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Marty contemplated the insanity associated with dedicating one’s life to the service of a company that would turn a blind-eye to the immorality of someone “sleeping” their way to the top, yet being judicious in it swift delivery of punishment of another’s “creative” training tactics on his somber ride back to the cold recess of the Mail Room. The atmosphere was noticeable different here than in the rest of the building: the lights were dimmer, there was no fresh berber carpeting here, as-a-matter-of-fact, there was no carpet at all. No, not even the placating tones of elevator music. The only music here was the continuous throbbing of Julius’ rap music.


Julius, a young black kid, his white wife-beater undershirt in stark contrast to his dark skin, was stacking empty sacks on pallets with Roberto


“… and you wouldn’t believe what this dude does next. I’m at her place sitting on the couch right, and dude comes over and sits between us!” Roberto was telling Julius his latest ‘Babymamadrama.
“Oh, no he didn’t!” Julius mocked.
“I mean, we ain’t all huddled up or nothing, but come on! I didn’t come all the way over there to sit next to some dude!”


“So what’d you do?”


“Well, I did what any man would do; I got up and was ready to fire on ol’ boy.”


“Uh-oh! Roberto was ready to throw down!”


“Yeah, man!” I ain’t no punk!”


“Whoa, hold on there.” Marty interrupted. “You need to slow your roll partner before somebody gets hurt.” He had heard Roberto’s story as he approached.


“Yeah, somebody’s going to get hurt, this dude, if he don’t back off.”


“Yeah, Roberto’s going to mess him up!” Julius egged him on.


“Wait, there’s more going on here than you know, just slow down and think for a minute.


“What do you mean, Marty?”


“Well, let me see if I got this right first. This girl invited you over, right?”


“Yeah.”


“She knew you were coming, right?”


“Right.”


“Then, this guy comes over, right?”


“Right. I was about to mess him up, too.”


“Right, and she didn’t ask him to leave?


“Uh … no.” Roberto answered hesitantly.


“She didn’t ask you to leave?”


“Why would she ask me to leave, she invited me?”


“It’s just that you were there first, right?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Had she not wanted any trouble she shouldn’t have let him in, or she should’ve asked you to leave. One or the other would’ve prevented any trouble. What she really did was pit you two against each other, like two pit-bulls in a dogfight, for her own entertainment, and you two are so busy thumping your own chest you couldn’t see it. You shouldn’t be mad at him he’s a pawn, like you. Who you should be mad at is your girl for playing you.”
“Man, Marty,” Julius added dejectedly, “that’s what I hate about you – always ruining the good stuff. This dude is trying to push up on his girl, he should lay him out!”
“What you don’t understand ‘young blood’ is that manhood is a commodity to be bought and sold; you can’t be the big man until you have the big money – that’s why men collect “toys”. The one with the most toys wins.
“These two would kill each other over manhood, and while one is dead and the other in prison, she’ll move on to the next guy. As a matter of fact, if you two can work while we talk I’ll tell you a little story to illustrate my point.”
Both Roberto and Julius nodded and continued working.

Friends and Lovers
by
Marty Robinson

“There was a certain man, we’ll call him ‘Bob’ because there are a lot of ‘Bob’s’ in the world and you can spell it the same forward as well as backward; and this guy certainly was backward. I mean, he didn’t know if he was coming or going. ‘Bob’ was married to a very nice lady; we’ll call her ‘Mary’ because all women who are married are ‘Mary(ed)’. Well, Bob was your average, hard working guy like the rest of us, and Mary was your average homemaker. Now Bob worked afternoons at the warehouse. Mary worked at a busy Insurance Company during the day, so it was Bob’s responsibility to get their two kids to the babysitters before he went to work.
Now, the babysitter was this cute little teenager named Tia who lived down the block. The problem was that Mary hated her; not because she was young and beautiful, but because she was related to Bob’s old girlfriend, we’ll call her Renee. Well, Renee used the babysitter to keep tabs on Bob, that way she would know when Bob and his wife were having trouble and when Bob would be at home without his wife and all of that.
Well, one day when Bob was dropping off the kids and Tia wasn’t home from school yet. Bob was just getting ready to leave when sure enough, if Renee didn’t come sashaying up. She was wearing some tight fitting jeans and a blouse that was about to bust and she was just a’ smiling and a giggling like a she did when they were in High School.
“That’s alright.” Renee said. “I have a key. We can just wait inside.”
Now I …, I mean ‘Bob’ wasn’t totally stupid. He knew better than to go in their by himself, even with the kids, but what else was there to do? He had to go to work, didn’t he? He couldn’t take the children, could he? So, against his better judgment he went in, telling himself he’ll just stay in the living room and stay with the children and just till Tia gets there.
Well, no sooner did the kids get inside did they want to go play in the neighbors backyard with the kids next door.
“No, I think you should stay in until Tia gets home, and then you can go out and play.” Bob tried to stall.
“Why don’t you let the kids go on out, Bob? We can watch them from here?” Renee said in front of the children.
“Yeah, Dad, can we?” The children pleaded as Renee knew they would, making themselves unwitting accomplices to Renee’s scheme.
“Well, er.” Bob had to think fast. “Do you mind watching them till Tia gets home then?” If she said yes that would let Bob out of the pan and the fire as well. “You said Tia should be home soon, right?”
Bob was fast, but Renee was faster.
“Yes, but I might not be here when she gets here. I just popped in to visit my sister, Yvonne, Tia’s mom, and since she’s not home I might not stay long.”
Now, Bob could’ve taken the kids home and watched them himself until Tia came home, or he could’ve taken them over to the neighbors where the other kids where playing and ask them to watch them until Tia arrived to take over, but he didn’t. And do you know why he didn’t.” Roberto shook his head, but Julius nodded. “What do you think, Julius?”
“Because, he really wanted to boot those kids out the house and close the door and lock Tia out, too! He wanted to be knocking some serious boot! I know I would.”
“Well, yes, you’re right. His manhood took over and told him he could resist her, he only loved his wife and all of that, but what he was really doing was lying to himself to put himself in a position where he could blame it on his manhood – ‘a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Ain’t that right, Roberto? Ain’t that where you were? Doing what ‘any man would do?’ ‘what a man’s gotta do?” Roberto and Julius looked at each other blankly.
“Bob could deny the kids no longer and sent them out to play. They screamed for joy not knowing they had committed treason against their mother and left their father in the hands of the enemy. Renee went in the kitchen to get Bob some water. She returned with a tall glass of ice cold water that she knew he was going to need. The ice clinked in the glass as she stirred it with her finger. She handed Bob the glass and sucked the cold wetness off her finger, not before letting it drip down the front of her over stuffed blouse.
Believe it or not, Bob suddenly found himself very thirsty, and the fact that Renee had pulled the finger she was still sucking on out of it only made him thirstier. As cold and refreshing as the water was Bob found it getting warmer by the second, and if Renee had it her way it would soon be hot, very hot indeed!
“Ah”, Bob said as he drained the glass, “That hit the spot, could I possibly have some more?” It was a pitiful attempt at stalling but Renee was ready.
“Why don’t you come in the kitchen and we can both have some?” The invitation sounded innocent enough at the moment, but he soon realized the mistake he had made. He followed Renee into the kitchen not realizing how small the kitchen was. Renee poured him some water out of the tap and when Renee turned to get the ice cubes out of the refrigerator Bob found himself face-to-face with Renee. Her nipples were touching his chest. He looked down into her brown eyes and pursed lips; her perfume was the sweet nectar of the gods. The shimmer of her silky low slung blouse served to frame her expose cleavage in a sparkling pool of dark wine, as her dangling pearl drop necklace pointed toward bliss. Bob’s feelings for her that had been buried since high school started to surface in a place that rubbed against her denim jeans. Renee leaned into Bob, her lips beaconing for a kiss. Bob didn’t move away.
“Hello, Auntie? Are you here?” Tia’s voice broke the spell. Bob removed the hand that he realized was around Renee’s waist.
“Excuse me; I’d better get to work now.” I …, er, Bob, made a hasty exit from the kitchen and blew by Tia without looking her in the face. “Mary, my wife, er, will pick up the kids later, and I’ll pay you Friday, bye.” Bob was in his car, driving away when he let out a breath that he didn’t realize he was holding. He was in a desperate situation. How could such an innocent thing go so wrong, so fast? How could he keep it from happening again? Should he tell Mary?
“No!” Both Roberto and Julius agreed in unison.
“Well, he had to do something. What do you think ol’ Bob did?”
“Hit it and get it over with.” Julius said.
“Just avoid her.” Roberto said, shaking his head at Julius.
“Wrong on both counts;” Marty countered, “true, we can remove temptation by yielding to it, but in this case it would just make matters worse and further complicate things. Simple avoidance isn’t the answer either, that would be like the deer trying to avoid the hunter: sooner-or-later she’s going to corner him. Let me ask you this: What would be the worse thing to do?”
“Tell his wife.” Julius answered before Marty could finish answering the question. “Then, he wouldn’t get any from either honey.”
Roberto shook his head in dismay. “The worst thing he could do is let it fester. Sit, and do nothing, let it happen to him again, and again.” Roberto answered proudly, thinking he could figure out where this was going.
“It would seem so,” Marty acknowledged the intelligence in Roberto choice before correcting him, “but our boy Bob found something much worse: He got another woman involved.”
“Wha’?” Roberto gasped.
“Dude!” Julius was unsurprisingly elated. “That’s what I’m talking about! A threesome, a manage a tre action!”
“Yeah, he got another woman involved. When he got to work he told one of his female co-workers whom he considered his friend. We’ll call her Ann because he ‘added’ her in. Now, Ann was his friend, at work they sat together during breaks and lunches, she laughed at all his jokes and overall seemed very jovial and sincerely friendly. It never occurred to him that she might be overly friendly. Now, Ann was a typical farmer’s daughter; she was in her mid twenties and from a rural community, the kind that college campuses are full of. She had the kind of secure family background that helped mask her low self-esteem and made her vulnerable to any attention from the opposite sex. She had a round face, with curly hair that was too brown to be blonde.
“Well, our friend Bob told Ann what happened: That was his first mistake. Then he compounded his mistake by asking for her help. This was his plan: He would say that there was a problem with his car and Ann would give him a ride; which Ann was just too happy to do. It was no problem for her because her apartment was within walking distance and it was on her way to work. But here’s the problem with Bob’s plan; Now, not only was he letting another woman into his house, he would also be alone with Ann before and after work, and he had confided in another woman things he hadn’t told his wife and he had enlisted her help to keep secrets from his wife, and to compound things he was now indebted to this woman. Sounds bad doesn’t it, but wait, there’s more.”

To be continued …



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