Carmen Sorrento wanted me to fuck her. Naturally, I wanted the same thing. We sealed this mutually agreed upon deal on the purple futon in my studio apartment in downtown Emerald City, Mecca for coffee aficionados, a city of silvered skyscrapers, steep, frequently rain slicked streets and great, lumbering ferries plying the nearby sound.
The new futon, my combination sofa and sleeping pallet, was sold to me by a man with an uncanny resemblance to the fellow who successfully coveted my wife Moira; both men shared the same olive complexion, busy moustaches and wavy black hair. Unfortunately, lots of men with a certain coloring and churlish character appealed to my soon to be ex-wife. On that day several weeks after my marriage went down in flames, I wanted the bastard dead, all the bastards nestled between Moira's legs one time or another dead. Killing him, murdering any or all of them swiftly not sufficient for my revenge, I imagined him, his brethren in metal drums perforated with dime-sized holes, dumping these home made death traps in a cold deep lake, their screams silenced as the last few air bubbles escaped the canisters in their slow, inexorable descent to the lake's bottom.
The plan's problem was Moira and her all consuming sexual high jinks with so many men. I needed access to a lot of barrels, lots and lots of barrels. No, it might be more cost effective to hammer the lid home over dear sweet Moira and be done with it.
Staring at this doppelganger of Moira's lover, I squeezed my left fist furiously, its knuckles blanched white. Fortunately, I restrained the impulse to punch the guy, purchased the futon, hideous color and all, with as little conversation as the transaction allowed. I needed something to sleep on; it was cheap, served my immediate needs. I knew on an intellectual level this man had no responsibility for my wife's adultery. Or maybe he did, Moira got around. Maybe she had fucked this guy too. I thought it possible she had fornicated with half the male population in Emerald City. What made me want to throttle this man and every other man with similar physical attributes came from that dark place in a man's soul where something of the cave man lies dormant until one's honor is trampled or one's hearth is threatened. No doubt, I was a bit insane too. Damned mad for sure.
I adored my wife; my well spring of love for her bottomless. To me no woman was more perfect. Smart, sexy, she ceaselessly thrilled me with her uninhibited sexual play. Petite and buxom with terrific legs, she kept her figure toned from a disciplined regimen in our in-house gym. She was the cheapest whore in private, the cherished wife in public. During our four year marriage not once did I cheat or consider cheating. Unfortunately Moira could make no such claim. I found this out in late July of 2003 when my fishing trip floating down Oregon's Rogue River ended early. My buddy Max Schmeling, the claims adjustor, not the heavyweight boxer, got word his father had dropped dead of a heart attack and he flew to Denver. That left Joe Murphy and me to fish for steelhead. The next day Joe broke his left arm, a simple fracture requiring a cast, and the fishing trip we planned for nearly a year ended four days early.
After the long drive home in the plush cockpit of my SUV, listening to Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, no fish to show for my effort, I parked in the flagstone drive-way, left the fly rod and the rest of my gear in the vehicle, and entered my sprawling and secluded house through the front door made of mahogany and beveled glass. The four bedroom stone and timber house in the style of an English country home was big enough for lots of kids when I finally succeeded impregnating Moira once, twice or even three times. Close to midnight, I entered the dark house, heard the grandfather clock ticking in the entry way and the much louder sounds of moans from the master bedroom. Was my little green eyed, red haired vixen watching a porno? I smiled; anticipating the randy lamb primed for me the horny goat.
I turned the cold brass knob, pushed back on the bedroom door. My eyes saw what my ears already had heard. Moira in the middle of our queen sized bed astride a paunchy man with lots of black hair above his lips and thatched across his chest and legs. Long tresses of red hair streamed down Moira's freckled back, looked like dried blood in the candle glow.
I cursed myself for buying the half dozen candles illuminating Moira bouncing up and down. The candlelight cast a buttery glow on her lithe body, the man's dispersed torso, falsely colored their rutting as something endearing and somehow made the tawdry spectacle more palatable to the eye. As the cuckolded husband I was not beguiled by the tableau. Moira leaned forward, gripped the top of the bed's walnut headboard, bucked up and down on the man's swollen cock. Bonded together, their bodies hammered against the firm mattress, the springs squealed in resistance to the pounding. The candles lemon light played across Moira's smooth, creamy back, the firm roundness of her derriere; the man, half lit in light, suckled at my wife's breasts, their slopes resistant to gravity hidden in murky darkness.
"Fuck me with that nice sweet cock."
Bolero, barely audible, played on the compact disc player.
"What the fuck," I said. The intimately joined couple cracked apart, Moira squealed. The man doubled up in a defensive posture, prepared for a rain of blows from the pissed off husband-me. His fluid motion made me wonder if this had happened to him before.
I stepped into the bedroom, from bliss to turmoil in one stride; the levitating flame on each candle flared as though my quick movements triggered willful intention on their part to make this little theater more vivid so as not to miss anything important, that my eyes captured every salacious detail.
Moira one moment tossing about on this man's prick, a moment later calm, relaxed, refreshed as on late Sunday mornings opening her eyes, smelling the succulent aroma of Starbuck's espresso roast wafting from the white china cup I held under her nose. Gripping the blue sheets under her chin and facing me, Moira showed remarkable grace under pressure as I stared at her with a murderous rage. Her lover simpered. Wide-eyed, hyperventilating, crowned by an out of skew toupee displaced by their furious humping, he scanned the room, looking for an escape route. My God, did this woman have no standards?
God, is my witness, I wished to be returning from a hunting trip instead of a fishing excursion. My fly rod was useless in this situation, but with a rifle or shotgun, I could have splattered their blood and guts all over our tastefully decorated master bedroom.
"Jack, don't do anything stupid."
Yeah, right, I thought. The day I walked down the aisle, you on my arm, was about as stupid as I could get.
"God damn it, did you have to use our fucking candles? I looked at fellow trying to burrow under Moira. Get the fuck out of my house douche bag and take my fucking candles with you." With the thumb and index finger of my left hand, I snuffed out the candle closest to the bed, a string of gray smoke marking its passing.
"Get out before I jam this candle up your ass."
Moira grinned for God's sake.
The man jumped from the bed, grabbed his clothing, fled from the bedroom but not before I struck him in the back with the candle. Like a rocketing baseball smacking into the padded center of a catcher's mitt, it made a satisfying plopping sound. A few seconds later I heard the front door slam behind him. Hopefully, one of private security cars patrolling the exclusive neighborhood would see a naked man running down the sidewalk, cradling all his clothing in his arms, and pick him up. Matter of fact, I ought to call the guys at the community's front gate and tell them a naked jaybird, a suspected terrorist was running amok in the neighborhood. Hopefully, they would shot first and shout questions later.
"Jack, fuck me. You are turned on, I see it in your eyes; get your cock in me. Now, you know what a slut I am. I have this need to fuck behind your and now it is all ruined." She was not calm and relaxed at all. She was turned, me catching her fucking this man, found the situation erotic, wanted to keep the game in play. I did not.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I wrote a short story for English comp, received a B plus for my effort. I imagined humans making contact with aliens. Human sized, somehow capable of movement on the most fragile of struts, their bodies similar to the preying mantis, heads in the shape of incandescent light bulbs with no visible facial features. For millions of years these creatures communicating in high pitched squeaks studied us. Using a recording medium far in advance of anything so far invented by us, these color images, subtitled when necessary, were gathered by tiny airborne transmitters invisible to the naked eye. They showed dinosaurs, not Claymation or digital ones, but the real thing. The continent of Atlantis with peculiarly defined buildings and strange flying vehicles was no joke. We saw such luminaries as Nero who bore absolutely no resemblance to the guys depicting him in movies, he did sound like Truman Capote. Jesus Christ no hippie with stoned blue eyes, strings of blonde hair streaming down on his shoulders, a trim beard covering most of his gentle face. No, he looked more like an Ethiopian sheep herder with a sharply raked nose, kinky hair, flies and people forever hovering around him. When that guy opened his mouth, people listened. Napoleon seemed always telling dirty jokes and smacking himself in the forehead. We saw common folk living their daily lives, doing the most boring things. We saw the great battles, explorers setting out from the old world, crowds storming the Bastille, the progress of human civilization from Neanderthal to now, every bit of the drama and pathos of real people, not actors playing real people. With all this new data human history required extensive revision.
I felt that way about my beloved wife. I possessed rudimentary knowledge of Moira's past and not much more. I knew she was a shiftless laborer's daughter raised in homes most accurately described as shacks by a father named "Rags" Rugulian. Rags preferred fishing and drinking to working. Moira's mother Molly looked for love in all the right places when compared to her lot with Rags but never found it except for frequent one night stands in a series of Idaho establishments reminiscent of the Bates Motel in Psycho. Moira, fed Cheerios, macaroni, and bologna, grew up with perpetually dirty bare feet, suffered from ringworm, impetigo and scabies.
The family, Mom and Pop and three daughters were nearly always penniless. Moira's clothes were hand me downs from two senior sisters. Now, courtesy of my deep pockets, Moira, lived in luxury, and was addicted to Versace, Dior and Armani. Apparently, the grinding poverty and uninvolved parents with their own selfish agendas had robbed her of any ability to love, to find contentment with one soul mate. It did not excuse her behavior, her treatment of me but it offered an explanation of sorts, I suppose. When she first told me about her sad state growing up, I was amazed that from that crucible such a polished, beautiful, intelligent woman had flourished. Unfortunately, the minuses of that upbringing had flowered with even greater success. Moira, a much better looking alien then those populating my story, but nevertheless an alien, had swooped down, dropped a veritable bonanza of new information about herself into my lap and like the humans in my story, I nearly buckled under the weight of all this new data and our history together required extensive revision.
I turned on my heels, fled from the house, splashed through the river Styx, climbed its far bank and found myself on the shores of hell. Before backing out of the driveway, I pounded my fists on the steering wheel. Tears welling in my eyes, I screamed in rage.
Driving down the tree lined street, I passed two yellow security cars corralling the naked guy. His arms twisted behind his back, handcuffs on his wrists, he squirmed on the pavement under crossed flashlight beams. "Yes" I said pounding my fists on the steering wheel passing the scene. Head aching from holding back tears, images of Moira's treason in our home, in our bed kept playing in my head.
We separated of course, started divorce proceedings naturally. I learned my marriage was a sham from the beginning. Moira had kept a series of lovers, a veritable legion of fuck buddies throughout our marriage. She had fucked them in our bed, in our cloistered backyard, seedy motels and wherever else proved convenient for coupling. The guy I caught her with, a portly fellow named Mark, a fabric wholesaler, was only her latest paramour. How does one meet a fabric wholesaler?
A few days later, from her own mouth, I learned about her whoring in a busy restaurant Mozart playing in the background. To cap it off she said," Jack, you know why we have no kids? I had myself fixed that is why. I like fucking too much; lover, you married a dyed in the wool cock loving slut. I just fucked a guy, a man with a ten inch cock. My pussy is full of his semen and I swallowed his sperm too."
Moira smirked, full of herself and felt brave in the crowded eatery known far and wide for its juicy prime rib. I wanted to choke her to death. Four double scotches in me already, giddy from the alcohol, Moira appeared hazy but still as beautiful as an Irish dawn. Her red hair was puffed on the back of her head; make-up highlighted her cheekbones, attracted attention to her emerald eyes and drew one's gaze to her full red lips. The short skirt cut well above the knee, jacket and heels she wore so stunningly all the same aquamarine color. Under the jacket the contour of her full breasts was covered by a polished white silk blouse.
Amidst the tinkering silverware, voices sounding like hisses in my ears, the flash of a darting waiter's short blue jacket, I tossed the fifth double straight scotch straight into her face; a direct hit, the amber fluid hit her squarely in the center of her forehead, funneled down her nose, trickled down her cheeks and splattered on the linen table cloth. Pounding the shot glass down on the table with such force, the table bounced off the floor as my left hand whipped across the right side of Moira's face with enough force to propel her out of her chair and into several near by diners, an elderly gray haired man and a considerably younger blond with a brief case sitting on the floor next to her.
Moira rose from the floor, rubbing her cheek. I stood next to our table, looked about the crowded room, all eyes on our little drama. One of the waiters approached but stood outside my striking distance. I considered saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, if I may disturb you for a moment, I have an announcement to make." Clearing my throat, a bit shaky on my feet, hanging on to the table, slurring my speech as I said, "I just found out my wife, my soon to be ex-wife is a slut."
Why bother? Hearing such news only guaranteed males queuing to fuck Moira. My grandfather often said that 98 percent of people could care less about your problems and the other two percent will jump up and down with happiness hearing of your troubles. I dropped 25 dollars on the linen covered table, stumbled out the restaurant on Pine Street, a hop, skip and a jump from my digs. Near the front door, I turned to the maitre de and said, "Buddy, I think the lady needs a towel."
Several of the diners and drinkers in the establishment were friends or acquaintances of Moira if not me and within the hour we would be the talk of Emerald City.
I felt good. For the first time since returning from my fishing trip some of my rage had bled off. Too drunk to be any sort of gentleman, I was unconcerned about someone wiping my clock or the possibility of an assault and battery charge landing me in jail. Seeing two Moiras in front of me, I was fortunate to hit the right one. Her features were diffused, cloudy in my alcohol befuddled brain, but I still saw her wide-eyed surprise as the cold un-diluted scotch rolled down her perfectly made up face. The red and uneven splotch on her rouged cheek, the brushing away of the smirk made me buzz with excitement. Never had I struck a woman in anger but I felt no guilt or remorse. Leaving the restaurant through its double glass doors, every eye in the place staring at my back, the room silent as an empty coffin, I climbed the three steps under the shading of a white metal awning, turned left and lurched toward my place a few blocks away.
Telling my grandfather of my actions, he nodded his head in approval. "Jack, I would have done the same thing. Yep, the same thing."
The day after I found Moira in a compromising position and told my grandfather, he did not say "I told you so" but I knew he was thinking it.
When I had announced my plans to marry Moira, he said, "Son, that woman is too much for you to handle. Let Max check her out." Max, grandfather's personal lawyer, was one of the few women he associated with for her ability not her body or beauty.
"Don't you dare do such a thing."
Grandfather said "okay." The single word bloated with disbelief, but he let it go, did not say anything more about it and graciously welcomed Moira into the inner sanctum of the Findlander family.
Matthew Findlander, my grandfather, a veteran of the 101st Airborne in World War II, a decorated paratrooper, a Screaming Eagle with two combat jumps to his credit, fought behind the Normandy, France beachhead amidst the hedge rows on D-Day, kept killing Germans as he hoofed toward their Fatherland. One of the Battered Bastards of Bastogne, he was severely wounded in the Ardennes Forrest the day after Christmas in 1944. He was the wisest of men and I should have listened to his sage advice.
Not me, I knew better. I loved Moira. She loved me. Nothing else mattered. My trust of her unlimited, I worshipped her, she the goddess, the monarch, the queen of my domain. Moira burned in me as a savage, all consuming firestorm.
Matthew Finlander was his own man. No one had a memory of him ever losing an argument. Even tempered, he never yelled, he could be obstinate, especially as he got older, and his word was his bond. Anything he did, he did his best and he expected the same standard of conduct from his family and his employees.
Shortly after the war ended he opened an auto parts store. Fifty-five years later he owned 67 Finlander Auto Parts stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Worth an estimated 38 million dollars, at 82, Matthew Finlander was still consumed with the pleasures of the flesh, a mover and shaker in the world of business and politics. Some day, in the not too distant future, I expected to inherit the bulk of his estate. I was in no hurry. I enjoyed my grandfather's company and wanted him around as long as possible. For now I managed one of his stores in Emerald City after serving in the trenches as a tool boy and assistant manager in several other stores scattered about the Findlander Empire.
My father was president of the company until his sudden death of a heart attack at 57. Grandfather was Chairman and Bill Gilester was interim president until I was ready to assume the reins of the company. Actually, grandfather was retired, living in a sumptuous home in Palm Springs half the year and the other half in Kauai. Ever since December 1944, the Germans doing their dandiest to kill him, the snow and cold, also the enemy, he spent as little time as possible anywhere it might drop below freezing or dump the smallest snow flak on his furrowed forehead.