Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (1971) pt 2


It was a Saturday, April 24th when I knocked on Harmony's front door. She yelled from
a top window for me to come around the side. As I entered the door, she escorted me in.
Passing through the doorway, the first thing that caught my eye as always was that fancy
daybed in the parlor. It looked like a surrealistic couch with overly accentuated pillows
that shined like yellow gold. The wave coming out of its wooden spine made it look like
it belonged in another century! An even stranger looking couch was situated at the far
end of the living room.
This she called a settee. As I approached the kitchen table, there
was a mahogany inlaid late Victorian antique chiffonier displaying exactly twenty three
assorted dishes. Some old & some new, some with portraits, flowers & gold plating too!

"Can you excuse me a moment, I need to run upstairs for something?" "Sure I said,"
and waited for her to return. Looking around, I spotted a box of Cream of Wheat
on the counter and thought to myself, how strange is that; Indians eating the same
food as we do! If that's the case, then maybe we're not so different at all. . .

                                                            Tartans of Lavender Lane - You, baby, you

I quickly glanced at the newspaper on the table and saw that there was a mass
march planned for today at the nation's capitol. People were protesting North
America's involvement in the war in Indochina
and hoped that by everyone
banning together, the antiwar group would succeed in finding some resolve. . .

                                 *They wouldn't*

                                                     The Exotics - Fire engine red

Even the Black Panthers took some involvement in letting the world
know it wasn’t our fight, but their words seemed to fall on deaf ears.

All the protest signs raised and propaganda leaflets handed out
by the truckload, did nothing to change their decision. And even
though the war was almost over, it felt like it had just begun.
It was a fight we couldn’t win. . . A war they couldn’t glorify.

                                                              Barry Mcguire - Eve of destruction                 

                                 But yet, that poor man.

With a face no one could ever forget would be etched in history.
One who had to carry all the blame and in fact all the heartache.
A man who had to resolve the headaches left by his predecessors.
Such hardship should never have been wrought upon his shoulders.

                    Oh laugh if you may at his caricature,
                        where the political satiric broods.
                       For if memory serves me correctly,
                       that man did the best he could!!!

As Harmony returned, I could see from a distance, how she struggled
to get her hair just right, before delicately removing the plastic coated
metal hair clip from between her lips and attaching it in place.

Together we sat down at her kitchen table and talked about the weather, the neighborhood and
people in general. We talked about our family members and our family history and we laughed.
I was Irish, Austrian, and Italian with a wee hint of Scottish going way back. Harmony, on the
ther hand, was Indian, Philippine and Colombian. She said her mom, Jacinthe grew up in this
house, having immigrated from Colombia at a very early age. At the age of twenty four she met
Raj and in six short months the two were engaged. In the spring of 1952, Harmony was born.

For the first year of her life, she lived in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh with her father's
family. In the little town of Pithampur, Raj would learn from his parents how to manage and
operate the textile mill, while Jacinthe got to know Raj's fairly large community of relatives.

The intricately woven city had its share of industrial revenue being produced daily, but still had
its unproductive ne'er-do-wells lurking within its primitive architecture shaking the change cup.

After a year and some time, her parents flew back to the states where Jacinthe remained with
her child in this very house. Raj could only stay briefly, but encouraged his wife to press on
without him, until the time came when he would make his return for her and their child. By
the year Harmony turned four, her parents were already struggling to keep the profit margins
up with a second textile mill, and Harmony would have to reside with her Aunt Sophie in
There was no other way. About her mom Jacinthe, I know almost nothing about.

Harmony was always kind to me for that was her nature.
Never at anytime did she come off as being fake or condescending
in any way. No, Harmony was way too scrupulous for that!

In the morning, Harmony would walk around the corner to the bus stop, and take the bus into
Stapleton. On certain weekdays, from seven to four she would get the place in order, before
tending to customers at the antique shop. I know it's silly, but I always wondered if she was ever
thinking of me. Probably not, but it occupied a good portion of my brain to ponder that notion!

“You're lucky you're so cute,” she once told me as she touched my nose real fast.
This got my heart stirring for affection! Would anything become of it? I didn't know,
but I prayed to God every night that he would bring us closer together. I had no idea
what love was all about, but I knew it had something to do with the way two people
kissed. Before anything can happen, I need to get that special kiss from her, but how?
It seemed I would just have to bide my time and wait until the ineludible moment when
she would be most susceptible to my advances; only then could I make my move.

                                                             The Trophies - With a love

Harmony was always singing for me as she played her acoustic guitar, and that made
me feel good, but what I really wanted was for her to sing to me. To feel that bond of
togetherness. That heartfelt cloying of over exaggerated needs; I think it's called love.
During the course of the next few months, she would often say that I was like “her
younger brother” and she could never know how much that troubled me, deep down
inside. I wanted our friendship to be something more than a love that is found between
siblings, but I was totally clueless when it came to the dynamics of love. I knew only
what I saw. Because of this, I fretted in silence, growing ever more disillusioned by
the day. Wondering if perhaps she would find someone her own age to love her. A
realization so terrifying, it would undoubtedly hurl me over the edge to certain death.

Chuck Conlon - Won't you say yes to me, girl

                                                                                                                 Pg 164

Aside from her physical attributes, I was enthralled in the very makeup of her own
individual characteristics! So appealing was this lady to my senses! How a gentle
woman with unembellished beauty could mesmerize my world and take hold of my
very soul, was the mystery of mysteries for me at the time! Unbeknownst to her,
she had gone as far as to open my eyes up to feelings so unique and incredibly
real, that I would literally revel in the thought of waking up in the morning!

                                                             Johnny and The Appolos - In love with you

Apart from all that, I loved that wild accent of hers! It was a cross between Mayan and
Indian, and every time she spoke, she had my full attention. Even if she didn't say a word,
I could spend the remainder of each day just observing how she moved about the rooms.
With a body so petite and curvaceous, and a smile that could stop my heart from beating,
I would offer up my very existence for but one loving kiss. A child I may very well have
been indeed, but around harmony, I felt more like a man trapped inside a boy's body.

               So helpless, so yearning to love and feel loved by her that
               I would forfeit all childish joys in a vain attempt to become
               something I knew I could never be. . . Worthy of her love.

                                                            The Lost Chords - I want to be her man

As a child, I knew she would not be able to love me,
but I refused to give up hope.

God if only she could reach out and give me a sign or a signal that I would be able
to interpret. An opportunity for me to take charge of the situation somehow. Then
I would use it to the best of my abilities to win her love. “Show me baby, I'm right
here!” Who was I kidding? I never even kissed a girl, let alone persuade her into a
sultry affair I had no idea of consummating. Even after we paddle tongues, then what?

Quixotic tales of love and longing filled my head
and immediately began to empower my universe.

This was more than a carnal attraction.
It was adoration in its purest form.
The sentiment of all rapture.

When she was happy, she could be heard mildly humming a melody or singing a song as
she delicately dusted or cleaned up.
I asked her why she didn't have a boyfriend and told
her that a woman as beautiful as herself should have a boyfriend. She said to me, “Men
are such a drag. They're like little boys who only know how to take and not give.” In a huff,
I sprung up and walked over to the couch; my disgust etched in a scowl. “I'm sorry” she said,
giggling as she followed, I don't mean you! You're so sweet for listening to my ramblings.
A man would have said, shut up already!” As she sat down next to me on the couch, I reached
for her hand and held it. She then rested her head on my shoulder and sighed. I think in some
way she knew I was yearning, for later on that evening she asked me a very personal question.

“And I want the truth,” she said. “How do you feel about me?” Like a complete fool, I replied,
“you're like a big sister to me.” I could have went home and stabbed myself! “You're sure about
that?” I hesitated before saying “yeah,” in a sad tone while looking down at the floor. “Okay
then,” said Harmony with a smile, and brought out two ice cold bottles of Nedick's. Upon tasting
it, I replied, “It's like sweet orange soda without the fizz." She laughed and told me it was orange
drink. It was so sweet and so tasty, that it instantly became my beverage of choice!

                                                        Maywood - Just a little bit of love

As I sat beside her on that couch sipping my orange drink, I felt turned on, but I
was too young to be turned on
! What the hell was a “turn on” anyway? Maybe it
was the feeling in the middle of my chest that felt like batteries charging. I think
they're overcharging cause now I'm shivering
! Yes, I was indeed turned on!!!

                                                                                                                 Pg 165

Every day without fail I would pay Harmony a visit. If I didn't see her at least once
a day, then I would think of her all night long, and I would not be able to sleep. By
the end of August, she gave me the key to her back door and told me not to lose it.

“If you lose this key,” she said to me in a stern but loving voice, “I will remove your pants,
put you across my knee, and spank you with the palm of this hand.” She held her hand out
so that I could get a good look at it. This is the hand, I thought. The hand that she is going to
use on me, and I just looked at it. Every line was so exquisitely drawn that I fell into a trance.

Her hand was so shiny I could almost see a reflection,
and my circuitry was now beginning
to overload! There was something so sensuously arousing about it, I thought my heart was
going to give out! I wanted that hand around my entire face. Her fingers to move across my
lips, how they almost seemed to glisten in the light the room was conveying. I was paralyzed
with apprehension as I pleaded to myself from the depths of my meek, trembling spirit; “hold
me, kiss me, I love you!” I started to feel so weak and powerless, and was hoping she would
just do it already. I wanted so badly to bring my mouth over to her hand and kiss it, but I went
numb. As I was preparing myself to run my fingers on top of hers, she whispered in my ear
with breath of fire, and said to me very slowly, “You never know; you might even like it.”
I looked up into those beautiful brown eyes of hers and everything went white.

                                                               The Barons - That's what I need your love for

I awoke on the couch (settee) to find her laughing about this. “You've really got to stop doing
that,” she said hysterically! I smiled, for I was no longer embarrassed. In fact, I was so “turned
on” by the whole thing, I got my very first erection! Of course, I didn't know what to do with
this erection, so I just pushed it down, so to speak with my hands crisscrossed. Kind of like the
way you would perform CPR on a chest. Whenever I was alone, I would think about what she
said to me. I would then begin to imagine us in all types of scenarios, which ended in her
having to use that hand on me! I was literally obsessed by it, and could not figure it out.

Would I like it?

Would it hurt?
If it hurt, then how could I like it?
Ah yes, my little brain was working. . . Overtime!

That night, while I sat at the dinner table with my mom and dad, I found myself
staring at seven Brussel sprouts in my dish. My parents knew I hated certain
vegetables, and yet still they insisted eat them. Why were they so cruel?

“You're not leavin' this table, till every vegetable on that plate is gone!
I'm watchin' ya, so don't start!”

                                                                                                                 Pg 166

Tonight, however, there would be no animosity at the dinner table, for I was going to try an
experiment. In my mind, I envisioned Harmony sitting next to me. My parents have departed
on a vacation and are no longer in the United States. They are now touring the city of Paris,
France, and Harmony is in charge of me. They have implemented a number of rules, and
have given Harmony strict orders that she has been instructed to follow. The most important
rule of all is that I must finish my Brussel sprouts. Under no circumstance is there to be any
In my mind, I envisioned Harmony sitting next to me. She then leans over to whisper
in my ear, “Do you really want to see how hard my sexy hand can slap? I'll leave handprints
all over your entire body, and you'll cry like a baby. . . Do you want me to make you cry?”

“If you don't finish every single one, I am going to stand you up, remove your pants
and crack you!” As I began to chew on the Brussel sprout, all that bitter liquid filled
my mouth, and the first thing that came to mind was turpentine. Just knowing what
was going to happen to me if I didn't eat them, far outweighed any nausea, which
accompanied me eating them! As I devoured the first one, my heart was beating so
strangely, it was getting me aroused. Could this be love? The effect of the terrible
vegetable had indeed turned into something of an aphrodisiac, which had in turn,
turned everything around for the better! My God I thought, what is happening to me?

“Are you all right?” questioned my mom who was sitting perpendicular to me at the
table. “You seem out of breath.” Due to the difficulty in swallowing what tasted like
poison, my face immediately began to flush causing an increase in both heartbeat and
heart rate! Mom swiftly springs into action by jumping up and taking a throat pulse
from the carotid artery. I must have been breathing quite heavy for her to become that
concerned! “His heart is beating a mile a minute, he's having an allergic reaction!

“Can you breathe?”
“There's no swelling.”
That was the last time I was ever forced to eat Brussel sprouts!

I don't know what I would have done, had I been left to myself in that state.

Another month had passed and it was starting to get chilly out. October was here, and it was
a Friday. I remember coming home and going inside for something, though I do not remember
what. What I do know is that I put away my schoolbooks and poured myself a glass of apple
juice before going back outside. I left my house and walked carefully across the street before
remembering that my mother was waiting for a very important letter. I then walked back across
the street and opened the mailbox to find two pieces of mail in there. Since they were both
addressed to my father, I didn't feel that it warranted another trip back inside the house, so I
gently placed the two letters back into the mailbox and proceeded once again to cross the street.

Always looking both ways and ever watchful of speeding cars. After unlocking the side door,
I walked in and helped myself to a bottle of orange Nedicks. Turning on the television, but
not really wanting to watch it, I checked to see if anything of interest would come on. I then
took off my shoes and waited for my beautiful friend to arrive. Occasionally, she would
leave a sweater draped across the chair that I would take with me to the couch. I'd hold it
close to my body and breathe in her scent, mixed with the smell of her fading perfume.
It comforted me in a way that made me feel somehow closer to her, though I usually put it
back before she came home. That heavenly fragrance always reminded me of pears!

                                                   The Hysterics - Why should you treat me this way

                                                                                                                 Pg 167

Harmony had said to me on more than one occasion that she was going to teach me as much as she
could about the opposite sex, and by the time I was of age, I would be able to get any girl I wanted.
The only problem with that was I wanted her. Every night, without fail she would sit me down and
slowly go over all the little idiosyncrasies women have that men need to put more emphasis on
understanding. “When a woman is going through her cycle, it is very important that you treat them
extra kind, because her hormone level goes crazy. Sorry, our emotional state becomes disrupted.
You do know what I'm talking about right?” “Not really.” “Okay, then I will explain it to you.”

                                                      *And she did*

“Why do you think we spend so much time in the bathroom, and so much time shopping
for clothes? It is because we are trying to look good for you, so we take our time, and we
try to make sure everything is perfect, and for this we are criticized. Or do you think we
are doing it only for ourselves? That is why you men should never rush us. Relax and don't
be so self absorbed! Show us that you care, and that you love us by telling us how beautiful
our hair looks or complement our appearance. Men can never say that enough. Make sure you
notice when she is trying to “proudly display” a new pair of shoes for you or even sunglasses,
for that matter. The problem with most men is that they become overly confident when they
get to be too familiar with us (or) when they get too comfortable in a relationship, they
they can abuse us by taking advantage of our good nature. Don't. . . Ever!

                             *Now pointing her exquisite finger at me*

Harmony went on as I listened happily to everything she said. Eventually,
I knew I was going to apply all this knowledge, but to whom, I thought?

                                         God please, let it be her!

                                                             Billy & The Kids - Do you need me?

When it came down to love, Harmony knew more about men at nineteen
they could ever hope to know about themselves in a lifetime. Not only
did she have a gift for remembering everything she saw and heard, but also,
she had a heart that overflowed with love; only she had no one to give it to.

                                               Thee - Time with me

Before these short lessons in love, I would listen very carefully to everything
she said about her busy day, and tried so hard to be the adult, I thought she
wanted. Afterwards, we would go back to the couch and watch a show or
two before I had to go home. This went on for the remainder of the year.

                                       Teddy & The Pandas - We can't go on this way

                                                                                                                 Pg 168

Reviews for Chapter 32

Joey Cruz - heart beat and heart rate are the same

Charles Pendelton - Heart rate is the number of times per minute that the heart contracts. . .
Heartbeat or (pulse) is the mechanical pulse of blood flow through
the capillaries caused by the contractions of the heart per minute.

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PG 164) Cream of Wheat Inn by Edward V. Brewer -

PG 164) Duality of Humanity #1
by Shepard Fairey

PG 164) The Black Panther Party Newsletter by Emory Douglas

PG 164) Nixon poster

PG 164) Rani with her jewellery box
by Gopal Khetanchi -

PG 164) Village women poster

PG 164) A wash painting
Badri Nath Arya -

PG 164) Body language
by Angela Bentley Fife

PG 165) Unborn Ideas
by Catrin Welz-Stein -

PG 165) The muse
Heidi Taillefer -

PG 165) Goofy kid
by Frederic Varady

PG 165) Together in eternity
by Elizabeth Silk -

PG 165) Nedick's advertisement
circa 1959 -

PG 166) Key of love
by Vladimir Kush -

PG 166) Family evening
by Karen Aghamian -

PG 167) Spanking illustration

PG 167) Vintage educational classroom poster
circa 1966

PG 168) The invisible lover