The Night Time Habits of…Max

This is the result of my own writing exercise posted previously…

A little intro:  Max is an older gentleman who worships at the “Church of the Palomino.”  The Palomino is a strip club.  He misses his wife, Patsy, and is infatuated with Shannon (aka Luscious Lexi).  This is what he does on an average just-got-back-from-the-strip-club night…

When Max returned from the Palomino, he made it a habit to take a shower.  He kind of liked the smell of cigarette smoke mixed with the sweetly complex perfumes that clung to his skin and clothes, but it felt wrong to sleep in his and Patsy’s bed with the haze of that place stuck to him.  He washed with the same soap Patsy had always bought him (Irish Spring), because it had a comforting, mind-resetting kind of effect on him that always made him think of the Blue Ridge mountains where he’d spent summers with his grandparents.  After his shower, he dusted himself with cornstarch powder, especially his armpits and man parts. 

He plunked his partial dentures into one of those little plastic tubs that used be a margarine container, filled it up with water from the bathroom sink, and dropped in a fizzy wafer of Efferdent.  He brushed his remaining twelve teeth with peppermint toothpaste and flossed between each one carefully.  He didn’t spend much time looking in the mirror, mainly because he didn’t like the way his missing teeth made him look sunk-cheeked, and older than he figured he ought to look.  Wrinkles and spots were fine…even the bushy eyebrows that seemed to get bushier each year were of no consequence to him, but he couldn’t stand the hollow of his own cheeks, and flipped off the bathroom light while he wiped his hands dry.

He hung his wet towel to dry on the back of the bathroom door and closed the door behind him.  In the bedroom, he put on a fresh pair of boxer shorts, stepped into his slippers, and shuffled to the kitchen.  In the light from the stove hood, he counted out the three vitamins-supplements he liked to take (Calcium, Magnesium, and Glucosamine) and one baby aspirin.  He drank them down with gulps of water he cupped to his mouth from the faucet, and dried his hands on a kitchen towel that he kept hung on the refrigerator door.

Lastly, before shuffling back to his bedroom to turn in for the night, he set the coffee pot with a timer to start making coffee at 7:49 a.m.  This would wake him up with its percolating sounds and good morning aroma.  Some mornings, before he was really awake, he dreamed Patsy was making that coffee for him.  Like she used to.  Having that dream really meant something, he thought, and it was sort of a way of apologizing to her…saying sorry for spending so much time at the Palomino.  But he figured she must know (since he thought people in heaven could probably see inside living people’s hearts) that he was really remembering her when he went there, more than he was really thinking about those young girls, anyhow.  He thought Patsy would understand how a man got lonesome.   And if she didn’t, well, when he saw her next, he’d explain it with a hangdog look on his face–a look she could never stay mad at–and he’d kiss her, and everything would be alright.


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