Archive for December 16th, 2007

Shades of Hemingway / Medium Exposure Part 10, The Other Half Lives

December 16, 2007

It was a long drive back to Rachel’s apartment.  After I had explained to her in detail what had happened to me and how I had dreamt of her and Robert Jordan, she suggested I go to her place to shower and rest until morning.  I was grateful, feeling a little more in control of the situation but still trying to grasp who would have put me out here on the causeway and why.  Rachel the cop was solemn, sober and in control.  Rachel the woman was alluring and I struggled to keep my eyes off of her.  Her manner was precise and professional.  I was angry with myself for feeling so helpless as I had revealed my vulnerability and concerns for safety.  She deserved better that that, I was thinking.  I wanted her to see me strong and in charge, not cowering… requiring her protection.

Her apartment building was a modest one, in one of those developments for public servants and affordable housing.  It seemed a shame to me that people in law enforcement, teachers, fire fighters, EMTs and government workers had to be lumped into that category, but Rachel didn’t seem to mind.  It was like her apartment was just a stop over anyway.  Home for her was a large 3 room closet with a kitchen, bath and some furniture thrown in for good measure.  Some women make up their domiciles into tidy little showrooms in order to place homemaking skills on display, but not Rachel.  The apartment was merely functional and showed little signs of familiarity or femininity.

She opened the door and walked in, I followed.  The lights came on and I looked around, anxious to see how this beautiful woman lived.  I wondered what little knickknacks, pictures or CD collection she would have in order to give me some insight to her personality.  But there were none in her living room, only a sofa with a coffee table, a television set and a sliding curtain that had been pulled closed which I assumed blocked the view from her patio.

“No pets?” I asked, moderately surprised.  “Most single women at least have a cat…”

“I hate cats.” she replied matter of factly.  She removed her blazer and slung it over a kitchen barstool.

“What about a dog?”

“What for?”

“Oh, I dunno… maybe some companionship, …or protection?”

She took off her shoulder holster, pulled out the pistol and held it aloft, a slight smirk on her face.  “Better than this?”

“No,” I chuckled, “I guess you have that covered.”

“Dogs bark and need walking, they’re always humpin’ your leg… besides, do I look like I lack for companionship?”

I was slightly taken aback by her candor, which she noticed right away and found amusing.  She returned the weapon to it’s holster, placed it on the counter and ran her fingers through her hair.  I watched her curves.  I imagined that she could stand in padded legging and a winter parka while reading the Wall Street Journal and deliver it in a sensuous manner.  It was odd, but as soon as that blazer and pistol was removed, Rachel emerged more receptive to my advances.  The tough facade had been removed like a cab driver who had just gone “off duty.”  She was relaxed and comfortable, almost coy.

“Are you hungry?”

I stopped and thought about it, I hadn’t eaten since before going to the courthouse.  With everything that had happened I hadn’t had a chance to acknowledge the gnawing hunger pangs.  She opened her refrigerator and peered inside.

“I have some left over lasagne and wine, if you’re interested.”

“What are you having?”

I moved in closer to her, standing beside the open refrigerator door feeling the cool air rushing out, my skin rising with goose bumps.  But I knew it wasn’t the refrigerator, it was her.  I felt suave and awkward at the same time.  We were in a scene from The Postman Always Rings Twice with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lang.  The one where they are in the kitchen of her husband’s restaurant, sizing each other up, unable to contain their lust for each other.  She starts by fighting him off then finishes by spilling flour dough and utensils onto the floor as they start ravaging each other right there on the prep table.  I knew someone was going to burst through her front door any moment now and ruin this rendezvous.  I had never been this lucky.  She had bent over to survey the contents of the refrigerator, now she stood upright and looked into my eyes.

“Maybe I’ll have you.”

She reached up and kissed me, an opened mouth, hungry kiss.  I thanked God I was taller and stronger than her, full of my manhood and in control.  I held her slinky body firmly to mine, feeling her bulging breasts flatten on my chest.  She was as fragile as a tiny kitten, all I wanted to do was consume and protect her.  I pulled away from our lip lock and looked into her face.

“I thought you’d never ask…”

The light from the open refrigerator door cast a slight shadow on her face.  I relaxed my hold a little, allowing my arms to drop down and rest on her hips.  I drew up tight again, lifting and pressing her against me.  We kissed again, slowly… deliberately.  Rachel filled each cavity, every crevasse, we clung together as one.  Finally she released my mouth and dreamily peered into my eyes.  She patted my chest and smiled.

“First you shower…”

I don’t know that I am a hopeless romantic, but sometimes life just plays into my hands and I feel compelled to favor it with a feeling like all is right with the world.  My past relationships with women always seemed to find me outside looking in, like the mix had been placed into a tin and now all that was left to do was to bake it, let it cool and serve it up on a plate.  That night with Rachel was as intimate as any I had ever encountered and we held nothing back from each other.  I wasn’t so naive as to think I had fallen in love with her, though I also knew that the concept was not too hard for me to imagine.  That night she was erotic as she was vulnerable.

But by morning I awoke alone, Rachel had left sometime in the early hours without so much as a whisper, wink or note of explanation.  I laid there looking up at her Gustav Klimt “The Kiss” print posted on the wall opposite the foot of her bed.  It is a portrait of a woman in the cradling embrace of her man, almost swooning from the gift of his affections.  I gazed at it, imagining Rachel was the woman and I the man in the painting that the artist called “the ultimate homage to erotic love.”  Several minutes passed until I started wondering what kind of mess I had gotten myself into.

Then I heard the front door rattle.  She was back, I thought, bringing me coffee or something as a reward for my performance in bed.  But as I heard the front door hinge squeak a little, panic rose into my throat.  Whoever was coming in was in stealth mode and moving softly… deliberately.

“Hello?  Rachel?”

There was a quick shuffle, like someone had just shifted their weight and were now heading towards the bedroom.


The bedroom door was open, I caught the slight movement of shadow.  I wanted to jump up and slam the door shut but I sat there naked with a sheet pulled over my mid section preparing myself… shitting myself.

“Who’s there?”

With that a drawn pistol came into view, followed by hands… arms… and a face.  The face of a man.  A face I had seen before at My Blue Heaven.  It was the detective in the sports jacket, gun raised… turning and pointing it at me.

“What do you want?”  I tried not to sound frightened, but the pitch of my voice raised slightly.

“Who the hell are you?”  The gun was still raised and pointed at me.  The face was snarled and menacing.

“I’m with Rachel, who the hell are you?”  I tried to sound tough, but it is difficult when a man nearly twice your size and fully clothed is pointing a gun at you while you are caught sitting up in bed naked with a sheet covering up your private parts.  He looked around the room and seemed satisfied that I was alone.  Then he returned his gun to it’s holster.  I saw his golden badge flash, still clipped to his belt as it had been when I first saw him two days ago.  He raised both fists to his hips like a schoolmaster and spat out the words…

“I’m her goddam husband, shit for brains!  Where is she?”