A perpetual playboy. Swears he'll never get married. Now that the café belongs to someone else, what is he up to?
Read Part 1 of TJ's latest escapades in
TJ & the Real Estate Lady.
TJ Parker. A 72 year old playboy bored out of his skull. Bubbles frothing at his back, the water roils about his naked body that soaks in the hot tub. Arms spread in each direction, elbows on the cedar, a stress ball shaped like a breast in one hand and a glass half full of golden glory in the other. The bottle of aged Lagavulin is only inches away, albeit almost empty. Another several inches away is a second glass, lipstick smeared and empty. Beads of perspiration dot his skin like pebbles that melt and runaway. Steam billows from the seven hundred and fifty gallons of heated water. TJ is staring at the rising vapor as it hits the ceiling of the cedar overhang of his deck and disperses randomly before evaporating. It reminds him of his relationship with Wilmot and Taffy, his best friends, and how it sort of dissipated almost a year ago. His eyes lose focus.
The three of them, Wilmot Parker (no relation) and Taffy Fitzsimons ran a not-for-profit eatery. In fact, under a drunken stupor in this very hot tub a few years ago, yanging to each other about having too much time on their hands, they hatched a plan to open a diner style restaurant for breakfast only. Closes at 11am sharp every day, they’d all still have their afternoons, Wilmot to golf, TJ to write his novels of erotica and Taffy to support the thrift shops. All retired and financially sensible they didn’t need the money. Taffy didn’t want to be involved in any ownership but she’d help anyway she could.
Wilmot was a financial advisor during his career as well as an outstanding chef. He’d do the cooking. TJ was the talker, he’d serve and whatever. Taffy wanted to be a waitress. They giggled at every suggestion until Wilmot would get them back on track. Two hours of banter, another half bottle of scotch, they came up with a plan. They’d buy their own building, big windows and old brick, somewhere not far from a beach. TJ was a building contractor previously and would supervise the work. Soft homey colors (Taffy’s idea, the boys wanted red and black). Big black and white photos of famous Canadians hanging on the walls. TJ’s scrumptious biscuits, every patron gets one whether they want it or not. They’d cover the costs and give the rest to charity, likely the homeless. Thus, the Two Grumpy Old Men Café was born. The food would be delicious and the grumpiness would be free.
Remembering the last time he saw them six months ago when Wilmot asked him to be his best man. A trip to Hawaii was worth every penny, a great time reminiscing, meeting Taffy’s family and finding comfort in the arms of her cousin Luanda was worth the trip alone. He had thought about asking her to come to Florida with him but he talked himself out of it, he wasn’t much for long term relationships. The old joke of too many women and too little time is wearing thin and he’ll have to think of some other explanation when people ask him why he is still single.
His thoughts are disturbed by the returning of his guest. She reaches over to place a dish of oysters, cheese and crackers on the wood shelf by the whisky. TJ had prepared it earlier, forgotten on the coffee table. Her breast sways teasingly close to his lips when she bends over.
“Here sweetie, you must be famished, we haven’t eaten since we had the pasta at Nevio’s and it’s almost midnight.”
She sticks her finger under his chin to tilt his head up.
“And doesn’t all this wonderful activity make you hungry…you tiger.”
When she says this, she reaches into the water to rub his chest amongst the bubbles. She must’ve found an on switch. Something in the water quickens.
TJ is smirking, rather proud of his libido. The green eyes suggest that it’s no big deal. He takes a swig of the whiskey. Tossing the stress ball he grins at his guest.
“You getting back in?”
She clasps her hand to her chest. The wet one drips tiny droplets on her tummy that run down her nakedness. Amanda Waycross is no floosy. At sixty five, widowed, a night of unimaginable sex and discovery is no common event. Not one given to a lark, allowing this charming, handsome man to seduce her was the best thing that happened to her in years. She can’t remember how many times she came. She waves him off.
“Oh no way Jose, I can barely walk as it is. That thing should be registered as a weapon. I’m hoping we can do it again but not tonight honey. You know I have to leave soon. The grand kids are being dropped off at seven and I don’t want to miss a day with those rascals. Would you like to join us?”
The eyebrows question him. Reaching up to secure her ponytail, her small breasts are pear shaped and so lovely that TJ is tempted. Not one for children, he tries to avoid such encounters.
“Tomorrows not good Amanda, I…I think I’m going to be busy.”
Disappointment causes a frown, she can read between the lines.
“Sure TJ. I’m just going to get my things from the bedroom and…”
She looks around at the deck and pool area and back at TJ unmoving in the tub.
“…and the deck and the hammock...”
They both start laughing, TJ quiet with shoulders moving, Amanda with a soft chuckle. Bending over the edge of the tub that comes to mid-thigh, she holds his head in her hands, brushing his long hair back behind his ears. Glassy eyes express her pleasure. She kisses him passionately, thankfully and backs off.
“You’re the best TJ. Call me sometime if you want.”
She leaves. A few minutes later he hears the hum of her Audi, the crunching of the tires on the fine stone gravel of his driveway. Stretching out his arm, he tips the neck of the bottle to refill his glass. Less than an ounce dribbles from its brown throat. He shakes it hopefully a couple of times. That’s it! The bottle teeters a bit when replaced on the cedar almost falling into the water. When he pivots his elbow to grab at it his forearm knocks the last of the finest scotch in the house into the suds, glass and all. The liquor makes a brief brownish stain for several seconds. His eyes bug out. He’d like to curse, he wanted that one last slow burn and besides, the friggin’ stuff is over five dollars an ounce.
He shakes it off and leans back. Grabbing his smart phone, his thumb makes it tweet a dozen times and he sets it back down. Only a second goes by until “Kitty LaRoar” comes softly from overhead speakers. She’s halfway through Skylark, the words as beautiful as her voice. Closing his eyes, the jazz meets the scotch buzz and they get acquainted. Soon lulled into a partial comatose state, his memory drifts back to the last thing they all agreed on. Wilmot made them repeat it all together when they staggered out of the tub.
“Anyone wants out, all they have to do is say so. No hard feelings.”
He can still see Taffy and Wilmot sitting across from him after closing one Friday eleven months ago, arms intertwined staring at each other all lovey-like. He still can’t believe it. Said they were getting married and moving to Hawaii, on Oahu where Taffy was brought up, leaving in less than a week. What a shock, they’d been dating behind his back knowing he would be teasing them in front of the patrons. They reminded him of the agreement they’d made and they wanted out, good friends and all.
Now the Open Heart Home owns the café receiving it debt free, full title at no charge, their largest donation by far. It’s manned by three people that actually were homeless at one time.TJ trained all the staff, helped Edward Bancroft, often referred to in his former life as Twenty five Cent Eddie, get off the streets using his background in cooking. Clean for 11 months, a resurrection of his culinary skills from his former diner jobs has made him the star of the store. Bertha and Beulah do the waiting and cleanups.
TJ only has one more meeting with his lawyers to finalize the agreement. After that, there will be nothing to keep him busy other than his abnormal pursuit of the opposite sex. Grinning at this thought, he speaks to the rising steam.
“Even that is getting old hat. Damn, I’m not getting any younger and I should be a little fussier than I have been. I guess they can’t all be as sexy as Amanda. It’s taking more scotch to get the available ladies looking good enough. And the last time I looked in the mirror, I expect that some of the ladies feel the same way. What the dickens am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
Thanks for visiting folks. I'll post part 2 next week. Hope you can drop by for the rest of the story.
Tell me what you think of TJ?