I watched him walk down the hall and out of my apartment building.
It was an unusually warm summer , and that Saturday morning had all of my windows of my second floor apartment opened. I was relaxing from a long week on the couch reading a book by DH Lawrence. I had bought from a woman on Broadway selling classic books from a wooden wheelbarrow. I admired her dedication to good literature. I was deep into the novel when I heard some unusual noise in my kitchen. I turned to look and saw an arm and leg coming in my window. I jumped up off the couch and made my way to the front door. An arm pulled me back and just as I was about to scream I saw that it was him. My heart was beating a hundred miles per hour. I asked why he didn’t ring the buzzer at the front door. Scotty said he saw my windows were open and he thought it would be easier just to climb up and come in. I put my arms around him and gave him a hug. I walked back into the living room and sat down on the couch. He followed and grabbed my acoustic guitar sitting against the wall. Sitting next to me he began to serenade me with a new song he wrote. It was about me. I felt my face turn a warm color of red. He would use this song in the future to try and get back on my good side when he was in trouble.
Later that afternoon I received a call from Greg, a man I had previously dated. Greg had gone to Montana to finish his college degree and now he was back in town and needed a place to stay. He said if he did not find a place to stay that he would be homeless. I could not stand the thought of one of my friends being homeless, so I told him he could stay with me for a while. Greg’s sister had started a music venue downtown called the Crocodile Cafe. She was married to Peter Buck from the music group REM.
I found it very sexy to have a man cook for me. I wasn’t use to it and the fact that he knew how to cook surprised me. I didn’t really have anything to make and told him I would have to go to the store. He opened the fridge and a few of my cupboards and told me to go have a seat in the living room. Sitting on the sofa I heard the clink of pans, the sound of things being chopped and the aroma of savory meat filled the room. A gourmet meal of pasta and chicken was served to me by the man who worked construction.
I had always been one of those people who could not cook without a recipe. I always followed the instructions to a tee. If I did not have all of the ingredients, the recipe was not made. Scotty got me thinking outside the box. I began viewing cooking as an art form with rules to be broken and experiments being tried. He lived his entire life outside the box and I had always lived mine inside. He began drawing my true personality out, which is what kept me interested and what would in the future make it hard to leave.
After dinner he said he had to get up early the following morning to get to the construction site. Before he left he told me he hid an emergency cigarette somewhere in my apartment so that if I ran out I would have to call him to find out where he had hid the emergency cigarette. He always left a reason to come back or for me to have to contact him. Although charming it revealed his insecurities. He often appeared confident and almost a big arrogant at times, few people saw his other side. At the door he pulled me into him placing his hands on my hips. His warm kisses made me want more, so I told him he better leave.
The night air was chilly as I made my way home alone, but I did not feel it. My phone rang as I walked into my apartment. He was making sure I was going to his band practice the following day. I smiled as I hung up the phone.
The summer night was warm. I made my way down 12th street on Capitol Hill. As I approached the small building the sound of electric guitars got louder. I entered a large white room where the band was playing on an old wooden stage. I stood in the back and watched them for a while. Scotty had a guitar strapped over his shoulder and was singing into a microphone. Upon seeing me the band took a break. Scotty came down off the stage and kissed me hello. The other band members made their way off the stage and made their way to where we were standing. He introduced me as “Weenie.” I looked at him in confusion and he said he just made up the nickname. That is what he called me from then on.
After band practice we walked hand in hand down Broadway, turning on Denny, then on Belmont to my brick apartment from the 1920’s.
As he spoke I noticed the tattoo on his shoulder that read, “I scream therefore I bleed.” On his other arm was a tattoo of the sun. I was curious as to why he chose those two items to be permanently placed on his arm, but forgot to ask as I was listening to him tell me he was going to be Peter Frampton or die. I told him he had better be Peter Frampton.
That is where he ended the story of his life. He must have sensed that I was nervous. I watched him get up and walk over to my side of the table. Bending down he gave me a kiss and returned to his side. Stealing a move from a Woody Allen movie he then said something like, “there, now we got that out of the way.” Reaching across the table he took my hand in his and held it there as we continued our conversation. I no longer felt uncomfortable or awkward. We sat at our table at the far end of the room until closing. As I listened to him talk I stared into his eyes. I wanted to see if he was genuine or not. I could tell he was being his real self, but that maybe not everything he was saying was true. Men who seem to have a lot of charm are usually compensating for something. I wondered what insecurities he as covering up. His mysteriousness kept me interested. When the bar closed we stood outside saying good -bye. He drew me into him with his hands. My body melted as his lips touched mine.
He stood up to make his way to the bar to get us drinks touching my shoulder as he passed by. A few minutes later a glass of cold beer was sitting in front of me. We were not strangers. I had met him a year before through Jay who I was dating at the time and we had run into each other occasionally. One night he asked me out and at first I reluctantly agreed. It made me uncomfortable that he was friends with my ex. He assured me he had not seen him in over a year. There was one thing Scotty was good at, making women feel important. He had used this skill to get me to agree to go out with him. He was charming, good looking and other women wanted to date him. So the night he asked me out I gave him my phone number. He called me as soon as I got home to make sure I had given him the correct number. I wondered how much of his charm was an act and how much was real. I decided not to care.
The room around us was filled with smoke from cheap cigarettes and the smell of cheap beer permeated everything. That night I didn’t notice, all I saw was the man sitting in front of me telling me his life story.
I unzipped the black purse hanging on my shoulder. My hand rummaged through wallet, combs, coins and keys until I found my lipstick. Taking the top off I quickly ran the stick across my lips. It was a first date and I wanted him to be interested. When I walked into the room I saw him sitting alone at a small table. He was ruggedly handsome with long curly blond hair which he wore pulled back into a ponytail. I was nervous as always on a first date. I wondered why he was interested in me. I had met his previous girlfriend and there was no way I was anywhere near as beautiful as she. Moving to Japan to pursue a career as a model, she was breathtakingly beautiful and a blonde. I was a secretary in a medical office. He had however been persistent in getting me to agree to go out with him. So there I was, approaching the man still wearing his black leather jacket. A smile spread across his face as he saw me walking towards the table.. Butterflies danced in my stomach. As I approached the table he motioned for me to sit down.
On a rainy morning in San Bernardino, a group of California Highway Patrol Officers came to a local Starbucks to reach out and talk with the community. Offering coffee to the cafe’s patrons, they introduced themselves to people and allowed them to voice their concerns or ask questions.
I spoke with Inland Division Public Information Officer Ramon Duran and his partner Steve Carapia. Officer Duran told me that this is an ongoing project to build a relationship between the California Highway Patrol and the local community. The coffee drinkers at Starbucks looked like they enjoyed meeting the officers and were eager to speak with them.
I asked officer Duran what types of problems they were seeing on the highways and local streets. As one might expect drunk driving is an ongoing problem. He also stated that they have seen an increase in motorists under the influence of marijuana.
It’s not every morning that one receives coffee from the California Highway Patrol, but the patrons at the Starbucks in San Bernardino were happy they were there on this unusually rainy morning. You can follow them on their Facebook page