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


Today was Saturday, March 27th, 1971, and for some unknown reason 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 dad. “Not until four O’clock, when she comes back from the hair salon.”
“Good, then you're coming with me, so get ready.” “Where are we going?” I inquired,
a lackadaisical tone. “Never mind that, just get ready.” My mother was too busy
cleaning the house to be interested in anything else, so the two of us left.

The first stop was to see my uncle Bob at the VFW Post in Oakwook. Upon entering,

it came to my attention that almost everyone in there was smoking. There were nickel
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 dollars worth of nickels, “go play the slot machines.” After losing the money,
a fella comes over to me and says, “here you go kid.” I thanked him for the five nickels,
and without any hesitation proceeded to play. On the very last nickel, I hit the jackpot!

Everyone jumps up in amazement yelling and screaming.
Suddenly, the man pushes me
aside and says, “thanks a lot kid, you did good.” As the man tried to reclaim his winnings
my father said, “in a pig's prick it’s your money!” When he said something to my father
concerning his anatomy, my uncle Bob and three of his friends began pummeling the man
to no end and dragged him out the back door. It was kind of strange that none of them came
back, but even more strange was the fact that I never saw that man again in the neighborhood.
Even so, it would be no great loss, I thought, if he packed his things and moved to Florida.

As we exited the VFW Post, it seemed as though the boundaries of time had shifted. With
the windows shuttered, it created an element of nighttime, and even though I only had soda
pop, it still kind of felt like I had just walked out of a beer hall in the early morning hours.
I guess with the lights being on in there and losing all conception of time going on in the
outside world, it was a bit 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 165
As my father pulled away, I couldn't help but think of the last time we were there;

it was not going to be pleasant. Parking the car on the street, and watching my dad
feed the meter, I was quite reluctant in leaving the vehicle. “Let's go,” was all he said,
and I complied. Pushing down on the door lock, I gently slammed the 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 was worse. If I got yellow lung
from the VFW Post, then I would certainly be coming 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
begin to explain this to the children of today? And how could he even see the papers
sprawled across his desk?” I wondered. I was as polite as I could be, but my stomach
was churning to retch all over that wonderful rug. The rug I was never able to see but
could feel. After thirty minutes of enduring torment, we left. Sure, my chest felt a little
tight, but I would get over it.
I was becoming a man after all, 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 began
walking 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 stammered, and I allowed the words 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 while pointing her finger toward the sky, and gazing at me
with a disillusioned stare. “I really like your hair,” I found myself saying to her disbelief.
“It's so curly now, it almost makes you look like a different person!”

Harmony smiled wholeheartedly, and in spirit appeared to forget the whole
Or perhaps, tried to convince herself into believing she actually could.

Watching her cling to the leather strap of her brown tapestried fringe bag, however,
I could denote a hint of insecurity. “I'm glad you like it. Would you like to help me do
some work around the house?” “Sure,” I responded, “like what?” “Like doing 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. “You're serious?” With adoring eyes
I looked into hers and with the straightest face possible said, “as serious as a heart attack.”
“Aaaaaah!!!” Harmony screamed out, in a laugh 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 never allow anything to come between them.

                                                                                                                 Pg 166

As the mighty hands of time began to unwind into the future,
I would soon find that a month had passed.

It was a Saturday, April 24th when I knocked on Harmony's front door.
She yelled from
the 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 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 and some new. There were plates bearing portraits of people
at social affairs, along with numerous floral designs. One piece of a dinnerware set, which
was delicately ladened in gold leaf, while the others were almost too beautiful to describe.

“Can you excuse me a moment, I need to run upstairs for something?” “Sure, I said,” and
continued eyeing over the magnificent arrangement of long discarded dishware that had
now captured my attention. Being a growing boy filled with curiosity, I decided to look
around the kitchen, just to see if anything 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, which stood like a small table, I spotted a small box of Cream of Wheat.

It looked so odd there, it made the whole room feel out of place. At that moment, I
thought to myself, “how strange is this? Indian people eating the same food we eat!

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 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
banding together, the antiwar group would succeed in finding some resolve. . .

                                 *They wouldn't*

                                                     The Exotics - Fire engine red

Even the Black Panthers showed solidarity 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                 

                                 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 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!!!

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 167

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 our family history and we laughed.
I was Irish, Austrian, and Italian with a wee hint of Scottish going way back. Harmony, on the
the other 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. As a young woman of
she was soon to meet 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 year of her life, she lived in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh
in Central India 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 struggling to keep the profit margins up with
a second textile mill, and Harmony would have to reside with her Aunt Sophie in Alameda;
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 did she come off as being fake or condescending
in any way. No, she was too scrupulous for that!

In the morning, Harmony would walk up to the bus stop on Hylan Boulevard.
There she would take the R103 into Stapleton, where she worked at her brothers
antique furniture store. On certain weekdays, from seven to four 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,” 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 for 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, Harmony would often say, 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 her. 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 168

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!

Not only was her external beauty encaptivating,
but her personality and wit, charming!

                                                             Johnny and The Appolos - In love with you

Apart from all this, 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 I would be able to
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.

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

There was a day in which I can vividly recall
having an intimate discussion about her accent.

Harmony said, even though she’s lived in the United States her entire life, every year
from the time she turned eight, she has been going back to India for a month to visit her
father’s family in the summer. Then they would fly to Colombia to visit her mother’s side,
before returning home again for school. “Maybe that is why I still have it.” she replied.

Aside from speaking several Indian dialects, she was also quite fluent in Spanish.

Harmony then questioned me about it as well. “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 then 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!” “Seriously?” “Yes, she
has no accent at-all” “Holy Mackerel,” I said aloud 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 herself should have a boyfriend. “Men are such a drag,” she said
to me. “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, “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 rested her head on my shoulder and sighed. I think in some
way she knew I was pining, 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 said, “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 chuckled and told me it was orange drink.

It was so crisp and refreshing, 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 169

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 would not be able to sleep. By
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 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 I could get a good look at it. This is the hand, I thought. The hand 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 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
had 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 becoming 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 Brussels sprouts in a dish. My parents knew I hated certain
vegetables, and yet still, they insisted I 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.”
my father retorted!

                                                                                                                 Pg 170

Tonight, however, there would be no animosity at the dinner table, for I was going to try an
experiment. Let's see. . . My parents have departed on a vacation and are no longer in the
United States. They are now touring the wonderful city of Paris. . . Make that Brussels
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 I must finish my Brussels sprouts. Under no circumstance is there to be any
In my mind, I could envision 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 entire 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 am going to stand you up, remove your pants and
crack you!”
As I began to chew on the Brussel(s) 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 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 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 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. With enthusiasm, I left my house and walked across the street
before remembering 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 one was
addressed to my father, I didn't feel it warranted another trip inside the house, so I casually
placed the letter back in the mailbox. The second piece of mail was addressed to Harmony, and
had been tossed in there by accident.
I later found out, it was a monthly payment for her living
expenses to ensure she would not default on her payments.
Being wealthy certainly has its perks!

Letter in hand, I 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 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 171

Harmony said to me on more than one occasion, 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 calmly 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?”
Without saying a word, I shook my head side to side and that alone 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 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 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 they become overly confident when they get
too familiar with us
(or) when they get too comfortable in a relationship, they think
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
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, 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 172

Reviews for Chapter 32

If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 167) Cream of Wheat Inn by Edward V. Brewer -

PG 167) Duality of Humanity #1
by Shepard Fairey

PG 167) The Black Panther Party Newsletter by Emory Douglas

PG 167) Nixon poster

PG 168) Rani with her jewellery box
by Gopal Khetanchi -

PG 168) Village women poster

PG 168) A wash painting
Badri Nath Arya -

PG 168) Body language
by Angela Bentley Fife

PG 169) Unborn Ideas
by Catrin Welz-Stein -

PG 169) The muse
Heidi Taillefer -

PG 169) Goofy kid
by Frederic Varady

PG 169) Together in eternity
by Elizabeth Silk -

PG 169) Nedick's advertisement
circa 1959 -

PG 170) Key of love
by Vladimir Kush -

PG 171) Family evening
by Karen Aghamian -

PG 171) Spanking illustration

PG 170) Vintage educational classroom poster
circa 1966

PG 172) The invisible lover