“Well, well, well, what do we have here today?” She walked around me as if she were a general inspecting the troops. “I want to see my face in your left shoe, Soldier” the officer might be saying, while I only could dream of Lola and what she did for me last night. Oh Lola…

“Poindexter, have I already lost you? I’d think that when a woman of means moved about you, eyeing your wares, the least you could do was to put off your trip to Fantasy-ville a bit longer? Are you dreaming of Lola again, or what?”

I knew she could read my mind. She’d done it before, but did I really want her to come between me and Lola? Would they fight over me, tearing their hair out, and wrestling about on the ground. In the mud?

“In this corner weighing in at a fine 125 pounds of raw strength, is the temptress, Lola!” The crowd cheered as the men poured more water onto the mud pool, increasing in size every time they did. While in the opposite corner weighing in at an undisclosed weight, mainly because she is right where she wanted to be in life, “The Girl Next Door”. Lola looked her in the eye and spat on the ground. “I told you before, he is mine. All mine, while sending me looks of passion and deception.” My friend only pushed Lola into the mud then announced, “Only if I say he is, and not before!”. The mud was flying while I sat there on the sidelines, with my Rah-Rah flag and a box of butter-flavored popcorn sipping a Dr. Pepper. Rooting for the one instead of the other might just tick her, or them off, so I just munched quietly along while they took out their anger on each other.

“Hey You!”

My muddied thoughts were washed clean at that moment in time. She was standing there, hands on her hips, waiting for me to end it once and for all with Lola. How could I give up the one woman who knew me for who I really was, a lion-tamer from Morocco with a hankering to swing my whip, while pulling her closer enough to smell the cheap perfume that her last lover had bestowed upon her. She had told me, time and again, that it was over between her and the countless others, but what woman really ever tells the truth about love? Even my saintly mother never really told me what love was about, unless it was making your spouse miserable, or shooting the gossip breeze with the other ladies at the church social. “Love can be purchased on every street corner” my mother would say, but she never drew me a map where those places were. She’d just sigh and wonder if I would ever grow up into anyone respectable, like the son of the famous movie actress, who was kept back in her career by that no good man of hers. She might have been the next Clara Bow, or even greater, wooing the likes of Charlie Chaplin himself, when of course he wasn’t only claiming to be faithful to Oona, his wife. What a name, huh? “Oh Oona let us make love without saying anything again, just like in the silent movies?” Oona would only nod as she draped her negligee over the nearest chair, displaying her wares for all the world to see.

“Let’s start over, OK?”

I wasn’t sure if it were Oona, Lola, my mother or the Girl next door that was speaking, but it didn’t matter anyway. I’d just get my heart broken in the end.

“I smell something that I like”, she said, as if roasted Wildebeest was her favorite course, when dining on the Savanna. Reminds me of a girl I once met in Gabarone, named Savanna. She had golden hair like the grasses on the steppe, in late summer before the rains made everything green again. The smell of the grass after the rain had done its wonders, will always remind me of what we had together. She was north, but I was south, but when we got together, it just made the points of the compass spin like a roulette wheel. Lola whispered in my ear that red number 16 was the number to put all of my chips on, but I noticed how she had been eyeing the loud-mouthed Texan with the wide-brimmed hat standing at the end of the table. He had offered her his chair just moments before, but what would she really end up sitting on, when the night was over and done with? The wheel began to spin, while Lola reached down into my pants, searching for something to satisfy her lust with. When she found what she was looking for she said,

“What do you have in this pocket anyway? Your own personal lint collection, or something?” She found the $2 my mother had given me to get a haircut, but when she had it in her hand, she stopped looking for anything else…..

“Well, well, well”, she said again, as if everything else I had been thinking about never happened anyway? “What do we have here today. Cold Cash! And you were going to keep that a secret from me, weren’t you? You know. If you put this aside in a long-term account, then you might just have enough one day to buy yourself an engagement ring for that special someone in your life! Haven’t you ever thought about the future? Hello Ninny, this is me talking again, and not Savanna, or Lola or Oona whoever has been making love to you this time. This is the real thing, and life doesn’t get any better than what you are experiencing right now.”

Oona lit a cigarette while gazing at the lifeless form of Chuck her former husband. “You just didn’t cut the mustard”, she told him though his lifeless eyes didn’t react to her statement, as much as they had done before she stabbed him in the Drawing Room, while Col. Mustard was present threatening her with the silver candlestick. “I knew you and Miss Scarlett couldn’t get along, but murder?”

“This is another lucky day for you, young man. Just like when we were making money hand over fist by washing cars, this day will be the first of many, when the moolah will be rolling down the hill towards your bank account. We’ll just start by removing temptation from your hands, by me taking care of your startup capital, before you waste it on some silly boy toy thing”. She tucked the money into her blouse for safe-keeping, which made me want to be safe-keeped myself, but I didn’t want to face Lola’s wrath again, denying me her assortment of nighttime pleasures.

“Tomorrow, we’ll begin on our adventure, because we’ve already wasted the day what with your gambling your romancing and trying to stay dry on the rain-drenched Savanna.”

Savanna with her golden hair and the memory of how we fell into each other’s arms when we needed each other the most. Savanna, oh Savanna. I’ll always think of you when the scent of rain on your grasses brings me home again to you.

to you….