28 august 2020



We could hear the argument clearly through the paper-thin walls. Colleen and I were shacked up in this motel in Carlsbad, lying there in bed we had heard the door of the adjoining room slam and an immediate tirade of sound began.
"You rotten sumbitch." we heard the woman say, "You promised me you wouldn't see her again."

"How was I to know she was in that bar? We just stopped for a cool one after work and there she was, I sure as hell didn't plan it." the man's voice replied.

"Bullshit, I know you too well, you have chased the smell of that hussy like a dog running after a bitch in heat. Don't give me this accidental meeting crap." the woman screamed.

"Okay okay, I admit it. I'm glad she was there, but it wasn't a planned meeting, I didn't know she was in there. Ask Joe, he was with me." the man replied in a moderate yet pleading voice.

"Ask Joe? Joe would climb a tree to lie, when he could just as easily stand on the ground and tell the truth. I'm telling you Ernie, I've had it up to here, I've had it. I've had it, do you understand?" her voice moderated to where she was no longer screaming.

Colleen giggled and said, "Sounds like some of our better arguments, I bet she caught him monkeying around with some other monkey's monkey. You wouldn't do me that way, or would you?" I told her to be quiet, I didn't want to miss anything.

Through the wall came the sound of muffled sobbing, and the man's voice saying, "I'm sorry Helen, I'm sorry, I didn't want it to be this way."

"I know you're sorry, you're about the sorriest excuse for a human I know." she sobbed. "All your promises, all these years, and all you do is hurt me."

Colleen nudged me and whispered in my ear "Wanna bet on the outcome? I'll bet you they wind up with a rowdy game of mattress Polo." "No bet," I said, "Now hush up."

Now over the muffled sobbing we could hear the man's voice saying "Helen, I'm sorry, but you are partly to blame. You've become cold and distant and dammit, I'm human, I have human needs. She's alive and vibrant, and she makes me feel young."

"Feel young," she screamed, "whenever I'm in the mood, you seem to be suffering from terminal soft. It's to laugh, I'm to blame. I'm as good a woman as I ever was, it's you who's got the problem."

"I'm sure glad we don't have that problem." Colleen murmured, simultaneously grabbing me and biting my ear. "Be quiet, they will hear us." I said, removing her hand. "This is interesting, they are obviously married I wonder why they are here in a Motel doing their fighting, instead of at home?"

Colleen nestled closer and said, "I feel funny listening to this. It's almost like we are violating a confidence pound on the wall and maybe they will stop." "Are you kidding?" I said, "We haven't got to the good part yet."

"Ernie, what are we going to do? Our lives have become a shambles, we don't make love, we don't communicate. It seems all we do is fight, and always about the same thing, "her". It's so bad I didn't want to stay home tonight for fear she would come by. Ernie, please forget her, let's start over, we can move someplace where she won't be a temptation." she said, her voice pleading.

"I can't forget her, I don't want to forget her." he replied, "It's all over for us, I'm through with hiding my feelings and pussyfooting around in my own home, pretending she don't exist. You're to blame too. After her divorce, you were the one who suggested she should move in with us, we can pool our resources and share one home, you said. You turned your back when it began, you thought her flirting with me was cute, but lady, it got serious, and when it did, you threw her out. Well, I'm serious now and I say it's over, over between you and me. She's your sister and no matter how much I have tried to deny it, I love her. We love each other and somehow we are going to have a life together."

"No, Ernie, please God no." She cried, her voice now a plaintive, sobbing wail.

"I'm leaving. I'll be moving out of the house just as soon as I can get my stuff packed." he said, and again we heard the door slam.

The sound of crying seemed to get louder, I turned and saw Colleen lying there sobbing.