Episode 12

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Previously in "Saecula:” An elite Republican cabal conspires to fix the 
2008 presidential election, but its plans to embezzle money from the RNC 
are uncovered and lead to murder.  Democratic Senator Winnie Scott
scuttles administration strategy with a blockbuster disclosure during
congressional hearings on the disasterous Islamic War.  The Vice President's
"A-Team" sets in motion the ultimate October Surprise: A terrorist attack
upon the nation.

Today: Gar's Take on Women

“Hey, good looking’! Where you been? Haven‘t seen ya for a couple ‘a weeks. You’re missin’ the season,
Gar. It’s already March.”

“Just got back from Tallahassee. Still working the legislature on Trinity,” replied Gar. “How’s life been 
treating you, Nikki?”

“Just dandy, Gar, and you?” replied the voluptuous bartender at Boobs, Gar’s favorite strip club in St. Pete. 
It was about 15 minutes drive from his RV campground, and one of his regular winter haunts. At $7.50 for 
a bottle of beer, Gar was never sure if the name of the joint referred to the dancers or the customers.

“Sweetie, everyday I wake up and there’s not a chalk line drawn around my body is a good one,” replied Reynolds.

“Hey baby, that’s just because nobody has that much chalk,” retorted Nikki, in her whiskey-husky, 
bartender-droll voice.

After his divorce, Gar went through several short-term affairs, always with the same results. The women 
who fell in love with the carefree, grumpy, disheveled professor, sooner or later -- usually sooner -- decided 
he needed to be fixed before he completely turned, and would set about their task of tidying, styling and 
polishing. After several such experiences, each ending with Gar unceremoniously tossing the domesticating 
divas out on their butts, he concluded that women’s pestering was an inherent genetic fault, and decided they 
weren’t worth the trouble.

Now he liked to say he didn’t date; he purchased. Gar considered all the moral proscriptions surrounding 
prostitution hypocritical garbage. He believed a lot of women were whores. Some hooked for cash, others 
hooked for diamonds, status or security in the form of marriage. Women exploited their sexuality at work, 
at home, and at play to finagle, goad, entice and hoodwink the pecker-driven men in their lives. Men were 
puppy dogs. Feed them, walk them and scratch their stomachs once in awhile, and they couldn’t do enough 
for you. Once men understood their place in the “lowerarchy,” they’d be a lot happier. Gar figured he was 
going to pay either way. If he was going to be manipulated out of his money anyway, it might as well be by 
the best looking women available.

That had been five years ago, and he hadn’t looked back. In Gar’s mind, the current trendy concept that
couples must “work” at relationships was bogus. Even in the most compatible of relationships, couples didn’t 
agree all the time, and he had no intention of spending his remaining time on this big blue ball “working” 
-- negotiating, adjudicating, compromising. Gar enjoyed his privacy, his independence and his solitude. 
When he wanted to write, he wrote. When he wanted to sleep, he slept. When he wanted to get laid, he paid. 
He had lived both ways, and single was best.

“Glenda been around?” asked Reynolds.

“Yeah, she’s in the back, doin’ a dance.”

Nikki was referring to the “VIP Lounge” that was really nothing more than an even darker room than the bar, 
sectioned off for privacy by six-foot high office dividers. There the topless, g-stringed strippers gave customers 
bump and grind lap dances for twenty-five bucks. For the right price and the right customer, additional services
could be purchased.

Reynolds had taken advantage of several of those services when he had met Glenda in that very room. The first
time he saw her, he fell in lust with her erotic Mediterranean looks, disheveled hair and knock-out legs and ass. 
As they talked, he became even more enchanted. He disdained the twenty-something dancers as “Twinkies.” 
They were mostly vacuous, narcissistic and coked-up, with fake tits that looked like bocce balls stuck to their 
chests. Give him a 40-year-old woman with some brains and personality who looked like a 28-year-old any day 
of the week. But even with Glenda’s incredible looks and great body, she realized stripping was a young woman’s
job. She was taking nursing courses at Pinellas County Community College, and looking forward to the day when 
she could quit for good. Gar was happy it hadn’t happened before they met.

Gar and Glenda had been seeing each other for three years in that strange kind of way strippers sometime develop with customers they especially enjoy. It started as a money thing, but soon developed into a weird sort of dating -- dinners, beach weekends, Caribbean trips, even a visit to Alfred one summer -- and then often not talking to each other for months. Any expectations beyond their immediate pleasure would ruin the relationship instantly. Yet, there was as true a caring for one another as if they were lifelong lovers.

The sex was the best Gar had ever experienced. Glenda was at once passionate and uninhibited, but also tender and understanding that Gar, in his 60’s, was not about to keep up with a woman at her sexual prime. When he first began paying for sex, Gar had concluded that the sex manual creed that it was a man’s job to ensure the woman was fulfilled, was nonsense. It was his money, and by God if he decided to come in one minute or 20, he sure as hell wasn’t going to worry about his “responsibility” to be a good lover. It was different with Glenda, right from the start. He wanted her to be satisfied more than his own enjoyment. It still continued. He probably did love her, as she did him, in a most strange fashion.

“Hi, baby,” Gar called out, as Glenda passed by not expecting nor noticing him.

“Oh, my god, Gar,” Glenda shrieked as she grabbed his neck with both arms and planted one delicious kiss on his 
open mouth. “I’ve missed you so much.”

“I’ve missed you too, baby. I’ve been trying to call, but your cell has been off for a week.”

“I know, I know. Tuition, rent. I couldn’t afford a phone card just now.”

Gar was always astonished at how most of the girls lived, even those with kids. They never had two cents to rub 
together, except for costumes and drugs. As pretty as they were, most had extremely low self-esteem, resulting 
from overbearing, often sexually abusive fathers. They would hop from one bad relationship with the same kind 
of destructive personality to the next in a matter of days. He couldn’t imagine constantly living on the edge, or 
what would become of them when they turned 60 or 70, if they made it that far.

Over time, Glenda had confided in him that her history was much the same. Her father and uncle had started raping her and her sister when she was 12. At 15, she ran away and began hooking on the streets of Indianapolis. When she turned 18 and could legally strip, she headed for Miami and 17 years of coke, booze and beatings from numerous bozo boyfriends. During a drug high, her then current and last boyfriend attacked her with a knife from which she still showed the defensive scars on her arms. After a short hospital stay, she put herself in rehab and hadn’t done drugs other than occasional weed since. She moved to St. Pete, started school, one course at a time, and now danced to earn money instead of as a lifestyle. She’d have her degree in another year, and wouldn‘t miss stripping one bit.

Gar helped out occasionally with rent and tuition payments, and would have gladly done more. Ten years ago, 
Glenda would have taken him for every dime he had. Her new-found sense of independence and self-worth 
wouldn’t permit her to rely on friends such as Gar, for anything other than companionship.

While they drank and caught up on their recent lives, Gar never noticed the husky young man across the 
horseshoe-shaped bar, who paid more attention to him than to the semi-naked women soliciting him for lap dances.

Next in Saecula: Tom Bishop's Prive Army

by  Martin Gresko

Interested in publishing this manuscript?
Or to make comments, CONTACT Martin Gresko at VGABONSUN@hotmail.com
See his biweekly political column http://www.StPetePost.com

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