I will once again flag this as NSFW (Not Suitable For Work). Sam is a very creative writer – Simon

CHAPTER 20

All about Emma

Dr. Emma Everly Hancock called her mother and waited patiently for her to answer. She knew her mother had a hard time remembering that she now owned an iPhone and not a push button landline. It had been a year or so since the good doctor had purchased phones for her parents, and as her sister said “brought them out of the horse and buggy age and into the space age”.
The problem with her parents and the new phones was that the technology is so superior to their knowledge and aptitude about using the phones that they were woefully behind when the game of learning began.
“And they can’t catch up,” Nomi told her sister.
“We do learn faster,” Dr. Hancock said.
This was true and even truer amongst the children of the new iPhone generation.
“Imagine what our children will be doing with phones by the time they enter puberty.” one of her patients stated.
“I am years away from answering that,” Dr. Hancock told the patient.
While Emma waited for her mom to answer the phone, she thought about why she was calling her.
“Because I want to say thanks,” she said out loud.
Emma was referring to all the things that she was now doing for her daughters since they got older and very involved with extra-curricular activities, not to mention just the everyday grind of school, homework and a routine.
My own routine is driving me crazy, but keeping me busy, which is a good thing. Emma wrote in her diary.

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Her mother finally answered the iPhone, but inadvertently pushed the speaker button which Emma tried to instruct her to disengage. Unfortunately, Mrs. Everly hit a button that abruptly ended the conversation.
“Oh brother,” Emma muttered, as she hit the re-dial.
“Emma is that you?” Her mother’s soothing voice asked.
“Yes Mom,” Emma said.
“I hate the modern world,” Mrs. Everly stated.
“You and millions of others,” Emma said.
“I thought cable TV, Tang, Teflon and portable phones would be as far as we needed to go as a society,” Mrs. Everly sighed.
“What’s Tang, Mom?” Emma asked.
“If I remember right, it’s powdered orange juice that was full of all the nutrients that your body needed. I recall they invented it for outer space travel. There was one problem with it, though,” she said.
“What was it?” Emma asked her Mom.
“Tasted just awful,” she said.
Why all things that are good for us do, taste so bad? Emma wrote in her diary.
“Mom, I’m calling you for one very important reason,” Emma said.
“I’m cringing,” her mother said.
Emma’s mother didn’t cringe when she was a child, teenager, young adult, young mother or even in middle age. However, now in her mid-sixties and being a grandmother she found that cringing had become a part of her.
“Are you cringing honey?” Emma heard her dad say in the background.
I hope I find someone that will make my second marriage as strong as my parents. Emma wrote in her diary.
“Tell Dad, “hi” and don’t cringe, Mom, its good news,” Emma said.
She heard both her parents sigh at the same time.
Glad to hear that some things never change, she thought, with a big grin.
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“Ready Emma,” her mother said, happy she wasn’t cringing because she knew her daughters didn’t lie, and, therefore, there wasn’t going to be any bad news such as the day Emma called and told her about buying Moise Pipecks or even worse the day she called and told her about Mitchell’s death.
“I just wanted to say thanks.”
“That’s it – – what’s wrong Emma?!” her mother yelled.
Emma could hear her father’s voice responding to her mother’s question. He said, “I knew it! I could tell something was wrong by how that blasted phone rang.”
“How can you tell by a sound, Dear?” Emma heard her mother ask her father.
“Mom, please tell Dad that everything is ok,” Emma pleaded.
“She said everything is okay,” Emma‘s mother said to her husband.
“Okay,” he said. “I’m going back to cleaning out the gutters.”
“Mom, I don’t know how you did it – – taking me and Nomi everywhere, school, school functions, weekend stuff, birthday parties, sports, holidays and not to mention Nomi and me squabbling. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with you right now, Mom,” Emma said lavishly.
“It was a lot easier for me. I had your father around. You’re by yourself. I’m glad I had it my way as I’m sure you’re glad you have it your way,” Mrs. Everly said.
“I don’t know,” Emma said quietly.
“Why don’t you know? You have the money. Heck, you have more money than your father and I made in our entire lifetimes,” Mrs. Everly stated.
This was true. Emma’s parents were born right before the end of WW II. Her dad worked for the same company as a laborer and then a supervisor of laborers. He received a steady salary, excellent benefits, a solid pension and the customary gold watch when he retired. Mr. Everly didn’t invest in anything but his family, his home, and the local savings and loan. Mrs. Everly knitted, repaired hems, and sewed to earn a few dollars on the side.
My dad has more money in coffee cans buried in the backyard as his investment tool, Emma wrote in her diary.
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The Everlys were savers and despite being very good at it, both Emma’s parents shook their heads in disbelief when they found out how much Emma walked away with over Mitchell’s death.
My generation earns to spend. Our parents earned to save. Talk about a generation gap, Emma wrote in her diary.
Emma lavished incredibly expensive gifts on her parents and her sister and her sister’s family (and she should have.) The Everly’s were so embarrassed and dumbfounded as how to answer the questions about where Emma made her money that they came up with a stock reply that they always answered in unison:
“She hit the lottery!”
And everyone seemed to understand.
“Good one,” Emma told them both, when they explained what they said about the ‘toys’ that Emma bought them and her sister’s family.
But after thanking her mother and making small talk about the girls, the bar, her sister, her nieces and nephews Emma had to think about other toys.
Her youngest daughter had a birthday party to go to, and Emma had forgotten to buy a gift.
Maybe I should get a nanny, she thought. She checked the time on her iPhone and made a quick plan to run to the toy store and then pick the girls up from an after school program Wellesley Public Schools provided this for parents who paid a little extra to have school personal watch their children until 5:30pm Monday – Friday during the school year.
///
“One of the good things I don’t mind paying property taxes for,” a male voice said to her, as she was leaning against her SUV and thinking about what color to paint the Men’s’ bathrooms at Moise Pipecks while she waited for the girls to come running out after school. Jeff wanted them to remain white and Tiffany wanted them painted beige.
Dr. Emma Everly Hancock looked to where the voice had come from and saw the face of someone she had seen many times before, but was never introduced to.
“What?” she questioned.

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“We get a good return on our investment here in Wellesley,” the man added.
“I have never thought paying taxes was anything but our civic duty,” Emma said.
“You sound like a democrat!” the man said sarcastically.
“I’m blissfully ignorant of politics,” Dr. Hancock said. “Being a full time mother is all I have time for.”
Emma the bar owner told a lot of white lies. Emma the psychiatrist did not. She had played bar owner with what she had just said and smiled at how good she was at telling minor lies, especially when uttered in the interest of politeness. She also was very wary of males, from the ages of six to seventy, because they might be members of Red Sox Nation.
This is because most, or all, males who were devoted to the Red Sox might possibly know about Mitchell, which would mean they would have heard their fair share of rumors; which would lead to a lot of questions.
Dr. Emma Everly Hancock asked questions; she didn’t answer them – – especially about Mitchell, her daughters and what she was doing now.
“Isn’t everyone in Massachusetts a Democrat?” Emma heard herself asking the man.
Although Massachusetts was considered a state that was loyally democratic, only 36% of those old enough registered to vote called themselves Democrats. Those that identified with the Republicans registered in the single digits and the rest called them- self non-affiliated, but they voted democrat all the time at every level.
No one could ever figure that out.
“Obviously,” the man said. “My name is Pete Thursday,” Pete said, as he extended his right hand. “I’m pretty sure my daughter is in your daughter’s class.”
“Emma,” said Emma, as she took his hand and shook it.
“Does Emma have a last name?” he asked with a grin.
It was Emma’s turn to cringe.
“Emma Hancock,” she said.
“Any relation to John?” Pete said.
Emma laughed.
“That’s a nice laugh you have, Emma,” Pete pointed out.
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“Thank you,” Emma blushed.
I’m being flirted with,” she thought, as she checked her watch to make sure her daughters didn’t see her chatting with Mr. Thursday.
I’m not going to expose my girls to any man until he is the RIGHT man, Emma wrote in her diary that night.
And right now, as she continued to make small talk with Pete, she kept wondering is this the right guy and even more importantly is this the time?
“May I be blunt?” Pete asked her in a serious tone.
“You already have been with that question. You started this, but being blunt has its consequences,” cautioned Emma.
“I think I have to be blunt with someone like you,” Pete said.
Flattery will get you nowhere with me, she fumed. It hadn’t over the years, and she was very proud of that.
Strong women don’t need to be flattered, I suppose the same goes for strong men, too, she wrote in her diary.
“Are you married?’ he asked her.
Assuming that was what he was going to ask, Emma the psychiatrist decided to play coy.
“Used to be,” she said.
“Divorced?”
“Nope,” she answered.
“Separated?”
“Nope.”
“You a widow?” he asked.

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Uh-oh, she thought. Next is the last name question, the assumptions, and the wrong conclusions. But, he is cute and how long has it been since I had sex with someone other than myself?
///
It had been a long time since Dr. Emma Everly Hancock had had sexual relations with anyone other than her husband. Before that, she would have to search ancient history for the tandem of Willie & Billie – – courtesy of Mitchell and “pushitis”.
I haven’t been with a man for a long time, she thought, as Peter Thursday went on and on and on about trivial things while Emma smiled, nodded her head, and tried to make a decision if she should take the next step.
I haven’t had sex with a man for a very long time she wrote in her diary that night.
“Is that a good or bad thing?” she asked her cat when she was done writing in her diary, emailing the payroll for the bar to the paycheck company, and outlining her upcoming patients and their therapy sessions.
The cat jumped up into her arms and started purring non-stop.
“You’re purring out a “bad thing”, I can tell,” Emma said.
The cat purred even louder.
Why haven’t I slept with anyone? She thought, as she stroked the cat and then put her down.
She checked in on the girls who were sleeping like babies.… She liked that.
She went to the refrigerator and got out a bottle of Chardonnay and poured some seltzer water into it to make a spritzer. Tiffany, the night manager at Moise Pipeck’s had first made this refreshing drink for her, and she had become hooked. Tiffany wanted to name a special one after her, but Emma declined the honor.
“Not my style,” she told Tiff.
“But your drink,” Tiff said with a smile.
Now she was sipping it, enjoying it and, thinking of Tiff. She sent her a text message about how things were at the bar. While she waited for a response, she started to answer her own question.
“Too busy with my own career,” she said, as she took a sip.

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“Too busy being a good mother,” she said, as she took another sip.
“Too busy forgetting about my marriage and his death,” she said, sipping away.
“Just too damn busy,” she said, as she finished the glass and poured another spritzer.
If you were me patient, I would tell you to go out and get laid! Enough of responsibilities, seize the moment! She mused, as she took another sip.
“Carpe diem,” she said to the cat that had wanted to see if Emma might pour a saucer of milk, which Emma did.
After she finished with the cat and a second glass of spritzer, she looked at her iPhone and there were two messages. The one from Tiff said “all was great at the bar”. The second one was from Charles Craig Curtis asking about their next appointment.
Maybe it was the spritzers. Maybe it was the fact that she hadn’t had sex with a man in a long time, or maybe it was Pete Thursday flirting with her. Regardless, she was horny, and Charles Craig Curtis was going to be her imaginary partner before she went to bed.
“How crazy is this?” she asked the cat as she went to her office and picked up Domestically Wild and brought it to her bedroom.
She chuckled as she carried the book into her bedroom.
She threw the book onto her bed and smiled because when it bounced it went up into the air, did a summersault and landed front down with Charles Craig Curtis’ very handsome face starring right at Emma. She locked the bedroom door.
Shit, what happens if one of the girls needs me and I’m in the middle of orgasm? She thought.
“But what if it is an emergency?” she asked Charles’ face.
Then, like a cartoon character from those very old Saturday morning sillies, a light bulb went off over Emma’s head.
She would leave her bedroom door closed like it always is and masturbate in the bathroom. She would leave the bathroom door slightly open, just in case one of her girls came in. She assumed she would hear the door open, stop what she was doing, throw a towel around her torso and not startle either one of the girls.
After all, they have seen me coming out of the bathroom many times like that, she mused.
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She grabbed the book and went into the bathroom. She propped the book up on her vanity so Charles’s face was standing and eye level with her as she stripped naked and sat on the toilet seat. She couldn’t believe how wet she was before she started and then wondered why do I need his picture?
Then she started laughing and said “It’s my own Rorschach test,” as she started rubbing the bottom of her right index and middle finger against her clit. It amazed her how her own body started to tingle all over.
I think my toes went numb, she later wrote in her diary.
She arched her back and brought her legs up, all the time staring at Charles picture and moving those fingers of hers as rapidly as she could.
When she started to orgasm she had to stop rubbing her clitoris and grab onto the vanity with one hand and the towel rack to the sliding shower door with the other hand. Her body shook uncontrollably for a few seconds and then it was over.
She opened her eyes and there was Charles Craig Curtis’ picture staring up at her from the floor where the book had landed when she knocked it off its perch while grabbing onto the vanity for support.
I think the picture winked at me, she wrote in her diary.
When she dropped her daughters off at school, she spied Thursday getting outside of his car with his daughter. She slowed down and gave him a friendly smile and hoped he would be there this afternoon when she returned to pick up the girls. He smiled and waved back a little too anxiously and that turned Emma off, but not enough to see if his flirting wanted to go to the next level.
She drove into work and started to wonder if she was more in love with her practice and business than herself?
“I need a hobby,” she said and started to laugh, which made her think about Charles Craig Curtis’ new hobby, which made her think of her masturbating last night to his picture, which made her think of his “Land of Lakes” masturbating technique which made her start really laughing, which led to her not seeing the siren in her rearview mirror.
A ticket for laughing? She thought and then started giggling uncontrollably.
Just like an inside joke amongst teenagers, she wrote in her diary later that night.
She pulled over to the side of Route 9 and came to a stop. She unhooked her seat belt so she could reach into the glove compartment and take out her registration and proof
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of insurance. She then opened up her purse and took out her license, rolled down the window and held the paperwork out for the officer and started giggling again.
“Do you know why I stopped you?” the officer said in a tone and speed that made Emma think that the cop was talking to a child.
This, of course, made her giggle… again. Then, like she was possessed she started singing an old nursery rhyme that her youngest daughter had been repeating non-stop. “A, b, c, d, e, f, g…. “
“Miss, have you been drinking?” the officer said in the exact same tone as he had the previous question.
She tried to stop, but as she later shared with Tiffany “when you have the giggles, you have the giggles.” She shook her head and said, “But I do own a bar.”
“Would you please get out of the car?” the cop commanded.
This had a sobering effect, as they say. Emma did as she was told, and she stopped giggling because she got mad.
Especially when she passed all the field tests, and of course, hadn’t been drinking or smoking pot; as the officer thought she had been doing – – because of the giggles, and little rhyme she sang.
“I even volunteered to blow,” she told her sister Nomi.
“Did you register anything even without having booze in your system?” her sister wondered.
“I think the cop thought I meant a blow job and shook his head no. He then went back to his car with my information, and made me wait an hour while he checked it out,” Emma said with indignation.
“I heard Massachusetts is a police state.” Nomi said.
“Owning a bar isn’t going to be fun or profitable if the cops, lawyers, judges and politicians keep lowering the blood level for drunk driving,” Emma pointed out.
“Pretty soon they will be testing people for how much NyQuil is in their system during flu season,” Nomi said.
Emma laughed at that, but not as much as when as she was giggling when the cop let her go with a warning about following too close to the car in front of her.
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Emma hadn’t noticed that she was too close or what type of car was in front of her when she was stopped. She was too busy thinking about enjoying her masturbation session the night before.
“Let’s see how Mr. Thursday does. After all, I need some sort of guinea pig,” she said as she pulled into her parking spot at Moise.
Emma’s day went very well. The bar was running at a slight profit. Her patients were not only paying their bills, they seemed to all be getting better. This made her want to celebrate and on her ride back to school to pick up her daughters, she thought about being picked up by Peter Thursday. She also wondered if she could get into the same state of mind that she had when she was with Willie and Billie.
“What do you mean “get into”… you are! Your orgasm while masturbating and subsequent giggles have proven that,” she said to the empty car.
I ‘m glad the inside of my car can’t talk to others, she wrote in her diary.
A lot of people share that sentiment about their vehicles.
She pulled into the school parking lot and parked her car. She made sure she was 20 minutes early, because if Pete didn’t show up, she was going to get her girls and go home and begin her nightly routine. She got out of her car, stretched, and then her phone went off. It was a text from Charles Craig Curtis and she blushed. Why am I blushing? she thought and then smiled. She looked at the text. It was a confirmation about their next appointment. She was just about to respond when a male’s voice interrupted her.
“Hi Emma,” Pete suddenly said. “Have you been tanning?” he asked.
“No, just blushing.” She could see that this gave him an ego boost and some confidence by his body language.
God, what those white lies can do, she wrote in her diary.
“Are you seeing anyone?” he asked her. “I mean… are you in a relationship… I mean can I see you… sometime?” he stammered.
“No. No. Yes.”
And, it was like the weight of the world had been lifted off this man’s shoulders right in front of her. “When?” he asked.
“What do you have in mind Mr. Thursday?” Emma coyly asked him (and liked asking him this and in the tone she had used.)
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“Dinner and a movie?” he blurted out.
Yuck, she thought.
Movies are for existing couples, she wrote in her diary.
“I like the dinner part. Let’s exchange numbers.”
They exchanged numbers, and both broke off the conversation as more cars pulled up and the commotion known as “after school” started.
‘Text me tonight about where and when?” Emma said to him.
“K,” he responded.
Double yuck, she thought. I don’t think Billie and Willie have anything to worry about, she mused, as her kids came running to her. I hope I just didn’t jinx myself.
After an easy day at home and an even easier dinner, Emma decided to drive to Moise Pipecks, play owner, have a few drinks and take a cab home. She called her sitter, who enthusiastically said, “Yes”.
Having a great baby sitter is not only a luxury, it is a necessity she wrote in her diary.
She gave her instructions to the sitter and told the girls to behave and to do what they were told.
As she was walking to her car, she received a text message. It was from Pete.
“What are u doing?” it read.
On a whim, she called him when she finished backing out of her driveway.
“I thought you said you only texted?” he asked.
“What? You don’t say things like “hello”, “nice to hear your voice”?” she asked him sarcastically.
“Can we try again?” he pleaded.
Is he wimpy or what? She thought.
After her short lived fling with Peter Thursday ended, Emma wrote in her diary. I ‘m glad I was with him. I now knew what type of man I needed to find.
“I’m on my way to a bar in Brookline and thought you might like to meet me there for a few drinks,” Emma found herself saying.
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“I don’t drink and drive during the week,” he said.
“Great. You can be my designated driver; because, I’m in the mood for a few glasses of wine,” Emma said. “I’ll be at Moise Pipecks in Coolidge Corner in an about a half-hour. If you want to, meet me there.”
Emma ended the phone call before Pete could answer.
After all, no one knows better than I do about what makes people tick, she mused.
She was driving and spied the trooper, who had pulled her over, somewhat semi- obscured from the oncoming traffic on the other side of Route Nine. She wanted — no needed — to feel she was getting back at the system that was now relying on making law-enforcement nothing more than tax collectors with badges. She flashed her brights as much as she could to warn the drivers on the other side of the road to slow down– so that the damn trooper couldn’t give out a ticket. She smiled when she observed all the cars slowing down in her rear view mirror.
Nothing like a little victory over the establishment to make you feel better. Guess being a small business owner is starting to rub-off on me in a big way, she wrote in her diary.
///
Emma walked into the bar and was happy to see that it was busy for a Wednesday night. Wednesdays, were usually the slowest mornings, afternoons, and evenings of the week in the bar business. She walked up to the second floor and was even happier to see more customers up there.
She made some small talk with the bartender on the second floor, whose name escaped her at the moment. It bothered her that she couldn’t remember his name, but then she remembered he was a new hire, and it didn’t bother her as much. She ordered a Chardonnay spritzer from him and was on her way to the first floor bar, where she had decided to take a seat and wait to see if Pete would walk in. Tiffany, the night manager motioned her to come over because Tiffany wanted to have a private talk with her.
Private meetings in a small business don’t always mean good things, Emma wrote in her diary.
“Emma,” Tiffany began, “I’m glad you’re here and on a Wednesday night to boot. You need to start schmoozing with the customers when you show up during non-business hours.”
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Schmooze came from a Yiddish word that meant casual conversation to gain a social connection.
“Why?” asked Emma. “Isn’t it enough I provide this atmosphere with great prices and a fantastic staff?”
“No,” Tiffany replied sternly. “You need to be more social with the customers, especially the regulars.”
“You mean that I am not?” a very surprised Emma responded.
“Emma, I have never worked at a place like this before. I love it here, and I want it to go on forever, or until my daughter graduates from a local college and moves away to another city, in which case I will follow her,” Tiff said.
“How old is your daughter?” Emma asked.
“She is ten.”
“So you will be running this place for at least 11 more years?”
Tiff nodded and smiled.
“What makes my place different?” Emma asked Tiff.
“Not the place. It’s how you run it,” Tiff said.
“I’m confused, Tiffany. I thought you said I wasn’t running it well, because I don’t mingle enough,” Emma said.
“Yes, you need to mingle with the customers more, and no, I have never had the luxury of working at a bar where the owner doesn’t practice creative bill playing,” Tiff said with a laugh.
“We have been lucky,” Dr. Emma said.
“No Emma, we have made our own luck, and it will continue. Now, go out there and mingle,” Tiff said as she nudged Emma out of the office.
Of course it helped that I listened to my accountant who advised me to deposit a lot of start –up capital in the bar’s checking account, because we were a new business, Emma wrote in her diary.
That girl has a great gut feeling about people and this bar. If she says “schmooze” and “mingle”, that’s just what I am going to do, Emma said. She went to the bartender who had made her a Chardonnay spritzer and asked her name again after apologizing for forgetting it, because she has been so busy with her patients and her daughters.
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“My name is Allie.”
“You make a great spritzer, Allie,” Emma said. “I’m going to spend some time behind the bar talking to the customers, ok?”
Allie nodded her head and smiled.
Emma took a sip and looked at the people sitting across from her at the bar. She took a deep breath before introducing herself to the seven patrons.
“Listen to what they are talking about before you engage them,” advised Allie.
“Good idea. Who taught you that?” Emma asked.
“Tiff.”
Three of the customers were talking about the Red Sox. Emma knew she was going to have to navigate through them; so, she brought up the current professional team that was playing (both pro baseball and pro football seasons had ended).
“How about those Celtics?” she asked with enthusiasm.
“I hate basketball,” one said.
“I hate basketball, but I like the Celtics,” the second one said.
“I’d rather talk Red Sox,” the third said.
“Then let’s talk baseball and Red Sox Nation,” Emma said. “Allie, give all these baseball fans a drink on the house.”
“Thank you,” the three men said in unison.
“No. Thank you for your patronage,” she said as she held out her hand. “I’m Emma, the owner.”
“We know that,” they said in unison.
I wonder if they are related to me? she thought as she excused herself and walked over to the other side of the bar where four patrons were huddled.
Do people drink more in packs or by themselves? she wrote in her diary.
At Moise’s they did both.
Hell, at most bars they do. Because, for the most part that is why people go to bars — to find someone… another customer, the bartender or even the owner to, well, eh… “schmooze” with.
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The other four men were talking about the new bartender Allie.
Emma knew instantly how to change this subject.
She introduced herself, shook hands, and asked the four men, “What do you think about the Red Sox’s offseason moves?”
The men all chimed in; which of course, the other three men at the other end of the bar heard, and they joined in to. Emma bought them all a shot.
They would have all taken a shot for her after that (yes, even a bullet).
For, in the bar business, customers love free drinks from the owner.
On the house gets them all the time, she wrote in her diary.
She looked around the rest of the second floor and didn’t see anyone and walked to her third floor office/reading room and took a look in. She liked what she saw and turned off the lights and headed towards the first floor bar when she bumped into Tiffany.
“Hey boss, I told you to talk to the customers — not buy for them. Do you know what happens when you “‘say on the house”?”
“The customers get a free drink on me,” Emma said.
“No, they get the most expensive drink on you,” Tiffany pointed out.
“Got it,” replied Emma.
“Good, because if you don’t, the house will fall in on you,” Tiffany, said as she held her arms out to give Emma a reassuring hug, which Emma enjoyed.
“Off to downstairs,” Emma said as they broke their short and respectful embrace.
There were mostly younger people downstairs and Emma noticed that if they were not talking about fads, pop culture or themselves, they were either texting back and forth with someone or playing games on their iPhones.
Why do they come to a bar to play with their cell phones? She thought, as she went around introducing herself and asking the customers what they liked about the bar and even more important what they did not like about the bar.
“You need a better website and social network base,” one young man said to her without taking his eyes off his phone.
“Good idea,” Emma said as she went to find Tiff to get her opinion.
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“He’s right,” Tiff said. “We need to do a better job.”
“Get on it,” Emma said.
“I will,” Tiffany said with a smile.
“I know you will. That’s why I asked you,” Emma said.
Tiffany would make a great psychiatrist, Emma wrote in her diary. But then I would lose her as a manager. Does that make me selfish?
“Yes,” she said to her cat that was playing with her bathrobe’s bottom.
Emma bought another wine spritzer and like “monkey see, monkey do” she took out her iPhone and checked for texts.
“I’m here”, read the only text.
It was from Mr. Thursday and Emma immediately put her phone down and started looking around for him. He wasn’t on the first floor, so she asked the male ID checker at the door, whose name was Marquis, to go into the men’s room, and see if anyone over the age of thirty was in there.
“I carded everyone, Boss. The oldest guy who came in I had never seen before and he went upstairs. First floor is too young for him,” he said with a laugh.
Emma thanked him and went upstairs… slowly.
Play it cool, she thought.
“Wait a minute. You are cool, professional, smart, witty, intelligent and a little buzzed,” she said to herself as she climbed the stairs to seek out Pete Thursday.
She got to the landing, finished her drink and looked around.
Wouldn’t you know it! Pete Thursday was sitting in the middle of the two groups that Emma had schmoozed with earlier. She nodded to Allie and walked behind the bar and stood right in front of Pete.
“Glad you could make it,” she said as she held out her hand.
“That makes two of us. You manage this place?”
“I own it,” she said. “Come on grab your drink and let’s go to a table.”
He did as she suggested.
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Tiffany’s eyes caught Emma’s as this was happening, and Tiffany’s eyes said ‘”don’t buy him drinks”.
Buying Pete Thursday drinks was the last thing on Emma Everly Hancock’s mind.
///
They made small talk about their kids, the school system, her bar, and of course, the weather.
Can’t have a conversation that doesn’t include the weather and this includes my patients, too, she wrote in her diary.
Emma tossed down a few more Chardonnay spritzers and Pete stuck to a few beers.
Emma thought he was attractive… no better looking outside the role of being a dad picking up his child at school.
Then again, she thought. Maybe it is the wine.
To an extent, she was right. The wine was making her see him in a different light. It was also loosening her up.
Everyone looks good when they are feeling loose, she wrote in her diary.
///
“That was your excuse for being out of your climate,” Charles later told her. “Alcohol is the great equalizer whether it is beer goggles or down right one man or one woman taking advantage of the other because the other is trashed.”
He was right of course, but Emma never let him know that.
Never.
///
“Hey Emma, are you hungry?” Pete asked her.
Emma asked him what time it was. He told her, and she said she could go for something that wasn’t bar food.
“But you own a bar,” he said, astonished by her answer.

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“Correct, and I eat a lot of it, too. Sometimes, and this is one of those times, I don’t want deep fried wings, French fries, onion rings or anything else that is cooked in a fryer,” Emma stated.
“Damn, I was looking forward to some Mozzarella sticks with hot spaghetti sauce to dip them into. Some other time, I guess,” Pete lamented.
“Some other time,” agreed Emma.
“I’m a pretty good cook. My daughter is at my ex-wife’s. How about back to my house and I’ll whip up something?” he said.
Direct — I want that in a man right now. Why not? I have two hours before the sitter has to go. Eating and whatever else, shouldn’t take that long, she thought and said to Peter that she would follow him.
She ordered a glass of ice cold water and downed it very fast. Tiff had said it was good for you to do so after a few drinks, and instantly Emma knew that her night manager was correct once again. When Tiff saw Emma following Pete out of the bar after Emma had said her good-byes, Tiff winked at her.
The next day, when Emma went to Moishe’s for owner and psychiatrist work, she found a note written to her by Tiffany. The note said this:
“Boy, do you take schmoozing seriously”.
///
Emma was happy to see that Pete drove very cautiously. She followed at a safe distance and felt very good about herself.
“I deserve it,” she said to the inside of her car.
She also hoped that Peter Thursday was deserving of her.
They came to a red light, and Emma took the time to call the babysitter.
“Everything is okay Dr. Hancock,” the sitter reassured her.
“Can you stay for an extra half hour?” Emma asked her, and then added the sweetener “I’ll tip you very well.”
“Of course, Doctor,” the sitter said.
Emma was playing a hunch.
I ‘ma very good psychiatrist, so naturally, I have good hunches, she wrote in her diary.
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It took Emma by surprise to see that Pete Thursday lived in an apartment complex.
///
“Not that I’m a snob,” she later told Charles, when she finally let her guard down and told Charles Craig Curtis about the few times that Emma Everly Hancock ever intentionally went out of her way to get laid.
“Can’t we talk about Millie and Tillie?” Charles joked.
///
After all, even Emma knew that Willie and Billie were way more exciting than Peter Thursday, except for one minor detail.
Peter pulled into the parking lot and parked his car in the carport. He quickly got out and motioned to where Emma should park her car.
Naturally it said “guest parking”, she wrote in her diary.
Emma got out of her car and wondered or if Pete kept an apartment for such rendezvous.
Then she remembered that he was divorced and probably got the short end of the settlement and cursed herself for thinking that this guy kept an apartment for extracurricular activity.
Any other quick thoughts were wiped out by Pete jogging over to her.
“I’m sorry,” Pete said dejectedly.
“Why?” Emma asked.
“I’m good at reading body language,” he replied.
This ought to be good, she thought.
“You’re trying to figure out how my daughter goes to the Wellesley public schools and I drive a nice car yet live in a dump apartment complex,” Peter said.
“I figured this was your hideaway, and if it is, I’m out of here. I’m not a woman who likes to be a notch on the bedpost,” Emma said.

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Peter started laughing and grabbed Emma by the hand to take her into his apartment. “Have I got a short but very truthful story to tell you, Dr. Hancock. By the way, from your lips to the money god’s ears,” he added.
Emma let him lead the way and looked forward to what he had to say, because she, of all people, knew when someone was full of shit or was as honest as George Washington, as they say.
You know when you are a great psychiatrist when you can tell the difference when your patient is telling the truth or lying. However, it can wreak havoc on those who are NOT your patients, she wrote in her diary.
She quietly followed Peter to his apartment. She was surprised when they entered the little building that they went down and not up.
“Showing off the laundry room,” he said sarcastically.
She didn’t get it (Why would she?)
But he was taking her to the laundry room, Emma thought as he stepped aside and ushered her into the building’s laundry area.
“Is this a joke?” Dr. Hancock asked, annoyed because time was of the essence, as they say.
“No joke Emma. I forgot to make my rounds. My brother called me up and said he needed the laundry money deposited in the morning,” Peter said as he started to open up the coin boxes on the washers and dryers.
It didn’t take him long, and he quickly grabbed Emma by her hand, turned around, and pulled her into his apartment, which Emma couldn’t help but notice the sign on the door which read: BUILDING MANAGER.
“Funny, you don’t act or look like a building manager,” Emma joked as she sat down on the couch in the small living room while Pete went into the kitchen to fix them something.
“Like my furniture?” Pete asked from the kitchen.
Emma looked around and stifled a laugh.
I thought I was going to cry, she wrote in her diary.
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When Emma Hancock looked around at the furniture in the cramped living room she saw a little bit of this and a lot of that.
///
When Emma talked to Charles and told him about the furniture, his reply was “Vintage Salvation Army.”
“No, more like vintage FEMA… post natural disaster,” Emma responded,
“Touché,” Charles said, because he had been one-upped by Emma Hancock.
///
Pete stepped out of the kitchen and said, “I’m toasting a bagel for you. I hope you like bagels.”
“I do — especially with plain cream cheese. What’s the story with your furniture?” she asked him.
“Plain cream cheese I have, not to mention terrible furniture,” Pete said. “You were lucky, you were never divorced….”
And then Dr. Emma Everly Hancock’s psychiatrist and female intuition kicked in before she responded to what she had just heard. “I have been craving a bagel and cream cheese all day. (After all, it was the right thing to say, given the state of the furniture and what she was really there for.)
It’s too bad that the only victim of divorce isn’t isolated to the furniture of the divorcing couple, she wrote in her diary.
Peter Thursday explained to Emma that he would have been pleased if he would have received a few sticks of the furniture that he had shared with his wife. Alas, he didn’t get diddlysquat — and he was lucky that his older brother owned a lot of real estate in the greater Boston area.
“Or unlucky, when it came to this furniture,” Pete said as he went to spread some cold cream cheeses on the toasted bagels that he was preparing for Emma and himself.
“So, tell me, and don’t be afraid or ashamed about anything,” Emma said. But make it quick, because I do want to move onto something more exciting, she mused.

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“You’re probably wondering how a guy like me has a child in the Wellesley public schools and is nothing more than a building manager in a garden apartment with furniture leftover from Woodstock?” Peter said.
“Where is the garden?” Emma said, hoping she had made a joke, and that what Pete said was an inside joke, because Dr. Emma Everly Hancock had never heard the phrase “garden apartment” before.
“It’s what my brother makes me call a basement unit in “real estate speak”,” Pete explained.
“Does it help rent them?” Emma asked.
“Not as much as the cheaper rent,” Peter admitted with a laugh.
“I learned a lot about what you call “real estate speak” when I was house hunting,” Emma said.
“I bet you have a nice place,” Peter said.
“Very nice,” Emma said after devouring her bagel and then realized Pete needed a pick me up. “So tell me why you’re living here. I’m sure it’s a very interesting story.”
“Divorce,” Pete said meekly.
“She got the house and you got the garden apartment?” Dr. Hancock tried to say in a funny tone, but realized it sounded sarcastic. “I’m sorry,” she added.
“It’s the truth. Want another bagel?” he asked her.
Emma shook her head and asked if he had any white wine and seltzer water.
Peter Thursday obliged her with the wine, but not the seltzer as he sat down. He began telling his story.
I should have charged him, she joked in her diary. One second thought, after reviewing the entire night, he should HAVE paid me, she added next to the original entry.
“My wife got everything, but I am okay with that,” Peter said.
“Why is that?” Dr. Hancock, the psychiatrist asked.
“Because my children still benefit from what I was able to build for them. Then there is the comfort factor,” Peter said.
“Comfort factor?” Emma asked as she took a sip of her wine.
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“Yes. We learned it in my group MEN DEALING WITH DIVORCE,” Pete said.
This just might make this night worth it, Emma thought as she downed her glass and held it out for another. She wanted to get a better and bigger buzz going before she absorbed more of this divorce talk from the man’s point of view and came on to him for some sexual absorption.
Peter got her another glass and asked if she was feeling okay and was she worried about getting pulled over if she felt like she had drunk too much.
“Are you asking me to spend the night?” joked Emma.
Peter Thursday blushed.
“Tell me about the divorce, the group, the garden apartment,” prodded Emma. “Just don’t take too long,” she warned.
He blushed again.
Emma took a sip and Peter began talking about the subjects she had just brought up and then some.
Emma was glad she was buzzed, because the more Pete talked, the more she felt like she was holding a session with one of her patients.
Pete talked about how much he still loved his children, that his ex-wife was a good mother, and that he hoped she would re-marry.
Oh brother, sister, cousin and friend! Emma thought as she excused herself to go to the bathroom.
Sitting on the toilet, she looked around in the bathroom and started to realize the differences between how a single man keeps his bathroom versus a single woman and hoped to inject this into the conversation as quickly as possible so she could bed him and get home.
The shower curtain… she wrote in her diary. They have plastic see thru ones, and women have color coordinated ones.
The toilet seat…she added into her diary. There’s are always up and cold. We have soft ones for our delicate derrieres.
Toilet paper…she put into her next entry. They leave it on the floor next to the john. We properly install it where it belongs.

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Mirrors…she wrote. How do they see their reflections? All we want to do is SEE ours.
Toiletries…they don’t keep anything in the bathroom that a woman can use other than soap and toothpaste. We keep enough for women, children, and men because we are women, she wrote.
This was the easiest of Emma’s observations. For when she was done going to the bathroom, she went to wash her hands and didn’t see any soap on the sink. She opened up the drawer under the sink, and found nothing but a few toothpicks, some over the counter medicines for the flu, and a sponge. She went to the base of the vanity and found a few spare rolls of toilet paper, a plunger, and some generic drain opener. Exasperated, she tried the medicine cabinet and found a bar of soap, a tube of toothpaste, and a few prescription drugs, which she read.
///
“I have a question,” Charles Craig Curtis asked her.
Emma shrugged her shoulders.
“Why didn’t you ask where the soap was? Better yet, who cares what people keep or don’t keep in their bathrooms? Were you researching for a book?” he said sarcastically.
“I like to know where everything is, and I always wash my hands after going to the bathroom. It’s the first thing they taught us at pre-school,” she said.
“At my house everything is an open book, Doc,” Charles said. “Come on over anytime and look to your heart’s delight.”
///
Emma came out of the bathroom and naturally Peter asked her if everything was ok.
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
“You took a long time in there. I thought you might have gotten sick or something,” Pete said.
Emma tried to change the conversation to what she was thinking about in the bathroom, but every time she thought she was making progress and making the conversation lighter, Peter Thursday changed it back to his divorce or coping with his divorce, his ex-wife, his children or what he did for his brother.
“You know my brother used to think everyone in this complex was a hippie,” Peter suddenly blurted out.
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“Why is that?” Emma asked.
“The person I replaced was in charge of emptying the coin boxes in the washers and dryers amongst other things,” Peter pointed out.
Emma nodded and took a sip of her spritzer.
“During my divorce, my brother had me come down and check the place out and report to back on him why the washing and drying machines were not making any money. He literally thought that his tenants were all slobs,” Pete said.
He never fails to insert the dreaded ‘d’ word, Emma thought.
“So, one Sunday I decided to investigate if the tenants were indeed “hippies” as my brother thought,” Pete said.
“Why Sunday?” Emma asked him.
“I figured if they were not into washing their clothes, the washing and drying area would be dead as a doornail; because I am under the assumption people do their laundry on Sundays,” Pete said.
Emma laughed to herself — because she did her laundry on Saturdays; because that’s when Mitchell would be all about Ohio State football, and she could concentrate on the clothes and not the game of college football.
Then Peter said “the tenants used the laundry room, but so did my predecessor.”
Emma shrugged. Tales of laundrygate were not doing anything for her.
“That Sunday all the machines were in use. I took a drive around the neighborhood to see if there were any other laundry joints around and found none. I got a bite to eat at a local dive to kill enough time for the machines to finish. When I retuned all the machines had gone through their cycles, and the place was quiet. I used the master key that my brother had given me, let myself into this apartment and caught him red handed… no, not red handed… pocket handed,” Pete said with a chuckle.
Emma shrugged because she was really lost with the last comment out of Pete’s mouth.
Peter knew he wasn’t doing a good job of explaining something that he knew should be a funny story. He hoped the ending would make up for his inability to do so.
“Of course, I surprised him when I entered his apartment. He was wearing a one piece jumpsuit with deep front pockets. When he moved towards me, both those pockets clanged like crazy.”
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“I take it he was the thief,” Emma said.
“And now I have his job, but not the one piece suit. I did suggest to my brother that he change how people pay for their laundry. I told him they should use chips that are marked. They look like poker chips. Tenants could buy them from me and use them accordingly.”
“Did you brother agree?”
“Nope. Said it was too expensive to make the change. Actually, he made more comments about not noticing, or in this case not hearing the coins clang in the old manager’s flight suit because my brother said he saw the old manager in that suit numerous times,” Pete said. “Anyway, at least we found out that the tenants here weren’t slobs.”
Emma laughed at that comment, but the story bored her — but not as much as listening to Pete drone on about his divorce and all associated with that. She looked at her iPhone to see what time it was. She had to act fast once she realized she had about one hour until she had to get home.
Fortune favors the bold, she wrote in her diary. But did it? She thought after she finished that entry.
“Pete, how about we split a bagel, you pour me another glass of wine, and we have sex?” Emma Everly Hancock found herself saying.
Peter Thursday was in the kitchen, fixing the bagel and pouring her a glass of wine in record time.
“I hope the sex part won’t be that fast,” Emma said seductively.
Uh oh, Peter thought as he talked to himself to calm down.
Peter Thursday suffered from big-time premature ejaculation.
///
“And what made matters worse,” Emma later told Charles, was that he had the biggest schlong I ever seen in my life.”
“Talk about life not being fair,” Charles said.
“Life was never intended to be fair,” lectured Emma.
“A classic understatement, but I’d rather hear more about the all cock no stamina dude,” countered Charles. “It’s starting to get very entertaining.”
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///
Emma finished her glass of wine and thinking seductively, licked the cream cheese off half of the bagel before devouring it.
Pete came flying at her, grabbing at her clothes, and kissing her all over her face.
“Wow,” Emma said. “Back-off. I see that you want it too — but how about the bedroom? I don’t think this couch will handle us, nor do I do it on the floor.”
“No problem. Sorry. I lost myself. It’s been a very long time for me, too.”
“That makes two of us. I don’t have a lot of time, but I have the right amount of time,” Emma pointed out. She grabbed him by his hand, which he squeezed and he walked her to the bedroom.
To Emma’s surprise, he led her to the bed. He patted where he wanted her to sit and kissed her on the forehead. He turned the lights as low as they would go and motioned to her to undress, which Emma did as soon as he turned his back and said he had to go to the bathroom.
Emma bit her lower lip remembering this exact same sort of discussion with her now dead husband.
“I won’t be long,” Peter said. “It’s another one of the inconveniences of living in a garden apartment,” he said with a chuckle.
“I don’t get that,” Emma said.
“One bathroom,” he called out.
She stripped and covered herself with the sheets and blankets. She did peek to see how she imagined she would look to him and nodded that she was still in decent shape, considering.
Considering I should exercise and diet better, she later wrote in her diary.
“Ready or not, here I’m about to come,” Peter yelled from the bathroom.
That’s the worst foreshadowing I have ever heard, Emma thought as she took three deep breathes to relax. After all, it had been a long time since she had sexual relations. Too long, she wrote in her diary. (Foreshadowing is a hint of what are to come and mainly used in well written fiction novels and good movie scripts).
Peter didn’t get it, but after he did orgasm ever so quickly — Emma Everly Hancock felt she didn’t get it either.
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And being the gallant person she was, Emma didn’t let Peter Thursday in on it.
But before they had (quick) sex, they had a hurdle to jump.
///
“A very funny hurdle,” Emma later told Charles.
“Life isn’t fair!” Charles Craig Curtis screamed after Emma told him about the hurdle.
///
Pete Thursday came out of the bathroom, and Emma gasped at how big his cock was.
As Peter quietly moved to her, Emma wondered if she would be able to handle such a large penis until she started laughing.
A real bellyache of a laugh, she wrote in her diary.
“Don’t laugh Emma, it’s the real thing,” Pete said as he tugged at his massive member to show her that it wasn’t some apparatus.
“I’m not laughing at your penis Pete. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking about running away from it, but I think it will find me no matter where I run to,” she said as she continued to laugh.
“What’s so funny then!” he demanded to know.
Emma started laughing so hard she started hyperventilating. Peter recognized this and dashed back into the bathroom to get a glass of water and into his little kitchen to retrieve a brown paper bag for her to breathe in and out of to calm her down. Pete had taken and completed a course on CPR.
And he did so to his credit, Emma wrote in her diary.
Pete held the glass to her lips and steadied her head so she could sip it.
“Cover your mouth with the bag and take deep breathes. Don’t chug the water just take a little sip,” cautioned Pete.
Emma did so and then quickly turned her back to him.
“Am I in trouble here?” Pete asked her.
“I have to turn my back on you, and it isn’t because of how large your dick is.”
“What is it?” he asked loudly.
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“You have something just as long as your cock hanging from your ass,” Emma said and then started laughing again.
Pete slowly stood up and turned his head to the left and peered down. He saw nothing. He slowly turned his head to the right and peered down and, again, saw nothing. Then, he looked straight down and saw the object that was making Emma laugh so hard, thus taking the focus off his huge cock.
“Oh my god!” he gasped.
Emma started her laughing fit all over again.
“It looks like I have a tail!” Peter yelled.
“A toilet paper tail!” Emma howled and laughed even harder.
Peter ran into the bathroom to remove his tail.
///
“That was some tale,” Charles said, when Emma told him the story.
“Pun intended?” she asked. “Why are men so obsessed with the size of other men’s cocks and women’s breasts?” Emma asked.
“If I could answer that I would be sitting high on a mountain top with people coming from all over the universe to ask me questions like that one. Besides, you’re the big-shot psychiatrist… you tell me.”
“Men are pigs,” she said bluntly.
///

Peter Thursday extracted the offending toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet so violently — he broke off the handle.
“Oh Christ,” he muttered. “What next?”
“Peter, I have to get going. Can we get back to what we tried to start?” Emma yelled.
Peter Thursday got up and looked down at his cock. It wasn’t going anywhere and he knew it.

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///
It’s something that men know right from the start and most women will never understand, especially when the women are naked and want to have sex.
The men know when they will not be able to get it up, as they say.
“And the more we think about it, the harder… pun intended it gets,” Charles told Emma.
“You’re right, Charles,” Emma said. “Life isn’t fair!”
///
“Shit,” Pete said, as he tried to get his cock to rise to the occasion that he knew was slipping through his fingers like water pouring from a faucet. He started stroking his penis to see if that might get him started, and it only made it worse.
“Peter, I’m waiting and we have to get going. It’s getting late, and I can’t wait much longer,” Emma yelled from the bedroom.
Pete Thursday locked the bathroom door, put down the toilet seat, sat down, and started to quietly sob.
At least it wasn’t premature ejaculation, Emma wrote in her diary.
Emma heard him, after all, as a first class psychiatrist she knew the sound of sobbing from wherever and/or whomever it was coming from.
Emma bolted out of bed and threw her clothes on.
She knew when the party was over.
Or, when it never began, as she wrote in her diary.
She rapped lightly on the door and then for a reason unknown to her she tried the door knob.
It was locked.
///
“You tried it because of motherly instinct,” Charles later said.
“You role switching again? Want me to try my creative talents at writing or creating collages?” she said with a laugh.

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///
“I am truly sorry, Emma,” Pete said between sobs.
Emma checked the time on her iPhone, saw she had about a half hour and decided to play doctor.
I would have rather received than given, she wrote in her diary.
In a little white lie Emma said “Don’t worry Peter, there is always tomorrow.”
She could hear his sobbing dying down, and that made her telling a white lie okay in her book.
What’s wrong with a white lie now and then? She wrote in her diary.
///
“Everyone tells white lies or should tell them once in a while. I believe they help save relationships,” Charles Craig Curtis later said to Dr. Emma Everly Hancock.
“You better not lie to me,” Emma said with a laugh.
“You are the exception to the rule,” Charles said.
“What rule?” she asked him.
“My dad used to say “nothing wrong in telling a white lie to ease a hectic situation,’” Charles said.
“I’m okay with that,” agreed Emma.
“My mom always told me to tell any overweight girl “that they had a pretty face,’” Charles said.
“That one is fine,” Emma said. “As a matter of fact my first husband used to tell his patients and friends that telling a white lie “to buy time wasn’t a bad thing.”
“Good one,” agreed Charles.
“I have always told my patients that stretching the truth is normal,” she told Charles.
“I’m a writer. That makes total sense to me,” he said. “Gary Harte’s favorite comment on white lies is that you don’t hurt others, and you don’t break the law, so why not?”
“I think I’m going to steal that,” Emma told Charles.
“This is better. Do you know what the three greatest lies are?” he asked her.
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She shook her head.
“The check is in the mail. I’m here from the government and here to help and I won’t cum in your mouth,” he said with a smirk.
“Not bad, but I like what my daughters say all the time,” she said.
“What’s that?”
“It wasn’t me!”
“My kids said that all the time when they were younger,” Charles said. “What did you think of my “three greatest white lies”?
“They were ok,” she said.
“Ok? That’s it? It was used by my main character in my first book. I got a lot of fan mail about it,” Charles said with a white lie.
“Really?” Emma said.
“More than any other of my works other than Domestically Wild,” he said. This was true. Charles had received one letter from an irate fan who said he was going to sue Charles, because the irate fan said his father had invented the “three greatest lies of all time”. Charles had received no other letters about his other books.
///
Tomorrow never came for Peter Thursday. The last Emma ever heard about him was that his brother transferred him to Haverhill, Massachusetts to manage an apartment complex.
“Maybe if I wouldn’t have thought about the differences between men and women bathrooms, he wouldn’t have got toilet paper stuck in his ass,” she said out loud in her vehicle waiting for her girls, and then she started laughing like mad. She composed herself just before her daughters arrived.
May the garden apartment be better for Peter Thursday in Haverhill, she wrote in her diary.
Random hook-ups for Dr. Emma Everly Hancock came to a screeching halt as she made one of the dumbest decisions of her life.
I started to let people fix me up after I failed at doing it myself online, she wrote in her diary.

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Emma figured it was time to join the space age and see if she could find someone worth dating online.
Many of her patients had succeeded at it or had least bragged to her about succeeding. A few friends had or knew someone who had tried it and urged her on. First stop was her last stop — Craigslist.
I know I’ll find my Steve Jobs online, she wrote in her diary.
Boy, was she wrong.
Everyone told her to go on Craigslist to find a real man and to Facebook to find a boy toy.
They all warned her to stay off the Match-dot-com sites.
“Why?” she asked everyone — who were “all of a sudden” experts in regard to online dating.
“People photo chop their pictures,” one of her patients told her.
“People lie about their life’s resume,” Tiffany told her.
“People will start to stalk you in all aspects of your life,” another one of her patients told her.
Of course, he sees a stalker behind every tree and under every rock, she wrote in her diary.
“It won’t be as fun as you think,” Jeff warned her.
“Like everything else, it all depends on what you’re looking for,” Charles Craig Curtis told her. “By the way, Craigslist isn’t named after me.”
So, Dr. Emma Everly Hancock cleared her weekend to hook up or hook into dating on-line… hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
Naturally she didn’t go to Craigslist or Facebook first. She tried all the single dot com sites whose names appealed to her despite the warnings.
Her first venture was Bostonsingle.com. It billed itself as the premier site for older singles living and working in the greater Boston area.
“The first month was free, so what the hell,” she told Tiff.
“They always are,” Tiffany responded as she rolled her eyes.
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“Rookie,” Jeff called her.
Jeff came the closest to describing her time on her first single online dating site.
I was rooked, she wrote in her diary.
But it wasn’t the site that defrauded her.
“It was the men advertising themselves on it,” she told Nomi.
“Men lied online?” Nomi said sarcastically. “Gee, what a surprise!”
“So did the women,” Emma said.
“Gee, yet another surprise,” Nomi said with a laugh.
///
Emma found herself spending hours scrolling through all the men’s profiles, pictures and resumes about themselves. If it wasn’t for her cat wanting food and some affection she thought she could have gone on for five more hours.
I was playing voyeur and I liked it, she wrote in her diary.
After she fed the cat, face-timed with the girls (who were on a sleepover), and played with the cat; she went back to peeping Emma.
She decided to remove her professional hat and put on her female-in-search-of-a-male hat.
This meant she started to ignore the profile and resumes and study the pictures.
She settled on three, because the three men were so handsome, she couldn’t choose.
///
“No cut list for the doctor?” Nomi chided her.
“No, but I found out they were cut,” Emma said.
///
What Emma found out in setting up dates with the three men was that all of them had either lied on their profile, their resume or both. But that wasn’t what she was referring to when she said “cut” to Nomi. Dr. Hancock was referencing the fact that the three men had either used their face on someone else’s body for a picture or vice-versa. One of the three even used a picture of himself taken years ago. Emma didn’t
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learn this information online while instant messaging or emailing these men. She learned by making dates with each of them and finding out the truth.
The truth is everything to me, she wrote in her diary.
After all, she preached honesty — honesty, honesty to all her patients.
How can I not practice what I preach? she wrote in her diary.
After each date, she said one phrase to her sister, Tiff or Jeff (and others) who asked her “how did it go?”
“Worse than high school,” Emma shot back.
She couldn’t figure out how people were meeting online and having fantastic relationships with one another. After all, she read and heard firsthand about such people… especially when schmoozing with customers at the bar.
///
“Yin and yang,” Charles told her.
Dr. Hancock was impressed, because Charles didn’t screw up pronouncing ‘yin’ as ‘ying’, which most people, she heard use the phrase, did.
“I’m impressed, Charles,” Emma told her patient.
“Doc, finding people online is all about natural dualities. Some people can and some people can’t. You can’t,” he said with a laugh (and a hope that she never would).
“Well, if anyone would know, you would.”
///
The more she researched, the more she started to give up on the smaller dating sites. She decided to bite the bullet and try Craigslist. She ruled out Facebook, because she didn’t like what Charles Craig Curtis did with it, and she had to follow a code of ethics and protect herself and her patients. She also didn’t want people asking her all sorts of questions for free.
This was an easy decision for Dr. Emma Everly Hancock after she did some quick researching about both sites.
She came to the conclusion that if Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s founder) was a movie character, he would be Gordon Gekko from the first Wall Street movie and would probably engulf and devour just about anything he wanted to as the Internet and its related businesses expanded into new frontiers.
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“After all he is a Harvard man,” she told her sister who was well aware of Harvard.
When she did her homework on the founder of Craigslist — Craig Newark, she was impressed that he went to an Ohio school — Case Western, and that he spent a lot of his time and fortune fighting for free access to the Internet and other freedoms that Emma believed were needed for the World Wide Web.
Although Craigslist’s founder was out doing good things, unfortunately most of the people who joined up to sell themselves through its classified advertising of personals were not.
And, after three tries, Emma learned the hard way about Craigslist personals.
“Why did you stop at three?” Nomi asked her.
“Because four reminds me of the four downs in football and after years of being a college football widow I decided that three was less than four,” she said sternly.
“That is true,” remarked Nomi.
“You agree?”
“With the point you made that three is less than four, yes.”
After her experiences with the online dating men from the land of make-believe, Emma had a much easier time shifting through the phonies who were selling themselves on Craigslist.
Or so she thought.
The men on Craigslist had no problems whatsoever at showing who they were and why they were on Craigslist, and what they wanted from Emma.
And it wouldn’t have cost me a penny, she wrote in her diary.
But who knows if it might have cost– her very life, if she would have pursued the three men who she found on Craigslist?
“After my experience with Craigslist, I’m surprised that more mayhem hasn’t happened with the people who are on that site,” Emma later told Tiff.
“And you only went with men. I bet the women are just as crazy,” Tiff said.
“Crazier,” Emma told her. “I ought to know. One I am a psychiatrist and two. I was on it.”

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///
The first man, who Emma made contact with via Craigslist, suggested that they get off the site and meet via their e-mail address. He convinced Emma that the monitors on Craigslist were right out of George Orwell’s novel 1984. She was impressed with his knowledge of the novel and agreed. They exchanged their e-mail addresses. Emma excused herself and went to bed — the man did not. When Emma awoke the next morning and got her girls off to school, she made her calls to and for the bar, for her patients, and proceeded to map out her day. She then clicked on her Hotmail account to check her e-mails and couldn’t believe the number of messages in her inbox.
“I thought my spam box filter died,” she told the investigating officer.
Emma Everly Hancock had received 421 new messages and only 7 were worth anything. The rest were from the man she had just met via Craigslist, and he was not forwarding cute items or offering financial hoax schemes. He sent Emma pictures of an erect penis that Emma didn’t know belonged to him, but assumed that it did. She couldn’t tell anyone why the picture of the penis didn’t bother her, but later she told her sister Nomi about how large Peter Thursday’s schlong is. Nomi agreed with her little sister that if a man was going to show off his penis it should be a picture of a huge one. “Cause that’s all they know… big cocks and big tits,” Nomi said.
///
Both Emma and Nomi were surprised to find out that the average male penis (when erect) is 5 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. Right after they had talked, they both had ran to their laptops to Google their interest. I should send this to Pete to cheer him up, Emma thought.
///
“I have heard that before,” Emma said.
Emma received a variety of angles of the man’s penis — if, it was, indeed, his penis.
The first picture was of the man’s non-aroused penis. That wasn’t what surprised Emma. What surprised her was that he had no pubic hair.
I thought I had seen a lot, but in reality, I have only heard a lot, she wrote in her diary.
///
“That has to hurt,” Charles told her after she had told him about Craigslist number one, as she referred to him.

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“What had to hurt, showing off his limp noodle?” she stated.
“No, cutting himself down there. All men cut themselves while shaving. Ouch,” Charles winced. “Just thinking about it, gives me the heebie-jeebies.”
///
When Emma looked back at why she just didn’t delete that picture, and all the others he had sent, she realized she was no better than anyone else who slowed down to view a grisly automobile wreck.
We like being shocked, she wrote in her diary.
“But it’s how you react to the shock that counts, Doctor Hancock,” she said out loud to the entry in the diary she had just made. But not at first, she mused.
Because after picture number one, she looked at picture number two and so on.
Each shot was a different angle of the man’s penis, and of course how he made it hard and what he did with it.
But she kept looking.
And his pictures seemed to drone one and on and on.
She finally stopped after she had viewed at least 50 of them.
She couldn’t believe how he had kept sending them.
She couldn’t help herself and finally looked at the last e-mail sent to her, and that’s when she decided to call the Wellesley Police.
It was a close up of ejaculate or semen coming out of the head of a penis.
Emma threw up all over her keyboard.
///
“How appropriate… for both of you,” Charles told her later. “I hope you cleaned up your desk before the cops came over,” he said with a laugh.
“I sprayed enough disinfectant to clean Moise Pipeck’s bathrooms five times,” Emma said. “But more importantly, I lit a scented candle so the cops wouldn’t think I was doing anything disgusting.”
“Now that you mention it, I’m sure women masturbate to online porn,” Charles said.

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///
The police were very professional and understanding when Emma called them and they came over to view all the material and get her story.
“Am I in trouble?’ she asked the lead officer.
“Only if you hook up with that asshole,” he replied.
It took Emma a few weeks before she went back to Craigslist. One part of her was scared. The other was excited to.
The penis man was bad, but getting a new email address and changing the password and all that jazz was even worse, she wrote in her diary.
She also made a mental note to educate her daughters to remember their cat’s name, because it would become an all-important security question for their online future and security.
She went through the usual routine until she found an interesting advertisement.
It had a direct link to a Web site that promised the person a wonderful visit to learn about a beautiful man which was just a click away.
“Why not?” Emma said to her cat. “It’s something different, and if it’s not any good, I’ll move on.”
She clicked the link and was mesmerized by what came up.
It was a web page titled, The Merry Widower.
Of course, this intrigued Emma — because she was a widow. And the circumstances surrounding how she became one made her happy.
There was a picture of a man who looked normal.
“So different than what I had been seeing, he has to exist,” she said out loud.
There were also pictures of his three kids, their dog, and various action shots of the family enjoying swimming, water-skiing, cooking out at the beach, and giving the dog a bath.
“Maybe he is too normal?” she asked her cat? “There is no such thing,” laughed Emma (who basically knew that statement was true).
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There was also a video testimony where the man explained why he was the “merry widower” and what he was searching for.
As the video came to an end, a chat box opened up asking Dr. Hancock if she wanted to converse.
Looking back at the situation, Emma thought it took her a long time to respond, but it really didn’t, and she typed in “yes.”
“Do you like my page?” followed her response.
Emma typed in “Yes.”
A smiley icon appeared on the screen.
Emma didn’t know what she should respond with.
But the “merry widower” followed up before Emma came up with something.
“What did you think of my video?”
“I liked it. You are very honest and that is important to me,” Emma typed back.
“Thank you,” the “merry widower” replied.
“I lost my husband a few years back,” Emma typed.
“We have a lot in common. Maybe that’s why you found me?” the “merry widower” typed to Emma.
“Probably so,” Emma typed, and then her curiosity got the best of her, not to mention her backbone. “Want to meet?” she typed in.
“But of course. Why do think I’m advertising on Craigslist?” came back the reply.
Emma laughed and thought stupid statement.
“Being a father of three school age children, I don’t like to meet late. Is that all right with you?”
Emma was shell shocked.
“Same goes for me, but I’m coming at it from the mother’s side,” Emma wrote.
“LOL!!!!!” was the response.
Emma smiled and thought why not Moise Pipecks suggest? It’s safe. Very safe.
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“How about this Friday at 5:30 p.m.?” Emma wrote.
“Perfect day and time” was the reply.
“Moise Pipecks in Brookline okay?” Emma asked.
“Perfect. See you there. Oh, by the way, what’s your name?”
“Emma. But I’ll recognize you from your picture, so do not worry,” Emma wrote.
She got a smiley face icon as a reply and really looked forward to her meeting ‘the merry widower’ in a few days.
///
Emma found herself in a tizzy and called her sister for help.
“What’s the matter?” Nomi asked as soon as she heard the tone in Emma’s voice.
“I can’t decide on what to wear for this blind date that really isn’t a blind date, because I have talked to this man on-line,” Emma rat-a-tat-tatted back.
“I thought you were not going to do that after ‘penisgate?’” Nomi said.
“So did I,” sighed Emma who looked around her room and couldn’t believe all the clothes she had tried on.
“Casual but classy,” Nomi suggested.
Emma took her sisters advice when it came to footwear, jewelry, slacks and shirts. She did not when it came to her underwear and perfume.
For fragrance, she went with J’adore by Dior.
For underwear and bras she choose Victoria Secret.
She went to her knock-offs for the rest of her attire.
A “knock-off” is a copy that sells for far less than the original.
She put on black laced tie shoes with a slight silver colored heel that even Giorgio Armani wouldn’t have been able to tell were not his.
///
Much later, when she had been seeing Charles, Charles — not being a fashion maven (as a matter of fact, he was the opposite of one) was always amazed at Dr. Hancock’s incredible wardrobe.
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“Are you that rich?” he asked her.
“Look, if you would let me dress you, I’ll tell you my secret,” Dr. Hancock said.
Just amazed that Charles Craig Curtis the big shot author is totally clueless about designers and their clothes, she wrote in her diary.
“Ok,” he agreed to her challenge.
Dr. Hancock took him clothes shopping, and he was amazed at how great he looked in the attires she had assembled. He was even more amazed when the bill arrived.
“Seems cheap,” he said with a shrug.
So the doctor explained how she did it and why it worked.
“It’s like generic versus name brand!” Charles said.
“Exactly,” Dr. Hancock said.
“I just never thought that concept would ever make it into the fashion industry,” he said.
“Why not? It took over the food industry a long time ago,” Dr. Hancock pointed out.
“Never have to worry about that sort of thing happening in my line of work,” Charles Craig Curtis said.
“Some people might say that self-publishing is generic and having a publishing house produce your book is name brand.”
“People might say that, but they would be wrong.”
“Why would they be wrong?” Dr. Hancock asked, annoyed, thinking she had made a solid point.
“Because a lot of self-published stuff is a whole lot better than the crap that the major publishing houses come out with… believe me, I know, and so do a lot of other people out there,” Charles said. “But fashion and books have one thing in common.”
“What’s that?”
“Critics!”
///
And Emma smiled at the shoes she had picked out as well as the slacks and top. The
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pants she put on her were beige in color and were a great knock-off from J. Crew. Her black turtleneck was almost the same color as her shoes, and Victoria Beckham wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. She put on two simple gold chains that were not knock-offs but weren’t expensive either.
“Time for make-up,” she announced to the cat as she peered at her face in her vanity mirror.
She opened up the medicine cabinet where she kept all her make-up and laughed that she kept no medicine in it.
“Why do I keep all the medicine in the kitchen?” she said as she dabbed L’Oreal Paris Colour Caresse Shine Stain Ruby Red on her lips.
She then reached for the Benefit fakeup and applied that and finished up by spreading a drop of Ralph Lauren’s Aerin Fresh Skin Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15.
She finished her look by getting out Les Exclusifs de Chanel 1932 and putting it where the scent of jasmine, pear, and grapefruit worked best for her… on the front of her neck underneath the turtleneck and behind her ears and just a dab on the back of her neck.
She exited the bathroom and walked to her dressing room to take one final look at herself in the full length mirror that was a permanent fixture to the doors of her walk- in closet.
“Not bad, not bad at all,” she said as she took a deep breath, nodded her approval of what she was wearing and how she looked.
Hope the merry widower approves, she thought as she started the journey to her bar and hopefully to a great date.
///
Emma made it through every traffic light –without once getting a red or even a yellow light — on her drive to Moise Pipeck’s and thought now that’s good karma, this is going to be a good first date.
She told that to both Tiff and Jeff when she arrived at the bar.
“That’s an incredible feat,” Jeff agreed.
“Hot date?” Tiff asked her as she gave her boss a look over.
“I hope so,” Emma said beaming.
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“You ever think of designing clothes?” Tiff asked her.
“No way! I like buying them,” she said with a laugh. She ordered a Chardonnay spritzer and sat at the bar where she would see everyone as soon as they came through the front doors. She took a sip and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. She waited for an hour, and if it wasn’t for her owning the bar, she would have left thirty minutes ago, but she found things to occupy her time. But not her thoughts. Maybe he got lost? Maybe he got stuck in traffic? After all this is Boston. She finished her drink and signaled Tiffany for another. He got stuck in traffic AND lost? An emergency came up about his children. An emergency came up for his father. An emergency came up for his mother. An emergency came up for BOTH his father and mother. Wait I don’t even know if his parents are alive?!He chickened out! She had finished her second and asked Tiff for one last one. Tiff obliged and told her something she never dreamed of happening as the owner of Moise Pipecks.
“This one has been bought and paid for,” Tiff said.
I, of course, thought it was from the merry widower, she wrote in her diary.
It was not. It was from a group of young kids sitting at a round table tucked away in the corner of the bar.
“A great spot for a group of customers to sit and watch everyone who comes in and who goes out without being conspicuous,” Tiff told her.
Emma never thought a bunch of young kids would think so highly of a bar owner to buy her a drink and raised her glass in a gesture of thanks.
They waved her over.
Remembering Tiff’s instruction to schmooze with the customers first, Emma went over to thank them for the drink and to make some small talk. She didn’t have a chance to get any small talk in, but she did get the last word in. There were four at the table. Three males and one female.
I should have known something was up when I spied that each represented a different race, Emma wrote in her diary. And I’m not a racist, she wrote next to the above entry (she underlined racist a few times).
“You’re here to meet someone, are you not?” the young Asian male asked Emma.
“You met him on-line,” the young white male said.
“We know all about you Dr. Hancock,” the young Hispanic male said.
“We are the merry widower, Doctor,” the young African American female boasted.
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“It’s our senior thesis from Harvard,” the young Asian male bragged.
“You’re not the first,” the young white male bragged.
“And you won’t be the last,” the young Hispanic male bragged.
“Harvard as prepared us well,” the young African American female bragged.
Emma took a deep breath and motioned for the four to come closer to hear what she was going to say. They all leaned forward.
When she spoke, her tone was deadly serious — so serious, that she had the four’s attention no matter what she said and how long it took her.
“This is a story that my now dead husband told me a long time ago about Harvard. He was in graduate school at Ohio State University and because of the incredible papers he had written he had been asked to go to the yard to give a speech about his work and his findings.” She took a sip of her drink and continued.
“He was ushered into a small banquet room where the tables were full of scrumptious appetizers. The only beverages were water, coffee, and tea. My husband ate a lot of the food and drank a lot of water to wash it down with. Being graduate students, I’m sure you can relate to buffets like I just described. I ‘am sure you have gorged yourself at them,” she said as she took another sip from her drink.
“The preceding presentation was going way over its scheduled time… don’t they all at Harvard? My husband kept nibbling the food and drinking a lot of water to kill time. He drank so much water he had to excuse himself from a conversation he was a part of to go to the bathroom.”
“He made his way to the bathroom and went straight to the urinal. There were two urinals in the bathroom. One was occupied by a very distinguished and well-dressed man. My husband guessed he was in his late sixties. My husband nodded to the man and of course started to urinate. The older man finished before him and went over to the sink. My husband was taking a very long piss and cocked his head to the right because he thought that the man had left the faucet on, because he could hear the water running. The man was still washing his hands. My husband finished up, tucked his penis inside his underwear, zipped up his pants, walked over to the sink, peered into the mirror to make sure the knot in his tie wasn’t crooked and went to exit the bathroom. ‘Excuse me young man,’ said the older man who was still rubbing his hands together under the faucet, ‘Here at Harvard, we wash our hands after we urinate.’ My husband responded “At Ohio State we don’t piss on our hands.”
None of the four laughed and just sat their stunned.
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“My advice to all of you is to finish your drinks and politely leave,” she said as she got up from the table and walked briskly to the safety of the third floor where she broke down into soft sobs, gathered her thoughts, and called the babysitter to tell her she was on her way home.
///
Months later, when she told Charles Craig Curtis the story he got mad at her.
“Why are you mad?’ she asked him.
“Cause I didn’t make up that toilet paper tail story,” he said laughing. “Can I use it?”
“Only with paper…proper credit,” she said laughing along with him.
///
“Looks like you will have to wait another century to meet Mr. Right,” Nomi told her when Emma explained the humiliation of ‘the merry widower.’
“There will be another Steve Jobs for you… in a hundred years,” Tiff said, trying to cheer her boss up.
“I guess it could have been worse,” she told her parents.
“It could always be worse,” her parents answered together.
Can it always BE worse? she wrote in her diary.
///
“Have I got a man for you,” one of her favorite patients said to her when Emma slipped and let out that she was interested in dating again.
The patient’s name was Stephen Heck, and he was the epitome of a person who lived life to the fullest.
However he had a yang to that ying.
He was as full of psychosis as he was wealthy.
And Stephen Heck was the wealthiest high tech entrepreneur inside the Massachusetts Route 128 Inner Belt also known as “the magic semi-circle” or as cocky Bostonians referred to it “Silicon Valley east”.
When Emma first heard the phrase “Silicon Valley east”, she wondered if people from
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Silicon Valley refereed to themselves as “128 west,” since most of Silicon Valley had probably been stuck in traffic on 128 during their days at Harvard or MIT.
“I doubt it, Dr. Hancock,” Stephen told her during a session. “We let popular culture dub us what they want and laugh at them all the way to the bank. It’s the best part of being a nerd.”
“Laughing to the bank?” she guessed.
“Fuck no! Being a big part of pop culture,” he said with a laugh.
Stephen loved life so much because he knew that he suffered from more psychosis than he dared remembered.
That was Dr. Hancock’s job.
Her vast notes showed that Stephen suffered from:
One, he was at times delusional. He had periods of false beliefs in what was taking place.
Two, he suffered from hallucinations, which he liked to call his “daily mirages”.
Three, he didn’t just suffer from mild catatonia: he suffered from mild waxy catatonia. Thus, when Stephen became catatonic – – he would maintain the position he was in at that moment; much like a wax figure.
“No one has figured out how to make me into a figure eight… but they try,” Stephen joked to Dr. Hancock during one of their sessions.
“But you have told me you always have eight figures in your checking account,” Dr. Hancock joked.
“Lucky for me that I am very rich,” Stephen pointed out.
“Other analysists… and I don’t mean financial types, would beg to differ and say ‘lucky for me that you are rich,’” Dr. Hancock said with a laugh.
“Quite the gag writer are you not?” Stephen asked.
“I’m not in this business for the money. I have all I will ever need,” Dr. Hancock said sternly.
“I know. I was playing gag writer,” Stephen said.
Emma knew that her security made her a better psychiatrist.
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“No one is ever secure,” Stephen told her.
“You are.”
“If my stocks tank, I am not. You must remember that the stock market is all done with hocus-pocus anyway. We are all tied to something, and that something is never secure,” Stephen said. “Not even faith.”
“Why do you say that?” Dr. Hancock asked.
“Faith is tied to God and when is the last time you heard of God making a cripple walk, bailing out a family being foreclosed on, feeding the starving masses, raising people from the dead?”
“Well take out the foreclosure part, and I see all that stuff during a bunch of movies come Easter.”
“Ah, the gag writer strikes again!” Stephen yelled.
“Besides, it’s Jesus who did all that stuff you mentioned, except for the foreclosure part,” Dr. Hancock pointed out.
“He did?” Stephen said.
“That’s what I have always been taught.”
“Excuse me Doctor, but who did Jesus work for?” Stephen asked.
“The meek.”
“The Almighty. Jesus got his powers from God. Therefore God did all those miracles. Jesus was just his instrument,” Stephen said.
“Let’s change the subject back to you and your visit here today, Stephen,” Dr. Hancock said.
“But why? Don’t you believe that I am Jesus or even God?” Stephen said.
Dr. Emma Everly Hancock cringed, took a deep breath, and was about to answer when she was interrupted by Stephen.
“Gotcha Doctor!” he said as he jumped up and down and danced a little jig.
Dr. Hancock was about to rip him a new asshole, as they say — but did not. “Back on the couch Stephen and let’s finish up. Your clock has almost struck 12.”
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Stephen did as he was told and got deadly serious talking about mirages he had been seeing whenever he was driving alone but never saw when in a car with someone else. When the session was almost over Stephen caught Dr. Hancock with another haymaker.
“Have I got a man for you!”
“Excuse me?” she said, very puzzled that any patient would puncture her inner sanctum — especially with what had recently transpired during her odyssey of online dating.
“You’ve grieved long enough,” he said.
That’s true, she thought. Should I even be listening to him, though?
But did I ever grieve? she asked herself in her diary. The people you listen, too, she added.
“Good question,” she said to her cat that was rubbing against her legs for attention.
But Emma Everly Hancock had grieved while her husband was alive and that grieving was the beginning of her falling out of love with him as their marriage went on.
“It was easier to fall out of love with him than in love with him,” she said to the cat, which jumped up into her lap and started kneading her sharp claws into Emma’s left thigh.
“My punishment,” she said, as she debated whether or not to go out with the man who she reluctantly agreed to see because of Stephen Heck’s recommendation.
“You can’t meet this guy at a bar or a restaurant. He is very intelligent and into the theatre and arts,” Stephen said.
“That’s refreshing,” Emma said.
“My advice is an art show. There’s a Modigliani exhibit in the Back Bay coming up. I am one of the patrons, and to pacify me for my money donation they gave me some free tickets to pass out. I’ll give each one of you a ticket, and you can kind of ‘bump’ into each other. I’ll tell him what you look like, and of course, tell you what he looks like if you’re interested,” Stephen said with a big smile.
“I never saw you as a matchmaker, Stephen,” Dr. Hancock said.
“How can I be? I’m crazy, remember! By the way, I prefer being called a ‘Yenta’ when it comes to pairing people off. It sounds better,” Stephen said seriously.
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“You have had success at fixing people up?” Dr. Hancock asked him. “By the way, you are not Jewish.”
“I am crazy, so why I can’t I be Jewish when I want to? By the way I never have had any success in fixing people up, but there is always a first time!”
///
Dr. Hancock made arrangements to attend the exhibit. She knew a little bit about the artists whose work she was going to view.
Charles Craig Curtis had once spoken of him in a session, and she started her primer course the new way — she Googled Modigliani.
She had heard of the great painter and sculptor, but knew little of him. She wasn’t going to write a biography about him, but she wanted to see if the man and his works would be worth the trip.
After all, I am to meet a man on a blind date. If the date sucks, I hope the exhibit does not, she wrote in her diary.
She wasn’t disappointed by Modigliani the artist — she was by Modigliani the man.
“But isn’t every great artist troubled?” Stephen asked her after she accepted his offer.
“It seems many a great artist is troubled and the more troubled they are, the more famous they become,” Emma said.
“Especially when they die way, too young,” Stephen pointed out. “What did you like about him when you did your research?” he asked Dr. Hancock.
“I liked his sculptures more than his paintings,” she said.
“I like his full bodied nudes, because that is what women should look like. Not this skinny long legs on stiletto heels, fake boobed, photo cropped women of today,” Stephen said. “He painted women as women and they look great.”
“I do agree with your points. But the women Modigliani painted back then would only make it to the modeling agencies as cleaning help in today’s world. I did notice he painted a lot of portraits, too,” she said to Mr. Heck.
“He had to. They paid the bills. He was not only always ill but liked to party way too much,” Stephen said.
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“Gee, there’s something you don’t hear very often… an artist who ‘parties way, too much,’” she said sarcastically.
“I’m glad you like his sculptures, and I know you will like my choice for your next date. The name is Simon and look for your date right where they take your tickets,” Stephen said.
“That’s my description?” Doctor Hancock asked.
“Blind dates aren’t called ‘blind’ for nothing, Emma,” Stephen said with a laugh. “Enjoy.”
Emma Everly Hancock made all the necessary arrangements for her night out. As she drove to the event, she thought that she had overdressed a little, but felt good about that, because she hadn’t had many chances to really get dressed up. As she pulled into the parking lot of the event, she tried to remember the last blind date she had been fixed up with– she could only remember one.
And that was a good thing, she wrote in her diary.
///
It was during her sophomore year at Wittenberg. She was asked out by one of the BMOC types through an intermediary, of course.
BMOC types always have seconds fix them up with someone who they have identified as worthy.
BMOC stands for “big man on campus”.
Usually the bigger they are, the harder they fall, as they say.
And this man fell hard – embarrassingly so, much to Emma’s and a lot of others happiness.
It was the only blind date she could remember, and it went something like this:
The BMOC picked Emma up in his car. The car was the sole reason why she remembered this event from her past. The BMOC owned a Chrysler Cordoba — made famous by its rectangular headlights. This made her think of the TV commercial and pitchman whose career bounced back from the commercial better than the car sold, because soon after Emma’s blind date, the car was discontinued.
The pitchman for the car was Ricardo Montalban.

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A man so smooth at selling items, he could sell a pork chop to an Orthodox Jew.
But alas, he was selling cars and although he was good, the car was destined for the scrap heap of Detroit’s history.
Anyway, the BMOC picked up Emma and drove her to one of the best bars located around Wittenberg University.
The bar was named The Bird.
And the bird was the word at Witt World, Emma wrote in her diary.
As soon as the car was parked in the parking lot, the BMOC started laying down the agenda as he saw fit for the night.
He didn’t talk, he lectured, Emma remembered.
But BMOC talk to hear themselves talk, and this boy was no exception.
He talked so much, he exited the car and went around to open Emma’s door, which impressed her. They went to the bar, and the boy talked and talked and talked and, Emma was so bored she actually did all her homework in her head. The boy talked and drank and forgot one little detail which made Emma remember the event and, of course, the Chrysler Cordoba.
He left the car running.
That wasn’t the worst part.
He locked the doors!
The BMOC called for a tow company and found out they couldn’t tow it until it ran out of gas. They offered to break the window and shut the engine off, and the BMOC took the tow truck driver up on his offer.
Emma left, because the BMOC was beside himself from embarrassment and then rage.
Naturally rage against everyone else, she wrote in her diary.
Now as Emma eased into the parking lot of the show, she thought that BMOC should have stood for ‘be mindful of creeps.’
And it was that thought, along with other problems she had encountered of late that surrounded her mind as she parked her car and made her way to the function.
Just this one more blind date, and if it doesn’t work, I can say let it just happen and
338
stop looking for it. Let him find me she thought as she gave her ticket to the usher and waited to ‘bump’ into her blind date.
It didn’t take long.
Simon literally bumped into her because of the attention Simon was paying to texting, and not walking. Instantly they knew that they were the ones who Stephen had fixed each other up with. Rapidly they knew they didn’t like each other.
///
“Women’s intuition?” Charles asked when they later met and talked.
“From both points of view,” Emma scowled.
///
Emma was expecting a man.
What she got was a transsexual. She was not happy with Stephen Heck’s practical joke and immediately dialed him up on her phone while she strolled around the gallery looking for some privacy, because it took all of five minutes for Emma to determine that Simon was probably really named ‘Simone’.
“No, her real name is Tilda, but she likes to be called Simon when she is playing a man and of course Tilda when she is herself, which is rarely,” Stephen said. “By the way, I’m not joking with you. I respect you way too much to pull such a dirty trick. I thought that you might want to take up being a lesbian. Remember, I am crazy!”
“No you are not. You are sane… I have the papers from the institution that proves that,” Dr. Hancock shot back very sarcastically. “Why didn’t you just ask me about Simon and Tilda?”
“I’m crazy, remember? Besides that paper you refer to only value is in wiping ones asshole. How’s the crowd turn-out? Have you seen any of the paintings?” Stephen asked Emma.
“Are you changing the subject?”
“Yes.”
“Then you’re not crazy,” Emma said calming herself down.
“I’m cured?”

339
“No, we will talk about this at our next session. I’m going to be polite to Simon and check out the paintings. By the way, the turn-out is very strong,” Emma said.
“Tell Simon to come back to my house when he gets bored. You still haven’t told me why you didn’t hit it off? ”Stephen asked.
“If we keep talking, I am going to leave you in a waxy-cationic state, “Emma said as she switched the phone from her left hand to her right hand and, in doing so turned her head and spotted a man.
A man she knew very well.
“I’ll tell you all about how I felt and why I felt it at our next meeting. You’d better get a hold of Simon yourself. I’m busy now,” Emma said as she hung up and started stalking her prey.
It was Charles Craig Curtis.
And he was wearing an outfit she had helped pick-out for him.

If you missed the earlier Chapters you can find them here.

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