THE HIGH LIFE

The incessant knocking on our apartment door at midnight did not surprise us. Friends were constantly coming and going at our place, commonly referred to as “Party Central”……or “PC” to our closest friends. 

“Michael!” my husband greeted our friend. “C’mon in, man. What’s with the suitcase?” 

“I got a problem, man”, Michael uncharacteristically replied as they walked straight into our bedroom and locked the door. 

Flashback two years when we first met Michael. We moved into his apartment building and became instant friends. He was the coolest guy we knew…..good-looking, brilliant, confident, irresistible and sexy as hell. He was infectious and we soon started living life in the express lane of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  He was fun, wild and fearless. We went to all the best concerts and got into the hottest clubs. We partied every night, went to work the next day and did it all over again. 

Oh yeah, Michael was also a narc for the NYPD……a fact that saved us more times than I care to remember – plenty of close calls but all he had to do was show his badge, flash that smile, talk the talk and we were golden. 

Yet he always managed to toe the line at work, except for that night when temptation ruled, the night he showed up at our door. Inside our locked bedroom, Michael opened the suitcase to reveal hundreds of plastic bags filled with quaaludes. 

My husband looked incredulously at Michael. 

“It was in the evidence room, undocumented”, Michael explained. “I just picked it up and walked the fuck out. Can I stash it here for a couple of days until I make a plan?” 

“Sure, man. Do what you gotta do.” 

They hugged and Michael said “I’ll be in touch soon.” 

Michael went back to work and nobody….not one person in the precinct noticed the suitcase was missing. After a few days, he returned to our place with a backpack. Taking out the suitcase, he dumped half the ludes into the backpack and gave the rest to my husband. “Here you go, brother……….courtesy of the NYPD!” 

My husband put his arm around Michael’s neck as they walked to the door. He turned, flashed me that amazing grin and blew me a kiss. “See ya ‘round the campus, guys.” 

And he disappeared into the night, never to be seen again. 

NAR © 2017

HOW IRONIC

Roger Prince was freezing. He had never been this cold in all his life. In fact, he was cold as a block of ice. Why was Roger Prince so cold? Because he was dead … stone-cold, dead-as-a-doornail D.E.A.D. You see, Roger had a big problem … he could never say “no” … and now because of that he was dead. 

Roger Prince was the nicest guy you’d ever meet … the type of guy who’d let you go ahead of him in line. The type of guy who’d help change your flat tire. The type of guy who’d loan you $10. Roger Prince was … well, a prince. 

But poor Roger Prince … as nice as he was … was also kind of a sap because he just couldn’t say “no”. If there was such a thing as being too nice, that was Roger … that was his Achilles heel, his weak spot, his fatal flaw. 

Temporarily unemployed, Roger tried saving money by moving into the upstairs bedroom of old Mrs. Willoughby’s house in the outskirts of town.  A housebound widow with no family, Mrs. Willoughby let Roger stay for practically nothing. Having no tv or phone, her expenses were minimal. Roger helped pay for utilities, maintained the house and brought in what little mail was delivered. He also went to the grocery store to buy Mrs. Willoughby’s staples: peanut butter, bread, instant coffee and a few toiletries. 

This particular January morning a heavy snow started around 2:00. When Roger woke up at 8:00, it was still coming down and showed no sign of stopping. Going into the kitchen for his morning coffee, Roger found none … also no bread. 

“Roger, dear” came a feeble voice from the parlor. “Can you run into town for coffee and bread? I forgot to ask you last night.” 

“Mrs. Willoughby, have you looked outside? There’s three feet of snow out there!” Seeing her distressed look, Roger couldn’t say no. “Don’t worry. I’ll head into town right now.” 

Roger mumbled “Why do we live in the middle of nowhere?!” 

Wind-swept snow whirled around Roger’s head as he made his way into town. Suddenly he lost his footing and tumbled down a steep hill, his eyes widening as he slammed head first into a tree. How ironic that his final startled word would be “NOOO!!” 

Roger Prince died instantly, the falling snow enveloping his body. 

And Mrs. Willoughby waited. 

NAR © 2017

TENDER LOVING CARE

Servant Of The Wind”. I’ll be damned! Dad loved that boat so much, there must be ten photo albums up here”, Susan Parker exclaimed as she and her sister Missy poked around the dusty attic of their childhood home. Their parents had passed away and it was time to clear out the old house. 

“Are you serious?” asked Missy. “Lemme see one of those albums.”   

For two hours they pored over the old family photos. Tossing an album aside, Sue said ruefully, “You know, sis, I really think Dad loved that damn boat more than he loved Mom. 

“Ya think! He sure gave the old “Servant” that special TLC.” 

“A hell of a lot more than he gave Mom”, muttered Susan. 

 Missy stared at her sister. “You know, I think you’re right! Mom would have been on the “Servant” with us if she didn’t get so damn seasick. Remember how she begged Dad to get an RV instead of a boat but he was adamant. ‘I’m alive on the water‘, he’d say. ‘The girls and I will sail down to The Keys while you tend to the garden and write your poems. It’s a win/win for everyone!’ Missy sighed. “All these photos of the “Servant” and Mom isn’t in a single one. Incredible!” 

“I wonder if she was sad being alone so much?” Susan thought aloud. “OK, enough reminiscing. Let’s get these boxes out of here.” 

After clearing out a good section of the attic, Missy spotted an unfamiliar hatbox in the corner. “Hey, Sue! Any idea what’s in there? I’ve never seen it before.” Gingerly removing the top, Missy and Susan began sifting through the contents. Suddenly looking up, their eyes met in astonished disbelief as they realized what they had stumbled upon. In the hatbox were piles of yellowed photos of their Mom with a man they didn’t recognize. Their Mom was beaming, the handsome stranger hugging her tightly. Next to the photos were delicately tissue-wrapped letters. Missy tentatively unfolded one, her eyes widening in amazement. “Read it!” demanded Susan. 

In a shaky voice, Missy read “My darling Lil. You just left and I’m already missing you. I long for the next time we can be together. Loving you – Philip”

The girls sat in stunned silence. 

Pensively Susan whispered, “Mom was having an affair. Well, she certainly was getting love and special TLC. Good for her!” 

NAR © 2017