She Took Her Time And Taught Me A Lot About Myself

August 12, 2010

[Luke and Dr. Philbin are cleaning the bobber on the driveway.]

Dr. Philbin: You guys still make that Granny’s Country omelet?

Luke: Yep.

-That’s what I usually get. What’s on that?

-There’s ham, onions, cheese.

-Oh yeah.

-And green peppers, I think. Yeah it’s pretty good.

-Just pretty good? No. That’s a great omelet. Probably the best thing on your menu.

-I like it OK.

-That’s my usual. I don’t go there enough to walk in and say, Gimme the usual, but if I did, they’d bring me a Granny’s Country and black coffee and a side of bacon. Does anyone ever say gimme the usual to you?

-Not really. Well, there’s this one lady who always orders two eggs scrambled and wheat toast, and sometimes she’ll say, I’ll have the usual.

-That’s nice. It’s nice to have some regularity. Things change so much. With people always moving or changing their diets willy nilly.

-Right.

-I’m not saying people should stay in the same place their whole life. Because they shouldn’t. Get out and explore the world, I’ve always said that. But stick to your guns. Stick to your order. Don’t go nuts and switch to egg whites because some rich lady in a movie you like orders egg whites.

-I guess you’re right.

-When I was a kid my mother had a raw fish phase. And this was way before everyone started eating sushi every Godamned day. She’d bring home a hunk of tuna and cut it up and say, Dinner is served, get it while it’s hot. And my pops, well. He was beside himself about it. He started buying frozen dinners and he’d eat two of those every night we ate raw fish. We didn’t call it sushi back then. We didn’t know what real sushi was back then. I’ve read that a little sushi is OK once and a while but too much will make you sick.

-Like Jeremy Piven. He ate too much and got sick.

-I don’t know who that is but I’ll take your word for it.

-He’s an act—

-After Dad ate his frozen dinners he’d go to the basement and look at his maps. He had no less than twenty maps. All of them were really old, and he said they were worth good money, but after he died I took ‘em all in to a place to get ‘em appraised and you know what the guy told me?

-What?

-That they were worth diddly squat. How do you like that? This whole time he was leaving the dinner table to admire his wonderful maps. Or study them. God knows what he was doing with them. And they were worthless this whole time. I guess he just didn’t want to sit at the table with us while we ate our sushi. That was how his generation behaved. And God love ‘em.

-We all have to have our thing.

-I hear that. When I got older, this bobber was my thing. And soon it’ll be your thing. Once it’s ready to ride.

-I’m looking forward to it being my thing.

-Have you thought about your first ride?

-What do you mean?

-Where you’re gonna go, what you’re gonna do the first time you ride it.

-Not really. I’ll see where Sarah wants to go.

-Sarah? No, man. The first ride is about you. What does Luke want to do?

-I’m not sure, but I’ll think about it.

-It’s important for you to think hard about it. It might not seem like a big deal now, but later on, when you’re thinking about all the stuff you did in your life, you’ll remember it. It was a big deal for me so I planned it. It’s good to plan for stuff like this so you don’t blow it.

-I’ll try not to blow it.

-I sure as hell didn’t blow my first ride. My first ride was… it was something out of a movie.

-Where did you go?

-I can’t tell you.

-OK. So we might be running out of bug and tar. If I have time after work tomorrow I’ll swing by AutoZone.

-Sounds good. So my first ride. It’s a big secret.

-Alright.

-I guess I could tell you. But you would have to swear to me that you’d never tell anyone and if you did tell someone you’d make it up to me by doing me a huge solid.

-I don’t need to know about it.

-I know you don’t, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

-You don’t have to.

-I know, but I need to. So it gets passed down. See, I don’t have a real son. I have Sarah, and she’s great, but she’s not someone I can tell this stuff to, if you know what I mean. And I have Ross. But Ross and I have been, well, you probably heard.

-I have heard.

-He is my son, but he’s not really my kind of person, the kind of person I’d have chats with, if you know what I mean. Now, you, however. You’re my future son-in-law. That’s just as good as flesh and blood. That’s why you’re gonna know about this ride. And you can tell it to your sons.

-Are you OK?

-I’m fine. I tend to get emotional when I talk about it. I’ve only ever told my father and my priest before and I got emotional both times. Alright. I’m gonna have to ask you not to talk for a while. Here’s the story of my first ride. It was October, 1983. I was thirty years old. I had recently opened my own practice in Kettering. Tania had given birth to Sarah to August. I had just bought the bobber practically new. It was a present to myself for becoming a dad, something I’d always wanted to be one day. And now I was a dad, and a motorcycle guy. Things were looking up. I rode the bike home from the shop, but that doesn’t count as the first ride. So I get home and — I should backtrack and mention that Tania wasn’t ready to make love yet after having Sarah.

-OK.

-I said don’t say anything.  She had just had the baby and we were in adjustment mode. I was a little anxious to get things back to where they were. In the bedroom. You’ll understand what I mean in a few years. So I bring home the bobber and park it in the driveway and walk in the house. I have a perfect memory of what happened next: Tania was making Cornish game hens in the kitchen. We didn’t know it at the time but Cornish game hens would soon become a family favorite. Sarah was like a lump at her feet. I walk in the kitchen and say, Honey, I’m home, and I have a new toy. Now, Tania didn’t know about the bobber. It was a complete surprise for her. So she’s like, Toy? What do you mean? I take her hand and walk her outside into the driveway and she practically falls over, she was so shocked. She says, Oh my gosh, I’m so happy for you, and she kisses me real hard. Harder than I’d ever been kissed by anyone ever. And I’ve kissed some ferocious women. I once kissed a woman who was on death row. So she’s kissing me and grabbing me and pulling me back inside the house, and the whole time I’m like, what’s going on here? Do you want to? Right now? And she’s like, Yes, yes I do, I’m ready, I’m ready. And so I lay her down real softly on the kitchen floor and gave her a go around that could have won an award if someone had been filming it. It was intense. But. And here’s where it gets really personal. It wasn’t the same. You know what I mean? After the baby. She wasn’t as good. Things were different, I could tell. She knew it too. But I didn’t say anything about it because it would’ve crushed her. So I’m giving it to her whole hog on the kitchen floor, but I can’t reach climax. I just can’t. That has never been a problem before because I’m the kind of guy who always climaxes. Never too soon, though. Always right at the perfect moment. Except for this time. So after a while we just stop and she gets dressed and gets back to the Cornish game hens. I say it’s time for me to go on my first ride and she kisses me on the cheek or whatever and I head out to the bike. Now. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but when you get that far with a girl but don’t climax, it can hurt. Blue balls, we used to call it. I had blue balls in the worst way. My first thought was: take care of it solo in the bathroom. But then I was like: come on, Philbin. You just bought the bike of your dreams and you’re gonna whack off on the toilet like you’re celebrating your Confirmation? This occasion needed something better, and I know what it is. So I hop on the bike and ride. I ride up to 75, and then to 70 going east. And I’m riding with purpose, with a grin on my face, because I knew exactly where I was going. If you know where you’re going in life then you can go as fast as you want and wear the biggest grin you want because even if you don’t get there, you will have traveled with purpose and that’s what’s important. I was riding to Columbus, and I was making great time. Back when I was in dental school at OSU there was this guy we used to call Popeye. I don’t know why we called him Popeye. He wasn’t strong or anything, and he hated the nickname, but the more he’d complain about it, the more we called him Popeye. The point is, Popeye liked to make love to hookers. He wasn’t an ugly guy, but he was shy and he could never get a date, so he’d go to dances stag and get real drunk and then afterward, when we were trying to make love to our dates, he’d go to a whorehouse on Chesnut Street and make love to a hooker. In the end he spent less money than us and he had better lovemaking sessions than us because those hookers were pros, he said. I never went with him because I was too much of a weakling at the time. Cut to 1986. I’m not a weakling anymore. Now I’m a man going 95 miles per hour on a 1978 XS750, a man who just got blueballed by his own wife. So I ride to Chesnut Street. All the houses there look like whorehouses. They’re all missing shutters and they all have empty beer cans on the stoop. But one especially run-down house has, give or take, ten cars parked out front. I see a shirtless dude stumble out with his arm around a large black woman in a one-piece bathing suit and I’m thinking: this must be Popeye’s whorehouse.  So I park the bobber and walk in. There’s an older lady in the family room. She asks me what I’m doing there and I say I’m looking for date. She says, Just so you know, this is a sorority house. And I wink at her like yeah right. She tells me to wash up in the bathroom and then wait in one of the bedrooms and leave the door open so the girl knows which one you’re in. So I do that. A minute later this tall blonde woman walks in. She says, Why are you not undressed yet? I’m not going to do that for you. I will always remember that: I’m not going to do that for you. She must have been Swedish or Danish or some sort of Scandinavian because she was at least six three and her hair was perfectly straight lines. And she was strong. Once we got down to the doing the stuff she was pinning me down and clawing at my chest and stretching out my scrotum. She pulled my scrotum up and out so much that it covered my gut. I didn’t think it could get it so thinned out and so wide, but she showed me that it could. I thought she was gonna rip it in half. Image that: I get home and have to explain that to Tania that on my first ride I accidentally fell off the bobber and tore my scrotum in half. But the hooker didn’t tear it, thank God. She took her time and taught me a lot about myself and what a man and a woman could do together. Things got disgusting, and when we ran out of time I was begging for an extra ten minutes but she said she had to go to her babysitting job. I don’t think I need to go into more detail, but I will say this: she cured my blue balls. On the ride back to Dayton I was only doing sixty, maybe even fifty. I was in no hurry. And that was my first ride.

-I don’t think my first ride will be that eventful.

-It probably won’t. But if it is, so be it.

-It won’t be.

-Probably not. But if it is, you can tell me about it. I won’t tell Sarah.

-I’ll probably just ride to Yellow Springs and get pizza and maybe go for a walk in the woods.

-That would be a good first ride for you.

NEXT: Do We Need Cynar? 7

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