1986 Like a Rolling Stone
2013 Get in the Closet #2
1987 Get in the Closet #1
2012 The Panties
1985 Arthopod Mengele
Since I'm entering the last third of my life, it seemed like a good idea to start my memoirs. The plan is to record all the funny stories of my life as I think of them, then organize it later.
We burst into the Marriott Residence Inn room after a long, long night of drinking and carousing. I threw my suit jacket across the kitchen table and we tumbled into bed.
A frantic but hazy hour passed.
I lay back and turned to ask her if she wanted some water, but she was already snoozing. I turned off the bedside lamp and closed my eyes. Oh, no; the room was spinning. If the room spins and my eyes are closed, it means one thing: I'm about to vomit.
I clicked the light back on and stumbled into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. Kneeling in front of the bathtub, I pulled on the knob until water was flowing strongly out of the faucet and then promptly vomited into the tub. Brown beer, Moscow mules, and whatever that Italian food was that we'd eaten downtown mixed uneasily with a frothy inch of warm water. After a few coughs and gasps, I rocked back on my knees. I could still feel a mix of beer and vodka boiling in my stomach.
Two fingers tickling my uvula enticed the rest of it to explode into the tub. Exhausted and still drunk, I grabbed a towel and wiped off my chin.
I turned off the faucet. Except it didn't. The water was still rushing out. I rotated the knob again; nothing happened. I pushed it, pulled it, and rotated it with no success. Figuring this must be "operator error,” I continued fruitlessly manipulating the control knob. I sat there, naked and burping, pawing at this stupid chrome knob. Still the water gushed.
After twenty-five minutes, I figured I'd tried everything humanly possible, and was anyway about to pass out. "What the hell, it's going down the drain. I’ll deal with this a little later," I thought. I got up, closed the bathroom door behind me, crawled into bed, and fell asleep, lulled by the distant sound of running water.
Three hours later, the phone rang. I groggily answered, "Hello?"
"Mr. Holmes!" cried a frantic woman. "Is your room flooding??? Because the two rooms below you are flooding!"
"Um. The. Um. Yeah, the faushet won't turn off," I slurred.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US?" screamed the woman. "I'll be right up!"
Almost instantly, the frenzied desk worker burst through the door, not even knocking. She was large and black, and had a huge cell phone pinned to her ear with her shoulder. She went right into the bathroom. I slowly swung myself out of bed.
"What? What's happening?" mumbled the young woman in the bed, eyes still closed.
"Nothing, go back to shleep," I said, and she did.
The woman in the bathroom was clearly on the phone with a plumber. I watched over her shoulder as she forcefully rotated, pushed, and pulled the bathtub knob.
"Shee? It won't turn off!" I asserted, feebly.
On instruction from the phone, she pulled out a standard-head screwdriver and undid the plate around the faucet. She located a screw and turned it until the water stopped. Then she turned on her heel and squelched toward the door.
"Mr. Holmes, we'll get you a new room in the morning" she said as she left. I climbed back into bed, turned out the light, and fell right back asleep.
Sunlight eventually woke me up around 9:00AM. My head was pounding. As I squished my way across the room, I saw that our kitchenette still had a quarter-inch of water all over the floor. In the middle of it all floated my suit jacket, which had apparently slid across the table and fell on the floor where it now swam.
They tried to give us the room next door, but it, too, was flooded. "We flooded at least four rooms! I hope they don't charge me for all of them," I said to the girl. They found us an empty room down the hall and we moved our stuff over there and prepared for the day.
When I checked out, I looked closely at the bill, but there were no extra charges—no flood damages. Whew!
A few days later, after I got home, I received an automated email survey from the Marriott asking how I liked staying at the Residence Inn. The last page of the survey featured a general comment field, which I filled in.
"It's probably no one's fault,” I said in my comment, "but my room flooded and my suit had to go to the cleaners."
The next day I received the following email from "Cindy," who was apparently a manager at the hotel. I thought it was really nice.
"Upholding my commitment to provide a memorable experience with exceptional service, I will purchase 10,000 Marriott Rewards points for your account for the inconveniences you incurred."
I felt kind of bad about accepting all those Marriott points—in some places they add up to a whole free night. But given the choice between paying for four flooded rooms or receiving a free nights’ stay, I know which one I would take every time. And, looking back on the situation, it wasn't really my fault, was it? Unless I've become so strong from all the working out that I broke the faucet without realizing it.
But we'll never know, now, will we. Unless it happens again, and I get another free night at the Marriott.
© 2017 David Holmes
I met Enn in the second year after my divorce. A freckled, buxom redhead, she was intelligent, emotional, and about ten years younger than me. She didn’t have many friends, and she was cautious and suspicious about dating. Like many redheads, Enn had a mean streak. Her husband, having discovered that he had a thing for Asian girls, had abandoned her and their young son. She ended up in Fort Collins, Colorado, and we met on Match.com.
I didn’t actually like her as a person, and I don’t think she liked me. We were on opposite sides of any given subject or even object. In fact, we so rarely agreed on anything that I kept a list. It was very short: glitter and dark beer.
Our mutual dislike fueled the ridiculously hot sex that made our otherwise tumultuous relationship bearable. Because we were both parents, we could only get together two or three times a month. We set up a date night for mid-December, 2012, and planned to sleep over at my house for the first time.
That night also saw Colorado’s worst blizzard in years. It was snowing heavily, it was bitterly cold, and visibility was almost nonexistent. Enn came down anyway. I took her to the nicest tapas restaurant in Loveland. The roads were so bad we were surprised the restaurant was open, and we eagerly gulped down a couple of dark beers to get the chill off. We ate some excellent small dishes, vaguely arguing about Obama and the Harry Potter movies.
We almost didn’t make it home. The snow plows couldn’t keep up with the dumping snow, and it was sticking to my truck’s windshield as we crawled across town to my house.
At home, we took off our coats and watched a movie on the couch to warm up. We shared a six-pack of Fat Tire and got to feeling pretty loose. Halfway through the movie we started kissing, and then my clothes were coming off.
“Lesh go to bed,” I slurred.
“Sure,” she said, laughing because I was already naked except for my socks.
That’s when the doorbell rang.
I looked at the clock. It was midnight.
I looked out the window. It was snowing even harder than before.
My mind raced. Who would brave this weather and ring my doorbell at midnight? I tried to think, but the alcohol was getting in the way.
After a moment I realized it must be my ex-wife, and it must be an emergency, perhaps about our boy. I started to panic.
I was on my socked feet in a second. I ran to my bedroom and threw my robe around my shoulders, then rushed back to the front room.
Enn was standing in the foyer. She still had her clothes on, thank goodness, but I didn’t want my ex-wife to see her.
“Who is it?” she asked, concerned.
“I dunno! It must be an emergency!" I said, looking around.
“Quick, get in the closet!” I said, pointing to the coat closet next to the front door.
I regretted the words the instant they left my lips.
Enn’s face twisted into a snarl of fury and disgust. “You did not just say that. YOU DID NOT JUST TELL ME TO GET IN THE CLOSET!” she said, her voice rising and her face going red.
The doorbell rang again. It was probably a minute or two now since it had rung the first time; surely an eternity to whoever was on the other side in the blowing snow.
I yanked the front door open. The cold air rushed in, reminding me that I hadn’t closed my robe.
It was my neighbor, Bethany. She was shivering despite her white down coat and gloves.
She looked at me, then over my shoulder at Enn, who was standing there with her hands on her hips. And then she looked down.
I snatched the robe around me, but it was too late.
“Bethany! Ish everythin’ okay?” I slurred.
“My dog jumped over the fence into your yard. I have to go get him,” she said, not meeting my eye. She walked right past me through the house and down the stairs to the backyard door.
I stood there like an idiot, not knowing what to do or say. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that it wasn’t, in fact, my ex-wife.
Bethany was back a minute later, dog in tow. She still didn’t look me in the eye as she said thank you and walked out through the front door. I closed it, and turned to look at Enn.
“You thought it was your ex-wife, didn’t you!” Enn spat accusingly, her hands still on her hips.
I said nothing.
“You’re still in love with her!” She had made that accusation before. So had my previous girlfriend, Bee.
I said nothing. I walked to the fridge. There were two Fat Tires left. I opened them both, and handed her one.
As I drank the last beer, it was as if my mind turned off. I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened the rest of that night.
Enn and I dated for another six weeks. We were getting closer, and she wanted to take our relationship to the next level, but I didn’t. It ended the day before Valentine’s Day, when she said “I love you” and I said “I like you, too.” But I didn’t, actually.
© 2018 David Holmes
In the months following my divorce, I dated a wonderful woman from my new neighborhood. Let’s call her Bee. Bee was about my age and also divorced, with a son about the same age as mine. She was blond with bluish eyes, three inches shorter than me, and warm and compassionate. She volunteered for her church a lot, and she loved beer and dancing.
Sometimes, when both our boys were with their other parents, we’d spend the night together at one of our houses. Bee and I had a lot in common, and if I’d been a little further along in my grieving process, our relationship might have lasted longer than six months. But I was still looking for validation from other women, and eventually succumbed to the promiscuous lifestyle that so many recent divorcés experience. Though she was hurt by what happened, Bee and I parted amicably.
We never kept toothbrushes at each other’s house, but after we stopped dating, I did find a pair of the most beautiful, sexy panties I’d ever seen. The front was a triangle of see-through pink mesh with a delicate floral design bordered by fine black lace. The lace came together at the bottom, merged, and continued a single lace G-string up the back. The tiny panties were an intricate marvel of taste and design. They were delightful.
So delightful, in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to return them or throw them away. As men do, I considered them both a memento and a trophy, and I kept them at the bottom of my underwear drawer. As laundry day approached each week and the drawer emptied, I would catch sight of them and smile in remembrance.
About a year later, Bee and I bumped into each other again. We had some drinks and discovered that we were both in between lovers. After a few more drinks, she ended up at my place.
In the morning, as we were dressing, I reached into the drawer for some boxers and saw The Panties. I pulled them out and held them up.
“You forgot these panties here a year ago.” I said quietly. “I’ve kept them because they reminded me of you; of how sexy you are but also your good taste and spirit. And of the good times we had together. I hope you don’t think that’s weird.”
I had been imagining this tender conversation with Bee for a year. I looked into her eyes expectantly. I wanted to see if there was a reaction that would tell her heart.
She said, “Those aren’t mine. I’ve never seen them before.”
I never did figure out who abandoned The Panties.
© 2016 David Holmes
When Casey was four, I noticed that he was shy around girls. Certain girls in particular.
One day on the playground I noticed he was fascinated with a pretty girl his age, but clearly admiring her from afar.
“Why don’t you go talk to that girl?” I asked him.
“No! I can’t!” he said, and he turned away.
“Is it because she’s pretty?” I asked. “Let me tell you something. Never let a woman have power over you because she is pretty. Got it? Now go talk to her.” And to my surprise, he did.
And in that moment, a monster was created.
Fast forward two years. Casey is six.
“Dad, I have twelve girlfriends.”
“You don’t even know number eight’s name!” I scoffed, mildly exasperated.
“Well, number eight – I’m her number five!” Apparently they had worked out some kind of scoring system.
This collection game went on for a while, despite his mother and me telling him that guys should really have only one girlfriend.
One day Casey said, “Dad, I’m going to get it down to one girl.” I told him I thought that was a good idea. About a week later he reported, “Dad, I’ve gotten it down to six.”
The following week: “Dad, I’ve gotten it down to two.”
“Oh, yeah?” I said. “Who are they?”
“Skylar and Mara.” I knew them both, and they were opposites. Skylar was tall and blonde; Mara was small with straight black hair.
On the next Friday he said, “Dad, I’ve made up my mind. It’s going to be Mara, and I’m going to give her this note on Monday!” I read the note. It said:
“Mara – I like the way you look. – Casey” It was perfect; it complimented her in a superficial way and didn’t commit him to anything.
“That’s great, son!” All day at work on Monday I was strangely excited for Casey. When I got home that night, I sought him out.
“How did it go with Mara today?” I asked him.
“Dad, it went great! She loved the note I gave her!”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Didn’t you tell me that Mara can’t read yet?”
“Yeah. I had Skylar read it to her,” he said matter-of-factly.
I was stunned. He had Mara’s rival read his love note to her. Mara must have felt so special and victorious. Skylar must have been crushed.
I said, “Son, I have nothing left to teach you.” The student had surpassed the master.
And I have never given him romantic advice again.
© 2016 David Holmes
She was sixteen and blonde. I was sixteen and a virgin. I don’t remember her name anymore, so let’s call her Alice. Alice was perky and fun, and we’d been on a few dates. One night after dinner and drinks (they were much more lenient about teen drinking in the ’80s), I drove her home. She lived in a two-bedroom apartment above a mechanic’s shop in a rough neighborhood. No one was home.
We went to her bedroom and closed the door. It was messy, but I didn’t care.
I sat on her small bed.
“Can I wear your sweater?” she asked.
“Of course,” I said casually, but this was not a casual ask for several reasons. First, my new sweater was truly majestic. In the classic ’80s style, it was a rainbow of outrageous neon colors and had cost me $80 at the mall, which would be $240 in Trump dollars.
Second, any conversation or gesture that involved us removing clothes worked in my favor.
I took off my sweater. At the time I had the perfect body that many sixteen-year-olds are blessed with—no fat, decent muscles, flat stomach, good posture, smooth skin. I lay back on the bed.
She turned away, pulled her shirt off, and put the sweater on, giving me a glimpse of black bra straps.
“Come give me a kiss,” I said.
She straddled me in her stirrup pants and my sweater and kissed me. Things started getting hot and heavy. Soon we were sucking face with such desperation that we had to gasp for air between kisses.
“It’s time for you take off that sweater,” I whispered.
She smiled and sat up, still straddling me, and starting taking off the sweater with her arms in that sexy X-pattern you see on TV.
All of a sudden a door slammed.
Her smile changed instantly to a look of intense alarm.
“Oh, my god! It’s my dad! He’s never home this early! You can’t be here; he’s a cop, and he has a gun!”
My head snapped around, looking around for a place to hide.
“Quick! Get in the closet!” she hissed, opening the door of a tiny stand-alone closet. It was full of shirts, jackets, and shoes. I got in anyway. I dragged my legs in and wrapped my hands around my knees and just barely fit. She threw my shoes on top of me and shut the closet door. It was dark in the closet.
I heard her go through her bedroom door, closing it behind her, and then she said “Daddy! you’re home!”
“Where’d you get that sweater?” answered a gruff voice.
Then they must have moved away from her bedroom door because I could hear them talking, but not what they were saying.
I was terrified. For an hour. And uncomfortable, sitting on all those shoes. And cold, since I had no shirt or sweater on.
I started wondering how this evening was going to end. From the looks of the situation, I was almost certainly going to remain a virgin, though not for lack of trying. The question was, would I still be alive?
I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Very quietly, still in the closet, I put on my shoes.
I inched the closet door open and peeked out. The room was empty and the bedroom door was still closed. I could hear Alice and her father better now; it sounded like they were arguing.
In slow motion, I opened the closet door all the way, crawled out, and stood up, hoping my knees wouldn’t crack.
I opened the window and looked out. Alice’s room was on the second floor, but there was a fence beneath her window that I could drop down to. The night air was cold on my naked chest.
I put my legs through the open window, turned around, hung on to the windowsill and dropped. Somehow I missed the fence and ended up falling in the grimy dirt.
I quickly snuck over to my car, started it up, and drove home.
I never saw Alice, nor my sweater, again. I have often wondered what happened to the both of them.
© 2017 David Holmes
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