Read all the parts of Gestures that made Lexi go wild and hard in this link.
A disappointed feeling went through me as Lana removed her hand from mine, and said that sounded like a good idea. I thanked her for lunch and stood up, preparing to leave, when she told me to hold on so she could grab her coat. I told her she didn’t have to walk me out.
Lana rolled her eyes at me and said that she was going to grab her coat, because she was going to take me to see my aunt. I immediately told her no, I couldn’t impose like that. Lana told me not to be ridiculous and not to be embarrassed; she would drop me off and go grab a coffee while I went in for a visit.
I tried to refuse, but Lana told me she would not take no for an answer, it was cold and I would have to take three buses to get home. She also winked and said she still had my money, and wouldn’t give it to me until she dropped me off at home tonight. I lost any desire to continue to argue.
A ride in a warm truck, a chance to see my aunt, and more time with a woman who was being nicer to me than anyone had in a long time. I agreed to go and with a big smile, that made my decision worth it even more, Lana left the room to go grab her coat.
Slipping my sweatshirt back on, I followed her into the Parlor and saw her go down the hallway to the closet. While she had the door open, blocking her view of me, I took a minute to look at the picture of her in the black dress. Upon close inspection, not only was my initial impression of her legs confirmed,
but I couldn’t help but notice that her chest was not exactly small. The dress wasn’t too low cut, but I could see more than a little cleavage. I focused on her face, trying to guess how old the picture was, she looked pretty much as she did now, and I thought that she more than looked good for her age, she looked good period.
I turned quickly away from the picture when I heard her footsteps coming towards me and saw she was again bundled up from head to toe. I found myself wondering if I was still seeing her come the warm weather, what she would dress like. As we left the house and got into her truck, I rolled my eyes at myself.
This woman was being damn good to me, and I was wondering what her body looked like. Never mind the fact she had kids my age, and sure as hell would never think of me in that way. In my defense however, it had been months since I’d broken up with Emely and Lana holding my hand was the first time a woman had touched me in any way since.
Lana dropped me off at the home where the best day I’d had in a long time continued. Aunt Carmen called me by name as soon as I entered her room. Better than that, she even hugged me back when I hugged her.
She seemed fairly lucid and asked about me and the house. I fought to keep a smile on my face as I told her that I was doing great in school, and was keeping the house in good shape for when she came home. Aunty asked how Emely was and I said fine. I had to stifle a laugh when she shook her head and said “I have to tell you Lexi, I really am not fond of that girl, she’s quite the phony.”
Aunty stayed with me for another few minutes, long enough to break my heart by asking me if I knew when her kids were coming to take her home. I was almost relieved when she started fading out, looking at me as if I had just come in and asking me who the hell I was. I told her twice, then gave up and simply nodded as she started talking about people I’d never heard of before. After a few minutes of that, she fell asleep and I sat by the bedside holding her hand with my head down, crying in frustration at how wrong all this was.
Taking a few minutes to pull myself together, I went outside to see Lana sitting out front in her truck. I got in and she asked how my visit was. I told her the truth, that it was up and down, and she left it alone.
We drove to Providence in silence. I felt bad, but seeing Aunty drained me, and the heat, which was a treat for me, was making me drowsy. When we were within a few blocks of my house,
I told her to pull over and I would walk. Lana stubbornly insisted on taking me all the way to my door and a couple of minutes later we pulled up in front of the rundown four story building with the tacky rooms by the weak sign over the door that I called home.
I thanked her for everything and as I started to get out, I felt her hand press into mine. Looking down I saw she was handing me a fifty. Before I could say anything she said she didn’t have two twenties so I would just have to take that. I started to thank her again, but stopped in mid sentence when she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. She told me again what a great guy I was and how wonderful it was the way I cared about my aunt. Taking my hand, she told me to hang in there, things would get better.
Since then things had gotten a little better, but only because of Lana herself. I saw her just about every morning and it gave me something to look forward to. She had started coming by a couple minutes earlier so we could talk a little before she had to go.
One day she said she felt bad because while I was talking to her I might be missing out on making some money. I told her not to worry, that I looked forward to seeing her. I was amazed at the smile she gave me, and as she looked down I swore she was blushing. Of course, she made it worth it anyway, always giving me a few dollars.
It had gotten to the point I tried not to take it from her. She asked why, and I told her that I felt like we were friends and I wouldn’t take advantage of a friend. Lana had shaken her head and told me that I really was something.
She pulled away and just as she did, dropped a five on the ground before driving away laughing before I could give it back to her. Over the last few days I found myself thinking of her more and more, especially at night. During the morning I just thought about seeing her and what we would talk about. At night however, my thoughts were becoming very different and weren’t exactly the purist.
Lying there shivering on the cot, I would find my mind drifting in her direction. I always envisioned her in that black dress from the picture, her long hair down and a different kind of smile on her face. She would kiss me on the cheek as she had done that night she dropped me off, but in my thoughts her lips strayed to mine. I imagined we were in her bedroom and the kissing would lead to her pushing me onto her bed. Lana would start to slip the dress off and…
I jumped at the sound of a horn barely getting out of the way of a red Toyota turning the corner. I took a deep breath and stood on the curb for a minute until my heart slowed down. Carefully looking both ways, I crossed the street and shook my head at the fact I was thinking about her that way.
I wasn’t just thinking about her, I was talking about her as well. A couple of nights ago when I was washing dishes with Kate in the restaurant, I mentioned her several times. The last time I did he laughed at me. When I asked him what was so funny, he slapped me on the shoulder and said, “Man, you are crushing on this woman!”
I tried to deny it, but could feel myself getting redder by the minute. He had picked the right word; a crush was exactly what I felt like I had. Well I guess I couldn’t blame myself. Lana was damn nice to me and attractive, I think her being older was exciting as well, but a crush was all it was.
Like most crushes I had no doubt it was one sided, and would run its course. But for now, she was fun to think about and it gave me a pleasant distraction from the rest of my pathetic existence. Speaking of which, I had reached the route ten off ramp and as I always did, looked up and down the street for cops before crossing part way and standing on the island.
I closed my eyes and removed my sign from my sweatshirt and held it up in front of me. It always amazed me that after several months of this it hadn’t gotten easier. Every day I felt like I lost another piece of myself as I stood there begging. I focused straight ahead as the cars went past me. The light turned red, and as the traffic stopped I looked around at the people in the cars in front of me. I did this quickly, long enough to maybe gain some sympathy, but not long enough to make them feel awkward.
The guy in the ford pickup in front of me rolled his window down, and put his hand out. I quickly stepped forward, took the dollar from his hand, and said softly, “Thank you sir.”
“Anytime kid,” he replied. “You try to get some coffee with that okay, it’s cold out here.”
I nodded and turned to go back up to the island. As I did I was just in time to catch the sight of two young kids in the back seat of a Lexus, pointing and laughing at me. The light changed and as the cars drove by I heard someone yell, “Fucking pathetic, get a job you lazy bastard!”
I put my head down, in shame and frustration. This would go on all morning. For every decent person there was an asshole. Most people seemed to be in between. They would make eye contact with me, then quickly look away and stare straight ahead until the light changed. I could tell they felt bad, but either couldn’t give anything or thought it was wrong to do so for some reason.
The first half hour went by quickly and I made ten dollars, so lunch and dinner were in the bag at least. The next goal was another ten for the luxury of a haircut, so if I got an interview I could look decent. The time began to drag as traffic thinned out and standing still allowed the cold to catch up to me.
I didn’t have a watch, but my well developed internal clock told me I should have seen Lana by now. Once in a while if she knew she had to work late she would go in later in the morning. When that happened I usually missed her, as I didn’t stay more than an hour for fear of the cops. Figured this would be the day she wouldn’t be around.
I looked up excitedly at the sound of a horn, expecting to see her truck. It wasn’t her, but I knew who it was. I quickly jumped back a couple of feet as the red mustang came racing towards the light. It was driven by a kid around my age and the two girls who were with him were laughing and pointing.
As he always did, the kid swerved the mustang close enough to the island to hit the slushy snow in front of it and splash it up at me. I dodged most of it, but some hit my legs, instantly soaking my pants. He yelled something and I heard the screech of brakes.
I saw that the traffic had backed up and he was stopped not twenty feet from me. I felt a surge of rage flow through me and stepped off the island. After weeks of doing shit like that to me, the little mother fucker had finally screwed up. I was never much of a fighter, but at six feet was not a small guy.
I used to work out when things had been good, and although I’d lost weight with my limited lifestyle I was still pretty solid. Wandering the streets had also taught me how to handle myself, and I’d gotten into enough scuffles with other panhandlers and street people to know I could kick this kid’s ass.
I took another step towards his car and saw to my amusement he was looking behind him and saw me coming. I smiled at the image of yanking him out of his car in front of his little girlfriends and bitch slapping him. I was halfway across the street when I heard Lana’s voice behind me,
“Hey Lexi, hold on!”
I stopped and stared at the mustang, still wanting to go over there, but hesitated. Would I want Lana to see me act like that? She thought I was a sweet guy who did the right thing.
Right behind Lana was a vision of my aunt Carmens shaking her head in disappointment. I turned around and walked back onto the island, thinking I would get another chance with that prick some day. I admit I was a little ticked off, that I had lost this chance, but when I looked over to see Lana smiling at me, from her truck, I quickly forgot about it.
“Morning Lana, how are you?” I asked as I reached the side of her truck.
“I’m good Lexi, how are you doing this morning?”
“Okay, I’ve had worse days.”
“I’m sure you have.” She nodded, looking at me sadly.
I hated that look; pity was what I relied on from the people who donated to my cause. I wanted Lana to see me differently.
“Well any day I see you can’t be a bad day now can it?” I asked, giving her a wink.
Lana laughed and gave me the smile that I had been living for lately.
“You are smooth Lexi, you should teach classes.”
I shrugged and didn’t reply right away. I was content to just look at her. As always her hair was up and she was bundled up tight. I did notice that her usual black scarf had been replaced with a bright red one.
“So who said it’s a line?” I asked to keep her smiling or to keep up my lame attempt at flirting, either way it worked as she laughed again.
“Oh, please, I have kids your age and I doubt I’m one of those…” She thought for a moment. “Mif’s?”
“Milfs.” I corrected her, laughing.
“Oh yeah that’s right.” she nodded. “Not one of those.”
“Yeah you’re right,” I began as I made a show of looking closely at her. “I was thinking more like a cougar.”
“Good thing I wore my boots today.” Lana said, rolling her eyes.
Reaching down next to her she handed me a Dunkin Donuts coffee.
“Here you go hon, it’s really cold out here.”
I took the coffee and held up the cup, turned it around in my hand. Last week she had taped a five dollar bill to the side of it. I didn’t see anything, which was fine by me.
“Thank you Lana.” I told her. “Hey, I like that scarf, is that for Valentine’s Day?”
“It is as a matter of fact.” Lana said with a shrug. “Probably all I’ll do to celebrate the day, but hey it’s something right?”
I nodded, thrilled that my little segue had worked. I was reaching into my sweatshirt for the rose, when Lana surprised me first by reaching out and handing me a small heart shaped box of chocolates.
“Speaking of, happy Valentine’s Day Lexi.”