Mike has a phone conversation with his mother that throws him into a panic. She mentions vising again, meaning she plans to return. He’s sure that she’s coming to visit with the intention of dropping some sort of horrendous bomb on him, like she’s dying. Or she’s planning to move closer to him. Slightly hysterical, he explains the situation to Molly.
“If you don’t stop babbling, I’m going to slap you.” Molly’s face was hard. She meant it.
“Sorry. Years of anticipating the worst.”
“Normally, I’d tell you that you needed to get laid.”
I laughed harshly. It was an ugly sound.
“Been there, done that. What am I going to do?”
“Suck it up and be a man.”
I sighed, putting the glass against my forehead. “Yeah. You’re right. I got the balls, I need to put them to an alternative use.”
She giggled, tapping my knuckles. “Now you’re talking. She isn’t that bad, surely?”
I gave one of her skeptical looks from under the glass on my forehead. “Is the Pope Catholic? You wait. You’ll see. Maybe God could bury us in snow before she arrives.”
“Should be school tomorrow and most of it melted off by Thursday. You’re outta luck, sweetie.”
“Damn.” But a man can pray and wish and hope, right? I did all three.
Molly and Jesse fixed me dinner and neither of them fussed when I drank. I stumbled home about 10:00 and crawled into bed after brushing my teeth. If I had to get up early, I needed more sleep than I’d been getting. The last two nights had really taken their toll on me. My nerves were totally shot. Thanks to the alcohol, I slept soundly and woke to the radio insisting that today would be bright and clear, with a warming trend. Already, I knew the man was lying. A look out the window made me skeptical. But I got up, made coffee and shaved. I finished getting ready only to have the radio announcer come back on five minutes later with the school cancellation order. School children, and bus drivers, all over town cheered in unison.
I was up, dressed, raring to go. Well, not raring exactly, but there was no way I was going back to sleep. I drank the rest of my coffee and used the time to clean house and do laundry. I made sure the guest room was clean in case Ma insisted on staying after all. Once I’d put clean towels out, I felt better and sat down to watch some TV. Boring, crap and stupid. God, morning TV sucks. If it’s not ridiculous kids programs, it’s news and talk shows. I checked my e-mail instead.
Seventy-five messages later, I got down to the e-cards wishing me happy birthday. I sent thank you replies and dumped the cards without looking at them. I went on my Facebook page, that I visit once in awhile to keep up with my Mafia Wars account, and did a big thank you for the birthday greetings. It was nice, and all, but 2,476 people I don’t know all that well wishing me happy birthday is kind of ridiculous. Some of the women sent some sweet photos of themselves to my Inbox. Those ladies got a special thank you message.
I have some shots an old girlfriend of mine took of me. She was in college getting her degree in art. She couldn’t convince me to model naked at the studio, but took some shots at her apartment. Most of them I don’t share, but a few with my shirt off, in jeans, that sort of thing, I send out from time to time.
I sent a picture of me without my shirt, in jeans and tool belt, a hardhat partially covering my face, and a bandana around my neck. After the joyful eyecandy those ladies sent me, I thought it was the right response. A few minutes later, I saw myself posted on a woman’s page with the title “Home Grown Hottie”. Oh, God, she was from here in Cheyenne!
There was no picture of her, she had a cat instead. Pretty cat, white Persian with big blue eyes. The same city is a little close for comfort. At least I don’t have my name up there. I have my page as “Big Mike”. But I do have Cheyenne listed as my network. Five minutes later, the picture was circulating and one of the Mafia Wars pimping groups picked me up and sent me around to be added. I suddenly had a 127 new friend requests—all from women. My Inbox was packed with more photos, some very explicit, even the occasional marriage proposal. I got a beer to better enjoy this.
Laughing, I sat there clicking and adding until the power went out. I hadn’t noticed how bad the weather was. I called over to Molly’s. She and Jesse were fine, their power was still on, so that meant that something had happened to me. My next call was to the power company. I got the recording that they would send out a repair truck when the weather cleared, etc. Glad I had gas heat and stove, I made myself a cup of fruit and herb tea and a grilled cheese sandwich. A slab of leftover cake later, I felt like a new man.
I was cleaning up my dishes, grateful that the water heater was also gas, when there was a knock at my back door. It had to be one of the guys from the apartment behind me. They are the only ones who come to the back. Tim was standing there in his shirt sleeves, his breath a halo of steam around him. He didn’t look the least bit cold. I nearly froze just opening the door.
© Dellani Oakes 2014