My Only Talent Ch. 14byconanthe©
My Only Talent Ch. 14
What is the "New Normal"?
Note: The descriptions and accounts in these stories are fictional and do not portray any actual people or events.
When I got back to the dorm, I procrastinated on answering the emails from the VIP party, and finally got through the required reading for Monday's classes at 2 AM, and fell into a deep sleep; despite my roommate Kevin's rasping snores. I was shocked when the alarm went off, but hungry enough to jump right up and head for early breakfast. I did not spot Nora, but I did find plenty of protein, and did my 'carbo loading', too, in order to skip lunch and run with Suzanne. As I walked to Rhetoric and Composition, I felt bloated from all the eggs, peaches, and pancakes. I arrived even earlier than normal, and found only our TA, Ms. Wyrickie, alone in the room, seated at her desk. I detected no odor of tobacco, so I gave her my best 'you taste good' smile. She actually smelled great.
"How many smoke free days until you reach your goal?" I asked her.
She looked up self consciously. "Nine?" she said with a question in her voice.
I smiled and stared at her, looking obviously at her chest. Her nipples were plainly erect through her blouse, and her breathing was accelerating. Her Suzie began to sing some scrumptious signals for me. "You will serve us next Thursday night, then!" I reached out and touched her cheek gently, and she shivered, just as Sarah walked in.
There was still no one else in the classroom. Sarah touched her shoulders. "Do you have some kneepads?"
Ms. Wyrickie shivered again. "Y, y, yes," she stammered. "Fr, from, volleyball." Her eyes swung back and forth between us.
"Good!" Sarah said. "Give me your address, and we will arrive, when did you say, Robbie, Thursday evening?"
She gave each of us a 3x5 note card with her address, in an apartment complex in the West Campus area. She did have fine penmanship, even under stress.
Other students began filing into the classroom and we took our seats. I listened to Ms. Wyrickie's Suzie, and it was popping and sizzling with anticipation. I concentrated on Sarah and she was sending, too. I guess it would be worth stretching my normal 'dating' schedule to include a special Thursday night. After all, it was the least I could do for a stop smoking campaign. The rest of class was unremarkable.
On the way to my next class, I overheard several discussions about the tomorrow's election and the current ESU football season, which seemed to be the two most discussed topics on campus. Even on the usually liberal ESU campus, often called an island of progressivism (or collectivism, by some) in a highly conservative state, there were many still voters undecided, as everyone knew several promising recent graduates who could not even get a whiff of a job offer in the last four years. The downside of taking out more student loans and going to grad school until things got better looked very unattractive even through the rose colored glasses that most students wore. The ESU football team engendered less controversy, and more enthusiasm.
In Engineering 101, we slogged through some famous legal cases, seeing multiple examples of legislation and judicial rulings that completely ignored the laws of physics, some of which still remain on the books. Professor Lillehammer called them shining examples of hubris and stupidity, the zenith of which was legislation proposing to change the value of pi to 3.00 to facilitate more rapid computation. When class ended, he reminded me for the third time of the meeting on the engineering 'distributed education' program Tuesday afternoon, and I promised to attend. I wonder what bee was in his bonnet in that regard. If I entered the program I would go on complete the spring semester, which I had just pre-registered for, and then take a summer job, then return for fall classes and go out on another job assignment for the following spring semester, and thereafter alternate two semesters of school with one of work until I competed all my degree requirements and graduate. It meant going to summer school for a few semesters and taking at least a year longer to graduate, but you could save money from the work semesters and reduce or eliminate the need to take out any student loans> Students who completed the program were virtually guaranteed to have at least one real job offer, even in the current poor economy, and many had multiple offers to choose from.
I would have to hurry right from that meeting to join Suzanne for the election night shindig thrown by Winifred Wimmers, the Wylie Coyote. The presidential polls had tightened to 48% to 48% with 4% undecided, and were even tighter in the swing states and many key house and senate races. We might not know until Wednesday morning whose rally was to be a victory party. The only sure thing was that James Craig wasn't even on the ballot, having lost in the primary, and was not likely to be on a ballot ever again. PPSPN, the third tier sports network that he worked for, had quietly let his football color commentary contract expire, and right now he had no other offers, save a regionally syndicated morning radio show in New Orleans, that seemed to want to cast him as resident buffoon and on air butt of the regular hosts many scatological jokes. I could almost hear the slip and slide skit now, and perhaps a rap version of the AG song of devotion, too.
I changed into my running clothes and hit the track to get my eight miles in before Suzanne joined me. I felt really good, and I now experienced no distress at all at the new faster pace. She soon merged in with me effortlessly.
"I have away soccer games this coming Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and I figured you are going to the football game with Lara and her dad on Saturday night. I did get an email from one Strelsa Streling, forwarded via Nora, inviting us to supper Sunday night at their apartment downtown. May I accept for us both?"
I wondered what conversation had taken place between Nora and Suzanne. "Sure, if you want to go."
"Oh, I want to meet this one, even if it is just to keep my Polish polished!" She laughed at her own joke. "Nora says the lovely Mizz Strelsa is an old admirer of yours from high school, eh?"
I guess that meant Nora had told her the whole story, hopefully without any mention of Suzie signals. "Well, yes, but in my virginal junior year of high school!"
"Ha!" she snorted. "You are certainly making up for lost ground, aren't you, my Animal? Nora described her as a trim and athletic Austrian blonde beauty, with a hunky rowing coach husband!"
"I did not find him attractive in the least!"
"Nora sure did. She said he was six two and a perfectly proportioned mesomorph, with blonde hair and icy blue eyes. She said he could play Gaston in a live remake of the "Beauty and the Beast' cartoon. Six PM at their high rise on 4th street downtown. Why don't we walk in the bracing fall air? I'll meet you at the dorm entrance at 5:30?"
I suppose Sunday night was set up, as was Saturday. I just had to make plans for Friday, so either Peggy or Millie was in line for some one on one time! We spent the rest of the run discussing my 'training plan' for Erminia Gallo. Suzanne and Lara had discussed it and decided that was a task for Millie and me, without their participation. They did insist, given the Gallo's age and varied life experiences, that we have some medical testing done before I dipped my wick in that risk pool. Lara had already talked to Asa Weltschmerz, who had surprisingly agreed to see them as patients for Lara's sake, although he would not allow us to tell them that Lara was his patient. He asked that we only describe him as a friend of the family. And he would give us no details on his appointments with them, just a 'go or no go' message regarding my having contact with Erminia, and by extension I supposed, Sapiento.
I was feeling really great even when we finished a full 15 miles, so it seemed that my conditioning had markedly improved since I had terrible trouble making five miles on the day I first met Suzanne. For that matter, my whole world had markedly improved since I met Suzanne!
Since he had been following the Pliskin chick, Dwight the Dweeb Boy found his weekdays crushingly boring, especially in contrast to the weekends,. Watching her running her Robbie the 'Master' freshman boy toy, it was easy to see why she was in such good shape and looked so effortlessly fit, but that was the only interesting thing either one of them did all week. They went to class, they ate, they studied, and then they slept, but not together, nor with anyone else. This 'Master' punk was even more studious during the week than Dwight had been at MIT, and that was saying something! Of course, Dwight was usually studious on the weekends too, while this guy got more and hotter trim each weekend than Dwight had ever dreamed of. Dwight's boss told him another team was tracking the Russians, and still another was watching Erminia and Sapiento Gallo. Your tax dollars at work. The scenario geeks back in Maryland were 90% confident that the Russkies were going to try to snatch one of the two Gallos for ransom during race week. Meanwhile Dwight was living all the cliché bad stakeout scenes from some awful direct to video cop movie.
I made my afternoon classes and knocked off the reading and homework stuff due on Tuesday, went to dinner, and then sat down to tackle the emails from the party. First things first, I needed to accept the Tuesday election night reception invitation from Winifred Wimmers, leader of the Real Texans for Truth Super PAC. I told her I would love to come, but I would be coming directly from a meeting at school and would be joined by Suzanne. I said I expected things to go late until the results were clear, but avoided revealing any of my political leanings. She responded almost immediately, saying she would look forward to our arrival, and I could wear 'business casual' rather than black leather, and asked if Suzanne was the one that had been dressed in red or white at Spear Overtop's shindig. I would let her keep wondering about that until we arrived at the reception.
Next on my hit parade were Erminia and Sapiento. I combined my reply to them both, suggesting she start training with Millie and I as soon as possible but insisting that they both see Asa Weltschmerz for a checkup before we began. After I pressed 'send', I suddenly wondered if they might be offended at such a requirement from a cheeky freshman. But after all, my entire purpose and role in our relationship was to be well beyond just cheeky with Erminia.
Then I began to draft a response to Penelope Peters Perabo, and found I got quite a stiffy as I pondered how to proceed with her. GILF she may be, but the ILF part was still very operative. I plead scheduling problems until after Thanksgiving break, but suggested that we should arrange a social occasion with me and all of three girls after our return and before the Christmas break, giving no hint of the nature of what our relationship might become beyond that.
I felt no need to reply to Pavel the Russkie piece of shit, as Suzanne had suggested that we have no further contact with him at all, and I heartily agreed. I did ask her what kind of feedback she had from her father on the picture she transmitted to him, and she said nothing definitive but she could usually tell when her father was withholding information 'for her own good' and that she thought this was one of those times. I was still rooting for that one way ticket to Guantanamo.
My reply to Spear Overtop was next, sending praise and thanks for the wonderful event, telling him how much the girls and I had enjoyed meeting him and working his puzzles, and reciprocating as much as I could by inviting him to join our events for the F1 crowd in the engineering, golf, or culture tours, and/or the evening dinner with all three groups. I decided not to attach any of our 'batman mask cam' photos from his party, and hoped that Pavel and his crew had been invited due to Spear's mistaken acceptance of who they said they were, not his knowledge of who they actually were.
Next up were the curiously named "George and Tammy Wynette", but as far as I could tell from Linked In and Google, those were their real names. Hopefully it was not an elaborate charade. Once again I plead scheduling impossibility, but hoped they would give us some advance notice when next they came to town, even if it was a late as the 2013 Circuit of the America's US Gran Prix. Paulo and Astrid got a similar missive, leaving only Vaya Perez's email in 'Master321 inbox' to be answered.
Suddenly I had another strong erection. I brought up the local TV station web site, and played one of Vaya's live reports from the street in front of the AG house. She did look good, and I remembered she looked (and smelled) even better in person. I started out by telling her I had no desire to appear on camera on any subject, and once again mentioning the scheduling crush between now and Thanksgiving break. But I did leave things open for a 'background meeting' after that.
Dwight got interested as he realized Robbie was answering the emails from the party via his browser on the university network logging into the free webmail site, not via Miss Pliskin's much tougher to crack VPN setup. He pounced on the emails, scanning them and adding the addressee's to his search terms, and the HQ bots would immediately begin swimming upstream to find connections to email accounts and smart phones, and begin cataloging emails and previously recorded text messages and conversations. In only a few seconds, a few lines of orange text popped up, indicating previous traffic between some of the accounts. In a few more seconds, a red line appeared, indicating that one of the accounts had just forwarded Robbie's reply email to someone else. Now that was interesting.
He opened the forwarded email. It was from "Paulo and Astrid" and was forwarded to an account that the agency had tagged as being used by "Pavel". They prefaced Robbie's response deferring until next year with a little note that said "They didn't go for it." So they were working with Pavel, and perhaps targeting Lara. But how far ahead of time did they set that up?
Dwight highlighted both accounts for a full on, no limits search, which would wring out every possible connection. He also forwarded the emails to his boss, with a little note of his own.
Suddenly I heard banging and shouting in the hallway, and opened my door to find several students using luggage carts to move their stuff out of the dorm. Tomorrow was the final day of reckoning for those who wanted to drop classes without recording an 'F' for the semester grade, and for some of them, dropping all classes and withdrawing from school completely. Heading back home to live in the basement and work at Dairy Queen, I suppose. One of my father's friend's sons had suffered a similar fate, and was now taking one class per semester at a community college known locally as "Easy Field". The dad tried to save face by telling people that his son was working for Warren Buffett. Looking on the bright side, at least my buddy Ralph could get a dorm room after tonight, and move out of his temporary upper bunk bed in the lounge where he had been sleeping. When I drifted off to sleep, I tried to program myself to have a little dream about Vaya Perez, but I ended up having a disturbing nightmare about Melanie kidnapping Suzanne. I wouldn't have to drop any classes, but I supposed some of my other fears were not buried very deeply after all.
Tuesday morning at early breakfast I was shoveling eggs and sausages for my morning protein ration and pondering the final unplanned part of our F1 tour groups: where to have the combined dinner. Every restaurant, hotel banquet room, and even food trailer for a sixty mile radius was booked from here to Thanksgiving as the formula one racing crowd, with their even more formidable spending habits, replaced the soon to depart football fans for the Gran Prix week. What's more, our diverse and cosmopolitan group of guests was already scheduled to attend most of the best and brightest food and beverage attractions, and we did not want our event to merely duplicate any of them. I was so lost in thought that I almost missed Nora joining me, but her little squeeze on my shoulder woke me up in a hurry.
"Good morning!" she smiled at me warmly, with some sweetly effervescent leaking Suzie signals. "I missed you at breakfast yesterday. You looked like you were concentrating on something?"
I smiled, noting how much more open she was becoming with me since my Thanksgiving invitation. "I was thinking hard, but not coming up with solutions." I told her about the tour groups and the dinner planning problem.
She laughed. "You are too close to the problem, Robbie! You have a solution right at hand. They will get to go to every fancy joint in town all right, but only you will invite them to real down-home southern cooking family style at the UDP house! And as a practicing European Union citizen, I can guarantee that is something they have never experienced before."
I froze for a minute, and then realized she was right. After giving her appropriate hugs and praise, which happily she did not shrink from at all, I headed for class after dashing off a quick email to Ralph and Oiler, asking for their help. Soon the F1 plan was complete and confirmed and ready for execution a week from today and I just had to decide which group I would travel with.
My Tuesday classes went by with no issues, and at lunch I used the break to call Millie to try to get my Friday night dating calendar filled. She was going to Houston Friday night to see her folks, but Lara had already made her promise to be back and available to us late Saturday night. She was fired up about that, and indicated that Lara had developed a unique ability to whip her up into a complete frenzy. I suppose I would enjoy that too. Then Millie began to bubble over with enthusiasm for the election, indicating she was planning to stay up all night to watch all the returns and follow each race, and she had handicapped them all, revealing to me for the first time what an incredible political junkie she was. I asked her where she would do this and she said at the Phi Phi house, so she could have multiple LCD screens on various networks. I texted Suzanne, asking if she would mind asking Mille to come with us tonight to the reception, and she texted back it would be fine. I called Millie back and explained the event to her, and she got even more excited than she had been at Spear Overtop's party. Politics does that do some people.
But I still needed to fill my dance card for Friday night. I called Peggy, talked to her about the final plan for the F1 groups, and then asked her about Friday night. She said she had a tour group of big donors that she would have to guide around some of the University art collections until about 8 PM, but she would meet me at her place about 8:30 for a zero calorie 'snack', and that she hoped I was hungry, because she was. She was definitely my kind of girl. I did my final class and then hurried back to the dorm for a shower.
I shaved and put on my 'slacks and best shirt plus blazer' outfit, and headed over early for the distributed education meeting. I was one of the first to arrive, and saw a few faculty members that I recognized, and several people that looked like recent graduates. One of them was a very attractive young lady, so I spoke to her first. She was slated to speak to the group about her experiences in the program, but sadly sent no Suzie for me at all. She did have dancing and fascinating almost coal black intelligent eyes that I noticed immediately. She had been a civil engineering major, and her first job was with a railroad, then two semesters with a major construction company, and finally a stint with a large management consulting firm that specialized in project management. She got steadily increasing pay, enough to pay for her education completely, and then started at a position far senior to most 'college hires'. In another year, her employer would send her for a master's degree at their expense. That sounded like a lot better path than most graduates were facing in the marketplace right now. I suppose I should pick a major soon.