Aphrodite’s Back Pocket
A white-hot shaft of late afternoon sunlight from the glass ceiling ricocheted off a tanned arm and shot through the leafy bower of trees and vines imprisoned in the courtyard at the Kansas City Embassy Suites. It dissipated into a flurry of tiny sparks atop a growing crowd gathered below. A step back from the railing, a quick peek in the compact mirror, a mist of cologne, a check for a small bulge in her bag – she was ready now, gunning for bear. She caught her reflection in the mirrors of the elevator, sucked in her stomach and tugged at the hem of her red dress just as the doors opened.
Released at the ground floor, she followed the laughter and music until she found it. John F. Kennedy High School, Class of 1984.
“Here for the reunion? What’s your name, honey?” A pretty, gum snapping blond manned the reception table. She wore a low-cut black dress poorly concealing a basketball-sized stomach bulge. Pregnant. Her nametag read “Shelly Mathis Murray” but the label meant nothing. She imagined Shelly as a teenager with bangs teased high, leggings, high heels and a sweatshirt torn at the collar and came up blank.
“Kelly. Kelly Smith.” It was a simple name, forgettable, a name that ensured invisibility in high school. Now they were even. The pregnant one suffered from faulty memory too and with her ignorance came boredom.
Shelly sighed, flipped through a pile of papers, highlighted yellow through a line and retrieved a nametag. “Here you go. Have fun.”
Kelly took a deep breath wanting to inhale courage as she pinned the badge to the fabric over her left breast. She wasn’t here for fun, even as Cyndi Lauper blared her fun-loving intention from the speakers. She didn’t want to attend at all, but she had to know.
She felt intrepid and brave, distressed and uneasy as she stepped into the ballroom, darkened save for points of light glinting from a whirling disco ball. Shadowy figures stood in small groups, some talking, some dancing, some laughing.
Ghosts of her past, some met her eyes for recognition but she acknowledged none. Kelly circled the room, studied the attendees, searched for her target. She wanted to be sure.
There was always the exit.
She heard familiar giggles rise from a cluster of women. Tina, Melanie, Suzanne and the others, they were members of the high school clique, one she couldn’t penetrate. A familiar rush of self-doubt welled; there was no chance for inclusion as an adult. But she was different. She would remember.
As luck would have it her back was to her. Kelly could tell from the black satin covering the curve the woman’s most posterior feature was unchanged from adolescence. She appreciated the gentle slope from the tiny waist to the twin bubbles of her buttocks.
Pants, she wore pants! Back then she wore jeans and they were the trendiest, tightest designer threads. The back pockets sported heady cursive doodles in gold and silver stitching. They weren’t the kind of jeans Kelly would wear. The arc of her backside caused the pockets list at an angle toward the edge of her hips. Kelly spent four years of high school following her, intoxicated by shimmy and sway of those back pockets as they made their way from class to class.
A hibernating desire within stirred awake. The black satin pocket chevron invited her in. Her hand longed to find a home inside. Her eyes riveted, she approached and reached down palm out when the throng broke, laughing. Her prey whirled around; her titters hung midair, lilting butterflies of mirth disappearing into streams of smoke.
The butterflies died in a crush of silence as the other girls slunk away and disappeared into the safety of the dark corners of the ballroom. Mortified, Kelly drew her hand back. With no pockets in her dress, there was nowhere to put the flag of her intention, so both hands clutched at her purse. Her face flushed a scarlet rivaling her dress. The effervescent greeting she spent months practicing lodged in a lump in her throat.
“Kelly. Nice to see you.” Aphrodite shattered the silence, her mood switched from light and happy to contempt and disgust. Her eyes gazed beyond Kelly, mining the rest of the room for escape.
“Hi.” Her ego was slain by Aphrodite’s indifference. She didn’t remember or chose not to remember, but Kelly remembered well.
It was the last day of their senior year, hot, unbearable in a building with no air conditioning. The entire student body was glistening with sweat and in the anticipation of final release. Instead of reveling with her classmates, Kelly felt dread and sadness. It was the beginning of the end.
After 720 school days of chasing and examining the object of her passion, she pledged to act. One bold move and she could leave high school complete. She found Aphrodite alone in the second floor bathroom, leaning toward the mirror as she applied her makeup, her butt hanging before her, a ripe pear. Kelly approached, lighthearted and laughing, and slipped her hand into the warmth of Aphrodite’s back pocket.
“Sign my yearbook?”
To her surprise, Aphrodite neither recoiled nor moved away. What happened next would take up permanent residence in a hopeful part of Kelly’s heart.
Then it was done.
The ensuing years brought no word from Aphrodite. Kelly wrote letters in college. No replies. She returned in summer to find the Nelson’s moved away without a forwarding address. Yet a longing germinated, took root and grew, a thing wild and unrequited. She plotted their reunion carefully. She planned to share the fruit of her desire with her soul mate. Happily ever after.
Aphrodite dismissed her and turned away, leaving her alone and embarrassed.
Kelly’s right hand found the steel in her purse. The left hand dropped the bag; the right pointed at Aphrodite’s back pocket, then raised to shoulder height and squeezed.
Revenge – The Sweetest of Dark Nectars
(A cautionary, fictional tale of love gone wrong.)
It seemed like a scene from some crazy twisted film noir, instead of a slice of my own real life. One little event turned my life upside down and turned my personality from a citizen grounded in reality into an ogre who was manipulating, monstrous and mad.
I had learned about the indiscretion innocently enough. I knew the password to his voice mail, and went to check if he had received my previously left messages. To my surprise, there were other messages, lots of them. Female ones. Actually, it was one young, female voice leaving multiple messages. These were not innocent messages either; they were professing love and lust. “I love you.” “You’re so sexy undressed.” “I can’t wait to get my hands on you tonight.”
Disgust took over where shock left off. Then nausea and reality set in. Shit! This asshole has a girlfriend!
The messages were erased with fingers trembling and angry enough to break the buttons on the phone. Then I picked the phone up again to call him, the perpetrator, the cheater, the lying motherfucker. He didn’t have a chance. I yelled, I screamed, I accused. I shrieked so loudly, I lost my voice and ran out of breath. To his credit, he didn’t lie. Oh no, he actually confessed. Frustrated with his agreeability, I hung up on him and threw the phone across the room. A minute later, it rang again. Without looking, I picked up and hung up. Thirty seconds later, the same thing. Again, he got the royal click in his ear. I threw the phone again and it bounced off his precious TV. This devil dance continued for another twenty minutes or so.
When he arrived home, I was at the door with teary bloodshot eyes and with a suitcase in hand. “This is what you want?” I blasted. It wasn’t right away, but he did leave. Are you kidding? I’m sure I scared the bejesus out of him, and scurrying out of my way likely saved his life that night. I wanted him to go, and I didn’t want him to go. Emotionally, I was a mess. There were too many feelings; sadness, grief, incredulousness, anger, no, rage. I had a killer headache. My chest constricted; I couldn’t breathe. I could have killed them both.
From the minute I saw his backside walking out of the door, I had gone into revenge mode. The time for pity was over. Someone was going to pay. Hell, everyone was going to pay.
The very next day, my first stop was at a pricey attorney in town. He said this county’s courts usually split all marital assets 50/50. However, if the judge was agreeable (meaning Bible toting Christian) and I could prove the infidelity, I would likely get a larger percentage. A woman wronged makes a sad figure in the courtroom. Hallelujah, and pass the margaritas.
Armed with this good news, my next stop was with a detective agency. Here I was introduced into the infancy of electronic spying. For a few hundred dollars, they would attach a GPS device on his car. I might not know exactly what he was doing, but I would know exactly where he was, every minute of the day. Print outs were provided on a weekly basis.
While I was there, I also popped a couple hundred more to have a work up done on the little bitch. I gave them her name, and a few days later, I received a thick dossier worthy of the CIA. Now I not only knew her middle name, her birth date, her social security number; I also had her parents’ names, addresses and social security numbers; her siblings’ names, addresses and social security numbers; where she went to school; previous employers and even previous boyfriends. I also had her driver license number and the tag numbers on all the vehicles associated with that address. I had their cell phone numbers and pager numbers. Heaven help me, I was sitting on a gold mine!
The first thing I did was to give away the information I got from the detective agency. Many of my friends enthusiastically got into the act. They all wanted to play avenger, and I gladly shared my mother lode. Thank God for my posse of girlfriends! Revenge has many sisters!
My next step was to call the parents of the little tramp. Did they know their darling daughter, not even 20, was out with a married man twice her age? I left messages, but not the totally insane ones you would think a person in my situation would leave. Oh, no. In a calm voice, with perfect enunciation, I laid out the situation in graphic detail, so that there would be no doubt as to what their precious little bitch child was doing. Careful not to threaten her physically, even though I wanted to strangle her, I would call several times a week. I left my return number on their pagers. I left countless messages on cell phones.
On one occasion, she mistakenly answered the phone instead of screening her calls like the coward she was. During the brief conversation, this fucking whore told me it was my fault that he was screwing around with her! According to her, if I weren’t such a freaking bitch, he wouldn’t even have to turn to her for her comfort and love. “Quit calling here. He wants ME now,” she cooed. “Don’t you think some therapy would help you?” This pissed me off, naturally. I called her a fucking dumb cunt and a home wrecker. She hung up on me. Damn you, asshole. This bitch was going down.
My forte is writing, so I wrote a letter to her employer. I didn’t just stop with her immediate supervisor, hell no, I addressed a letter to the CEO of the company, and had it sent certified mail, so that only he could sign for it. I asked him in perfect business English did he know that his favored employee was fucking around on the job? Doing it probably while she was on the clock? And, oh, did he condone it?
Then there were the pizza nights! Laughingly, I can reminisce about it now. Each week, on Friday and Saturday, I would call up local pizza places and have them deliver a huge order to her house. This went on for a few weeks, until the local places started to recognize my voice.
My friends and I stalked her online, and saw where she was, and what kind of things she was leaving on websites and blogs. Vixen Cinnamon was her screen name. Every time I saw her on my Buddy List I wanted to puke.
But the Internet provided another outlet for revenge. My friends set up an account for her called Vixen Sinnamon. Then they placed an ad for her on Yahoo personals. She was a slut, so we made her super slutty. In no time at all, men were coming out of the woodwork and out from under slimy rocks wanting to meet her. We gave out her home address and phone number to some. For ten of the others, we set up a simultaneous lunch “date” and gave her place as employment as the meeting place. One of my friends parked at the apartment complex across the street from her office. She reported that Little Miss Whore left work early that day. It appears she blew out of the parking lot like her house was on fire.
There were other smaller ways to get even. I bought a blank W-2 from the local office supply store and filled it out, then sent one copy to the IRS. It was a small amount of money, like wayward interest, but probably enough to pique their curiosity. Who knows what happened with that? She could be in the Federal pen, like I care. I would spend time at the library, and take out all of the subscription cards from every magazine. Then I would fill out her name and address and send them in. Same with offers for free stuff on trial; I would fill out her name and address. Postage was free, so why not? I’m sure the UPS man was weary of the deliveries. This was an easy burn, and I was at the library a lot.
Since I had her social security number, I also applied for credit cards in her name all over town. I wasn’t interested in charging items to her account myself; I just wanted her to have credit cards where she didn’t know their origination. Either that, or if she got rejection notices, she would wonder where they all came from. Great fun!
Eventually, however, I tired of the game of revenge. Yes, at first the nectar was sweet, and the rush is a heady drug. Being in revenge mode channeled my negative feelings about myself into negative feelings about her. The game kept my mind sharp as a tack, and the creativity flowing. She became wily prey, though, and moved several times. She changed her phone number too frequently. That was one of the reasons I lost interest. That one and our state passed a new stalking law that included identity theft and Internet harassment.
Anyway, to make a long story short, he ended up dumping the slut and coming back to me, but not without serious consequences. The GPS didn’t prove anything – only that he drove around her house in circles like a lovesick puppy for a couple of weeks. After that, he started driving around my house in circles.
No, I’ve found that you can hurt a man best through his bank account. First of all, I made it abundantly clear to him about my field trip to the lawyer. Presents soon became an attempt to say, “I’m sorry.” A gleaming new Mercedes, a beautiful new house in a fashionable neighborhood, and stylish new furniture didn’t cure my need for revenge, but it sure as heck helped to tame back the savage beast. I guess I didn’t really need the diamonds and the fur, but who am I to turn down gifts?
Add to that an unlimited credit limit at Nordstrom and a nice fat monthly allowance for hair and nails. Oh, let’s not forget the additional voluptuousness of the “girls” to a nice round D cup. Yes, that was a very nice touch. Dragging the untrustworthy adulterer to a psychologist for marital therapy several times a week for four years when he would have just as soon been on a golf course also stings. Men hate to admit they make mistakes, especially in front of a marriage counselor. You can also make the wayward ass take an AIDS test with your family doctor, who of course would want to know why he needed one in the first place. Then there was the vasectomy, which wasn’t going to stop him from straying, but at least there’d be no threat of bastard children.
Believe me, he has paid and several times over.
Would I do it again? I think not. I’ll take all the cash next time.
© Joanne Huspek