Sometimes life comes at you fast, other times it just seems to drag on for no apparent reason. Either way it can have more than its share of stresses, joy, anger, and sorrow. Being the cynical humorist I am I'd have to say my life was satisfactory, ending up on a better note that it started, but nevertheless with its troubles. My wife would say that I have nothing to complain about except the mistake of marrying her. She shares my sense of humor unfortunately. A beautiful woman really, but she's right in a way I guess. It was a mistake to marry her, but not for me, for her. It was because of me that she lost the freedom that most women her age would have had otherwise. She says she doesn't care about that, but I know that it's bothered her here and there, especially at the height of her career. She and I both know, however, that if she hadn't said yes to my proposal that we'd never be here today, and I wouldn't bother being here to share my story, nor would you be interested. In fact, I'm not sure the public is all that interested in my story opposed to hers, but my wife insists that people would rather hear mine.
The short and the long of it is I'm a walking mistake. I attract mistakes, misfortune; anything with the pre-fix mis is my only friend. I've been married three times (thus far) and fathered ten children to two women. Some people are just born with a destiny that is so hard to miss its pathetic. Other's are born with a silent purpose and usually wander about, lost until the day they finally die, and only in heaven do they learn their true purpose. Take me for example; it took me over forty-six years to figure out why I was on this Earth. Luckily it only took me ten minutes to figure out why my wife was.
My children, all ten or so of them have purposes thanks to their parent's monetary gains. Tiffany and Tina will most likely grow up to be artists, Josh a CEO. Arik, well, Arik was always a confusing child, highly intelligent and quick like his mother, but artistic. It took my wife and me years to realize that his true talents lied in medicine. He promptly took the medical path in college after realizing his own love for the profession. The second set of twins, Michael and David, couldn't be any more different. It seems that David got his mother's brain, but Michael, well, we are still trying to figure out where Michael got his brain. I enjoy cars, car shows, buying cars, looking at cars, but when it comes to touching anything under the hood I'm lost at changing the oil. Mike could change it form birth it seems. David went into business, partnering with his twin brother to open up a garage. The two can't get along on the details, but at least they have good finances.
Vincenzo, thank God, never pursued his passion for the criminal mind in a hands on way. Like his mother and I he's fascinated by crime. It really is quite funny to see your son correcting Mafia movies, the same ones that your wife corrected when you were dating. Cenzo got my looks, whether that is a good or bad thing I won't say, but I will admit that I resent that he still has his hair. Brooklynn was always quiet, nothing like her mother or I. She liked to read, but not write, which was odd considering her mother and I are both accomplished novelists. Then again she wasn't from our genetic pool, we brought her back form an orphanage in Russia when my wife was on tour there. She eventually went to college for literary arts and it now teaching high school literature. I've never known anyone to hate their job more. Nichole's future was obvious from the day she was born. She looked, talked, and acted just like her mother. She ended up being an actress, imagine that. Scottie, now, Scottie was the cream of the crop if I must say so myself. Like Cenzo he looks like me, even more so than his brother. He's quite handsome I must say, and highly accomplished running the New York agency. A well known secret will always be that he is my favorite. Not only was he my youngest son, but we do share the same name.
Enough about the children though, I haven't even formally introduced myself. I was born Andrew Scott Caprealli, but no one calls me Andrew. If they did they'd most likely leave with a fat lip. Anyone who knows better calls me Scott, only my wife can get away with calling me Scottie. I was born in Laredo, Texas on November 23, 1970. My father was a tradesman from Sicily, my mother a third generation Italian-American. She stayed home and took care of my brother's Kevin and Thom, and sister's Leila and Gia. I'm the oldest of the Caprealli's, and if I may say so myself, the most successful. My father found work in California when I was about fifteen. I took a job after school at a café outside of L.A. to help my parents out. Pop was getting older, money tighter. Now, I'm not going to brag about my rag to riches story, but I will say that it involves a lot failure as well as success. I got mixed up with a local gang of Mexican thugs. Yes, all the way back in the eighties we had those believe it or not. It was a good experience for me though, the boys introduced me to money, and once I had a little, I wanted more. A guy by the name of Jesus suggested I move to New York. With my looks and heritage background he said I could get a spot as a hood for the Mafia. I laughed at him at the time but it turned out that he was right. I could get a spot in the mob, and, I did.
I wasn't in New York more than three months before I was approached by a short, round man who said that I'd been vouched for. Being that I was only 18 years old at the time and rather naive I wasn't aware that he was involved with organized crime. I guess a good hint was when he grabbed my arm, flashed me a smile, said someone had vouched for me, and the whole spoke in Italian that I could actually understand. I got involved with a bookie who sent me out to collect on bets. When they realized I wasn't the muscle type I was moved to more business related work. I was the sidekick of sorts to a guy named Frank (imagine that) who sorted out the gangs finances. I loved the work, but got too good at adding and subtracting, multiplying and calculating interested that I became bored with it. I was about 20 when someone suggested that I was good looking enough to be in the movies. It was a laughable concept to me, then again so was moving to New York when I first heard it. I decided to give it a shot and let Frank set me up with an agent. I starred in three pictures before my career ended abruptly. When I was 21 I meet Roxy Hannan and fell head over heels. Three years and one set of twins and a son later she left me for my producer. I told everyone that I quit, and I really did. I got out of the limelight, married my second wife at 25, Mary, and started my own agency. I was married to Mary for less than three years before she divorced me on the basis that I was getting poorer instead of richer. Since Roxy had taken more than half of my money when she left me, leaving the kids, I wasn't doing that well, but still qualifying for lower middle class. I quit marrying woman after that, dated for a long time but vowed to never get married again. Eight years after that vow, my twin girls Tiffany and Tina fifteen years old and my son Joshua turning fourteen, I met Amber. At that point I forgot my promise to myself that I was done with marriage and asked her to marry me when she was only 20 years old. My 37 th birthday had just passed.
And that brings me to here, where I am today. Sitting in an office with more windows then walls in front of a nineteen inch flat panel computer screen, my wife over my shoulder carrying on about how much she can't stand the new Porsche body design while I type this. She's still as beautiful as she was the first day she walked into me office. Her hairs a little shorter, her waist thicker, but still the most beautiful I've ever known.
Scott smiled at Frank, jerking his head toward a short young woman in aisle three. Frank nodded. A sheer, white, ruffled skirt about knee length hung loosely off her hips, bouncing gently as she stepped. Scott followed her legs down, watching her walk somewhat awkwardly in a pair of khaki colored leather wedges adorned with pewter studs. Frank tapped his shoulder, moving his eyes up to her body with his finger. Scott glanced at her face for a moment, allowing his eyes to mentality outline the curves hidden under a light weight, burgundy track jacket with gold striping. Long strands of dirty blonde hair fell onto the shoulders of the jacket in a soft wave. Although she was rather short, she still looked muscular, her claves defined. Noticing that she was eying the Jiff Peanut Butter on the top shelf, he decided to make his move. Nodding to Frank he walked toward her confidently.
"You need some help ma'am?" He had a light southern accent from growing up in Texas. She nodded and laughed. "You look like the extra chunky type, that what you're lookin for?" She laughed.
"You calling my fat mister?" He shook his head chuckling, handing her the product. "Thanks, they put everything up so damn high; I don't know they expect normal people to reach them." Scott wasn't listening to her; he had been drawn in to her eyes. Like two emeralds her striking green eyes caught his attention. When she moved they glittered, when she laughed the color intensified. They seemed to become more brilliant the more he gazed at them. "Hey, over here," she said sarcastically waving her hand. Now that she'd finally caught his attention she began to laugh, Scott felt his cheeks getting warm and new they were turning to a light shade of pink.
"You have beautiful eyes," he blurted out, stumbling a bit on his words. He grinned as she thanked him, the color in her face beginning to match his. "Uh, do you need jelly and bread to go with that?" He asked regaining control of his thoughts. She shook her head.
"I got bread, but jelly's too expensive." Looking at her dumbly he took her wrist and lead her toward the jelly at the end of the aisle. Pointing up at the strawberry he raised his eyebrows. "Low-sugar," she said as he began to reach for the regular Smuckers brand Strawberry Jelly. She laughed while he handed it to her smiling.
Scott's face was still pink. "Whatta ya do that you can't afford Jelly?"
"I work at the Toro's Bar in Brooklyn; I'm the house comedian and I MC and stuff." Scott nodded. "I got a job but it don't pay," Scott laughed.
"You need new clothes or somewhere to stay?" Again her eyes began to glisten.
"You know that song?" Her voice was high pitched in a shocked tone. Laughing he nodded his head.
"That was what, 1980 something? I was The Clash's biggest fan." He was exaggerating a bit.
"It was 1979, double disk London Calling. It was one of their best albums. Hell, it was their best album! Train in Vain was on the top 40, everyone loved that song." She was clearly getting excited. Scott laughed and looked at her face intently.
"Please don't try and tell me you were alive when that came out." She shook her head. "Good, because I was only nine years old."
"I wasn't even born yet." They both laughed.
"So do you cook? I mean, single girl, grocery store, you say your on a budget, I was just curious how you can cook with that." A smirk crept across her lips.
"I make due with what I got," she replied confidently, "I just scale down my cooking. Instead of making things they way I'd like to, because it's too expensive, I have to downplay it." He nodded.
"So what's your favorite thing to cook then Miss…" reaching out for his hand she said her name was Amber. "I'm Scott, so what do you like to cook then?" She thought for a second and then shrugged.
"I think I like to bake the most, but I do love making bow tie pasta, chicken, and broccoli in a white cheese sauce." Scott stopped abruptly. "It's not as good as it sounds," she chuckled.
"Well hell, I'll tell you what, if that's how you wanna cook, you should be able to cook like that." Amber cocked her eyebrow. "I'll buy you what you need to cook for yourself." She shook her head. "Why not?"
"What's the catch?" Scott laughed. "There's always a catch when a man wants to buy you're groceries."
"Oh so this happens to you a lot then?" Shaking her head she giggled. "The catch, the catch is you have to walk around this store with me and pretend to actually like me in some innocent capacity so that everyone here doesn't think I'm anti-social." She shook her head. "Still no?"
"No, there's gotta be a bigger catch than that. You wouldn't just want company in the store. Know this, I'm not going to sleep with you Scott." Both laughed. "Seriously though, you'd have to buy me dinner a couple times first."
"That's fair, but no I didn't expect you to sleep with me. But I would like it if you would personally invite me to come see you do your stand up. Is that a fair catch?" Taking a moment to think she leaned against his cart.
"I guess so. I suppose after that you'll ask me for a date, right?" He shrugged.
"I certainly wouldn't say for sure that I wouldn't."
Frank sat quietly across from Scott. He was beginning to get impatient. "Are you going to tell me in my lifetime or what?" Scott laughed at his eagerness.
"You're forty-three years old Frank, have some self-control. You sound like a woman." Scott spooned some Mexican rice onto a cheese covered tortilla chip. "She's definitely not a super model, about two feet too short and a little to thick in the stomach." He said nonchalantly continuing to stuff tortilla chops in his mouth.
"That's it," Frank whined, "that's all you gotta say about her? I didn't pick her because she was perfect Scott, I thought you'd like her as a person." Scott laughed and waved him off with his hands.
"I did, I loved her." He returned to pushing the loaded chips into his mouth. Frank raised his hands and sighed, letting them drop to his sides with a slap. "Frank, she's amazing, I just don't know what you want me to say. She's intelligent, sweet, gentle, witty, and," Scott looked away from Frank and smiled, "and she gorgeous. What more can I say?"
"So you are gonna stick around to see her tonight?" Frank asked excitedly. Scott shook his head and took a long drink from his beer. "Why not?" He laughed.
"She said she don't work tonight." Frank stared at Scott confused.
"She works tonight. She works every night. She's the MC tonight." Scott nodded. "She's working, she does a little of her stand up, just not a lot of it or anything, but it'll give you too a chance to talk." Frank was not going to back down.
"Alright, I'll stay and watch her. Speaking of it's almost five thirty, where is she?" Frank shrugged. "Shouldn't she have been here already? I mean, the bars been open since six in the morning."
"She probably went to the gym," Frank said as he came around the counter. Picking up one glass after another he wiped them down until they were dry. Scott emptied his beer and pushed it toward Frank who trashed it for him.
"I'd like to see her ass all hot and sweaty, her pants clinging to it. Bet you it's nice and firm. Like to get my hands on it," the casualness of Scott's voice irritated Frank. "Oh you know I'm half kidding. I'd like to take her out too, but right now all I got is an image of her ass to work with." He didn't laugh. "Frank, I know how you feel about her, don't worry. You know me, I'm not using her. I just can't help myself."
"You can help yourself Scott; you'd never say anything like that if you thought I'd take you seriously." Scott shrugged. "That kid means a lot to me, don't fuck with her." Scott raised his eyebrows. "I'm sorry, you know how I feel about her."
"I know Frank, comes from being a dad. I feel the same way about the girls that come through the agency. They're too young, too stupid. Then again Frank, I don't think this one needs another daddy. She seems really smart." Frank nodded. "I'm not one to judge, but I'd say ya'll got a good thing going here if she's actually funny." Amber fell through the back door to the bar and stumbled into the stock room. She pulled her left ear bud headphone out to listen to Frank.
"What happened to you? You get drunk somewhere else?" Amber could tell Frank was a little irritated. She assumed it was with her.
"No," she said laughing, "I was skipping down the stairs and I lost my balance. I figured the door would be locked, so when I crashed into it and it opened I lost my balance. Not drunk, yet." Flouncing into the main area of the bar she put the ear bud back into her ear and began dancing the hustle before realizing that Scott was in the bar. Her face scarlet she pulled each bud form her ears and walked head down to the elevated platform where she would perform tonight. "I didn't know you were here," she said quietly. He laughed.
"That's alright, maybe you can teach me the Hustle now." Still blushing she giggled. "You look great." Amber looked down at her jeans and black t-shirt and laughed.
"So if you think my old Drive105 t-shirt and jeans look good and you don't even know what my shirts for, then you must be crushin on me," she said with a wink.
"No one ever said I was crushing on you, what's with that accent anyway? Are you actually from the east coast, because you're shirt says Minnesota's Alternative Radio on the back." Amber laughed. "You talk like it, so what's up with that?" Scott threw his arms up dramatically. Falling sideways onto the platform Amber continued to laugh.
"I'm from around Detroit originally then my parents moved to North Carolina, then Minnesota, then when I turned 18 I made my way to New York for college." She continued to talk through her own laughter, gasping a bit. "And I don't know why I find this all so funny. I don't think I'm over the hustle yet." Scott raised his right eyebrow and laughed.
"I think it's because you like me. Admit it," he winked.
"Oh yes, I find it hilarious that I like you. That makes a whole ton of sense Mr. southern accent boy. So what's with your accent then?" Amber asked snottily.
Laughing Scott asked, "You know, you're much too cute to be so nice too me. Can't you just be a little bit more attitudinal?" Amber stuck her tongue out at him. "Why do I sound southern? I was born in Texas, moved to California, lost some of the accent and then came here. That's why it's not too thick anymore." Amber nodded.
"Yeah," she said gently, "it's really faint." Scott nodded. "So, do you know what a doorwall is?" Scott laughed.
"It's that door you use to go out onto a patio." A smile spread across her lips. "Why? I thought that was pretty elementary." She laughed at him.
"Nope, they call 'em sliders in the Midwest. Sliders!" She rolled onto her back and began laughing again.
Sitting down next to her Scott shrugged. "I think you are a little drunk." She shook her head.
"No, I'm just extremely embarrassed and when I get embarrassed I get giggly." She looked up at Scott and smiled, her eyes were again bright and shimmering. "I have to, get on stage and get the mic ready and everything. If you want you can stay and watch the amateurs tonight. I'm MC-ing." Scott nodded.
"So I hear, you told you weren't working." Amber blushed. "What's with that?" She shrugged. Scott began to walk back to the bar, turning around to look at her he said coolly, "You like me, don't hide it." Amber only laughed. Nodding to Frank, Scott took a seat and turned to watch Amber set up the stage. She adjusted the microphone stand to her height, looked over at Frank and smiled. People began filtering into the bar and taking seats near Scott. He paid no attention.
"So looks like everyone's just about here," Amber said quietly into the microphone. The six people in the bar laughed other than Scott and Frank laughed. Scott was lost in her figure, Frank in the store room. "Alright, you guys doing anything tonight? Jimmy, Keith? You guys gonna do some funnies up here today?" A tall, rather large blonde haired man shook his head and laughed.
"You're the only one pulling out jokes right now. I'm not even drunk yet and you're funny." He bellowed. Amber nodded.
"Fair enough, fair enough, what about you Keith?" Keith, a young man of average build, shook his head. "Geesh, you guys are lame-o's. Come on Scott, you got a funny accent, get up here and say something funny." Scott waved her off. "Oh fine, now I'm definitely not sleeping with you." The men laughed. She watched them mil about the bar for a moment before stepping off of the platform and heading to the bar herself. Smacking her hand on the bar to get Frank's attention she nodded. Frank looked from Keith to Jimmy to Scott. The other patrons of the bar were crowded around the juke box, arguing over which song would be played first. "Oh come on," Amber whined, "none of these guys are gonna care." Confused Scott stood up and walked around the two other men to stand by Amber.
"Care about what?" He asked.
"Her drinking," Jimmy said gruffly. Scott shrugged, "Keith and I don't care, you know that Frank." Jim continued drinking his beer.
"Why would it matter as long as she can still do her job?" Amber laughed at Scott's naïve tone. Patting his hand she again looked to Frank and lightly smacked the counter. "I'm afraid I don't understand." Amber nodded.
"You wouldn't. I'm underage; therefore if you decided to be a dick when I turn down your date offer tonight, you could report our buddy here for selling alcohol to a minor to get back at me. Therefore he has to make sure you're totally cool with it. Frank's Italian you know, he's got connections," she said with a wink. Laughing Scott clapped his hand on her shoulder.
Winking back at her Scott said, "so do I." Laughing Frank poured her two shots of vodka and slid them in front of her. She downed the first one and turned to Scott.
"Really? You Italian?" She asked reaching for the second shot. Frank advised her to drink slowly, it was only ten to six. Laughing at Frank's concern Scott nodded to Amber. She puffed out her lower lip and nodded her head.