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August 20, 2004

The Morrison Inn

“Oh sure. Yeah. That’s right. Optional. Right. Mmmm. Hmmmh.? The tequila was starting to works its magic. All of the sudden, I could see myself standing in a river, fly fishing naked when she rode by on her fractional ownership horse. My mind skipped a track in a brilliant flash of mental white noise and I’m standing on the beach in Cancun staring at her pale, succulent breasts. ‘Hi. I’m Vinny and this is my boy. What’s your name? Where are you girls headed tonight?’

I was enjoying my newfound freedom of dating without any delusions of meeting anyone normal. It takes all of the pressure off of the date, and is much more relaxing. For about the same price as going to a movie, you can interrogate someone that is mentally impaired. It’s more interactive than a movie, and infinitely more entertaining.

Barbie lives in the suburbs. The suburbs in Denver are much the same as they are around any other squalid megapolis. Bland, sterile, uniform cells for the anonymous servile oafs that slave away in futile obscurity in the cubicles of corporate America. It was a major warning sign, but I wasn’t in it for the long run anyway, so I just made a mental note and went forward.

I picked the Morrison Inn as a meeting place because it was halfway between Barbie’s place and mine. It’s just a little watering hole in the town of Morrison, Colorado. Morrison is a two-stoplight town in Bear Creek canyon, forced into the crevice like cement from a mason’s trowel. I like the inn because it’s old, cozy, and off the beaten path. I don’t know when it was built, but I’ve seen it in black-and-white photos from 1913, so it’s not exactly new.

I ordered a glass of ice water at the bar while I waited on her to materialize. When the weather turns in the mountains, the hygrometer drops precariously close to zero percent. Your skin cracks and your nose bleeds like a coke addict’s. As the winter progresses, the cracks in your skin will run deeper and wider until you bleed to death, unless you drink eleventeen gallons of water a day. Plus, I figured that if Barbie didn’t show up, I didn’t want to sit around drinking alone. I’ve got a lot of problems, but drinking alone isn’t one of them. Finally, I had tentative plans to meet my girlfriend later anyway, so I could always cut and run so long as I wasn’t tethered to a bar tab.

Barbie walked in while I was drinking my ice water and I nearly swallowed my tongue. She has blonde hair, blue-eyes, and she’s five foot eight not counting the heels. She’s thin and has breasts as big as cantaloupes. I could tell at a glance that I could never have sex with her without a vicious struggle. But, I just acted like it’s no big deal and stood up from the bar explaining that we’d grab a table.

“How tall are you?? I asked her.

“Five foot eight…without the heels. How tall are you??

“Six foot two…without heels.? I offered. “You’re pretty tall for a white girl.?

She ordered a human-sized strawberry margarita with sugar on the rim. I ordered a Margarita the size of an aquarium, top shelf, on the rocks, with salt. Her order raised more warning flags, but I didn’t really care. It came without an umbrella, so it could have been worse I suppose.

“So you said you had a horse….what kind of horse is it?? I asked her.

“A quarter horse.?

“Oh sure.? I have no idea what a quarter horse is. Maybe it’s some sort of fractional-ownership deal like they do on Lear Jets. She’s probably saving up to get a half-share so she can spend more time with him, I figured.

“Where do you keep him?? I’m imagining the horse standing on her patio eating Begonias in her zero-lot-line house in the suburbs where they’re zoned four kitchens-per-acre.

“I found a nice place down near Chatfield where they stable him.?

“Are there trails down there?? I asked.

“Yeah. My girlfriend and I ride down there.? She explained.

“Watch out for mountain lions down there.? I cautioned. “There was one that attacked a full-grown man in broad daylight in ideal weather conditions right down there in Roxborough State Park a few years back. Guy fought him off with a pocket knife. Then, the Fish and Fur said they were going to have to find him and kill him…?

“Who..the man or the mountain lion?? She asked.

“The mountain lion…they wanted to kill it because it was a threat to the joggers and the quarter-horse-back-rider-people...? I explained.

“Equestrians.? She offered.

“Yeah…pedestrians…that’s right and the horse people too…so…in any event, they went out there to kill the mountain lion, but they never did find him.? I continued.

“Maybe he just died on his own.? She explained.

“Nah. He’s still alive. He got chewed up pretty good, but he’s still alive. He works at Lockheed-Martin at that plant over in Deer Canyon…? I began.

“I meant the mountain lion.? She countered.

“Oh. Yeah. Maybe so. They never found him. That’s all’s I know about that.? I explained.

“Right. So…any way, my girlfriend and I were riding down there at Chatfield? she continued, “and there’s signs everywhere saying to watch out for this man that’s been running around nude down there.?

“At Chatfield Reservoir?? I clarified.

“Yeah. Chatfield. So…anyway…we were riding our horses…and sure enough…this guy is standing there in the river fly fishing …stark naked. He’s waving at us like it’s no big deal. Comes up and asks us where the best trails are. And we’re like… ‘Put some clothes on for god’s sake.’?

“Christ there are some sick bastards out there!? I lamented. I could only imagine some poor man seeing her and her girlfriend riding by on horseback. Her body looked like it was designed for sex. Like she had been engineered in a CAD/CAM program and milled to aircraft industry tolerances from a billet of human flesh. You couldn’t look at her without wanting to take your clothes off. Her clothes off. I felt like I needed air. My eyes began to wander.

“It’s cold outside, isn’t it?? she asked.

“Yeah. We got a lot of snow up in the hills.? I offered.

“Makes you want to go to Mexico, doesn’t it??

“You can say that again. You been down there?? I asked.

“I’ve been to Cancun a few times.? She replied.

“Where’d you go? Coco Bongo? Senor Frogs? Daddio’s?? I queried.

“Yeah, we hit all those places. We were lying out on the beach topless, and these two guys come up…a used car salesman named Vinny and his son. They’re talking to us…asking us where we’re going to party that night. We’re like…guys…our eyes are up here.?

“You’re making this up.? I choked.

“Swear.?

“That’s hilarious. A used car salesman named Vinny. And his son. Staring at your chest. Classic.? I tried not to stare at her chest. Her breasts were calling to me though. I could hear their voices in my head. I tried desperately to block out the mental traffic.

“So you told them where you were going that night?? I asked, attempting to stay focused.

“I’m so sure. We lied to them and went somewhere else, silly.?

“Right. Good move. Where else have you been?? I asked her.

“We went to Negril.?

“What was that like??

“I know what you’re thinking.? She laughed. “You’re thinking I went to Hedonism.?

“Oh, no. I wouldn’t know about that. I haven’t been to Negril. I went to Montego Bay though. We stayed at the Ritz and it was OK if you stayed on the private beach. But, Jamaica is pretty poor. Burned out cars on both shoulders of the roads. Burning trash in open dumps with people digging through it looking for god knows what. Jitney taxis with no meters. My friend almost got filleted one night outside of Margaritaville.? I recalled.

“Yeah. That’s about how it was in Negril. We stayed out too late and they had locked the gates around the hotel. We were like ‘you have to let us in so we won’t be killed.’?

“Yeah. That’s Jamaica all right.? I lamented. “Now tell me about this Hedonism place...?

“Hedonism is this clothing optional resort. We were staying right next-door to it, so we walked down there. It was insane. People in the hot tub just shagging each other like rabbits. All of them doing each other in this giant cluster fuck.?

“Christ. Who knew that kind of thing went on? They don’t send a cabana boy down there to break them up?? I wondered.

“They don’t care. They just let them go. But, its not like they’re the people you’d want to see naked anyway. They’re all like…you know…old…fat…pasty white…the last people you’d want to see naked really. We didn’t stay or anything. We just walked by.?

“Who is ‘we’??

“My husband and I…?

“You’re married?!? I’m allergic to bullets and jealous husbands. My brother has told me stories about dating married women that would make your hair curl.

“No. Divorced. That’s why I moved to Denver. I got divorced a year and a half ago and moved to Denver.?

“You scared me for a minute there. I’m not interested in getting shot.?

She was licking the sugar off the rim of her glass. I tried to stay focused. Down boy.

“So were you naked when you walked over to Hedonism?? I asked.

“No. You don’t have to be naked. It’s clothing optional.? She replied.

“Oh sure. Yeah. That’s right. Optional. Right. Mmmm. Hmmmh.? The tequila was starting to works its magic. All of the sudden, I could see myself standing in a river, fly fishing naked when she rode by on her fractional ownership horse. My mind skipped a track in a brilliant flash of mental white noise and I’m standing on the beach in Cancun staring at her pale, succulent breasts. ‘Hi. I’m Vinny and this is my boy. What’s your name? Where are you girls headed tonight?’

“Where did you say you live…Bellviewe and Wadsworth?? I asked her.

“Yeah.?

“You don’t live in that apartment complex where that guy butchered three women with an axe, do you?? I continued.

“I don’t think so.?

“It’s called Cottonwood Creek I think…Cody Neal. That was his name. They caught him though. You don’t need to worry about him, any more.? I offered.

“That’s good to know. I’m on the other side of Wadsworth, though.?

“By that pond over there?? I continued.

“Yeah.?

“That’s a nice area.? I offered. Nice if you like the suburbs anyway.

“I used to live by Jeffrey Dahmer, though.? She continued.

Hold the line. Now we’re getting somewhere. “Is that right. You lived next to Dahmer? In Milwaukee?? I asked.

“Yeah. That’s where I lived before I moved to Denver.?

“Did you know him?? I continued.

“No. He was about twenty miles from me. But, once I went to the gay bar where he used to pick up his victims.? She explained.

“That guy was one sick puppy. You remember when that little Laotian boy escaped? Dahmer had drilled holes in his skull and poured acid on his brain when the kid squirmed loose and was sprinting down the street nude when the cops grabbed him. Dahmer claimed they were just having a gay-lover’s quarrel, and the cops handed him back over to Dahmer, like a dog that had gotten loose. He killed the kid as soon as he closed the door.? I said.

“Yeah. Those cops ended up getting fired for that.? She explained.

“Who’d have thought?? I wondered. “Dahmer didn’t live long in prison though. He wasn’t in there six months when he was beaten to death with a steel bar by another prisoner.?

And then, almost as an afterthought, I brought out the big question. “Have you ever killed anyone??

“Not yet.? She deadpanned. It was a good comeback. She must be reasonably intelligent, I figured.

“What do you do for a living?? I asked.

“I baby-sit other people’s pets. At their house. Mostly, I just work for tips.? She explained.

She had her own place. I think I could park my Tahoe in the bed of her brand new truck. She had a horse, which she paid someone to stable. And no visible means of support.

“Do you own a Harley?? she asked.

“No. But I can get one. What kind would you like??

“What?…? she seemed confused.

“I mean. I’ve always liked Harleys. I’ve thought about getting one. What kind do you like??

“I think I like the hard-tail.? She explained

“Who doesn’t?? Now I don’t know a hard-tail from a soft-tail, but if all is costs me is twenty large, then I’m thinking of scanning the want-ads if I survive the drive back up through the canyon in the tequila and the snow.

She finished her second strawberry sugar-on-the-rim margarita and I drained my aquarium of tequila down to the gravel and we cleared out.

“I’ll walk you to your truck.? I offered.

I climbed into her truck. I pretty much needed a ladder to get into it, but somehow I managed. The crew cab looked like it would safely hold her quarter horse…possibly the whole thing.

“My truck is right up here? I gestured and she pulled up near it. After the requisite canoodling, I started to climb down out of the cab. Then, as an afterthought, I said “Did you say you were going to cook me dinner tomorrow night??

One thing I’ve learned about women is that they need to be kept on a short leash. They need to receive clear directions and be told exactly what they should do. Give them any chance to think that they have the upper hand and they’ll turn cold faster than a skillet in January.

“How about Friday instead?? She asked.

“Done.? And as I climbed into my truck, my girlfriend called me on my cell phone and told me she was leaving me.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 20, 2004 at 9:04 PM

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