Dave hated waiting for Andromeda to get ready. The make up was understandable, and he actually enjoyed watching her paint her face, or as she termed it “putting my face on” but when she finished and started to approach the computer desk he knew he smelled trouble instead of Chanel Number Five.
“What’s that, Darling?”
“Oh, I’m just shutting down and checking my e-mail.”
He took another sip of Dr. Pepper and figured she’d be finished by the time it hit his stomach. Dave figured wrong. She was still at it.
“What’s the hold-up, Honey? You know we have dinner at eight!”
“Almost done, Sweetheart.”
‘When she gets done, it will be when Hell freezes over, I bettcha.'
Dave enjoyed watching her fingers fly from one key to another like a Raven and hearing her nails rap-tap-tapping. But now she was trying his patience and he wanted her to stop and type Nevermore.
He slid up behind her and looked at the screen. Where was his last e-mail, and where were all the rest that cluttered her in-box in the same way her notes lovingly cluttered his?
“What’s up with this, Honey?”
“Oh, Dave, this is my old e-mail box, I’ve had it a long time, and it catches most of my spam. I have another, and that’s the one I use with you. You know, the important stuff.”
‘What a nosey bastard. What does he think he’s doing looking over my shoulder?’
They arrived at dinner at eight forty-five. The music was soft and the band was playing ‘It’s it Romantic.' The tablecloth was white linen and the waiter was efficient and so nonintrusive you understood he knew his craft.
Andromeda and David held each other’s hands, and gazed intently into each other’s eyes. When David leaned nearer to whisper sweet nothings across the candle-lit table, Andromeda smiled and blushed in an endearing feminine manner that would have qualified for an Academy award had the cameras been rolling.
“You’d never cheat on me, Darling, would you? You understand that so many men have before.”
“Never, not in one million years.”
Everything was picture perfect-until the check came. David figured it was Dutch-treat but Andromeda ignored the check, avoiding it as if it were the plague.
It was a wait-out, and since the restaurant was Don Jose’s, a Mexican stand-off.
Finally David sprung for the check. He calculated she’d pay for it later, and pay for it dearly. He knew Shakespeare would back him up.
‘The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.’
David was certain that he’d balance the scales with barter, and that she’d pay him back with a pound of flesh he’d measure out on his bedroom pillow-top mattress.
As they left the restaurant and were walking to the car, Andromeda turned and laughed,
“I hope you aren’t upset with me about the bill, David, I sensed a certain something going on with you.”
“It was nothing, My Sweet, you read me incorrectly.”
But as he shut the car door politely he paraphrased to himself in a whisper,
‘So do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of her
Is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine, and I will have it.’
©Steven Hunley 2012
to be continued...
When David left it was two in the A. M. Simple Minds played on the I pod dock, Don’t You Forget about Me on softened sound waves that gently lapped the shores of their shell-like ears, pure unadulterated sex with a copy write of 80’s rhythm and blues. The couple slept together but didn’t sleep together.
By the time Andromeda was wandering alone in a dream, dark hair spilling over her four-hundred thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets like the dusky third cataract, David was searching his pockets for car keys, then for his ignition, then his street, then his home, and finally… for his bed. He replayed every second of their close encounter over and over until he fell into a delicious sleep stuffed as full of savory erotic images in glorious Technicolor and Stereophonic sound as a twice-baked Hollywood potato. There was nothing half-baked about David’s memorizations.
The next morning, after two cups of Columbian Supremo, he wandered to the breakfast nook and his computer and decided to make a new e-mail address.
‘What shall I call myself?’ he mused. ‘I know, I’ll make my name Misterreal. That will be my new moniker or appellation. After all, there’s too much deception going on on the web nowadays, but I…I shall be different.”
He typed in his new e-mail address.
‘It’s only a few minutes and a few clicks away. It’s simple. How many others are out there doing what I’m doing? How many are true, how many false? How many Cyrano de Bergerac’s are writing their love-plays with the help of a friend? It’s impossible to tell. But I don’t have to worry about them. I’ll only have to worry about myself and keep my own counsel.”
Half a grapefruit and a bowl of shredded wheat later he decided to start on a new story and strolled into his bookroom for further stimulation while he waited for the coffee to work its magic. More like a large closet, the ‘bookroom’ was piled high with dusty paperbacks and periodicals, and rows of hardbacks lined each wall. On the top shelf was the dark section. Bram Stoker, the Shelleys and Poe reigned supreme. There was Dracula, Prometheus Unbound, William Wilson, and Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jeckle and Mister Hyde slipped in by accident. Although David was mild-mannered on the outside, something wild and crazy waited within, and this aspect was never expressed to his satisfaction. His psyche was a caged animal just waiting for someone to leave the door unlocked. He unconsciously expressed this aspect by writing what he thought were ‘fantastic’ stories, and posting them on line. Each author he studied influenced his ‘voice’ and when it came down to it, David hadn’t developed a ‘voice’ of his own. He was a frustrated parrot, a juvenile imitator, and a bad one at that.
He took another sip of South American java and typed the start of what he called ‘a good one’.
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
Charles Shultz’s Snoopy could have done better.
Waking up alone and cold, Andromeda squinted at the early morning light, and turned over to face the wall. Its nobbly surface with all its bumps and squiggles could be made into anything she imagined.
‘Why doesn’t he sleep with me? Where does he go at that time of the night? What’s wrong with me anyway?’
Then tears formed a wet spot on the four-hundred thread-count Egyptian cotton pillow and suddenly, in the flash of a cosmic instant, it wasn’t as comfortable as advertized.
.©Steven Hunley 2012
to be continued...