Catchy (Sitting 57) Avoid the Saddle…. July 15th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3734)

Matthew leaned up from his prone position on the bed and kissed the very naked back of Leonora, the oboist.

“Don’t do that,” she complained. “Now my back is all wet from your gooey lips and I feel cold.”

“You’re welcome,” said Matthew with a lovey-dovey hum.

The two of them lay in the bed, very still, for a solid minute, maybe two. Matthew interrupted the silence.

“You had a great idea,” he said.

“Which one?” Leonora asked.

“You know. When you decided to divide our evening into two parts–dinner, then the movie–and you declared it two different dates, and so when we ended up coming to my place to have sex, it was like we were finishing up the second date…”

“Actually the third,” corrected Leonora. “You forgot about the time we spent with the quintet in the Gallery.”

“So we waited until the third date, then, to have sex. Very proper,” Matthew noted approvingly.

“I thought so,” purred Leonora.

“You know what I like?” asked Matthew.

Leonora suddenly sat straight up in the bed and turned to Matthew. “You’re one of those. One of those goddamn guys who can’t keep his mouth shut and go to sleep. You’re part girl. That’s it, you know. You’ve got to have conversation, commentary, closeness and cuddle-wuddles to make you feel like what we did had really deep meaning, instead of being like two baboons cracking a nut.”

Matthew eased up to sit on his butt. “Wow. There’s an image I don’t need. So are you gonna think I’m weird if I tell you that this was great, and it felt great and you were great?”

Leonora sighed. “No, I think I pretty well knew that when you finished your orgasm by singing ‘American Pie.'”

“I always liked that song,” said Matthew. “Very underrated.”

“And so are you, my dear,” she said, patting him on the head. She pulled back the sheet and walked across the room totally naked, attempting to gather her belongings.

“Are you leaving?” asked Matthew.

Leonora turned to speak to him as she squeezed into her panties. “Yes. I have a life. My horn calls me. I have friends. Somewhere in my house I have a pet cat, even though he rarely makes an appearance. I just assume he’s still there because the food disappears and the house smells like shit.”

As she finished speaking, the doorbell rang. Matthew looked over at Leonora and mouthed, “I don’t know…”

He leaped to his feet and said, “Hold on a second. Let’s both put on those thick white terry cloth robes, and go to the door and answer it, pretending we are Mr. and Mrs. Normal Tourist from Des Moines, Iowa.”

“Make it Rapid City, South Dakota and you’ve got a deal,” said Leonora.

They donned the robes and headed to the door. Opening it, they found Soos standing there with a gentleman who greatly resembled Jubal Carlos, but with a much different haircut.

Matthew, displaying great shock, asked, “Don’t you think you should call me first before you just show up?”

Soos pushed past him, gave Leonora an uncomfortable hug and stepped into the living room. “We tried to call. You don’t answer, you’re never home, your mailbox is full. It’s almost like you’re dead, but nobody’s found out yet.”

The Jubal lookalike held out his hand. “I’m Jasper–Jubal’s brother. Nice to meet you.” He, too. walked right past the visitors from the Dakotas and stepped into the living room.

Jasper and Soos found nice seats on the couch as Matthew pointed to Soos and said to Leonora, “This is my friend from college. We call her Soos… Ahhh…You’ve already been introduced to Jasper…”

He turned to Soos and Jasper. “This is my…What should I say? My protegé in love.”

“What the hell?” Leonora gave a quick wave to Soos and Jasper.

Matthew, stung by his own awkward description, stumbled into the room. “What is it you want, Soos?”

Soos looked around the room, her eyes falling on nine or ten bottles of Jack Daniels, sitting in a corner, abandoned.

“Well,” she said, “I thought that since you’re the executive producer of this organization, you might like to have an update.”

Matthew sat down in a big, plump chair. “Well, actually, I get updates on the news broadcasts.”

“Well, that’s not very personal,” said Jasper.

“Exactly,” said Matthew. “That’s what I’m trying to avoid. Getting personal.”

“Who are these people?” Leonora asked Matthew, obviously perturbed.

Soos stepped in to offer an explanation. “We are his comrades, business cohorts and missionaries, if you will, on this project to make Jesus popular again. You may have heard of it…”

Leonora rolled her eyes like eyes had never been rolled before. “Yes, I’ve heard of it.”

Turning to Matthew, she asked, “Are you part of this?”

Matthew pointed at Leonora and said, “Great question. I got the thing started. Jubal Carlos, who’s his brother…” He pointed to Jasper. “Picked up the ball, and now it seems that Little Boy Blue is blowing the horn of insanity.”

“No shit,” said Leonora.

“Ooh, a non-believer,” Soos squealed with some giddy glee. “I love non-believers.”

“I am not a non-believer,” snapped Leonora. “I just don’t call it God. When I was asked in college about my faith, I told them I was a Panist.”

Jasper wrinkled his brow. “Panist?

Leonora stepped across the room and found her own seat in a straight-back chair. “Yes. Greek. Pan–all. Ist–me. I believe in everything, everyone and every creature. I make no distinction between the busy ant and your Jewish God.”

“Wow,” said Soos. And nothing more.

Matthew sat back admiringly. For the first time in many years, he realized he had made love to a woman who actually had a brain.

Soos, unperturbed, launched.

She explained that Michael Hinston had become an inspiration in Soulsbury to all around him–a leader and compassionate man, seeking to help others.

On and on she spoke. Of miracles. Moments. She mentioned the wonderful series done by Jennifer Carmen in North Carolina, featuring Jubal’s life and story. She nearly cried when explaining that the United Nations had put out a proclamation stating that this was to become the “Decade of Kindness.”

When Soos finally slowed up, Jasper jumped in. “Word has it you’re not that enthusiastic about the things we’re doing, Matthew. Is that right?”

Matthew just sat and stared at Jasper. He didn’t want to hurt the feelings of a man he had just met, but he also didn’t want to lie and pretend–especially in front of his exciting new lover.

“It’s just my experience,” said Matthew, “that the more you believe in God, the weaker you become. I’m tired of being weak.”

Jasper stood to his feet, strolled across the room, turned on his heel and began.

“Did you ever hear the story, “Horace the horse? Yes, Horace the horse lived in a barn. Unlike the other horses, he determined he never to be trained, saddled and used to herd cows and ride across the plains. So every time the saddle was brought in his direction, he spit, snorted and kicked, scaring away all those who tried to tame him. The ranchers who owned the horses decided to refuse Horace any food. So when the other horses went out to work for the day, and Horace had a lot of time on his hooves, Horace decided he would trick them by trying out the pig feed and the chicken portions. At first he felt very smart, but he got weaker, sicker and pretty soon, he could barely stand on his four legs.”

“One day a young girl–the daughter of the owner of the ranch–brought him an apple and a bag of oats. It tasted so good. The next morning Horace the horse decided he’d join his brethren. So when they placed the saddle on his back, he didn’t look on it as a burden, but instead, an opportunity to carry someone else’s burden.”

Jasper stopped his story like a preacher does when he finishes and it’s almost time for the Doxology.

“What the hell…?” asked Matthew. “Horace the horse??”

Leonora interrupted. “Oh, you didn’t understand, Matthew? Our friend Jasper, here, thinks that all God’s creatures should be saddled. Saddled with guilt. Saddled with fear. Saddled with rules. And saddled with worry.”

She paused. “And if we’re not saddled, well, they’re going to tell us right now–there’s no way we can be happy.”

Jasper tried to interrupt but Leonora held up a hand. “No,” she said. “You shut the fuck up. You come waltzing in here, and you’ve decided that you’ve got so much God you just have to spill it on everybody else. Well, here you go, big fella. Some of God’s horses don’t want saddles. They want to run free. They want to see a mountain in the distance, and believe it’s thirty miles away, start running toward it and discover it’s a hundred. But they still keep running. Here’s your problem. That little Dixie accent you throw in so you’ll be like part of the people? You think it makes you sound real. Simple. You know what I hear when you talk like that? I hear little girls screaming, running from the church that was just firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan. So if your goal today was to impress me with how wonderful your Lordy Lord is, well, you just made me hate the son-of-a-bitch even more.”

The room fell still.

Soos quietly stood to her feet and said, “You’re absolutely right. We’ve been rude.”

Jasper nodded his head, and walked toward the door. “I was wrong. I must have gotten in my preacher mode.”

The two left without saying another word, finding their own exit. After the door shut behind them, Matthew sat in his chair and Leonora walked over to stare out the window at the Las Vegas playground below.

They had learned a lot about each other in a very short period of time.

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Catchy (Sitting 56) The Quintets…. July 8th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3720)

Jip, Cho, Bo, Jack and Sam were five young men from all over the world who got together, tried to learn each other’s full names, failed miserably, and so settled for shorter handles.

They shared two things in common.

Each member of the quintet was a trusted intern for an Ambassador to the United Nations.

Jip was from Japan; Cho, China; Bo, Russia; Jack, England, and Sam, the United States.

Their other commonality was a deep-rooted faith in Jesus, especially fresh since the recent awakening sweeping the world. Realizing they were just interns, they focused on what they could do to make a difference.

So every morning, a half-hour before going to work with their Ambassadors, they met in the pantry of the kitchen of the Bruxbury Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where they lodged while in the Big Apple.

The purpose for the meeting was simple: the five young men chatted and conversed–calling it prayer and hoping their heavenly Father would give them insights on how to impact the more traditional and often vicious side of the United Nations.

They decided on kindness. Rituals were begun:

Jip walked into his boss every morning with fresh flowers.

Cho brought in an array of new teas from China to allure his superior.

Bo slipped a little vodka into the coffee, with a wink.

Jack ordered very expensive marmalade from England.

And Sam always stopped off to pick up a Nathan’s hot dog from down the street, which made his boss beam.

At the end of every session in the pantry, the gentlemen closed with a single thought:

“In kindness, beget kindness.”

They believed their purpose was to create a comfortable, gentle and merciful environment for their employer which just might cause him or her to go into the United Nations with a warmer heart.

It is difficult to know whether it was the vodka in the coffee or the ever-changing climate in the world, but matters of statehood were becoming more civil and less sectarian.

The quintet of interns took no credit for it. They just gave the glory to the Father.

*****

Matthew was dismissed from the hospital feeling a decade older and looking two. He sensed that he was becoming an old man before he had ever been an adequate young man. He felt sick. He looked sick. His skin was yellow from the liver infection and his eyes drooped, as if they were desperately preparing to leap from the perch on his face.

Matthew finally came to the conclusion that alcohol was a problem. In his crude way, he had decided that it was coming down to a choice between Jack Daniels or Jane Pussy. Knowing that he was not going to leave the latter alone, he chose to break his covenant of life-long affection for Mr. Daniels.

He sought some counseling and joined a couple of programs, and after a few weeks, he was a shaky non-drunk.

Refinement.

Yes, Matthew decided he needed some refinement to escape the smear of liquor, and also the goodness of the infernal revival.

So he went to a grand opening of an art display in one of the larger casinos. He was unaccustomed to attending such gala events and always felt lonely because it was required that he step forward and introduce himself, and he would rather frequent the darker corner.

So he found himself strolling around behind the displays when he heard a horrific sound–like a wounded animal. He followed it, turned and discovered a young woman with dark-brown hair adorned in a cocktail dress. She had her back to him and was holding some sort of horn. She was blowing into a reed.

“That was you?” he asked.

Without turning around, she responded, “I suppose you’re referring to the sound.”

Matthew stepped around so he could see her face. It was a sturdy, but beautiful one. “Are you calling ducks?”

She blew her reed again and replied, “No. Just any barnyard animal. And considering the pile of food on your plate, looks like I got me a hog.”

She looked up, her eyes twinkling. Matthew was instantly in love. He had forgotten he was carrying a plate full of food, favoring the shrimp puffs. But here was a woman with a biting sense of humor, unafraid of his advances.

She continued, “What I’m blowing is my reed, because I play the oboe. I play the oboe with a string quartet, which makes us a quintet. And you might think to yourself that being the only reed instrument in a quintet of strings, there would be a measure of alienation. And if by alienation, you mean incrimination, jealousy, anger, disdain and misery–well then, you would be right.”

Matthew eyed her for a moment, and then inquired, “You don’t like to play the oboe?”

“Uh, no,” she replied flatly. “No one likes to play the oboe. The oboe is like William the Conqueror going out to find a few innocent serfs who have not yet signed up for the clarinet. He captures them and imprisons them in double-reed bars.”

Matthew squinted. “Do you always talk this way?”

She paused as if in deep thought. “Yes, come to think of it. I do. Do you enjoy it? Or were you intending to be mean?”

Matthew held out his hand and said, “My name is Matthew Ransley.”

She reached across the short distance and shook only his fingers. “My name is Leonora Fenzi. But just go ahead and call me Leonora Fenzi.”

Matthew smirked. “But that’s your whole name.”

“No, there’s a middle one. Juniper. As a courtesy to you, I left that one out.”

“Fenzi,” said Matthew. “Is that… Well, I don’t know what to ask. What nationality is that?”

Leonora laughed. “Well, presently I’m attending a conservatory in Paris, but my nationality is Uncle Sam’s House. I grew up in Kewanee, Illinois.”

“I’ve never heard of that,” said Matthew.

“Oh, Paris? it’s right there in the middle of France,” mugged Leonora.

Matthew laughed out loud. “Paris I knew. It was the Illinois city that threw me.”

Leonora stood to her feet, blew a couple of notes on the oboe, and then said, “Do you know that I was the best oboe player in Kewanee, Illinois?”

“I know this one,” responded Matthew quickly. “You were the only player in Kewanee, Illinois, right?”

“No. There were two,” replied Leonora seriously.

“Really?” said Matthew.

“Yes,” Leonora responded. “The second player was a young girl with Down Syndrome, whose mother bought her a horn because the girl thought the keys were much shinier than on other instruments.”

“So…was she a close second?” asked Matthew, with a wry smile.

Leonora walked across the room to Matthew. “What brings you to this opening? You don’t look the type.”

“Is there a type that comes here?” asked Matthew.

“Yes,” said Leonora, reaching over and taking one of the shrimp puffs off his plate and popping it into her mouth. “Gay and rich. You’re not either one, are you?”

“Well, I’m not gay,” said Matthew. “I applied for years, but never got accepted to the club.”

He waited for her to laugh but she didn’t. “Anyway,” he continued, “I am fairly rich. Well… let me put it this way. I have money at my disposal.”

“Disposal?” questioned Leonora. “An interesting term for money.”

Matthew changed the subject. “What are you doing after you get done playing here?”

“Let me see,” she mused. “I’ll be going off with the string quartet to complain that the patrons didn’t listen to the music, and discuss how the shrimp puffs tasted like they were swimming on the bottom of the creek. And we’ll probably have a long discussion about how Wilhelm’s violin needs a new bridge. Yeah. That’s pretty much it.”

“Any of that you could avoid?” Matthew pursued.

“Only if I can get away.”

He steadied himself. “Would you like to go out to dinner with me?”

Leonora looked him up and down, glanced to her right and left, and posed. “Honestly, if you look at it from my perspective, you could be a serial killer. Many of them are quite charming, at least I hear. But you know, I’m going to say yes to the invitation–mainly because you’re so goofy, I don’t think you would know how to dispose of a body.”

Matthew furrowed his brow. “That was the most unusual yes I’ve ever heard, but I’m gonna take it. I thought we would go to an actual restaurant in Vegas instead of a buffet. What do you think?”

She suddenly turned and marched across the room quickly, speaking over her shoulder. “I think that would be fine because I don’t really care right now. I have to go play more Mozart.”

“I like Mozart,” shouted Matthew to her retreating frame.

Without turning, Leonora replied, “Oh, shut up. It’s the only name you know.”

Matthew stood and laughed. He threw aside his plate in a nearby trash can and thought to himself, “This could be good. This could be really good…”

 

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