Mike and Frieda

Mike and Frieda were together because they deserved each other more than they deserved anyone else. That was one reason. The other was because they both did Go. I knew Mike first. Then he hooked up with Frieda who was German. Not one of those blond-haired bimbo freudins you understand. Not her. She was dark-headed, her eyebrows barely arched above her piercing black eyes, and far from being buxom, she was rather flat, but made up for it by displaying her more-than-perfect legs, wearing the shortest skirts allowed by law.

Mike was different. He wore glasses, and on top of his head was hair that looked as if it had escaped from a mattress factory on fire, as it was glowing- red and springy. He was my loading partner, or as they say today my, “road dog”. Then he met Frieda. When he met someone who loved Go as much as he did it was a case of instant attraction. They really hit it off.

There’s one other character I should introduce here; the Go. It was pretty pure, and nowhere near that peanut-butter meth that stings and smells like cat piss, no not at all. The only thing it reeked of was quality. She did it for fun. He did it to keep up with her. They were both going through life in the fast lane. That’s how it is with Go. It was making its way into plenty of our stories back then.

They lived together in a tiny house just off Park Boulevard. I could see if Mike was home just by driving by, as he worked for Yellow Cab and there was usually one parked there. He was an experienced driver and would rent a cab by the day or week, drive it to Hell and Back, and return it in tatters. That was his system. In the day he’d roll by my house with Frieda or a friend in the front seat and score weed. At night I’d never see him. Night is when he was busy running sailors from the naval base on North Island to downtown ‘Dago to satisfy their needs. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t hook you up with. This made him enormously popular with our men in uniform. When driving for Yellow he had both the transportation and the connections, and charged for each, so he was making money both coming and going and was doing pretty good.

He met Frieda like I said and didn’t need another woman so he gave me the number of a girl he’d been dating. It was all over between them when Frieda became his priority. So I’d scrambled for his leftovers, his sloppy seconds.

“There’s one thing about Carol,” he said, giving me her phone number.

“What’s that?”

“She laughs.”

“That’s O.K. with me,” I replied innocently, “I like happy girls.”

I took her out to dinner. She was young, that was good, and rather well built. She was blond, another plus, and was in shape, living the organic lifestyle I figured, and as a result, didn’t shave her legs. For me that was a bit of a turn off. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

We were eating in a dim Pancake House restaurant on El Cajon Blvd., and I was laying some lies on thick, when I noticed she wasn’t paying attention. She seemed to be looking off to the side at something. The restaurant was almost dark. I turned to see what or who was there; nothing. After dinner and in the car I saw that she’d been paying attention all along. It’s just that her eyes were crossed. I wasn’t going to let that stop me either. So I took her home.

When we made finally made it; it was in her loft, which was in a garage. You had to climb a ladder to get her in the sack. Her mattress was narrow, and open air was on either side. One false move too far left or right and you would drop off onto the floor. You had to be careful, and the safest thing to do was to simply stay on top of her. But that wasn’t the disturbing thing. The disturbing thing was the laugh.

At the beginning it was just a giggle. I’m all for an enthusiastic giggle here and there. I never like it when a girl is silent. In fact silence worries me more, like they take sex real serious or something. But it didn’t stop at that. In a few more seconds it had turned into a bit of a laugh.

“Now fun is fun,” I thought, “but what’s so funny?”

Then it turned into a whole laugh. This was followed by a yip yip yiping, and at the end, she howled like a hyena.

“This is O.K.” I thought, “It’s better to know where a girl’s at then to be left guessing.”

I’d always been concerned with the happiness of my women.

When I split the next morning, she was drinking a smoothie made of raw eggs, ice cream, protein powder and bee pollen. The last I saw her she was running her hairy legs around the block, then crossing the street, looking both ways, and with those eyes it must have been a challenge.

The next day I saw Mike, and when Frieda left the room I said,

“Well, I took Carol out last night.”

“Oh yeah,” he queried, “Did you laugh?”

“Yeah, ‘I answered with a smile, “I laughed.”

The affair ended with all of them a bit too soon to my way of thinking. But they had been happy.

I mean, they all laughed, right?

From then on we never referred to her as Carol again. That’s when she became, “The Laugher" and took her place of honor in our temple of mutual sexual mythology.

Swear to God.