across the globe where I could ‘find’ ME, unencumbered by people who ‘love’ me and think they can help me.
Not sure if I have found me yet. And this is disconcerting, ‘cause I do fear the time for that is growing short. Writing helps, but I continue to struggle with:
I still don’t know.
As Abby broached the subject:
Run with it, and drop in to read Abby (and tell her I sent ya–I sure could use the publicity)
Cheers Y’all and Happy Monday.
(And of course, because I love Sheryl Crow. And of course, as a vain writer, I just cannot cotton to killing my own words, once written. Hahahaha! Writers, y’all know what I mean.)
Please Bare er, ‘bear’… with me on this one Y’all.
Time always makes things (memories) better. This is how I cope. As for me and Shonnie, memories are multiplied–super-sized, if you will. The words I wrote of our relationship are all too true. I do hope she never reads those words, as neither she nor I are strong enough to re-live those heady days. This is how life is. One is young once, (and older more than twice) and youth does stupid shit based upon that ‘youth’, and then, if lucky, one has a chance for redemption later in life.
(Not religious redemption: human redemption) I don’t apologize for my youthful indiscretions. They belong to me alone. I will carry. If anyone has in their head after reading my story of Lance and Shonnie, that I did not truly love her, that I allowed her to set me free for my own self-preservation, that I did not want to fight for her, then you may want to go back and read between the lines.
And with that ‘mini-rant’ spotlight shined into my soul, I leave you with this idealized and fantasized version of what Shonnie meant to me.
(Ms Shonnie’s part played and well-acted by Sheryl Crow.) And as good as Sheryl is, she could never be as good to me as was Shonnie. Ever. (But, I’d grant her an audition, none-the-less) And it shames me now to admit this but I was, back then, not strong enough to be her man.
Go there with my Blessings… and sympathy
Nothing to do now but drive away and discover what happens next. No point in trying to flee at a high rate of speed. Most Harleys (when they are not broken down) will outrun a heavy-ass Toronado. Which brings to mind a t-shirt one of MY biker friends often wore (Yes, I had some biker friends. They were also sailors, but I don’t think that disqualifies them), which read: “I’d rather push my Harley than ride your Honda.”
So off I drove into the predawn. Never having what could be remotely considered decent navigation skills, I just headed in the general direction of what I thought to be south, hoping to hit I-Five, which would lead me to 32nd Street Naval Base and my ship. And of course I kept frequently glancing in my rear-view. Billy, or whomever, did in fact follow me, yet at a respectful distance for a spell. At one point I contemplated stopping and asking him for directions, but in the end thought better of that.
Eventually, he either got bored, lost his nerve, or ran out of gas. Anyway, he disappeared from my radar. I made it back to the USS Frederick with just enough time to change into my dungarees and make morning muster.
When the 1MC announced “Knock off Ship’s Work” at 1600 hrs, I quickly changed into my civvies, left the ship, grabbed a pay phone on the pier, and called Shonnie up at work.
“You were expecting maybe… Madonna?”
Ignoring her classic wit, I said “Are you okay?”
“Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I be?”
Uh oh. Her tone did not bode well. “Perhaps you caught amnesia. Did Billy come calling?”
“Uh, yeah. He did.”
“Come on Shonnie, what happened?”
“He begged me to open the door, so finally I let him in.” She didn’t seem to want to talk about this, but damn it! I was in ‘need-to-know’ status. ‘Hey! I’m needin’ to know here!’ (Sorry Dustin)
“Well? Do I have to drag this out of you?”
“Listen Lance, he broke down and cried All Right! He promised to be a better husband and father. He begged me to take him back. He is the Father of my Son, Goddamn it! What-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do?” (Kids always trump lovers. I suppose this is as it should be, but… this asshole was abusive. At least that was her early story.)
“So, you’re getting back together then?” In asking this, I felt as if I had been kicked in the solar plexus. Hard. It was becoming difficult to breathe.
“You sure about this?”
“Yes. I am.”
I could not continue the conversation. “Well, I guess that’s it then.”
“Yeah. I guess it is. Goodbye Lance.” She hung up.
Rage. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Self-Pity. Despair. Aloneness: All competing in my soul to climb to the top of my emotional hit parade. I slammed the receiver into the phone and walked toward my car. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat I realized that I was crying. Fuck! (There seemed to be a pattern developing here, Shonnie: Then grown men crying–note to self–‘research this.’)
A couple of weeks later I was kidnapped by some of my buddies from my ship.
“Marcom, you done been mopping around for too long. We’re going out tonight to a great joint. No arguments. Just grab yer shit and come on.” I had to acquiesce.
Mark and Tommy mounted their Harleys. Frank, Lenny, and I climbed into Lenny’s ’68 Chevelle, which he referred to as his “She-Vail” Accent on the ‘Vail.’
“Where we goin’?” I asked after about five minutes of ear-splitting Guns N’ Roses (Lenny waxed and waned between ‘Pure Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ depending on his mood and blood alcohol level.
“Goin’ to IB,” he shouted over Welcome to the Jungle. (‘Imperial Beach’ for those who may not have had the opportunity to visit some of the classier environs south of San Diego.) One can actually ‘smell’ Tijuana from IB, not an entirely unpleasant smell if the wind is right and it ain’t summertime.
We were just a couple of car lengths behind Mark and Tommy who, wearing their bandanas, leather jackets, black jackboots, and seated astride their Harleys puking blue smoke, producing one hundred decibels above what OSHA would consider workplace violence, had metamorphosed elegantly from A-Jay-Squared-Away Sailors into So-Cal Bikers. Passing through National City, (‘Nasty City’) then Chula Vista, (Chew, Ya-Wanna?’) I couldn’t help but keep thinking of Shonnie and how much she would have loved this ‘adventure.’ And I with her, experiencing it together. Damn! I missed her still!
“Almost there!” Lenny shouted as we pulled off of I-5 and tacked somewhat west toward the Pacific.
“Almost where?” I shouted back, but Lenny said nothing. After navigating through some of Imperial Beach’s “Nicer Hoods” our little caravanserai pulled into a gravel parking lot, which presumably belonged to the ramshackle ‘Joint’ I now found myself staring at. Lots of bikes in the lot. I cannot recall the name of the establishment, but it was something along the lines of “The Salty Frog.” or “IB Bar N’ Grill” or “Busted Spoke.” No matter, I was only interested in drink, not ambience. Mark and Tommy dismounted as Frank, Lenny, and I ‘de-She-Vailed’ and headed into the ‘Dew Drop Inn’ or, what-you-will.
Inside, the joint wasn’t too bad. Good A/C, low lighting, a couple of pool tables and lots of… Yep: bikers. Well, why not? I was sick to death of the memory of the squeaky-clean C/W Joint where I had first met Shonnie and this place was as far removed from that type of joint as I could ever hope to get. We found a table against a back wall and proceeded headlong toward the arms of intoxication. As I was not expected to drive (this was sort of a ‘coming back out of the shadows/death’ party for me after all), I planned to “Drink that woman offa my mind.”
The drinks flowed and the bullshit rolled (mostly downhill into my lap, as it was well known that I was in ‘lost love recovery’ mode.) I won’t go into detail about how piercingly eloquent we all became during the course of the evening. Mainly because I cannot remember all the pearls of wisdom which were cast back and forth amongst us swine.
What I do recall was my exit:
Roughly fifteen minutes after Last Call, and as all the patrons began to shuffle (or in my case, stagger) toward the exit, I ran headlong into an immovable object: probably because I was trying to guide my feet one step at a time with my eyes and not really paying attention to the larger part of navigation.
Looking up I realized I had run into a woman. A very tall, very large woman. Not a fat woman, mind you, but tall and large. I mean a ‘Big-Boned Gal.’ A fuckin’-beautiful-brunette-dark-eyed Big Bone Woman, who, praise Neptune, did not appear to be angry at my clumsiness.
I found my voice and said, “Hi… I’m Lance. Will you take me home? With you?”
BBG smiled down at me, “Yes, I sure will,” she said as she took my hand.
And as they say (Always ‘They’), “Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one.”
My recovery was officially underway.
This Concludes Our ‘All Things Shonnie’ Broad Cast (no pun). We now return you to our regularly scheduled inaneness.
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I was enjoined to write it.
Peace and Beer to all Y’all!
Last thoughts HERE
More Big-Boned Gal HERE
The three Harleys were gaining on me as I sped southbound down Interstate 5. It was still dark and the traffic was light. I floored the pedal on the Toronado, but I knew they would eventually catch up to me. As my speedometer redlined at one hundred I took another furtive glance in the rearview: still gaining fast. Where the hell were the famous CHiPs? For the absolute first time in my life, I wanted to get busted. One biker managed to pull up alongside me on the passenger side. I swerved to the right just a bit to try to spook him. No dice! He easily dodged my quarter panel and I caught a brief glimpse of his grinning face, mocking me. (bikers never wore helmets) The two remaining bikes pulled up behind him. I was running out of options. Should I just continue on until I ran out of freeway or gas? Hope a highway patrol finally spotted us? Surrender? I stole another glance in my side mirror and could just barely make out the third biker taking aim at my car with a handgun, rather unsteadily given our speed, but I braced for the worst, then BAM!
I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. The alarm was wailing away. Shonnie stirred and moaned, “What time is it?”
Reaching over to kill the alarm, I knocked the clock off the nightstand. “Shit!” I reached over the side of the bed, grabbed it and managed to turn the damn thing off. “It’s five-thirty,” I said.
“Ohhh too early,” she moaned again, pulling the covers over her head.
“Go back to sleep,” I said.
“No. I’ll make you some coffee,” she said, sitting up, stretching her arms upward yawning
“Got no time for that. I gotta get back to my ship. Muster is at zero-seven.”
“It’ll just take a minute,” she said as she extracted her naked body from the covers.
“Okay, but a minute is about all I have.”
I got out of bed and put on my jeans. Shonnie threw on her robe and disappeared downstairs. I went into the head and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to shock the dream out of my mind. Just as I finished struggling to get into my too-tight boots, I heard the kettle whistling downstairs. Making sure I had my wallet and military ID, I descended to the kitchen to join Shonnie. She handed me a cup and I took a quick sip.
“Good coffee,” I said.
“You’re welcome Cowboy.”
“You sleep alright? I asked.
“Yeah, sorta, but you were snoring and moaning till all hours.”
“Sorry ‘bout that. Look, I gotta split. I wanna beat the traffic. My Master Chief don’t have a sense of humor about being late for muster.” I handed her the still mostly full cup of coffee.
She set it on the counter, threw her arms around my neck clinging tight, pulling me down and kissing me passionately. She withdrew her lips but kept my neck locked tight. “Oh Rhett! When will Ah evah see you again?”
I reached up and gently pulled her hands free and said, “Very funny Scarlett. I’ll call you this evening, but now I gotta go.”
“Okay, Darlin’, lemme walk you out.”
We walked over to the front door holding hands. I opened it. Shonnie let out a gasp. “Oh no,” she said.
“What is it?”
“Look there,” she said pointing down at the deck.
There was a white sack about a yard from the front door. It had the unmistakable mark of McDonald’s on it. I took a step outside, picked it up, turned to Shonnie and said, “What the fuc…”
“Come back inside quickly,” she almost whispered.
I went back in and she shut the door, locking it with a loud click. “It’s Billy.”
“My husband, you idiot.”
“Sorry. You never did tell me his name.”
“You never asked.”
Still clutching the sack in my hand, I opened it up and discovered two large coffees and two pastries.
“Give me that!” she said, almost shouting as she grabbed the sack out of my hand. “Look, this coffee is still hot. He must have just been here.” She was visibly shaking.
“Quite the gentleman to deliver breakfast, doncha think?”
“Goddamn Lance! This shit ain’t funny!”
“Well, what the hell do you expect from a smartass?”
“You can’t leave now,” she said as she walked over and slumped down into an overstuffed chair, dropping the bag on the floor almost tipping over the coffees inside.
“Seriously? Will he try to hurt you if I go?”
“No… not right away anyhow. It’s you… You! He’ll be after you! Dammit to Fuck!”
“Baby, I got no choice. I’d rather face ‘Billy’ than try to explain to Master Chief why I’m UA.”
She stared at me blankly for an instant as if I had just said something in a language she did not understand. “Whaaat?”
“Uh UA; unauthorized absence. AWOL. You know.”
“Fuck that! If you leave here now, you might be ‘AWOL’ permanent.”
“Well, I doubt that, but anyway I gotta go.” I turned and walked back toward the door. “I’ll call you this evening. Lock the door behind me.”
“Okay,” she sighed, getting up. As I was about to open the door she spun me around and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Be safe Lance.”
“You too Baby.”
I opened the door and walked out. Shonnie shut it behind me and I heard the click as she turned the deadbolt.
My car was parked almost a block away from the house. It was still an hour before sunrise but the streetlights, though not bright, afforded enough light for me to make my way without any difficulty. As I slowly walked toward the Toronado, I was glancing left and right, trying to see into the shadows, hoping I would see no one. My shoulders were tight as I wondered if they would suddenly be pierced by a round from a hand gun. I keep walking. Almost there now. The Toronado was parked directly under a street light. Shit! I would have preferred a darker venue for getting into my car. Oh well. I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel. Turning the key in the ignition, the engine turned over a few times more than normal, but finally caught hold. The cassette player was still cranked up and in the early morning quiet seemed extremely loud. I quickly reached over and shut down Jim Morrison in the middle of his song.
The car was facing the opposite direction I needed to be going, so I had to pull forward into an empty driveway, back up and get turned about. Back in the street and facing the right direction, I dropped the car into drive.
Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Harley cranking up and someone revving the throttle.
Not The End.
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:
“Your aunt rich?” I asked stupidly.
“Yeah. 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.”
“Let me give you the nickel tour.”
She led me through the living room, past the dining room and into the kitchen. It was all stainless steel and wood. Very nice. 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 some 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 great fucking time in Vegas. Won’t be forgetting that soon.”
“Yeah, but next time. Please. Please listen to me.”
“Hahaha! Sure Cowboy. I promise to be good… ‘Next time’. Come on. I wanna show you the rest of this ‘joint’.”
We took the stairs and she led me into what I surmised was the master bedroom. It was large as condo bedrooms go, but then, I was no expert on anything ‘condo’. In fact, this was probably my first. There were double French doors opening up to a small patio overlooking the Pacific. The bed was huge. 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 shag beige carpet on the floor. Some African wooden statues were on the dresser. I recognized them from my eight days spent in Kenya. The bathroom had an old-timey tub, green towels, and a shower stall… and a bidet! Wow! Mishmash of so many cultures. Well, California. What could one say?
“Why don’t you rinse off in the shower while I fetch some ice and build our bar?”
“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, a small bucket of ice, and two beers. Quite the juggler, she was.
“It’s okay. Don’t get up,” she said with some small sarcasm, as she deposited her items on one of the nightstands next to the waterbed.”
“Hungry?” I asked.
“Yeah. 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 came together…
As we lay back in the bed, silently smoking, she said, “You’re quite the catch, ain’t ya Cowboy?”
“Not sure your meaning, Little Lady.”
“Just sayin’. You’re quite the catch.”
“Not really. Just another lonely sailor far from home.”
“Yeah with fireplace eyes and the gift of bullshit, and any port in a storm.”
“True enough, I suppose.” (‘Fireplace eyes?’ I’d only heard this once before. From… my wife. Somewhat unnerving to hear it again after so many years.)
“Eat your sandwich,” she said. “Then we can watch a movie. The night is still young.” She got up and I watched her walk to the bathroom. Her perfect petite body and (purposely?) twitching little ass tantalizing me still–although I was quite sated at that moment.
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 opposite the bed. I picked up the remote from the night stand and switched it on. CNN appeared. Some talking head, info babe, was blathering on and on about something that had just happened in Iraq: ‘Breaking News’. I muted the volume.
“You’re watching the News?” She said, suddenly appearing in front of me wearing a white terry-cloth robe and a frown.
“I think it’s watching me.”
“How depressing. I never watch the news.”
“Current events are important,” I said.
“Not to me.”
“Well, here’s a news’ flash for ya: You are drop-dead 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.
“Historical, hysterical drama.” I said.
“Well, that does narrow it down a bit.” She selected a tape; put it in, and then picking up two remotes began pushing buttons. “Top Gun” appeared on the screen as if by technological magic.
“I was thinking of maybe something a little less contemporary,” I said as Kenny Loggins began his bit.
“Nonsense!” she said. “This is perfect for you. You’re a sailor, eh?”
“Yeah I am, but not a fighter jock. And I hate Tom Cruise.”
“Relax. Have you seen this movie?”
“’Fraid I have, but okay. Kelly McGillis is never a waste of my time.”
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 and planted a deep kiss, sticking her tongue 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?”
“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.”
“True enough,” I said, as I counted off the syllables in my head.
“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?”
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.
To Be Continued… HERE
With nothing else to do and somewhat pissed at Shonnie for putting us both in a bad situation, I walked over to The Las Vegas Club just across the street from the Union Plaza. My intent was to pass some time playing a relaxing game of roulette. I have always enjoyed roulette. The pace is slow and generally that game draws a more serene clientele. A casual game of roulette would afford me the opportunity to calm my anger and pleasantly pass some time.
The minimum bet was one dollar, so I bought a hundred bucks worth of two-bit chips and began scattering them about the table. Never really scoring big at roulette, I did not expect anything but a hundred dollars worth of entertainment and some free bottom shelf booze. I had a few wins, but more losses and as my initial investment faded away along with about an hour and a half, I cashed out the remainder of my stake (about twenty-five bucks), drained my glass, stubbed out my Marlboro and headed back to the Plaza.
Upon entering our room, I discovered Shonnie face down on the bed, a cig still burning in the ashtray.
I sad upon the bed next to her.
“You awake?” I whispered.
“Owwwie… Is that you Honey?”
“Yes, Dear. It’s me. How’d you come out?”
“Won three hundred. Proud of me?”
“Nope,” I said. “You nearly got me in trouble.”
“Always about you,” she said, turning on her side to face me with piercing blue eyes.
“We did have a plan, you know. What happened?”
“I couldn’t get shed of that moron.”
She sat up abruptly. “I tried, Goddamn it!”
“How hard is it to walk away from a blackjack table?”
“I was having fun too.”
“You’re drunk,” I said.
“Yeah. Be a dear and light me a smoke.”
I lit two Marlboros and handed her one. She took a long drag and asked for a cold beer. I fished two Bud longnecks out of the cooler we had brought along and handed her one. She drained about half of hers, belched, and said, “Cotton mouth.”
“Charmed, I’m sure.”
“Fuck you. I have a major headache.”
I kissed her lightly on the forehead and said, “We need to head outta here tomorrow by noon. I have to be back on my boat…”
“Okay! Okay! I got it. What time is it anyway?”
“It’s later than you think.”
She drained the rest of her beer, threw her half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray, rolled over and went immediately to sleep. Just perfect, I thought. I took some minutes to finish my beer and my cigarette, then got undressed and curled up next to her and was soon asleep myself.
Next day we managed to check out of our room and hit the road by about twelve-thirty. I stopped for gas and a six-pack at Whiskey Pete’s and we reverse-road-tripped on into San Diego, arriving about six in the evening. I dropped Shonnie at her mom’s and headed back to the Frederick. I hit my rack and slept like the dead. I had duty the next day, so I could not leave the ship. On Tuesday at sixteen hundred after liberty call I got in my civvies and hit the beach. Found a pay phone on the pier and called her up.
“Hiya Baby. How y’all doin’?”
“Why didn’t you call me yesterday?” She sounded pissed.
“You know damn well. I had duty yesterday,” I shot back.
“Oh… Yeah. Sorry. I forgot.”
“Wanna hook up?” I asked.
“Yeah. Meet me at Seaport Village. In the parking lot. In an hour.”
“Make it an hour and a half.”
I pulled into the parking lot at Seaport Village around six p.m. No sign of Shonnie. I killed the Toronado but left the stereo playing (Tom Waits: “Warm Beer and Cold Women…”) Pulling from a pint of Jim Beam, I lit a cigarette and watched some seagulls diving on scraps in the bay. I saw a haze-gray-and-underway-piece-of-shit heading out to sea, black-shoe-sailors manning the rails. I saw couples walking hand-in-hand on the boardwalk. I was allowing myself to have some second thoughts about my relationship with Shonnie: Was it going anywhere? Was it worth the risk? Was she fun? Was she great in the sack?
Did I love her?
My mindless contemplations were brusquely interrupted as she pulled up alongside me screeching tires and slinging gravel. Grand entrance! She exited her ‘La Bomba’ and walked toward my vehicle. She looked California stunning: wearing tight faded blue jeans, a halter top, cowgirl boots, and carrying a fifth of whiskey and obviously an attitude. She ‘runway’ sauntered over to the driver’s side of my car, opened the door, plopped herself down and inquired, “How’s my favorite Sailor-Boy?”
Aiming for ‘nonchalant’ I said, “Fair to mid’lin. You?”
“Finer-n-frog hair,” she said.
“Don’t be mockin’ a good ol’ Texas Boy,” I said back. (Yes. I did love her after all)
“I have a surprise for you Lover.”
“Do tell,” I said.
“I am ‘house-sitting’ my aunt’s condo in La Jolla all this week. It’s all ours.”
“I’m partial to parking lots and sleazy motel rooms,” I protested.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Drive. I will guide you.”
So I drove. (With no little trepidation)
To Be Continued… HERE
After an hour of waiting (and three Jim Beams), I decided to go looking for Shonnie. The walk to the El Cortez was not long, but too long, as I did not feel the need to walk it. What the fuck was she doing? She was supposed to wait ten or fifteen minutes, cash out, and meet me back at the Plaza. It was now getting late and I’d had no intention of returning to the Cortez. Some months earlier I had almost been thrown out for the very thing I had done this eve, albeit without a partner. Damn it! Fremont Street was packed with all the usual suspects: tourists, vagrants, weekend warriors, refugees from L.A.
I made my way to the El Cortez.
Once past the slots I headed back to the bar. As I sat down I saw Shonnie still seated next to ‘George’, laughing it up and surprisingly with a decent stack of chips in front of her. George was lighting her cigarette. She did not notice me at the bar. I ordered a draft Stout, lit a Marlboro, and contemplated my next move. I had to get her away from the table and away from George, who had obviously fallen to her charms. There were two other players at the table, but the seat next to Shonnie was empty. Once my beer arrived I took a drag from my cigarette and walked over to the table.
The dealer was yet another cute young ‘Ornamental’ sweetie. Before I sat down I withdrew five hundred from my wallet and placed it on the table.
“Green” I said.
The dealer stacked my chips and pushed them toward me. “Good luck, Sir.”
Shonnie looked up and betrayed some surprise. She could see I was slightly pissed. This is an assumption. I nodded at her, but probably not discreetly enough.
I had checked my ‘drunken cowboy’ façade at the door. All I wanted was to get her (and me) the hell out of there. The dealer was about to shuffle the two decks as I placed four green chips. Before she finished her shuffle, another dealer came up behind her, tapping on her shoulder. The new dealer was No Chick. He was more of a ‘Guido’. My radar now was operational. She dropped the deck and clapped her hands for the Eye-in-the-Sky and moved off. Guido picked up the decks, smiled at me and parroted the ‘Good Luck’ catch phrase as he offered me the cut. I cut the decks in the middle and took a sideways glance at Shonnie. She ignored me. Good for her.
“Sir,” the new dealer said, “Please cut closer to the bottom.”
“Uh sure,” I said, somewhat nervously as I recut the decks.
I caught the pit boss looking at me. Or was I just being paranoid? Shonnie was still apparently oblivious.
The cards came out. I caught a deuce and a jack, fucking Dead Man’s Hand. Shonnie caught a pair of queens. Shit! Maybe this game is all about luck after all. The dealer had an ace showing.
“Insurance?” he asked. No takers. Insurance is generally a sucker’s bet. Dealer made a show of peeking at his hole card, and not flipping it over revealed he had no blackjack. He dealt.
The two to my right busted. I don’t even recall what they had. I was not counting cards at this point. I just wanted out. I had to hit my twelve. Caught a seven and stood at nineteen. Shonnie stood pat with her twenty. George hit his fifteen, caught an eight and busted.
The dealer flipped his hole card, revealing a six for a ‘soft’ seventeen. He had to hit. He did and caught a deuce for a nineteen and a ‘push’. A tie for me. A win for Shonnie.
As the dealer was paying off Shonnie’s win and gathering up the cards, I nudged her with my knee. She looked at me somewhat startled and I knew instantly that she was going to have her some fun with this.
Okay, I thought. Wanna play games?
Lighting a cigarette and taking a draw from my beer, I said, “Looks like you’re doin’ okay here tonight. You always this lucky? What’s your secret?”
She giggled, “I have a blackjack mentor.”
“Ah… I see. Where is he now?”
“Dunno. He tole me to fly solo this evening.”
“Sure you ready for that?” I asked.
“Yeah. I am. What’s it to you cowboy?”
Taking another slow drag off my cig, I said, “Uh, nothing to me. Just thought you might wanna take a break… while you’re ahead of course, and join me for a drink.”
“I got free drinks right here. Why would I wanna join you?’
(Obviously Shonnie was pushing my buttons and beginning to get on my last nerve)
At this point, ‘George’ chimed in: “Hey Pal,” he said, “She is g-a-m-b-l-i-n-g, git it?”
“Yeah, I ‘git’ it Sir. And who are you, if I may ask?”
“I am a sailor, for your information.”
Fuckin’ perfect, I thought. Another drunken sailor—a small fish in a big pond—this was gonna require some surgical delicacy. Goddamn you Shonnie! What’s your ‘game’?
I ended the conversation at that point and pretended to focus on the hands I had been dealt: The cards and the situation. The card’s part was easy: I had drawn an eighteen. No decision time there. Shonnie had drawn another natural Blackjack (fuck!) and the dealer had a four showing. Shonnie was paid her wages for her BJ. I stood on my eighteen. George sucked on his fifteen and this time wisely stood pat, knowing the dealer should bust (If he even knew how to play the game). The dealer did in fact, bust.
As he paid off the bets, I felt a presence at my elbow. I turned and was greeted by an ‘Official’ from the ‘Management’.
“Hello Sir. Are you a guest here at the hotel?”
“Nope. Why do you ask?”
(Here it comes… I had been asked this question before)
“Well Sir, we see that you are betting… and we like to accommodate our best customers. Is there anything you require, or need? A room? A meal? A girl?”
“Not really. In fact, I was just about to leave and call it a night.”
“That’s a shame. We here at the El Cortez pride ourselves in our hospitality.”
“Certain you do, and I appreciate that, but I really must be on my way.”
“As you wish Sir. Good luck.”
Fuck! Fuck! I nudged Shonnie slightly harder with my knee and gathered my chips. The cacophony of the casino and the smells and the lights… were all getting to me! I just wanted to leave.
If she were intent to continue her game, she could do it without me. I came for her. That is all I could do. She should have known that.
Wouldn’t she have known that?
“Vaguely she floats and lacelike
Blown in like a curtain on the night wind
She’s nebulous and naked
He wonders where she’s been
He grabs at the air because there’s nothing there
Her evasiveness stings him…”
To Be Continued… HERE
I got lazy and lackadaisical. There (of course) is much more to the end of that story. I will sharpen my pencil and re-write it. The facts are the facts, but even ‘un-sharpened’ facts deserve their day in court… and with some poetry. This is just requisite in my world.
Meantime: Mae West is the woman I have always loved (This may speak volumes about me and most likely of my attraction for Shonnie).
Watch the Video and wish to be… Cinderella
(Good luck with that)
Video Credit: CaliforniaDreamin1
Never forget that.
So about six in the evening we walk on down to the El Cortez. Shonnie goes in and I hang back a few; Smoke a Marlboro on the street and head on in. Making my way through the slot machine triple canopy jungle I head to the back, the bar, and the blackjack tables while looking for Shonnie. I spot her seated all alone at a two dollar minimum table decently close to the bar. She was next to ‘Third Base’, empty chair to her left, and five empty seats to her right, just as I had instructed her. “Good Girl,” I thought, “Now, let’s see what you can do.”
As I sat at the bar, lit a cigarette, and ordered a gin and tonic, I watched as Shonnie placed a two-dollar bet. Glancing about the casino, I saw it was a bit slow. A few of the Blackjack tables were completely devoid of players, but it was yet early. This would certainly soon change. I hoped we would be out long before the crowds came. Shonnie had learned the basic count pretty fast, but I did not think she would be able to sustain if there were a table full of other players and thus many more cards to count. If she could pull it off with just her and the dealer, well that was good enough. We had already made a good score with the Craps game the night before and I really wasn’t looking to get rich. I just wanted to (truthfully) impress her with my ‘Gangsta’ ways. Prove a point, as it were.
She was playing a double-deck game (again per my instruction), and I noted that the dealer dealt deep into the decks (a very good thing). Between reshuffles, I could see Shonnie chatting it up just a little with the dealer, a diminutive ‘Ornamental’ Girl: Pretty much becoming the ‘Norm’ in Vegas at that time. Chinese or Korean, best guess.
I was on my second gin and tonic and my fifth Marlboro when some schmuck waltzed over and sat down to Shonnie’s left. Proper Third Base. He looked about fortyish and was wearing a fake cowboy hat, ruffled shirt, à la George Strait, and a stupid face. He began chatting her up. Now, I had not planned on this, but I did realize a good-looker such as Shonnie, sitting all alone at a BJ table, would be bound to draw some flies. I only hoped this asshole did not distract her too much from her count. We had practiced ‘distractions’ in the hotel room. As I played dealer and dealt way too fast, I would ask her questions and play with the remote on the TV. She did just fine. (She is smart, this one.)
Shonnie played through four reshuffles and was winning. I even saw her double-down a few times and in fact she was increasing her bets. ‘What the fuck?!’ I’m thinking. ‘How long does it take a double-deck to go hot?’
‘George’ remained and was beginning to piss me off. Obviously he was distracting her from her count. I ordered up another gin and tonic, lit a cigarette and stewed some. My drink arrived just as I saw Shonnie pull a cig out of her pack, hold it in her left hand and waited for George-The-Sycophant to light it.
I gathered my drink and my pack of Marlboros and sauntered over to the table. Sat down at first base, threw out (drunkenly, for show), a few hundred dollars. The dealer arranged them on the table for ‘The Eye in the Sky’, and said, “Changing six hundred.” She then passed me some big stacks of red and some green chips. I noted that Shonnie had placed two red chips immediately to the right of her stack. If she was spot on, this meant the count had gone to ‘plus ten!’ I had coached her to constantly shuffle her chips, as if she were nervous or bored, so that this act would not draw any attention.
“No Darlin’, gimme a few black,” I said to the dealer, pushing away the red chips. She took them back and pushed out three black chips to go with the twelve green. I placed two bets (two hands—one can play multiple hands if the table is basically empty) of one hundred dollars each. Shonnie dropped a green chip (I had told her nothing fancy dammit!) George dropped a red and seemed more interested in Shonnie than his game and whispered something in her ear.
All bets placed, ‘Ornamental Dealer Girl’ began to deal. (I estimated that only one-third of the two decks had been dealt, so this bode well for me. A plus ten count! Outrageous!) I caught a pair of eights on my first hand and a hard eighteen on my second. Shonnie caught a natural blackjack and sent me a sideways glance. George caught a dead man’s hand: a thirteen. The dealer had her hole card, but with a five showing. Surely she would bust on that weak ass shit. She would have to take a hit, no matter what and with the decks rich in face cards, she just had to bust.
Of course I split my eights. Caught a three on the first eight and doubled down (now two hundred on that hand) Caught a jack! Twenty one! Caught a deuce on the second eight, doubled down again. Caught a king! Twenty on that hand. Another two hundred. I am now five hundred into this round. I stood pat on my other hand, the eighteen. Shonnie had already been paid for her natural blackjack, so it was up to George. He hit his thirteen! (A rookie move: He should have stood on his thirteen against a dealer showing a five up card—idiot) He caught another face and busted. A face card meant for ‘Miss Ornamental’. Again: Idiot! But it all worked out…
The dealer flipped her hole card, revealing a ten, making her a fifteen. She hit the fifteen (as required) and caught a nine and busted.
The deck was still hot (plus to the plus) so I played another hand and won three hundred. Shonnie won another twenty-five. George lost another five. The dealer started to reshuffle. I was done here.
I pushed all my chips out in front and said, “Color me up Darling and keep this one,” as I tossed her a green. I saw Shonnie throw me yet another sideways glance, rolling her eyes.
I gathered my chips and headed over to the cashier. Got my money and split back to the Union Plaza to wait for Shonnie.
And wait some more.
Because I am lazy.
And typing is hard.
Some of you may be waiting for the last few chapters of ‘Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife.” (I know, as I am awaiting them too). But that said, well what can I say? I tend to expose personal shit here. Sometimes it grows difficult, and I grow wary and weary. I have vowed to my Vizsla Dog
that I will finish this tale tomorrow and get past it. (My dog tends to humour me. What choice does he have? I control the ‘soup bones’)
So, with that ‘sate-ment’, I leave you just one more clue to the outcome, by way of a song (There is always ‘A Song’ isn’t there?)
Early the next morning, I ordered coffee. Laced mine with Beam, poured some sugar and lots of cream into hers. Woke her up. Then after her first four or so cigs, I taught her how to count 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 count while you play 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, I mean anything over plus five, you light a cig in your left hand. I will 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. 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 need to rehearse.”
“Funny. Anyhow, we will go to the El Cortez this evening and you havta go in first. Take a seat at the closest blackjack table to the bar. I’ll be watching you. When you signal, I will stumble on in 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 will pretend not to know you and pick up the count. If all works out, I will score a grand, 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.”
“Great girl,” I said.
“Yeah. Fuck you! If we get in trouble, it’s on you.”
“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.”
To be continued… HERE
Okay. I admit it: I copped out tonight and went with the “Thursday Blow-Back.” What to say? I am lazy. However, I swerved upon an idea (mostly because I really want y’all to ‘like’ Shonnie. She was special. And by that I mean, she was unique.)
Therefore, I had to post this to flavor the pot, as it were. This song sums up a lot , but not all. As most of you regular readers must know, I am a big fan of Joni M. Joni often says things I cannot… Well this below video best describes Shonnie, albeit in unflattering vernacular.
But! Hey! I did not paint ‘me’ too pretty either.
Shonnie, Part VIX Manana. Pax Romana? (I hope). ‘Cause it do grow worse after Vegas. And with some heartache.
“You’re mean when you’re loaded. I was raised on robbery.”
We freshened up, got dressed, and headed down to the Casino floor. Generally I don’t gamble in The Plaza, but this night I was freshly feeling full of myself and wanted to capitalize on that feeling before the fresh wore off. Allow me to explain something: I do not believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny, Karma, Fate, Oklahoma, or God. But I do believe in Dama Fortuna, and I could sense her radiance shining down upon me that night. The casino was all flashing lights, laughter, musical sounds from the slot-machines—basically your typical Las Vegas Scene. I led Shonnie over to a bank of ‘dollar slots’, pulling out a crisp one dollar bill, I fed it into the machine. “Pull the lever and stand by,” I said to her.
“I’ve never gambled before,” she said.
“Honey, if my instincts are right, this ain’t gambling. Go ahead. It’s my dollar anyhow, so you really ain’t gambling. Per se.”
“Pear who? Okay,” she said, “Here goes nothing,” while pulling the Bandit’s one arm.”
“I certainly hope not,” I said, as we watched the cylinders spin.
Double bar. Double Bar. Double Bar! Casino silver dollars poured into the tray, making that oh so magical sound of metal raining on metal. One hundred bucks! A propitious beginning!
“Oh My Fucking God!” she screamed.
“Baby, God had nothing to do with it. Thank Dame Fortuna, if you feel compelled to thank someone.”
“Wow! Look at all that shiny money!”
“It’s yours. Take that bucket and fill it up.”
“Should we go again?” She asked breathlessly.
“Absolutely not,” I said. “Come on. I’m gonna show you the real games.”
“You’re the Boss,” she giggled.
I leaned very close to her and pulling at my collar, breathed into her ear, “Speak into the microphone My Dear.”
“Lance, you’re crazy!”
I led her to a craps table.
“Oh! This looks complicated,” she said.
“Well, yeah. It is and it isn’t. Don’t worry. I will walk you through it. One question though, do you throw a baseball like a girl?”
“Ok then. We should be fine.”
Craps is the best game known to man. I love the high-energy. The camaraderie. The cacophony. The excitement. The electricity. The laughter. The tears. The suspense as the galloping dominoes bounce down the table. And last but certainly not least, the ability to win (and sometimes lose) large amounts of money in a very short time. And yes, I am what some might call, a ‘Dice Degenerate’. Started when I was hustling crap games in Junior high. In the hall ways between classes. Only got busted once. Proud of my record.
Shonnie and I shouldered our way in at one of the far ends of the table. We sandwiched ourselves between a middle-aged, gray-haired man (on our left) in a business suit (I immediately pegged him as a ‘Corporation Man’ on Convention) grasping what looked like a scotch and water and there was a cigar in a tiny ashtray set on the rail in front of him. On the right side of us, a ‘normal’ looking guy, about thirty something, sporting a too loud red t-shirt and a gimme cap. Baseball. I forget the team. Normal Guy had control of the dice, so that meant once his roll ended it would be Shonnie’s turn to be the shooter.
The table was just about at ‘capacity’. I glanced around, looking at the contestants. You see, in Craps the idea is to find the table with the highest energy level. You want the most up-beat, loudest players: Players who are having fun. Sad to say, but one can never (in my experience) win any money at an empty table or one with an atmosphere of doom, which does sometimes come rolling in. Savvy crap shooters recognize the early warning signs of ‘The Atmosphere of Doom’ and fly away like scalded rabbits just before, or as it descends. This table was on the upswing and I intended to make quick work of it before the worm turned. (The worm always turns, but sometimes thankfully, it takes some long turning time.)
Looking down the side of the table, opposite the ‘Boss’ and the dealers and the stick men and all, I studied the players. There was a young couple to the right of ‘Normal Guy’. Right out of “Honey Moon Ville,” I guessed. Next to them stood a Middle-Eastern type wearing a white starched shirt and lots of bling. Next to him, a dude with a crew cut, tight shirt, bulging biceps, who may have been suffering from Roid Rage, given his overly passionate ramblings at the dice as they bounced down the lane. At the far end of the table there was a young bleach-blond hanging onto the arm of another elderly well-dressed business man. (‘A man and his Hooker’, I ungraciously thought). Next to them a diminutive oriental man. I was thinking ‘China’, but could not be certain. I had a wonderful experience once at a craps table at The Golden Nugget following the streak of another China Man. Won almost two grand while he was in control of the dice. You see, craps players are infamously superstitious. And I was certainly no different.
There were several other players mixed in and even some standing behind, perhaps waiting for some space to open up. I was happy with the crowd and after the present ‘roll’ had ended (wins all around) I pulled out four Benjamins and put them on the table in front of one of the dealers.
“Give me two hundred green ($25), and two hundred red ($5),” I announced. The dealer spread out my four bills so ‘The Eye in the Sky’ could get a look. He then stacked my chips and slid them toward me.
“Good luck Sir,” he said, as I split the chips (‘Checks’ in the Vegas’ vernacular.)
With all the bets paid, Normal Guy was ready to go at it again. I instructed Shonnie to take a red chip and place it in front of her on the “Pass” line (If you don’t know how Craps works, you may be at some loss here—I will try to make it as easy to understand as possible.) I placed a red chip in front of me on the Pass line as well. All bets placed, Normal Guy tossed the dice toward the far end of the table. He rolled a four. (Meaning he had to roll another four before he rolled a seven, thus crapping out.)
“Put two red chips behind your bet,” I told Shonnie.
“We’re taking the odds,” I said.
“I don’t understand.”
“Just do it. Smartly.”
She stacked up the chips behind her original bet and I did the same.
On a hunch, I tossed a red chip onto the middle of the table and said, “Hard Four!” (Betting that the shooter will make his ‘four’—called his ‘point’, but that he will do it ‘the hard way,’ i.e. two deuces and not an ace and a three. This is really a sucker bet, but I had Dama Fortuna in my corner. The bet pays ten for one, which if won, would net me $45 dollars, plus of course our pass line bets with the odd’s bets behind them.)
Normal guy tosses… wait for it… Double Deuces! Pandemonium from the players. Everybody wins!
“How did you know to do that?” Shonnie asks, as some decent stacks of red chips came our way.
I put my hand on her neck, pull her ear to me and say, “Stick close Baby. Gonna be a bumpy night.”
Winners paid, Shonnie and I put another two red chips on the pass line. Normal guy rolls an eight. We back up our bets with two each red chips. Normal guy then rolls a seven. Aw Shit! Crapped out! No worries. We are still way ‘ahead’.
Now the dice pass to Shonnie. I can see she has stage fright. One of the dealers sees this too.
“Don’t worry Little Lady! Newbies are always lucky!” He says.
The ‘table’ agrees and I see chips of all colors dropping to the ‘Pass Line’.
Shonnie and I both drop one each green chip onto the Pass Line. Yes. I was confident. All bets now placed, I watch as she picks up the dice. Picked them up as one might imagine someone picking up a rotten banana, or a dead rat.
“They won’t bite,” I assured her. Just toss them at the end of the table. Oh and shake ‘em a little. But you can only use one hand when tossing them.”
“One hand?” she protested. “I always throw a baseball with both hands.”
“Hun, this ain’t a league of your own. Use one hand or they will frown and be perverse.”
“Okay,” she said. Then after shaking the dice a bit, she wound up… and threw! Right over the heads of the players at the far end of the table on off into space.
Collective groan from the table. In craps, the absolute worst thing one can do is miss the fucking table. It is always bad Juju. Ninety-Nine times out of a hundred, the next roll will produce a crap out. In Shonnie’s case, the anticipated next roll would be snake-eyes, Box cars, or ace-deuce. All losers. I watched as most of the table players pulled chips back from their original bets. Not me. As someone went searching for the errant dice, I told Shonnie to put two more green chips on her pass line. I did the same. We now had one hundred-fifty-dollars bet, even though I was not certain she would find green felt upon her second try.
She was offered two more dice by the dealer (stick man, just another word for him). I whispered in her ear, “Just relax Honey. Use a little less passion and a little more finesse this time. You’ll do great.”
She shook the dice, wound up, and pitched ‘em down the lane. When they came to rest: Natural Eleven! Winner!
Well… now! Suddenly the table went nuts! Large bets were placed all around (after some applause).
Shonnie kept ‘control’ of the dice for the next fifteen minutes: an eon in ‘Craps’ Time. We won almost a grand, (thanks to my recklessly wild betting and the favor of Dame Fortuna. And of course to Shonnie’s curve ball.)
When she finally crapped out, there was more applause. Everyone had ‘gotten well’ with her streak. And there are no more appreciative gamblers than craps’ shooters when it comes to situations like this.
“Color us up,” I said to the dealer as I pushed our chips toward him.
“But Sir,” He protested, “You’re up. Aren’t you gonna shoot?”
“Nope. We’re done here, but thanks.”
Shonnie and I gathered our (now mostly black–$100 chips—and I led her away)
“What now!” She demanded.
“Lance. You’re nuts! I have never had this much fun! I love you!”
“Yeah, I know.”
To Be Continued… HERE Part Eight
This post over-ran the “Word Count”
She dropped her robe and lay back on the bed. I had to pause a moment and fill my eyes. Her petite body was perfection. She was very light-skinned (not my usual ‘type’—truly I have always been a ‘brunette-with-a-tan’ man; never had any luck with blonds at all, but Shonnie was a different kind of blond. The sun was setting outside the huge hotel window and cast a slight shadow over her. Her hair was still semi-damp and fell down perfectly over her breasts, slightly curling up at the ends. Her right leg was seductively raised up, bent at her knee and turned slightly to the side, thus denying me any direct look at my lustfully desired target. A better scripted scene could not have been created by even Howard Hawks. (Thinking ‘To Have and Have Not’ here—Bogie an’ Bacall). I continued to draw the scene into my mind, hoping to meld it permanently with my memory cells. Joni began singing “Blue Motel Room” on the boom box.
“You window shoppin’, or are you coming into the store?”
“Into the store,” I said, “I have spied something interesting enough to draw me in.” I knelt down at the foot of the bed, picked up her right leg and kissed the underside of her foot, then took her big toe into my mouth for a moment or two. I began working my way up her calf to the inside of her thighs, ever so slowly back and forth, ‘thigh to thigh’, I suppose you could say. At this point she was beginning to writhe a bit. I proceeded north and just as ‘Blue Motel Room’ ended, I began. Tantalizingly slowly at first, then faster and faster, then slowly again… occasionally gently sucking her clitoris, alternating with circular tongue motions, also mixed in with rapid back and forth tongue movements.
While Joni sang ‘Song for Sharon’, a rather longish song, I brought Shonnie, by my count, to three or four climaxes. (But what do I know? Well, I WAS THERE, after all, and I felt her contractions in my mouth.)
I was about to lose it myself so I threw my back down beside her, pulling her on top of me. Grasping that so fine little firm ass of hers, I pulled her on top of me. She straddled me sitting full upright and as I kept my hands on her hips, she fucked me with what could almost be described as pure violence. Embarrassed to report, but about twenty seconds after I entered her, I was spent. She didn’t complain though, as she rolled off of me and lay on her back, both of us panting, sweating, but completely and blissfully sated (and spent)
As Joni began singing ‘Refuge Of The Roads’, Shonnie said, “Reach me a cig, will ya Baby?” (First time she had called me ‘Baby’. I kind of liked the sound of it. I lit two Marlboros at once, Movie Style, handed one to her, and we lay back, smoking and began (between giggles) a smoke ring competition. (I lost.)
Cigarettes dispatched, Joni run out, silence now, Shonnie once again broached the subject,
“Are you ever gonna show me this town?”
“Yes, I am. Let’s get to it, shall we?”
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. Therefore, we pulled over and had some cocktails. And smokes. Then we hit the road again. We stayed on Interstate 15. It’s a straight shot into Vegas. Lots of desert. Not much traffic as well, even though it was a Friday. For once, I had planned ahead and made a reservation at the 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 there, I promised me I would set aside some time to show her the Glitter-That-Was-Not-Glitter-Gulch.
“Are we there yet?” she asked, rather mockingly 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 there? You can go pee behind one of those. Nobody will see you.”
“Snakes,” she said.
“Snakes. I don’t like snakes.”
“Okay, I will come with you. Just let me git my M60 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 scurry away fast enough.
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 patronage (and my money) during past trips. She was impressed and I could see her eyes lighting up. Shame it was still daylight and she could not see the 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 Fremont Street and checked in to my old Nemesis: The Union Plaza. I have always had a love/hate relationship with The Plaza, but like a bad marriage, I just could never seem to break it off.
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 tiny soap bars in the bathroom. And little tiny 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 TV!”
*heavy sigh* from me. “Shonnie, 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, Hun. We are in the part of Vegas known as the home of ‘The Sawdust Joints’.”
“Oh… Well, I like it.”
She walked over to the little desk beside the TV and picked up the room service menu. “This is my idea of Heaven”, she said.
“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 what?”
“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 loving her enjoying.
“Have you decided what you want for supper?” I asked after a bit.
“Yeah, but I caint make out what some of this stuff is, so I am 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 ahead Darlin’.”
She had picked out, what she called, a baby steak, based upon the photo in the menu (Filet mignon) and then said, “I love the picture of that steak but it looks kinda small. Can you add some taters or something with it?”
“Don’t worry Honey, I will take care of it. I am gonna go for ice first, then I will order.”
“The Seven Eleven 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. No worry.”
“Okay then. See ya in a bit.” And she disappeared into the bathroom.
The food arrived while she was still in the head, showering. I tipped the dude and laid out our supper table. Opened a bottle of red wine I had tacked onto the order along with my ‘steak’, a semi rare cheeseburger (I am a simple man: simple tastes). Anyhow, presentation is everything. I had also requested a single red rose for ornament and I placed that ‘just so’ too on the table.
She yelled at me from behind the bathroom door: “Is he gone?”
“Yes Babe. He is. Come on out.”
She opened the door, enveloped in a cloud of steam, like something out of film noir, wearing a hotel white cotton bath robe, and waltzed into the bedroom. I was impressed. She looked stunning and I felt one more brick in my emotional wall crumble.
“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 strains of ‘Joni Mitchell’ singing from Hejira on my brought boom box. Neither one of us had any desire to watch TV, as we were too much into music. The TV with the remote was just a novelty for her; she had no desire to actually watch it. Nor did I.
After our meal, she asked me, “So, you gonna show me about this Fool’s Paradise Town of yours or what?”
“In due time. In due time. Now take off that robe and 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.”
About three a.m. we were pulling the Toronado up in front of her house, actually, her mother’s house. During the course of our conversation after leaving the bar’s parking lot Shonnie revealed to me that she had left her husband, who was a biker, and moved in with her mother. She had a nine-year-old son who suffered from a crippling disease and though fairly independent, still required almost twenty-four hour supervision. I asked her why she felt compelled to move out of her house and she told me her husband was overly jealous and had a ‘mean streak’. (Perfect, I thought: A jealous Biker with a mean streak and I had just finished screwing his wife. Twice. Smooth Lance. Real smooth.)
In spite of this revelation, and in the department of ‘I shouda known better’, I agreed we should continue seeing each other, so we set a date for the following Saturday night, back at the bar.
For the next several weeks we continued our weekly rendezvous, sometimes meeting on a Friday if I had ‘Duty’ on Saturday. Basically, we would drink and dance (still only slow dancing, but once I did allow her to attempt to teach me the ‘Two-Step’ with semi-disastrous results: I think I embarrassed her and she did not broach the subject again.). And of course after we had closed the bar those nights we would retire to the Toronado for some late night sex. It was all good. And better now that she was arriving in her own car and I did not have to risk running into Biker Dude at her momma’s house at three or four in the morning.
Eventually we grew weary of the bar scene and went straight for the sex, generally in some out of the way dark and empty parking lot. This new pattern went on for some more weeks.
One weekend I had a rare three whole days off duty, so we planned an ‘outting’, or rather, she planned it. She managed to get her mom to take the kid for the entire three days and we met up in some parking lot in Pacific Beach.
She got out of her car with a small suitcase, locked up, jumped into my car, announcing, “You got plenty of gas?”
“Not really,” I said. “Why?”
“I’m kidnapping you, and we have some miles to cover today.”
“Road trip?” I asked.
“Yep, and while we’re gassing up, we need to get some booze and maybe some munchies.”
“Hey, I’m all in. Hell! Let’s do it.”
So without even asking where we were going, I took care of the logistical tasks. Once we were stocked up, and now (directed by her) heading east toward the desert, I asked, “So Shonnie, where’re we going?”
“Away from all this San Diego Shit an’ into the desert,” she said.
“This much, I have already figured out, but where, and why?”
“Tell ya when we get there,” was all she said as she dropped ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres into my cassette player and cranked up “Jesus Just Left Chicago” which started mid-way through. Couldn’t really talk over that, so I just kept driving east.
An hour or so later we were pulling into some little town called ‘Alpine’. It seemed nice enough, I suppose, if just a little dusty and brown.
“Find us a motel,” she said, after turning down the stereo which she had kept cranking during the entire trip: ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker Band, Hank Jr…. It was about two in the afternoon.
We drove around a bit, found a motel and I asked, “One night or two?”
“You’re the boss,” I said as I got out and headed to the office.
I always kept most of my civilian clothes in the trunk of my Toronado since there really was not much room on the
USS Callaghan I meant USS Frederick, LST 1184, (sometimes I forget which ship I was on) for anything in my locker other than uniforms and I grabbed some and along with my Babe, we headed to our little love nest. The room was Spartan, but adequate. At least it had regular sized towels and no roaches that I could see. Actually, it was clean and tidy. There was a tiny TV on a table and a regular size bed, two chairs and a small coffee table which had some initials carved into it with a message: “J and J had sex here. 1981. Hiley Recomend” Very quaint, I thought.
“Hey Shonnie,” I said to her back as she unpacked, “Do you have a pocket knife? I’m feeling literary.”
“What? Too soon to slit yer wrists City Boy. What for?”
“’City Boy’? That hurt. Never mind,” I laughed.
“I’m gonna take a shower,” she said, already half-way through peeling off her shirt and blue jeans. “Join me?”
We did the shower sex, then wearing nothing but towels sat on the bed and had a drink or two over some Marlboros.
“Okay Shonnie,” I said. “You gonna tell me now exactly why we’re here, ‘miles from nowhere’, on this hot and dusty Friday afternoon?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” She said.
“Nope… I mean it’s lovely an’ all, and good to be out of town an’ all, but if you just wanted a sleazy motel room and me all to yer lonesome, we coulda done that in San Dog and saved the gas.”
“You told me you were a ‘romantic’.
“Yes. Yes. I did. Er… I am, but…”
“Get dressed, we have a place to be this afternoon.”
So we got dressed, grabbed the Beam and cigs, locked up our room and headed to the car.
“You got a beer cooler stashed in your trunk or somewhere?” She said as we pulled out of the parking lot.
“You know I do,” I said.
“Good, take a left. There is a Seven Eleven up the street. We need some beers and some more cigs.”
That mission properly dispatched, Shonnie played navigator and back seat driver and eventually we ended up in a dusty park. Which was beaming with people. And music. Bluegrass Music. She had kidnapped me to a Blue Grass Festival! Surprised? Yep. Shocked? Shonnie? No shocking me about this gal anymore.
And I Loved it. And I may have been falling in love with her at this point.
Video Credit: Kevin Allen
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