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Je veux être la fille avec la plupart de gâteau. Regardez-moi dans la glace.
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21 October 2006


Southern Cross

"You look gorgeous. Look at your hair!"

I vamped. "You like?"

"I like the bangs. Grrowl..."

He was standing at the curb as I walked toward him with bags in both hands. He stepped off and opened the rear cargo door. I met him behind the car and set my bags down. Despite the heavy heat, we held each other close.

He smelled like sunscreen.

His arms encircled my waist and he let his fingers brush across my linen sundress, dropping to rest on my hips, bunching the fabric in his fists. We kissed.

I'd missed this--how a good kiss from him tugs at my lips, my heart and my sex all at once. I sighed into his mouth and smiled as we stood with our foreheads tilted together.

"Damn, honey, you smell good."

"Aw, thank you. Glad you like it."

"I give it two days, tops. Soon you'll smell of lake water and sweat like the rest of us."

"Me? Never. I have a PhD in smelling good."

He reached down and picked up my small suitcase, flipping it into the back and setting my tote next to it.

We climbed into the front seats.

"I can't believe I'm here!"

"Oh, it'll hit you at about the fourteenth introduction to another member of my family. Let's go pick up the rest of yours."

We pulled out and followed the traffic to the airport exit.

We pulled into the Waffle House parking lot and spotted Daniel and Deiondra walking out the door with Miles and Jack.

"There they are," I said, smiling.

"Oh, honey, you're way hotter than she is."

"Right? And I'm thinner, too. That's for sure."

We got out of the car and my heart did a flip when Miles started running toward me shouting, "Momma!"

Was it me, or had he gotten more gorgeous since I'd last seen him, with his tan skin, freckles and dark brown hair falling into his coffee-colored eyes?

I scooped him up and swung him around. Jack jumped up onto my arm and held on like a monkey. My tiny blond monkey. I set them both down and squeezed them. I'd had total freedom in the preceding two weeks, but I'd missed them too much.

Suddenly I had been free to do whatever I pleased, yet there were evenings when I found myself sitting on the floor of my living room wondering what I should do. Like, "I could go to dinner, I could call a friend, I could see a movie...what do people without spouses or children do on nights like this?"

Back in the parking lot introductions were made and Deiondra and I exchanged pleasantries, conveniently avoiding the topic of her very pregnant belly. The four of us got the kids loaded and buckled and their bags transfered very quickly.

I had been warned that we'd best not tarry en route to meet them, as Daniel had a schedule to keep. Apparently my arrival conflicted with his plans to watch the World Cup Soccer final that afternoon. You know.

We waved goodbye to Daniel and Deiondra and pulled onto the highway. The boys were exhausted and soon were begging to watch a DVD. I loaded Chicken Little into the fancy built-in DVD player and within minutes they were asleep for the two-hour drive.

In the quiet of the car we talked--my eyes traveling to his profile as he drove--about the last two weeks, his escapades and mine. I laid my head in his lap, stroking the skin of his thigh, looking back at the sleeping boys and then up at his neck thinking how happy I was to be there.

My reminder of where I was spending the next week came a moment later: A gigantic Confederate flag flew on a very tall flagpole which had been erected next to the federal highway. I shook my head in disbelief. He echoed my sentiments: "Wow."

When we neared our destination I roused Miles and Jack, who rallied and pretended that they'd never even been asleep.

"We're almost there," I cheered, "wake up, sleepyheads!"

As cotton fields and double-wide trailers gave way to densely wooded roads I could tell we were getting close. I looked at him and smiled. This was big.

We pulled into a very steep circle drive overlooking the lake, about eighty feet below.

"There's Jesse," he smiled, "of course he'd be the first to greet you."

I stepped out of the car, looking back at the boys who were still a little out of it, and came face to face with brother Jesse. His expression was vaguely familiar. I extended my hand.

"Hi, Jesse. Madeline. Nice to meet you," I said, smiling.

"Aw, now, we don't shake hands here," came his reply.

Well, you don't have to tell me twice. I kissed that boy's cheek and hugged him close.

Frank was next, his cigarette finished, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip flops with long dark hair and piercing eyes. He kissed my cheek and held on for a while before he went to help carry bags. Total flirt. I could tell we would get on well.

"Damn," I thought, "this is a good looking family."

We unloaded the boys and walked down the steps around to the side of the house where I was greeted by the most awesome thing.

A slight woman in her eighties with sparkling blue eyes and a spirit which would not be contained came around the side of the house.

She walked straight over, looked up at me and sang, "Hai! I'm Nanny!" and gave me the sweetest hug ever.

"Pleased to meet you, ma'am, I'm Madeline" I gushed. I had never met her, but I knew the significance of this, "and these are my boys, Miles and Jack." I pulled away and smiled at her.

"Jefferson's told me so much about you."

16 October 2006


Played Out

The nice thing about having a dirty old pervert disguised as a church deacon for my landlord is that when he asks whether I'm renewing my lease I can say, "Yes, if you replace the carpet in my apartment with hardwood floors."

And actually get it.

See, he'd been creepy and pervy a couple of years ago and I'd called him on it. I can only assume that his extreme willingness to do my bidding stems from the fear that I'll tell his wife that he skeeves me out and why.

I could have moved, but this arrangement isn't so bad. Leverage is nice in situations such as the one in which I found myself that day in June. The carpet in my apartment was nasty. And Creepy Landlord Guy removed it and installed new floors.

See how my life works?

At 11 PM I walked into my dark apartment. It smelled of sawdust and echoed when I walked across the room. I still had to put everything back in its place before I left for vacation in 36 hours.

I got right to work moving furniture. I needed a distraction after saying goodnight to my dinner date.

I met the Rugby Player via his ad on Craigslist. He was looking for a woman who would fuck him with a strap-on.

What is it with that, anyway? Suddenly all these guys want to be plowed with girlcock? Whatever; I'd had a great time with Billy (I mean, William), and I was looking forward to seeing my kids and having a vacation together, but I had time for one more distraction before I took off.

He'd called on his way to pick me up and I carted the trash out and stood outside a different building watching for a BMW SUV.

Really, that should have been my first clue.

I waved as the car/machine pulled up and climbed in. As he backed out of the space I took stock: His ad read 43, blond hair, athletic build. The dude was 50 if he was a day, with hair that used to be blond and a body that used to be athletic. Oh, and the mullet-with-sideburns thing?

Yeah, you see where this is going.

But, appearances can be deceiving, and we'd spoken on the phone in a somewhat normal fashion, so I decided dinner wouldn't kill me.

We parked at the steakhouse and got out of the car. For the first time I stood next to him. Freaking great. He'd lied about his height, too. He was maybe 5'7" (explains the BMW), when his ad had said 5'11".

Then he looked me up and down in my clingy wrap dress and said, "Ooh, you're a hot little number, aren't you?"

I swear to god. A Hot Little Number. What?

No way could I get naked with this guy. But I would most definitely order bourbon and a filet mignon, thank you.

We were shown to our booth where he proceeded to slide in next to me asking, "Do you mind if I sit here?"

"Actually, I'd prefer to look at you while we talk."

Not to mention that I know people in this town. A lot of people.

Not to mention that he'd have been groping me all through dinner, which he'd already done in the parking lot, loudly noting the absence of panties across my ass.


The waiter, an ebullient gay boy came to take our drink orders.

"The lady will have a glass of red wine and . . ."

"Excuse me, Rugby Player, I can order for myself," I turned to the boy very seriously, "Maker's Mark. Rocks. Double, please."

The waiter looked at me with a mix of fear and pity and scampered off to get our drinks.

Rugby Player rolled his eyes, apparently at the gayness of it all and apologized, "Sorry, Maddie, but I'm just used to ordering for my lady."

I smiled to lighten the mood, "Well, sir, I'm nobody's lady."

"You're smart! I like that!"

Christ, next he was going to call me feisty. I changed the subject. He changed it back. What books did I like? Did I listen to Steely Dan?

By the time we ordered dinner, I'd finished my drink and ordered another.

During a lull he looked straight at my chest and said, "You really have some beautiful breastages there."


I'm completely serious.

Needless to say, the only inhibitions lowered by my bourbon consumption that evening were verbal ones.

On the drive back to my complex he put his hand on my leg and told me he'd felt chemistry between us and that he didn't want the evening to end so soon.

I thanked him for dinner, removed his hand and replied politely that I was flattered, but I couldn't echo his sentiments.

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm not attracted to you sexually."

"Will you still bend me over?"

"Um, no."

God, I needed a fucking vacation. I couldn't get out of town quickly enough.