Behind all their personal vanity, women themselves always have an impersonal contempt for Woman.NAPLES, Fla. (ZP) -- The old man stood there, staring into the storefront, mouth gaping.- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Good lord, she does this every goddamn year!"
Inside the store a woman looking roughly half his age stood at the register. It took not one or two clerks to bag her purchases but four. In one bag went the pairs of hundred dollar jeans. In another went the boxes of shoes. And in another two or three went the blouses and sundresses and skirts.
He bummed a cigarette as he explained the ritual. His wife was in her early forties, attractive and smart enough to qualify as Wife No. 3. But while his first wife died, and his second was addicted to booze and painkillers, Mrs. Tres was sucking his seventy-year-old moneyed ass dry.
In the bedroom, sure. That's acceptable in the Viagra Age. Suck away. But in the Economic Clusterfuck Age, well, mass consumerism amounts to nothing more than bullshit comfort and protection, an equity line condom full of holes.
"I love her to death," the old man said, not to me but to the storefront. "But that woman's dumb as shit when it comes to understanding that buying for the grandkids comes first."
He adds that, yes, he has a half-dozen grandchildren to shop for and his wife, well, Mrs. Tres just blew an easy three grand without spending a dime on the kids.
Four fucking hours he'd been waiting for her to finish buying for herself. The sales, she said! Never mind the kids! The sales!
He started pacing, told me that the Marlboro he'd just bummed tasted marvelous. First cigarette in 15 fucking years, dammit. Fuck the cardiologists. His wife's greed - yes, he called it greed - would kill him first.
"Son, take my advice and be poor and single."
"Hey, that shit's the reason I don't believe in marriage."
* * * *
TAMPA, Fla. (ZP) -- I wasn't looking to get caught.
But, well, it was a very nice ass, and the way her white linen skirt clung to her as she bent over reminded me of fresh cream atop a cup of hot chocolate.
"You know, that's really rude."
How that woman knew I was checking out her ass, behind her back and bent over packing away her laptop, I'll never know. But, yes, I was caught red handed.
And I don't know what I was thinking when I responded. I probably should've just shuffled on around behind the newspapers.
Instead, something just came out of my mouth, an audible demon between my teeth, escaping.
"Your dress holds you well."
Huh? What the flying monkey fuck does that mean?
It was a nice ass, sure, and the dress definitely complimented her rather curvy frame. But women wear dresses. Dresses have no arms or hands, so simple white fabric cannot hold anything (bras notwithstanding).
"Um, thanks. Bought it in Puerto Rico last week."
And with that she rolled her eyes and wandered out towards the departure gates. At least, well, I'd been caught in the airport and not, say, in a church or at work or at a wedding by the bride.
I don't blush often. But as she walked away her hips did, indeed, seem to sway a bit more than they had before. I saw her reach for her phone, dial, and turn to glance at the ass-staring freak once more.
And she winked.
Good God. One day I'm going to get slapped in an airport.
* * * *
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (ZP) -- She'd left me scores of messages, all over the place, asking - begging - me to get a hold of her as soon as possible. It was an emergency, after all, a crisis, the biggest thing in the world.
In her messages, she made it sound like she'd just walked in on Death herself going all reverse-cowgirl on Satan in the living room. A life-or-death situation, go-time on the reality gridiron, a world-shattering event of such importance...
"J, you're, like, cheaper than my therapist. And you make me laugh."
She's just a tad drunk. It's 2:30 in the morning. I'm in Florida on vacation, sober yet full of Scotch, perfectly prepared red snapper and a dozen raw oysters.
And she's just kicked her cheating douche of a boyfriend out of her life, for good this time, out in Southern California. Sent some of his shit to the ex-wife, some to charity, and some, well, she just set on fire in the back yard. It's 11:30 p.m., her time.
"Death and Satan screwing. That's just sick, dude."
I'm sitting out beneath a full moon on the phone, smoking a cigarette on a park bench on no-smoking resort property. I'm supposed to be one of the nice guys, a good catch - I'm supposed to help her sort through went wrong, to offer insight into how to date decent guys...
Ha. Now that's fucking funny. Oh well. Life's just one quirky-ass motherfucker sometimes.
"Chica, look, men are like fucking potato chips. Don't like the BBQ ones, pitch the bag and get another flavor," I tell her. "Hey, look at me. I love being fucking single-"
"You're such a liar. And you don't really treat women like potato chips, do you?"
"Worse. I treat women like heroin addicts treat empty needles. Not gonna lie."
Yeah, trust me. I know my weaknesses pretty well, thank you very much.
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