Friday, September 14, 2018

Ho Man--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, June 19

     Pia and I saddled up and went for a ride in the woods. My text alert dinged.

  “Hey Brenda, sorry to do it but I'm going to have to reschedule tomorrows (sic) session, I have a new evaluation and don't have anywhere else to put him...can we reschedule?” Golf Guy texted.

     “Absolutely.” I sent a picture of Jack's head heading down the trail. Then I thought, absolutely not.

     “Amazing,” Golf Guy texted.

     Amazing you want to keep stringing me along—and my self esteem is so far down the toilet that I’m letting you.

     Pia and I rode for almost three hours then I cleaned up and got ready to meet Randy for dinner.

     “I may be a little late,” Randy texted. “I have my ho and her sista in my room. I like my women very nasty.”

     I stared at my phone repulsed, not knowing how to respond.

     “Alright ho man,” I finally texted. “What time?”

     “I'm kidding!”

     I exited the highway and Randy called. “I’m here,” he said. “I’m in the parking lot. I’ll wait for you here.”
     I spotted Randy right away. He was balder but looked the same. I hopped out and gave him a huge hug. “I think the last time I saw you was ninth grade,” I said.
     “That sounds about right. Damn.”
     We walked into the restaurant. Randy told me his parents were living in Florida, his mother was fatter than ever, he didn’t speak to his parents much, and his brother, Wendall, lived near them.
     “I know you’re friends with Wen on Facebook,” Randy said making a face. “Don’t tell him anything I tell you. He’s got a big mouth. He’s on his third marriage and that’s not going so well. My sister is on her third marriage, too, but she’s doing great. She and I talk a lot. We’re very close.”
     “How are things with your first daughter? You told me your ex poisoned her against you. You talking?”
     “Some, but it’s too little too late. She only calls to tell me how great she’s doing, which is bullshit, and ask for money. She called today. I didn’t call her back.”
     “She’s reaching out. You’ve got an opportunity to get to know her.”
     Randy nodded uncertainly. “You were married a long time. How are you doing?”
     “Better now that we’re divorced. I felt uneasy around JB for a long time. Knew something was off but didn’t know what. I couldn’t kiss him for years. Couldn’t do it.”
     Randy stared at me knowingly and nodded.
     “The Hawks game starts soon,” I said. “Want to watch it down the street at a bar?”
     “You’re okay going to a bar?”
     “I haven’t had a drink in ten years. Yeah.”
     Randy and I walked to a charming old hole-in-the-wall full of locals.
     “Your comment about not being able to kiss JB,” Randy said. “That really hit me. I haven’t been able to kiss my wife in years. I stopped sleeping with her, too. I’m living in the basement.”
     “Yes. It’s bad.”
     “I’m so sorry.”
     “Have you been dating?”
     “If you can call it that,” I laughed. “Are you seeing other women?”
     “I’ve thought about it,” Randy said, looking at me hopefully.
     I squirmed and turned toward the game. The second period ended with the Hawks ahead.
     “I don’t want to keep you out late away from your kids,” Randy said. “Let’s go. Want to get together Sunday? Have dinner one more time before I leave?”
     “I’ll check my calendar when I get home.”
     Randy and I hugged goodbye.

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