tagLoving WivesThe Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

bydtiverson©

I honestly don't know why I've gotten off on this Hemingway kick. And, I can't think of any story that would be harder to adapt than the Old Man and the Sea. Nevertheless, I like writing challenges. So of course I had to try it.

This is a long piece. I needed the room to develop the story. I could have placed it in "romance", or even in "supernatural" but I enjoy the comments that I get when I post in the fiery cauldron of "loving wives" so I am putting it there.

One bit of housekeeping, I appear to have had a problem with my profile. Which explains why I stopped getting e-mail in the early fall. I apologize to anybody who wrote to me and didn't get a reply. I was not intentionally trying to be an asshole. I do that very well without any conscious effort on my part.

It's all fixed now and I will try to answer any message sent to me. I hope you enjoy - DT


*****************

Key West Today

I was drinking a Papa Doble and sitting in Captain Tony's thinking about life. The hundreds of autographed bras hanging from the ceiling ought to tell you all you need to know about the ambience of the place.

The building itself has been everything from an ice-house to a whore-house.

The current incarnation dates back to Hemingway's day. It was originally called Sloppy Joes. But the landlord raised the annual rent a buck.

So the owner took the entire saloon, lock, stock and name, down Greene Street to the present location.

The legend goes that Hemingway stayed put in the original building, which eventually came to be named after Tony Tarracino who was an even bigger Key West character than Ernie.

The legend also has it that Martha Gellhorn paid the bartender twenty bucks to be introduced to Hemingway there.

That led to a flaming affair, while the two of them were covering the Spanish Civil War.

And that affair was what ended Hemingway's marriage to his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, who had stolen him in turn from his first wife Hadley Richardson.

So obviously the 1960s didn't invent fucking around on your spouse.

I was living on my boat, which was tied up at a slip down at the Conch Harbor Marina. I chose that spot because it was easy walking, or sometimes crawling distance from my customary watering holes up and down Duval.

The boat itself is a C&C 40 which is a handful for solo cruising. But I am an excellent sailor and I wanted the room.

I brought it down the Atlantic Inter-costal three years earlier. And short of a Cuban invasion I was planning on staying put.

My buddy Buster was my sole companion. He also happens to be my best friend.

He weighs about 120 pounds and he looks like his former job was guarding the gates of Hell. But he is utterly sweet, gentle and loving beneath his scary exterior.

The best part about my big smelly buddy is that he would never leave me. Which is more than I could say about any of the women in my life.

________________________________

Paradise Lost

It all started at an elite Midwest University. I didn't get into that place because I was rich or smart. I got into it because I was very fast in the water.

I would have rather been outstanding in any other sport. But unfortunately I was a fish. So I spent hours marinating in chlorine, building up long smooth muscles that made me look streamlined, not powerful.

I wasn't a lion. I was a sea-lion.

And because the sport of swimming requires extraordinary physical endurance I had to spend every waking hour stroking up and down a pool while some sadistic bastard yelled insults at me.

He called it "coaching."

I have to admit that the sport ensured that I didn't carry an ounce of fat. But at six four. I was built less like a Greek god and more like a human torpedo. A

nd since the aim was to reduce drag I had in effect also invented the skin head.

Needless to say I was not likely to be voted king of the homecoming court. Or even find a date.

Scholarship athletes were all housed in one dormitory. And my luck being what it was, I drew a football player.

Story of my life. I could have gotten a fellow swimmer, or a soccer player, or a gymnast. Or anybody else besides an arrogant asshole.

Brad was not hard to live with. That was because he spent his days hanging around at the local jock fraternity with his fellow Neanderthals.

But when he WAS around the room he treated me like an inconvenient piece of furniture. I especially enjoyed the nights that he decided to get laid.

Very early in our association he informed me that if he had his tie hanging on the door I was not to enter. So most nights I would sit and study in the common room until 2 AM, while the moans and shrieks wafted down the hall.

And then I was allowed to fall asleep to the pervasive odor of pussy.

His argument was that he would do the same thing for me. Which was a laugh since I had never actually had the pleasure.

Like I said, being a gangly human torpedo has its drawbacks in the sexual experience department.

I had a few girls who would condescend to go out with me. But there were rarely second dates. I am not sophisticated. And I had nothing to recommend me beyond the fact that I was a scholarship jock.

The problem was that I was in a sport that was anything but glamorous.

Every Saturday afternoon, Brad, who was the university's quarterback, would do heroic things in front of 100,000 screaming fans.

You watch swimming every four years at the Olympics. It mostly involves people standing around. And it typically draws as many viewers as the bike racing.

Plus, the only thing that anybody sees is splashing and the occasional view of a face frantically gasping for air.

Perhaps you can understand why Brad was fucking a lot of hot coeds. And my romantic moments were limited to my hand.

The one good thing about my situation was that I was never under the illusion that I would be doing anything other than going to work after college. Swimming was just a means to an end. So I hit the books, while Brad spent his time socializing.

Brad, was thinking about the millions he was going to make in the NFL. Needless to say he ended up selling life insurance.

Toward the end of my junior season I came back from the library. And there was the ubiquitous tie.

I had a meet the following day. And I was not in a mood. So I banged on the door.

The urgent moaning stopped and a couple of seconds later I heard Brad's voice yell, "I'm busy. Go away!!"

I was pissed. So I yelled right back, "I have a meet tomorrow and I need some sleep. Take it someplace else. You have five minutes."

I heard a questioning female voice and grumbling from him but it sounded like they were getting their shit together preparatory to putting it on the road.

So I just leaned on the wall and waited.

Disheveled doesn't begin to describe what emerged.

Brad gave me a pissed off look. I didn't care. I am a half-a-head taller than he is. So it was never a matter of physical intimidation.

I said as sarcastically as possible, "thanks' and started into the room.

That was when I really looked at who he had been fucking.

Most of Brad's conquests are the usual sorority skanks and football groupies. They wander the campus in herds. Every one of them is hot. But their faces tend to blend together into a universal blur of "pretty".

This was a completely different breed of cat.

She had thick copper hair that disappeared down her back in healthy waves. The totally perfect state of her hair was amazing in itself, given the fact that she had been getting seriously fucked a mere five minutes earlier.

I think it was her eyes though.

I am not usually a fan of pure redheads. That milky skin and all of those freckles scare me. But when I looked into her superb emerald eyes there was real heat and intelligence. She almost seemed amused.

She gave me an appraising nod. Then she and my roommate executed an archetypal walk of shame toward the elevator. I was sure my roomie was headed for Plan-B, the jock fraternity.

I fell asleep to the accustomed smell of sex.

It was more disturbing than usual. It must have been her pheromones. But I almost felt jealous of the moron.

I didn't run into her again until the last few days of that semester.

I was at the classic fraternity kegger. I lived in the dorms because I was on scholarship. But the fraternities like to have varsity athletes around as display items. And there were even a couple of houses that courted swimmers as affiliate members.

Needless to say they were the minor fraternities. Not the prestigious jock houses, or the snooty frats that my social betters hung out at.

I was standing in my usual party position, which was holding up a wall with my back.

I had one of those 16 ounce Solo cups full of a yellow foamy substance, which I was praying was beer. It was hard to tell.

She walked in with some species of frat-rat.

I had only gotten a passing glance at her as she and my roomie exited the building. But I was impressed by her twitching buns. Now that I had a chance to fully check her out I was blown away.

She was gorgeous. But then again, most of the coeds you see around a frat party are by-and-large attractive.

Nevertheless, it was something in this one's manner that set her apart. She radiated total self-assurance and absolute femininity in the way that she walked and held herself.

Then she started to dance with the dude.

She was only about five foot two but she had extraordinary muscled legs and very tight round hips. The rest of her was lithe and nubile but it was that perfectly proportioned face and those sparkling green eyes that had me mesmerized.

A cooler guy might have gone over and tried to cut-in. But I am socially retarded, hence my little virginity problem. So I just stood there staring at her.

I believe that women are equipped with some sort of special antenna that tells them when they are being scanned.

She was in the middle of putting her arms over her head and grinding her pussy on her date. It was like she had lifted the move out of a "Step Up" movie.

The date looked blissful to say the least.

Anyhow, she glanced up alert, like she had sensed something, and looked directly at me.

I was not looking into the typical vacant coed eyes. She knew exactly what she was doing. She was like a cat toying with a mouse.

Something passed across her face. I am sure she was used to being stared at. So it wasn't the gaping. But I got a sense that I had disturbed her.

I am not socially equipped to deal with angry females. If she was going to give me outrage I was going to get the fuck out of there.

So I circulated out of the main room and moved to a chair in a little side room. Later in the evening that room turns into the make-out spot so it was dark. The only light came from the open door.

The night was still young so it was just me and my beer at that point.

I was trying to decide what my next move ought to be when she poked her head around the corner. It gave me the impression that she was looking for somebody, probably her date.

No such luck.

I was sitting there doing my best "lone wolf" imitation. When she spotted me. Then she very purposefully marched over to confront me. I rose from the couch. It was a protection move.

She stood in front of me in that classic aggressive female posture; feet apart, with hands on hips thrust slightly toward me.

She silently looked me up and down. Actually it was kind of funny. I was a full 14 inches taller than she was. So she was checking me out like she was appraising a horse. I almost expected her to pry open my mouth and count my teeth.

Not a word was said.

Then she spun around and marched out of the room leaving me standing there gawking. I was totally blown away by the power and spirit in those eyes.

I eventually got my act together and followed her. But when I got into the main room she was back to dry humping her date. I headed home.

I had never met a female who troubled me so much. I mostly go with the flow. But I couldn't stop thinking about her.

So the next day I asked Brad.

I said, "I ran into that hot little red-head you fucked last month. What's her story?"

He laughed and said, "She's a freak. That's her story."

I said, "Freak? What do you mean by THAT? Is she kinky?"

He said in his usual dismissive tone, "Any woman who isn't grateful after I've fucked her is a freak.

"She was an absolute animal when we were together. Then when I called her up for a rematch she totally blew me off. It was like I was bothering her."

Since that is the way Brad treats all of his conquests I wasn't sure who had conquered who.

I said, "Do you know her name?"

He said, "Kari Winter, but you aren't going to have a chance with her."

I said, "Why not? I know I'm not YOU but I have had the occasional woman."

I was lying of course.

He said, "Because she only dates awesome guys like me, not dweebs like you, no offense."

I said, "None taken."

What could I say? Brad was a conceited prick. I would have done better arguing with an orangutan.

He said, "She's probably fucked eight guys that I know of beside me. And everybody says that she's the hottest piece of ass they've ever had. She is way out of your league."

I smiled sardonically and said, "Just asking." And I filed Miss Kari Winter away in the big pile of women who I knew to "avoid at all costs."

Early in my senior year I was stepping up on the blocks for the 200 fly, which is definitely NOT my best event.

As I customarily do I looked into the sparse crowd.

And who should I see sitting there but Kari Winter.

She waved.

I false started.

Actually I more-or-less fell face first into the pool.

After that ignominious beginning I dragged myself back on the blocks and set an individual, pool and conference record.

I knew what the motivation was. But there was no way I was going to admit it.

Of course, I had to acknowledge her presence later that evening.

I came out of the locker room and she was standing there. I am not totally dense. I knew that I would have to say something. So I walked over toward her.

She turned and sashayed away before I got there.

As she turned to walk away she said over her shoulder, "Follow me."

There wasn't the slightest question that I would NOT follow her.

She was wearing a pair of beaten out jeans that probably cost 300 bucks to get the tears in the right place.

The most strategic ones were the 4 inch horizontal rips right at the place where her big round butt cheeks joined her muscular legs.

I followed along watching those rips move up and down. It was hypnotic.

We were walking into a little ornamental park between two of the dorms. She got to a secluded bench and sat down. I came up and stood in front of her.

It was one of those unspeakably beautiful early fall evenings in Michigan. Still warm with a soft breeze wafting the scent of burning leaves. I could hear the katydids and crickets busily chirping in the manicured shrubbery and smell the freshly turned earth beneath it.

I looked at her inquiringly. She said, "Sit down, we need to talk."

I looked at her even more questioningly and said truly puzzled, "Why?"

I was aware that the woman was campus royalty. Anybody who has ever attended college knows what I'm talking about. 20,000 students knew her name. Every female wanted to be like her. And every male just plain wanted to HAVE her.

I sat.

She said in a reproachful voice, "Are you gay?"

I spluttered, "WHAT??!! OF COURSE NOT!!"

She said, "Then why haven't you made a play for me? Why haven't you asked me out?"

This conversation was a waste of time.

I cut right to the chase. I said, "Women like you don't date guys like me. You're miles out of my league and we both know it. So why should I give you the satisfaction of turning me down?"

She looked disgusted and said, "I'm supposed to decide that - not you. What makes you think that I wouldn't want to go out with you? I've been attracted to you from the moment we met."

Okay, so where was the camera? I knew that I was on an episode of Punk'd.

Neither Kutcher nor Goldberg stepped out of the bushes.

Kari just kept on talking. She said, "I assume you know my reputation? The moron that you are living with must have filled you in about me.

"I admit that I have kissed a lot of frogs over the past four years. And so far I haven't found any princes. Just randy frat boys and jocks.

"I was hoping that maybe you'd be different."

She actually looked vulnerable. That had to be an optical illusion.

I said, "Brad's a well-known dumb shit. I wouldn't listen to a word that he said.

"But I also know that you are considered to be the hottest female on campus. You could have any guy eighteen to eighty in the surrounding tri-county area.

"So what is it about me that you find so interesting?"

My tone of voice conveyed my ultra-skepticism.

She said, "You are a star athlete but you don't seem to know it. You spend your time in the library preparing for life, not going to parties. You are big and good looking. And I like completely bald men."

The last was said with a kittenish smile.

I knew that everybody called me the "bald eagle" behind my back because of my big nose and shaved head.

She added, "What isn't there to like?"

Well, that was an astonishing state of affairs.

I said, "Let me get this straight. You want to try out a real boy-girl date because you think I'm interesting?

"I know that sounds a little self-doubting but I am still not believing what I am hearing here."

She looked appraisingly at me and said with irony, "And, the boy is delightfully insecure."

I took a good look at her. From the top of her thick copper hair to the tip of her bright red painted toenails, this woman was a movie star.

Notwithstanding her legendary performances in bed she was also clearly smart, confident and very comfortable in her own perfect skin.

With all of that faultlessness the only question was, "Why me?"

She was looking at me quizzically, like she wanted an answer.

So I thought to myself, "Stop being such a weenie and just ask her out!!"

I sucked it up and said, "Okay, let's go out. I'll pick you up tomorrow and we can try this on for size.

But I am warning you that the instant you don't show me the proper respect I am taking you home."

She said a little irritated, "Respect? What does that mean?"

I said, "You know what I'm talking about. You are going to be hit on multiple times while we are together tomorrow. When you do, I want you to remember that you are with me."

She actually looked impressed. She said, "So no flirting or leading other men on, I promise." And she gave me an impish grin.

I picked her up at her apartment the following evening. She had rich parents and so she lived in an off campus apartment by herself.

I didn't want to think about the events that might have gone on in that place.

I wanted to do my happy dance. Not be eaten up by jealousy even before I rang her buzzer.

She greeted me at the door. She was in a little clubbing dress that would have been demure on my sister. But the way she looked in it set off indescribable waves of yearning in me.

She is not well endowed. But what she had was full and neatly gathered in two beautiful little mounds on her chest.

Nevertheless, her long waist and lithe round hips and perfect muscular legs were all anybody would notice. And the dress displayed her assets without looking the slightest bit slutty.

Her four inch heels only made those legs look rounder and fuller.

But of course it was her face and those eyes that captivated me.

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