The Adventures of Chartan: The Second Kiss

            Gina led Chartan from the parking lot to a short trail ending at the roaring Truckee River. She said she had a deep secret to reveal to him. The trip was long enough for the guru to process what she might say: she has a child; she is married to a mobster; she’s a criminal fugitive; or maybe she’s a guy, but that seemed impossible with her shape. 

            They faced each other at river’s edge.

            She touched Chartan’s upper lip with a pinky finger and said, “I have a close friend who I must see from time to time with no questions asked on your part.”

            “What kind of friend?”

            “Not like you might think. Spiritual, in part. Different, to be sure. “

            “What’s his name?”

            “He has none.”

            “What do you call him?”

            “I don’t and that’s the point. He doesn’t need a name, he just is.”

            Chartan wanted to ask her if they were intimate friends, if her orgasms were cosmic, but he stopped short. Gina was entitled to private moments. And as he’d never been married, or had a serious girlfriend, he lacked experience in long-term relationships. Why is she telling me about this nameless friend when I’ve only known her for two hours?

            Gina was unpredictable, she’d be exciting to be with. They would grow together.

            “Chartan, are you lost in thought?”

            “I am.”

            “This might wake you up.,” she said. “When we first spoke  I knew we should be married. In fact, my friend said I would meet someone today. He even described how you would look.”

            “I am fully awake!”

            All he would remember in the evening about this moment was their second kiss—long and perfect if, indeed, a kiss could be perfect.

            “Let’s go to my apartment,” said Gina as she slowly separated her lips from his.

            “What about Brazil?”

            “A friend has a motel—he can stay there.”


                Brazil paced back and forth in the seedy motel room where he’d been deposited three hours ago by Gina and Chartan.  The road trip had been a 105-mile journey cut short by a police stop where Elisa was taken into custody. He’d gone to a mountain top with Chartan and bared his soul—that was good. But then they met a waitress who captivated Chartan. Sure, she was witty and good to look at, but that didn’t help Brazil deal with his past. He may have killed a nameless boy in the jungle 40 years ago and he had kept the shame to himself–for decades it remained in the back shadows of his mind; the flashbacks never went away. The memories were killing him. Chartan was helping him confront the darkness until Gina came along. Or, maybe it it was Elisa. Either way Chartan had hormones to deal with—Brazil had been there long ago. Now, there was no glory, no joy in getting old and realizing you were a second thought at best for the few people remaining in your life.

            He grabbed the car keys and reached for the door that opened before he grasped the knob.

            “Skyler, will you be my best man?”

(Continued next Sunday).

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