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Dr. Huxtable, Please Stop!

June 17, 2017 Leave a comment

I assume the Bill Cosby hung jury is because some jurists just didn’t want to tarnish the ‘America’s Dad’ image. I sympathize with that. I loved Cosby’s stand up acts, when he was just out of college. I guess I saw him on late night talk shows in those days.

Later, he was co-staring with Robert Culp in a mock cop show. I think it was called ‘I Spy’. I liked the show and the actors, and it hurts to think that Bill Cosby was drugging and raping women during those years. Why would he? Perhaps his personal kink is that the woman has to be inert. It’s abnormal, but it’s been heard of.

I was expecting, and hoping, that the prosecution would not retry Cosby. He’s guilty, and he’s old and somewhat blind, so what would the law do to him? If they would elect not to retry, the kids that loved the Fat Albert cartoons and other comedy things that Bill Cosby created, could continue to be cool with Dr. Huxtable.

The Lisper of Bright Street

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Bright sign

The row houses that line Bright Street were built in 1898. The front of each house was built with beautiful clay bricks, laid with precision by skilled stonemasons. They are not large houses, and most became homes for people who worked in the surrounding industries.

After 100 years of devolution, the homes were on the cusp of being demolished. A real estate developer with a bit of imagination bought up the whole street, in 1998. He brought the homes up to date, with beautiful interiors and contemporary utilities, and offered them for sale. Of course, the close proximity to the business district and public transportation made them very desirable to young management professionals.

Bright Street

Milo Coccio was One of the last people to move into a home on Bright Street. His unit was between homes owned by single women; Jennifer Dodge on his left and Lana Munroe on his right. They first saw Mr. Coccio on a Saturday morning, when he was moving in. Milo sat beside a woman who was driving the minivan that pulled up in front of his new home.

Jennifer Dodge was sitting on her small porch in the morning sunshine, reading Senator Al Franken’s book, ‘Lies and Lying Liars Who Tell Them’. She was slight in build, with pale skin and blue eyes behind dark glasses. She wore white satin pyjamas under a matching robe. She watched with interest as the woman and Milo Coccio carried boxes into the house. She assumed they were a couple.

Seated on her front steps smoking a joint, Lana Munroe saw the couple moving in too, but she could see the family resemblance and assumed they were siblings. Every item that she could see, from the van to the house, was a man’s item. She saw no female items going into the house. She wondered why a big, good-looking man was moving into a carriage trade home all alone. She assumed he was either divorced or gay, although he showed no sign of gayness, but that doesn’t really mean anything.

The next morning was warm and sunny. Lana was seated on her steps smoking a joint, just as she had been the previous day. Milo Coccio stepped out onto his small porch.

“Welcome to the neighbourhood,” Lana called out happily.

“Thank you,” said Milo. He turned and went back into his home. Lana put the remainder of her joint into a coffee can and left for her job at the soda bottling plant, just a few blocks away. As soon as she was gone, Milo took a folding chair onto his porch and sat in the sun. He looked at the separate homes across the street, and envied them their garden.

Jennifer Dodge was sweeping her porch when she saw Milo.

“Good morning,” she said. “I’m Jennifer, welcome to Bright Street.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I’m Milo.”

“Nice to meet you, Milo,” she said. “If you need anything, a cup of sugar or something, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you,” said Milo.

“You don’t have much to say, do you?” said Jennifer.

“No,” said Milo. “I am embarrathed by my thpeech impediment. Don’t be offended, but I’d really rather not be asthed to thpeak.”

Lana and Jennifer formed a pact. They would work together to get Milo Coccio out from behind his self-imposed wall of silence. He should get from society the kind of life a handsome, single man should have, lisp or not.

Locked Eyes with a Stranger

June 3, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m sure every mature person has experienced it. You’re walking up a busy downtown street after work. You’re satisfied with how your day went, you’re in no hurry to get home, so you’re enjoying a summer day in the city, as the sun gravitates to the west. A black person (male or female, depending on your preference) comes around the corner in front of you.

Your eyes lock, and in less than a second, the minds of both people scan through a list of familiar analyses. “That’s interesting; good looking; kind of sexy; nice body; moves well; I would have sex with that person.” You pass shoulder to shoulder in silence. The moment has passed.

A man walks into a large store. He seeks some parts for plumbing repairs, but can’t find the plumbing department. He sees a woman, and on her back she’s wearing the store’s logo, so she might help. He touches her shoulder.

“Excuse me,” he says. She turns and their eyes lock. In that instant, flames seemed to fill both chests. It’s amazing, immediate passion for both parties. The woman tries to turn her eyes away from his eyes, but they spring back for a second look. At the same time, the man is trying to ignore the sexual impulse and speak. At last the woman looks away, and the man asks her for directions to plumbing supplies.

The woman is tongue tied, and can barely say “Come.” She moves past him and leaves her department to escort him to plumbing supplies. Following her, he sees that her shape and movements are as enticing as her face and eyes.

She is wondering, “what am I feeling? I could get into trouble with this man”. He is wondering, “this is incredible. Should I make a move on her? I think she feels the same. What if it’s only me, and she just sees me as another schmuck customer”.

She arrives at the plumbing department, waves her hand in the direction of the aisle and takes off back to her department. He gets his plumbing parts and leaves the store without seeing that woman again. He never forgets her, and wonders if she also remembers the moment. She does, and both individuals regret that they let the magic moment pass.

A woman is standing at the vegetable display in a large supermarket. She is opening the small plastic bag that the store makes available in fruit and vegetable departments. From behind her, a man’s voice says, “how does one open these things?” The woman turns, holding her own bag, to demonstrate. She sees his face, their eyes lock, and in an instant, each is aware that they would accept the other as a lover. But not in a vegetable department of a supermarket.

She licks her fingertips and deftly slides the thin plastic bag open. The man copies her actions and opens his bag. He wants to carry on with her, but fears rejection. He goes to the fruit department, and doesn’t see the woman again.

King’s Life

May 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Bartholomew King was proud of his eccentricity. He knew that he was regarded as a shallow, slow-witted, trust-fund child. By the time he was 28, he was well established as a wealthy nut. Fortunately for Barth (as people liked to call him), he never had to earn a living. His parents had accumulated a substantial fortune in the medical marijuana industry, growing and distributing through their burgeoning chain of greenhouses. Unfortunately, they lost their lives prematurely, while testing their design for a four-seated hang-glider.

Of course, Barth immediately sold the marijuana business and closed down the development of the hang-glider design. As a result, he was sitting on almost three million after-tax dollars. He did regard himself as the king, at least in the large county where he was highly influential. As such, he demanded exclusivity – in everything.

He had a ranch built to his own, eccentric design. He had Brigham Coachworks build a custom body of his own design. He had it built on the chassis of an Alpha Romeo Disco Volante, the most exclusive car he could find. The Disco Volante body was discarded and the new body was constructed of aluminum.

There were many opportunities for a prolific social life laid at Bartholomew’s feet. He was hesitant, because he was never certain which woman might be the most exclusive. He attended dinner parties, if the guest list was sufficiently exclusive. He attended sporting events only if the event was rare, such as polo for blind players. He was introduced to many very beautiful women, but he was unable to feel certain of the one of a kind that he sought.

On a rare evening out, with one of the women who hoped to be The One, Barth saw The One. It was not the woman with Barth. Rather, it was a woman who sang on the small stage of the club they were in.  After they ordered, Barth looked casually toward the stage. A woman stood at the microphone in baggy, blue denim bib overalls, singing a twangy country song. A keyboard player, a guitarist, and a drummer backed her up. The woman’s face made Barth’s stomach flip. She was gorgeous, almost exactly the face he created in his mind to be the exclusive one.

She appeared to be more than 6 feet tall. Barth was an average 5’9”. Barth’s problem was, he didn’t like country music, or the rural wardrobe. The drinks arrived at Barth’s table, and he clinked glasses with his date and sipped his Highball. The country song ended and Barth turned to look at the stage again. The woman had dropped the baggy overalls and kicked them aside. She stood in the spotlight in a blazing green Spandex body suit. It fit so tightly, it looked painted onto her body. She had the shape of an oversize mannequin, virtually perfect. She began to sing a love ballad, “The Nearness of You,” and the mellow tones of her deep voice infused Barth with passion.

Barth knew that this woman was the exclusive beauty he sought. He unashamedly ushered his date out the club door and put her into a taxi. The outraged woman made a scene throughout the club, and people knew that it was just Bartholomew King being Barthish. He gave the driver one hundred dollars and asked him to take her wherever she wanted to go.

Barth returned to the club and boldly went backstage. In an open area, the trio of musicians were sharing a joint. In her dressing room, the woman… The One, was sitting at her makeup table.

“I’m Bartholomew King,” he said. He extended his hand. She ignored it.

“I know who you are,” she said. “Where’s your date?”

“She had to leave,” he said. “I wonder… would you come to dinner with me tomorrow evening?”

The woman stood up and looked down at Bartholomew. She put her hand on his shoulder and walked with him toward the dressing room door.

“I want you to know something, and remember it,” she smiled. “No. Never, nay, no way. I only date exclusive men. You are so common.” She gave him a gentle push out into the passageway, and closed the door. He heard the click of the lock.

06. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

May 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter 6

Milton Korn sat in his cramped studio, staring at the unfinished canvas on his easel. He was unable to get clear, his vision for the painting, and it was almost frightening for him. He’d never before had the real world interfere in his private, creative world. For the first time, a melange of thoughts pressed his creative mind aside.

His thought batted back and forth, like a badminton bird over a net. One moment he’s consumed with concern about his bold assertion to Honey Freed. He could easily afford the 100 acres, with money left over to build a studio. His mind pulled from thoughts of Honey and wandered through visions of the property. The Maple forest on the southernmost 12 acres was a rare enclave of mature trees that had not yet been cut into lumber. If he was owner… co-owner… he could protect those ancient beauties.

Would Honey Freed also be a tree-hugger, or might she be mercenary, and wish to turn the trees into cash. Hopefully, she would share Milton’s ecological interests. If not, perhaps he could help her to understand its importance.

Milton forced himself to stop beating around the bush in his head. What about Honey Freed. She’s smart, a successful professional, tall, and too goddamn gorgeous for Milton, he thought. He would have living quarters adjacent to his studio, on a wing of the house far from Honey’s quarters.

He envisioned separate basic bathrooms for each of them, conveniently connected to their living quarters. Each would have a sink, a toilet, and a medicine cabinet. There would be a mutual bathroom, with a spacious Jacuzzi tub and shower, mirrors and so on. They would make a schedule between themselves, as to when the central bathroom priority was for Milton or Honey.

As for Honey Freed, she had less time to muse on the proposal than had Milton. She was busy with pre-production meetings, casting sessions, and all the other complications in producing commercials. When she at last got home, at 2:20am, she began her analysis of Milton’s suggestion. She had come to think of it as, “The Korn Roast.”

She tossed her clothes on the floor, and stepped into her shower. As the warm water flowed softly over her body, she didn’t need to think about the property. She had been enjoying it in her mind for months. She had to think about the romantic aspect of sharing a home with a tall, good-looking, successful artist.

Honey imagined that they’d design the home together. They could have their rooms across a hall from each other, just for safety. They could have animals, and let them be free to wander in the Maple forest, and frolic on the open pasture. She hoped that Milton liked the idea. She felt certain that he’d want to keep the forest safe and whole. If not… it would be a problem.

Both Milton Korn and Honey Freed slept well, with visions of their possible partnership in the country. Milton dreamed of beautiful light in his studio, and the peace and quiet in which to paint. Honey saw herself in farm clothes, caring for horses, Scottish Highland Longhorn cattle, lamas, goats, and dogs. Lots of dogs.

Within a week, if Honey decides to accept Milton’s offer, they’ll be negotiating joining lives, while they don’t even really know each other. They are each very intelligent, and will be aware of the inevitable problems they will have to overcome.

05. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

May 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter Five

 

Milton Korn had never had any interest in cars. He didn’t actually like to drive. On this occasion, with Honey Freed doing the driving, in an Alpha-Romeo Spyder, Milton began to feel in a unique mood.

The make of car meant nothing to Milton, but the beautiful design and the luxurious leather upholstery gave him a feeling. He had never felt any feeling from riding in a car, but on this occasion, he had feelings.

The top was down, and the wind noise made conversation uncomfortable, so Honey just drove, and Milton sat and thought. He began to think about Honey, and her car. He was comparing the character of the car with the character of the woman. If she is successful, and can choose any car she’d like, and she chose this example of understated elegance, perhaps she is not superficial or false.

The road was wide and smooth at first. When Honey took an exit off the Autoroute onto a two-lane, the surroundings became interesting. Broad fields of corn, hay, and soybeans lay like blankets across hundreds of acres on both sides of the road.

Before long, Honey turned off the secondary highway, onto a dusty dirt road. This road led them away from the open, cultivated fields. They drove through the cooling shade of huge Maple trees that lined the small road. As they emerged from the grove of hardwoods, Honey tuned up a long, dirt driveway that led up to the top of a large hill. Honey stopped there and got out of the car. Milton followed suit. They stood together and looked out over the grassy fields.

“Where’s the house?” said Milton.

“There is no house, yet,” said Honey. “I’m going to design and build my own, if I can ever get to own this place.” She pointed out various features of the land, and said that she wants her home to be on this hill, where they stood together.

“Do you want a partner?” said Milton.

“God, no!” said Honey. “I want to be free.”

“So do I,” said Milton. “This is a great spot. If you change your mind about sharing, I’ll put up the money and you could repay me your half.”

“Geeze, that’s a serious temptation,” said Honey Freed.  “I have to think about it.”

“I have to decide where I’ll go if  you decide to take this on alone, so please try to decide soonish,” said Milton Korn.

“Within a week, okay?” said Honey.

“Okay, thanks,” said Milton. He stood there and visualized  what it would be like to have a home and studio in this environment. He thought about buying this place out from under Honey. The acquaintances each had to make a hard decision.

03. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

April 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter Three

Milton Korn wandered down to the gallery the day after his show was launched with a traditional vernissage. It wasn’t the gallery he wanted to visit, it was Honey Freed. He saw her a half a block past the gallery. She was producing a commercial for a shampoo product, and they were taping the final scene. A woman with gorgeous hair blowing in the wind was to stride happily past a hair salon. The wind was produced by a six-foot tall fan.

Milton stood quietly at the side and watched the busy crew. They pushed the camera around, they hoisted lights and deflectors, and they pulled a large number of heavy cables back and forth. In the midst of the controlled chaos, Honey Freed stood tall and looked beautiful and exciting. She was tall and slender, in tight blue jeans and a white shirt tucked in at her tiny waist.

There were some uniformed police around the location, to control traffic and people. One of them went over to Milton and asked what was his business there. Milton just wanted to watch the crew work, without getting in the way. That’s why he stayed back there. The cop told Milton to move on, which pissed Milton off. He told the cop he was a friend of Honey Freed, the boss of this crew. The cop said he’d ask her.

Milton watched the cop thread his way between boxes and light stands, over cables and sand bags, up to Honey’s side. He spoke to Honey and pointed at Milton. Honey shaded her eyes from the midday sun. When she saw it was Milton, she broke into a broad smile and waved him to come close. He picked his way through the same obstacle course as the cop, who scowled at Milton as he passed, on his way out.

“I’m so glad you’ve come,” she said, and put her hand on Milton’s shoulder. He felt the heat. It’s strange, he thought, that a casual connection can generate such physical responses. He believed it was olfactory at work. An unscented fragrance, if that’s possible, that arouses otherwise dormant feelings in two people. Not any two people, but two people whose fragrances attract each other.

Of course, Honey’s physical beauty was certainly magnetic. She was accustomed to men approaching her, dating her, and sometimes proposing to her. Honey was not a lonely woman, but she was not living the life she hoped to live. When Milton felt the warmth of her touch, Honey also felt the heat.

Honey also felt something unique when she studied Milton’s artworks. She sometimes collected art, and was knowledgeable on the subject. She apologized to Milton that she had to work for the next couple of hours, to capture the final shot they needed.

“Can we meet for breakfast one day?” Honey said.

“Tomorrow?” said Milton. “I have nothing scheduled.”

“Tomorrow morning, 8:00am, at Goldstein’s on Walsh Avenue,” she said, decisively.

“See you there,” Milton said, and went home.

(To Be Continued)