Poetry

After My Money

By: Alan Berger

A wedding?

What are you nuts?

Let me straiten you out.

So, what if I wasn’t born into it?

I was born, and I grabbed it.

We didn’t start off in bad shape.

Who does? Not us.

But we did, and an early death in the family by the bread winner with two kids 14 and 16, did put a crimp in our lifestyle.
We lived in our car for a bit and when ma and sis got a place, so did I.

Off to the city I went to find my way, as they say. Hay hay hay.
Well, things didn’t work out very well in the city, and a year after being on my own, I joined The Army in the middle of the night at an all-night recruiting station in Times Square because I had nowhere else to go.

No one ever was in the military from my family. The closest the military ever touched us was when my neighbor’s older brother didn’t come home from a war.

That one hurt.

After a while in there, and reading a lot, I came up with what at that time you would call
a million-dollar idea. Now with inflation, it would be a billion-dollar idea, or you could just call it a fucking franchise.

A military idea.
And like so many great ideas, so simple it was.

Didn’t have to blue-print or prototype either.
I made a deal with the commander, and he made a deal with a so on and so forth

I asked for one percent of the cost of production, for as long as they used my idea, plus one million
right away.

They already made a movie about it, I was the guy who gave The Pentagon the bright
Idea of micro-tracking chips installed in all military material so when the idiot army of the country we were bailing out at the time ran away from battle and left all the guns and Hummers behind, so they could fall into the enemy’s hands, well, laser air-strike anyone?

It made us wealthy.

We didn’t re-enlist. The Commander and I that is.

We went our several ways, we did.

I went out with a string of loopy beauties who I knew would not have anything to do with me if it wasn’t for my money.
For I am no beauty myself, nor do I think I have what you would call charm. So
without the pretty dough, I was not pretty

Many was the time I was out with you know who and who was that, when I just wanted to be at home with my cat.

Until, I backed into something.

I met her.

Mono went to stereo, black and white went to technicolor.

It was a meeting made in heaven at a 7-11

It was my birthday the next night.

She lived in a nice area, but the place was modest, like she was.

Always smiling she was.

At her worst, she was more than perfect.

It was too good to be true
She would come over when- ever I called.

She was 15 years younger than me.

She was Danish beautiful, inside and out.

On our first date we fucked, and I noticed her tights had a hole in one toe, and from that second on, I looked at her like a poor matchstick girl in a Christmas snow storm out there alone trying to make a living or at least making enough to get something to eat.

In my luxury eight, not needed, bedroom house with heated pool and a un-heated owner,
the things she responded most to was me, and my cat.
I figured she was trying to show me how un-awed she was with my money.

In my five- star kitchen she said she didn’t cook but she would do my windows.

I said throw in cleaning a gutter or two and she got it and howled.

She was a good howler.

In the back of my insecure stupid social inter-action dating head was the belief that she
Was after my money like all the rest, and even if I did make her laugh, I was sure she was laughing at, and not with me.

But I kept on seeing her anyway because she was the prettiest human I ever got my hands on and she was smart and kind.

We could talk We about anything.

She always offered to pay when we when out, and I thought it was a nice touch since I figured
that she never had a dime.

I never let that first night hole in her tights get past the feeling she was living hand to mouth and soon the paranoia took hold too tight

I then started to question her motives when she wanted to live together.

I mean we had been going out for over a year.

And for the first time the questions became loud.

She wanted in!

If she moves in, it’s palimony time anyway. If she wants to get married so bad, I might as well get it over with.
With all the money I had, I couldn’t afford to lose her.

But I started to panic and came up with an idea that might stop her in her huntress tracks.
I said I was going to my lawyer to make up a pre-nuptial agreement that would exclude her from my money for a million years.

She thought it was the funniest things she ever heard of and agreed.
We went to the attorney for the signing ceremonies.

On the way back, she asked if we could stop by her parents’ house, who at this point. I had never met or much less thought about.

I wondered, how out of the way the trailer park would be?

We eventually, due to her directions, wound up on a surprisingly well manicured lonely dirt road.

Every hundred yards or so I looked over to her with a where the fuck are we going look,
And she would just say keep going, and I did.

Finally, when I asked, when would we be at her parents, she said we have been for a mile or so, and that there would a house soon.

I was worried it would not even be a trailer, but that they lived in an old school bus in the
Woods and they were going to kill me, and then eat me for dinner with enough left over
For breakfast and lunch.

Then I saw how they lived.

The house looked like Tara in her prime from “Gone with the wind” and when she said,
“Don’t ask me if my folks work here, they own the joint. Just like their folks did”.

During lunch she mentioned to her dad that we were going to get married and told him about our pre-nuptial agreement.
Her father asked how much I was worth, and I told him. I remember stuttering a bit.

He said that is what he finds in the couch every now and then and that it was chump change, then he asked me if I was a chump, and I said yes, followed by, “And you’re paying for the wedding”!

He howled just like his daughter did.

So, “Get me to the Church on time”!

.

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Categories: Poetry

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