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10. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

May 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter 10

The awkward kiss ended abruptly. Both Milton Korn and Honey Freed realized what they were doing, at the same moment.

“Sorry,” said Honey. “I guess the smoke…”

“I know. It’s my fault,” said Milt. “Can we just forget it happened?”

“We can be more careful in the future,” said Honey.

“Of course,” said Milt. “Let’s take a break to clear our lungs, and our heads.”

“Good idea,” said Honey. She rose to go to the kitchen. “I’ll make fresh coffee, okay?”

“Perfect,” said Milt. “I’m gonna get some air on the terrace, okay?”

“I’ll bring the coffee out,” she said. Honey had solid ideas about her dream farm, because she’d been thinking about it, analysing it, and planning it for years. Milt, on the other hand, had run into the plan abruptly, and needed to catch up.

Milton Korn sat at the small table on Honey Freed’s terrace and gazed blindly at the array of buildings across the city. His mind was not there. His mind was sorting through the characteristics of his life, and how dramatically they had changed. He wondered why he had been so firmly redirected by his happenstance meeting with Honey Freed.

His mind did not dwell on the farm. Rather, he reviewed his brief acquaintanceship with Honey. Such unlikely commitments were not typical of Milt’s behaviour. Milt took his time with things, as he took his time with his paintings. The thought flashed in his mind for a millisecond that she might pose for him. He noticed her walk as she brought a tray with coffee and bagels. She swayed gracefully on long legs that brought her to the table, and Milt imagined that she’d be quite beautiful when nude.

Honey worried that the unexpected kiss might have changed the characteristics of the  partnership. They had never discussed the stimulation that might come from sharing close quarters in a remote location. They each thought about sex. Milt felt it would intrude into his life too much. Honey thought sex with Milt might be nice. Might be.

My Friends Don’t Like Me

May 25, 2017 Leave a comment

We’re all old now, between 75 and 80. I just found out that when we were kids, my friends didn’t like me. I’m assuming this, because I haven’t seen any of them in about 55 years, and contacts through Facebook have my old friends rejecting me. One guy said, “Yeah, I’ve thought of you over the years, too,” and blocked me from contact.

I met Danny on the street one day, in front of the office of another old friend that was his lawyer. Danny acted as if he had ants in his pants, and feared he’d catch Ebola from me if he didn’t get away quickly. The lawyer is the only one that seemed to respect my role in our old group. I’d like to meet with him and check on what was my persona when we were pals. I can’t find him. It seems he was disbarred and cocaine addicted.

All of us dated girls from the same pool off girlfriends, and belonged to the same high-school fraternity. I don’t remember being slighted at all, but I was aware that I was different from the other guys, in several ways. For one thing, I liked to be by myself a lot, and would show up suddenly out of the darkness. It caused some mystery about me, that I liked, although that’s not why I did it.

My friends were interested in sports. They followed professional teams, and played baseball, football, hockey, and basketball when facilities were available. I did not participate in either following the professional teams, or playing personally. I might be drawing, painting, sculpting, or working on my car. My cars were part of my mystique, I know. I think I also read more than they did, although I’m the only one that did not go to college.

I can remember an occasion when friends were at a sweet sixteen party for one of the girls. We were all between 16 and 18 at the time. I arrived late, as usual. The party was in a covered, open  air dance place on a sandy beach. The waves rolled onto the shore barely 30 meters away from the dance floor. It was gorgeous at night, like a pool of radiant young people enjoying life.

I pulled up out of the darkness, into the flood of light on the sand. The car was a glistening, black Jaguar XK140 roadster. Of course there was a distraction among the party people, and I can imagine that a lot of the boys, my friends, were put off by it. Of course, now I know they were right, but at 18, I was as dense as is any teenager.

I was oblivious to the difference at the time, but my family must have been wealthier. I really saw our bunch as all equal, but apparently my father’s successes made me a figure of irritation. I wish I’d known then, and I wish I didn’t know now.

Don’t Apologize for Wealth

May 24, 2017 Leave a comment

No matter if you inherit it, earn it, or win wealth, you should not have anything for which you should apologize. In some cases, oligarchs acquire wealth at the expense of others. Those people should be required to apologize, and to reward and repay where possible. All too often, amends cannot be made. Greed on the part of one person often requires that they acquire other peoples’ fair share.

It is not always financial security that is stolen from deserving people. Factories pollute in low income neighbourhoods. Innocent, working class people and their children carry illness and damage from living in the cloud of poison. The poison could be stopped, or at least diminished, but that would cut into profits. The profits are paid out to wealthy investors in dividends. The investors never see the factories, never breath the fouled air; never give a thought to the burdens they place upon others.

Some people just earn wealth. A real estate broker could spend 30 years, putting together families and homes. She might also invest in commercial properties about which she learns through her profession. At sixty years of age, she is wealthy, and has nothing for which she should apologize.

A young man growing up in a poor family that becomes wealthy need not apologize. The wealth grows while the boy grows. It is the normal flow of his life, and he doesn’t see it as any different from the lives of his high school friends. He was not aware that his friends were often pressed for money. They had to save up to take a girl out on a date. They had to hope they could borrow their father’s car, and that there was gas in the tank.

In our teens, we are largely dependent upon our parents to supplement our lives. If one person’s parent is lucky, or gifted with the ability to earn a greater amount of money, then the offspring might also be lucky. That does not mean he feels superior. He lives by the standards established by his parents. Those whose parents are not as ambitious or capable might live an average life.

Don’t hate him because he’s wealthy. He took nothing from you or from anyone else. He was given wealth, and that merely meant he lived in a larger house and drove a nicer car. But when a group of friends are playing ball, or drinking coffee in a Tim Horton’s, it’s just a group of friends. The individual, personal burdens of each friend is private, and the rich kid has his share, too. There is a price to pay for enjoying wealth.

Later in life, the boy would be in the same position as any of his friends: he had to get a job, earn a living, make car and mortgage payments, keep ahead of the utilities bills, and try to keep some aside for pleasure and hobbies. It all evens out in the end.

Too Damn Lucky

May 23, 2017 1 comment

The birth of a new person creates a considerable disturbance in the lives of the parent(s) and other people. Some newborns have the misfortune to be born into a dysfunctional family, or an impoverished family, or to a drug-addicted hooker. Those people come into society already in a deep hole, out of which they must climb. They must, to rise within their environment until they can escape it. It’s a forbidding quest.

Some people, myself for instance, are born into poor families that intend to not stay poor. We lived above a corner ‘smoke shop’, my parents, my grandparents, my uncle and me. I was surrounded with love and protection, and had no idea I was poor. I was comfortable and well fed.

My father was smart and ambitious, and by the time I was four, we lived in a lovely little house, outside of downtown. It had a front lawn, a back yard, a concrete driveway and a cute garage. My mother had roses growing up the sides of the garage, and a blossoming cherry tree in the middle of the yard.

My father had been partners with his brother in a small, downtown lunch counter. After a year or so, The Second World War came along. My father took a job in a scrap yard. After he learned the ropes, he bought a classy suit and a pickup truck. Mornings, he would put on the suit, look great, and go out to manufacturers to buy their scrap metal. At midday, he returned home, ate lunch, put on work coveralls, and returned with the pickup truck to fetch the metals he’d bought. He then sold the load at a profit, to an established scrap yard. Soon he had a scrap yard of his own, with cranes and trucks and railway sidings. Stuff was happening.

Then came a large home, cars for my father (Buick), my mother (Pontiac), and me (Corvette). Also, a lakefront cottage, and several boats. We had rowboats, speedboats, sailboats, and my father’s large cruiser. I don’t know how dad did it, but I was certainly a beneficiary.

After a while, he sold his scrap business and started a lumber business. He was a restless man, always seeking new, unlikely challenges. After the lumber business, he became founding president of a new department store chain. I didn’t benefit so much from that plateau, because I was grown up, out of the house, and getting my own life going.

All my life, I’ve been too damned lucky.

09. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

May 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter 9

Milton Korn listened while he ate the meal that Mitch, the albino friend/butler prepared and served. It was a good meal of roast beef, roasted potatoes, and bean sprouts. Across the table, Honey Freed talked slowly, with enthusiasm, about her plans and possibilities for the farm property.

While she spoke, Milt half-listened while he watched her face. It was a beautiful face, oval, tanned, and framed by a tumble of blond hair, streaked with darker shades. Her eyes were a deep, dark blue under neatly arched brows. While she spoke, excited by the visions in her head, her face was fully animated. Milt thought she behaved as if she didn’t know she was gorgeous. Of course she had to know, because people, mostly men, had been telling her she was beautiful since she was a little girl.

Watching the woman’s expressive face, Milt decided that she might be the most interesting woman he’d ever met. They knew nothing much about each other, and he knew that was a setup for problems. He decided it was time to talk about something other than the property and its potential.

“I’m 28 years old,” said Milt. It startled Honey, who was pouring out her heartfelt ideas for the farm, including animals.

“Wha… oh, uh?” said Honey.

“I think we have to know each other, before we go into details of the partnership,” said Milt.

“Oh. Well, what do you want to know?” said Honey.

Milton Korn began to tell his own story. His wealthy family in the legal, medical marijuana industry. His uphill battle to just be an artist, win or lose. Finally, his talent and concepts developed to the point where he can earn a very good living by doing the one thing he really wants to do – paint pictures.

Honey Freed unfolded her own story. Her grandfather developed a magical medical treatment that made him tremendously wealthy. He had only meant to do good for society, and surprised himself by succeeding in the rather high goal he’d set for himself. There was no reason for Honey to seek a career, but she did so because she wanted to be a producer/director. She began by studying broadcasting at Seneca, then acquired a job as a weather girl at a local station. She knew it was her looks that got her the job, and she used her brain and energy to rise to the position of producer/director. Her next goal, after acquiring the farm, was to put together a feature film deal, from script to Hollywood premier.

While they talked, they moved to the living room. They sat together, jotting notes about details agreed upon, and sharing a plump joint. The discussion began to get a bit silly as the drug took its effect. They giggled together about things that were not funny, while they passed the joint back and forth between them.

“I will have a couple of horses,” said Honey, “and some goats, some Scottish Highland Longhorn cattle, many dogs…”

“Hang on,” said Milt, drowsily. “I tol’ you I don’ want to aminals… animals.” He laughed.

Honey turned to face Milton. She put her hand on his thigh, and slid it up until it touched his scrotum in his jeans crotch. She leaned in and kissed him with a wide open mouth. Milton’s inhibitions had also been removed by the smoke. He cupped her breast and responded to the kiss. Honey felt the stiffness in his pants, and moved her hand over it.

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I have given much thought…

May 16, 2017 Leave a comment

I met a girl at a dance, many years ago. We were in our teens, out of town at a beach resort during summer holidays. We danced, and back in the city, we dated. Some of my buddies met her with me, and some of them also dated her. Neither I nor any of my buddies continued a relationship with her. Over the decades since, I think of her from time to time, and wonder why we all moved on from this truly gorgeous young woman.

When I say gorgeous, I mean more beautiful than Julia Roberts or Liz Taylor in her prime. She was more beautiful than any of today’s splendid beauties. Her body perfectly proportioned, her hair magnificent, and the assembled features of her face could not be made more perfect. She had a nice speaking voice and good diction. Her parents were successful and wealthy. She dressed perfectly. They lived in a magnificent stone home, shaded by giant oak trees. So why did all us guys move on? I couldn’t understand it, even within myself.

Sixty years later, she seeks and finds me on facebook. Over the weeks that followed, we talked through facebook every few days. During that time, she gradually told me about her life. She has a daughter, a son, and a granddaughter. She was generally uninterested in my background, which frankly is quite unique.

As the tales spun out, it was easy to tell they were true, although somehow atypical. I never asked at what age she married, but she was disgusted by her ex-husband, who was 10 years older than her. He was wealthy like her father, and was a business associate of her father’s. I found this very odd, for the most beautiful woman I have ever personally known. I had heard that she had become an artist, and I asked her about it.

She was very proud that she had graduated from the Art College, which I also found strange. How tough can it be to graduate at an art college if you have even at modicum of talent? She showed pictures of some of her work. Suffice to say it was worthless crap. No creativity at all, just badly done replicas of others’ works.

Eventually she told me she had a 9-year affair with a man much younger than she was. He was a large black man, with whom she travelled Europe and attended various resorts. He loved her, she said, and she loved him and misses him. She paid the way for everything, of course, because she’s very rich. I suppose the inheritance from her dad and the payment from her ex-husband must come to a tidy sum. The lover left her to marry another woman. Still, she claims they love each other. No intelligence.

She’s still very beautiful, even in her seventies. Her body is bad though, she said because of thyroid cancer. She is never seen without stunning makeup. Tinted glasses hide imperfections around her eyes. She wears baggy, black garments to apparently camouflage her bulk. Always, there is Hermes scarf around her neck. Those $800 silk scarves that Hermes puts out every season. Wealthy wackos like this woman must have the latest one, of course. A couple of times a year, she flies to Los Vegas to visit her daughter and granddaughter.

Suddenly, I had an epiphany. I put together what I think was the truth behind her story. I believe that she was very, very stupid. Just that simply put. Not at all intelligent. That might explain the heroic attitude about having graduated Art College. Maybe it took her 11 years to do it.

I recall that her father was concerned that she was going out with me. I didn’t see why he should be concerned – I’m from the same social enclave, same religion, my family is known and respected in the community. I can actually remember only one date back in the city. There must have been a couple more, and I was wondering why I was uninterested in this very beautiful girl, who very much wanted me. Recalling that date, when I picked her up in my Corvette, I think her father knew that she was intellectually challenged. That’s why he was concerned. She might not have had a date before, I don’t know.

The younger man that she loved and that loved her, until he married someone else, was not a man who loved her. He was a young black guy that had the smarts to enjoy almost a decade with a gorgeous, wealthy young divorcee. He was a gigolo.

I believe her father made a deal with his business associate. He was a man a decade older than his daughter was, and he should marry the gorgeous girl, and look after her. The man was apparently a mean bastard, and made her rich to get out. She’s never had a proper job in her life. Everyone works for a living at some point, but not this girl.

So she lives alone, in a luxurious penthouse, and I expect she has a servant. She has two German cars, and lots of money in place of a brain. It really is a poor little rich girl.

The most exciting organ in a woman’s body is her brain… usually.

 

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08. THE LAND OF MILT AND HONEY

May 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Chapter 8

Honey sat on the sofa, close to Milt. On the corner of the glass coffee table, she set a crystal ashtray with two cigarette sized, flawlessly rolled joints. A gold Dunhill lighter lay in the ashtray. She opened the file folder on the table and pushed it over so it could be seen by both of them.

“Do you expect to fill the country place with such extravagance?” said Milt.

“You mean the big joints?” said Honey. “I like them like that. Why not in the country?”

“I mean the gold, and crystal and the joints too, I guess,” said Milt.

“No. I’m leaving all that stuff here. I’ll keep this condo, for when we have to be in the city to take care of business,” said Honey.

“Very nice. Very generous. Very expensive,” said Milt. “I guess that’s why you can’t buy the farm by yourself. I’m a necessary evil, then.”

Honey took one of the joints and put it between her lips. She wore no lipstick, and her natural colouring was beautiful. The lips are soft, pastel pink, and pout slightly in her face of smooth alabaster. She lit the joint, inhaled and handed it to Milt. She exhaled into the air, and the pale blue cloud of fragrance slowly dissipated.

“I admit that I originally did not like the idea of a partner, and had expected to lose my chance at that place,” she said. “I also admit that I was very attracted by your art. Then we met, and then we talked, and now… I might not want the farm without you.”

“I certainly would not want it without you,” said Milt. “I wouldn’t even know about it.”

They bent to the chore of reviewing the paperwork that Honey had accumulated. They reviewed the numbers, the costs, the mortgage, utilities and equipment. The details, agreement by agreement, moved along just fine, until they came to Honey’s intent to have some livestock. Not a lot of animals, just enough to raise and enjoy.

“Let’s have the smoke, and dinner, then discuss it,” said Honey. She rang for Mitch.