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The Raven




07-06-2019 05:20 pdt

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Memphis and Mayhem

Part one


"She was most of the way across the nation for half the summer. Two weeks home, two weeks away. Work was in Evansville, Indiana on and off for several months. At home, I was enjoying the space to do as I wished and relaxed despite the horrendous heat.

And then she called and asked if I was interested in flying out there to spend a long weekend. A visit to Memphis in a rental car, few nights in a couple of different hotels, and a tour of Graceland. Me? Flying around the country and finding restaurants while seeing the sights? Yep, I agreed immediately and secured the flight, time off, and made plans to organize myself enough to travel a bit. The whole idea felt adventurous and exciting. I knew that getting things in order for a vacation would be fun.

The days passed and I made my way to the airport damned early. I never enjoyed afternoon flights and would not be caught dead on a red-eye, so the morning was my choice. I stumbled through security, stopped off to regroup and don my jewelry, and then spied some decent coffee while locating my gate. Waiting. Six in the morning and the sun making an appearance in the big windows. Upon boarding, I noticed a small book bag off the shoulder of the girl seated next to me. I tried not to stare at her young cuteness and kept mostly to myself upon takeoff. A little while later, the drink and snack cart came by with me ordering a double bloody mary exactly at the same time as the girl pulled none other than the Holy Bible out of her small bag. Splendid. She glanced at me several times and seemed to be leaning to the left -- toward the aisle -- out of a sense of detachment. I followed along by keeping myself close to the window for fear of making her uncomfortable. I did not speak to her at all and rarely glanced despite my familiar pull and need to see beauty.

Two cocktails later and my vocal cords loosened.

I still avoided addressing the young one next to me and began to flirt with the tall attendant. She responded by smiling, a bit of giggling here and there, but nothing serious. By the time we reached Cincinnati I was half gassed and ready to gush toward anyone. A final push toward the attendant and at last the girl to my left began to laugh to herself. She looked at me as the aircraft taxied and remarked that I seemed reckless and unhappy which pushed me to lunge in any direction. Wow. Such a perceptive girl to end up seated next to a drunken, haphazard soul in search of anything different from the mundane existence left behind. She smiled, told me to take care of myself, and that was that. Safe trip, be careful, blah blah blah. Fuck me. On the way out of the aircraft I stared at her jeans, dreamed of the softness inside, but said nothing. The attendant was there at the jetway wishing everyone a good day. I winked, smiled, and left the plane behind in search of more booze and different scenery. I had not even made it out of the jetway before realizing that my head was woozy and brain already failing. Perhaps staying home would have been better.



583



I looked around for a comfortable (my style) seat to relax and enjoy a snack and cocktails while the layover rolled along. The hour was early -- maybe just after ten in the morning -- so my choices seemed narrow. The food court and quick bite places were completely unacceptable. Coffee? Hell no. Along the terminal further until bliss overtook me. The Outback, including a long, cozy bar, right there on the main drag. One of my favorite places to relax on those every-other-Fridays off, and a place I knew I could eat and drink while either watching television to kill time or socializing with whomever. Wonderful, and a stroke of luck I had not been expecting. Not only could I have used something in my stomach besides alcohol, but also a place to process my behavior during the first leg of my journey.

Female bartender. Oy. Off to the races.

Tennis on the television, the bartender's body in my brain, and some relaxation added up to me slowing my pace and yearning for company. No sooner did I receive a refill from the tall, dark hair when a woman rolled in and planted herself directly next to me. I said nothing other than hello and kept to myself while glancing at the bartender here and there. Salad. Tennis. Only one other person at the bar, a man to my left a few seats away. After a little while I decided to make small talk with the woman who decided to sit right next to me while nearly the entire bar and lounge were empty. Hmm. Some travelers do that for a bit of company during a long layover, so I did not think anything was out of order. She was very cute, not really the type of shape for which I had been searching (keep in mind the time period was years into my obsession growing out of control), however her eyes spoke to me and put my mind at ease. She was adorable with a slight southern accent and slender nose.

Third cocktail. Just after eleven in the morning.

Two more hours before the little hop into Evansville. The woman to my right spoke with me further and I began to desire being all over her softness. My eyes apparently telegraphed more than conversation and she responded with kindness. Ugh. Sitting in Cincinnati's lovely airport terminal with a schedule, and my brain wished to remain behind and learn of her world. The bartender remarked quietly that she loved seeing connections made while strangers met far from home. Stephanie, next to me, was very attentive as we spoke, and after a bit of an exchange about where we each originated, her fingers found mine. Wow. Unexpected, but far from unwelcome. By that point I was ready to derail my entire plan to find a hiding place and turn her into lunch. Her eyes told me something similar and the idea of leaving that bar and moving back into my life became difficult to swallow. It had to be done, however, and knowing we would part for all time pushed me to deepen the conversation. Stephanie maintained her caressing manner all over my upper arm and hand while agreeing that the timing was fucked. I expressed to her my desire to lavish all of myself upon her, received a smile, and ordered my final drink.

As both our connecting flight times grew closer, I tossed caution to the fucking wind and asked that we say goodbye elsewhere. She agreed, we closed our checks, and left the bartender smiling in the wake of our cute coupling. Out the door with my head scrambling for moments of privacy.



584



Stephanie spotted a family restroom, looked at me with big eyes, and we dashed through the door. The terminal was not terribly busy. Door locked, lips locked. All over each other for minutes before taking a breath and staring. Hands, lips, hair, breasts. The woman stood eye-to-eye with me in heels and I went insane trying to take in as much as possible before heading to my gate. A few more passionate kisses, we spoke softly of the impeccable timing, finally left the small space and immediately faced away and dashed toward our respective connections. By the time I reached my destination, the brainwaves were foggy at best. My loosened tongue and nonexistent morals left both attendants at the gate smiling after a slew of slurred compliments.

Boarded, seated. One line of seats to the left and two across the aisle. It was the smallest commercial jet I had ever seen from the inside. One attendant, no drink service. Taxi, takeoff. Upon leveling off, I gestured to the Midwestern blonde to approach. When she arrived and bent to speak with me, I told her I needed the restroom. She stated adorably that the flight was so short that normally the restroom is not allowed. She then added that what happens once she turns her back is something else entirely. I glanced her upper arm, blew her a kiss, and watched that cute waddle as she headed for her seat. To the restroom directly. I returned, opened my book to kill time, but all the while I wanted to attack her in that tiny space. Again I drew her attention to which she came to me again and asked if I was ok. I asked her to sit on my lap so I could slather her lovely neck with my lips and she giggled.

'You don't waste time, do you?'
'The flight is short, gorgeous.'
'My goodness, you are something else.'
'Yes, I am something.'

A big smile, after which she made a beeline forward. Fuck me. What a drunken wreck. Upon drooling over her walk toward the nose, I was finally left to myself and those never-ending carnal thoughts. Again. I had nothing else and began to feel as if the entire trip was a very bad idea. By early afternoon, and left to my own devices, I had already thrown myself at one woman, propositioned three others, and made a fool of myself trying to hit on the attendant. I probably looked like evil incarnate sitting there in black with all of my jewelry and hair. Oy, what a wreck. But I could not help it. Too much desire and dreaming for far too many years had molded my personality into some hybrid, flamboyant, and sex-infused pile of depressed shit. All of the words and actions toward those women were inevitable.

Fuck it. One more try. I waved, she smiled.

Once again my eyes glued to her hips and legs as she returned to my seat in the middle of the mostly-empty aircraft. The noise level disallowed anyone overhearing my crazy words.

'Where are you going after Evansville?'
'Well, back to CVG and then off to Seattle. Why?'
'I would love to come along.'
'You are nuts, but sweet. I cannot, sorry.'

Off she went with a smile. Yep... I did it again. I threw myself at a woman, was willing to throw much more away, and all in the hopes of being with a stranger because she was beautiful. Fucking idiot.



585



By the time the flight arrived in Evansville? Yep... Drunk and yearning. I was picked up, we headed to her hotel and began to get her things together for the drive south.

Highway, scenery, dreaming. Memphis. Graceland. Beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Two uneventful nights in the company of my long-term partner with my head flying into every other pair of pants along the way.

After returning to Evansville, she mentioned a restaurant she and her coworkers had been frequenting all summer. And... Closed. We did our best to use the internet while searching for an alternative, however the Midwest is fairly locked down on Sundays. The only local option other than chains was a large, Amish buffet close by. I was hesitant to visit such a family-type of venue due to my penchant for being tipsy, vocal, and reckless, not to mention the outward appearance which some found to be off-putting while near young people. She stated that our choices were limited and the restaurant had been famous for good reason, effectively talking me into giving it a try. Through the doors, through the gift shop and market, into the dining room. Oh my.

The decor was simple and the atmosphere bright. Ugh. No hiding places and no booths. Also? That's right! No fucking bar. I did not expect one in such a place, so after we were seated and the young, porcelain doll approached and inquired of our drink choice, I asked if beer was available. The girl was adorable beyond description and replied with more cuteness than I had ever seen...

'Do you serve beer?'
'Um... Root beer!'

With a wonderfully naive smile she expressed her joy in telling me that they indeed had a type of beer, as if the soda was what I was requesting. God damn and all at once I needed to cram her into my mouth. Jesus fucking hell, I nearly drooled. The girl was unbelievably shapely, formed along the lines of everything over which I had been agonizing for quite some time, and her voice caught me completely off guard. I could not fathom my breath being taken away by an Amish girl in a fucking restaurant. Immediately I began to angle, reason, and yearn to be close. Yep... Such was me. My head was all the way in her pants and I was helpless to remove it. After days of being away from the short flight to Evansville and that gorgeous attendant... Well... She was in there too. Both of them. They looked fairly similar although the Amish slice of woman was younger and very far from my world and lifestyle. I wanted to convert her and bring all of my attention to her pretty eyes. Everything. Immediately. First was the meal.

My dining partner shook her head at my endless gazing as I pointed out my appearance standing out in the busy room. Off to my right I glued my hungry eyes to the server’s lower body as she walked away and partially imploded. Fuck me in a teacup, I could not resist. And then all of the squareheaded families everywhere out for their Sunday dinner with like-minded individuals. Ugh. The entire scene was right out of an old movie and there I was looking like Satan among sheep. Ugh, again. I calculated the best thing to do was be polite and await the little blonde biscuit's return to our table. To the buffet line. Heh, black silk, tattoos, long hair off my head and chin, and the jewelry which advertised a dissatisfaction with organized religion. Plenty of eyes upon me. Fathers seeing me as something to be avoided at all costs and mothers appearing as walking examples of uptight disapproval. And the server again. I made a pointed effort to keep my eyes on the buffet line but to no avail. She was just too Goddamned cute and shapely. I leered, fell slightly, and began to formulate a way to speak with her alone.

Again, I was a train wreck full of lust and inappropriate thought, far from my element and very far from home.



586



Dinner went on as expected, with conversation about the trip to Memphis and Graceland. Aside from dreaming about snatching the server and running away, my head could not help but think of standing before Mr. Presley's headstone and feeling my eyes well up. The whole day spent there was quite emotional and stirring. Upon wrapping our meal, my partner stepped to the restroom as I approached the gift shop cashier to close our check. And there she was behind the counter, looking as gorgeous as possible and smiling. I decided that I had to do something before walking out the door and never returning. Words cycloned through my needy brain and I scrambled for something... Anything which could bear fruit. Ah yes, a phone number. Amish with phones? Not likely. But perhaps they were more modernized than those in upper Michigan from years back. I went for it.

'You are beautiful and I would love to speak with you again. May I have a phone number?'
'My goodness.' Slight smile.
'I am compelled beyond words.'
'Do you live here in Evansville?'
'California.'

A pause as she took care of the transaction, after which I tipped her heavily and slid my hand across hers in the process. Red cheeks and a frightened smile. The girl looked down at the counter, jotted her name and number onto a slip of receipt paper, folded it and stuffed it into my waiting hand. Fire spread through me as I realized that my contact with her was not over. Holy fucking shit in a riverboat, I made it happen. Her cheeks reddened further as she thanked me professionally and smiled like the service industry dictates. I stepped away and allowed others to reach the register and stared at her in disbelief.

My partner returned and I glanced back one more time to see a little, covert wave from the girl I feared was out of reach. Out the door and into the car with my head already planning a detour.

A detour I would soon regret."



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