Chapter 26: Smooth Money
This is not a dispatch about one particular person. Instead it is a tale of two generations. At Lucinda’s favorite haunt, we showed up one evening to find a room had been rented for a party on the eve before a wedding. Mother of the groom was pissed. And why shouldn’t she be? All this money was going to be spent on a marriage that had already ended even if the groom didn’t know it.
The bride-elect was tall, legs that wouldn’t quit, a body that was lissom and lean. Mama knew those nimble legs had been wrapped around her son, and he was besotted. Mama knew Legs was after the long-term money and would get pregnant, if not on her wedding night, then shortly thereafter. Legs wasn’t stupid enough to get pre-nuptial preggers. Mama knew Legs would be filing for divorce once she had produced the moneymaking heir and a spare.
You see, Mama knew her son. He was just like his daddy. Right now, Bridegroom’s underwear fits his cute little butt like a glove on a stripper’s hands. Legs enjoys ripping them off his perfect manly body. And Legs gives him what he wants because she wants what he’s got.
Legs may even be fooling herself into thinking that, yes indeed, she loves him, but the truth is once his perfect little undies are a larger size and she smells his farts in the night and in the car and in the bathroom, oh how the bloom will fade. And when he stops saying thank you and treats her like his daddy treats his mama, you know, as a brood mare to continue the illustrious lineage, oh the blossom will fall hard.
So Legs will stick it out until she can get something from him via child support and alimony and then live with her soul mate (in sin, of course, because otherwise the money will dry up as per the airtight pre-nup).
Legs brought all her girlfriends. Legs 2, Legs 3, and Legs 4, who kept Bridegroom’s buddies entertained and otherwise occupied. Bridegroom and buddies reeked of money. Legs 1, 2, 3, and 4 could smell money through a gale of horseshit. Legs 2, 3, and 4 were working Buddies 1, 2, and 3 for all they were worth, and they were worth a lot.
Here is where the catfight almost happened.
When their party let out of the private room, the young people (late twenties, maybe thirty) piled out and onto the dance floor. Legs 2, 3, and 4 carried their drinks, holding them high, sloshing their drinks onto Lucinda, other dancers, and the surrounding floor. Lucinda asked management to please have these people act with decorum. Management was scared of Money walking, and refused.
Finally, unable to take the abuse any longer, Lucinda went up to Legs 2, 3, and 4 and said: Drinks aren’t allowed on the floor. It is a hazard. Please remove them.
Buddies 1, 2, and 3, and Legs 2, 3, and 4 stopped what they were doing and stared at Lucinda. I moved to the railing, at the ready to jump in the fray if needs be. The music blasted on, but no one was dancing. Everyone watched the potential cat fight. Buddies 1-3, held their eyes wide in disbelief that this nobody of a woman had dared to speak to them and Legs 2-4 in such a manner. Legs 2-4, because of their six-inch do-me heels made each at least one foot taller than Lucinda, turned en masse to her. Buddies 1-3 moved back to enjoy the action.
Legs 2-4 cocked their hips out to the side and looked Lucinda up and down. Bodies coiled for a good fight, their eyes eventually came to hers. Lucinda did not blink. She did not look away. She stood tall and straight, even if she was looking up, and she dared them with her eyes to come and get summadis.
Then Lucinda smiled, but only with her mouth. Legs 2, the ringleader, blinked. Body uncoiled, she dipped her head. Legs 3 and 4 followed suit and drinks were removed to the tables. Legs 2-4 gave Lucinda dirty looks through the evening, but Buddies 1-3 didn’t get near Lucinda and kept Legs 2-4 on the other side of the room.
Regulars applauded and dancing commenced. Mama stared at Lucinda with wonder. Her gaze seemed to say Finally! Someone who ain’t scared of that bunch. Then she looked quickly away because she knew had no spine and was going home to continue with her voluntary slavery.
The evening commenced to a later than usual close. The happy, happy couple was told by the DJ that he had a special song just for them. Everyone in their party screamed in delight when the song came on. Everyone, that is, except Mama who looked at the DJ with a How did you know? The DJ winked at Mama and mother smiled back flirtatiously.
Gloria Gaynor’s famous hit, I Will Survive, blasted out. The story of a woman staying strong when she breaks up with her man is a classic. Legs the Bride and Cuckold the Bridegroom danced sexy and sang the song to each other as their friends around them clapped and sang along. When the song ended, a roar of approval for the DJ rang through the building. The DJ had a slight smile and simply bowed. He had his revenge and the admiration of Mother and all the regulars.
Late for everyone else, the evening ended early for these revelers; after all, they had a wedding to be in the next day. Mama paid the bill and took a crowded limo to the hotel.
If this story goes true to form, there Mama reported on the evening to Daddy who was footing the bill for his son’s wedding to Legs who came from good stock but whose family could not afford the society event of the wedding season that his heir deserved. Legs 2-4 probably auditioned as future broodmares for Buddies 1-3. And Legs will play bashful with Bridegroom and shoo him away to crash somewhere else.
Oh, Legs knew how to play the game.
Chapter 27: I Can’t Make This Stuff Up #2
Bumper Car Man
One evening a man showed up who thought he was the best waltzer ever. He proceeded to choose petite women and drag them around the floor. Barreling his way through the crowd, he kept knocking people with his elbows and in general acting like a horse’s ass. The women hung on for dear life and often could not follow his lead and simply ran as fast as they could to keep up.
Lucinda was dancing as per her usual. I noticed of all the people he bumped into, he bumped into her much more than any other. He was like a laser-guided missile when it came to her. On target every time with an Oh, am I bothering you? Lucinda finally had enough. She saw him coming and allowed him to bump into her again. When he did, she turned around, snatched him by the collar, stopped him from dancing, wagged a finger in his face and said something I don’t know what, but ended with Now stop it! She let his collar go and proceeded to dance.
He stopped. People danced by Lucinda and said their thanks.
That mother tone gets them every time.
If you think dancing is genteel, you are mistaken. It’s a battle out there. Not for nothing do those in the know call it a contact sport. Disco Duck was into contact sports. He asked Lucinda to dance. She did. He got all excited because she could follow his convoluted lead. This excitement led him to turn her one more time. Lucinda was stopped mid turn by Disco Duck who then put his arms around her, clasped his hands together, and picked her up bodily. Within two seconds Lucinda was being swung through the air by a man who looked like he was trying to give her the Heimlich maneuver and dislodge a hunk of steak.
Lucinda was not having fun. Disco Duck was grinning from ear to ear and kept going around for at least thirty seconds. She felt him losing power and prepared her feet for landing. When she did, she walked off the floor and to the bathroom. She told me later he hurt her and if she had not been strong and had been able to hold her abdomen muscles tightly against him, he’d have hurt her worse.
Lucinda spread the word about him. Disco Duck was cut off! After a month of being turned down, Disco Duck did not come back.
Georgie Porgie (G.P.)
G.P., under a similar excitement level at Lucinda’s ability to follow, forgot he was sixty, bent down and picked her up at the knees. She did her best to help him maintain his balance so she wouldn’t land on him and kill him when he fell; when she felt him getting ready to drop her, she prepared for a hard landing. From that time on she’d not let him get close to her without reading him the riot act about minding his manners and knowing his damn limits.
He was contrite. He never did it again.
Dipper Dan loved to dip his dance partners. He particularly liked to dip Lucinda because she was athletic and limber and could follow his lead on any manner of dips. He gave her the signal he’d be giving her a hard and fast dip and she threw herself into position per how they had done it many times before.
He had given her the wrong signal. He tried to throw his body under hers to break the fall, but she hit the floor flat on her back. He bent over her apologizing. Lucinda laughed and laughed. Finally she said, “Dude. Help me up.”
He did and they continued to dance, he paying very close attention to the signals he was giving her. He never danced with her again after that. Dipper Dan found himself a sedate dance partner and never repeated the throwing a woman in the floor routine.
Angry God of Dance (A.G.)
Tall and tan, smooth and well-oiled, Angry God of Dance danced with five particular women and only those five. But one evening, watching Lucinda dance so well with all his friends, he decided he must have her in his stable, too. Via a lift of the brow and a beautifully manicured hand held toward her, A.G. let Lucinda know he had chosen her. Lucinda took his hand and out they went.
All evening Lucinda had been dancing beautifully with every man who had asked. Everybody was having a good time watching how she could dance with a guy with two left feet and make him look and feel good. She was aglow with happiness and goodwill toward mankind. So out she went with A.G., fully expecting the same result.
Within five seconds, Lucinda is stumbling over her own feet and A.G. is annoyed. Lucinda, trying her darndest to follow A.G., had no success whatsoever. One minute into the dance, A.G. stopped dancing, bent down to look at Lucinda and said, with condescending patience, she should let him lead.
Lucinda said she was trying very hard to follow his lead and she couldn’t understand what was going on. She set her mind to paying very, very close attention to his lead upon which she discovered an interesting fact.
He didn’t have a lead.
One minute later, A.G. drops her hands, puts his hands on her shoulders, and bodily moves her away from him.
He stands in the middle of the dance floor and wags a chiding finger in her face. “If you will allow me to lead, maybe we can make some progress here.”
As. You. Wish. Sir.
Lucinda, eyes now dead, smile now gone, stood where he placed her, arms down at her side. He had to step forward, take her hands, and lift her arms. They continued to stumble for the last of the song. When it ended, Lucinda, ever the lady, stepped back, curtsied, and said thank you, sir. Yes, you may imply extreme politeness that borders on the indifferent. She began to walk back to the bar when she noticed everyone looking her way, eyes big. All gasped at the same time.
A split second later, she felt hands on her shoulders, roughly grabbing and squeezing, staying her forward motion.
It was Angry God of Dance. He bent his mouth to her ear and whispered roughly, “On the dance floor, it is all about submission, and You. Need. To. Learn. To. Submit.”
Lucinda threw his hands off her shoulders and turned to him. She stared him down. Then laughed in his face. When she turned around she made a face at the watching crowd: Rolled her eyes, made the cuckoo sign with her fingers, and whistled cuckoo.
Everyone at the bar burst into riotous laughter and looked at A.G. He was murderous and demanded to know what she said. But she stared hard at him and he backed down. She found out later two men had stood and were ready to jump his ass if he moved one step forward. She thanked them for watching her back.
She did some research to find out why it was A.G. could dance with all these other women so beautifully, but not her.
It seems A.G. had danced with those five women for so long, and they did the exact same dance, move for move, every time, that he had forgotten he wasn’t leading.
He assumed because Lucinda was dancing with his friends who did the same style of dance, that she knew it, too. No. His friends knew how to lead and did not forget what their role on the dance floor was: Give the lady clear directions, allow her to choose to follow, and a good time will be had by all.
Angry God of Dance could not understand what had happened. He was rich. He was gorgeous. Women were falling over themselves to touch him. Lucinda ignored him from that point forward. For months he tried to get her attention, even to the point of waiting as she walked off the dance floor to give her a high five for her splendid dance. A high five Lucinda simply stared at, then walked by without returning it.
A. G. stood in the crowd, hand up, and nothing to slap it against. Lucinda did not care. He was a man who was violent; violence and Lucinda did not mix.
Sharp-Butted Man (S. B.)
Sharp-Butted Man wore the same clothes every time he came out. The shirt was striped white and red, and heavily starched. Pants were denim, blue, starched, faded, and with creases front and back crisp enough to make the toughest Drill Sergeant mighty proud. He wore a black wig. Not a piece, mind you; a full wig. His glasses were dirty. He stood ramrod straight, his backside high and tight, his expression saying he was a catch and any woman who couldn’t see it was an idiot.
He spent his dance evenings strolling from one side of the room to the other, perusing the merchandise. Yes, yes; who’d be the lucky lady tonight, yes, yes, his bearing advertised. Except nobody wanted him.
One evening two companies of combatants arrived who had not been at the front before. One was a group of white men and the other was a group of black women. These companies had decided to meet on purpose seeing as how the white men liked black women and the black women liked white men and they were part of some meetup-type group.
S. B. was in hog heaven. New meat.
He went around asking the women to dance. They thought he was part of the group they were there to meet and readily said yes, but he never lasted longer than a half dance with each as they gave him the old heave-ho. With each rejection he merely moved on to the next, never fazed in the least. Someone suggested Lucinda ask S. B. to dance and find out the whole story and report to them.
Lucinda paused. There was something not right about him, but she was curious, too, and asked. He was delighted to dance with her. No sooner were they dancing than S.B. asks her what time they should leave. When informed Lucinda did not care what time he left and that she was unsure of her departure time, he said, “So, you don’t want me to fuck you?”
Lucinda’s answer was, “That’s a big negatory.”
“What’s a negatory?” S.B. asked while trying to bump his sharp butt up against her hips as he got down with his bad self. (His words.)
“No. Negatory means no.”
S. B. walked away. Not to fear, though, that Lucinda was left high and dry. Mr. Techno Rave jumped right into his spot and said he didn’t like to come out to these places and he only danced at techno raves and did she want to go with him to one tonight. Another negatory followed and he disappeared. The evening was not yet over.
Chapter 28: I Can’t Make This Stuff Up #3
Hoo Chay Mama #1 (Chay)
Hoo Chay Mama #1 could not have been over twenty-eight years old. She had come to this meetup with the group of black women wanting to meet white men. Her dress was skin tight, and barely covered her exceptional assets. She had on a pair of heels that had to be at least six inches high because even with those on she was barely five feet four inches tall. These shoes were not made for walking. They were made for working a pole.
She found a semblance of a pole around the outer perimeter of the dance floor. Put her back against it, raised her right arm and held on. Her left arm she held out and made moves like she was a belly dancer. Hips grinding but feet firmly planted. Lips parted and constantly licked. Long, fake lashes waving in syncopated rhythm to each song. All of which simply communicated what she could do for you, big boy, come on, ooo, ooo, la, la.
Unfortunately, none of the white men were watching her. While they were there to meet each other, the white men and the black women watched Lucinda dance alone and with other men. She was having such a good time that it was quite infectious and the room lit up.
Poor Chay could not figure it out. Why was no one watching her? She looked around and noticed everyone watching Lucinda, who was white and obviously older than her. So Chay poured on the sexy. She got her friends to come out on the dance floor and take pictures of her in sexy poses. Briefly, eyes turned to the lights of the cameras when they flashed, but then went back to Lucinda.
Groups of black women, who were finding the white men falling down on their job of being a dance partner, decided to hell with them, and went out and asked Lucinda to show them how to do these moves she was doing. Lucinda and the women had a ball for at least a half hour as they all laughed, tried new moves, and talked about those idiot white guys who wouldn’t get out there and dance with the very women they wanted to meet. Lucinda said she did not remember anything she said to them, but she had them laughing non-stop. As each left to get a drink or try to interest a man in a dance, she hugged Lucinda or gave her a high five and said what fun she had.
Lucinda kept on dancing. Then she felt sorry for the girl who could not walk in those damn shoes. She twirled her way over to Chay and bent to holler in her ear. The girl laughed, threw her shoes in the corner, and proceeded to forget those silly men. She enjoyed the music and even, it could be said, danced with joyous abandon, sex forgotten entirely. That attracted a young fella to her and they made friends.
The crowds and individual men around Lucinda may have changed, but her goal was met. She only wanted to dance and dance she did.
Carlos HaHa is tall, white, and a snob. Never married, he came from old Virginia money; after Mommy and Daddy passed he made a series of bad financial decisions and blew his portion of the inheritance. Older, no prospects, desperate, and a snob do not a good combination make. He decided Lucinda would be his meal ticket and set about convincing her of it.
An excellent dancer himself, when he and Lucinda danced, though, people cleared the floor for them and watched. His friends told Lucinda she made him look like a world-class dancer. She thanked them for the compliment and agreed that, yes, the two of them dancing together worked great. But Carlos HaHa had other ideas. “LoooooCINdaaaaah. I want a reLAAAAshunship,” he informed her one night in the middle of a dance.
“Nope,” came her quick reply as he turned her.
“But LoooooCINdaaaah. We look good toGETHah. Ehvehybody says we doooo,” he whined.
“Dancing, yes. Marriage, no.”
“Ha, ha! Oh, you are such a kiddah,” said Carlos HaHa.
And on that note the conversation was brought up over a period of several months during which time Lucinda’s answer never wavered. Then one night Carlos HaHa, intent on getting what he wanted, ramped up the situation. Always physical and energetic on the dance floor, he now became more physical in his dance. He squeezed Lucinda’s hands until they hurt. On turns he’d hurl her into other people or across the floor.
At first she thought he was simply very excited about the song and had got carried away. By the end of two nights of dancing two weeks apart, his attitude hadn’t changed. She said something to him, and he spouted off to her some shit about how he was mad because she wouldn’t be his and he was wasting his time dancing with her.
Lucinda walked off the floor and left him standing there. He chased after her, loudly stating his case. She told him to leave her alone. The next week, he was back, apologized to her, and asked her to dance. He was such a good dancer and they had such fun doing it, she thought she’d forgive. Out they went.
Repeat of the same thing with him throwing her around and squeezing her hands. She stopped and, with a strength he was unaware she had, she wrestled out of his grasp because he wasn’t wanting to let her go. The battled raged for only two seconds, but it was a battle and she was free of his clutches. Certain friends, standing and watching the scene, realized he was being a jerk and told him to shut up and mind his manners.
Nose in the air, he smiled in a condescendingly superior fashion, and said, “I don’t need to be dancing with white trash anyway.”
Lucinda heard him. She walked back toward him, deadened her eyes, and slowly dragged her finger across her throat in a cutting fashion then pointed it at him. From that point forward he was cut off. He was a non-person. Much like her ex husband, he ceased to exist for Lucinda.
Which is not to say she ceased to exist for him. Oh, no. He was desperate to find a woman with money to support him and he chased her around for several weeks begging forgiveness which she did not grant. She never spoke another word to him, and the women who knew her were soon apprised of the situation by those who had witnessed his execution on the battlefield.
Carlos HaHa found an eighty-five year old woman who, he believed to be, on death’s door. She has outlived four husbands and inherited all they had. When she finds out he is broke, he will be kicked to the curb because his usefulness to her will no longer be.
Hoo Chay Mama #2 (Chay #2)
Hoo Chay Mama #2 was an interesting case. Married three times and divorced twice, she was living with a boyfriend who traveled for his job. Which meant boyfriend was only in town once a month for a long weekend. Chay #2 loved him but she didn’t want to divorce husband #3 because she loved him, too. Boyfriend and Chay #2 had issues. Most of which came from her. Four children by two daddies, two still at home though in their late teens, Chay #2 loved her Mary Jane and her coke and men. She couldn’t get enough of any of them.
On the weekends when boyfriend was not in town, she dressed up in a pair of black lace thong panties, put on high heels, and topped all with a little dress that every time she went round and round one could see her rosy cheeks. If the song did not allow for a round and round move, she stood in the middle of the floor and held her dress as if she was curtsying then swung it back and forth. Bending double, holding on to the folds of her swingy dress, she’d flash the men as they lined the edge of the dance floor. Hey, who were they to turn down a free bedonka donk show, right?
Chay #2 loved Lucinda and thought they were two of a kind. She often danced with Lucinda, smiling and laughing and loving every minute of her time with her. On more than one occasion she said to Lucinda in a whisper, “Aren’t men just weird? I can’t figure them out.”
What could Lucinda say to that but agree?
Not all characters stay around long enough to write anything about them. But I have overheard some fun bits and pieces of conversation. Mostly men are guilty of these.
Speed Demon, before: “Hey, baby. Let me get you drunk and have my way with you, whadda ya say there, honey?”
Speed Demon, after: “You never get drunk? Damn.”
Bob #6: “I wore the wrong shoes for dancing, but I can stand there.”
Sexy Dance God, before: “Come on. Let’s see whatcha got.”
Sexy Dance God, after: “Betcha never done that before, huh?”
Fly Me: “I’m a gen…I’m a genma, uh, a gennman. Rea-hick-llee.”
Bedtime Calls: “Sinatra only, please.”
Running Scared: “Uh, uh, ummmm. Oh, th-th-th-thaaaaankk you.”
Bad Boyfriend: “Hey, there cutie.”
Tattoo Boy: “Here’s my card. If you want to go dancing, call me. I have to go lay down some more ink now.”
Black Turtleneck: “You are trouble, and I forgot my Viagra.”
Truck Driving Man: “I drive a big rig. I’m home every night.”
Single White Male: “So…do you swing?”
Single White Male #2: Heh, heh. Wow. Guess what? I don’t have an h in my name.”
Angry Cowboy: “Uhhh…I think the DJ is playing loud enough. You don’t have to sing.”
Deficit Man: “Ummm…those are only my keys poking out. Sorry.”
Philosopher: “I’m gonna have to think deeply about what you said. Very profound. Yes, very. I shall spend all night thinking on it.”
Newly Separated: “What did she mean when she said the gloves are off, bitch?”
First-Date Guy, right after his date arrived: “She’s a friend. I’ve known her for years.”
First-Date Guy, right after his date says she’s leaving: “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”
Jealous Boyfriend: “You know, it’s always all about you.”
Cockpit Jockey: “Yes, we in the airline business are an elite bunch. We have money, are good looking and smart, and we are drug tested out the wazoo.”
Though there are the women who come out with some beauts:
Asian Chickadee: “My wig is falling off. I got to go!”
Mad Girlfriend: “Hey! What the hell?”
Five Drunk Girlfriends: “Hey, take our picture to prove we’re having fun.”
Drunk Woman: “Please, baby, save me from myself!”
Aging Ingénue: “So, big boy, what’s next?”
Aging Divorcee: “I only date men with money.”
Sad Dancer: “So, he said he didn’t love me anymore. Go. Stay. He didn’t care.”
Happy Dancer: “I get to dance so much more when my boyfriend isn’t here.”
Man Basher: “So, is that a roll of Lifesavers in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”
Long-suffering Girlfriend: “I told you I knew a lot of people. I told you not to be jealous. But, no, you just have to go and make a big deal out this.”
Jealous First Date, after arrival: “Who was that woman you were dancing with when I got here?”
Jealous First Date, just before leaving: “Well, if you like her better than me, then screw you.”
I can’t make this stuff up.
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