She darted to the door and threw it open. A small wizened but well dressed chap stood before her. "Excuse me Madam," he said, "I'm doing a survey on reading ability. Can you read what is on this card?" He held out the card and she peered at it and slowly said, "Would you mind stepping inside Sir".
"That is correct Madam," he said. "Thank you" and he stepped inside and brought out of a briefcase an encylcopeadia. "You look just the sort of lady who would derive considerable benefit from having our books upon your shelves", he said with a languid wave of his arm towards the far corner of the room. "Your children will be able to learn from them and major in almost any subject they fancy."
"Good Lord" she expostulated, "I never though of that".
Then immediately thought that tho though was how she though it should be said others though differently.
"The only problem, my good sir, is that the information contained in these encyclopedias will be 20 yrs out of date by the time they're ready for them. Plus, I've just come out of the bathroom and am here to tell you that I am a lesbian and don't see motherhood in my future, whether I be accidently impregnated or not, so just be on your way, wizened little man, for I have things to do, people to see, and places to go!" and with that, M-Glo turned the salesman around and patted his fanny, pushing him through the door.
Succumbing, the sore ass salesman, later that same day accepted a pretty prosperous post in the door-to-door vacuum business and was on his way.
And so was Ronaldo out on the farm. He had had to sleep in the hay barn because Echo told him that her Dad kept strange men away from her with a shotgun. But she brought him steak and french fries with onions and gravy and apple pie with double cream after the farmhouse had gone quiet. She had to climb down a ladder from her bedroom window because all the door hinges squeaked enough to frighten the bats. When Ronaldo pulled her up through the trap door into where the hay was stored because of the warmth the bottle of moonshine fell out of her hunting jacket pocket but fortunately it landed in a hopper of cattle-cake and Ronaldo retrieved it easily enough. At sun-up Echo staggered back to the ladder to her bedroom window glassy-eyed with a full day's farm chores to deal with.
Feeling as though a new day had dawned, Miriam Gloria decided major life changes were in order. Sitting down at her computer, she logged on to her online bank and transferred all the funds from her joint account with Rafe into her personal savings account. She then did the same with each of their brokerage accounts and the tax shelter account in Cayman. Once the money was safely in her name, she contacted her attorney, William Putz, and instructed him to begin divorce proceedings at once.
Borrowing a pair of steel-toed boots from Rafe's closet, she descended the grand staircase purposefully and headed to the study. Rafe was still there, clipping his toenails onto the antique Heriz rug. He looked up, and was stunned to see Miriam Gloria standing there in a plaid hunting shirt, chinos and his boots. "W-w-what have you done to your hair!" he stammered. For as long as he had known her, M-Glo had been proud of her long, blonde curls. But now it was all gone. She had chopped it all off, as befitting her new lesbian status. In time she would realize that such a stereotyped appearance was not necessary, but in this first flush of freedom, she enjoyed flaunting her new identity. Especially to Rafe. It irked her to think of having been a trophy wife, and as she remembered all the times he had dismissed her thoughts and opinions as if she were a troublesome child, she decided it was high time for some payback.
"I won't be needing these any more," she announced, dropping an armload of brassieres at his feet. "With those man-boobs you've got, I thought maybe you could use them."
Rafe was speechless.
"I'm gonna go out and buy me a Subaru!" she yelled as she left the building, uneven breasts swaying in the breeze.
Rafe sat there, contemplating his wife, the lesbo. Wow. Wow. He felt a giddy relief bubbling to the surface and he felt lighter than air. My God! She was a lesbian! He was so happy he did a little happy dance on the Heriz. Well, if she can come out about it, so damn well could he! He longed to be with Michael and he suspected Michael felt the same. Oh, he'd seen those suggestive looks, that twinkle in his eye when he glanced his way, the constant nearness and slight touching. He loved Michael's tight little rear end and wanted to caress it, among other things. He decided to find him and when he did, he was going to give him the biggest, longest wet kiss he could.
Of course it turns out they were related so the relationship was going nowhere.
While all this City stuff was going on Ronaldo was fast asleep on the hay bales which he had arranged to his satisfaction. A sudden piercing shriek followed by thumping noises and clumpings, dull thudding ones, startled him to alert wakefulness. He climbed down the ladder and ran over to the large barn from which the sounds were coming. When he got inside he could see bits of Echo's father scattered around and pieces of his overalls were flapping around in the mechanism of the McCormick baler which he was renovating for an Antique Farm Machinery Show where he was expecting to receieve the Gold Medal.
As he tried to gather his wits Echo came running in and hugged him from behind in that way country girls can do. Renaldo swivelled round and holding her tightly he backed her outside and sat her down on the edge of the horsetrough.
"Your father has had an accident", he said. I think he's dead. "Oh my God", she said, shocked, "I'll have to run the farm all on my own now and fight off those oil prospectors who are trying to steal it for small change. I told him not to stand near that gear wheel with his braces hanging loose."
"How big is it?" Ronaldo said. "The biggest I've ever seen" she replied with a giggle. "How many acres is the farm?" he said patiently. "Oh-about 30,000 I think." "Have you any brothers or sisters?" he asked her next. "No" she replied, "my mother died having me and father never remarried.
Ronaldo looked up into the wide blue spaces where new worlds are being created and pondered.
First of all, Ronaldo pondered that the farm girl's only reaction to her father's horrible death was to worry about running the farm. Secondly, how odd it was for the girl to use the British slang "braces" to refer to the suspenders for her father's overalls.
Clearly, there was more to Echo than met the eye (as pleasing as that was.)
Ronaldo turned things over in his mind. Echo had just turned 18 and he was a well worn 32 and he wondered if he was a match for her natural ebullience. They walked into the farmhouse and made a pot of tea with buttered crumpets and sat down to discuss matters. Eventually, Ronaldo made a rough estimate of the proceeds of a quick sale on the side of a face which was depicted on the front cover of an old Time Magazine. He thought $75-100 million. After a longish silence he said "What have we to do about the barn?" "Oh"--she said, "I'll get old Caleb to come over with his machine and he can put it all in the quarry. Father sold a lot of stone many years ago for the public builings in town. It was an off white and it was fashionable at the time. It left a big hole just above the higher pasture which has filled up with water. He can shovel it all up and dump it in there.
Rafe was excited as he drove into the Forest Lawn Country & Golf Club, which doubled as a cemetery. He parked his Porsche (yes, yes, another one) and got out. He patted his hair, looked at it in the side mirror, and wiped his hands on his pants. Good Lord, he was sweating! He was as nervous as a virgin about to get deflowered. He gave a bit of a titter, then firmly told himself to get a hold of himself. After a moment, he strode through the front doors over to the Reception area. He asked the young blonde man at the desk if Michael had arrived yet today. The clerk looked through his calendar and replied, "Yes, sir, he's in the Blue Gazebo." Rafe was now realizing his armpits were damp and his blood pressure was zinging. He turned in the direction of the Blue Gazebo and put one foot in front of the other. It was do or die time.
Do or die, do or die, do or die... what was that music in the background?
The lovely music in the background was Barry Manilow crooning As Time Goes By:
Well, it's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
The words strengthened Rafe's resolve.
He was nothing if not determined.
Forest Lawn, I (osso) went to a wedding there. The fellow was a groundskeeper or something, working his way through school in one of my classes. Or maybe he worked in the office. Which I appreciate, let me tell you.
Alas, I take that whole place as creepy, but that's just me. What is this about golf?
Muscles, it is all about muscles.
Grave digging builds muscles. Sign up now. Call 555- (see approved number).
Rafe entered the doors of Forest Lawn's little known Blue Gazebo club and looked around. The room was dark and filled with men gyrating to the beats of a deejay's playlist. Waiters in Chippendale attire served drinks on silver trays to pairs of men snuggling in booths along one wall. A large photo of Bette Midler with neon borders hung above the bar.
Michael stood at one end of the bar, waiting for the bartender to finish mixing his third Long Island Iced Tea. He was wearing his favorite tight Cage Aux Folles T-shirt and the same white linen pants he had dropped for Miriam Gloria that afternoon. His eyes met Rafe's across the crowded room, and they instantly gravitated toward each other.
"Have you been here before?" asked Michael, wondering if Rafe's presence was an accident, or if he had followed him here.
"No, but I like it. The only problem is, there are too many people," Rafe winked at Michael suggestively.
This was too good to be true, Michael thought. He had admired Rafe from afar for some time, but had been afraid of alienating Miriam Gloria, who was known for compensating her male companions handsomely. It was not honorable work, being a gigolo, but Michael was a Museum Studies graduate and jobs were hard to come by.
Michael took Rafe's perfectly manicured hand with its coral nail polish and led him to a small door marked "Private" at the back of the club. Two knocks on the door went unanswered, telling Michael that the room was unoccupied at the moment. Michael and Rafe went in and closed the door, locking it behind them.
"Why are you wearing coral nailpolish, Rafe? It's so last year." Michael asked, as he stroked Rafe's left hand.
"Why did you do a graduate degree in Museum Studies but then become a gigolo?" returned Rafe, as he used his right hand to caress Michael's inner thigh.
They stared at one another and began chuckling, both sets of eyes crinkling and twinkling. They leaned towards each other and indulged in a hot, steamy French kiss.