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


It was midday on Saturday, March 27, 1971, and I found myself staring
at the Mastercrafters coffee pot clock in the kitchen. I always liked this
perky gold clock fashioned to resemble a coffee pot. The blinking orange
light on top made it look like it was constantly percolating.Sometimes I
would just stare at it. The time now read twelve forty.

“Are you goin’ over to see Harmony anytime soon today?” asked my father.

“Not until four o’clock, when she returns from the hair salon.”

“Good, then you’re coming with me, so get ready.”

“Where are we going?” I inquired in a lackadaisical tone.

“Never mind that just get ready.”

My mother was too busy cleaning the house to be
interested in anything else, so we left.

The first stop was to see my Uncle Bob at the VFW Post in Oakwood Heights.
Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was that everyone in there was smoking.
At least it felt that way as we walked over to the bar stools. “Whatever they
want, it’s on me!” shouted my uncle from afar. As the smoke wafted through
the air, I paused to take notice of everything around me.

There were nickel slot machines, cigarette vending machines that didn’t
care how old you were, and other assorted whammies. As the draft beer
flowed into small glasses and shots were thrown back and slammed down,
Auld Lang Syne would soon commence.

“Here,” said my father, handing me a dollar’s worth of nickels.
“Go play the slot machine.”

As I walked through an ever-growing cloud of smoke from old war veterans
rehashing their tales of glory, I could almost see my mom at the bar with my
dad. Chain-smoking menthol cigarettes and casually sipping a cocktail while
patiently waiting for the effects of the inebriant to make her more sociable.

Sitting down in a cracked and dingy chair, the color of butterscotch, I inserted
the first nickel. My heart pounded as I gently pulled the handle on the fancy gold-
plated Rol-A-Top machine. Anticipation was in full swing the moment the wheels
spun. A plum, some cherries, and lemon would reveal nothing worthwhile.

After losing the money, a fella came over to me and said, “Here you go, kid.”
I thanked him for the five nickels and proceeded to play with no hesitation.
Some people arose from their chairs to arrange themselves around me. They
watched as I pulled the handle. Nothing. Then again, and again, and again.
It was on the last nickel that I hit the jackpot.

Everyone jumps up in amazement, yelling and screaming.

Suddenly, the man who had given me the winning nickel
pushed me aside and said, “Thanks a lot, kid. You did good.”

As he tried to reclaim his winnings, my father said,
“In a pig’s prick it’s your money.”

When the man commented concerning my father and his mother, my Uncle
Bob and three of his friends pummeled to no end and dragged him out the
back door. It was strange that none of them came back, but even stranger
was that I never saw that man again in the neighborhood. It would be no
great loss, I thought, if he packed his things and moved to Florida.

By the time we exited the VFW Post, it seemed as though the boundaries
of time had shifted. The shuttered windows created an element of nighttime,
and even though I had only soda pop, it still kind of felt like I had just walked
out of a beer hall in the early morning hours. With the lights turned on and
losing all conception of time passing in the outside world, it was disorienting
to step out into the sunlight. As my father turned on the ignition, I asked him
if we were going home.

“Not yet, son. I have to see my accountant.”

“Oh no,” I thought, “we’re going to Fusco.”

Pg 170

As my father pulled away, I couldn't help but grimace
. Judging by the last time I was
there, i
t would not be pleasant. Watching my dad park the car on the street and feed
the meter, I was reluctant to leave the vehicle. “Let's go,” he said,
and I complied.
Pushing down on the door lock of the old gold 1965 Buick Riviera, I gently slammed
the heavy steel door closed.

Entering the office of the dreaded tax preparer, I didn’t think it would be that bad.

“Come on in, Rich, is that your boy?
You’re getting bigger and bigger each time I see you.”

Mr. Fusco was in his late sixties and was never seen without a Candela cigar in his
mouth. Every time we entered, it smelled like a plantation burning, only this time it
was worse. If I got yellow lungs from the VFW Post, then I would come home with
black lungs from this place.

With no ventilation in the room, it was like walking into a gas chamber. How can
I even explain this to the children of today? And how could he see the papers
sprawled across his desk? Perhaps the vintage green and gold table lamp helped
him see the fine print. I was as polite as possible, but my stomach was churning
to retch all over that wonderful rug. The rug I was never able to see but could feel.
Finally, after thirty minutes of enduring torment, we left.

My chest felt a little tight, but I would get over it.

I was becoming a man, and having the resiliency to
defeat all odds would slowly propel me into adulthood.

Harmony arrived home earlier than expected, and I just so happened

to be sitting on my front steps as she came strolling down the block.
As soon as I saw her, I got up and walked over to greet her.

“Hey,” she exclaimed cordially as I approached her.

“Hi, hon,” I said, before realizing what had come out of my mouth.

“What did you just say to me?” Harmony replied
in a tone of both astonishment and loathing.
As my mouth opened, my heart fluttered,
and I allowed the words to flow out in disorder.

“I said, hi Harm, short for Harmony, but I knew I shouldn’t have said it
because it’s not right to abbreviate your name, and I wasn’t going to
say it at all, but it just kind of slipped out, and I promise to never. . .”

“Stop,” said Harmony abruptly, holding up a finger to halt my spiel while
staring at me in disillusionment. As we watched each other silently,
I froze
and could not seem to move.

“I really like your hair,” I said to her disbelief.
“It’s so curly now. It almost makes you look like a different person.”

Harmony smiled wholeheartedly and appeared to forget the whole matter.
Or perhaps, she was trying to convince herself into believing she actually could.

Watching her cling to the leather strap of her brown tapestried fringe bag
slung around her shoulder, I could detect her insecurity.

“I’m glad you like it,” she said.
“Would you like to help me do some work around the house?”

“Sure,” I responded. “Like what?”

“Like cleaning the dishes, washing and folding clothes,
mopping and waxing the floor. Stuff like that.”

“I’d love to help you with your chores,” I said enthusiastically.

“Are you serious?”

With adoring eyes, I looked into hers and, with the straightest
face possible, said, “As serious as a heart attack.”

“Aaaaaaah,” Harmony shrieked in laughter she concealed by
covering her mouth with her two hands. “Oh my God, you’re

adorable,” she said lovingly, and we strolled inside like two best
friends who would allow nothing to come between them.

                                                                                                                 Pg 171

As the mighty hands of time unwound into the future,
I soon found that a month had passed.

It was Saturday, April 24, when I knocked on Harmony’s front door. She yelled
from the top window for me to come around the side. As I approached the side
door, I heard a progression of footsteps. The door then opened, and she quietly
escorted me in. The first thing that caught my eye was that fancy daybed in the
parlor. It looked like a surrealistic couch with accentuated pillows that shined
like yellow gold. The overall appearance made it look like it belonged in another
century. An even stranger-looking couch, which she called a settee, was situated
at the far end of the living room.

Beside the kitchen table was a mahogany inlaid late Victorian antique chiffonier
displaying exactly twenty-three assorted dishes. Some old and some new. These
plates bore portraits of people at social affairs, along with numerous floral
designs. One piece of a dinnerware set was delicately laden with gold leaf,
while the rest were almost too beautiful to describe.

“Can you excuse me a moment?” Harmony asked.
“I need to run upstairs for something.”

“Sure,” I said and continued eyeing the magnificent arrangement of long
discarded dishware that had now captured my attention. Being a growing
boy filled with curiosity, I looked around the kitchen to see if anything had
changed since the last time I was here, which was yesterday
afternoon. To
the left of the counter and on top of the antique chopping block,
stood like a small table, I spotted a small box of Cream of Wheat.

looked so odd there that it made the whole room feel out of place.

At that moment, I thought, how strange is this?
Harmony eating the same food we eat.

If that’s the case, then maybe we’re not really so different.

                                        Tartans of Lavender Lane - You, baby, you

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

                                 *They wouldn't*

                             The Exotics - Fire engine red

Even the Black Panthers had shown solidarity by 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                 

                                 And 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 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.

Yes, our president tried earnestly to rectify wrongs, but was labeled a murderer
nonetheless. And even though he would soon pull the plug on the Vietnam War,
no one could erase the recordings of the soon-to-be infamous Watergate scandal.

As Harmony returned, I could see from a distance, how she struggled

to get her hair just right before gracefully removing the plastic-coated
metal hair clip from between her lips and attaching it in place.

                                                                                                                 Pg 172

Like a gentle breeze, she sauntered into the kitchen where I sat, glancing over the
morning paper. I could now smell her perfume, where before I could not. And as
she walked around me slowly, her wonderful essence emitted a lingering scent
evocative of lilacs intermingled with fruit. Just observing her sashaying about,
I would have to say that Harmony was undeniably sporting her femininity.

And even though I tried to not pay her any mind,
her little innuendos always found a way to reel me in.

Walking behind my chair, she stopped to reach over my right shoulder, but not
before her chin touched my hair; or was it her nose? On the table was an opened
pack of Beech-Nut Pepsin gum she softly scooped up before moving back and away
from where I was sitting. Little things like this she did that in my mind made her so
mysterious. She then sat down opposite me and chewed, almost in a slow-motion
kind of way. With her eyes fixated on me and her finger gently toying with her
hair, I couldn't help but fall into a mild hypnotic trance. Then like a train switches
tracks, she asked me what I had done last night. I wanted to say I spent the entire
night thinking of her because that's all I ever seem to do when I'm not around her,
but instead, like a coward, I told the truth.

“I watched some television with my mom and then went upstairs to take
a shower before crawling into bed.”

“Sounds like you had a good night,” said Harmony in an ultra-low voice.

“Not really.”

“No?” She questioned as she chewed her favorite gum that tasted
like a delectable combination of Wintergreen and Juicy-Fruit.

Together we sat at her kitchen table and talked about the weather, the neighborhood,

and people in general. We talked about our family members and ancestral history and
laughed. I was Irish, Austrian, and Italian, with a hint of Scottish going way
While Harmony was Indian, Filipino, and Colombian. She said
her mom, Jacinthe,
grew up in this house, having immigrated from Colombia at an
early age. She was
a young woman of twenty-four when she met Raj, the love of her
life, but had no
idea anything would transpire that day.

“As my mother told me, she was waiting to get on the elevator. When it opened,
a man rushed out as she was rushing in, and they collided. She fell right on her
ass. When he knelt down and looked into her eyes, that was it. She was in love,
and in six short months, they were engaged. So deeply in love are they still.”

“Unlike my parents,” I uttered.

In the spring of 1952, Harmony was born.

For the first twelve years of her life, Harmony lived in the Dhar district of Madhya
Pradesh in Central India with her father’s family. In the little town of Pithampur,
Raj learned how to manage and operate the textile mill from his parents, while
Jacinthe got to know Raj’s fairly large community of relatives.

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

By the year Harmony turned twelve, her parents were struggling to keep
the profit margins up with a second textile mill, and she was sent to reside
with her Aunt Sofia in Alameda, California. There being no other way. To my
knowledge, Harmony was never forthcoming on the details of her mother.

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

On weekday mornings, Harmony would walk up to the bus stop on Hylan
Boulevard. There she would take the R103 into Stapleton, where she worked
at her brother’s antique furniture store from seven to four in the afternoon.
She would get the place ready before tending to customers, ringing people
up, or placing specialty orders for rare merchandise over the telephone.

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,” Harmony once told me as she bumped my nose with
her finger. This got my heart stirring for affection. Would anything become of it?
I didn't know, but I prayed to God every night 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. First, I needed to get that special kiss from her, but how?

It seemed I would just have to bide my time and wait for the ineludible moment when
she would be most susceptible to my affections. 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, Harmony often said, 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 discouraged by the day. Wondering if perhaps she would find someone her
own age to love. A realization so terrifying, it would have undoubtedly hurled me
over the edge to certain death.

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

                                                                                                                 Pg 173

Aside from her physical attributes, I was enthralled by 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 literally reveled in the thought of waking up in the morning.

Not only was her external beauty encaptivating, but her personality
and wit, charming. Besides, she wasn’t a prude. As a matter of fact,
she just so happened to be the coolest woman in all of Staten Island.

                                      Johnny and The Appolos - In love with you

Apart from all this, I loved that wild accent of hers. It was a cross between
Spanish 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 have offered up my very existence for but one loving kiss.

A child I may very well have been, 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.

orthy 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 give me a sign or a signal, I could 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 had 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 empowered my universe.

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

No one could know the torment that burned deep inside me.
The yearning that rose to the surface whenever I heard her voice.

Indeed, I was ensorcelled by her beauty. Held captive by the way
she moved... The way she spoke... The way her eyes pierced through
my soul with every oeillade, as though it was something she owned;
and she did. Only I'm not quite sure if she knew it.

There was a day where I can vividly recall having an intimate
about her accent. Aside from speaking several
Indian dialects, she was
quite fluent in Spanish. As our pleasant conversation was progressing,
and as my inhibitions were being quelled, it was only natural for me to
want to discover as much as I could about her. After all, who is to say
that in time she wouldn’t become my life partner? And so, the inquiry
began to which Harmony in retaliation, must have felt some intense
need to question my cheerful curiosity.

“Does my accent offend you in any way?” she asked,
in a tone one might imply as being defensive.

“No,” I said sharply, “it’s what makes you, you.”

She laughed and said, “You should hear my niece, Pooja. If you
were talking to her on the phone, you would swear she’s a blonde.”


“Yes, she has no accent at all.”

“Holy Mackerel,” I said while thinking, that is just so wrong.

When Harmony was happy, she could be heard mildly humming
a melody or singing a song as she dusted the furniture or cleaned
up. I asked her why she didn’t have a boyfriend and told her that
a woman as beautiful as her should have a boyfriend.

Not only was I testing the waters in my own little way,
but I had to be absolutely certain, beyond a shadow
of a doubt that there would be no rivalry.

First, she laughed, and then she responded in a serious tone.

“Men are such a drag,” she said.
“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,” said Harmony giggling as she followed me. “It wasn’t
a personal reference. You’re so sweet for listening to my ramblings.
A man would’ve said, shut up already.”

As she sat down next to me on the couch, I reached for her hand and held it.
She then moved closer to me and sighed. I think in some way she knew I was
pining, for later 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 said, “You’re like a big sister to me.”

I could have went home and stabbed myself.

“Are you 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 chuckled loudly and told me it was orange drink.

It was so crisp and refreshing, 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 were overcharging because I started shivering.

Yes, I was indeed turned on.

                                                                                                                 Pg 174

Every day without fail, I would pay Harmony a visit. If I didn’t see her at least
a day, then I would think of her all night long, and would not be able to sleep.

the end of August, she gave me the key to her side door and told me not to lose it.

“If you lose this key,” she said 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 I could get a good look at it. This is the hand,
I thought.
The hand she will use on me, and I just looked at it. Every line
was so
exquisitely drawn, that I fell into a trance.

The palm of her hand was so shiny I could almost see a reflection, and my circuitry
beginning to overload. Whether or not she had applied facial cream earlier, I
did not know,
but there was just something so sensuously arousing about it that I
thought my heart would
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 from the
depths of my meek, trembling spirit.

Hold me, kiss me, I love you.

I started to feel so weak and powerless, and wished she would just do it already.
I wanted to bring my mouth over to her hand and kiss it, but I went numb. As I
was preparing to run my fingers on top of hers, she whispered in my ear with
her breath like fire, as she said in an ultra-low voice .

“You never know. You might even like it.”

Her exhalatory scent, reminiscent of a tray of warm cinnamon buns found my
nostrils. I was in the throes of a lovesick stupor and fading fast. It was like how
a risqué paperback novel can tantalize a hopeless kid into reading it simply by

applying a scantily clad vixen on the cover, with hopes of finding salacious imagery
and offbeat content within its pages. Only in this scenario, I was the main character.

I looked up into those beautiful brown eyes of hers and everything went black.

                                      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 when Harmony looked away, I 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 had said. 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 becoming obsessed with 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 Mom and Dad, I found
myself staring at seven partially burnt green balls in a dish. My parents
I hated certain vegetables, and yet they insisted I eat them.

Why were they so cruel?

Gone were the days when my mother willingly offered up meaningless platitudes
in reference to Popeye and Bugs Bunny for me to eat my spinach and carrots.
We were in a new decade, and I was getting bigger. Still, it wouldn't stop my
father from voicing his opinion on the matter in any way he saw fit.

“You're not leavin' this table until every vegetable on that plate is gone.
I'm watchin' ya, so don't start.”
my father retorted.

                                                                                                                 Pg 175

Tonight, however, there would be no animosity at the dinner table, for I was
going to
try a simple mind over matter experiment. In my thoughts, I could
clearly envision my parents boarding a plane. I could see it high in the sky
going toward its destination. They have left the United States and will soon
be touring the wonderful city of Paris, France. Harmony is now in charge
of me. Let’s see, my parents have implemented severalf rules and have
given Harmony strict orders that she has been instructed to follow.

The most important rule of all is I must finish my Brussels sprouts. Under
no circumstance is there to be any leniency. In my mind, I could imagine
Harmony sitting next to me. Gingerly she leans over to whisper in my ear,
“Do you honestly want to see how hard my sexy hand can slap?

I’ll leave handprints all over your body, and you’ll cry like a baby.
Do you want me to make you cry? If you don’t finish every last one,
I will stand you up, remove your pants and crack you.”

As I chewed on the Brussels sprout, all that bitter liquid filled my mouth,
and the first thing that came to mind was turpentine. Knowing what would
happen 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 sitting
across from me at the table. “You seem out of breath.”

Struggling to swallow what tasted like poison, my face flushed causing an
increase in both heartbeat and heart rate. Mom swiftly sprang
into action
by jumping up and pressing two fingers upon the carotid artery in my
I must have been breathing quite heavily for her to become that concerned.

“His heart is beating a mile a minute. He’s having an allergic reaction.
Can you breathe?” Questioned Mother.
“There’s no swelling.”

That was the last time I was ever forced to eat Brussels 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 came home from school eager to see Harmony and went inside. I put
away my schoolbooks and poured a glass of apple juice before going back outside.

With enthusiasm, I left my house and walked across the street before remembering my
mother was waiting for an important letter. I then walked back across the street and
opened the mailbox to find two pieces of mail. Since one was addressed to my father,
I didn’t feel it warranted another trip inside the house, so I casually placed the
back in the mailbox. The second piece of mail was addressed to Harmony and
been tossed in there by accident. I later found out it was a monthly payment for
living expenses to ensure she would not default on her payments.

Letter in hand, I proceeded once again to cross the street.

Looking both ways and ever watchful of speeding cars.

After unlocking the side door, I walked in and leisurely removed
a bottle of orange Nedick’s from the refrigerator, before placing
the letter on the marble countertop. Turning on the television,
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 I
would take with me to the couch. I’d hold it close to my body and

breathe in her scent, mingled 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 176

Harmony had said on more than one occasion that she was going
to teach me as much as she could about the opposite sex, and
the time I was of age, I would be able to get any girl I wanted.

The only problem was I wanted her.

That night when she returned home, she sat me down and calmly
went 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 her extra kindly, because her hormone level goes crazy.
Sorry, our emotional state becomes disrupted. You do know what
I’m talking about, right?”

Without saying a word, I shook my head from side to side and that
indicated I had no clue as to the question she was asking me.

“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 many
hours shopping for clothes? It is because we are trying to look good for you,

so we take our time and 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 must 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 too familiar with
or when they get too comfortable in a relationship, they think they
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
than they could hope to know about themselves in a lifetime. In addition
to having a gift for remembering everything she saw and heard, 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, trying 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 177




                                                          This review was posted on Mar/14/23



                                            This review was posted on Apr/27/23

                                                             alits29's review





                                                                This review was posted on Jul/22/23
                                                                            Reviewed by labia_1903



                                                         This review was posted on Jul/30/23

                                                                  nehanegi1905 's review
                    The Embryo Man and Other Tales of Woe: Chapter 32 (Pt 2) - The Embryo Man

                                                         Reader's Report by nehanegi1905



                                                           This review was posted on Aug/8/23
                                                                       Reviewed by pazkou





                                                             This review was posted on Aug/17/23 (Evening)
                                                                                   Reviewed by rupalrao






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                                                                 Reviewed by sampriktaada813



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                                                                       Reviewed by ritikagoyal587



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                                                                         Reviewed by hinaspatel



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                                                                         Tayyaba17's review
                                            The Embryo Man: Chapter 32.2 - The Embryo Man
                                                                 Reader's Report by Tayyaba





                 Saleha Zainab - Feb 6 - Chapter 32 (Pt 2)


The narrative intricately weaves together themes of love, longing, and self-
discovery. The protagonist's internal monologue provides a window into his
thoughts and emotions, allowing readers to empathize with his journey of
self-awareness. The portrayal of Harmony as a multi-dimensional character
adds depth to the story, as she serves as a source of wisdom and guidance
for the protagonist. The narrative also explores themes of identity and
belonging, as Harmony shares her family history and cultural background
with the protagonist. Through their conversations, the protagonist gains a
deeper understanding of Harmony's heritage and experiences, highlighting
the importance of empathy and cultural awareness.  The inclusion of historical
events, such as the Vietnam War protests and the Watergate scandal, adds
context to the story and underscores the turbulent societal backdrop against
which the characters' lives unfold. This historical context enhances the realism
of the narrative and deepens its thematic resonance.  

I would call it; the “Harmony's Essence" in Charles life.

Setting and Atmosphere: The prompt effectively establishes the setting of 1971
through specific details such as the Mastercrafters coffee pot clock and the smoky
atmosphere of the VFW Post. These details create a vivid backdrop that immerses
the reader in the time period, enhancing the authenticity of the narrative.

Characterization: The chapter introduces several characters, each with distinct
personalities and roles in the protagonist's life. From the protagonist's father and
uncle to Harmony, each character contributes to the development of the story and
the protagonist's experiences. The protagonist's internal thoughts and reactions
also provide insight into their personality and growth throughout the narrative.

Themes and Motifs: The prompt touches on various themes and motifs, including
nostalgia, family dynamics, adolescence, and societal norms of the 1970s. These
themes are woven into the narrative through the protagonist's observations and
interactions, adding depth and complexity to the story.

Narrative Structure: The prompt follows a linear narrative structure, moving
seamlessly from one scene to the next while maintaining a cohesive story-line.
Each scene builds upon the previous one, leading to a climactic moment of
interaction between the protagonist and Harmony.  

Watergate Scandal: The Watergate scandal symbolizes political corruption and
betrayal of trust. It serves as a backdrop to the protagonist's internal struggles,
reflecting themes of disillusionment and loss of innocence.  

Orange Nedick's: The orange Nedick's drink symbolizes comfort and familiarity.
It becomes a recurring motif throughout the narrative, representing the protagonist's
longing for connection and intimacy with Harmony.



                                                                This review was posted on Jan/26/23
                                                                           Reviewed by sarah1409




                                                            This review was posted on Mar/28/24
                                                              Reviewed by mariya





                                                            This review was posted on May/13/24
                                                                   Reviewed by sababaloch292



                                                           This review was posted on July/12/24
                                                                         Reviewed by adeeba




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PG 171) O by O

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PG 172) Duality of Humanity #1
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PG 172) The Black Panther Party Newsletter by Emory Douglas

PG 172) Nixon poster

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PG 174) Together in eternity
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PG 174) Nedick's advertisement
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