The Good Doctor, Part II, Chapter 8
I’d just parked my brand new… well, new to me, Volvo in front of the club, when Rose’s hellaciously big black Mercedes S class came screaming down the road in front of the club. She slammed on the brakes; and somehow, against all odds, managed the turn into the parking lot without flipping the car over, and pulled in next to me with a squeal of the tires. She sat there for a moment staring straight ahead, as if she wasn’t quite sure she’d made it. Her head dropped for a moment, then she slowly looked up and over at me.
After a moment, she opened her car door partway, twisted herself around, pushed it further open with her foot, while grabbing onto the steering wheel and the seat back, before she tried heaving herself up. The first try didn’t make it, and she landed back in the seat. With bleary eyes, she focused on me, sighed heavily and muttered, “You could help.”
I ambled over somewhat cautiously, and looked down at her. “Had a bad night?”
She laid her head against the back of the seat, while the crimson velour of her workout clothes worked at trying to find a way to survive.
She took a deep breath. “I had a little Four Roses bourbon last night. Someone recommended their Single Barrel; and I must say, it was well worth it… sort of. It’s the price you pay for not using ice, nothing to dilute it. I may be just the tiniest bit hung over.”
I held out my hand, which she grabbed. “You know, Rose, no one drinks like that anymore; not even if they’re drinking their namesake. That kind of drinking went out with the Hula Hoop.”
With my hand in her viselike grip, she heaved herself up. Her eyes were partially closed, but she stared at my car. “What happened to your car?” But then, she seemed to remember. “Oh yeah - this the new one?”
“It’s a Volvo, Rose. Pete likes em.”
She steadied herself against the car. “Well, at least, it’s not that damned Toyota. How old was that thing anyway?”
“Old… but I liked it. Actually, I already miss it. It was like an old friend.”
She moved slowly along the side of her car, hanging onto it like a life raft while she studied my car. “What’re all those marks on the hood?”
“Those? That’s nothing, Rose. That’s probably bird droppings, or something. I gotta get it washed.” I shuffled over to block her view of the hood of the car.
She moved closer to my car, shoved me out of the way, and stared at the hood. “Those aren’t bird droppings. Those are handprints. It looks like someone had their hands there and then…” She turned and glared at me.
She shook her head slowly and grinned maliciously. “That’s you!” She laughed and shook her head. “And if we did DNA tests, I’d bet it’d turn out the rest of that was Pete’s. Why do you lie, Eric? Why does everything start with a lie? Why can’t you just say what happened? You think you’re the first person ever to get ploughed on the hood of a car. And why the hell wouldn’t you have hosed it off afterward?” In my defense, I’ve found that life works better with the occasional lie. Nobody really wants the truth anyway… would you? And besides, I really was going to get it washed today.
“Right, Rose! You really think I wanna explain my sex life to you? Besides, it’s not like I normally do it on the hood of my car. It’s just that Pete’s got this thing for Volvos.”
“A thing? What kind of thing?”
“I dunno, Rose, they turn him on… somehow. It’s just one of those quirky things that everyone’s got. With Pete, it’s Volvos. I don’t question it, as long as it gets me laid.”
“Well, Eric, as surprised as I am to hear myself say it, that actually makes sense… well, for you anyway, given the context of your bazaar life.”
She was hanging onto my arm as I walked her to the front door. “So, what prompted the wrestling match with Four Roses?”
There was a slight tightening of her fingers on my arm. “I was celebrating. My grandson got married.”
“That’s nice.” Not that I really cared. “Have fun at the wedding?”
Her voice dropped slightly, and she sounded old. “I wasn’t invited to the wedding.”
“You’re kidding! How come… whadyado?”
She stopped, tightened her grip even more, and glared at me. “I didn’t do anything! Why the hell would you jump to that conclusion? The only mistake I made was giving the little bastard control over his trust fund. Well, I sure as fuck won’t make that mistake again!”
Then she stopped and turned to me. “I’m selling the company, Eric. Then the whole bunch of em’ll be working for the Japanese, or the Chinese, or somebody. The only reason I kept it was because they all worked for me, but now they can all go fuck themselves.”
“You’re selling?” Rose has owned that company for as long as I can remember - ever since her husband died. But this was an old tune, whose number got punched into Rose’s jukebox every time one of her kids or grandkids screwed up.
She looked at me. “Matsu-something-or-other offered me more than it could ever conceivably be worth. Why the fuck would I keep working my butt off?”
“But what will you do? All you’ve ever known is that company.”
“I’ll relax, Eric. I’ve got that big house in Palm Beach that I never get to go see. I’ll travel.” I had heard all this before; basically, whenever some member of her family did something stupid.
“You know, you could just fire them all. I mean, if they’re really all that horrible.”
She reached for the door of the club and moaned, “I can’t understand why they all hate me so much.”
“Do ya talk to them like you talk to me?”
She glared at me, took a deep breath and said, “No, I’m a lot nicer to you.”
“You’re kidding! It’s a wonder they’re not leading a bunch of villagers with torches and pitchforks to your house.”
She stopped and smiled. “I have very good security, Eric. The villagers have tried that in the past with remarkably little success.”
Once in the club, Rose took off for the ladies’ locker room to repair her makeup, and add a few dabs of very expensive perfume before sweating her ass off on the treadmills. One of my major gripes is women who wear perfume when they work out. I mean, a tiny bit wouldn’t be too bad, but all too often, they reek of it… and every workout machine they use does too.
I was walking to my office to eat a candy bar, when Maria Tenuta popped out of nowhere and filled the hallway. Okay, maybe not totally filled, but when you’re like over six feet tall, it’s pretty impressive. Add to that, the bazaar image of someone who has a fifty inch waist, a tiny head and shoulders, and a carrot top hairdo that seems to go in all directions; and then, of course, those bright red oversized lips.
“Hey, Boss, you bring lunch today?”
I shook my head. “Ahh, nope. I’ll get something in the restaurant.”
She shook her head. “I had some extra stuffed zucchini; so, I brought it in for ya.”
“What’s it stuffed with?”
She shrugged and said, “Sausage and cheese of course.” Of course...
There was a garlicky, olive oily, parmesanny aroma coming from a paper bag she was carrying, and it was drawing me to it like a magnet.
She lifted her eyebrows, grinned and said, “Wanna peek?”
When she opened the bag, the aroma filled the air, and seemed to spread out and consume the hallway. I dipped my head and peered into the bag. It was just a Tupperware container with a hunk of French bread sitting on top, but the smell of the food was curling my toes.
“God, it smells wonderful!”
She closed the bag. “My nanna’s recipe. She taught me how to make it when I was twelve.” She walked into my office and put the bag on my desk. “Oh, and I put a bottle of Chianti in your desk drawer.” There are days when it’s absolutely wonderful to be Italian.
When I got home, my mother was sitting at the kitchen table sipping a glass of red wine with a somewhat anguished look on her face. Jase had his arms on the table, slowly rolling his head back and forth on them. I had obviously come in on the middle of a conversation.
Jase was saying in between rolls, “….so how…does that work…Grandma?”
My mother pushed her wine away and got up. “Your father will explain it, Jase. He’s had a lot of experience in that area.”
I said, “What area?”
My mother picked up her purse and grabbed her coat. She smiled at me, poked her finger into my chest, and lifted on eyebrow. “Reproduction.” She shook her head and continued, “I gave it a shot, but then decided it wasn’t worth it; besides, it’s your job.” She pointed to the stove. “You got Fettuccine Alfredo tonight. And there’s sausages in the oven. You just gotta warm up the fettuccine in the hot water and mix in the Alfredo sauce. The sauce is in the double boiler - don’t screw it up. If you mix those together and just let it sit, you might as well use it to plaster the walls. Don’t mix em till you’re ready to eat. You understand?”
She glared at me in that Italian mother way; you know, that way that says, “I don’t believe you, I don’t trust you, and I know you’re guilty of something.” “Don’t uh huh me… tell me you understand.” Oh God!
“I understand, Ma. If you mix em together and let it sit, you got concrete. I won’t mix em till Pete gets home.” You’d think we were building artificial fucking hearts.
And like magic, as soon as the words were out of my mouth, Pete walked in through the garage door. He smiled, then bent and kissed my mother.
“Hi, Helen.” Pete is gorgeous at any time of day, but every time of day is different. In the evening, like now, he’s tired and his dark blond hair has dropped down over his forehead, and his deep blue eyes have taken on a hooded bedroom quality. So basically, what you’ve got is a six foot four inch hunk with a hairy chest and a big dick, who’s tired from a long day at work and in need of affection.
My mother glows, because she adores him; and she puts both her hands lightly on Pete’s chest, shakes her head woefully and says, “Pete, please, don’t let him mix the pasta and the sauce until you’re ready to eat.”
She would have warned him about me instructing Jase on the ways of love, but the little critter launched himself at Pete, and got scooped up between Pete and my mom. This left her looking rapidly from Jase to me, unable to say anything; and finally, she just muttered something about it being in God’s hands.
She shook her head and said, “I gotta fix dinner for your father.”
When my mom left, and Pete had put him back on terra firma, Jase pulled on my hand and said, “So, are you gonna tell me about how babies get made? Grandma said…”
I interrupted, “Grandma says you wanna know about procreation?”
He stared at me for a second. “What’s that?”
“Procreation? Well, you know what creation means… procreation just means that you’re really good at it. You know, like not an amateur anymore.”
Jase gave Pete a quick look, then said, “Huh?”
Pete intervened with one of his most commonly used words. “Eric!”
I looked down at Jase, and in a bid for a reprieve, said, “You know, you’re missing your favorite program, the one where the Zombies form a rock band and lurch to Los Angeles.” It’s true, that’s probably not a real program, and that fact isn’t lost on my son. He just stares at me impatiently.
Finally, I stare melodramatically at the ceiling, groan loudly and say, “Okay, okay, okay, what is it exactly that you want to know?” The thing is that kids often want to know way less than you think you have to tell them. But that was not to be my fate.
“Billy Holwreker says that his sister got pregnant, cause she had sex, so I wanna know about that.” Of course, he does.
My handsome husband looks at me from across the room, lifts an eyebrow and says, “You want me to tell him?”
I shake my head. “It’ll be more fun my way.” Now, it’s Pete’s turn to roll his eyes skyward.
I look down at Jase and say, “You know your penis?”
“Uh huh.” Jase’s hand, like every guys would, drops unconsciously to the front of his pants.
“Well, when you… well, not you exactly, but some other random guy, gets older… much, much older than you are… well then, when he and his wife, or I guess girlfriend, make love - his penis ends up inside her, and she gets pregnant.” Thank God, that’s over.
Jase stares at me for a moment, then finally says, “I thought it might be something like that.” Then he just kinda stood there like he had been expecting something great and it hadn’t happened.
“You look disappointed.”
“Well… it doesn’t make a lotta sense.”
“Tell me about it! It makes no sense at all… but there ya go. But Jase, it’ll make more sense when you’re older. Well, actually it won’t, but it won’t feel like it needs to make sense. Don’t think about it in terms of it being logical, because almost nothing humans do is logical. Except, maybe arithmetic.” Yes, I could feel vibrations coming off Pete, like a diesel locomotive getting ready to pull a train.
Pete walked over and stood behind me… close behind me. I could feel the afore mentioned heat radiating off of him, and it was beginning, surprisingly quickly, to cause some activity in my Calvin Klein boxer briefs; and my mind begin wandering to… well, you guessed it, cock.
He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “How about you and I get changed and washed up for dinner; we can discuss all this later.”
I put my hand on Jase’s head as we walked and said, “So what else did you do today, besides all this sex talk?”
He shrugged. “Not much, Ernie found a dead bird.”
“He eat it?”
“Dad, that’s gross!”
“No, it’s not. When I was your age, Grandma used to walk all around the neighborhood picking up dead birds, so she could make Dead Bird Stew.”
“Ugh! That’s disgusting!
“Hey, I know what you’re thinking… you’re worried about the feathers, but they float to the top of the pot, and you scoop em out.”
“Dad, she didn’t do that!” This is what dads do - mess with their kids.
“It sure is, you ask her.” I know, it’s like planting a time bomb; but somehow, I just can’t stop myself.
Halfway to our bedroom, Jase peeled off, saying that he was gonna watch television until we were ready to eat. And the fact that Pete and I would have some privacy triggered an idea.
When we walked into the bedroom, I closed the door and walked into our bathroom while Pete was taking off his coat.
“Pete. Could you come here and look at this?”
I heard him hanging up his suit coat in the closet. “Why, what’s the matter?”
“It’s just this thing, I think it might be infected.” Hey, he’s a doctor… they can’t resist the opportunity that an infection offers.
Suddenly, he poked his head thru the door. “What’s infected, whadya do?”
“Come in and close the door, I don’t want Jace hearing this.”
“What’s the matter? You were fine this morning.”
I gently pushed him back against the closed door. “I’m a lot hornier now than I was then.”
“Oh, God! Eric, I’m tired, can’t we do this later?”
I shook my head while I pulled open his belt and pulled his zipper down. “You don’t have to do anything! Just stand there.” I quickly dropped to my knees and assumed the initiative.
He opened his mouth to say something; but by then, I had already begun to scoop his goodies out of their 100% cotton confines… and despite his protests, it only took about ten second before the object of my desire was leaving a wet trail across my face, and the earlier protests had become simply, “Ohhhhhh!” There are a few things in life that I’m actually good at.
After dinner, which I didn’t fuck up, Pete and I were on the sofa like we usually are, with Pete reading some complicated looking doctor stuff and me ruminating on a post prandial fuck. I was watching the back of Jase’s head. He was typing something into an iPad that we got him after he put up a two-week campaign of harassment… while he was also watching television.
I looked at Pete and whispered, “Rose noticed the hood of the car.”
I took a second for him to realize I was talking to him, before he got a confused look on his face and said, “Huh?”
I gestured towards the garage with my eyes, like I figured that somehow would help and said, “Last night… the hood of the car… I never got a chance to wash it off.”
He whispered softly, “Ohhh. Well, ahhh, was there enough that she could somehow…”
I snorted, “She’s like the FBI. She figured it out.”
I moved my toes to his balls and nudged. “Don’t worry about it, she’s all for it. She’s all crazy about her relatives again, though. Talking about selling the company like she always does.”
“Any chance she’ll ever do that?”
I thought about it. “I can’t imagine it, but who knows. I guess if she got pissed enough, it could happen.”
Pete said, “Somehow that seems so sad; like I couldn’t imagine her without that company. She’s such a fixture in town.”
Charlie the dog walked in, sat directly behind Jase, and began licking the back of his head. Jase reached back without taking his eyes off of the television and pushed Charlie away. Charlie accepted that for a moment, then looked over and Pete and me and whined loudly in frustration.
“I know… it does seem sad.” Then something occurred to me. “Maybe there’s something I can do.”
Pete lowered what he was reading, placed it on the floor, came down to my end of the sofa, slid in behind me with his crotch firmly pressed to my butt, and murmured in my ear, “Eric, don’t get involved.”