Thursday, August 20, 2015

Every Rose Has It's Thorn (Poison)

Despite attempts to harsh my mellow via Desi-Gate, he wasn’t successful for long. After nearly being captured as live bait for the vampire mistress of all things blood sucking and joyless, Hump had gone underground. According to Steve, he was spending most of his time at the domicile he actually paid rent at. Also, Hump had started a new romance, one with a lady who had three kids. This match made in Purgatory was through an old friend of Hump’s name Mike who's an ex-con, don’t ask.

Apparently she had no job, was living on unemployment, had three kids, and her boyfriend at the time of their meeting was married. With Hump as her best prospect, that was sadder than any Greek Tragedy ever written.

While he had the attitude and ego of Napoleon, he was closer to Napoleon Dynamite. From what I had surmised, Hump could not handle an adult encounter of any kind and make it out alive. Therefore, perhaps dealing with children might be easier for the man.

Via the internet I had found out Polo was engaged in a seedy affair with a burlesque dancer named Mistress Scorpio Jones. My reaction to this was a mix of horror and just pure judgement. While I was aware Polo liked women of the easy, sleazy variety, he was really dragging the dollar bill through the trailer park here.

I had known Scorpio Jones and was not a fan. Actually, I found her obnoxious on top of already being fat and ugly. So the adjective to round this all out would be repulsive. I had known Scorpio Jones, real name Shiree Jarvis, during my tenure as a burlesque emcee.

Scorpio was a pain in the ass on top of being a fat ass in every way. More often than not, at venues, she had elaborate costumes that took up most of the space in the dressing area. When other performers protested, because God forbid the worthless lard share, she would get into a screaming match with them. If her routines were ever rock solid I would say the woman was worthy of her diva-tude. However, she was sink or swim. When she was a hit, she was amazing. But then there were those times where her costume broke or she was just a lummox onstage. Add in the rare, sexist male audience who was unafraid to objectify and fat shame at the same time. If it were anyone else I would stick up for them. Not this bitch.

As if that werent terrible enough, Scorpio always ate either cake or KFC before every show. If your waistline expands and you want to eat away your psych issues instead of taking meds, that is your business. But when you do a Mama Cass live and in color we want you to choke on the damn chicken bone, end of discussion.

Scorpio supported her performing career by working in a dungeon as a dominatrix. I couldn’t understand it, but apparently some men like pain more than others. In any event, on her facebook page, she listed her idols as Betty Paige and then several pin up shots of her, rolls of fat going over her bikini and all. For an instant I admired her confidence, but then she listed the number of men she slept with at 200. That is when I accessed the nearest barf bag.

As I was digesting this fatty piece of tender rainbow meat, I came across Benjy. One of the puzzle pieces of that motley crew, he was nearly six feet tall and had a stream of tattoos. Much like Steve and I, Benjy was intellectual, dorky to a fault. Educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Benjy could play sax, clarinet, drums, base, and piano. In his early 20s, he had toured with Rusch Hour, a “Jewish punk band” that did every major festival.

However, during his days on the road Benjy’s personal problems took over. One being heroin. Over the years, Benjy had been in and out of rehab, jail, and even did a stint at the Salvation Army. During Christmas, he dazzled the Majors by playing piano, everything from carols he didn’t sing as a child to Beethovan. Because he was a Jewish kid in an All Christian program, he earned the nickname Benjy the Jew.

The moniker, which was completely offensive, followed him into the neighborhood as he gained his footing. Hump called him Benjy the Jew on the streets to the horror of Steve, Polo, and myself. But Benjy embraced his identity, and even has signed job log in sheets with it.

“I can’t believe he’s dating that, that thing!” I exclaimed as Benjy and I were talking on the street. Of course, I had just submitted a freelance article for one of my many writing jobs and was completely fried. Benjy was in between shifts as a food runner at Friendly’s bar. He made his living doing that as well as being Hump’s reluctant and lackluster assistant.

“I can. Polo likes trashy women.” Benjy informed me.

“This one is a complete trash pit. Are you aware she works in a dungeon?” I asked.

“Oh yeah. But here’s the thing you don’t get. You see, some women are sluts, right? They sleep with everything. Well then there are men that are sluts. Polo is a man slut.” Benjy explained.

“But why are women slut shamed?” I wondered aloud.

“Men should be too. I am with you. Polo should be shamed for banging that water buffalo. Usually they are pretty skanky but they have never been eligible to fight heavy weight.” Benjy observed.

“How did this even happen?” I asked.

Then the story unfolded. Benjy’s longtime girlfriend, Kim, a girl who had stuck with him through thick and thin, got tickets to see her wild ass sister Draca dance burlesque. Kim was nice, sweet, and normal. She and Benjy were a strange combo, but they had been together for 8 years at this point. Kim had actually met Benjy through Draca, her wild child sister who had a crush on Benjy but he wasn’t feeling it. Since that time, Draca had decided she was a lesbian and now had a wife, Jane, who was just as butch as Benjy if not more.

In any event, Polo had decided to go to the show, too because he had a night off from the gay bar where he sometimes works as a bouncer. Don’t ask. Polo went to the show and saw Mistress Scorpio take off her clothes and decided she was everything his dreams were made of. The two then went home and had a night of mind blowing sex. Since that time, Polo had not left the dungeon where she worked. If anything, he was posting pictures on facebook giving the world a play by play.

“He’s gonna die. I hope he knows he’s gonna die.” I informed Benjy.

“Oh, not like Hump almost did. By the way, Desi is majorly pissed. I went into one AA meeting and she was sitting there and huffing and puffing about Hump. She kept saying he lied to her and even dropped his full name.” Benjy told me matter of factly. “I was like ‘holy fuck this bitch is steamed up.’”

“Isn’t that against some rule to be telling me any of this?” I asked.

“Kind of, but she said his full name and did put it on her sober stripper blog.” Benjy said as he pulled out his Android, Googled, and showed me the entry.

“Holy fuck!” I gasped. We both started laughing, and then I pointed out that there were only 20 spelling errors in the blog.

Benjy shook his head and continued, “At least Mistress Scorpio has a drinking, drug, and food habit that are still killing her and is a generalized cunt that isn’t robbing everyone of their fun. Give me that Jenny Craig fail over Desi any day.”

“Well he pissed me off so much I hope the fucking encounter gave him syphillis.” I told Benjy.

“What did Hump do?”

“He was himself.”

“Eh, don’t get mad at him. That woman and her three kids are kicking his ass.”

“Good.” I stated. Then Friendly called to Benjy that there was work to be done. Off my pal went.

Just then my phone pinged. It was a text from Jake Judy. Our history had been rather complicated, and to say things were a little interesting or always had been was an understatement. As of late, the next chapter had begun. In my dreams, I was hoping to be the next Mrs. Judy. The catch was, his wife had to be eliminated.

It’s not like it sounds trust me. Just hear me out.

Jake Judy and I had a complex history that went back years. It was complicated. Yes, complicated. First we were childhood friends. Although the Judy family lived one town over, they were in our neighborhood once a week visiting their cousins, the Davis’s.

Karen Davis was a shit starter as a child. There was an incident where my sister Skipper had a bunch of patches on her back pack. As a first grader, her obsessions were Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Kung Fu. While it was a mish mash of things, that is what the petite, strawberry blonde sprite loved. In any event, Karen Davis was Skipper’s friendemy.

So she ripped a Hello Kitty patch off my sister’s book bag. Crying, my sister turned around on the bus. Karen blamed George Welles. A chubby red head with freckles and a pigeon toed gait, he was more The Pillsbury Doughboy than hardened criminal and woman oppressor. But Skipper was afraid because he was twice her size. So she enlisted me. As a third grader, I spit on him and hit him with my backpack.

George, upset, got his older brother Bobby involved. More slight and built like a bean pole, he looked nothing like his younger sibling. At first glance I had a feeling they might have even had different fathers. But Bobby Wells and I soon found ourselves locking horns. The grade school skirmish included a Fort Necessity made of back packs and pencils used as projectiles. Finally, our burned out beatnik bus driver, Chicken, who played oldies and probably had an alcohol problem, had enough. Frustrated, he pulled over the bus until the conflict cooled.

The next day, Mr. Byrd, our principal looked at us through his thick glasses. He explained, “There are two sides to every story.”

Bobby and I explained that we got involved because our younger half was being bullied, we really didn’t know what the hell was going on. Mr. Byrd calmly said, “They are lucky to have you, but in order to get this solved I need the older brother and sister to step out.”

Then the truth unfolded. Karen Davis had created this whole mess.

Jake Judy was the cousin. An awkward kid, he was a year ahead of me in school. A wrestling star one district over, Jake had dreams of going to one of the military academies, specifically Air Force. As a student, Jake was also a stand out when it came to math and science. Socially, he was an odd ball.

Jake’s dad on the other hand was very outgoing. A former college track star who still ran local road races, Jack Judy had a physique most working dads would die for. However, during his school days Jack didn’t pound the books like he pounded the pavement, so he was forced to take a job working for UPS. Jack was a nice guy and well-liked by everyone on his route. As a matter of fact, he and my mom hit it off when it was revealed Mr. Judy ran cross country with my father.

Both were track stars in high school. My father, who was a year ahead of him, was scouted by West Point. However, it was during the Vietnam War and my dad had no interest in being blown up. Although my dad and Mr. Judy were contemporaries, he always regarded Jack Judy as a “play baby.” Then again, my dad worked two jobs seven days a week. Everyone was a play baby in comparison.

Mr. Judy enjoyed his job, but a tad too much. Translated, he was all too eager to make house calls to some of the women on his route. He had multiple who continuously enjoyed packages several times a week, hint hint, and his truck was always auspiciously parked out front of the same three houses. Yes, Mr. Judy was a “cat around” as my mother would say.

Mrs. Judy was a nice lady though, quite sweet and a stay at home mom. Although she wasn’t a knock out, she was personable and long suffering, putting up with her philandering husband. She went through phases where she pretended she didn’t know, then she threw him out, and of course there was counseling. Finally, one day she snapped and threw his clothes on the lawn……

Jake was not like his father at all. More or less, he was quiet. Always rocking a Pirates hat, Jake wore his hair in his eyes. An admitted non-reader, Jake was a gifted math student and dreamed of being an engineer. In sports, Jake excelled as a wrestler, winning local and state titles. At one time, he had also been nationally ranked. Jake’s dream was to attend Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. After high school he did just that.

Here and there, I kept track of Jake and his family. His father, who rented an apartment once the divorce was finalized, informed my mom that Jake hated Air Force. Then in the next breath he was captain of their wrestling squad. Of course there was the update where Jake was graduating and did not want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. This threw me for a loop. It’s like being a lifeguard and not wanting to get into the pool.

Jake then dropped me a line when he married his wife Jaci. Apparently, the two had met at Air Force and had been college sweethearts. Much like his mother, she wasn’t terribly beautiful but seemed nice. I went to her facebook. There were people remarking that she didn’t let her platoon swear and punished them when she did. Jake had married the fun police.

Then again, it struck me as weird that Jake was getting married at all because his woman skills were a big zero. Yes, Jake was an oddball. When we were little, he often tapped me on the shoulder and ran away. Looking back, this was a stunt to get my attention but it more or less annoyed me. Jake also tried to ask me stupid questions about his summer reading knowing I was a supreme dork and loved books. I would answer his questions and of course the entire time he would stare into space. Once I suggested he actually read the book. This was an idea unheard of. 

Of course add in that Jake had borrowed a pen of mine once for some reason. Next thing I know he’s knocking on my door. My mother answered. There was the awkward, brown haired lad with a Pittsburgh Steeler’s hat on. He said, “Mrs. Brucker, I borrowed a pen from April and I lost it. So I got her a new one.”

“Thank you, Jake. I will be sure that she gets it.” My mom replied trying to search for words.

Standing on the top of the landing, witnessing this exchange, I thought it was the odd just like everything else Jake did. “What was that?” I remembered asking my mom.

“What in God’s name makes that boy think he has a chance with my daughter?” My mother asked, throwing the question out.

“What are you talking about?” Now I was confused.

“That boy really likes you. But he’s too short.” My mom informed me making a declarative statement but then dismissing it. Of course nevermind that she was barely five feet tall herself.

“Mom, he’s weird. He doesn’t like me. Guys don’t talk to me.” I said, filling my mother in on the fact her daughter was the Dork Queen. High school musical, public access television, and then add in local paper and literary magazine don’t exactly put you on the list for the best parties.

“Sweetie, he likes you. Boys like you. They are scared of you because you are smart.”

“Mom, they only want girls who put out.”

“Eh, but those girls get old. You also scare them because you are sort of aggressive.” My mother said. “Stop biting their heads off so much. No man wants a man hater.”

“But you were a member of NOW in college.”

“Yes, and then my boobs started to sag and I wanted my bra back. Saggy boobs makes a screaming woman even uglier.” She fired back and then exited.

File under priceless.

I hadnt thought of Jake until I did a show in the city and he popped up. At this point, Jake had left the service. He was living in Inglewood working as a civil engineer. Harriet, his sister, was a doctor and engaged to the son of a Jordanian diplomat. As for the youngest, Marga, she had dropped out of college and was living in an apartment with her boyfriend “trying to find herself.”

When I brought up Jaci and the fact he had gotten married just because it was the last update, Jake made a face like I had told him the test results had come back positive. His wedding ring was missing in action. It appeared Jake and Jack Judy were more alike than I originally thought. My mother even echoed with the sentiment, “He’s a cat around off the old block. Watch out, there might be a black sedan slowing down with a bullet coming out of the window in your near future.”

Despite my mom’s warnings, I had other plans. Jake and I were calling, chatting, and texting on the regular. He wanted to know if I wanted to catch coffee at some point. As the conversations got deeper, I said yes.

We got together. At that point, Jake, who had grown into a handsome man with chestnut hair and a broad smile, told me his tale of woe. His wife, Jaci, had been a fun loving girl upon first meeting. Like him, she was a math and science whiz. However, she was always “down with Jesus” as Jake explained.

Jaci came from a family in Northern California with a father who was a lumberjack and a mother who was morbidly obese. Her parents had met in high school and got married, never going to college. Jaci’s oldest sister got pregnant in high school, dropped out, and was dumped by the teen dad who would later turn into the dead beat dad. Her second sister joined the army and did well for herself. The third sister was a lesbian, which cause Ma and Pa to disown her. And then there was Jaci.

She studied hard and got into Air Force determined to make something of herself. In her mountain church in the Ozarks as a child she had gotten the message. As an adult, she had been religious. During her cadet days, she punished the plebes under her for swearing and other ungodly language. Now she wanted to become a minister. Jaci attended divinity school at Yale, and God spoke to her. Translated, she had to be pure renewing her virginity. This meant no more sex with Jake.

Jaci explained to Jake that “Even Abraham had a concubine. Where do you think Islam comes from?” So as she renewed herself for God, Jake was welcome to have as many concubines as need be as long as there was no emotional attachment. The story seemed flat out insane but I had heard crazier be true, and I had grown up in an area with religious cults. Plus Jake Judy in my experience did not lie.

As we chatted into the night my heart flew. I really liked Jake. During the IM, he was talking about being “So sick of Jaci that I just want to leave. Fuck her, fuck her God, and fuck her faith. I am getting a Goddam concubine and leaving her ass.”

“Sounds like a real drip.” I said. Then Jake signed off. Apparently Jaci walked in the room and he didn’t want the drama.

During our next outing, dinner and a movie, Jake confided in me about why he had left the Air Force. Apparently, he had been on an Air Craft carrier during his time as an officer, and had gotten sea sick. I remember thinking how on one hand he sounded like a wimp, but I also knew through experience, as someone gets sea sick, that it’s a real joy kill.

After that date, Jake kissed me. It was a long, thrilling, forbidden kiss. An hour later, I found myself facebook stalking Jaci Judy. Not saying I am proud of the low road I took, but I was a woman in love. Jaci no doubt was something else. Inside an army base where she was apparently visiting her uncle she had on a skimpy little number and was posing seductively. Then there were the weird Bible quotes. After which she tagged over 100 photos of her husband in a day, only three of which he was actually in. One was even of a washing machine. Wow, this woman was nuts. Jake had to get away and fast.

The next morning, after paying my rent, I saw Steve outside The Club. Sucking down a cigarette, this spider web tattoo in the inside of his elbow, he straightened his arm.

“Rough morning, Sir Steve?” I asked.

 “You have no idea. I am waiting for food for this establishment. Hump is upstairs doing a remodeling job. Benjy is supposed to be helping him and is late. Hump insists I didn’t order enough spackle or whatever the fuck he throws down.” Steve said in an agitated tone as his puffed his cigarette.

“What the hell is spackle?”

“Hell if I know. And Polo is in love with a psychotic wildebeest who works in a dungeon. What about you? How is the wonderful world of April Brucker?”

“Nothing that exciting.” I replied. “Except I saw Polo’s picture with his new squeeze.”

“I hope he hides his food because that bitch is gonna eat him outta house and home.” Steve snipped.

“What about Hump? Shouldn’t he be minding his new stepchildren?” I asked.

“Oh that mess. The girlfriend of some ex-con Hump knows fixed them up. It was one bad date.” Steve told me.

“Dear God.” I uttered.

Just then Benjy arrived. Taking center stage, he announced, “Listen, Lady and Gent! I apologize for my tardiness in this endeavor! Kim and I had a huge fight last evening and he had makeup sex for several hours. We then had a cuddling session where I fell asleep and actually strangled her. She got scared, tried to call the cops, and then told me this is the third time I have tried to strangle her in my sleep. So I promised her I would go into a sleep study, and then we had even more makeup sex-“

As Benjy rattled off his night Steve put his hand up to stop the disaster. “Just go upstairs. Hump is pissed off enough.” Steve informed him, exasperated.

 “If he gives you shit remind him that he stuck his dick in Desi.” I replied.

“Oh I will if you don’t. That girl is annoying and ugly.” Steve opined. “I was sitting next to her and this writer’s thing and she just kept talking about this woman who she took in that tried to burn her house down and I was looking out the window. Jesus fuck, she’s so mental she would drive anyone to commit arson.”

Just then my phone pinged. Jake. I texted back. He texted back. “And who is she texting?” Benjy mused.

“No one.” I told them.

“It’s someone.” Benjy insisted looking over my shoulder. Then aloud read, “Your wife seems like a crazy bitch.”

“It’s not what it sounds like.” Then the story came out. Yes, I was dating a semi-married man. It was complicated.

“Wow.” Steve said as he lit another cigarette and was simply silent. Benjy just started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“As compared to you, Polo is fine with his KFC eating white trash wafer.” Benjy explained.

Seconds later, Hump thundered down the stairs. “Where the fuck is the spackle! I told you I needed more spackle!”

“More cowbell!” Benjy exclaimed, referencing the Christopher Walkin skit on SNL.

 “Where the hell have you been? I told you I needed you an hour ago!” Hump was less than amused.

“He and Kim were having makeup sex and lost track of time. Have a heart.” Steve said, trying to add levity to the situation. Despite his small stature, Hump was huffing and puffing. Although he was over six feet tall, I felt the fear emanate from Benjy.  

“And we were hanging out with Polo last night and his gal pal. She’s fat and ugly. You should see her.” Benjy offered.

 “Polo has been working all those hours as a bouncer at the gay bar. He needs a girl like that on his arm. With that mustache people are starting to wonder.” Hump surmised using logic of the great philosopher Archie Bunker.

My phone pinged. Jake. “Is that your married boyfriend?” Benjy asked, because he had no filter whatsoever. Steve laughed again, and Hump turned in my direction curious. I smiled as if my hand had gotten caught in the cookie jar.

 “Look, stop making it out to be what it’s not. His wife gave herself to Jesus and won’t sleep with him. She said he can have concubines.” I explained.

“Damn that line is good. Later, I am going to Friendly’s and am using that.” Steve suggesting, smiling.

Well, maybe she won’t sleep with him because he’s a fucking dog.” Hump surmised, delivering his findings as if he had gathered them via university study.

“Hey, at least the last place I stuck my dick didn’t have a sober stripper blog riddled with spelling errors.” I chided.

“Then don’t make it a classic ‘men are dirt’ moment. You recruited this floating turd ball yourself.” Hump fired back.

Steve just kept laughing, and Benjy kept yelling, “Zing!” after each insult.

 “While I would love to stick around, I have to go talk to Jake. At least he isn’t going to make the egregious error of trying to keep me prisoner.”

Egregious. Hump looked confused. “It’s a big word I know, especially since your knuckles drag so often that they bleed.” I said, bitch smile flashing all over my face.

I waved and departed. Fuck him.

An hour later, I got a call from Jake’s phone. He had promised me tickets to the Yankees, so I was stoked. Instead, it was a female voice. “I don’t want trouble, but I have to know a few things.” She said.

“Who is this?” I asked puzzled as to what was going on.

“Are you fucking my husband?!” She asked. It was a tense whisper, one where the person on the other end of the phone was perhaps gripping a weapon to either use on themselves or the person on the other end of the receiver.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Just answer my question.” She commanded.



“Look, he said you were in Divinity School and found Jesus. Jake insists you let him have concubines.”

There was a silence on the end of the phone. “YOU ARE A FUCKING LIAR! STAY AWAY FROM MY FUCKING HUSAND OR I WILL KILL YOU, YOU BITCH!!!!” After that, it was as if the Exorcist entered her body. I hung up the phone horrified.

As the shock washed over me, I felt a ball of vomit in my stomach. I was now officially the other woman, the least liked person in the universe by pretty much everyone. The only people less redeeming were rapists, murderers, pedophiles, and New York City landlords. I sent Jake an angry text telling him he could go fuck his wife and then fuck himself. I was done.

The anger stayed with me mixed with the guilt. Time and time again, I had my heart broken. At this point in my life, I should have been used to men and their bullshit. To clear my head, I found myself at Hudson River Park. My social media lit up on my phone. Jake announced that he and his wife were “stronger than ever” which made me want to barf. Everyone had been correct, especially Hump. God I hated my life.

I sat on the bench and tears rolled down my cheeks. Just then I heard a voice, someone trying to sound like the Hunchback of Notre Dame whisper in my ear, “Why are you crying, Princess?”

I yelped in utter horror. Turning around, I saw Hump standing there laughing his head off. Now I was just plain annoyed. As my face grimaced in plain rage at having my self-pity interrupted, Hump continued to amuse himself at my expense by laughing even harder.

Finally, when the words came out I asked, “What the fuck?”

“You were crying and I didn’t want to see you cry.” Hump replied lighting a cigarette. “A crying woman is one of the most depressing sites in the world for a man.”

“Let me cry alone.” I commanded. “Besides, Desi needs your dick in her mouth.”

“Oh, so speaking of dicks it was the married dickhead you were dating?” Hump guessed. When I didn’t reply, he responded, “I knew it!”

“I’ll be fine. Desi’s waiting for you.”

“Just stop that now. Stop that shit now. She’s not here. I’m here with you as your friend. So you can’t be mean to me, okay?” Hump instructed.

Hump calmly stated, “You all went to college and might know some big words from books. I didn’t. The words you use go over my head and there are times you enjoy a laugh at my expense. Steve went to a thousand colleges, Benjy went to Manhattan School of Music and then you went to NYU. I barely graduated high school, install air conditioners, and put up dry wall for a living. So I must be stupid, right?”

“I never said that.” I snapped. Now I was even more agitated.

“No, but most of you wouldn’t know your way out of an alley. Steve never has enough supplies for his business. Benjy is my best friend, but sucks as far as a helper goes. I did a job for a guy and sent Benjy one day. He put the cabinet in backwards and then the dude demanded his keys and deposit back. As for you, men suck. Men suck. Maybe it’s because you have never had an actual man in your life. You have just had these idiots time and time again and that’s your bad decision. It’s not your shit generalization.” Hump eloquently stated, delivering a smile of victory.

I said nothing, but continued to sit there shocked as Hump lit a cigarette and took a long drag. “Doesn’t feel good to be judged so hard now does it?” Hump asked.

“I never meant to….”

“Say facetious things to him…..”

“Facetious is a good word. A big word but a good word. Where did you learn it?” I asked.

“Anyone can say big words, not just you. But you must remember, sweetheart, the tongue is the tool of all sin.” Hump cooed, delivering the final knock out punch. I never realized the man was so well spoken. He was also absolutely right about everything, from Jake Judy to the way I judged him.

 “What book is that from? That’s a good quote.” I asked.

“The Bible.” Hump informed me matter of fact. I sat there even more shocked as he added. “Yes, I know the Bible.”

“I’m sorry I…”

“Apology accepted.”

Just then I looked out on the water. I had remembered on one of our outings Jake mentioned one reason he didn’t last in the Air Force was he couldn’t stomach being on an air craft carrier. I mentioned this to Hump laughing. Hump didn’t laugh back. Instead he just shook his head and responded, “Your friend is full of shit. Air craft carrier boats don’t rock.”

“How would you know?” I asked.

Hump said nothing and lit a cigarette. In the next breath he changed the subject. He asked, “It’s late and I think we are both hungry. Would you like some dollar pizza, my treat?”

“Sure.” I said.

We ended up yacking it up about life and it turned out Hump was much more intelligent than I gave him credit for. He knew all about dogs and revealed that he was a pitbull owner at one point, but had to give up his dog when his new building wouldn’t let him have pets. As I chatted with Hump, I felt we connected which was nice. However, it also scared the living crap out of me. I told myself my senses were off because of all I had been going through.

Either way, I told myself he was just a friend like I always had. But in the back of my mind, I suspected this wasn’t all the universe had in mind for our story.  

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