Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
The bright lights at the supermarket stung his eyes. Even in fli-flops his feet began to feel hot. Pushing his cart he stopped a few times to pretend he was looking at items but was really squinting at possible candidates for his affections. He imagined Cyclops energy beams radiating from his eyes.
“Excuse me young man,” A very elderly lady pushed past him in the produce section. “Are you going stand there blocking the oranges.”
“Sorry ma’am.” he moved his cart over to let her by.
“Billy is that you?” she grabbed at his arm.
“Don’t be like that Billy. I’d know you anywhere.” she peered at him over her glasses.
“My name isn’t Billy.” She was a classic old lady. Harris almost laughed at the dark taupe stockings and the black oxfords she wore. The traditional, dark, almost patterned with brown, dress under a loose knit beige sweater. She was wearing what his mother referred to as crawling to the grave clothes.
“Now let me get a good look at you.” She pushed her glasses back, reached out and ran her hand over his chest and down. “You’ve kept your hair nice and long. My but you’ve filled out some since I last saw you, Billy.”
Harris couldn’t believe that this geriatric case was feeling him up like this in public. Not that he’d want her doing it in private either.
She pushed her face towards his, lips pursed for a kiss. Pale mauve lipstick had leaked into tiny cracks around her mouth. The mauve matched her pearl earrings. He tried to push her away.
“Now, don’t be like that Billy.” Saliva collected in the corners of her mouth.
He moved back but was pushed into the counter. He felt oranges behind him. Oh Christ! This was the one! Fucking hell. He didn’t imagine people her age had a sex drive that could be woken up like this.
The oranges tumbled around him as she pressed against him. She nuzzled into his neck.
He slid along the counter, lost footing and fell, crushing oranges under him. She collapsed on top of him. Her hands grappled with his sweat short waist, gave up and moved down to his cock.
“Oh yeah, Billy that’s what I like. A man in my hands again after many empty years.”
Peppermint breath and she smelled of flowers and unwashed hair. Her hand fumbled as if looking for a fly.
“Not here.” He whispered as he reached down to stop her.
“My car is in the parking lot.”
“Great.” He hoped it wasn’t too far. He hoped it was a SUV and that she wasn’t wearing granny pants. It would be hard to keep it up for granny pants.
“Gran! Gran! What’s going on.”
Someone pulled her up to her knees. There were people all around them.
“She was dizzy and …. uh ….. fell on me.” Harris explain.
“Come along now.” The manger was trying to get her up.
“I’ll help you, Gran” A young women knelt down and pulled the old lady’s hand off his crotch.
“Ah, Dina don’t be like that. He doesn’t mind. Do you Billy?”
They got the old lady to her feet. The manager helped Harris get up. He brushed the orange pulp off Harris’s back.
“I’m sorry sir. I hope you’re okay.”
“I’m fine.” He didn’t like these people fussing over him. He wanted to get out of there. He’d gotten what he had come for and had to get away.
“Do you want to fill in an accident report?” The manger signaled to his assistant who had a clip board with a form on it.
“No, it was nothing. I’m alright. How is she.”
The old lady was gasping and leaning against a young woman.
“Dina, I don’t know what came over me. He looked so much like Billy. So much.”
“Who is Billy.” Harris asked.
“Her husband. He died years ago. I’m sorry but she’s …”
“Never done anything like this before. I understand.”
“Are you all right.” she flicked orange peel off his shoulder.
“I’m fine, honestly. But I think I should go home and wash off.” He gave a little laugh.
“We could give you a lift.” The old lady offered, her eyes alive with that spark.
“No, that’s fine. I don’t live too far from here.”
Harris started walking as fast as he could. He didn’t feel sore from the fall just damp. He couldn’t believe how his thoughts jumped from revulsion to it being perfectly okay to dash out to any car in a supermarket parking lot to have sex with that old woman. Not that he thought women that age shouldn’t have sex lives but certainly not with him. He shuddered with the image. When would the forgetting start. Soon he hoped. A drink would help with that.
He didn’t want to sit around in a bar stinking of oranges though. There was a beer store by the subway station. It should be still open now.
As he passed the subway there was tall man and a woman handing out flyers. People were stopped to talk with them. He wasn’t interested in having his soul saved tonight. He picked up his pace as he passed them.
“Hey,” a deep voice called. “Have you seen either of these people.”
Harris stopped. The man was taller than him, about six-three or four. Heavy set, almost brush cut dark hair, in a tight white t-shirt under a denim jacket that seemed to flow right into his jeans. Tattoos on the backs of his hands and one that crept out of the collar of his t-shirt.
“Have you seen either of these people.” The man handed Harris a flyer. He had letters tattooed on his knuckles.
There were two faces side-by-side on the flyer. One of the pictures was the woman’s he had seen on the telephone poles. The other was of himself.
The tall man did a quick double take. “Hey! It’s you. You’re the fucker.” He grabbed Harris by the front of tee-shirt. “Where is she?”
Harris pulled away. His tee started to tear. “I’ve never met her.”
“Ma, we found the guy.” His eyes narrowed as he held Harris firmly by the arm.
The woman glared at him. “Sure is Dave. No mistaking that face.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harris’s heart was racing. “I’ve never seen that woman except on these flyers.” Should he say he was sorry for their loss or what. “But I’ve never met her.”
“Look asshole we know you were with her. Else wise why would her picture be on her Facebook page, eh?”
“I don’t know.”
Dave squeezed Harris’s arm harder. “I don’t know.” he mocked Harris’s voice. “Guys like you sure do know.”
Harris wriggled away.
“Anyone can take a picture.” He didn’t remember anyone taking his picture recently. He grabbed the flyer and looked closer. It was him. Last week. Friday or Saturday because he had on the Aquaman tee-shirt he’d worn to work those days. His smile made him look like a terrorist who had farted and hoping to laugh it off.
“Second thoughts asshole.” Dave shoved Harris hard against the wall of the subway station. “People take pictures so others can’t get away with things.”
“We know all about that.” David’s mother leered at Harris. She shrugged her shoulders, hefting her ample breasts a bit higher. “So you’re not getting with it this time buddy.”
“You see, it’s like this, asshole. I was talking to Frances mere minutes before she took this picture and posted it. We were waiting for her right around the corner. Our wedding rehearsal.”
“Oh yeah. Nothing coming to you.” Dave elbowed him hard in the ribs. “Maybe that’ll jog your memory.” He elbowed him again.
The mother began to go through Harris pockets. Pulled out his wallet. “Once we know who you are and where you live the police will be informed. You won’t get away with this.”
“Neither will you.” Harris snatched his wallet back before she could open it. “I’m calling them now.” He punched 911 into his cellphone. “This is assault. It’s all there too.” He nodded at what he hoped were security cameras.
“Yeah, sure.” Dave knocked Harris phone away. “Unless it’s hi-def they show shit.”
He backed Harris against the wall with his forearm under Harris’s chin. “Now where is she?”
“I told you I don’t know.” Harris could barely breathe.
“That innocent act don’t cut it with me mister. I’ve been on the inside long enough to know anyone can play innocent. Why I bet you’re the one behind all these other attacks too. That why you’re sweating, eh. Caught red-handed. I bet you’re that subway stalker. You look perv enough for that.” He tugged Harris’s ponytail hard with his free hand.
“The police are on their way.” A female voice came from behind them.
“What the …” Dave let go his choke hold.
“Better let him go. They can deal with him.” Dave’s mother pushed him away from Harris.
Harris slumped the ground and rubbed his throat. There were several people watching. Witnesses.
“Fucker you won’t get away with this.” Dave glowered at him. “If I have to go back inside for catching you, it’ll be worth it. I can plea bargain but you won’t be able to.”
He strode away a few feet away with his mother.
“I called the police. Are you okay.” The woman and another man helped Harris back to his feet. “We need better lighting around here. It sure isn’t safe anymore.”
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