One Old Man and a Barmaidbymagmaman©
I spotted her the instant my eyes adjusted to the dark smoke filled room. She was about 5' 2", not what anyone would call a raving beauty.
She was dressed rather oddly, I thought. She had on a sleeveless sweater that was open at the front in a deep "V" shape to about where her navel would be, with a T-shirt on underneath.
At first glance I thought that the sweater was all she had on up top, I have seen women dressed like that in bars before. But she didn't fit that mold, as I looked more closely I saw quite a few stray hairs attempting to escape from her poor attempts to tie it back, plus the beginnings of a ponytail in the back.
Her face was round and innocent looking, her bust and hips were very slender.
Rounding out the picture was a dark pleated skirt that came to just above her knees.
It was rather obvious she was not going to set any standards for fashion.
There were perhaps a half dozen patrons in the place, it was a Thursday afternoon in a mill town, and I knew that it would be another two hours before the crews getting off work would turn the bar to mayhem.
I was very familiar with the place, it had been my 2nd home back when I worked in that same mill nearly 35 years earlier.
Most of my time was spent upstairs, there was a standard fare restaurant up there run by an old lady that fit right in with the men. I normally walked in the door at 10 minutes after 7, after finishing my graveyard shift.
"Keep yer goddamned shirt on, you got enough fat on you that you ain't gonna starve in the next 10 minutes!" She would yell out at some poor sap that wasn't used to her and wanted to know where his breakfast was. We could see right into the kitchen, the woman was almost a blur in there, plates with meat and eggs, piles of golden hash browns seemed to just appear in her hands and rattle up onto the counter.
The cute waitress always made sure that each and every one of us knew she liked us the very best, too.
Weekends we ended up downstairs in the bar, usually by midnight we were drunk and the fights would start. I knew all about that part, I was the guy up on stage playing lead guitar and doing my very best impression of Creedence Clearwater.
Lord did I get laid a lot, and there were quite a few housewives mixed into that bunch too.
Of course that meant I got to be in some of the fights.
I had stopped upstairs for a bite to eat, they still served breakfast at one PM in the afternoon. I always was partial to breakfast anyway. I had noticed there was an old lady in the kitchen, and a chubby cute little blonde brought me some coffee, doing her best to get me into a conversation. I sat there at the counter sipping my coffee and eating, looking around.
The same old photos hung on the walls, the place had been painted but the same color.
Even the stools were still 3 inches too high and the vinyl cracked on half of them, it was almost like I had never left.
The big difference was back then I was in my twenties, six feet tall and 150 pounds, now I was still six feet tall but I was 240. That and now I was in my middle sixties.
I tipped the waitress a couple bucks more than enough, getting a huge smile from her, then I headed down the stairs. The transition from the bright lights upstairs to the darkened bar took me a few moments.
I looked the gal behind the bar over, walked over and sat down.
"Like a drink?" She asked, her face breaking into a smile.
"No, I don't drink." I told her, wanting one desperately. "A cup of coffee will do."
"OK. Be right back." She went upstairs and was back in moments with a steaming mug. Then she drifted down the bar to where an older heavyset woman sat, nursing a midday drink.
I glanced around the room, nothing much had changed except the stage was gone and there was a row of video poker machines by one wall. There was a booth where I used to stand pretending to sing and play. The usual country music filled the air. The missing stage was the only thing I could see that was different about the place.
Well, that and the gambling machines.
Like so many mill towns, the only things that ever seem to change much are the faces.
Bored, I wandered over to the row of video poker machines, stuffed in a twenty and idly hit the buttons. Like always, that was gone quickly and I stuffed in another, then another. I finally hit one of those free spin things, it racked up points to just over $140, I tapped the collect button. $140 back for $200 in, not bad, I thought, grinning to myself.
Just then I heard a cell phone ring. The young woman at the counter answered it. I wasn't trying to listen but there was no way to miss what she said.
"So when are you coming to see him, you know he loves you." She told whoever was on the other end.
"That's what you said the last time and the time before, just empty promises, that's all you do."
"Yes, I will pick him up at Mom's, she called and said you never showed up."
There was a long quiet stretch as she listened, I stuffed another twenty into the machine, not wanting to bother her just then.
"Damn you, just damn you! I have to pay the rent by Saturday, you had better bring it by!" Then she hung up. I glanced over at her, she was wiping a tear. She saw me looking and flushed.
I finished off the twenty with no success, got up and went to sit at the bar. She took the ticket and cashed it out, counted out the $140.75.
"Sorry you heard that." She told me with a small smile.
"No problem. How many kids do you have?"
"Two. Billy is 4 and Sara is 2, they are good kids. I don't know what I would do without my Mom, she watches them so I can work."
I nodded, asked her for another cup of coffee. She hustled up the stairs to get it for me. I finished it off, picked up my winnings and started to put it in my money clip.
The young woman was serving some drinks to the couple sitting at the poker machines. On impulse, I peeled off two $100 bills and folded them, slipping them under the coffee cup.
Then I got up and left.
Money didn't mean much to me anymore. After I had been drafted into the military I never went back to my job at the mill, I could have but I hated the place. Instead, I went on out into the world, knowing there had to be something for me.
I found it, too. Over the years I built a business, got married. We had a son, now grown, he married and they gave me two beautiful grandaughters. I didn't think much of my son's wife, for one thing she smoked dope constantly when they were dating and never outgrew it.
I remember one day I bought a fancy new Corvette, I had always wanted one and I happened to be at the dealership for something else and spotted it. I bought the machine on impulse, and my daughter in law threw a total fit when she saw it.
She was enraged that I would be wasting my grandaughter's inheritance, she told me that word for word. I knew what she really meant, she was thinking of herself. I had always noticed that about her, but my son loved her so I tolerated it.
I climbed in the car that day and drove home saddened, I would have spun the tires because she pissed me off, but it had that traction control and wouldn't.
I was calmed down by the time I got home. I did call my lawyer and change things, though. All of my assets were to go into a family trust, it would pay out just 50% of earnings each year directly to my son and my grandaughters. The rest would be reinvested, the trust administrator was to be paid no more than 20% of earnings and could not be a family member. Everything would be sold and placed in deposit accounts, no other investments allowed.
Would that work? I really didn't know, but it was the best I could come up with. Things happen with trusts, I knew that.
After I left the bar that day I got into my truck and headed home to the ranch I had purchased. It was directly across the valley from the place I grew up at. I would have bought that place but it wasn't for sale, so I got as close as I could, I could see home out my living room window.
I had sold out my business, money was no issue for me. I kept a few of the exclusives I owned, got nice royalties on those, too.
My wife Dotty had developed breast cancer and died several years earlier, lord did she go fast. That was a bad time, I really did love that woman. I was completely faithful to her too and would bet everything I own that she was the same..
Now I was just an old man and all alone. I did see my son and the grandkids at Christmas for a few hours, and sometimes in the Summer for a day or so. Other than that, it was just me most of the time.
Then when my back started itching way too much around the back of my ribs, I finally gave in and went to see the local Doctor. He sent me to a clinic, they checked me out pretty good. They were really curious about the row of round scars up the right side of my chest, with matching well healed injuries out the back.
That had been my ticket home from an ugly war. They had been packed with the mud we lay in as rounds came in from seemingly all directions. How did I survive?
I have no clue.
The old Doc assigned to me gave me two choices, fight like hell and probably be very sick and die in six months to a year, or go have some fun and die in six months to a year, probably rather suddenly.
I laughed at the old Doc, chose the latter.
"Well, that's what I would do." He told me, patting my shoulder.
So that is why I walked down the steps into that old bar, the place I had come from. All I really wanted to do was have some memories.
A couple of days after I had seen the young woman and left her a couple of hundred bucks tip for some coffee, I found myself heading back there.
I was just in the mood to waste some more of my daughter in law's inheritance, even though I thought I had it fixed so she wouldn't get it. But first I stopped upstairs, had the old woman make me a nice bowl of oatmeal with Cinnamon. The nutritionist they sent me to told me oatmeal was good for me, besides I liked it, especially with Cinnamon.
I did notice the cute chubby blonde waitress was very attentive, I saw her and the old lady whispering to each other in the back. I tipped her a couple of bucks and went downstairs.
It was still pretty early, I didn't expect the gal to be there and she wasn't. There was a guy tending bar, he seemed mildly miffed when I ordered just coffee but he went and got it for me.
I sat there for an hour or so shoving twenties into the poker machines. They were doing their job nicely, supporting the State.
I really didn't care much. I was just finishing my second cup of coffee and getting ready to ask for a refill when one appeared at my shoulder.
It was her.
"Hi. I just wanted to say thank you, you saved me."
"Saved you from what?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"We were going to get kicked out of our apartment, you knew that, didn't you?" She sat down on the stool beside me.
"Yes, I overheard your conversation."
"I thought so, Bill won't...he is being difficult, he is supposed to pay child support but he won't."
"Are your kids OK, though?"
"Yea, my Mom has them, I go on shift here in a few minutes. Are you going to stick around?"
"Maybe for a little while, but then I should head home."
"Can I maybe buy you dinner? I get off work at 9 tonight."
"Sure, that sounds nice, but let me pay, I can afford it." I don't know why I agreed, I just did. This woman was maybe 25-26 years old, I was 65. It sure wasn't a romance thing, that was for sure.
"OK, then." She got up and went behind the bar.
"Hey, I am Kathy!" She called out loud enough that everyone could hear.
"I'm Dan." I answered, laughing. I saw some eyebrows raise but ignored that.
Then things started looking up, I hit one of the bonus things that gave me 27 free spins, racking up points. I hit the collect button, cashed out my $240.00.
Kathy handed me the money, I left her a couple of bucks since I didn't want her to think I was trying to buy her favors, I wasn't.
I was back at 9, I brought my Corvette. What the heck, it makes me feel younger. She climbed in with a big smile.
"I never rode in one of these before." she said.
I looked her over, her hair was brushed out and flowed down to her shoulders, she had on a simple nice white blouse and slacks, and a warm wrap.
We drove to a nice steak house in a nearby coastal city, had a nice dinner. She told me about her marriage and how her husband had been cheating with a friend of hers. She also told me that he had showed up with a check, something about pay up or go to jail.
We chatted late into the evening, it was after 2 AM when I dropped her off at her apartment. She thanked me, leaned in and gave me a peck on the cheek and went inside.
Then came the weekend, Kathy and I went and took a stroll on the beach with her kids. It was unseasonably warm out. Her two kids tore up and down the beach with us as we walked along talking, they inspected everything they saw.
It was another nice time. Then I had a couple of days of down time, resting at home. There was some coughing spells, but finally I woke up and felt normal again. I drove in and got some more of that oatmeal, then went down to the bar.
Kathy was there, she looked nice with her hair down. I had complimented her on that, she had taken the hint. She really wasn't a bad looking woman when she made an effort. There was even a trace of makeup, I was almost sure of that, anyway.
I sat down and she ran upstairs to get my coffee. I sat and fiddled with the machines, finally hitting one of those Royal Flush things that paid $600. Several people patted me on the back like I had really done something. It cost me a grand to do it.
I was collecting the ticket when Kathy looked up and her face fell. I glanced over my shoulder and a bit on the heavy side guy stood there, looking angry.
"Bill, you aren't supposed to be in here when I am working." Kathy said.
"I don't give a shit! I just came in to see which old guy they tell me you have been fucking!" He glared at me, a look of suspicion on his face.
I just looked at him, slipped the money into my clip. Then I turned slightly his way.
"I'm not. Besides, it's none of your business, we are divorced."
"Yea, well, when I find out I will kick his ass."
"Son, you had best leave." I told him calmly.
"So it is you, asshole?" He turned to me. I just sat there on my stool.
"Well?" He demanded, leaning towards me. This guy was a real piece of work. His hands came up, clenched, so I snapped out one leg and kicked him right in the balls. He bent over with a whoosh of air, I slapped him across the face with a backhand.
That did it and he went down, good thing too because I knew if I had to get off my stool I might last 60 seconds.
A couple of regulars came over and more or less carried him up the stairs to the street exit. They were gone quite awhile, I don't know what happened or what was said but he didn't come back in.
"I'm sorry, Dan." Kathy told me.
"Not your fault, honey." She smiled and went back to work. I was just getting ready to go home when she came back up to me.
"I would like to, you know." She flashed me a huge grin.
"Like to what....oh!" I blinked at her a couple of times.
"I can drive out to your house after work...if you want me to."
"OK." I smiled at her, got up and went home. I hustled around the house cleaning up all of the mess a man living alone can make. At 9:30 I heard her ratty little volkswagon in the driveway.
I answered her soft knock, she looked radiant. She had changed, she had on a nice skirt and blouse in a soft matching blue.
I had to ask. I knew why she was here, she had made that obvious.
"Why would a pretty young lady like you be interested in and old guy like me?" I asked her.
"I am sick and tired of the young guys, all they do is take. You are a good man, a real man, so here I am."
I reached out and took her into my arms, kissed her. It was our first real kiss. She responded quickly, her breathing changed and mine did too.
We sat down on my couch, still kissing. I reached up and gently stroked her breast, it was small but firm, she had no bra on. I began to undo the buttons, then slid the blouse off, laying it carefully over the back of my couch. Her breasts were shaped a bit like tangerines, small and round, with pink nipples.
Kathy reached up and undid the buttons on my shirt, stripping it back and off of me. She folded it and placed it beside hers on the back of the couch.
I grinned to myself at that, she probably thought I was very neat. My house looked neat anyway. At least right at the moment.
It had been a very long time since I had sex of any kind, I had lost some of my virility too. But this was exciting, all six inches of me was up and raring to go, and showing no signs of wilting, either. Kathy stood up and slipped her skirt down her hips, then she hooked her thumbs in her pair of plain white panties, slid those down and stepped out of them.
Her hips were slim, her stomach flat, there was a bulging deep "V" reaching down to her crotch. She had a full natural bush, but was blessed with prominent lips. For a small woman that had two children, there wasn't a single mark that I could see.
She hiked up one leg and set it over me, sitting on me as she reached down to undo my belt and zipper. Sliding her hands down into my briefs, she let out a quiet, "Oh, my!" and began to fondle me. I pulled her to me, letting my bare chest mash against her pretty breasts.
Then I stood up and picked up her slight weight, carried her into my bedroom. That was a little bit of a struggle because my pants were sliding down. We started giggling, so I set her down for a moment and tugged my pants up. Then I picked her up again. She clasped her hands behind my neck, turned her face into my chest and kissed me.
I pulled the covers back, lay her on the crisp and cool sheets I had just made the bed with. Then I stood up and stripped off my pants and jockeys.
I stood there looking at her firm young body, so beautiful in the dim light.
"Hurry up!" She said, opening her legs. I lay across her, supporting myself with my arms as she reached down and placed me into position. I thrust and we were joined. Her hips instantly became active, eager, she pressed upwards meeting my every motion.
I would like to say I lasted a long time, I didn't. But Kathy didn't, either. What was wonderful was the fact that after an hour's rest, I managed a second time, much longer.
Then we cuddled and basked in each other, her fingers traced the scars on my chest but she didn't say anything.
She was in my arms when I woke up the next morning. We showered together, soaping each other up and rinsing off, giggling and laughing like little kids.
I made breakfast and we ate, later I held her for a long time before she had to leave to go to work.
It was amazing, something I thought would never happen again. Later that afternoon, I was sitting in my chair watching a court show on TV when the phone rang. It was Kathy, asking me if she could come out and stay with me.
"Sure, I told her, and bring the kids."
"Really?" She asked.
"Sure, I have some extra bedrooms, and they might like it here at the ranch.
A week later I sat her down and told her about my problem. She listened quietly.
"Three months, six months, a year? It's way better than the five years of misery I just went through, and I don't want to be anywhere else." She told me.
I told her about the family trust I had set up, explained how that would go. She said didn't care about that, either.
"When I am gone, you can find a good man your own age, or even before, I don't want any strings." I was as honest as I could be, I knew each and every day was a gift, and she was the greatest gift of all at this stage of my life.