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  • WJ King

TIME AT THE CENTER

Dating is a precarious endeavor at any age. “Love” is as hurtful and/or precious at any age. I mention age, as I am the youngest of my gang, the West Wing Wabbits. Not much has changed about romance in fifty years and our gang, a group of devil may care, gad abouts meet for our debriefing session at Sunday morning breakfast: By the way, my name is Mickey The Lasagna LaChochissi.


We have celebratory mimosas screwdrivers on weekdays when I announce reaching first base with Karen, the old babe who runs the East Wing like Bernardo ran the sharks. A retired newspaper reporter who is aware of what she wants and knows how to get it. My, I got news for you line, never gets old. As usual, Reggie, former commercial airline pilot needs a quick reminder of exactly what first base is. The girls sit at the ’cool people’ table and give us a coquettish glance, knowing “those studs are talking about us.” Harry, a retired correction officer, stabs Reggie with his plastic fork, claiming he pilfered some of his scrambled eggs. Jeff begins his regular story of sexual conquests of tremendous proportion and as is also the norm we begin talking over his tale after a couple minutes. Within reasonable boundaries, we respect the unwritten rule, you listen to my bullshit, I’ll listen to yours.


We’ve got an empty chair at the table. Big Gus Karmanos rode into the sunset last night and the attending nurse gave us a note he left for us. In case I ever die, Gus always thought he had options, “g’bye you schmucks, I’m leavin’ this chickenshit outfit.” We laughed like hell over a few more mimosas on the patio. I should note the ‘mimosas’ were the same vodka screwdrivers we drank all week. We told ‘Gus’ stories, Harry wanted to swap out his 25” TV for Gus’ 55”er. I said, “great idea ya thievin’ bastard, his kids’ll never notice the difference.” Harry nods, reluctantly agreeing. A recurring theme, Harry's usual response is, “this is America damnit.” Harry believes patriotism somehow allows for a property free for all by pals. Harry often claims victory of arguments citing non-existent constitutional clauses and/or amendments. It takes on an air of entertainment when an adversary returns the serve citing equally inane assertions.


Two of my daughters live in town, only two or three miles away and I see them quite often. My third and youngest is an hour away, visits and calls often always ensuring no possible contact with her sisters. I’ve attempted mediation, but no more. I've told all three, I don’t care if they ever talk but the first time I run out of vodka, all three of their asses are out of my will. I add that I never really liked them and we only kept them at their mother’s urging.God bless’er. It gets a laugh, a sad one but a laugh.


I’ve got my own problems:a nephew in stocks and bonds who apparently can’t get a grasp of ‘insider trading’ and strategizing a foolproof method of violating the newshound.


wjk/11/13/20/534


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