ONLY THE LONELY
The lion and the calf will lie down together, but the calf won't get much sleep.
Dickey Simba, cousin to Shane, was a handsome but melancholy soul. He was a lawyer once divorced and now single. He thrived on good jazz and horn music and loved to use his cell phone to call women while stoned on his drug of choice pot. He also possessed the extraordinary male pulchritude of the Simba pride males. He worked for Shane as a legal advisor to his presidency. He lived in the Watering Hole Condos, a place where I was taking up residency. He met me while I was on the sidewalk with bundles to take to my new habitat.
“Bloody hell, Maurice, I can’t believe I am seeing you again. Where have you been?” he asked.
“I have been afar and beyond,” I answered wanting to avoid details of my sabbatical as long as possible.
“What are you
“Let me help you, Maury.”
One collection was slipping toward the floor so I allowed him to assist me to my place. It was being painted and the smell invaded the rooms.
“Let’s have a drink at my condo, Maurice.”
“Yes, let’s do that.” I placed the last of my bundles in a closet.
Dickey’s somewhat slovenly condo reeked of old marijuana smoke. It was easy to see a bachelor occupied the space. He threw a few items aside and offered me a seat on a somewhat grubby sofa. He poured a Scotch for me and lit a bong for himself. I gazed about the room. My eyes lit on a picture of a strange creature that I assumed must be his child from his former human wife. It looked peculiar so I made no mention of it.
“You must come back to the State House, Maurice. Everyone has missed you there and your absence has only made Shane more of an asshole than he was – if that is really possible.”
There was bad
blood between Shane and Dickey due to the fact of Dickey’s outrageous
mother, Goosey Simba. Shane had evicted her from his late mother’s home
and Dickey had never forgotten the insult to his fractious mom. It
mattered little that Dickey held her in very little esteem, himself.
Goosey Simba defined the state that the Simba pride preferred to forget
– one of the trashiest prides of lions to inhabit the Masai Mara in
Kenya. However, they had come up in the world and I go off the point.
Please do, Maurice.”
I changed the subject abruptly.
“Who are you seeing now since your divorce from Cutty?”
“Various bitches around the Mara,” was his terse response.
Imani in the altogether.....
After finally getting moved in amid packing boxes and the remaining but now pleasant aroma of fresh paint, I took a stroll to the newly installed pool that accompanied the Watering Hole Condos. I thought to have my evening libation where I could see an acacia tree line with the sun sinking low. That had been one plus at Bertram’s home with his quiet garden. At least I only saw one being poolside. As I came closer I recognized that being was a female and nude as the day her mum birthed her. She looked up and I recognized Imani Lyon, the rebellious daughter of Ashley Lyon and his former mate, Leah Simba.
“Aren’t you Maurice Monkee?”
“Yes, I am indeed and you, I recognize to be Imani Lyon, correct?”
“Yep, that’s me.”
She lit a cigarette and blew the smoke in my face. She was known for her boorish behavior. Things didn’t seem to have changed in that respect.
“How are your parents?” I inquired. “I haven’t been back long enough to pay them a call.”
“Dad’s still a creep and Mom is all involved with new cubs with Jack Tarzan; same old, same old. Dad kicked me out of his house so he could screw his brains out so I just moved here.”
“I just moved here too. I have barely finished unpacking my possessions.”
She gave me a green eyed stare, a legacy from her jaguar grandmother, Janice.
“What cha doing tonight?” she asked, stubbing her cigarette butt into the concrete next to the lounge chair.
“I plan to grab a bite at the Pub. Would you care to join me?”
“You’re kind of old for me but, yeah, I’ll go. I have to get dressed.”
“That is an excellent idea, I doubt the Pub will accept you in your present state of dress and yes, I am old but you are safe. I am also gay and a long time friend of your parents.”
She chuffed slightly and rose.
“I’ll meet you at the Pub in an hour,” she said.
“Fine, an hour it will be.”
Her parting shot to me as she practically bumped the drink out of my hand with her buttocks as she rose was, “Don’t try anything though, promise?”
“You have my utmost assurance.”
The Watering Hole Pub, as usual, was crammed with thirsty and hungry patrons. I spotted Imani at the bar.
“Shall we find a table?” I asked.
“Shit no, the action is here. Can you run a tab for me?”
As I perused the bar front I could tell that the ‘action’ for the most part was a line of inebriated males. Among them was my neighbor, Dickey Simba. I asked for a Scotch and told the bartender to run a chit which would include Imani. Dickey spotted me and came over. He greeted Imani who was perched on the stool next to me. She stuck out a spike heeled foot and touched his crotch. He looked at her but made no attempt to remove the object which was now caressing that area.
“You are kin to me, Imani,” he growled.
“So what? Use a rubber,” she giggled.
He finally removed her foot. I was no longer in the picture. I might as well have been a fly on the wall as far as these two were concerned. I chalked it up to my being in a tavern full over oversexed straights. I needed to reacquaint myself with Montecore’s gay emporium.
“The Simbas always fuck each other,” shouted Imani over the hullabaloo.
And she just had to add, “That’s why they are so rubbishy.”
Dickey grabbed her hand, sloshing her drink on her dress. This was getting ugly and I was about to remove myself from the scene, tab or no tab. I could settle with Wally Warthog later.
She stood up and ground her stiletto heel into Dickey’s loafer. My nerves were on edge. Just as I thought all hell was going to burst loose over my person, I was saved by the appearance of the bad girl’s father, Ashley Lyon. Ash pushed his daughter aside, pulled me from my stool and gave me another one of those overwhelming bear hugs that lions are known for.
“Maurice, it’s so good to see you. When did you get back?”
Ashley looked as good as ever. He had maintained that air of youthful boyishness that had made him such a winning personality and physical figure.
We made our way to a booth. I noticed, even if Ashley didn’t, that both his daughter and Dickey Simba had disappeared from the Pub. Ashley and I caught up with each other and no mention was made of Imani or Dickey.
Dickey poured a drink for Imani. They were in his apartment. She slumped on his couch and took the offending shoes off. He handed her the drink and lit a bong for himself.
“Weren’t you pregnant by Solly Simba?” asked Dickey.
“Yep, I gave it away.”
“To whom? A zoo perhaps?”
“No, not a zoo, asshole. A nice lion couple in the Serengeti,” she spat.
“And so why the anxiety to have carnal knowledge of another Simba male?” he asked, offering her his bong.
She inhaled deeply, held the smoke and slowly let it out.
“Because you’re sexy, Dickey.”
What happened with Solly?”
“He wouldn’t own up.”
Her voice held undertones of deep sadness and equally profound hurt.
“I never liked Solly; too spoiled and totally self-centered. Spoiled rotten by both parents,” said Dickey.
“Betty was tougher on him,” argued Imani.
“No, she wasn’t because he was the first born with her adored Shane.”
“You don’t like Uncle Shane, do you?”
“No one likes Shane Simba except Betty and his daughter, and oh, don’t forget Lewis Lyon who helps him fuck over Kenya.”
“Wow, you are bitter. Why do you work for him?” she asked, returning his bong.
“Because the money’s kick ass.”
He put a cassette of Chris Botti in the player and sounds of soothing jazz filled the room.
“Are you going to screw me?” she asked.
“No, I am going to make love to you, Imani. You’ve been ‘screwed’ too much by too many uncaring males.”
And he did just that. Imani stayed the night and was in love before daybreak. She made Dickey coffee before he left for work and he kissed on top of her tousled head before leaving.
I made a point to dine with Bertram Baboon the next evening at the elegantly subdued Okapi’s. No loud crowds here bellying up to bars and full of the scent of musky sexual desire. It was all genteel dining. Bertram and I had frequently eaten here in the past. The owner, though not a demonstrative animal at all, welcomed me heartily.
Bertram was peeved and his first sentence, once seated was, “I would think you would have enjoyed my home more than that musty place you just moved into.”
“We lived there once before, remember?”
“We are beyond that, Maurice. We are older and settled. We are deserving of better lodgings that what has become a semi-permanent motel for horny singles,” he fumed.
“I find it rather revitalizing,” I said, lifting my martini to my lips.
“You have always had a proclivity for lowlife, Maurice.”
Rather than carry on with this line of conversation, I lifted my glass to his in a toast to my return and our enduring friendship.
“What is your latest film project?” I asked him, which was good fodder for at least two hours.