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The Fault of Yesterday—Elaine Bonow

The Fault of Yesterday

George always needed something else, something extra. Today was no different, tomorrow might be worse and yesterday, well yesterday, none of his needs were met, at least by his standards. The only difference was his realization of this fault, and why did this special realization happen today. Well, maybe it was the fault of yesterday.

He hadn’t meant to tell his wife of twenty some odd years how he really felt about her. He would have to confess about Aliss, his girlfriend. Aliss, Aliss sweet Aliss almost fulfilled him, even though it was evident that her own narcissism was greater than his.

“George, Georgie, I thought I’d wear this new shirt tomorrow night to the club. What do ya think, too much skin, do my boobs look too big?”

On the screen of his iPhone 7, face-timing the call from her, her whole body looked psycho-erotic, her big –girl status in full splendor, those dark-brown arms oozing in and out of the red satin cold-shoulder skin tight top. He was jealous of her over the top sex appeal.

“Sure, sure, go ahead and wear that and some skin tight black jeans. You’re always the star, baby girl and don’t I know it.” Well, Everybody knew it and when they hit the club they made it happen every Saturday night. Lately, she seemed to not need him as much. She dressed more provocatively than before and he sensed something was not quite right.

Aliss was just his Saturday night girlfriend, someone his wife was clueless about or even if she knew, he was clueless if she would actually care. Saturday nights for Merry were sacrosanct. Her life as a telepathic masseuse/naturopath was full of caring for others in need. By noon on Saturdays she was done with people and preferred to cut herself off from caring especially for him, from thinking about anyone else but Merry Darling. And yes that was her real name. The name helped her business. Just saying the words “Merry Darling,” made people feel good even before any treatments. The more popular she got the less attention George got and that too true fact was making him feel tossed aside.

“Georgie, you’ve got to understand.” Last week, she actually told him how she felt, something she rarely broached, and much less to him. He was touched as she said “It’s not that I don’t appreciate all that you have meant to me over the years but I just need… You know, right?”

Thinking about this today he felt touched but unfulfilled. His phone dinged an email message. It was Joycelyn, his art studio landlady. “George, just a reminder that your rent is way past due, actually 3 months this month. Not a good thing right now, really. Thought I’d send you a little reminder. TXT me ok.” Her usual Emoji’s followed: brown peace sign, smiley grin but only one big heart not three as usual.

“Oh shit.” George suddenly felt like a rat that couldn’t quite reach that Reese’s Peanut Butter piece in the trap and even though he couldn’t reach his “cheese,” he was still feeling trapped, caught and unfulfilled. He felt depressed and vulnerable. This wasn’t the first time he had been late but with everything else,  this day was becoming unrelenting especially because he could usually talk to Joycelyn. She of all people appreciated his talent and had even before he had married Merry. Even though she was many years his senior, Joycelyn had been his lover and even in his married years a source of succor.

“Damn, I can’t afford to lose her patronage I’ll have to do something about this right away.” This Saturday morning was turning out bad. “My wife has dismissed me; my girlfriend is ready to conquer the word without me. My patroness best friend is ready to un-patronize me for a few bucks.”

George paced the floor of his room.  It wasn’t even ten in the morning. He went so far as to prepare a bong with some of his heartier sativa strain, Tangie, but thought better of that. He thought about the bottle of emergency Hennessey stashed in the bottom drawer of his dresser thinking, “what the hell do I have to lose,” and did succumb to a full jigger, coughing after the hit.

George sat back against the headboard of his bed, kicked off his house shoes and crossed his pajamaed legs. He was worried, seriously worried. Nothing was going his way today. He usually kept a positive attitude but lately the charm wasn’t working.

The small buzz from the morning brandy really wasn’t pleasant in his stomach. He groaned and thought he might be sick. “I’d better take a toke, after all, what have I got to lose?” He fixed himself a huge bowl of different substances. In this new world of cannabis the connoisseur could enhance his high with a variety of gels, tinctures and oil derivatives.

He lit the bong with the extra special torch lighter and inhaled a huge hit. Outside the spring weather was roaring. Rain, hail and darkening clouds cast a spell over the room. He pulled the heavy duvet over his skinny, skinny but fit, body and closed his eyes allowing the heavy high to take him over.

The sound of the relentless rain provided a natural hypnotized state in George and sent him back in time. “Green-eyed greedy gut gonna eat the world up.” His two tormentors chanted as he ate his second ice cream sandwich. His mother always made sure he had extra money for treats since she felt so guilty leaving him with the neighbor until she got home from work.

He recalled that the two girls, Barbara and Carol, so skinny and so dark skinned, made it a point to tease his fair-skinned fatness with the mocking refrain “Georgie Porgie puddin and pie, kiss the girls and make them cry.” That would be the secret signal to chase him into the darkest corner of the cool garage. Their cruel game was to pinch his chubbiness and tickle him until he peed his pants. That was Barbara’s specialty. At the same time Carol would lay on top of him thrusting her narrow hipbones into his pelvis grunting “umph, umph, umph, umph.” They both worked him over until he was crying like a lost puppy.

George hadn’t thought about that particular incident since he swore to himself to bury that particularly cruel memory when he was all of fifteen years old.

Aided by the strong cannabis George drifted off into a deep sleep until a strong ray of sunlight caressing his face woke him. It was two o’clock in the afternoon and the pelting rain had been replaced by white clouds sailing on a brilliant blue sky.

He picked up his phone from the bedside table. No one had called, messaged or texted him in the past four hours. “That’s funny,” he said to himself “no one called me.”

He got up and went over to the full-length mirror, pulling up real close in order to look into his eyes, “That was some funny dream,” he said to his reflection. “I hadn’t thought about that little boy for years.” His light grey eyes squinted like he was trying to see his younger self in his present state.

Puzzled he sat back on the bed. That ancient memory slowly became an enormous revelation. All at once, George saw who he was and understood where he was coming from.

George showered and dressed. He knew what he had to do. “I guess I’d better start with Merry and then deal with the luscious Aliss and then get straight with Joycelyn,” he told his mirror image closing his bedroom door behind him.

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