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The Two-Timer

The Two-Timer

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The Two-Timer

Lungime:
234 pages
3 hours
Lansat:
Jun 21, 2016
ISBN:
9781311341624
Format:
Carte

Descriere

I developed a love interest in two women who didn't know each other. One was eccentric, from a poor background. The other was a rich girl who came on hard times. Both were feminists, mercurial, and difficult to handle. One was untamed. The other had three husbands. Their allure equaled their poverty. Both were artists, who knew themselves well. I had my hands full.

Lansat:
Jun 21, 2016
ISBN:
9781311341624
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Special Forces medic, 1968 to 1970, stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC; BA in English and MBA from University of Minnesota and course work in business education at University of Wisconsin-Superior; fisherman, grouse hunter, downhill skier, handball player; customer service at Walgreen's, hometown: Cable, Wisconsin.


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The Two-Timer - Christopher G. Bremicker

THE TWO-TIMER

A Novel

By Christopher G. Bremicker

Copyright 2016 by Christopher G. Bremicker

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

ELISE

Our relationship began.

ELISE II

I made a joke involving sex and she disappeared.

ELISE III

I had a lousy time working while she was away from the store.

ELISE IV

We got in deeper.

ELISE V

The relationship developed.

ELISE VI

Every day we got in deeper.

CLAUDIA

I hit it off with a lady I had lunch with, while Elise was in Florida.

CLAUDIA II

She unfolded her life to me.

CLAUDIA III

We got closer, as I held her in bed.

ELISE VII

I felt I overdid it and blew it.

CLAUDIA IV

We got in deep.

ELISE VIII

She playfully rejected me and Claudia and I got closer.

CLAUDIA V

She dumped me, after three days, to concentrate on her health.

CLAUDIA VI

We got back together, as far as I could tell.

CLAUDIA VII

We made out and solidified our relationship.

CLAUDIA VIII

Our attraction to each other overrode our psychological issues.

CLAUDIA IX

Sex was imminent.

CLAUDIA X

We had sex.

ELISE IX

I told her about Claudia.

CLAUDIA XI

I became involved with Mormon friends and she counseled against it.

CLAUDIA XII

She did not handle money well and we did not sleep together well.

CLAUDIA XIII

Her blood sugar spiked.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA

Both relationships developed.

CLAUDIA XIV

She visited a food shelf, we decided to sleep together again then I ran to a coffee shop.

CLAUDIA XV

We had our first argument.

CLAUDIA XVI

We broke up over my chauvinistic reaction to Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White.

CLAUDIA XVII

She and the Old St. Paul crowd were thick as flies, as she adjusted to living with people who could have been her clients.

CLAUDIA XVIII

We fell for each other and she bought a cat.

CLAUDIA XIX

She and I attended a diabetes class together to get her blood sugar level under control.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA II

Elise continued to fascinate me and Claudia reacted strangely to a girl in a short skirt.

CLAUDIA XX

She met my brother and I assembled her new table.

CLAUDIA XXI

We got in deeper as she clung to me.

CLAUDIA XXII

We got in trouble, as I remarked on the beauty of a newscaster.

CLAUDIA XXIII

We had a tiff and enjoyed a party together.

ELISE X

We were playful, as she described her politics.

CLAUDIA XXIV

I did not do well on my final cardiac rehab appointment and blamed her.

CLAUDIA XXV

She became negative and I concluded a roll in the hay would help us.

CLAUDIA XXVI

A friend sent her two hundred dollars and she wanted to use it to join the University Club.

CLAUDIA XXVII

She flipped out over something I said and the relationship was on hold.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA III

Elise and the boss counseled me about Claudia’s and my situation.

CLAUDIA XXVIII

She held me captive.

CLAUDIA XXIX

She tried unsuccessfully to break up.

CLAUDIA XXX

I had much to lose being in a relationship.

CLAUDIA XXXI

I had chest pain from an undetermined source.

CLAUDIA XXXII

My HIV test was negative and she refused sex for the moment.

CLAUDIA XXXIII

She wanted to take a walk together and I refused.

CLAUDIA XXXIV

I decided to dump her.

CLAUDIA XXXV

We broke up.

CLAUDIA XXXVI

She got the last word.

CLAUDIA XXXVII

I got a lot off my chest.

CLAUDIA XXXVIII

She put the last nail in her coffin.

ELISE XI

Claudia and I were on speaking terms and Elise grew more fascinating.

ELISE XII

I reflected on the Republican convention with Elise and Claudia in mind.

ELISE XIII

We talked about beatniks and my generation.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA IV

Elise and I ignored each other and Claudia made overtures of friendship.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA V

Elise and I talked politics and Claudia contacted one of my sister’s best friends.

ELISE XIV

She was beautiful, as we joked about Hillary Clinton, my upbringing, and poverty.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA VI

We had different religions, sexual preferences, and backgrounds.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA VII

As a member of my family, I admired their balls.

ELISE XV

She continued to be fascinating, as our relationship developed.

ELISE XVI

We grew closer and Claudia and I exchanged pleasantries.

ELISE XVII

She and I discussed literature and I met another woman.

CLAUDIA XXXIX

With her dumped, I could concentrate on handball and work.

ELISE XVIII

Our relationship became accepted.

ELISE XIX

We bonded as we joked around then got serious.

ELISE XX

We bantered about photography.

ELISE XXI

We bonded, as we continued to have fun.

ELISE XXII

We talked about the protests against police for shooting innocent black men.

ELISE XXIII

She was in the store all day and we talked about weapons and Trump.

ELISE XXIV

We had a serious talk about photography.

CLAUDIA XXXX

She gave me literary advice and counseled me, as usual.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA VIII

Elise bought a gun and Claudia continued to be full of hops.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA IX

Elise had a best friend who, I discovered, double dated with my best friend.

ELISE AND CLAUDIA X

I quit the Goodwill, said goodbye to Elise, and Claudia was leaving the hi-rise.

THE TWO-TIMER

ELISE

She was the most unusual woman I ever met. True to herself always, ever searching for Mister Right or romance, she carried her camera everywhere. She was a professional photographer, gifted, and took pictures since she was eleven years old.

She was Swedish by heritage and wore her blond hair bobbed to show off her graceful neck. Her blue eyes, below strong eyebrows, were perpetually concerned or amazed and her mouth was in a permanent position of amusement or disdain. I got nowhere with her, until one day I came in from counseling and gave off a feeling she liked.

Immediately, she placed me against a window and took my picture. She kneeled like a New York fashion photographer and squeezed off a few shots. She showed me the picture on the screen of her camera.

It was a good photograph. I sat on the window sill and held the mop, the details of which showed clearly. She sent it to me by email and I used it in my profile on my website.

Our relationship developed. I got to know her. Every day I hit her with my best shot, telling her a little about myself and letting her tell me about her.

She was from Colorado and called herself a cowgirl. She grew up in the foothills of the mountains and could see Pike’s Peak from her house. She had three years of sobriety.

Her father was a sign painter. He had a tremor all his life which Elise inherited. This was a hard affliction to have for a photographer, she said. She used a high shutter speed to compensate for her shaking, she explained.

She wore the clothes she found in the piles of clothing the Goodwill sold. In the winter, she wore a full-length sheepskin coat. Like many of our women customers, she was ballsy. That which does not kill me improves me, was her motto.

She was interested in marginalization or people who lived on the edge of society. This explained her fascination with the Goodwill and, perhaps, with me. She was a documentary film maker too and shot fifteen hours of footage at a pawn shop in the hood, with meth addicts, a boarding house upstairs, and people down on their luck.

She swore like a sailor. She had a record of difficult relationships with men. We respected each other. She liked to kid me about our mutual experience with the darker side of life. For example, I told her I never tried crystal meth. What kind of man are you? she joked.

Then one day I asked her to coffee. She said she’d check her schedule. I was thrilled.

I went home for the night and thought of her. I conjured conversations with her like a lovesick schoolboy and envisioned her walking into the coffee shop where I sat waiting for her. I emailed my psychologist regarding Elise then things went to Hell.

Suddenly, everything was too serious. The relationship wasn’t fun anymore. It was too heavy duty, too deep, too maudlin. Somehow, she got involved in the emotional problems my psychologist treated.

I went to work the next day and approached her. She wore a black dress, her mouth was amused as usual, and she said she was busy that week. I was not heartbroken, she did not say she was not interested, and our manager stepped in to assist our conversation. I forgot what the three of us talked about.

Sam’s here, I told her, and she grabbed a cart and headed toward him. Sam was a friend who was an eBay trader married to another eBay trader. He was a Marine and heavily tattooed.

Elise was comfortable with him and I wanted her to have some fun. The Goodwill was fun, if it was anything, and this explained why she came there. My boyish petulance was a pain in the ass. I wanted her to escape me and enjoy the day.

As she grabbed the cart I said, Let’s try again later, to which she agreed. She smiled and nodded her head. I was not dead in the water. If you can’t take losing, you shouldn’t play the game, was my motto. The ball was back in my court.

She did not show up today. I felt bereft, destroyed. She either thought our relationship needed a break or the Goodwill outwore its usefulness. I spent the shift sorting, shrink-wrapping, and pricing shoes. They were designer shoes and we placed them on the shelf for manager specials. I hoped Elise returned.

ELISE II

I took the next day off and took the light rail to the VA to have stitches from surgery for skin cancer removed. I rode with a friend who advised me Elise might not like having these stories put online. I attended an A.A. meeting that night and concluded the same thing.

So I unpublished them from my website. I debated whether to show them to her at all. It seemed strange to write about a relationship as it developed. It could be construed as showing her my diary.

I went to work and she showed up. She wore the same black dress but this time had a necklace of fake diamonds around her neck. I told her she looked nice, which she liked. She said I looked nice too. I played handball that morning and was flush from the sport.

I returned to my duties of cleaning the restrooms and scrubbing the baseboards. I lost track of Elise in the crowd then spotted her by the manager’s special shelves. I left my work and walked over to talk to her.

The necklace was broken and I told her to put it back on. She draped it on top of her head. You look like a flapper, a girl from the Twenties, I said.

I’d like to be in my twenties, she said and growled.

She growled again, until Sam arrived and bailed her out of our conversation. He had a habit of keeping an eye on her, as did an older woman who accompanied Elise often to the store. I concluded from her growl Elise led a wild youth.

Sam was buying five Gaylords of retro clothing for three hundred dollars per Gaylord. A Gaylord was a cardboard box five feet tall and five feet wide. He owned a consignment shop in my neighborhood and could sell the clothes if they were the type he thought they were. This was a huge sale by Goodwill standards.

I watched Elise and Sam walk around to the back of the building to the donations site where Sam could pick up the Gaylords of clothes with a truck. No hanky-panky, I thought momentarily. They returned to the store and Elise shopped by herself.

I walked by her as she examined an expensive, Casablanca men’s shirt, with the price tag and label still on it and looking right out of the box. What size is it? I asked her.

Large, she replied.

That’s my size, I responded.

It’s not for you, she said. I’m going to use it to steal my best friend’s boyfriend.

You can take it off him, I said.

I wouldn’t do that!

I thought you wanted to steal him.

Not that way.

I turned my head for a moment and she was gone. I hoped my playful mention of sex did not scare her off. I finished my shift.

ELISE III

She didn’t show up for a few days. Either she needed some time off from my attentions or she was genuinely dissatisfied with how things were going. Maybe she forsook the Goodwill altogether.

I did not see her blonde hair in the crowd of shoppers digging through piles of clothes. I thought about her as I worked. I felt maudlin with Elise and wondered if she felt the same.

I lacked a sense of fun when I thought of her. I was love-struck, moony, and mushy. Some girls would call me a drip.

I had lunch at my apartment building with a woman who was a classmate of my sister at her private girls’ school. Claudia was devoted to her high school classmates and loved politics. So we talked about people we knew in common and the presidential campaign.

She hated Trump and I was lukewarm on Hillary. Nevertheless, we got along and I felt that relationship was going better than the one with Elise. Claudia was a Stanford graduate, completed two master’s degrees, and was a published author.

The last impressed me. She said she traveled the United States lecturing on adoption, the subject of one her books. We became friends which was more than I could say about Elise.

So I cleaned toilets, swept the entry way, cleaned the breakroom, and scrubbed the baseboards. I thought about Elise the whole time. Was she having as lousy a time as I was having? In fact, was she coming back?

I hoped so. I felt our present doom-and-glooms were temporary and that soon we would resume having fun and being playful with each other. It was possible I would not see her again.

Had I overstepped my bounds, worn out my welcome? No woman wanted a depressing relationship with a character who fawned over her, hunted her down, and almost stalked her in the store. I had her email address but knew better than to take advantage of that privilege.

That’s where things stood now. It was three days since I saw her. That was a long time for her to be away from the Goodwill.

I reminded myself of a man I knew who hustled every woman he met in A.A. I had the psychological make up of a man who could not get a date. They were a type and their attentions to women only made matters worse.

A little hard-to-get behavior was in order. I made the first move. The rest was up to Elise. I decided to let her ask me out next time, if there was a next time.

She could suggest a coffee date. I did my part. I was not a rapist. I made my offer. Take it or leave it.

She could be toying with me too. She seemed to enjoy my attention but it was possible she was being polite. She seemed to humor me. I concluded I was making a fool of myself over her. All things said, I was crazy about her.

ELISE IV

We got in deep. She told me she was raised poor and was never able to go to college. She was gone for three days because she was at the Prince memorial at First Avenue Station. Probably photographing it, I thought.

I told her Prince’s music missed me. She said he appealed to meth heads and a certain disenfranchised segment of society. Her usual fascination with people on the edge of society surfaced.

I told her I was reading a lot of articles in the New York Times about marginalized people. The New York Times was loaded with articles about people down and out. With Obama in

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