“I can only tell it the way I remember it, and I sure don’t remember it like the way you’ve been telling it. He’s been flush with cash since the day he showed up in this town. So, it can’t be he’s getting rich off those sex stones of his. He had wads of Benjamins long before he partnered up with that internet site and began selling off those magnificent stones of his. They’re not all what they’re advertised if you ask me.” Pete Hampton was admonishing the mayor for intimating that Tambourine Tom was flashing around cash he had made off some sex stones everyone seems to know about, everyone but me, that is.
I was becoming flustered. All I wanted was a clear answer to a simple question: what are sex stones? I’d be happy with how Tambourine Tom got his name, but I had to start somewhere. I thought Pete would help me out, but I think I’ve hung my hat on the wrong star again. Pete had drifted in about two beers ago and had been telling me about the insurance business he was in. Tom only interrupted our conversation once, and that was to retrieve his beer before hustling back down to where the mayor’s wife sat. But, now they’re gone again.
“Damn, those two sure go in and out a lot.” I couldn’t help but notice that Tom and the mayor’s wife were in and out the back door quite often.
“Oh, Iris is a smoker and Tom doesn’t like it that she’s standing out there in that alley all alone.”
“Hell, he’s just trying to get in her pants.”
“He’s wasting his time. She’s not leaving that husband of hers. Not for the likes of him.”
“Gentlemen,” I had to interrupt those two again. They argued like an old married couple, “what are sex stones? That’s all I’ve been hearing about, and still I don’t have a clue as to what they are.”
Pete lifted his briefcase off the floor and sat it on the table. “I think I still have his ad in here somewhere.” He flipped the latches open and lifted the lid. After rummaging around a bit he came up with a small piece of paper. “Here you go, Stranger. This should help you understand what Tom’s got.”
He handed me a half sheet of paper, folded in half. I smoothed out the crease and looked down at what appeared to be a cheaply put together ad with directions to the Etsy website, and these words:
Throughout recorded history, and millennia before that, humankind has been searching for the fountain of youth, ways to extend life, and the means to improve the libido. What a find one of those would be. Just think of it. You’d be famous for all time, and then some.
Now, I’m not saying I’ve found anything even remotely resembling something of such magnitude, something that might change the course of history, or at least how humans approach history. No, I’ve not been so fortunate
What I did find, though, I tripped over one day while hiking a trail in Northern Arizona (I’ve since discovered these little trip hazards live in more places than I ever imagined). As I crashed to the ground I was struck with an epiphany. “This is it.” The thought just exploded into my mind like a meteor burning through the atmosphere. “The answer people have been searching for lies before them. It’s right here for all to see.” Yes, what I had happened upon was an outcropping of those famous sex stones.
This minor accident, this fortunate fall, resulted in a slightly twisted ankle, and a knot on the side of my head where I had struck it upon a very mature sex stone. That blow to the head is what brought these thoughts from the dark recesses of my grey matter and splattered them across the highway of my thinking.
I want so much to share this great find with everyone; shout it from every mountaintop. What joy that would bring me, to know that humankind has benefitted from my fortunate fall. But, alas, I cannot.
You see, I have come to know that not everyone can handle something so life changing, something so monumental that it disrupts their daily routine. And then to know that it has been resting at their feet all this time, yet they were too blind to see. That would be more than some people can handle.
No, I must remain mute in this matter of historical importance.
I will, though, share with a slight few some of these magnificent sex stones I’ve collected in my journey through life. There are a limited number of these beauties, so don’t miss out. Imagine, you, too, might come to know that there is something out there that can change your life, change the way you think, and might even change the way you look at objects around you. You will have in your possession your very own sex stone. I’ll bet you, as I have, will find a place of importance in your home for this magnificent object. You’ll want your friends and family to know of what you possess.
Be careful, though, of who you share the secret with. Not everyone can handle the knowledge that something so small might change their life forever.
“This doesn’t help me any.”
“Exactly. That’s why I’m pretty sure he hit it big up there in the hills somewhere. Either that, or he’s a venture capitalist.”
“He’s no more a venture capitalist than I am the president of these here United States.” The mayor was becoming agitated. “Excuse me, boys. My bladder is full and I intend to empty it.” He stood and staggered towards the back of the bar.
“You know, Stranger, I can’t say how Tom came by all his money. For all I know he could have been born with a silver spoon up his butt. I can say, though, he’s the most generous man I’ve ever met. Kind of dresses funny from time to time, though. The only problem with the man is he can’t sit still for more than a minute or two. Damn guy makes me tired just being in his presence.”
“How long have you known him, Pete?”
“Too long, if you ask me.” Tom spoke up out of nowhere. It startled poor Pete. I think I was getting used to it. I was just amazed is all. How does he do that? “Say. You guys want to play some liar’s dice? Everyone at the bar is in.”
Hadn’t we been down that road once before? “Sure,” I stuttered. Pete just nodded.
He was gone before his words registered in my brain. “I’ve got to catch the mayor before he goes and does something I might regret.”
The mayor was perched on the stool next to the mayor’s wife, leaning in towards those bodacious ta-ta’s of hers and uttering something we could not hear at our end of the room. By the time I got focussed on the two of them there was a third person there. Tom. He left here and got there faster than was humanly possible. Well, maybe not that quick, but it was fast.
“Excuse me, Pete, but I’ve got to get rid of some of this beer I’ve been swallowing.” I stood and walked towards the other end of the bar, passing the mayor along the way. When I got near where Tom and the mayor’s wife were sitting I caught just a snippet of their conversation. Well, maybe you wouldn’t call it conversation. It was more like begging.
“Come on Iris. You know you want to see it.” Tom was pressed close to the mayor’s wife, his chin brushing up against her left breast. My guess is that he was standing, instead of sitting, for that very reason. “It’s the nicest one you’ll ever see. I don’t show it to just anyone.”
The door to the men’s room slammed shut behind me. It was quiet and cool in that closet sized room. I unzipped and stood there relieving myself, thinking about what I didn’t know, and whether I might ever know it. How did Tambourine Tom get his name? How did he acquire such large sums of money? Will he ever get what he wants from the mayor’s wife? What was he trying to get her to see? What are sex stones? Can I even walk, much less drive my drunken butt home?
Food. I need food. Something to fill my belly and soak up the beer. Too late to do anything about the whiskey. I could have sworn I’d ordered a bacon cheeseburger shortly after I wandered into this fine establishment. No. I was thinking of ordering a bacon cheeseburger when Tambourine Tom blew through the front door. My life has not been the same since.