Dissecting Caufield – Episode I

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure dome decree.

“Similarities abound, my son!” a quiet voice spoke from near the dark mahogany bar.

Caufield, resplendent in tailcoat, white pique bow tie, and wing collar, was writhing on his side on the dance floor. A strange guttural sound had just exited from deep within his throat. He barely realized that the statement had been made coming out, as he was, from what amounted to a blinding curtain of pain. The music never stopped and the crowd just continued to dance around him.

“She kneed you in the groin because of her uncle,” the quite voice said.

Caufield stood up and lurched over to the voice, bent over trying to get over the nausea. It seemed to him that the voice was the only friendly one in the room, and it was male. Better to hang with a guy for a while and try to regain some dignity.

A bit of his cool returning, Caufield leaned against the bar and ordered a Rob Roy. “What the hell was that all about?” he asked, his face flush he looked up at the voice and smiled crookedly.

“Her uncle,” the voice repeated.

“What do you mean?”

“It was her uncle that taught her to dance.”

Caufield looked confused as he gulped at the Rob Roy that was just placed in front of him. This was his first night dancing at Marty’s in Redondo Beach.

Marty walked up at that moment to speak with Caufield. “I’m so sorry, sir,” Marty said in some weird mix of Spanish accent with heavy gay overtones. “Please have your drink on de house. Agadore, put thees men’s drank on my tob, please. Thank jou. Jou are sach a dear.”

“Paulina es a beetch tonight – she’s prolly in the way of women tonight. Mama was like theet, before we had to flee Cuba, so I know.”

Caufield thanked Marty just as Marty’s head snapped right to notice what appeared to be very short black lady that had just walked in. Wearing a Cinderella-style full-length evening dress and carrying what apparently was a large kitchen clock on a string slung over her shoulder like a purse. She had a homemade tin foil wand and tiara and on close inspection was a borderline dwarf, drag queen. Marty smiled broadly calling out “Jackie, I jes love jour outfit. It’s so wild!” He rushed over gushing to join her.

Caufield turned back to the voice, “What is that all about?” He started to snicker uncontrollably. The pain had sufficiently subsided and he was feeling far less miserable.

“When she first learned to dance, her uncle taught her,” the voice continued as if nothing at all had transpired to interrupt the original thought. “The problem was that he taught her, drank heavily, and tried to hit on her. His favorite drink was a Rob Roy. When you brought her in, you ordered her a Cosmopolitan and you got a Rob Roy. Then you wanted to dance the Tango with her and she snapped. Her uncle always hit on her after the Tango.”

Caufield expression changed to the one Heston got when he looked up and saw the ape on the horse. “How weird! I didn’t do a thing.”

“Doesn’t matter. She’ll be back over to apologize in a bit, maybe,” replied the voice.

“I just don’t get it. Who are you, by the way?”

“Grajif is my name,” said the voice, holding out his hand in introduction.

“My name is Caufield,” he replied shaking Grajif’s hand. “Grajif? Is that the right way to say it?”

“Yes. That’s what some call me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I have a number of personas. Grajif is a bit obtuse. Tell you what, call me McMurphy, if you wish. My friends call me McMurphy,” replied Grajif/McMurphy.

“McMurphy?”

“Yeah. Hey! Don’t worry about it. Call me McMurphy.”

A stunningly beautiful brunette walked by at that moment causing Caufield’s attention to drift. “Hey Frog!” she exclaimed to Grajif/McMurphy. “How are you?”

“Fine, my dear. You look delicious this evening.” She was wearing a black evening dress with plunging décolletage revealing a lot of tan skin. She wasn’t voluptuous, exactly. She was lithe and just very very buff. She was the kind of woman that made strong men weep. “Let me introduce you to my friend Caufield. Caufield, this is Coleman. Coleman, Caufield here is a great dancer.”

“Do tell,” Coleman replied. She hadn’t seen the earlier mess since she had been in the powder room. “Maybe we could dance later. I’m with a few friends. They’ll be leaving shortly.”

“Love to.” Caufield replied.

“Well, okay then. I’ll see you in a bit,” Coleman stated. “And you need to buy me a drink,” she said to McMurphy. “Bye bye, Froggie,” Coleman sidled up to McMurphy and wrapped herself around him. It was a very sensuous hug. “Kiss that Frog’” she said to no one in particular as she turned to leave.

“Frog? Froggie?” Caufield looked at McMurphy, incredulously.

“You can call me McMurphy.”

“Coleman? That’s a strange name for a girl.”

“You could call her ‘The Little Engine that Could’ and no one would mistake her for anything other than woman.”

“How do you know her?”

“I met her down at the free weight pit over in Venice. I was attempting to bench press my weight, I turned my head and asked Buffy, she likes to be called Buffy, and her pal Turquoise to pull a barbell off of my chest that was suffocating me. Turquoise is a six-foot blond investment banker with a figure that’s comparable to Coleman’s. She told Buffy to handle it. Coleman, that’s her real name, helped me. She was studying space vehicle re-entry physics at CalTech at the time. She dropped her ninety-five pound curling bar to rush over and save me. She was dressed in a yellow string bikini and her highly bronzed muscles rippled in the sun as she closed the twenty-yard distance between us. We’ve been close friends ever since. She sort of confides in me.”

“Wow,” was all that Caufield could manage.

Just then, Paulina walked over and said nothing. She just stood there for a second looking for something to say. She wasn’t quite the dish that Coleman was but she could definitely cause car accidents walking across a street. Wearing a dark red dress and a look of shame.

“Caufield, I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. I need a drink.”

Caufield started to order, “Bartender, could we have a Rob Rrr…, I mean a Jewels Hammer for my friend here?”

While the bartender started to pour, Caufield turned to Paulina, “That’s okay. I probably deserved it.”

“No, no, no, you didn’t. It’s me. I’ve… I’ve got a few issues. Please forgive me.”

“Not a problem,” Caufield handed her the drink. “Why don’t you just let me cool down a little bit. Go over and visit with your friends and we’ll dance later. I’d like to speak my new friend here. Do you know McMurphy? McMurphy seems to know you.”

“Yes I do. Hello Froggie!” she turned to smile broadly as she held out her hand. Blushing, she thought better of that and gave McMurphy a big hug. “I’ll be back,” she broke off the hug, turned back to Caufield and squeezed his arm in a sort of hand hug. She turned and walked off to visit her friends leaving behind the fragrances of bergamot, jasmine and orange. She wore Champs Elysees by Guerlain.

Caufield, amazed, just laughed. “Froggie?” he asked.

“You can call me McMurphy.”

“You said something while I was on the floor holding my balls.”

“I said ‘Similarities abound, my son.’”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know. I guess it means that patterns exist that repeat themselves. Events are influenced by what has gone before. One can detect a pattern.”

“Do you know me?”

“No, not really. I mean, I know who you are by reputation. I’ve seen you many times before here and in other places. We’ve never been formally introduced. You vomited on my shoes once in New York.”

“That was you?” Caufield looked crestfallen.

“Yeah. Forget about it. The shoes were cheap.”

“But you seem to know something about me.”

“To know men is to know you. You are Everyman.”

“I work for Microsoft.”

“Not a job. More of a condition, a state of existence, a situation we all face. ‘Everyman’ is a metaphor for the human condition.”

What am I doing wrong with Paulina?”

“You ask a lot of questions?”

“Is that bad?”

“No.”

“What am I doing wrong?”

“Not a thing. You are being you.”

“That’s not so much fun sometimes.”

“You have to live with you. We all do. Paulina has, to put it into the psychological idiom de jour, psychological baggage.”

“I like Samsonite.”

“Wrong baggage. Her’s is of the heart. Young as she is, she’s lost innocence.”

“She is not innocent.”

“Tell me about it. She needs things that you are probably not best suited to deliver.”

“I’ve got a few deliveries I like to make to her.”

“Seems like you’ve delivered there before.”

“Yeah, man. It’s a great route. She’s absolutely great in…, well, let’s just say she’s a great girl. I love her. I must win her. I will have her, oh yes. I want to deliver. I want to pick up. I want to fetch things for her.”

“She is quite fetching. And you look great together on a dance floor.”

“She’s my new dance partner.”

Coleman walked by at this point and winked at McMurphy. Hesitating she turned and asked “Caufield, you ready to dance?”

Paulina, across the room, caught Caufield’s eye and mouthed “N-O”.

“I better not. I’m with my girlfriend and she can be a little jealous.”

“Too bad. Maybe some other time,” she said with an expression of mock sadness. She set off for anther table.

“Well,” Caufield said after they both watched the beautiful Coleman disappear into the crowd.

Just then Marty reappeared. “Hey, boy. Why don jou go join your girlfreend. She seems to be calmed down a beet. I don’t want her getting too rowdy.” He buzzed off in the direction of the men’s room.

“He’s probably right. Better stick close to her. You’ll be around?” Caufield headed off in Paulina’s direction.

“I’ll be here if you need me.”

 

McMurphy picked up his Martini and made for a table of acquaintances. Sitting down with his pals, Buzz and Kimberly, Kimberly piped up, “What was that all about?”

“Unrequited love?” Buzz suggested.

“Bad choices,” McMurphy answered. “He’s built for comfort; she’s built for speed.”

“I think Caufield is the best,” Kimberly pointed out.

“Oh, absolutely!” Buzz agreed.

“I can second that,” added McMurphy. “He doesn’t exactly remember it but I have run into him from time to time. He really is a great guy.”

“Sounds like a setup for hell. Women love to torture nice guys that love us,” Kimberly pointed out.

“Kimberly, that’s a pretty hard-hearted thing to say,” McMurphy declared.

“But true. But I don’t want to be that way. I mean, I am a terrible flirt but I wouldn’t try to hurt anyone.”

“Paulina would,” Buzz interjected.

“Well, probably. She’s got demons,” said McMurphy in a matter of fact way.

“Cast them out,” commanded Buzz.

“I’d hate to do that in a room of strangers. Has a chilling effect on the crowd.”

“McMurphy, what do you think would be a prudent course?” asked Buzz. “I think Caufield is the best. He is extremely talented both socially and professionally. He works for Microsoft, you know.”

“Microsoft has never, to the best of my knowledge, been know as a hotbed of social graces,” suggested McMurphy. “Ask Bill how well he finessed the Department of Justice.”

“No, I meant on the professional side. They only have good people.”

“Of course they have good people. But Caufield is at the very top of that game,” added Kimberly.

“True,” replied McMurphy. “He is the best. And he’s a great guy.”

“Great guys get their guts kicked out on a regular basis,” declared Kimberly. It’s that ‘go-for-the-bad-girl’ syndrome. Paulina is also eight year’s older than he is. That’s too much of a difference, if you ask me.”

“How old is Caufield?” asked McMurphy.

“Thirty-one.”

“She must be something for him to be so enamored with her,” suggested Buzz.

“I don’t think she’s all that hot,” said McMurphy.

“Oh, hell!” exclaimed Buzz. “You hang with girls like that Coleman chick. She makes Cindy Crawford look like Bill Clinton in drag the day after Hillary tried to brain him with a lamp.”

“Well, I guess I am used to a different class of girl. But, at any rate, Caufield is throwing away his youth.”

“What are those splotches?” asked Buzz.

“He’s got a new dermatologist that specializes in splotches,” explained Kimberly.

“He has to pay to have those implanted?” asked McMurphy.

“Don’t be cruel. I’ve got a few red spots I’m going to have fixed,” she added.

“Where? Can we see them?” asked Buzz.

“No.”

“Will you at least draw them on this picture?” Buzz pulled out a picture of Daniela Pestova torn from the 2000 sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and handed it to Kimberly along with a pink highlighter.

“No.”

“Aw, shucks!” Buzz took the picture back and put it back in his wallet.

Kimberly shifted the discussion a bit, “What can we do to help the poor boy?” He’s all torn up over this girl.”

“We could get him drunk and take him to a nekkid bar,” suggested McMurphy.

“Forget it. I’m not going in a strip joint even for Caufield.” Kimberly effectively quashed that idea.

“We need to get his mind off of her. We need to get him so involved in work and hanging out with us that he forgets her,” declared Buzz. “He needs our help. Look at the poor boy kowtowing to Paulina.”

All three looked over at Caufield. He was down on one knee at her feet wiping her black pumps with his silk pocket square. She continued her conversation with her friends, virtual oblivious to Caufield’s ministrations, a look of extreme intensity on his face.

“See what I mean?” said Buzz.

“Interesting. A foot fetish,” said McMurphy.

“That makes me sick,” said Kimberly.

“Did he licked it clean before he started to polish it?” wondered McMurphy.

“Probably,” suggested Buzz.

“Shut-up, you guys. You’re supposed to be his friends.”

“We are. Guys make fun of their friends behind their backs. It’s a male bonding thing,” McMurphy defended.

“I feel much closer to you, now, McMurphy,” exclaimed Buzz.

“And I you, Buzz. I hope we can share more of these intimate moments together in the near future.”

“SHUT-UP, you guys. You’re supposed to be his friends.”

“Loosen up. It’s just a joke,” explained McMurphy. “Look. Short of pulling out the old tranquilizer rifle and popping him in the ass with a nice bolus of Midazolam, all we can do is observe the situation at this time.”

Looking back over at Caufield, Paulina had him by the ear and was heading for the door.

“We will have to assist him with his breathing, of course. It’s a strong tranquilizer. I’ve got all the equipment in the car.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: