The Thinman Band Vol. 1 & 2

The Thin Man Band Saga

Book 1 – Denver
Book 2 – On Tour

Preface

“Finally, words cannot speak of music; they cannot elucidate nor illuminate. Both sounds enter through the ears, but only music travels throughout and animates the whole body.”
The embryo for this work was conceived from the music of a man of unequivocal talent as well as prodigious. A prolific poet and musician, he is incommensurable with other musicians who are promoted under the auspices of Rock, Rhythm and Blues, or Folk music. The sound herein is real. It is their time, 1968. The story and all characters are fiction.

Chapter I

“I’m so nervous, Pat,” Mrs. Carter said, bringing Pat and Scott a beer.
“Huh? Oh, thanks, Mom,” Pat said.
Scott was too absorbed in the television to acknowledge the can handed to him. He simply flipped off the top and took a long gulp of ice cold liquid refreshment, never averting his attention.
“He’ll be great, Mom, you’ll see. You’re gonna be so proud. Settle down and watch this, it’s a great game,” Pat managed to take the time to say.
“Shhh!” Mr. Carter said irritably, waving his hand at them to be still.
They were involved in a rough game of football.
The score was tied seven to seven in the second quarter with seven minutes to go. The Steelers had possession. It was the third down with inches to go. They used the quarterback sneak to gain the first down.
Mrs. Carter sat but was up in a moment to answer the telephone.
“Hello?”
“Hello, what time are you guys going? Cripes, I thought I might have missed yas already. I just got in and Andy isn’t here yet. Are we going in one car or what? You’re going with Belinda and Fred aren’t ya?”
“Yes, I guess so, but they’re not here yet. Everyone is watching that lousy football game and I don’t know if we’ll be able to unglue them. I’m so nervous, Peppy. Wish you’d get over here soon. Maybe you can build a fire under them.”
“Shit, uh, excuse me, Mrs. Carter. I’ll get on the horn and see if I can find Andy and if he doesn’t show in fifteen minutes I’ll leave without him. Don’t worry. I’ll bring dynamite with me. Calm down now, Jerry’s not on until second show and he’s better off if we don’t see him before. Linda’s with him. Calm down.”
“Well, just get here as soon as you can, Peppy. At least I’ll have someone to talk to and hold me together. Every time I say something here all I get is, ‘Shhh’,” she retorted.
“See ya soon as I can get it together.” With that Peppy hung up.
Helen Carter looked at the receiver and then returned it to the cradle.
She never says goodbye, just hangs up. Too bad Jerry isn’t involved with Peppy. I can talk to her. I never know what to say to Linda. She’s so quiet and never speaks unless you ask her something. She’s crazy about Jerry though, and evidently makes him happy. Peppy is a wild one I’m told, so I should be pleased. Funny though, I always feel better, after I talk to her.
Helen walked through the darkened dining room into the living room and sat in the chair next to the couch. Pat rested her elbow on the armrest and took a sip of her beer.
“Who was that, Mom?” she asked, and then, “Oh, my God.” The Steelers lost the ball to the Oilers again and there was only thirteen minutes of play left.
“It was Peppy. Is this almost over?”
“Huh? Yeah, I guess so.”
“Ha ha, you’re gonna loose girl,” Scott said to Pat.
“The hell I am. The game isn’t over yet.”
Belinda and Fred came in the front door.
“You have the game on? Where’s it at?” Fred asked walking into the living room and settling on the couch next to Scott. “Almost couldn’t tear myself away. I wouldn’t mind if it was a
dull game but, Jesus, I hate to miss a game like this.”
“Hi, Mom.” Belinda smiled sympathetically. “He bitched and moaned all the way over. Too bad Jerry has to have his debut on a Monday night. It is a good game though, even if I do say so myself. They’re killing one another out there,” she said, putting her coat over a chair in the dining room.
“We passed Pep on the way so I’ll fix the usual for everyone and then we’d better hit the road or we may miss him altogether. I called to ask when he did his solo but he wasn’t sure yet. I guess they change sessions to suit the audience,” Belinda said on her way to the kitchen to make everyone a drink.
Mrs. Carter started to follow her but saw Peppy’s car pull up and ran to the front door. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re here,” she said, hugging her as she came in the door.
“Oh, come on, hon, he’s great. Not to worry. Keep your chin up, Jerry’s all right. He’s probably got his head on straighter than all of us, besides he’s damn good or Moss wouldn’t have him,” Peppy assured her.
“I know he’s very good, Peppy. I’m just afraid he’ll get too nervous and freeze. He fretted and worried so all week. He swore he’d give it all up if he froze. After all the work and effort Alan Moss has patiently spent on him he says if he doesn’t make this he simply hasn’t got it. You know what happened to Pat at her concert. She doesn’t even play anymore”
Helen’s anxiety was not over Jerry’s musical career. Only his fulfillment as a person was important, she told herself.
“Hey, Scott, you happen to know what end of the world your brother fell off?” Peppy asked, walking into the living room.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Pep, Atwood sent him to New York this morning. He couldn’t get you so he called me—must have been about six or so. Said he couldn’t get a flight out ’til seven. He’ll meet us at the Beast as soon as he can get there.”
“Thanks,” she said.
Belinda came out with the drinks and warned everyone they only had ten minutes to drink them.
“That barely gives us enough time to get there,” Helen complained.
“Don’t worry, Mom, that will give us time enough,” Belinda said.
The men grumbled when they had to leave with only five minutes to play. The score was fourteen to thirteen. The Oilers had the ball and were only ten yards to the goal line.
                                                                        ******
They arrived at the Angry Beast, one of Denver’s largest night clubs, just as the second show began. Linda was holding a table for them. She came early to rehearsal with Jerry so she had a good table behind the center and one table to the right—only three rows back from the stage. By the time the Carter family arrived and were seated the Thin Man Band was on the second score of the second show.
“Wow, this place is sure crowded for a Monday night. What did Jerry do? Send out invitations?” Pat asked.
“It’s always packed in here. If you think this is bad you should try to get in the door on the weekend. It’s been a long time since you’ve been here,” Peppy said.
“Yeah, they’ve got a great sound but I get ill watching that creep, Moss,” replied Pat.
The mood on the stage changed from the fast swinging Rock to a slower tempo. Alan Moss sang a painful lament of a girl junkie who fears she’s pregnant. Alan had an impersonator’s ability to assimilate voice and facial characteristics that made the songs he sang alive and happening. He was the pregnant junkie and there were not many dry eyes in the house when the song ended.
Next a fast tempo Rock with the entire band singing, changed the mood.
“Oh, he’s so exciting. Listen to that piano—he’s fantastic!” Peppy cried.
“You think anything vaguely resembling a male is exciting,” Pat chided.
“That’s not true, I don’t think Scott is exciting and he vaguely resembles a male.”
“Shhh,” commanded Belinda, “Why don’t you two listen?”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new member to the band,” Alan Moss announced as he gasped for air. “Whew, I’m out of breath. You’ve been enjoying him all night and I know you agree he’s great. Well, here he is, just as I promised you earlier. Jerry Carter, a solo on sax, called simply, ‘Sax’.”
Jerry was terribly nervous. His manner was stiff and unnatural. The lights dimmed and he was on his own. Alan Moss knew what he was doing though; Jerry forgot where he was as soon as he became one with his sax. He winged it like his family or the band had never heard him before. Everyone at the table had to agree it was an exhilarating experience and as exciting, perhaps, as the football game they’d left.
Patricia Carter looked at her brother and listened with devotion to his music and his ability to communicate. The crowd applauded. The dimple in his left cheek deepened as his smiling face bowed to them and their gracious acceptance of him.
It was said that Jerry looked exactly like his father but then the same was also said of Belinda making the statement not entirely true since Jerry and Belinda bore practically no resemblance to one another. Jerry’s hair was dark like his mother’s. Worn long, it fell in deep waves to his shoulders. His nose was not unlike his father’s but, a much smaller version. He had his father’s high cheekbones and beautiful, if somewhat over-large teeth. His eyes were his mother’s—large, brown-black, inscrutable pools. He was slightly taller than Mr. Carter at five feet eleven and certainly outweighed him, not to say he was overweight, but perhaps of a larger frame. Put all together, Jerry Carter was a very handsome young man of twenty six.
Peppy and Belinda were avid fans of Alan Moss, the singer—musician, and leader of the band. Along with them and the audience in general, he was considered not only an exceptional musician but a very sensual sex symbol. Men and women alike were turned on to the time, the music, Alan and the band. They accepted him, they loved him. He was an electric cosmic force. Patricia, on the other hand, found his appearance, as well as his actions, embarrassing.
“Alan Moss certainly is a brash young man,” Mrs. Carter stated to no one in particular, as she watched the band go into their next number.
“He’s nauseating,” replied Pat seeing his made up face bead with sweat as he sang.
She was surprised to see he’d cut his hair. He changed the way he wore his hair often. That night it was short and slicked down behind his ears. It was carrot red and his coloring was ruddy, a real red head’s complexion. He wore rouge and lipstick to match his hair. His nails too, were painted the same shade of red-orange. His eyes were intense depths of aqua with thick eyelashes that framed them in feathers. These he painted to a sable brown. Eye shadow, the color of his eyes lay thick on his eyelids. The Thin Man stood six feet, four inches tall and weighed a bare one hundred eighty five pounds. Pat watched him and shivered. He had what seemed to be, an unconscious habit of occasionally caressing his privates when he was singing a particularly profound or sensual lyric. The action caused outbursts of gasping and screaming from the audience.
Pat turned her attention to Peppy. She was sitting next to Belinda. They were both on cloud nine, completely mesmerized. They were so different. Their life styles contrasted as much as their looks. Belinda, a tall, stout thirty five, resembled her father in looks. Her hair was a mousy blonde that she wore in a French twist. It was ratted with every hair sprayed perfectly in place.
Pat couldn’t remember the last time she saw Belinda’s hair down. Her breasts were large, as were all the Carter women, and perhaps her best feature, as they were nicely shaped. Her face would have been very pretty except for a rather large, long nose and teeth that seemed a bit too big for her mouth.
Peppy, on the other hand was five feet five of pure bombshell. Her hair was dark and worn long and straight. She had a china doll complexion that was enhanced by a china doll figure. Her nose was small and turned up, her lips, a perfect plush heart, deep blue eyes, long black lashes, and a blush of rose on her cheeks. The girl never wore much makeup and was always the first woman any man noticed in a crowd.” Pat shook her head with her musing and saw Andy on his way to their table. He was slimmer than his brother, but looked very much like him. They both had blonde curly hair, and football player builds. Scott’s eyes were a pale, washed out blue. Andy’s were a darker shade. Pat had to admit, Andy was the handsomer of the two. Scott’s nose was perhaps a bit too wide and his lips too thin, but they were both very handsome, she thought. Personality wise they were as different as night and day.
“Hi, gorgeous.” Andy beamed.
Mr. Carter moved his chair, as did Mrs. Carter, Fred and Belinda while Andy found a chair and slid in next to Peppy.
“Did you get my message?” Andy asked her.
“Yeah, your football, college hero friends over there, remembered when we were all ready to leave for the Beast. Course that was only because I asked him if he remembered a guy named Andy that resembled him somewhat.”
She spoke quietly but Pat, sitting next to her, heard. She started to say something to Peppy but decided against it. After all Scott didn’t even make an attempt to call her. Pat didn’t blame her for being irritated. Besides, there was no love lost between Peppy and Scott.
“Hello, Patricia.” Pat was brought back to the present and looked at the stage. Moss was staring at their table. He had an uncanny way of knowing when Pat was in the audience even when he could have had no previous knowledge of her being there and always made it a point to say, “Hello,” into the mic. He held it close to his mouth and spoke in a throaty, breathless voice, “Nice to see you. It’s been a long time.”
Peppy squealed, “Look everyone, she glows in the dark.”
Pat, blushing scarlet, poked her in the ribs with her elbow. It had been a long time, six months ago to be exact when she brought Jerry over to Alan’s on a Sunday for a lesson because his car broke down.
“I want to introduce all of you lovely people to all the good men here before we take a short break. Sweet Francis Mahoney, lead guitar—I’ve been asked why I call Francis sweet. Ah, come on, look at him. Don’t you think he’s sweet?” Alan asked.
The audience applauded while Francis mouthed, “Oh, thank you.”
Mahoney didn’t really look the least bit sweet. He was shorter than Moss by five inches and not as thin. He wore tight black jeans, and a black leather vest with no shirt. His hair was long, curly and medium brown; he had hairy sideburns that ran into a full beard. His nose was long and aquiline. Francis played a mean guitar.
“Second guitar, Moose Malone. Yes, he really does eat Wheaties for breakfast.”
Moose was a big man. Six feet tall, medium brown hair, and two hundred thirty pounds of solid brawn. He sported a short beard on and off. It was said he had put his head through the windshield of a car one night and pulled the driver out by his shirt collar because he’d insulted the girl Moose was with. The story—probably an exaggeration, but Moose was obviously not a person one would wish to irritate.
“Jerome Lilly.” Jerome always finished his own introduction by playing a short solo of rolls on the drums, which he did. “Okay, Jerome. When are you gonna learn another tune, man?”
“Hey sweet, Mama, I’m doin’ just fine with this one. One man can only handle so much.”
“Well, if you get in a bind, remember you have friends,” Alan reasoned.
“Nester Valdez, all around clown and beautiful person,” Alan said putting his arm around the older man and kissing him on the forehead. Nester beamed. He was a small man in his late fifties and did everything from playing extra instruments in a particular score to changing sets and mics. The affection between the two men was obvious. Sometimes Alan introduced him as, “My papa, Valdez”.
“Last, but not least, the big sensation of the evening, Jerry Carter.” The band did their own cat-calling, whistling, and applauding along with the audience. Everyone liked Jerry and his music.
When the applause died down Alan asked, “Hey Jer, when are you gonna fix me up with your sister? That was the deal, wasn’t it?”
Jerry laughed and shook his head, “Mona Lisa I can get ya, Patricia, not a chance.”
Everyone at the table looked at Pat. “It’s a put on, makes good food for the audience,” Scott assured everyone.
Stage lights dimmed as the lounge lit up with for an intermission.
There was always so much noise with the tremendous crowd it was impossible to hold much of a conversation during break. This was a short break, about twenty minutes, as Alan always wrapped up early on Monday nights.
“Everyone’s going to Joe’s Place for pizza afterward,” announced Linda. It was the first thing she’d said all night. She was a very quiet person, very hard to get to know. The only thing the family knew about her was that she was thirty and had a well paying job, a GS-6 with Uncle Sam in the Federal building. She had her own apartment where she lived with her two year old son. She was head over heels in love with Jerry Carter, followed him around like a puppy, wagging her tail and licking his hand. Jerry was blasé. His sax was the only girl turning him on at the moment. Linda took a back seat. She never complained.
If you took Linda apart, Pat thought, she’s really quite pretty, but she has no fire. She goes quite unnoticed. Gee, if I were that pretty I think I’d do something with it. She dresses very much like I do—jeans usually, long sleeved blouses, sweater vest, three inch clunky shoes, blue suede. We dressed up tonight—wore slacks.
She mused on. Look at Peppy, low cut knit top, no bra, hip huggers so tight a bologna skin never had it so good. What a riot. Why doesn’t Moss flirt with her? He’d have no problem. She’s crazy about him.
The guys from the band sat at the table in front with customers who’d invited them for a drink. The man at the head was from a recording company in California. Alan lit up a cigarette, took a long draw on it and turned his head slightly to see Pat staring at him. Her embarrassment was obvious, she knew, and she quickly turned her attention to the conversation around her. She looked back coyly out of the corner of her eye. Alan winked a very green eyelid. Pat shivered and glued her attention to a spot on the wall behind her dad .
“Where did you meet Alan Moss, Pat?” asked Belinda who never missed anything.
She was interrupted by the cocktail waitress bringing them a round of drinks. “Compliments of Mr. Moss,” she said at the surprised looks at the table.
When the waitress left Pat told the story. “He’s just a tease” she began. “I drove Jerry over to his apartment for a music lesson when his car was in the garage. It was during my vacation about six months ago. Anyway, Jer knocked and Alan yelled, ‘It’s open’. I remember he had tight, white, cut-off jeans on and no shirt.” Patricia had a way of making a short story long for the sake of entertaining the listener. She used her hands and facial expressions to emphasize the ridiculous and poignant climaxes which any of her stories were bound to have, most of which bordered on the former. She continued, “It was the end of June and about ninety five degrees. His hair was long then and he had it pulled back with a bright green barrette. God, it was hot in there! Jerry said, ‘Christ, man, where’s the air conditioning?’
“Alan answered, ‘I’m basking, sweating out a party that ended two hours ago.’ Jerry asked him if he’d rather he came back later so he could get some sleep but Alan said, ‘Nah, haven’t come down yet. Who’s the piece, yours?’ meaning me.
“‘Oh, Patricia, meet Alan Moss. My sister Pat,’ Jerry said finally remembering I was there.
“‘Nice, smells good too,’ Alan said, ‘Wanna’ drink? Beers all I have at the moment.’
“He got out three beers before we had a chance to answer.
“‘Start at the top,’ he told Jerry handing us the bottles, ‘I’ll be right back. Sonja’s high and in the pool. Don’t want her to drown, although it would probably be a blessing to her.’
“He left through the arcadia doors off the living room. Jerry got his music out and put his sax together. I sat on the couch thinking. Finally, I said to Jerry, ‘I thought he was fag. He is, isn’t he?’
“Jerry looked up at me and then past me without answering. His mouth broke out in a big grin. I turned around and saw Alan standing by the arm of the couch. His arms were folded and he was staring at me. The shocked look on my face made him burst out laughing. He has a very deep, throaty laugh. Cripes, I sure was glad to get out of there. I was so embarrassed.
“Anyway, that might be why he teases me—do you suppose?”
“You guys are going to Joe’s Place with us, aren’t you?” Peppy asked, ignoring Pat’s question. She had heard the story before and apparently had no desire to listen to a discussion over what to her was obvious.
“Fine with me, sounds great,” Scott answered.
“I’m not hungry—besides I’m bagged. We were out ’til one last night and if we go now it’ll be two a.m. before we get home. I’m a working girl, you know, and tomorrow is gonna be a busy day. Some other time, Pep.”
“Oh, come on, Pat, you’ve been bad news since we got here. A lot of good it does to have a steady girl when she always skips out,” Scott said.
“Thanks a lot, Scott. I wondered why you wanted to go steady.”
“You know what I mean. Besides, Moss isn’t after you. It’s just a put on for his act. He knows you won’t run after him and pester him so he uses your name. Good grief, Pat, he could have his pick of the audience, what would he want with you?”
“Wow, Scott, you’re just full of compliments and endearing words, aren’t you? Well, darling, you can damn well take me home and leave me there. The world is full of girls willing to be on call for you.”
“Don’t blow your cork. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. I’m just trying to tell you Alan Moss is not after Patricia Carter, that’s all.”
“Hey, lovers, don’t look now but here comes Jerry,” Peppy said.
“You were great!” Everyone started talking at once.
“Listen, you guys, we’re all goin’ to Joe’s Place for pizza and kinda celebrate. If you’ll come along and keep tellin’ me how wonderful I am, I’ll pay the check.”
He was beaming so, Pat couldn’t say no. “Sure, Jer, we’ll come with bells on.”
Peppy leaned over and whispered to Scott, “Really rate right up there, eh, Scott?”
The show was over at midnight.
Jerry and Linda rode over with Pat and Scott. It was a relief to Pat as the air was kept clear. Scott was obviously at the boiling point and with the company, burned silently. Not that he could have gotten a word in had he tried. Jerry talked incessantly about the guys in the band and how the night went. Pat noticed particularly, he didn’t mention his solo but knew he’d confide in her when they were alone so she didn’t mention it either.

******

It was always a shock to see the Thin Man after a show. Except for the carrot top and clear blue eyes his washed face seemed colorless minus the makeup.
Scott and Pat sat with her family. Jerry and Linda sat with the band. The booths were too small to seat them all together and the tables, equally small, were round and on steel shafts affixed permanently to the floor. Jerry was probably too excited with the evening to even think of introductions. Besides, Pat thought, as far as the tables were from one another, it would not have been an easy task.
Pat could feel Alan’s eyes staring at her. She stole a glance to prove herself wrong but there they were, those eyes. They never wavered. His mouth, quite pink now, curled ever so slightly. Pat averted her glance and stared at her hands folded abstractly on the table and felt a cold chill crawl down her spine. Much to her embarrassment, as she groped for the present and reality, she realized she was being asked what she wanted to eat by a growingly impatient waitress.
“Wake up, girl, you gonna eat or just sit and glow all night. Are you all right? Your face is all red, Pat, do you feel okay?” Peppy asked, in a serious voice.
“You are flushed, Pat. Cripes, I feel like a heel, maybe she really is sick,” Scott said.
“I’ll have a piece of whatever you’re having, Scott, and a draft. Oh, and uhm, a shot too, please.” Pat realized she was talking entirely too fast and felt dumb and foolish—and a shot—she could feel her mother’s hair stand on end. Why in the world did I order that?
She stole another glance. He was lying back in his chair with his long lanky legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles. His head was back and he was laughing with the rest of the group. His chair was faced so that he only needed to look up to see her, which he did suddenly as if he knew she was looking at him.
There was a juke box playing something soft and low. The restaurant had a small dance floor. Pat recovered and asked Scott to dance. He looked at her as if she’d completely lost her mind. Peppy was in the middle of one of her fantastic stories and it was unlike Pat to rudely interrupt. Helen gave her daughter a strange look.
“What is the matter with you tonight, Pat? Your mind is someplace else. Are you sick?” Belinda asked.
“I’m fine, just a little tired is all. Sorry for being so ill mannered, Peppy.”
Scott got up obligingly. They joined two other couples on the dance floor. The next song was rock. The floor got crowded—Scott and Pat went back to their table. Peppy, sitting next to Pat leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Moss’s eyes never left you the whole time you were dancing.”
Pat glanced over and saw him get up from the chair. She wondered if he was leaving. He walked, smiling, to their table. Peppy poked Pat. Her face turned red—her head felt like sweat was pouring in her ears.
“Will you dance with me, Patricia?” he asked softly.
Usually Scott would say something intelligent like, “Hey, she’s with me, fella.” But Pat was spared that embarrassment. She didn’t want to dance but knew she’d never be able to say no without stuttering so she just got up and swam to the dance floor. A ballad, “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart,” a favorite of Pat’s, was playing.
Alan moved gracefully, holding her firmly against him. She could feel his legs against hers gently guiding, moving, leading her. His arm tightened against her back hugging her even closer—his chin was doing something in her hair . . . .
Where did I hide my voice? I know I’ve got one.
She wanted to sound indignant and in complete control of the situation but instead said, “A little close, aren’t you?” in a very small frightened voice.
“Am I swelling?” He grinned down at her.
She didn’t say anything. Her head was pressed against his chest—tears came to her eyes. She couldn’t stop them—they just rolled out. It wasn’t long before they soaked through Alan’s nylon shirt.
“Patricia, are you crying?” He sounded like he couldn’t believe it.
“I’m not well. I knew I forgot something on the way to the Beast. It was my mind. I left it hanging in my closet and I can’t function very well without it. Would you mind very much if we sat back down, you at your table, me at mine?”
Alan roared. Still laughing, he escorted Pat to her chair. “Thank you, Patricia,” he said, bowed his head slightly and left their table for his own.
Pat stared at the smoking piece of pizza sitting on a plate in front of her. She could still feel him against her. She actually became sick. She excused herself and tried not to run to the Ladies’ room where she proceeded to throw up. Peppy was right behind her.
“Jesus Christ, Pat what did he do?”
“Lousy fag creep!” she answered coming out of the stall. She started crying all over again.
Peppy must have had all sorts of wild imaginings in her mind—her eyes were doing an imitation of Eddie Cantor.
If I told her what actually happened she’d say I was out of my mind and, “Geez, I wish he’d asked me to dance.”
“What a mess.” Pat said to the mirror in front of her.”Can I borrow your makeup, Pep? I ran off without my purse.”
“Sure, hon.”
By the time they returned everyone was done eating.
“Are you all right, Pat?” Scott asked.
“I’m fine,” she assured him. She’d gulped down the shot, it burned like hell, and noticed Scott had not only finished her piece of pizza, but drank her draft as well.
“Let’s get the hell outa here,” Scott said.
Pat looked over at the other table to find Jerry, or so she told herself, to wave goodbye. He wasn’t there and neither was Linda. Her eyes met Alan’s—were held captive for that moment in time—and she felt a strangeness inside that both frightened and excited her.
Pat walked out of the restaurant ahead of Scott. They climbed into his car silently.
“What do I say, dear, after I say I’m sorry?” Scott asked after turning onto the freeway. “Honey, I didn’t know what to do, whether I should keep my seat or get up and knock that bag of bones on his ass. The last time I intervened for you, you were so mad and embarrassed—I just sat there. Well you can rest assured I won’t drag you off to any place that creep’s at again.”
Patricia hugged him for his endearment but remained quiet. Scott held her close, driving with one hand, until they reached her house. They walked, holding hands, up the porch steps. He kissed her with a tenderness that said, I love you—I’m sorry for any hurt I may have caused you. He bid her goodnight and she went in, glad to be alone with her thoughts. In her bedroom she undressed, felt cold, shivered, and quickly dug for the nightgown under her pillow. She felt guilty not brushing her teeth or washing her face before she went to bed but was so anxious to turn her mind off she jumped in and snuggled under a sheet, a quilt, a blanket, and the bedspread. She was still cold. She got up, put on a chenille bathrobe and lay back down. All this time, she’d been singing to herself. It was something she’d heard by the Osmonds on the radio coming home. The words kept playing over in her mind. Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart.
With eyes closed tight, she could feel his arm around her; smell his scent, sense his hand holding hers while they danced. She couldn’t understand it—she’d never felt this way before. Finally, she buried her head under her pillow and fell asleep.