I pondered the e-mail from Jackie a bit longer and then got to work returning phone calls, responding to e-mails, signing my name to tens of thousands of dollars worth of expenditures-- all of the things that pass for work in the modern world. Dani came in for a meeting so she could fill me in on what she had learned from our field offices that day. She gave me the download on what was happening in Boston... Atlanta... Chicago... San Francisco and on and on. Lynn came in for a meeting about a marketing campaign she was shepherding for me. At 6PM the dynamic duo left for home. By 7:30 the cleaners had moved through and it now seemed like I was the only person left on a floor where 150 people worked from 9 to 5. At 8PM I'd had enough of it all. I re-read the e-mail from Jackie and then shut everything down and headed to the nearly empty parking structure.
Driving north along PCH I wasn't thinking about work. All I could think about was that e-mail. What was going on with her right now that prompted her to write to me? How did she find my personal address anyway? What would motivate me to contact an old girlfriend out of the blue? I figured there was a good chance that I'd be on a pussy quest. Was that it-- or at least the female equivalent? Maybe. Hard to say since I didn't know anything about the Jackie Sampson of the 1990's. I knew that the early 70's model loved cock though. Yes, she really did-- and it brought a grin as I drove along in the dark. But I knew that could've changed. Boy, did I ever know that a woman who couldn't fuck enough at 20 could be, apparently, all done fucking at 40. Besides, we weren't wired the same. Guys like me think about sex every 12 seconds or so on average and the other 11 seconds we're thinking of... sex. Seriously. Who are we kidding here?
I pulled into the parking lot and went in for a beverage and ambrosia burger at Coogie's. I would have asked the waitress what she thought about sending an e-mail to an old boyfriend... what it all meant... but she looked as though she had been born a couple of years after the last time I saw Jackie. To her an "old boyfriend" meant somebody she broke up with four months ago. Not twenty-four and a half years ago. I thought about how Jackie had sent the e-mail between 6:30 and 7AM Eastern Time-- assuming she was still in the Eastern time zone. Did that mean anything? Probably not-- although if she had left it at 3AM her time on a Saturday-- now that might mean something.
I hit the road for home-- not "home" exactly, since that was where Kendra and the kids lived, but my current abode. I fell into bed and wondered what Jackie Sampson looked like now after all these years. I clearly remembered what she looked like a long, long time ago. Maybe too clearly. This wasn't exactly the first time I'd gone to bed thinking about her. I wondered what she...
Before heading out the door the next morning I logged on. I re-read her message and then tapped out a reply.
I am that Wil. Thank you for responding to my letter of December 197_
hold it, hold it...start over...
I am that Wil.
My memory of the horse races was that you won nearly every race and I lost big. The fact that you would remember that you kept $2.50 of mine that evening is touching. But, I don't think you're totally correct. I think that $2.50 invested properly and left undisturbed for 25 years would come to about $1,239.46. I am quite willing to negotiate a plan for repayment, but I am not willing to drink that much coffee, Jackie. I'm trying to cut back. Let me know how you would like to proceed.
By the way, how are you? What are you doing these days? Where are you living? Plus a thousand other questions that your e-mail doesn't begin to answer.
Thanks for finding me. It's great to hear from you. How many William Wilson's did you disturb along the way?
I hit send.