“Have I ever told you about my fantasy?” I said.
“Which one, I’ve lost count,” she said.
“Funny. My favorite fantasy. The one where this beautiful woman staying with me is getting ready in the morning and has a big appointment, or let’s say an airplane to catch, that she can’t be late for... she’s all ready to go, has her makeup on, her clothes are just right… she even has her sunglasses on, ready to go outside… and yet she takes the time to give me a fantastic blowjob. Of course, she has to swallow every drop since she can’t let it get on her clothes or face or in her hair, ya know… no time to change or clean up.”
“Nice try. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time I see you. Any idea when that will be?” she said.
“I don’t have any travel scheduled right now, which is rare. But I know that I’ll need to go to Nashville in about a month or so,” I said.
“A month. Hmmm… maybe I’ll just fly to California for a weekend,” she said.
“That might be awkward to explain to my kids,” I said.
“Oh yeah. A month, huh? Too bad I just learned about that last minute blowjob fantasy. Call me, OK?” she said. And we kissed. Then she was out the door.
“Did you try to call her at the hotel?” I said.
“Fuck yeah! You kiddin’? Tried The Mayflower, and a bunch of others too. Even called your hotel. Nobody registered by that name anywhere in town that I could find,” he said.
“That’s weird. Did you use the right name?” I said.
“I used the one you gave me. Jacqueline Hunter, right?” he said.
“What other name would she use? Maybe she’s still in town.”
I hesitated for a split second. I knew she was not in town anymore so not in immediate danger of Jim finding her, but my mind was calculating what all he knew about her. Realtor... state she lived in… maybe city, I couldn’t recall if she had mentioned that in the bar, would he track her down at home? I didn’t want that.
The slight hesitation did me in. He stared at me.
“You are bangin’ her. Dammit, I knew it!” James said.
“Me? No, man, years ago, yeah. But, we’re just buddies now. Hell, I didn’t even know she was in town… hadn’t talked to her in a long time. It was just a coincidence that she was in the bar,”
“I’m sure you would. But really, I’m not having an affair with her. And, I’m not too comfortable with how you’re talking about her, Jim. She’s my friend, ya know?”
“Sure. No problem. But just one more thing… you say she’s your 'friend'... and you know she’s married... and yet you still encouraged me to try to find her last night. That doesn’t seem like something a friend would do," he said.
I just looked at him, wanting to go across the table and smack the shitty smile off his face. “We need to get finished here so I can catch my flight to LAX.” I knew the motherfucker was going to use this bit of intel against me with my enemies inside the company.
When I started telling this part of my story—the part about the reunion with Jackie Sampson—I never thought it would go this long and in such detail. I’ve enjoyed the hell out of getting it down on paper—er—pixels. But, it’s time to travel back in time again about 24 and a half years from where I’m leaving off, in that law office in Washington DC. That means we’ll be going back to the second half of my sophomore year in college. Jackie and I had just broken up. I was a miserable, mopey dope. Thank God I had gotten interested in Radio-TV classes, thanks to Jill the beautiful R.A. I believe it was all that saved me that winter. After all, my history with women at this point was actually pretty ugly. Denise, my high school girlfriend and first fuck ever drifted away before college. Molly had been a less than spectacular success. Margery was an intense experience but it ended quickly, abruptly and, for me, bitterly. Diana was a blast but she had gotten herself launched right out of school, the wild little thing. Jackie had been the best thing to happen to me on the female front, but now that was done and I was then very certain I’d never see her again.
By spring I was just a total loser. I hadn’t touched a girl since the last time I had seen Jackie as she was leaving me the weekend of the Tull concert. I was pretty certain I would be celibate for the rest of my life. Aside from my interest in my classes that term, the only thing keeping me from spinning out of control was the fact that I had a single room in the suite back in the dorm. No roommate to scandalize with my masturbation addiction. I was a total slave to jacking off. I had a box a week Kleenex habit. It was better than getting dumped again, although I did worry a lot that it might cause an inability to achieve an erection without self-manipulation. A worry that was somewhat unfounded as it turned out.
As I was walking along the brick walkway angling across the main part of campus on a very cold afternoon in late March, I passed someone in an Army surplus coat and jeans going the other way. I caught a glimpse of the face and thought I knew the person but wasn’t sure so, loser that I now was, I didn’t say anything. A few seconds later I heard a voice behind me say, “Wil? Is that you, Wil?” I turned and looked. I knew the voice and what I could see of the face but couldn’t think of her name.
“It’s me, Linda. I met you through Margery about a year ago, remember?”
“Oh, Hi… Linda, how’re you doin’?” I knew instantly that I was dazzling her with my sparkling conversation skills. I was the Mayor of Loserville. No, not that exalted. I was the Deputy Vice Mayor of Loserville.
When I knew Linda the year before she, like Margery, was very, um, sorority-looking. Nice clothes, seemingly wealthy, probably destined for a good career. Now she looked like, well, she looked like a hippie chick. Jeans, big oversized olive-colored Army coat, fringy leather boots that she was wearing on the outside of her jeans. How was this the same Linda?
“I’m freezing is how I’m doing. Aren’t you? Are you going to class?” she said.
“Nah, I was going to Record Revolution. See what’s new,” I said.
“Hey, I live in the apartment right above the store next to there. How about if I blow off my class and we’ll go to my place and get some hot tea? Really, I’m freezing and I can afford to miss the class. Just needed a good excuse, and you're it. We can get caught up and then you can go to the record store,” she said.
“Sure. OK,” I said. S ee? Dazzling.
I didn’t want to talk about Margery and I didn’t want to talk about me. So I guess we’d have to talk about Linda. Maybe I’d find out why she started to wear funky clothes. I did think she was pretty attractive back when I’d see her with Margery—like that day we all went to the quarry—the last time I saw both of them I guess. Linda looked great that day. In her little two-piece swimsuit. But now she had on a coat that would fit a 225 lb Army Private. And did I mention this scarf-like thing wrapped around her head so you couldn’t even see she had hair? It really was Linda though, ‘cause sure as hell, as we walked along the sidewalk the first fuckin’ thing she says is, “Do you ever hear from Margery?”