©01 The Media Desk
Back to the Desk
"Huh?" The desk clerk looked up. "Oh, welcome to Riverview Inn. You must be the honeymoon couple." He looked around the desk for something.
For the record. Mary was still wearing the wedding gown minus headpiece and train, and Jack was still in most of his tux. This desk clerk was a master of the obvious.
"Oh, yeah. HEY FRANK! THEY'RE HERE! THE ahhhh HONEYMOONERS." He hollered while looking straight ahead.
Mary looked around the small lobby behind them, an old man was reading the paper near the front door, other than him, the place was deserted.
The clerk looked at them and smiled.
Mary was kind of glad this wasn't the Ritz in Chicago. Then again, this wasn't any Ritz, and no mistake. She reserved judgement until she saw the room.
In a minute a man who had to be the manager stepped out of a back room. He smiled warmly. "I'm Frank Armstead, the owner, I'm so glad you're here, we don't get many newlyweds. Let me show you around."
The tour lasted all of three minutes. He showed them a side room where there was a continental breakfast in the morning, donuts from the store across the highway, fruit, and juice and coffee. And a newspaper if you wanted it.
"It's free with the room, of course."
Then he showed them the small coin laundry, with a vending machine of soap, toothbrushes, and the like. He pointed to the restaurant and lounge across the parking lot and explained if they showed their waitress their key they'd get a ten percent discount on their meals.
"This is a nice place. You should be proud of it." Mary told him, it made the man's day. Then the owner took them to show them their room. The housekeeper had gotten the special honeymoon sheets out of a cedar closet, fake silk, but nice enough. She had found the bucket they draped a deep purple colored cloth over to make it into a wine chiller, and ordered flowers from the store across the road.
"It's wonderful Mr. Armstead. Thank you so very much." Mary gushed. She really did appreciate it.
The manager kissed her hand they went back down front to check in.
He looked himself in the eye and then went back downstairs.
The play was to begin in half an hour, he had a fresh pack of gum in his pocket, and thought he was ready for what he had been told was legitimate theater.
The girls had gone up to freshen up before they left.
It was a short walk to the small theater in the library complex where the play was running.
The campus's three theaters alternated productions.
The music annex housed a theater for musical numbers and concerts, the library ran classics and smaller productions, the big theater next to Ol' Abe could stage everything from a folk singer on a stool with a to a Broadway style major production, and did.
The big theater had just finished a very successful staging of an experimental theater type production of a psychological thriller based on the Sherlock Holmes tradition that had sold the place out every night.
The reception continued to go. The DJ's station was taken over by a couple of the guests, and the band took a prolonged break to run what remained of the buffet table.
Bonker was finally worn out. He flopped into his wheelchair after putting his empty mug on the bar and shaking his head at another one. He looked around for his nurse. He had last seen her with the cowboyish band member. But after a few minutes of looking he started to wheel himself towards the exit. In a minute he felt a push from behind.
"Going somewhere without me?" Maggie asked him.
"No, it's just that all of the sudden I feel exhausted. I mean, I'm having a wonderful time. This is the best party I've been to in a long time. But all of the sudden I just felt very tired. You know."
Maggie walked around him and looked at him. He looked tired, but his eyes still wandered back to the dance floor. Maggie made a deal with him, they would sit and watch and have one more drink and a snack, then Maggie would make arrangements to take him back to campus.
Maggie went to get some popcorn and a drink, on the way there she saw the butler from the mansion. She explained the problem to him and that her car was back on campus.
"I will have the van pick you and Mr. Peitroase up at the rear in say fifteen minutes." He paused, looking her over, "Miss, you look quite nice in your gown. We were all very proud of your heroics last weekend." His broad smile was genuine.
For some reason the compliments from the butler made her glow inside. She was very glad he was proud of her.
"Dale do you know what a 'tempest' is?" Colleen asked.
"I think itís like a storm."
"Give the boy a cigar!" Ralph called to the surroundings as they walked to the library. "Now, how's your 'Kings English?'"
"You mean like in the Bible?" Dale thought he could understand it all right. "I can keep up."
"I'm a little worried about being able to follow the story, what's it about?" Peggy asked.
Ralph didn't answer at all, he had no idea what the play was about, prepared himself and was going to try to stay awake for it and remember just enough to be able to talk about it with Colleen later.
"I've never seen it." Colleen admitted, everybody was stunned, but she put that to rest. "I read the play the other night, it involves a king, Alonso. a Duke who is a wizard named Prospero, and Prospero's brother that stole his Dutchy, I can't remember his name. The Duke is on an island with his teenaged daughter who seems to never have seen another living man."
Ralph looked at Dale, maybe they wouldn't have to stay awake to see the play after all.
Mary even helped Jack carry their stuff up to their end room on the second floor. They noticed the room next door was empty, maybe the owner thought they would disturb the neighbors. They managed to get the suitcases and all in one very heavy trip.
Jack hadn't gotten to carry her across the threshold, and they had been in the room twice now. Jack told her he wanted to check the car to make sure it was locked and went back out. When he came back up he banged on the door like he had locked himself out. When she opened it, he grabbed her and pulled her out. Then he picked her up and carried her in. Mary gasped and kissed him.
"Put me down. We might tear the dress. You're crazy." But she loved it. He dumped her on the bed. "First things first. I want to raid that cooler and have a sandwich. That was a long drive. Especially with that detour fifty miles out of the way."
"I wrote down the name of the town we liked. It was cute."
Jack made a face. "If you like dead end towns. I can't believe that town has a college. What was it Mammoth, Manmouth, something like that."
Mary got off the bed and dug in her purse. "It's in here, see look what else is in here." She held up the nighty.
Now Jack looked at it.
"You won't need that for awhile." He took her into his arms tightly.
"I thought you were hungry."
Jack bit her neck lightly. "I am."
"First help me out of this dress." He needed little encouragement.
But before they could get involved the phone rang. Mary answered it.
"Sorry to disturb you young folks. I hope I didn't interrupt anything."
"No sir. Jack was just getting in the shower. It was a long drive. We had to detour through Monmouth to get across the river."
The manager chuckled. "You didn't have to go all that way, before you go back I'll give you directions to save you some time. Now, for what it was I called about... Mrs. Humble said she will serve you folks a dinner on the house if you'll send her a signed picture of your wedding. She'll hang it by the register, she collects celebrity pictures."
"Mr. Armstead, we're not celebrities." Mary protested.
"Miss, I mean Mrs. Foster. I don't follow basketball that much, but I've been told your husband is the star of the team this year. And you were on the TV news dancing with that university president just last week, my wife thought that was great, she's thrilled to have you here. She's looking forward to meeting you."
Mary's stomached flopped around with the reminder of all the memories, good and bad. "I'll see if Jack wants to go out to dinner and call you back."
She hung up, "You won't believe it. We're stars."
Harrison hadn't gone to the wedding.
He and Valerie left the house early and went back out to the communal farm. He wanted another fix of it.
Valerie quickly agreed.
They got there while the residents and a few guests were still eating breakfast to the music of the large woman playing a small organ on her lap.
The hollow slightly metallic notes sounded out of place, but she was playing with a lot of soul. It was improvisational number based loosely on the James Bond themes.
Harrison had eaten breakfast at the Roz house.
But he had a little bit of the farm food just to be sociable.
Fried corn meal mush, pancakes with fruit chunks in them, an odd sausage somebody said was made right there, and a rich hot tea that would almost pass for coffee. Valerie had gone with one of the women who was a student at the university but stayed every weekend and all summer on the farm.
Harrison didn't know it, but she was setting him up, partially to pay him back for their having gone all the way the other day, and because they went all the way the other day. No that's not exactly right, he went all the way, she was kind of left hanging.
Later, while he was drinking real coffee the longhair made an announcement. "My good fellow breathers. We have an occasion. We will circle and chart the paths of total love for ourselves." He looked at Harrison, smiling.
"Starses?" Jack said.
"Yeah, it seems the local paper can't get enough of us. Well, you've been in the paper, of course, as the next Larry Bird or Magic or something." Mary was trying to get the dress undone. There was a moment of panic running through her, for a second she thought she was trapped in it and would spend the whole weekend in her wedding gown. Then the zipper worked and the heavy garment fell to the floor in a white heap.
"He said I was on the TV news dancing with Dr. Myersong last week."
"I guess we should watch TV more." Jack looked at Mary's face, there was something else she hadn't said. "What is it?"
"I'm just not sure I want publicity."
"Hey none of that. What do you think of the garter and the hose, and, ..." She tugged at part of her outfit, "Whatever these are called."
He looked her over carefully. "I don't know. I've never seen them before in person." He snapped the elastic on her. "Nah, take it off."
"I've got to call him back. Let's go eat, then come back and play."
Jack thought about it. "I don't have any dress clothes. I didn't think about it."
Mary told him he'd just have to wear his tux, because she was going to dress up, and she wasn't going with him in jeans and a T-shirt.
The thunder from offstage kept Ralph awake after he had relaxed while the small orchestra played some old English airs.
The curtain rose from a small area to one side of the main stage. It was a ships deck. While there was no actual rain, there was enough artificial breeze, and the ships railing moved a little, and the flashes of lightening let it be known to the TV-bred crowd there was heavy weather in these waters.
"WHEN THE SEA IS.... Hence! What care these roarers for the name of the king? To cabin! SILENCE! Trouble us not." The sailor shouted at some noblemen while pulling on a thick rope.
Dale was surprised he understood both the words and the meaning. This sailor was obviously trying to save his ship in the storm and these fancy men were in the way.
Peggy loved the costumes. The sailor's bare chest heaving on the ropes, the fine attire of the king and his court. Then as there was a horrible noise the ship set went dark, Peggy gasped with the rest of the audience.
They knew what had happened even without Hollywood special effects.
More noise form the darkness, then:
"We split!... Farewell my wife and children! Farewell brother.."
"Let's all sink with the king!" Another voice called.
"Let's take leave of him..." Answered another.
There were a few laughs from the seats.
The noise of the shipwreck increased and the sounds of the storm made a few people duck involuntarily.
Dale was holding his breath.
A light on the far side of the stage.
A pretty girl stood with an old man who was without a doubt the wizard Colleen had mentioned. "If by your art my dearest father, you have put the wild waters in this roar, allay them....
Her voice was so soft and sweet Ralph found himself concentrating on the words instead of her cleavage peeking out of her costume. He wondered how powerful this wizard was to have created such a storm to wreck the ship. This guy was good.
Maggie ended up at the independent house with Bonker, and no nurse.
Bonker seemed recharged a little, the guys in the house that stayed home to watch football gave him a hard time about bringing home the flower girl.
Hairy got a little disgusting. "Hey you old cripple, if you can't muster the umph to boink her a good one, I'll take over for you."
Bonker gave him the finger and walked slowly up the stairs to his old room.
Maggie had stopped in the kitchen to get a glass of wine, she wondered if Bonker could have any more alcohol, she didn't want to force him by taking him a drink. She decided to take a big plastic cup of the wine. They could share. She went up the back stares to his room down the hall from where Jack had lived.
Bonker's room spoke more to the character of the house than any other room in old rambling building. His room was in the section that had been added on to the place as an after thought. It was twelve feet long and about four feet wide, it would make a nice hallway, but Bonk thought it made a great room.
Harrison was backed into a corner and pushed to the floor by the skinny woman he had met the last time.
She was strong and had a face that seemed carved in stone. "You seem to misunderstand the good brother's words, when he says we must love ourselves, he means we must truly love ourselves to really love each other." The woman's strong grasp on his arm let Harrison know she wasn't kidding. "Do you love yourself enough to love me the way I know I deserve to be loved."
She wasn't asking a question.
Harrison felt her well muscled but thin body close to him. He set his jaw. "Well?" Her face was close, her breath hot with the word spoken from between tight lips.
"I'll get back to you on that." He finally said.
The group murmured what could have been approval.
Jack and Mary went to the diner, they weren't really hungry, but they wanted to get this out of the way. The owner of the inn walked with them, and he announced them to the hostess at the restaurant.
The place was nice enough. It was one of those all plastic, Formica, and florescent places complete with fake flowers and wood grain veneer that sprung up like weeds everywhere in the seventies. It had been a chain restaurant, then it passed into the capable hands of Mrs. Humble. She left the decor much as it had been, but she had wisely reworked the menu and added a few touches to the interior to reflect more of her taste. The food was now as homey and real as the booths were sterile and plastic.
Mrs. Humble made it a point to get a picture of every celebrity that came through, no matter how minor, and she had several walls now well littered with the framed pictures.
Governors, TV personalities, acts from the circus that comes through once a year, some sports figures, and others now smiled at the customers from 8x10 black and white glossies.
'Real' Celeberities, Jerry Van Dyke, Bear Bryant shortly before his last game, and Audrey Hepburn were up by the register. You had to look up and to the left just behind a real plant to see the grinning sunglasses and hat of Richard Petty. Mrs. Humble wasn't sure if he was a 'real' celebrity.
She was happy to see them, she had a place all picked out for their picture, just to one side of the coat-rack, above the 'please be seated' sign. Because they were newly weds, she would allow a color picture if it showed Mary's dress, she had tried to get a description of it out of Mr. Armstead, but he could only say it was pretty with lots of lace.
Mary and Jack were finally seated after much congratulating from some of the customers and most of the help.
A well-dressed man gave Jack his business card and a five-dollar bill with a handshake, "Take it easy on Western Kentucky, ok?" He smiled. Then the man winked at Mary and left the two honeymooners wondering if everybody went weird in the presence of newlyweds.
Harrison was relieved he didn't have to perform with the woman right then and there.
For one, he liked women that had a little more meat on their bones, but he did find her strength and force of will very interesting.
The hairy old hippie was speaking again, he was only wearing a ragged loincloth and had a strange look in his eye.
He started slowly, dwelling on how the brain is the most important sexual organ, and how to please another mind. You had to let go of yourself, to trust yourself. To trust yourself, you had to love yourself. To love yourself, you had to love others. To love others you had to trust them. To trust others you must believe they love themselves enough to trust themselves to love you enough to trust you loving them while loving yourself...
By the second time around Dr. Simmons Harrison, AKA, Lumin, had the idea, by the third time around the loop, he could have recited it.
The longhair went on like this for a good while, and was starting to go around through all of it yet again when he stopped and looked off to one side.
Harrison thought it made some loose kind of psychobabble sense. In a circular kind of way. But he got the point.
The heavy woman had gotten up from the circle and gave the longhair a cup of something. He took it and went to flop into his cross-legged pose to one side of the room.
Everybody else was rather involved with each other. But there wasn't a female within arm's reach of him. He was forced to sit and listen to the heavy woman's singsong voice.
"You must give to take. You must be able to give to take. You must be able to take to give. The more you can give the more you can take." And so on.
Harrison was beginning to see a theme here. But he was worried, he thought he actually understood this stuff.
The large woman ran through her bit a couple of times. Then she was replaced by one of the nicest looking women in the place. She was maybe forty years old, in excellent shape, with shoulder length hair. Harrison had no problem sitting there listening to her.
She was topless and stood in the middle without an ounce of self-consciousness.
"Physical love is the most beautiful gift you can give another that both can share. It is that sharing of that love that makes it beautiful. Without sharing there is no love. Without love there is no sharing. The act becomes less, without meaning. The love without the act becomes less..."
She was really into her speech. Her nipples became taut before his eyes and she gestured and her breasts swayed in the light.
A gray-haired man came in and sat next to Harrison and listened for awhile. When the good-looking woman was replaced by a young man with a bald spot and a bandage on his side, the old man leaned over to Harrison and whispered to him.
"Searcher. If you have a thought to share, just stand and have your say. We'll do this all the light of day."
Harrison smiled as the topless woman took her place sitting along the opposite wall. He was pretty sure they would not be impressed by his thoughts right about then.
The balding man began his speech about the closeness of sharing. Or the sharing of closeness. Maybe both.
Harrison tried to focus on the words.
Billy and the others were now alone in the rented hall.
The band had had one last drank and split. The guests had all left. Mrs. Caldell had to be shoveled into a cab with Ramsey. The butler had thanked them all for a wonderful time, then he was gone as well. Steve and Cindy were sitting at the table with the few that were left.
"Well, we've got to get this place cleaned up. You two aren't dressed for the part, and I think I'm to drunk to do it." Billy fell into a chair.
A couple Billy didn't know was sitting nearby. "Make you a deal." The man said. "You show up here in the morning with some help, I'll get a few volunteers. We'll have some music, a couple of pizza's, and clean this place up. OK?"
Billy thought this sounded good. "Plus we'll drink up any beer left in the kegs. OK."
Jerry shook hands with Billy on it. They all went home.
Peggy and Colleen were sitting side by side, but they were watching a different play.
Peggy was entranced, mesmerized, following the play, "Thy case dear friend, shall be my precedent. As THOU got'st Milan.... I'll come by Naples... Draw thy sword. One stroke, shall free thee from the tribute which thou payest. and I. The KING! shall love thee."
The plot thickened. Peggy was holding her breath, would the conspirators kill the sleeping king.
She wanted to call out to wake the king. Then in a minute the magic spirit appeared behind a bush. She knew the king would be ok.
Colleen hoped they'd go ahead and kill him.
The king was a lousy actor, he had stumbled over a few lines, and he didn't have the regal air she would expect from a king. Besides, he was too short to be Alonso, the king of Naples.
And the costume on the spirit was hideous. He looked like he had been hosed down with glue and then dusted with silver glitter.
Colleen thought she was being too crittical, until the next scene when the drunken butler blew a whole series of speeches and appeared to be really drunk.
"The master, the swabber the bos' n and I, Ö the... mate and I, ahhh, loved Mall, and Marian but none of us cared forÖ Kate..." He paused, his mind was drawing a partial blank of the song. "ahhhh ...She loved not a sailor nor the smell of uh pitch..."
He was saved by the monster Caliban, who realized what was happening.
"Do not torment me..." Caliban said sharply, ending the song butchery.
"What's the matter.. .Have we devils here....." The actor was grateful and got his legs back under him, but there were still a few rough spots.
Colleen felt they should have them down pat. This was Shakespeare, after all. And they were getting class credits for the performance.
Peggy thought the drunkís befuddlement was part of the play.
They ordered a light meal from the waitress who seemed to think this was the most romantic thing she had ever been involved in, and she been married for fifteen years. She also got Jack's autograph for her twelve year old son whom she claimed knew the entire schedule and starting lineups for every sports team within two hundred miles of Burlington.
The cook brought their meals out personally. He wanted to see the celebrity newlyweds himself.
He kissed Mary's hand and went back to the kitchen.
Their meals were thin pork cutlets with gravy and potatoes. They had side orders of carrots and a small salad.
It was all good, and both of them cleaned their plates with relish.
Mary had to stop several times to talk to other customers who seemed to have been told at the door about the special guests.
One woman claimed to have been the homecoming queen at Iowa State in 1957, another wondered why they hadn't gone to Niagara Falls.
But for the most part, the people said 'congratulations' and left.
It had been an hour since they came in, and now they were leaving, but it didn't seem like it.
Mrs. Humble promised them a free breakfast before they left to go back home.
They walked back to the inn and Jack unlocked the door.
Mary didn't give him a chance to carry her this time. She shoved him in the second the door was cracked.
"Whaa. ..." Jack blurted. He tripped over his own feet and landed on his hands and knees.
Mary slammed and locked the door behind them. Then she ran to the bathroom and locked that door behind her. Leaving Jack to wonder what was going on.
Harrison sat for a long time, finally he stood and walked to the only bathroom he had seen, a heated outhouse.
He was back a few minutes later. Now the longhair was back in the middle of the room. Harrison noticed a difference in his speech this time. He was ranting about the ecstasy of the physical experience. He mentioned Nirvana, and the mysteries of the female orgasm. When he was going through how the Kama Sutra leaves more to the imagination than it explains, Harrison managed to sit sort of cross-legged next to the skinny woman.
Harrison noticed Valerie was between two of the farm worker types with long hair and deep tans, she was partially hidden under a sheet with them, and seemed distracted. The gray-haired man was speaking now, about how maturity leads to new levels of bodily pleasure.
"He's going to go on about how he enjoys being old more than he enjoyed being young. I don't think he was ever young." The woman told Harrison. She ran her hand along the inside of his thigh.
Harrison felt poetry coming on. ... ... ... Later.
His hand started to wander along the smooth muscles of her stomach.
(This is gonna jump around a bit. ... ready begin. ..one two three....)
Maggie and Bonker found a new and original use for his wheelchair.
Maggie was surprised that Bonker was still in pretty good shape, and had a lot of stored up, errr, energy from being out of circulation for a long time.
He had never had a steady girlfriend, but he knew his way around well enough.
Later Bonker's night shift nurse came looking for him. She almost panicked when he wasn't in his room on the main floor.
Hairy and the others played stupid, which wasn't hard for them to do.
The nurse was still a little tipsy from the reception. So they encouraged her, and gave her a Zombie that was quiet possibly radioactive, and she ended up doing a striptease for them. Then she passed out on Bonker's downstairs bed.
Mrs. Caldell was about out of it, but she was still conscious.
Ramsey followed her rather complicated directions to her room in the married dorm.
He had no objections to having sex with a woman who was completely lost on booze and fun and dancing and questionable hand rolled cigarettes.
But he felt a little funny about doing it in a strange dorm he had heard horror stories about. Namely about a head resident that hated unmarried men who took advantage of helpless married women who's husbands were out of town.
Mrs. Caldell didn't see things that way.
It didn't take long for her to convince Ramsey that she wasn't going to call the PsychoKillerNazi Dorm Super on him. But she passed out before anything much happened.
Ramsey had had enough for now as well. He fell asleep after he finished undressing her and putting her to bed. He took his sweet time undressing her, and he didn't put a nightgown on her, by the way.
The rest of the guests at the wedding and the reception had already resumed whatever was normal for them.
Mary's dad slept like a rock in the motel, her mom dozed beside him with the TV on. She was amused to see some brief footage on the late campus news program about the wedding.
They got everything right except Jack's first name. They called him Brad Foster, that was his dad's name, Bradton Foster, oh well.
Meanwhile back in Iowa. Mary had demanded Jack close his eyes and face the wall.
She dove out of the bathroom and into the bed and pulled the sheets up over her head. She then told Jack the bathroom was free for his use.
He realized she was certifiably insane and he should have hitchhiked to Indianapolis and tried for that job with the Pacers, but it was too late now. He went into the bathroom.
The first thing he noticed was the smell. Not the toxic fumes of a New Jersy landfill like the independent house bathrooms. But a sweet, almost a little too sweet, musky smell.
He found it tantalizing. He showered in a hurry, but he still expected her to be asleep when he came out. Jack had on a satin robe he had bought for a special occasion and had never worn. It has spent the last two years buried in his dresser. He found it by accident when he packed to move to the married dorm.
The price tag dangled unnoticed from the back of the collar as he put it on.
He opened the bathroom door, and got a shock.
Mary was ready to be MRS. Foster.
Dale sat through the play. There were times when he wasn't sure what was going on, he liked the monster Caliban, he wanted to remember one of his lines:
"You taught me language and my profit on't is... I know how to curse! The red plague rid you, For teaching me your language."
"0, Wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here!" Miranda faced the audience and spoke clearly, "How beauteous mankind is..... 0 brave new world, that has such people in it!"
There was a brief round of applause.
Prospero waited a minute before he answered.
The applause died. He nodded to her. "Tis new to thee." He said slowly.
Ralph didn't have much respect for ol' Propero, anybody dumb enough to trust a scheming brother with his throne while he went to study magic and animals deserved to be run out of town. But he seemed to be coming out on top.
Ralph understood the wizards motives, but he would never have been that lenient, The upsurping brother would be seaweed fertilizer.
Jack stood and looked at Mary, she was sitting on the bed, in that bridal teddy outfit he couldn't face at the reception. The lights were low, she had found what would pass for romantic music on the TV/radio, there was champagne in the plastic motel cups, and she had stuffed the phone under the chair cushions and piled suitcases on top of it.
Jack took it all in. "Hey, we're married."
Mary stood up. The teddy didn't quite fit...
Yeah, I know, Oh Well.
"And we're alone."
She took his hands, "I love you."
Jack didn't let go of her hands. He walked her over to the counter and gave her a cup of the sparkling wine. "How about a toast to my wife?"
"How about a toast to my husband?" She responded. They drank.
Jack wheezed. "Za booblth . ...snoumph. ..ahh, the bubbles always get to my nose."
"Silly you sip champagne, not chug it like cheap beer." She scolded.
Jack looked at his wife. Her chest was straining the fabric, the high cut legs rode up on her, exposing her cheeks in the back. "I'd better get you out of that before it comes apart."
"I think that's the idea."
Jack pulled her to him for a hug, then he just lifted her off the floor and flung both of them onto the bed.
Mary discovered the teddy was as hard to get out of as it was into.
Finally Jack gave up and got a good grip on it and tried to rip it off her. It wouldn't give. Jack sat up and looked her in the eye, "You planned this right?"
She just smiled.
Mary had every intention of getting naked on her honeymoon. But the nitey had a mind of its own.
Jack was going to get it off her if he had to chew it off.
But a prettier, if not calmer, head prevailed.
Mary got out of bed and tried to reverse the way she had put it on. She wiggled and stretched and did a few contortions Houdini would be proud of, and got out of the nitey with only minor sprains to show for it.
"That was the sexiest thing I've ever seen. We're gonna keep that so you can get out of it again." Jack said breathing heavily.
"No way." She wrapped a towel around herself.
"No fair. I'm naked. You're wearing that, bathrobe." She plopped on the end of the bed. "But it is a nice bathrobe. Where'd you get it?"
He shrugged. And stood up.
Jack had the robe on the floor before she could look over her shoulder at him.
He grabbed her and they wrestled for awhile.
The phone rang, once. Then it was silent.
The radio announcer talked about a chance of snow flurries and freezing rain before morning. But the weather report was lost on the new Mr. and Mrs. Foster.
They were busy.
Dale was impressed by Prospero's closing statement to the audience.
He didn't realize that this is speech is widely regarded as Shakespeare's goodbye to the stage as he retired to private life.
Dale thought the Duke was asking the people watching to release him from some sort of spell so he could go back to his throne and rule in peace.
They filed out of the theater. Colleen made Ralph swear they were going dancing now. Dale realized Peggy expected dancing as well.
Luck was with Dale this day. There was a sign on the announcement board outside the theater. 'Charity Benefit Sock Hop and Nostalgia dance' sounded just like what they needed.
Dale knew where the International Club meeting hall was, so they were on their way. Colleen wanted to check it out, then she would decide where Ralph was going to dance with her.
The clubroom was jumping to fifties music, and there was a lot of people already there. The charge was two dollars each, but Peggy was only a dollar because they thought her outfit was fifties style.
Colleen immediately hit the dance floor, the music wasn't totally fifties, and a couple of the songs played were in Japanese, this was the international club after all, but the dancing wasn't exactly fifties either.
Line dancing and bad disco moves shared the floor with close dancers and something related to the jitterbug. Even Dale could dance to this beat.
Mrs. Caldell woke up a little later. She felt an undeniable urge to race down the hall and puke until the cows came home.
Later she felt better, and some of her memory came back, then she really felt better.
She took a shower by herself and washed her hair.
Harrison was fairly involved with the skinny woman while some of the others got up and talked about all sorts of things to do with inter-personal relationships.
Harrison felt something building in his gut, and it had very little to do with her rough hands doing things to him, or what he was doing to her.
He looked around for Valerie, she was closer to one of the laborers than the other, and seemed to be concentrating on something besides the redheaded guy talking about how love can endure through everything from arguments about what to get on a pizza, through bad sex, through kids, through death, and so on.
Before Harrison knew exactly what he was doing or why, or what he would say he started to get up.
The woman jerked him back down. "You're not ready yet." She leaned over onto him and kissed him hard and deep.
Harrison let the urge to speak his mind die, and returned the deep kiss for all he was worth.
The next thing he was actually aware of besides the strong thin woman was the longhair banging on a pan announcing a lunch for the body and the soul.
Harrison pulled back slightly, she was breathless and sweaty too, she nodded in silent agreement.
Valerie pulled him aside. "You're in for a treat after lunch, I know what's going to happen, I just hope I ain't it. You'll love it."
Harrison couldn't get anymore out of her, they discussed what the speeches had been about. She told him she had heard all this a couple of times before, it changed a little, the ideas grew and multiplied and flowed with the group.
Since the group had a few regulars and a lot of transients, some of whom went from one commune to the next, others lived in town and came out here as the mood took them, the philosophy was fluid and alive. Now it was in transition again.
Harrison listened to the redheaded man playing a harp sing for awhile, then he finished eating and went to find the thin woman. He wanted to ask her when he'd be ready to share his ideas with the group.
She wouldn't answer him directly, she flagged down the longhaired man in the loincloth.
He listened for a second, then the old hippie took Harrison by the shoulders and kissed him on the lips. No tongue or groping, just a kiss of friendship.
Harrison recoiled in shock and tried to remember how to fight.
"You will not be ready to share for many steps on the journey."
Harrison realized he had just been tested, and he had failed miserably.
Maggie watched Bonker sleeping. He had held her for a few minutes, then he just went to sleep.
Maggie liked him a lot, he was genuine, he had confided to her that the wrestling coach had been after him to come back and advise the JV squad, but Bonker was unsure about it. He had been good at wrestling, but now, he didn't want to be a hanger on.
Maggie wanted to stay the night with him, but duty called, and she needed to get out of the bridesmaids' dress.
She walked over to the Catholic dorm and did her thing. In a couple of hours, she was back in Bonker's room.
Colleen told Dale they were leaving, this party was dry except for half pints smuggled in in somebody's armpit.
She wanted a juice drink Dale had never heard of, and some livelier music.
Ralph was glad to be going, he was tired of drinking from travel cups of weak whisky, and little bottles of gin.
Dale had to keep dancing with Peggy. Several guys had tried to cut in, she declined for him, and she kept dancing.
One girl had tried to cut in, with Peggy, they both declined that one.
After Ralph and Colleen left Dale wanted to get out as well. The crowd was getting a little seedier, and several of the drunks were getting loud.
After while there was a fight over by the DJ's booth. It started as a shouting match, then some pushing and shoving. The bouncer got punched out and put away, the fight started spreading. Dale tried to get Peggy to the door. But there was a bunch in the way all slapping each other and starting to throw real punches.
Dale heard a war-hoop that sounded familiar.
Jimbo was in the middle of the fight. He and some black leather type were going for it with all comers, and laying them out clean.
Dale thought it looked like a TV show fight.
Mary was holding her new husband like he was a new doll she was infatuated with. She knew they had been good together before, but now it was different.
She had never been a big one for guilt about having premarital sex, but once in awhile there was a little twinge of conscious, but now there was nothing but love and joy, and an openness between them that just hadn't been there before.
Maybe it was a mutual decision they made early on.
Mary had been on birth control since high school. Her mother had been honest with her, she didn't want her going out with everybody and their brother, but she told her that it was a lot easier to already be prepared when she met the right guy than it was to try to get things like that started when you weren't thinking about them clearly.
But up to today, she had always insisted on condoms. Between diseases and everything else, it was easier to claim she wasn't on the pill and make the guy wear one if he wanted to score. She had kept this up with Jack, out of habit more than anything else. But now.....
"Jack, put that away."
"What? . . . No. I don't want you to get pregnant on our honeymoon."
"Jack," She reached for her champagne. "I've been on the pill for ages sweetheart, Before, I just... well."
Jack kissed her tenderly. "We get tested every year for that HIV. As far as I know, I'm clear. I was wondering about you, you know, before, but hell, if you can't trust your wife."
It made things much better to have the formalities out of the way.
Jimbo had had no intention of going to something as patently stupid as a sock hop.
But it was Carl's first DJ gig since he had gotten hurt. He hadn't even done his radio show since then. But this dance date was open, so he took it.
He didn't have to do a whole lot, there was only going to be a couple of contests, and the music was all on CD.
Jimbo went with him and helped him set up. Then Jimbo was bored silly.
Aljawon stopped by, he had smuggled in some drink and gave a sip to Carl.
Aljawon was into leather and chains and metal studs on his boots. Jimbo thought the outfit was silly, but his friend had never made it a secret that he really didn't care what the gender of his partner was for the night. He did not discriminate at all, he liked everybody.
I mean, he, liked, everybody. And he seldom spent a night alone.
Then the fight started. Just a couple of drunks thumping chests at each other over something stupid. But it spread, and soon it was a knockdown drag out fistfight that even Jimbo could be proud of.
He watched the bouncer get his bell rung, and he stepped in. Aljawon stepped right with him. And they proceeded to clean clocks wholesale.
Carl kept the music playing.
And they rocked.
It took awhile, but the bouncer got his senses back and campus security was on the way. Jimbo knew the bouncer from his part time job, so he was cleared, and Jimbo spoke for Aljawon.
The instigators were hauled off, and the bystanders applauded the tag team that had saved the night.
But by then Peggy and Dale were halfway across campus on their way back to the house.
Mrs. Caldell woke Ramsey up after she washed up and used the last of her husband's minty mouthwash. She hated the stuff, but it did smell good.
Ramsey was for a moment more interested in sleep than he was in Kim. But she changed his mind in a hurry. He responded, and they went to town, and never left the bed.
Afterwards Kim wanted to talk. Ramsey wanted to sleep.
"You know, I'll have to move out of the married dorm as soon as I get a final on my divorce from Clod Dumbo." She said.
"So where you gonna go?"
"I can't afford to live off campus, and I sure can't stand to live in a regular dorm again."
He wasn't thinking. "So pledge a sorority."
"You got to be kidding!. What sorority wants a divorced nymphomaniac moving in with them?"
Ramsey opened his eyes. "All of them."
"Its been an interesting day." Dale said as they neared the house. It was now after midnight, and they hadn't really stopped since before noon. With the wedding then the reception then the play, and finally the dance that had ended in the fight, Dale thought they had had a full enough day to satisfy anybody.
Peggy was tired, but with all the excitement she was in no mood to just shut down and go to sleep. "Let's see if they've done the popcorn yet.
In the back room there was just a few stragglers sitting around watching the TV. There was a big bowl of popcorn left, Peggy took it and landed cross-legged in a big old chair.
Dale sat on the arm of the chair and dipped into the bowl to get a handful of the popcorn.
He looked down at her. She was very pretty in a not-yet-full grown way. Her face still had a slight look of childhood to it, and her figure was just beginning to show, but she was still rather pretty.
Pretty enough to make an impact on Keith and Rob who had been swilling beer and watching the old war movie.
The guys sat up a little straighter when she came in. Keith smoothed his mustache while she fetched the popcorn, they were both giving her a long slow once over with their eyes she sat and ate some of the popcorn and looked at the movie on the TV.
Peggy was just beginning to learn to appreciate the way guys looked at her. She enjoyed being pretty, and she liked it when the men around her let her know in those subtle ways that they had noticed that she was nice looking.
She didn't yet know enough to realize all the meanings of those looks, but she had a good idea. Only when somebody like Ralph leered at her with open lust on his face, like he had done once when she first met him, did it make her uncomfortable.
But she had noticed that Colleen seemed to thrive on those looks. But Colleen had more self-confidence than every other woman Peggy had ever met, combined.
Dale just sat and watched the others look at her. He knew from watching the fight he could never defend her honor in anything besides a debate on the quantum mechanics of the photosphere. He involuntarily flexed his arms muscles anyway as he reached for more popcorn.
Keith's look was just beginning to have some leer to it, but the younger man didn't have the obscene edge to it, yet.
Then Yyavonne came in. She was in a low-cut but classy dress with tiny straps that barely concealed her chest, it was slit nearly too high for good taste, and the back plunged to the small of her back. She held her head high and flatly ignored Rob's gaping jaw or Keith's wide-eyed blank expression.
Yyavonne told Peggy she had just been to a wonderful reception with Dr. Myersong after the wedding, she had just stopped by to get a few things.
"We had dinner with some writer who did a history of the Indians of the state. Then everybody went crazy on wine. It was fun." She smiled.
Mr. and Mrs. Foster didn't sleep a whole lot on their first night of wedded bliss. They were too wound up, even though they were exhausted. After a while of being sweaty together, they fell into an uneasy doze. Then one or the other would stir, and the other would wake up.
Finally in the wee small hours affectionately known in the night watchman trade as "0h Dark Thirty" they were both awake and sort of half watching 'Insomnia Theater' with some yo-yo in gag monster makeup hosting a real lousy movie with ten minute commercial interruptions, half of which were with a fat man wearing a rain barrel trying to sell cars because he had lost his shirt.
The commercials were better than the movie.
For all the attention Jack and Mary were paying to it it could have been the Muppets and the Boston Pops playing the great rap hits of Waylon and Willie.
They were holding each other very close. Mary started crying. "Don't tell me you're so happy you can't help crying." She sputtered a little. "Ok, I won't tell you."
He didn't answer. The guy in the rain barrel was on top of an RV. "Well?"
Jack looked at her by bending his neck sideways and down. "Well what?"
"We've almost been married twelve hours. What're you going to give me for our anniversary?" She had stopped crying.
Jack thought about it for a second. "How about a warm flat glass of champagne and a goose."
Mary fell for it. "What goose?" As soon as she said it she knew she had been had. Jack's long arm whipped around under and behind her and....
"Hey!" She squirmed at the sudden thrill. "That's not nice!"
"That was your goose, now do you want your drink?"
She nodded. "What is this idiot doing on top of the building?"
The shirtless dealer was screaming about how he was going to new heights to show you that his fine selection of cars was reduced to insane prices.
Then the rest of the car lot help was on camera, none of them wearing shirts.
What do you expect for a local commercial produced by the very nut that was on camera in a rain barrel? And sponsored the all night B-movie marathon.
Harrison was back in his corner.
But now most of the room lights were off, except for the spotlight in the center of the room.
Valerie had changed neighbors, she was now sitting next to a man that could only be described as a gentleman.
He didn't look exactly out of place, he was too comfortable for that, but his mannerisms and his clothes didn't make you think of him as someone who belonged in the middle of hippie heaven.
Harrison was a little breathless, the skinny woman was sitting on his lap. She was now getting seriously friendly with him.
He saw this was happening everywhere in the room. He shrugged and went with the flow.
Ramsey was good at keeping Mrs. Caldell near the peak for a long time before he let her go over. She was going nuts and he had trouble keeping her on the bed.
All of the sudden he stopped working on her. "I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to answer it right now."
He was barely able to control his own primal urge, but for right now, he had the upper, errr, hand, and he was going to make the best of it.
Kim's nerves were on fire, not just any fire, she felt like the tinder dry undergrowth of Yellowstone Park waiting on the lightening strike that would set off a firestorm that would cover three states. She was primed and ready, but she wasn't going to beg for that sweet release, at least not yet. "ok, what?" She said breathlessly;
"When they throw you out of here as a divorcee, you'll move in with me until the Christmas break. Then you'll be able to find a room in the senior dorm. There's always openings mid term because of graduations."
He wasn't exactly looking in her eye. Especially since she was now on her hands and knees on the bed and he was behind her kneeling on the floor.
She bit the pillow, her body was begging for the release. "Yeah, sure, fine, please do that some more."
"Promise?" He tickled her a little.
"Yes. YES!!!...." She felt his tongue begin its good work again.
It wasn't long before she was screaming into her pillow.
Later she tried to remember how long it had been since her husband had done that for her. Then she realized Ramsey had done things to her that her husband had never done.
But immediately after her world lit up, Ramsey started to do something that would allow his animal urge to escape.
Kim prepared to scream into her pillow again as Ramsey suggested something else Sal had never done with her. "Itís been a very long time, please take it easy." She begged in a small voice.
He agreed and smiled a wicked smile she couldn't see.
Finally they collapsed on each other and slept like bears in hibernation.
Yyavonne hung around a little, then everybody in the room except her got the shock of their lives. Dr. Myersong walked in! He took the actress by the arm and spun her around, then he dipped her like they were dancing and kissed her for all he was worth.
Peggy thought it was the most gracefully romantic thing she had ever seen. Nobody was aware that the butler was standing behind the amorous couple at full attention
Finally he allowed her to stand, she took her feet with grace and flair, just like if she was on stage.
Myersong didn't seem surprised the butler was there. "Sir, your car is back." The butler said.
Myersong nodded to the students and extended his arm to her. They left.
Peggy walked out not long after The University President and Yyavonne left.
Dale went with her after a minute, he didn't want Rob and Keith to think they had left together.
Discretion was one of Dale's better traits, even though he didn't know he was being discreet.
The first thing Dale did upstairs was go to his room and change into his play clothes. He felt like the suit was part of him, even though he had loosened his tie up at the dance. He was just putting his shirt in the laundry bag and wondering where to take his jacket to get it dry-cleaned when he heard the butler's authoritative knock on his door. Dale opened it.
"Master Hinerick, I will add your suit to the dry-cleaning order if you wish."
Dale didn't say anything. He just handed the man his jacket and pants.
As the butler turned Dale said, "Thank you sir."
The butler froze for just a split second. Then he turned and bowed slightly turning his head an inch toward him. "You're welcome. Sir."
Dale closed the door. He had noticed the butler was carrying Peggy's new dress over his arm.
He wondered if he should go knock on her door. But he never left his room.
He opened his door and looked down the hallway towards her room. The place was deserted and very quiet. He closed his door again.
Dale had a series of wild thoughts flash through his brain.
Several fantastic visions burned into his consciousness. Peggy laid out in the nitey from the mall waiting on him holding out her hands to him invitingly or her as the Amazon warrior queen training him to he her slave lover.
Dale decided he had been spending too much time watching nighttime TV.
They fell asleep for good as the early news was coming on at about five in the morning. They had become almost too intimate with each other.
For a brief moment Mary felt like she could feel how Jack felt about her just by touching his face. She wondered if a deep enough love made telepathy possible. But as soon as the idea surfaced, it was gone. The old doubt that he was just play-acting to get her in bed came back.
'If he is acting, I got him for the long term contract.' She thought to herself.
They lay intertwined in the bed, soft sighs and deep breathing the only sounds from that side of the room.
The forgotten TV talked about a late season tropical depression in the Gulf and a political stink in Italy that reached into the world bank and had repercussions in the US stock market.
On the whole. They were better off asleep.
Harrison was in for more of a shock than usual with the Longhairs next speech.
Ralph was in for an evening of extreme boredom as Colleen and an artsy friend compared notes on modern post-surrealistic impressionism.
Maggie woke up first. She eased out of the bed and wrapped Bonker's beach towel around her.
She thought modesty was for the birds, but this was a house full of strange, and that was the word, men. She opened the door and found a note from one of his nurses taped to it with electrical tape. 'Bonker gets a shot after breakfast', was all it said.
Colleen met a friend of hers that looked like she belonged on the wild side of Greenwich Village instead of in a bar in the middle of a fairly conservative Midwestern town.
Marlene, the artsy friend, may have been a nice looking woman, under far too much make-up, way too much jewelry, and much too outlandish clothes.
Ralph even asked her why she was dressed as a New Orleans Mardi Gras sideshow, she seemed surprised that he would even wonder about her get-up.
She thought she was making a statement about the freedom one had to express as many ideas about one's own personality at one time as possible.
So Marlene looked like a display in a shop window where the owner had tried to get everything in the store on display at one time.
But she seemed to know art.
They talked about a new painter from Canada who painted several images one over the top of the other. He claimed that your subconscious eye could see the superimposed images and the whole thing related to the mind many deeper meanings at once.
Marlene thought it was a neat idea, and she had seen some of his works that deeply moved her, but she wasn't sure about the subconscious idea.
Colleen thought the guy was too cheap to buy new canvass and just started painting over other pictures then found a way to explain it. They both agreed that his talent was lacking in several areas. Good taste on subject matter being one.
The artist was obsessed with dead animals, rotting trees, bad weather, garbage and the like.
Ralph wondered aloud if that didn't describe most of modern art. That comment offended both women, but they kept talking anyway.
Ralph wondered if this bar had anything stronger than the yuppie beer and lo-al, lo-cal, lo-salt, lo-taste swill they had been drinking.
He was pleased that they did have a few very rare and very expensive imported breeds of snooty booze. Ralph didn't think about the price and bought a triple shot of single malt Scotch from some micro-still in the highlands of Scotland.
"Damn! This is good Scotch! I'll have to start drinking a better quality of hooch." He said into the air.
The women had barely noticed that he had went up to the bar, he brought them another round of something called 'natural spritzer with elixir and lime', and they continued their discussion of the finer points of the effects of lighting and perspective on eye of the viewer as opposed to the eye of the artist.
Cont in Two Dorms Part 35
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