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The Robe:
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: The Robe:  Reply with quote

The Robe.
    (not the one by Lloyd C. Douglas, another one, newer, not biblical)

Old Bill lived in a small town. To say that everyone called him "old Bill" would be exceedingly misleading, but some folks did, I suppose. Not the neighbourhood kids and not the people who frequented the senior centre, both of those groups called him "Bill"; he liked that, especially from the kids.
For many months Bill had thought of himself as old. He wasn't sad, he kept himself quite active with "bridge", the game Somerset Maugham urged people to learn if they wished to avoid, "the tedium of old age".
He did feel that romance would never again be fully enjoyed. Nostalgia did not play a part when his memory took him back in time, on the contrary all of his recollections in regards romance were fond and he was very grateful for all that went before.
He lived in "Urbania", a small town surrounded by fertile fields which produced an abundance of corn, soya beans, tomatoes, wheat and a few fields of tobacco, a good place populated by some of the nicest people on God's earth. Bill liked those people and they treated him well.
Urbania had a large number of widows and Bill was "unattached"; some of the ladies did show an interest and there was talk, more at speculation really. Sometimes, after bridge and the coffee was poured, and Bill had left the building, his name was brought into play.
On one of those days, Mabel said, "that man needs a woman" and there was general agreement.
Home for Bill is a one bedroom apartment, newly painted when he moved in. His is an end unit  in a  row of six and his kitchen window gives him a view he enjoys; a small field separated from a much larger field by a row of bushes intermingled with trees. The second field rising slightly in the distance with the far side bordered by maples, silver probably but too far to tell: and beyond, the lake, Erie, unseen but no more than three or four miles away.
Ridge Community Estates is made up of six buildings, each having six apartments, and being in a cul-de-sac Bill often thought "enclave" but nothing hostile around or near.
The tenants are a mix of older singles, couples with family and more than their share of single ladies with children. People a little down on their luck who never fail to nod hello or stop to chat. And Bill has favourites, much drawn to the folk who have animals and the ones who have children.
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: The Robe2 Reply with quote

Urbania is part of what was once known as "the snow belt", an area which ran from London to Tilbury, a distance of eighty miles. The past few years snow has been scarce; good for some, disappointing for the kids.
This year the predictions have us getting a lot of snow, leastwise a lot more than last year which saw us receive only two snowfalls; not near enough to build an outdoor rink; not cold enough either.
October of this year saw us with a lot of sunshine, rained mostly during the night and many were happy with this; Bill didn't complain but he was looking forward to a few turns around an outdoor rink; he owned a pair of skates, Eastons, the first really good skates he has ever owned.
The town arena opened in the early part of October and by the second Sunday Bill couldn't resist; skates in a carrying bag with a pair of his thinest socks and away to the arena.
He is ten minutes early and watches a kids hockey team finishing a practice session from behind a glass partition which separates the ice area from the foyer. A lady next to him says, "one of them yours" and he smiles and replies, "very gracious of you but all a little young to be mine", and she grins and says, "I knew that, your Bill and one of my sisters says you play bridge, very well". He smiles and replies, "graciousness must run in the family, and seeing as you know who I am perhaps you will tell me your name". She removes one of her gloves, holds her hand towards him and says, "i'm Blanche but answer to Marg". Bill shakes her hand saying, "well, I'm Don Ameche but answers to Bill and Bill would love to have you join him for a coffee at Timmies, after the skating".
A warm smile from Marg and she agrees to have coffee, with the condition that Bill explain Don Ameche..
Bill said, "deal" and a man behind the glass tapped it and indicated to Marg she should enter the skating area: the man was at least ten years younger than Bill and Bill's thought was, "oh well". But he felt Marg's hand on his arm and she said, "brother-in-law, see you on the ice" and he replied, "probably flat on the ice, i'm not much of a skater".
Bill laced up. He had the end of a bench and was putting his jacket and shoes in a tidy pile when he heard, "gramps, you should have a helmet". He was then hugged by six grandchildren, two extras who were wards of Children's Aid, a daughter-in-law and a son who handed a helmet to him and said, "we stopped at your place and a neighbour told us you were here, the helmet is now yours, please use it".
The kids were arguing as to who would be skating with Bill. The D-in-L intervened and said, "Dad, are you with someone" ? Bill said, "sort of, the lady's name is Marg and she is already inside".
D-in-L and son look through the glass and both smile. Son says, "Marg Racine" and D-in-L says, "she might be able to teach you how to stop", then she gathered the kids around and told them to get the skates on because the doors were opening.
Bill watched Marg for a few minutes before venturing on to the ice. He was holding on to the boards when Marg arrived at his side, saying, "i too am an iffy skater so perhaps we should hold on to each other". He laughed, guffawded, chortelled, whatever takes your fancy and said, "Marg, I watched you for a few minutes, you help one kid to get off his ankles and smooth a turn for another, a guess says you teach power skating, well perhaps not a guess because my son knows who you are and he attended power skating taught by a woman...AND...I like you, hope we will become friends, friends who can be completely honest with each other.
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:36 pm    Post subject: The Robe3 Reply with quote

They were ready to skate, together, holding hands. Bill's look took in most of the other skaters on the ice and his thought was, "this old man is with the best looking woman in the joint" and he felt good.
Marg skated on the outside, closer to the boards than Bill. She squeezed his hand and said, "you had a bit of a smile so tell me, what were you thinking" ? And he laughed and answered, "no, ehm, nothing really, nothing important, i'm eh just feeling good".
They were nearing the bench on the far side and Marg tugged his hand, stopped and opened the bench door, saying, "in and sit"; and he obeyed. She closed the door, slid the bolt across, leaned over the boards and said, "you were thinking something pleasant and I want to share", and Bill laughed.
He leaned forward, placed his hands on top of hers and said, "c'mon Marg, give this old man a break, I am constantly accused of far too much flattery so what say we skate", and he made to rise. Marg said, "not so fast, just tell me, and stop with the "old man" bit".
He told her. She looked around at the skaters then looked at Bill and said, "thank-you".
Just before they  resumed skating she had him un-zipper his jacket and she moved to the inside, took his left hand in her left hand and slid her right hand under his jacket and held his sweater in a bunch. I think you might be ready for a tiny cross-over step, just take a couple of minutes and look at the couple skating together. Bill looked and muttered "my God" and it was Margs turn to grin and she answered him with, "we will start a lot slower, sort of slow motion". Ten circuits and they were progressing. Marg whispered, "coffee time" and Bill replied, "two more turns but I want my arm around you". Marg was skeptical but willing: they fell before the first turn.
And so to Timmies.
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: The Robe4 Reply with quote

They left the ice, Bill back to his corner of a bench and Marg towards a side room; she said, "five minutes" and Bill nodded agreement.
His skates were off, wiped dry and placed in his bag. He was one of those people who never seem to be in a hurry and this day was no exception. The laces of his first shoe were being tied when he heard Marg say, "howdy slow poke, I have been watching you for the past five minutes, what was going on in that mind of yours (?)", and in his best western drawl he answered, "hon, ah was thinkin of you, thinkin thit jist maybe, you and me could skip timmies, go to my hacienda and you could show me how to W*** one of them there new fangled machines what sucks the dust right outa them thair carpets".
She leaned down, cupped his chin in her hand and said, "no chance Mr. Cheapskate, you invited me, you pay and your chances of getting into my good books will increase a lot if a "boston cream" donut is included, PLUS, your to explain Don Ameche.
Timmies was just the other side of the arena parking lot and Bill left his skate bag in his car. He asked Marg about her skates but she has a locker inside the ladies dressing room. He looked at her and she said, "it's one of the percs for being part of the arena "in crowd" and Bill answered, "figures".
Timmies was not too crowded. They went straight to a cashier and she was one who knew Bill, she smiled, said, "hi Marg, what's your secret, half the women in town are after this one" and Marg answered, "my good looks, charm and i'm going to teach him how to stop"...and the cashier with hand on hip said, "hells bells, my idea would be to get him going and you want him to stop, different strokes, I suppose"....Bill held up a hand and the cashier added, "I know, I know, extra small double-double in a china cup, so you go sit down and Marg will bring your coffee and her own, French Vanilla supreme with a Boston Cream" then she held out a hand for the money...Bill paid and went to a table.
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: the robe Reply with quote

5
Marg placed the tray on the table. She placed the extra small in front of Bill, also a plate with an apple fritter, served herself and put the tray on an empty table. Bill nodded towards the apple fritter, asked, "why an apple fritter". And a beaming Marg said, "because I am told that you make those for breakfast and I have never before met a man who baked apple fritters, besides, Lynda (the cashier) told me that you liked them...would you have preferred a dutchie" ?
Bill was laughing so much he couldn't speak but he held up his hand and Marg waited, a little puzzled at his re-action. Finally Bill could talk. He told Marg "the fritters I make for breakfast are not apple and my fritters are part of a joke, or perhaps a fantasy". She wanted more of an explanation and he said, "how about we save that for another day" ?
He was not completely finished laughing. Marg touched his hand saying, "I want to know what is so funny", and Bill said, "why don't we start with Don Ameche" ? Marg was fine with that but knew she would not let the other go.
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: The robe Reply with quote

6

Bill explained Don Ameche, parts of which were simply his own opinions. Ameche's early successes were in radio. He might have had parts in movies but he did have a resemblance to Gilbert Roland, a heart throb from the silents through the early talkies, which may have not worked in his favour.
One of the half hour radio shows featured a fifteen minute segment named, "The Bickersons"; the name says it all and the stars were Don Ameche (John, the husband) and his long suffering wife, Blanche, read by Frances Langford. This segment eventually made it as a half hour TV presentation and very popular it was, the era being the middle fifties.
Marg stared at him for a minute then said, "you think I was named after a character on TV" ? to which he answered, "perhaps, it really isn't a common name and were you not born in the fifties" ? She smiled and said, "you I could fall in love with, however, by the time the middle fifties had arrived, I was ten years old".
Bill processed this information, nodded and then said, "i'm not very good at women's ages", to which Marg said, "I think you do fine, but for the record, my next birthday cake will need 67 candles".
When Marg mentioned her age, Bill said nothing. Marg watched as he seemed to withdraw. He lifted his coffee mug towards his mouth but did not sip. Marg said, "Bill, where are you, I feel as if you have gone; is it my age (?), surely that cannot be a problem, you are older than I am and middle sixties is no longer considered old". Bill put his mug down and said, "no, no, ehm, I really have no problem with your age, I eh, I have no problem with anything about you", and Marg nodded.
A small sigh escaped Bill but only Marg noticed it. He said, "should we be leaving here or would you care for another coffee". Marg answered, "I am not in a rush  but don't really want another coffee;  I was going to ask something but feel like I should just shut up, I am lost, Bill, and I was thinking we were getting along".
Bill apologized, said, "Marg I have really enjoyed meeting you, would love to see you again, it is just that the day seems to have caught up with me, blame it on my age, I am just plain tired".
They returned to the arena parking lot and Bill walked Marg to her car. She unlocked her door and looked at Bill, saying, "are we going to see each other again" ? Bill said, "I hope so, I have duplicate tomorrow afternoon and, lets see". Marg put two fingers up to his mouth and said, "I have been told that you enjoy the lemon chicken at the "tasty", tomorrow at 5.30, seniors menu and my treat". He looked to be readying an excuse and she kissed him very lightly on the lips, said, "do not be late", got into her car and drove away........she glanced into the rearview mirror and he hadn't moved by the time she had turned onto the street.
Bill climbed into the "Aztec", banged his head on the mirror, saw his reflection and thought, "that woman is out of my league".
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject: The robe Reply with quote

7

Bill drove straight to the apartment, the ranch, the hacienda, his place, his place and only his place. As soon as he steeped inside he was ready to leave, ready to visit the variety store for a scratch ticket because he did one everyday. But today, he thought, no scratch ticket.
He turned the computer on. Took his shoes off and walked into the bedroom and sat on the edge of his bed. He slid his feet into his slippers. He was facing his closet, a large enough affair with three sliding doors; more than enough room for his needs.....and a small voice said, "be careful old man, the past is past": but memories are sometimes difficult to suppress.
He made a pot of tea and sat at his computer. Marg, Marg, Marg, sixty-six; certainly doesn't look it; but then again a lot of women don't look their age. And very, very attractive. Good body, athletic, a lot fitter than himself. He shook his head and thought, we must nip this in the bud, if needs must then find someone nearer his own age....besides, no guarantees  that everything will W***.
He logged on to a few web sites but his mind kept wandering. He chided himself but knew what he had to do....he has a problem, he calls or writes to Stan, a valued friend for many years.
No answer.
No answer makes Bill wonder; Stan is in his late seventies.  E-mail will have to do and Bill does believe that if the absence of Stan was because of something serious, they would have let him know.
Bill sat and looked at this keyboard. No idea what he was going to say but was comfortable, the thing between he and Stan had to do with trust and Bill knew that Stan, whatever his answer, would have the best interests of Bill in his mind.
Bill typed three pieces of e-mail and settled on the following. Stan: I have met someone (pay attention, I distinctly heard, "again, you lucky son of a gun"). The someone is eight years younger than me, (again). But this time I am more than a bit apprehensive, something I wasn't the last time.
This lady is Marg, gorgeous in every way, perhaps too good to be true. And then again I think to myself, why not just go for it ? And the answer is, because the endings ain't easy to take. And another thing is why is this so very different from the last time...the last time I wanted everything instantly, I even knew, very early on, that what I felt was not what the lady felt.....
Do you think that I am afraid ? That didn't occur to me until now. Honest to God, Stan, she meets the first criteria in that she is absolutely likable, someone I could talk to, someone to share time with....Stan I just don't know.
I am supposed to meet her for dinner, tomorrow. Perhaps I should cancel...
Bill
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: The robe Reply with quote

8

An hour later the following e-mail hit Bill's in-box.
You horses ass...you poor sap..."perhaps I should cancel" he whines...I was thinking of not answering because you are already hooked; enjoy my friend, life is very short.
Stan
Bill sat at his computer. He visited a couple of web sites, checked his e-mail and played some freecell. If he were asked what he had read in the past fifteen minutes he would have no answer, he had no clue.
He did a shut down, switched the TV on and sat watching it. He returned to the computer and noticed the small red light on his phone, flash; a call but by the time he answered, the caller had hung up and Bill remembered that his hearing aids were not in his ears.
He returned to the TV, put the hearings aids in and sat, paying no attention to the box. He berated himself, his thinking was, "this is really stupid, surely I am not nervous" and then he laughed and said aloud, "ridiculous"...he decided to polish his shoes.
Polishing his shoes always took Bill back in time, more than fifty years, his time in the Air Force. A time full of promise, a time when he started drinking, a time when opportunity was ignored; also a time when his shoes were always shined.
He brought his shoe polishing bag from the cupboard and started. A small brush coated both shoes with a slight amount of polish. The same brush was used as a buffer and a soft, white cloth usually finished the job; this time there was an extra buffing.
In his bag he kept a pair of red silk boxer shorts. These had started to fray and Bill thought to throw them out. He included them in a load of washing and when they were dried he thought they would make a good polishing cloth, kept them with his shoe polishing paraphernalia. Memories were good but the past is past and this would be the first time the boxers would do what they were saved for.
He then did his dress shoes and began planning what to wear for his date; he smiled at the thought of having a date. A look at the clock said it was too early for dinner but he felt the need to do something; couldn't think of a better thing to do than another trip to "timmies".
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:15 pm    Post subject: robe 9 Reply with quote

9

Some of the nicest people you will ever meet, W*** at timmies, and W*** they do, very little chance for a break because timmies is really under staffed. Bill parked, not in a space by the building but one across the small lot where he liked to back in, so much easier when leaving.
The time was nearing 6.00 PM and the thought occurred that he would probably be questioned about his earlier visit; do I or don't I came to mind. And as he sat, a change of shift took place.  Lynda saw him, waved and gave a thumbs up; Bill got out of the Aztec and yelled thank-you, before going inside.
He was glad of the shift change, thinking nobody would ask about Marg. The cashier welcomed him with a smile, said, "extra small, double-double in china", took his money and handed him his change before adding, "I hear you are seeing Marg, you certainly can't do better, treat her nice Bill, she is special". And as he took his coffee he said, "we had a coffee, only a coffee, we are not exactly "seeing" each other"...and the grinning young woman said, "you make a nice couple".
He sat. Silently cursed himself for not buying a ticket. Another member of staff was mopping the floor and stopped by his table...."you and Marg making plans" ? and he laughed and said, "no, I don't think so, I wanted to be married in Beirut and she wants a Vegas wedding"; and all she said was "oh".  
He finished his coffee and left. Stopped at his bridge partners house and once inside said, "are we still on for tomorrow" ? And the reply was, "ay, why shouldn't we be" ? to which Bill said, "no reason, just making sure".
Then the lady of the house came through the front door, smiled and said, "I heard, you and Marg, about time"; his partner chimed in with, "you and Marg, God, surely wur no gonnae go through whit we did when you wur seeing the other" and Bill, quite vigorously said, "we had a coffee, that is all, end of story, I'm out of here". The last thing he heard was, "don't be late for the "tasty".
Back to the apartment, pulled into his parking space and turned the motor off. His mind registered "shoot" because he had meant to stop for a scratch ticket and here he was without one. He re-started the engine and turned his head to whoever had tapped on his window; a neighbour, an elderly widow who was always in a good mood: she was grinning ear to ear and motioned for him to roll the window down.
He shook his head no, turned the car off and stepped out. He smiled at her and said, "God, this really is a small town, isn't it (?) and you want to know who I had coffee with"....her reply, "of course not, I knew about Marg before you got home the first time, I just wanted to say that many of us think it's about time". He started to state his case that he was fine, perfectly happy with his life, when she waved a dismissive arm and said, "phooey", before returning to her place.
Bill did not go to his apartment, he felt the need for a walk and a little time with himself, plus a walk to the variety store would not only give him a bit of exercise it would also give him the chance to get a scratch ticket.
He was deep in thought, three quarters of the way to the store when he heard, "hello Romeo", Jake, one of the bridge players was walking towards him. "C'mon Jake, I had a coffee with the woman, that is all" and Jake said, "she is one sharp looking lady and will no doubt help you to forget Myrna, now, before you run off, come up to my place, the better half is dying to talk to you but, we must say that you are with me to help with the damned lap top".
In the elevator, Jake said, "Gemma has phoned your place three times, she is quite excited that you have finally found someone. And when the elevator stopped at the fourth floor, Bill was saying, "Jake, please listen, I had a cup of coffee with a lady, we are not ready to elope or anything else"....but Jake held up the key to his apartment and said, very quietly, "shoosh, remember you are here about the laptop". The door was opened and Jake yelled, "Gemma, we have company".
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lachlan



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: robe 10 Reply with quote

10

Jake kicked off his shoes, walked to the living room and Bill, undoing his laces heard Gemma, "so who is the company" and Jake said, "I met the fella while I was walking and he is going to help me with the damned laptop". Gemma sighed, "give it up Jake, you do not have enough patience and watch your mouth, no need to swear".
Bill walked into the living room and Gemma's smile radiated, "Bill, you just come over by my chair, sit on the couch, we need to talk" and Jake said, "just a minute, he is here to help me" to which Gemma replied, "oh hush Jake, you just go and make the coffee, the damn laptop is a waste of time anyway"....Jake smiled said to Bill, "such language eh, and from a lady"...but he quickly went to the kitchen.
Gemma began, "I have heard a few things but you tell me, is Marg going to be special" ?...and she patted his hand...."Gemma, we had a coffee, we are having a meal at the tasty" and Gemma interrupted with, "tonight?, your meeting at the tasty tonight ?" and he said, "no, tomorrow...Gemma, everyone is blowing this all out of proportion and besides she is much younger than I am", and Gemma patted his hand again and said, "so was Myrna and that didn't stop you from flying here there and everywhere to see her.....Marg is local, and, you may not have noticed, but Marg is better looking".
At this point Jake returned from the kitchen and said, "not too sure about that,  differences for sure but Myrna was very attractive....and Gemma told Jake, "hush, any woman under ninety is attractive to you, Marg is local and don't you dare tell me that you haven't given her the eye".
Jake went to pour the coffee.
Coffee, biscuits and a look at the laptop. Bill had turned the laptop on and asked Jake for the password, which Jake had saved in a small note pad. Bill looked at the password for a few minutes and said, "this is the password for your e-mail, we need the password for your wifi" and Jake's response was, "I don't even know what that is".
Bill was no expert and he asked Jake who had put him on line because Bill had received e-mail from him. Jake gave him the name and Bill said, "okay, almost sure we can find your wifi connection without calling anyone". He clicked to see the hidden icons and there were five connections to choose from; one was J_M123 and that was the one needed for the apartment.
Jake was truly amazed while Gemma could not have cared less. Bill showed Jake the other icons and told him he could use the laptop at timmies and McDonalds, the other two were unknown and the laptop was bought second hand.
Bill was ready to leave and Gemma said, "Bill I really think that you and Marg will be good for each other, of course I do remember when you first met Mary, boy, that was long before Myrna and I thought you were quite taken with her". Bill said, "I do remember, also remember thinking she was a lot younger than she really is....a long time ago", and he took his leave.
He did think of Mary on his way home; a missed opportunity (?) perhaps, but he always felt that she would have declined any advances.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: robe 11 Reply with quote

11

Bill arrives back at his flat, 9.30 PM, dark and he wonders where the time has gone.   He thinks, "perhaps an early night, the walk, the fresh air and maybe, just maybe he will fall asleep"...he didn't think so and decided to have tea. Kettle plugged in and one of those useless conversations with himself, "kettle, this is not a kettle, a kettle has a spout which lets the water sprinkle out of when it has come to a boil, or, like my Mums, it has a cap on the spout and the cap contains a whistle" and he had to smile at the memory....a sigh because the water in the plastic thing was heating up.
He made tea and thought of, "tomorrow". A morning walk wouldn't hurt, bridge in the afternoon...and...Marg....."why oh why did I not say no, i'm busy, a need to visit Grande Pointe, anything".
He went to bed, tried to read, tossed and turned, got up around six, found his tea untouched in his mug and warmed it in the microwave. He stared out of his kitchen window but it was too dark to see anything.
He went on line, played freecell. Checked his in-box and had one message from Amazon and one from a friend....nothing more and this usually pleased him, but not this morning.
He went into his bathroom and brushed his teeth, had a good look at himself and had to laugh, and thought, "Marg my dear, we are having dinner, just you and me, and you are beautiful, I am not....AND, I am not falling for another beautiful woman cos I been there and done that....time for breakfast...beans on toast with a fried egg.
8.30 AM, Bill is doing his breakfast dishes. His kitchen window overlooks a field of soya beans, fully grown and waiting to be harvested. One field over is the same crop and beyond that field is the lake, Erie. A misty morning but not for long, the thermometer is on the rise and a high of 16C is expected; Bill takes in the beauty of the scene but his thinking is, too damned warm for this time of year.
Bill wonders what Marg is doing, realizes he doesn't know where she lives and picks up his phone book. He finds two Racines, both with rural route 1 addresses, but only one with the initials B. M. He dials and hears the ringing at the other end. That little voice says, "what in hell are you doing, suppose she answers" and before he can hang up, "hello"?
"Ehm, Marg (?), it's, a, Bill, i'm a" and before he can add anything, Marg cuts in. "Bill, I have ident-acall but that only helps if the number is one I would recognize....you sound tongue tied, it sounds as if you have called and now that I have answered you are at a loss". He is silent. Marg waits in silence, but soon says, "Bill, I did push for our dinner date", I thought we would both enjoy it, I'm sorry, you want to cancel and I understand". She was about to hang up when Bill yelled, "NO, WAIT, I did not phone to cancel, I phoned because of my view" "your view" from Marg..."yes, the view from my kitchen window overlooks a couple of the fields owned by the family who live in the big house just past Maple Street, I didn't and still not sure where you live and my morning view is always spectacular", and, so help me she started to giggle.
Half a minute later she says, "Bill, I love the way your mind works, I really do...and, after dinner we will drive by my house.
Bill nods as if Marg could see him and then says, "there are two Racines in the phone book, are you related" ? Marg answers "yes, the other is my sister and we both were divorced and took back the family name"......then added, "bye, Bill, don't be late".
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:52 am    Post subject: robe12 Reply with quote

12Bill plans to stay home all morning. He could do a load of wash but that would mean visiting the community estate office which also houses washing machines and driers, but, he would run into some of the neighbours and they would be sure to ask about Marg. So, two hours later he is busy with freecell, not really paying attention.
His vacuum cleaner is within view and he uses it, ten minutes and he  has done half of his bedroom. Back to freecell and a hundred questions about Marg are needing answers, or perhaps not. The thing is, what does he need to know ? Five seconds and his first question is, "would she go to bed with me......no, no, no, a ridiculous question, doesn't deserve an answer", and he wonders again if he is afraid.
Time passes and he realizes he will need to hurry if he is going to be in time to help with the set up. Dressed and must take the car lest he be late. Finds a parking place and goes to the post office for his mail. Then to the centre and Wendy has all the tables in place and most of the chairs; Angus is helping her finish and Bill makes coffee.
Wendy is everyones favourite young person. Good looking, bright, cheerful, always available and she seems to like the old folk. This is one senior centre which has been very lucky with co-ordinators, three since Bill arrived and all very well liked. Wendy is married, happily married and all the men respect that. Of course, she, and many another good looking female will always remind our senior men of days gone by.
Bill and Angus sit with a coffee and Angus says, "you gonnae be thinking bridge" ? And Bill says, "of course, a dinner with a younger woman is simply that"...."so" says Angus, "it's no like when you were seeing Myrna, ah mean, your game isnae going to be wandering aroond in outer space, issit" ? And Bill says, "surely I wasn't that bad" and Angus answers, "ye wur".
The first hand went very well; opponents bid to a four level (means they need to take ten tricks) and took only eight tricks. Angus says, "not bad but you take your ace of diamonds and they are down three, bridge my man, think bridge".
Second hand was played by Bill, three no trump and he went down four, mainly because he thought hearts were trump. The afternoon was very long.
Bridge was over and Angus put the tables and chairs away in record time, said to Bill, "lets have a coffee and a chat" and led Bill to the other room.
They sat away from the others and Angus said, "I would love to see you in a serious  relationship with Marg". Bill said "och" with more than a wee bit of anger. Angus continued, "hear me oot....when ye started tae get serious aboot Myrna, which happened awfy fast, as I recall, your game went south, but no aw the time, ye see when she was here, your game was as guid as it has ever been, mibee ye wur content, so, dae ye get my point". Bill nodded agreement.
Then Angus said, "ahm no trying tae interfere, ahm just wanting tae see ye settled, and no just for your guid". "Ah know" says Bill, "yur a guid friend but am not too sure aboot Marg, awfy attractive and awfy young".
Angus headed for his home and Bill sat for a few minutes with Jake. Jake says, "you were bloody awful, today, I think you might need a woman in your life". Gemma said, "hear, hear" and Bill said his farewells.
He was home by five and decided to walk, the "tasty" was a seven minute stroll but he stretched that to fifteen minutes, arriving ten minutes early.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Robe13 Reply with quote

Julie greeted him as soon as he entered the "tasty". She came from behind the counter with two menus in hand, walked up to Bill and said, "come", leading him to a far table which was close to the fireplace. She said, "you want lemon chicken but tonight you should have a menu"...she smiled, added, "you meeting Mahg Rahsin, allus Chinese know Mahg, she nice lady, you be lucky man"...and Bill answered, "us Scots will try to be grayful....and", to which Julie said, "I know, I know, you want lemon chicken and two glass water", then he asked for a coffee. Julie raised her eyebrows and said, "coffee, I bring coffee and it is on house".
Bill sat and read the menu, cover to cover, Got up and walked to the window farthest away from him. Time passed. He searched for a clock and Marg was late, ten minutes late. Julie was behind the counter and he looked directly at her and she shrugged.
His mind wandered back many years when he was supposed to meet a date at a half way point between where he was living and her home; and she didn't show. He was angry that time until he learned that the lady had been in a car accident, spent two weeks in a hospital and he had made no inquiries.
His mind was made up, "not this time", he thought, "five more minutes and I phone, Marg, her sister, anyone who might know anything. One minute and Marg walked in, stomped might be more accurate; she walked right to Julie and in a few seconds she followed Julie's pointed finger. Bill and Marg stared at each other and then she came to him. He stood and she said, "where is your car, I have driven around the block ten times, I thought you were going to be a no show, so why no car" ? Bill sat, leaned back in his chair and said, "you are late, Marg, I have been here waiting, perhaps you should stop this little tirade, you are completely out of line and if you wish to cancel, so be it".
She sat and leaned forward, her eyes ablaze, staring daggers at him said, "cancel (?) don't even think of it, I will buy your meal, we will eat and then continue this conversation, perhaps later I will demonstrate a tirade.
Bill nodded to Julie and she came to take the order, saying, "Marg, Bill having lemon chicken, what for you" ? and Bill reached over and took one of Marg's hands into his and said, "the lemon chicken is very good, but only served to ladies who can smile". Marg closed her eyes and said, "yes, lemon chicken, please, I thought you had been in an accident, I don't know why".
This was the "tasty chicken", "oriental cuisine", both knew that their food would not be there in a flash. Bill was looking at Marg and Marg was looking at the table cloth, the fireplace, the wall behind Bill until Julie placed a coffee in front of her. Julie, very softly, perhaps tentatively, said, "okay" ? and Marg laughed and said, "yes, yes, I am fine, feel a little stupid but fine now".
She took one sip of coffee and looked at Bill who was grinning ear to ear. "What, now what, I already said I was sorry" and Bill said, "me too, I also thought you had an accident" and both started to laugh. Marg reached his hand, squeezed and said, "thankyou".
They ate, neither disappointed with the food, neither had ever been disappointed with the "tasty". And they talked. Bill mentioned her hair, "don't know why but thought you might have a pony tail under the touque you wore on Sunday". Marg answered, "of course you know why, i'm a skater and many, many chorus line skaters had pony tails, only the olympic champion lead skater was allowed short hair, she made that cut famous". Bill shook his head, smiled and said, "folk do tell me things and you were more than chorus line, a comedy skit which became very popular, TOO popular". And she smiled and said, "I suppose, but it did bring me home and I have no regrets".
It was past eight o'clock when Julie came to their table. "We empty, no one but you two, you want more coffee (?), if not we want to go home". Marg payed the bill and Bill supplied the tip and they left, climbed into Marg's car and she said, "where to" ?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:55 am    Post subject: Robe14 Reply with quote

Bill thought about it, easy to say, "your place or mine", but, but, but. Marg touched his arm. He was facing her and she shrugged and said, "well (?), up to you, your place is closest and i'm sure you are not going to come on to me hot and heavy; are you" ? Bill said, "don't know, I do know that I wouldn't promise not to come on to you, and besides, my place is, shall we say, "lived in".
Marg laughed and said, "you are being very cautious, lived in sounds fine, can't see your place being grubby". Bill replied, "timmies, please, on the double, I need a washroom"...she laughed and added, "Bill, that is more information than I need".
Marg steered onto Main Street and as they passed the war memorial Bill asked if any relatives were listed, "just the one", she said, "one of my Mums cousins, brothers were too young and a lot of farmers in my family, many exempt from the war, I have been to a few of the remembrance day services; it's the first war which really gets to me; don't really know why, just seems so much more vicious, cruel, I don't know...she shivered....Bill said nothing but silently agreed.
As they passed the arena Bill said, "your home away from home" and she answered, "yes, I suppose it is....if you are doing nothing tomorrow morning, early, seven AM, I will be there, alone and ready to show you how to stop.....but there is a price....I want YOUR version of the fritters". She backed into a parking space and on the way in said, "my treat, you wanna dutchie" ? He nodded and said he would grab a table.
They were seated at a corner table, a view through the front and side windows. Marg bit into her Boston Cream and the front of her blouse received it's share. She said, "damn, I need a serviette" and Bill obliged, also offered to remove the cream without using it; Marg declined his offer, "perhaps a little too public" and she winked.
Boston Cream and Dutchie finished, then Marg said, "fritters". Bill complied, the story being that he did make fritters, a recipe for the batter from his ex-wife to one of his daughters, to him...and the joke was that any lady, spending the night at the hacienda, and happy in the morning, would earn fritters in bed for breakfast; he added that no one had taken him up on the offer.
Marg nodded, "pretty much what I heard but no one is saying whether you had takers or not, surely someone" and Bill replied, "I seem to recall taking a few fritters to the centre, perhaps for Wendy or maybe the lady before her, and, yes, I did cook a few at the centre, definitely when Wendy was working".
Another nod before Marg said, "what about your visitor" ? To which bill said, "a long time ago"...he did not look happy and Marg said, "Bill, don't you freeze up on me, i'd sooner you said, "not your business", but it is a simple question and I am wondering if that episode is really over".
He leaned back in his seat, looked her straight in the eye and said, "yes, one lot of fritters not for breakfast and they were a disaster and yes it is over, well over, and it was a long time ago". Marg said, "okay" and then her eyes opened wide and she said, "oh my God, my ex with his latest partner, please just don't ask". Bill smiled and said, "not a word, promise"...then Marg added, "don't look so smug this is not some sort of trade-off where you don't ask about him and I receive no information about , oh damn, here they are".
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Robe15 Reply with quote

The ex, without an invitation, sat, he made no introductions and his "partner", also male, looked a little uncomfortable until Bill pulled the last remaining seat back from the table and indicated he should sit.
The ex gave Bill a dismissive glance while Bill took him in, thinning, straggly, grey hair, not shaved, shirt open to the waist showing a shaved chest and the remnants  of nail polish. And Bill thought, "the S.O.B. must have stayed in the closet until he married Marg". Bill was not a homophobe, simply objected to those who married women.
The ex was whispering to Marg and she shut him up with a forceful, "NO", looked at Bill and said, "this is my ex, haven't seen him for a year and at that time he was calling himself "Jay". Bill acknowledged "Jay" with a nod and "Jay" said, "I now use "Troy", got tired of "tweety-bird"....Marg looked at the "partner" and he said, "i'm Dave, born Dave Jones". Marg, replied, "i'm Marg and this is Bill Harris".
Dave shook hands with Bill and said, "you from Scotland" ? Bill said he was and Dave said, "I remember the name, a long time ago, might not have recognized you but I do now". Bill was puzzled and Dave continued, "Detroit, the Purple Onion" and a grinning Troy said, "oh, a gay bar, small world". But Dave cut him off, "not one of us but very glad he was there that night". He then shook Bill's hand and said, "thankyou, i'm going for a smoke".
Marg looked at Bill and raised one eyebrow, he said, "always wanted to be able to do that". She rolled her eyes and turned to Troy, "I have no money for you, none, you stuck, too bad, enough is enough, stay to hell away from me". And his reply, "please, a hundred gets us back to Toronto, we were robbed last night"...she held up a hand, rummaged through her handbag and put some bills into his hand, "$50, that is it, you need more go rob the robbers".
She looked at Bill and said, "please, lets go" and they left. Walking to the car when Dave came to them and once again shook Bill's hand and said another, "thankyou".
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: 14 Reply with quote

14

Before they were out of the parking lot, Marg said, "the purple onion (?), a gay bar (?) please do not go silent on me, don't say you don't remember, you did something which pleased Dave,  c'mon, tell me".
Bill said, "sure, not a big deal". "A friend was visiting from Ottawa, we hit Lindell's AC, the National and a few others, ended at the purple onion". I had been there before when it wasn't a gay bar, had another name but cannot remember what it was".
"My buddy was a bit bigger than me, around two hundred pounds, broken nose and a few scars; he was a mover" and Marg interjected, "mover" ? Bill said, "yes, someone good to have on your side if there is a brawl, he was fast, hard and a very heavy hitter". "We had just ordered and he remarked that we were in a gay bar; neither of us cared, we planned on a couple of house specials, "grasshoppers" as I recall, before going back across the border".
"Two "straights" were being macho with a couple of gays and I asked the waiter to tell them to back off, which he did". "Both came to our table and one said something about short-asses needing a lesson". "I said, lets take it outside and his friend said, "I gotta see this" and he poked my buddy in the chest and said, "you coming". "He very quickly ended on his rear end and my buddy told him it was a private party; the other one led the way to the back door and we had a bit of a tussle, end of story".
Marg said, "I don't think so, you are the one who talks about honesty....withholding info is the same as lying".
By this time they were on the other side of Ridgetown and Bill told Marg where to turn. She parked in a visitors space and before she turned the motor off, one of Bill's neighbours was standing by the side of the car and greeting Marg. While Marg was talking to Giselle, and Bill slipped out of the car, walked around to Marg's side, said, "excuse me Giselle" leaned into the open window and kissed Marg, a long, clingy, hungry kiss; then he said, "7.30 AM and don't be late". Marg said, "wait, wait. wait" but it fell on deaf ears.
Not yet 6.00 AM, a Tuesday, middle of October and the forecast says a high of 18C, 65 the old fashioned way. Bill already out of bed and in the shower. He has made a morning commitment and briefly wonders about meditation, which he feels is wrong for him....however he does wonder about "God", wonders if there is really a plan for himself, and thinks of Marg. Asks himself, "could it be, could it be", answers, "surely not".
He shaves, starts the percolator and gets dressed; a splash of a very expensive after shave makes him smile and thinks, "no way, too young, too good looking", but.
It is nearly seven and through the gap in his bedroom curtains he sees Marg walking towards his flat. He reaches his front door, opens it as Marg is pressing on the bell. She peers at him and lifts her shoulders, "I saw you coming, thought I better open the door, the bell doesn't W***", he says, "and if it did I would not hear it until I put the hearing aids in.........come in coffees ready and I will be one minute.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: 15 Reply with quote

15
Bill is putting the hearing aids into his ears, places one of his stools beside his breakfast counter, points to it and says to Marg, "Madam". She replies, "thank you kind sir" and Bill picks up the kettle, saying, "for you I have, Tim Hortons French Vanilla Cappuccinnno", and Marg has a huge grin, she says, "you bought French Vanilla Cappuccino for me", ? And he has to admit it was already in the apartment. She smiles says, "ah, Bill, someone from your past...not asking any questions..and, I would sooner have a regular blend, much too early for something so sweet".
He poured and sat opposite Marg, he on the kitchen side and she on the living room side. One sip and she said, "I love the aroma of coffee....and...just a minute", she stood and walked around to Bill's side and put her face to his cheek, sniffed and said, "wow, that could turn a lady's head, tell me that is for my benefit and I might let you have your way, with me" but when she looked at him she continued, "oh Bill, you are blushing, i've embarrassed you and I didn't mean to, I was joking".
Bill stood, kissed her very lightly on the lips and said, "I will definitely accept your offer after you teach me to stop....on skates...now back to your own side".
She sat on her stool, touched his hand, looking him straight in the eye she said, "anytime will suit me fine".
Bill half filled the sink with soapy water and left the mugs to soak. He turned the percolator off and said, "to the arena" and Marg answered, "not without a jacket". BIll told her what the forecast called for and she said, "it is early morning, sixties this afternoon and it will be cold on the ice, cold enough for a jacket and gloves". He lifted his jacket from the back of a chair and told Marg that his gloves were in the car. Marg said, "good, then we might as well use your gas".
He parked in the arena parking lot and Marg suggested a timmies sausage in a bun before the skating, Bill said, "no thanks", Marg said, "I'll buy", Bill said "to take out or eat in", and Marg said, "leave your skates in the car and we will pick them up when we have eaten"....Bill was not about to leave his "eastons" in a car, he carried them into timmies and sat at a table, waited for Marg to bring his bun and double double extra small.
When the buns were finished and they were lingering over their coffees, Marg said, "Bill, seriously, do you think I am being pushy about, you know". Bill replied, "no, I think you are nervous and I know I am, it has been a while and at my age, who knows". She took one of his hands, said, "Bill your, "it has been a while" is measured in months, don't look at me like that, everyone in town knows when your lady last visited, and my "while" is a bit longer", then she sighed and added, "ten years".....Bill took both of her hands and said, "when the time is right, now let us skate and remember that I need to be in Blenheim by one".
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: 16 Reply with quote

16
When they entered the arena the zamboni had finished re-surfacing the ice, it had been driven off and the driver was mopping the excess water at the doorway, Marg waved and the driver said, "give it a few minutes". She took Bill by the hand and led him into the change room used by referees and a few instructors.
Bill placed his skates on the bench seat, untied his shoes and felt Marg's hands on his shoulders. He looked at her and she said, "before you put those skates on, I need a down payment", and she kissed him, much in the same way he had kissed her on Monday.
She stood straight up and said, "now we are even". Bill stood, pulled her towards him and said, "not quite", before kissing her and adding, "NOW we are even, last night a light touching of tongues, your kiss was a little bolder than mine and I needed to even things up".
They put their skates on and started to leave the dressing room when Marg said, "I have a key and could lock the door" and Bill replied,"then there would be no stopping and a dressing room is not what I had in mind"......she squeezed his hand and said, "me either".
The "how to stop" lesson was short lived. Marg demonstrated and Bill tried to do exactly as she had done. Marg had stopped and Bill kept going, on his side, feet in the air, stopped when his feet hit the boards.
An explanation was supplied which he knew he could follow, "weight on left foot, lean slightly back and put the right foot ahead of the left. Bill did a turn to get some momentum, he simply started his stop much to close to the boards and the ensuing collision had him aching from his hip to his knee. Marg helped him up and suggested coffee and a snack...actually she suggested fritters  but Bill nixed that and she settled for Timmies.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: 17 Reply with quote

17

They left the arena and half way across the parking lot Marg said, "you are in a bit of pain, perhaps best I drive you home and we have a look at the damage, i'm guessing there are no broken bones". Bill answered, "okay", but once he was seated in the aztec, he added, "I'LL have a look" and heard the response, "spoil sport".
Marg had driven quite slowly, avoiding all pot holes, and when she pulled into Bill's parking space, he said, "thank-you, a very gentle drive home". She was first out and came around to his side, offered a hand which was accepted. Bill grimaced when Marg helped him to a standing position and she said, "sore"? and he replied, "a bit nippy". Marg smiled and remarked, "your accent comes and goes", and he nodded.
Two steps toward the apartment Bill stopped, held his hand out and said, "keys, my skates are on the back seat". Marg said, "i will get them" and she did, then, skates in hand she walked past him, straight to the apartment, unlocked the door and entered. By the time Bill was inside, she had put his skates put away and had two mugs of cold coffee in the microwave.
Bill made his way to the bedroom, for his robe, and the bathroom, for his self examination. He closed the bathroom door. Marg tapped and said, "are you sure you can manage without my help", and his "yes" was followed by the sound of the door being locked.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:51 am    Post subject: 18 Reply with quote

18
The door was locked, Bill was free to examine himself, alone, but, it was the simple act of hanging his bathrobe on one of the hooks attached to the door that made him realize he might need help. He began to berate himself, not with much volume but loud enough to bring a smile to Marg, who was sitting at his breakfast counter with a warmed up coffee.
Bill was mumbling, moving gingerly, trying to reach his shoe laces and not being successful. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and heard a tap on the door. His response to the tapping was, "i'm fine, managing quite well". Marg answered, "of course you are, i'm just wondering what glaikit means, a new word to me and you have said it three or four times".
Silence. Not a sound from the bathroom. Marg found she was holding her breath, wanted to say something but knew not what. One minute stretched to two and then Bill unsnibbed the door. They were face to face and he said, "clueless, stupid, someone unaware of what is going on around him, someone like me". He sighed, looked down at his feet and quietly said, "I cannae untie my laces and need a pair of scissors".
Marg answered, "let's not be ridiculous", dropped to one knee and had both laces untied in a few seconds. She stood and said, "enough of the macho, sit on the toilet seat and I will remove your shoes" and Bill said, "the edge of the bath will be fine", to which Marg responded with heat, "the toilet seat, not the edge of the bloody bath, the toilet seat where there is less danger of you falling in, and THEN I will leave you to get out of your jeans, put the robe on and then struggle with anything else which needs to come off.
Bill sat on the toilet seat and the left shoe came of quite easily as did the sock. The right shoe took a little longer; Bill had trouble raising his foot. Marg knew he was in pain. She stood and backed up a few steps, said, "I have an idea which you may not like, however, I need a couple of minutes to prepare and if you say no to my proposal, I will go home and leave you to get on with it". He stayed where he was and heard her in his bedroom.
Not more than five minutes later she returned and said, "I am going to help you to stand and would like to see you make it to your bed where you will be able to sit and listen to my idea". And he complied.
Marg had pulled the covers down to the foot of the bed, taken the pillows from the head and put them on the far side. She told the sitting Bill, " the right leg would have caused much pain if we try and lay you on the bed with the pillows at the head, this way you can lay back and I will try and pull you across the bed until you head reaches the pillows, but before we begin your right leg should be elevated to nearly the height of your mattress", Bill saw no harm in trying.
The leg was sore but with Marg's help Bill did manage to get it onto a chair. Marg went to the far side and did manage to pull him across. She then covered him with the sheet and he felt her hands slide up both legs until she was at his belt. NO NO NO was his response and Marg yelled, "shut up you glaikit idiot". Perhaps it was the shock of her tone but the next Bill knew was that his jeans were being pulled down and his hands were struggling to hold the sheet in place.
Marg held his jeans, winked at him and said, "I am going to my car, getting an ice bag, filling it from you freezer, leaving it with you and then I will be off for some things medicinal...back in an hour lover", and she winked again.

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