Saturday, February 02, 2008

HMH #28

Chapter twenty-eight - Tykes to titans

A girl tapped on my shoulder. She towered over me from the teasing fabric of a stars and stripes bikini. She asked me, in a dialect thick with some east European accent, “Vould you like a danz.” Her perfume, thick and pungent wove through the smoke attacking my nostrils with the skill of a prize fighter.

“No thank you . . . ” I looked across the table at the Mayor who was thumping his chin with his fingers and contemplating the offer. “...and neither does my friend.”

“You’d have to do more than just dance for me anyway,” he said.

With a sarcastic smirk, the girl drifted into the darkness and on to badger the next table.

“Man there just not trying anymore. Gone are the days where they actually sat down and talk to you before asking the ultimate question. God, no one pretends to be interested in your sad-sack life now. Hell, I’m not interested in my sad-sack life.”

“You should find a new hangout John . . . and stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

“I should do a lot of things. I’m just lacking the ambition right now due to the obvious. — So there you have it Mayor. The whole tale of woe.”

The Mayor scratched his head and looked at me from under raised eyebrows and a mischievous grin. “Wow, I still can’t believe it. Grub?”

“I don’t blame him. I don’t blame anyone but myself. It was stupid of me to think after all these years we could . . . uh it’s done. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. So much for the future. But what I don’t understand is, if Grub was tipping Alexander off to what was going on, why did he call you in Vegas? Was he feeling guilty?”

“John, I would have recognized Grub’s voice. It wasn’t him who called.”

“Then who was it?”

“I don’t know. But I do know some other things. They may mean something to you, or not.”

“It won’t change the outcome, but go ahead.”

“I’m not sure my earlier interpretation of the facts were entirely correct. I mean, yes, Russell Brock did die in a car crash. And yes, Wires did file a new will at the eleventh hour. And yes, Alexander, Myers and Brock are under investigation by several different agencies. But I’m not so sure this was totally about money.”

“Then why go to all the trouble?”

“I got to thinking what you said, and Alexander telling you, other than executor, he didn’t stand to gain from this, confirms it. If it were about dollars, you were right, there just wasn’t enough to squabble over. How did you put it, a drop in the bucket? The greed factor didn’t add up. So, I dug a little further and found that Tykes to Titans has a very interesting head on the board of governors.”

“Really? Who is he.”

“Not he. She. Alexander’s wife.”

“Alexander’s wife? I didn’t even know he was married. He wasn’t wearing a ring.”

“His ex-wife actually. Brutal divorce, still on going. She’s getting quite a bit already including the board title at Tykes to Titans. Half of Alexander’s assets could turn out to be a very pricey proposition for that man unless he cuts her some favors. So maybe he was trying to appease her with charitable donations from his clients like Wires and your drop in the bucket? Or maybe there’s some other reason I don’t know of?”

“Fuck, Mayor. I don’t know any Mrs. Alexander. What’s this have to do with me. With us. Christ!”

“She reverted back to her maiden name. Do you know anyone named Megan Gamble?”

“Holy fuck! Megan Gamble!”

“OK . . . Bells are ringing. Fill me in.”

I downed my beer and quickly ordered another at this unexpected turn of events. I’m also sure the color drained from my face but would be hardly noticeable with the black-light and blinking strobes.

“I dated a Megan Gamble, briefly, when I was on the road with Wires, Doc and Wally, years ago. It was before Skunk and Grub, but they were both familiar with the story of how she fucked everything up for us. We just abandoned her out west in the middle of our tour, Mayor. Left her with nowhere to go. But understand, it’s not like we felt we had a choice. I was just talking with Doc about this on our ride up. Shit! Her husband represented Wires. She must have know his intentions to help us out. God damn it! So this wasn’t about money at all? This was revenge. This was a twenty year-old grudge by someone I used to sleep with? Well touche’ I’ve been fuckin’ skewered. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

“Looks like your future turned out to be your past catching up to you.”

“That bitch! It’s going to take me forever to pay off the debts from this weekend.”

“It all makes sense now. John, you know what the worst thing is? Wires genuinely wanted to help you out and she destroyed it.”

I sighed deeply. “I know.”

“So what about the guys?”

“Like I said, I don’t think anyone’s going to be talking to me anytime soon. Doc’s upset I dragged him away on a perfectly good weekend, put him through hell, and he didn’t get to swim in the pool. Skunk’s pissed I brought a mortal enemy like Arsehole Party into the studio without any regard to how she’d feel. Grub, well I guess that’s self explanatory? And Wally’s miffed I bailed before we finished. He didn’t say much on the drive home. Just dropped me off at the auto body to pickup my car and that was it. Doc didn’t even ride home with me. He stayed up at Wally’s. But knowing Megan was behind all this — devious bitch— makes me feel better some how.”

“How so?”

“Until now I thought I was a total fuck-up. I guess I’m only half that. I can’t take full credit when someone was trying to constantly pull the rug from underneath us. And besides, something positive did come out of all. Look. I finally got shoes on my feet.”

“Expensive pair of shoes given what you have to shell out now.”

“I should have just stayed home.”

“So I guess that’s it. You’re never going to speak to the band again?”

“I don’t know. Wally did leave me a message on my answering machine last night.”

“To bitch you out?”

“He said he wanted me to come up and see him this weekend. He seemed pretty insistent about it. Yup, just probably wants to lambast me in person. Maybe hold me over a barrel while Megan kicks my ass.”

“Come on John, you’re being stupid. He probably wants to mend fences, bury the hatchet.”

“Bury the hatchet right in the crack of my ass.”

“That’s all he said, he wanted to see you?”

“He did say, it’s important he speaks to me in person.”

“Are you going to go?”

“I haven’t decided yet. We’ll see . . . ”

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