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.
Two blushing Asian girls came to the table. They asked about the new movie. One took pictures with her cell phone. The other asked if he a picture to sign for her.
She darted off and came back with one of the take menus for him to sign and insisted her friend take a picture of that to prove it was him who signed it. They left happy.
“I never felt Stan was my Dad. I mean my biological father. I was about thirteen when Mom told me part of the truth. She felt I was old enough to understand.”
“Plus she didn’t want the press digging up if you because a famous actor, right.”
“Yeah I suppose that too. But she said my real dad was dead. That he died before they could get married. It was strange that she didn’t have anything to remember him by. Now I know why. She didn’t remember. That is if this is how the curse works. Right. Neither party remembers after the fact.”
“Pretty much. Though when they both remember it is something else.”
“You mean you do … there’s someone who … not that girl you were with.”
“Oh no trust me. I remember her but there’s nothing there. She only went to the gala with me because she’s a fan of yours. Suits me fine too. But there is a guy …”
“A guy! Fuck! Now I have a gay dad, too.” Marshall slumped back in the booth.
“No! It’s like we’re both caught in this dance played by the curse. We didn’t ask for it and now we have to deal with it. Which is what guess happens with everyone who gets pulled in.”
“What? Is he femme for you or something like that?”
“No. He did ultimate fighting at the pro level at one time.”
“Not too shabby. Why not?”
“Why not what?”
“Go for it. Afraid you might like it?”
“Marshall that’s not the issue. The issue is choice.”
“You mean if you met without the curse and were attracted you might consider it? This is way fucked. I’m having a father son talk with my Dad about my Dad’s sexuality.”
“Yeah, well pitch that to your agent.”
“This isn’t such a big thing, you know.”
“Why not?” His phone rang. “Looks like Mom has tracked me down. Look whose here.”
Harris leaned to look to the window of Mamma S’s and Blake was coming in the door.
Blake was thick set, over six foot, so tanned it was hard for Harris to get an idea of his age but certainly no teen-ager. He walked stiffly as if the weight of his biceps and shoulders slowed him down.
“Your mother is furious.” Blake’s voice was deep, gravely; his lemon after-shave over powered the garlic smell of the pizzaria. “She didn’t know where you had gone.”
“I know, like that time in Paris.” Marshall give a little laugh.
“Rio. Tokyo.” Blake counted them off on his fingers. “Gdansk.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s why I have this.” He showed Harris a thin yellow bracelet on his left arm. “I told you – a GPS tracker.”
“That and the phone. Texting your agent is always a give-a-way.” Blake snorted. “Car’s around the corner. We have to be at the airport in an hour.”
“Okay.” Marshall slid out of the booth. “It was cool hanging out with you Harris.”
Harris started to get up but Blake held him in place. “Finish your pizza.” He turned to Marshall. “Get a move on. I have a message to deliver here from your mother.”
Marshall shrugged his shoulders and waved bye to Harris. “Mother knows best. I’ll stay in touch.” He left.
Blake sat where Marshall had been sitting. “Look I don’t know why Clara is always antsy about you folks but the fact that she is good enough for me. Stay away from the boy.”
“That boy ….” Harris almost said ‘is my son.’ “ … is going on 20.”
Blake was pulling the pizza crusts to shreds. “We don’t want anything to hurt his image. That’s all. You understand?”
“I’m not the one who took a picture and sent it to the press.”
“That’s pr not an opening for his long lost family to move in on him.”
“Listen Blake.” Harris stood up. “The fact that he’s my cousin is no big deal to me. I have a life. Had one before this weekend.”
“We don’t want interviews showing up.”
“About what? Him being my cousin. Or about events that went on between sisters twenty years ago.”
“What the fuck are you talking about.”
“I could ask you the same thing. Look if Marshall wants to stay in touch I’m not going to stop him. Nor can you.”
Blake started to get up. Harris put his hand on his shoulder to stop him. “You can deliver a message to his mother from me.”
Harris wasn’t sure if he had a message for his aunt but he wasn’t going to let Blake bully him either.
“I’ll break the mirror when I know how.”
“What the fuck does that mean?” Blake pushed him aside. “Whatever. Keep your distance. You hear.”
Back in his cubical Harris was comforted by the tapping and clicking of keyboards around him. Especially the mating call of the horned white crested finch, the latest of Jodis’s endangered species cell alerts.
When he got to his building Becky waited impatiently in the outside foyer.
“That jerk wouldn’t even let me wait inside.”
“What do you want?” Her candy smell was overwhelming.
“Look I’m so sooo sorry for how I acted last night. I guess I was post menses or something like that. When I told my friend Barb what had happened she said i had totally over reacted.” She toyed with the string on his hoodie.
“Whatever.” He wanted to get to his apartment and take his shoes off.
“Say you’ll give me another chance.”
Harris didn’t know what to do. Thanks to the curse he’d never had a relationship that lasted long enough for him to learn how to actually have a relationship. It was find’em forget’em. Because of the forget’em he didn’t know he’d actually met’em, or fucked’em for that matter.
“Then we ….”
“We can head over to Mug Thuggs.”
“Where we first met. It’ll be like our favorite cafe.”
He went inside to get away from the cloud of Becky’s perfume and asked to the concierge if he’d any mail. He looked at Becky though the glass doors. She was texting.
Marshall was right. She was young. But she was pretty. Short dark hair in a bed-head bob. Loose blue top and denim shorts. He recognized her sandals with the jewel trim on the straps for the Shoeville’s Sultry Summer line. Was that the color her hair was last night?
“That’s done. Mug Thuggs fine by you?”
“I just told you it was. Men have such short attention spans sometimes. I was just texting Barb that you’re not holding a grudge. I don’t know what gets into me sometimes. I guess it was all that gala glamor and I sortta lost my better self. You know how that happens don’t you.”
“Yeah. There are times ….”
“I’m real happy you’re cool with this.” she took his hand. “Great night for a walk.”
“I’m glad it’s …”
“I don’t have a boyfriend. You know I told you I was breaking up with some I guy. Its just something I use to protect myself.”
“You don’t have …”
“I’ll make it up to you.”
“Whatever.” He wasn’t taking her back to his place regardless. “I need to decompress from work first.”
“Gosh I know how that feels.” she laughed.
They were at the cafe.
“Oh my God! There’s Sheila.” She waved to a woman on the patio who stood to let them know they could sit with her.
Fuck another set up. What did this broad want anyway?
“I know she’ll dig you. I told her all about your little friend too.”
“What! All this is a set up for a weird threesome.”
“Foursome.” Becky giggled. “Understand if I didn’t dig you this wouldn’t happen. That doll thing isn’t enough. Really.”
Harris wasn’t sure how to get out this. Walking away didn’t seem the right solution.
“I have to go to the washroom. I’ll join you in a minute.” He had to get away from her to come up with an escape plan. In the washroom he splashed water on his face. He caught his reflection in the mirror.
Yes it was him.
Harris but with a new hair cut. Not that same man from a few weeks ago. He was now someone kinky, someone who had a guy hot for him, a father with a son. How did he go from being ordinary to this and yet still look the same.
Yeah the curse paid a part in this but these were real people now. Real and interested in him.
He called Alex.
“Hey Alex …. yeah I did enjoy myself. Not as much as you but I guess I could learn too … look when do you have to be at Story …. that soon …. would you like to meet me at Mug Thuggs … it would be good to see you for a few minutes … great … see you in five …”
Let’s see how Becky handles this. He hoped his having a boyfriend would prove to be too kinky for her. As long it didn’t turn out that Sheila was a friend and not a girlfriend. Was this what ordinary people did? Not playing into the curse meant he had a lot more to learn than he expected. What the fuck was he setting himself up for?
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