Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bifurcated man – Part 1 of 2 Parts blog post #324

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TO MY READERS: The “Contact” section has been restored to my Web Site… until it disappears again as mysteriously as the first time it vanished. At any rate, I can now respond to comments. Thanks.

I appreciate your indulgence over missing a posting deadline over something as trivial as a car wreck and a little internal bleeding. The doctors have arrested that, apparently. I’m feeling okay, but a bit washed out. Sore from being shaken up in the auto wreck, as well.

At any rate, here is the post for this week. One of those two-parter short stories. Hope you enjoy.


Meeting Valdy, my future wife, during intermission at the Metropolitan Opera was a fantastic, unexplainable, gold-plated stroke of luck. Actually, I had been wandering the fringes of the crowd keeping an eye on a handsome young stud who caught my attention. Although I was at a loss to adequately explain it, I was occasionally attracted to some hunk, inevitably an overt heterosexual. I merely speculated and never acted on such impulses. One adorable young second lieutenant at Dix tempted me mightily, but I had sense enough to keep some distance between us. As I stood pondering my confusion in the foyer of the Metropolitan between acts of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, a stunning vision in a simple, elegant gown of Egyptian linen floated up and handed me a drink, bringing with her the soft aroma of lilacs.
“You look like a bourbon man. I’m Valdessa Bannerman. Valdy for short.”
“Love it!” I lied gallantly. A single malt Scotch was my drink. “Joseph Hunter.”
To make a long story short, five months later, Valdy and I were married in the Fort Dix base chapel where I had traded my banker’s three-piece suit for captain’s bars when I was called to temporary duty. That handsome second lieutenant was my best man.
Valdy fit seamlessly into my life when we came home to Albuquerque a deliriously happy golden couple; me, tall, blond, and slender with manly lumps, and Valdy… Lord the curves she packed into that svelte form! Her eyes were a pale blue that darkened when she was excited. Mine were as green as the patina of a weathered cathedral dome.
I took immense pride in the adoration Valdy inspired among my social set yet was feral enough to recognize danger when it surfaced. And Rick Ailman was dangerous. Even so, the handsome, personable builder of luxury homes was of interest to me as a banker. Five minutes after they were introduced at the Mayor’s Charity Ball, he had Valdy on the dance floor turning heads. Thereafter, it seemed that everywhere we went as a couple, Ailman showed up to sweep Valdy into his hard-muscled arms on some dance floor or the other. I held a tight rein on my temper but did a lot less kibitzing and a lot more dancing at public functions.
“I do believe you’re jealous,” she cooed once, a soft smile stretching those luscious lips.
“Nonsense!” I responded and felt a flush on the nape of my neck.
Despite my denials, later, as I lay panting and exhausted, I realized the truth of it. At the very moment of climax, I held an unwelcome image in my mind of a naked, dark-haired Adonis in bed with my wife… Rick Fucking Ailman!

Vice Presidents are trumped by Executive Vice Presidents, and that is who assigned me the Ailman account. Under such conditions, social encounters are impossible to avoid even though I put things off as long as possible. Eventually, Rick took the initiative and not only invited me to a working lunch, but also a round of golf afterwards. Albuquerque’s persistent spring winds had abandoned us until next year, the true heat of the season had not yet arrived, and the blue sky was blotted with towering, snowy thunderheads far to the west, a perfect day for golf at a mile above sea level.
As we waited for the green ahead of us to clear, Rick parked the cart we shared in the shade of a cottonwood and stretched one foot out on the grass. I dug dirt from my cleats with a tee.
“Glad to see you’re relaxing a little,” he said out of the blue.
I looked at him in surprise. “I thought I was a laid-back sort of guy.”
“You are… except around me. Your defenses always go up when I’m around.”
Since there was no denying it, I might as well get it out in the open. “Gotta admit that’s true. You set off my alarm bells.”
I shrugged and equivocated. “I don’t know. It’s just a personal reaction, I guess.”
I endured the study of his sable-fringed brown eyes for a long moment before he gave a low chuckle. “It’s your wife, isn’t it? You come on like gangbusters when I dance with her.”
“Look, drop it. I’m capable of separating my personal and professional lives.”
His silence lasted thirty seconds; his gaze made me uncomfortable. “You don’t get it, do you? Talk about babes in wonderland. It’s not your wife I’m interested in… it’s you!”
I don’t know why I laughed aloud, probably because I didn’t believe him. After a moment, he joined in. Then some invisible power flipped a cosmic switch, and we sobered.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Dead serious. Look, I like women. Hell, I love women, but occasionally I swing from the other branch of the tree.”
“Not with me, you won’t!” I blurted.

Whoa, what’s going on here? Talk about some cosmic power flipping switches, has Rick Ailman found the key to Joseph Hunter. Next week will tell the tale.

Abaddon’s Locusts, the fifth in the BJ Vinson mystery series, came out last month. The book received several positive reviews. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy. If you do, please post a review of the book on Amazon. Each one helps… as do letters to the publisher.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

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Twitter: @dontravis3

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See you next week.


New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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