Joanie is a neighbor of Monk’s and a one time flame for whom he continues to carry a torch. Theirs, oddly enough, is a codependent relationship .
“Are you coming or not?” Joanie was standing over me.
“You’re singing, right?”
“I told you that already! What’s up with you, Buttman?”
She was well aware of what was up with me.
“I want to make sure there’s something to entertain me other than you making googly eyes over this new guy,” I harrumphed.
“Oh brother, and his name is Mikal. I expect you to behave, Monk.”
I rolled my eyes, “Who do you think you are, Ardis?”
“Consider it a move out of Ardis’ playbook. Are you going to behave?”
I thought about it.
“Well?” she demanded.
“I always behave.” I didn’t care for the direction this conversation was taking. “You’re the one who wants me to make sure about the guy, remember?”
Joanie laughed. “You’re still mad about us aren’t you?”
“Mad is the wrong word. I simply think you’re making a mistake that’s all. You’ve got a perfectly good man right here. The idea that there’s something better is all in your head. I think it’s good to say that out loud. Plus it’s a perfectly good argument.”
“Uh-huh.” She leaned down and kissed me. “I warned you not to get attached to me, so no whining. We’ve talked about it many times and every time the answer is still the same, we had a fling, but that was all it was. We’re far better off this way than trying to make it as a couple. And you know that so stop whining.”
“I’m not whining,” I whined.
“You’re a lousy actor, Buttman.”
“I beg to differ.”
“I’m sure you do.” She was still standing over me. “Come on, get up, let’s go; it’s like pulling teeth with you.”
I stood up and straightened my suit and tie.
“That’s because you know nothing of acting. I see it as a sublime statement of your foolishness.”
“I’m sure you do. Let’s go.” She took my chair and placed it inside the front door. “You’re driving.”
“What?” she says.
“What? You spent most of yesterday complaining about being seen in an aging heap and now it’s ‘you drive?’” I could deal with the romance stuff since she was maybe eight-five percent correct, but I had to defend the honor of the Falcon.
“That,” she huffed, “was yesterday. Today it’s not so bad.”
“Uh-huh, what gives?” I locked the bungalow door and we walked to the street in front of the Moonlight Arms.
“Does your car have gas in it?” What a question!
I opened the car door for her. “Of course it does.”
“Well, mine doesn’t, so you’re driving.”
“That’s what it comes down with us now, is it?” I got in behind the wheel and started the car.
“That’s what it comes down to,” she said with more delight than was necessary.
“I don’t think that’s fair,” I mumbled.
Joanie leaned over and kissed my cheek.
“Probably not, but that’s us.”
©2019 David William Pearce