Ricky, the gay Filipino who cuts my hair, offered to rent me a room in his house in Jersey City. It’s a tempting offer, because I’m slowly going broke.
Among her other virtues, Myrna made a hell of a living. For six months after her death, I didn’t give a damn about whether the bills were paid, or whether I flushed the life insurance money down the toilet. The money seemed sordid, paid for with Myrna’s blood. In the past month, as I’ve awakened to life again, I’m trying to make sense out of my financial life.
I went out with a Chinese woman, a chemical engineer, some time ago, and she was clearly unhappy with my income and status. She wanted a guy who made a quarter million. I tried to explain to her that she might be a little greedy. Myrna and I had middle class jobs, and when you put our incomes together it was more than enough. We could just about buy whatever we wanted. (The Chinese girl didn't buy any of this. She was determined to find a guy who made a quarter mil.) We went out to dinner at good restaurants two or three times a week. This was heady stuff for a boy born to poverty in small town Illinois. Life with Myrna was so glamorous.
Myrna and I expected the good times to keep rolling. That one of us might die… who would have thought it possible? A year ago, we were only thinking of expanding our financial empire. Myrna was a financial whiz. She loved to play the stock market. Our money was in a dozen different accounts that she manipulated every day. We attended a motorcycle rally last summer, and I discovered that the day-to-day cash account was empty. This was the first sign of the seriousness of Myrna’s illness. She had lost her ability to manage the finances, and forgotten to transfer money from the market accounts to the day-to-day account. I had to borrow money from a friend to get us through the rally.
Now, I am struggling to pay off the bills we accumulated together, and to strip down my lifestyle to fit within one income. I cannot bear to part with the Expedition or the Harley, both of which were my wife's pride and joy. Oh, well... the bike is almost paid off.
So, Ricky’s offer is tempting. I can no longer afford the two home existence that Myrna and I enjoyed. (Man, it was great.) I’ve got to cut down my budget. But, the gay boys are partying endlessly at Ricky’s house… and Ricky has his eye on me, too.
God is taking care of me. Just in time, Conchita appeared. She is my Yahoo girl, discovered in the online personals. She cooks dinner for me twice a week and sends me home with enough leftovers for the rest of the week. She is a lovely gal, and she's Filipino, Cebuano to be precise. (This means she's from Cebu City. Her native language is Bisayan, not Tagalog.) I love exotics.
Once you've been with a Filipino woman, how can you get along with any other kind? A Filipina treasures romance and values her man. (I know I'll get in trouble with the other girls for saying this.) Chita's favorite song is “Stand by Your Man,” Tammy Wynette's great tribute to George Jones. I accompany Chita on the piano. When the tag line comes along, I harmonize in falsetto and she breaks down in laughter. She's a widow, too. And, she laughs all the time.