Chapter 37, Tiff, Tat, Lovers Spats
Enrico being married could only see me on the sly which suited me. When together we were secret puppet shadows hiding from spouses.Enrico worked all over Silicon Valley fixing equipment. He told me who was hiring and paying more. I left Nortec and flipped companies with raises.
Before cell phones we tried CB radio but it was too open. Meeting by CB arrangement at Lyon’s coffee shop more than Enrico showed up. Our arrangement settled into he called home during the day and I only at his work number. Both paranoid, on the phone we briefly mention an alignment machine number needing repair and when he could get to it. The machine number was the room at the Holiday Inn. Our relationship became a weekly noon time tryst and on occasion a late night one after my swing shift, our rendezvouses not much different than "F & F". Enrico suggested sex in his car. My reply was.
"No hotel, no honey".
We went to the Holiday Inn in separate cars. I typically food to eat. Occasionally we met for lunch at a Lyons restaurant but his nervousness made it unpleasant. In public with me he lost his alpha veneer, nervous someone might see us, think we were having an affair and tell his wife. My original suspicion he had been caught before became verified when he confessed after I asked him.
He didn’t drift randomly into my mind even though Vixen enjoyed his company. I did tell my husband an engineer was flirting. With my routine normal he only worried an engineer was interested in me, not I in him.
He pestered about who Enrico was, evidence he hadn’t forgotten the confessed 2 words I regretted saying.
I told him he was Italian, true, his name was, Enrico Supini, true in a way and he lacked polish, also true. He checked every phone book in Silicon Valley looking for a "Mr. Supini", even pestering me about its spelling. I told him he was married with kids which eased his suspicions.
Enrico was smug with wife and 3 kids safely tucked away on his home turf while he raided another’s. He took his wife for granted as safe. He was also the type who would fall apart if a male invaded his domain.
I never talked about family with him. He, in contrast bragged about his, especially the kids. From what he said his wife was a good mother but a messy housekeeper and lousy cook who thought the grocery food sections were frozen meals, canned veggies, bread, dairy products and cereal. She never cooked from scratch. His requests for Italian food were met with micro waved frozen ravioli and boiled spaghetti with canned sauce.
His clothes weren’t poorly ironed, they weren’t ironed. She was, however, blond, attractive and thin from the picture in his wallet I stole a glance at while he showered. What was most important, she worshiped him.
The banter on which our affair began eventually turned into personality spats. Enrico was a cheapskate, never left a tip for the hotel maid, bought his wife nothing, tipped the minimum at restaurants and grumbled about how much our affair cost.
After our third hotel encounter I upped the maid tip to two dollars. He thought leaving a tip for the maid crazy. I never told him about my mother. He, of course, could not bring home the left-over soap or shampoo and snickered about a maid's fate when I opened the unused ones for the maid to take home.
While loving food I prepared and complaining about his wife's cooking, food was a source of conflict between us. I love cooking, the strongest bond with my father. In 30 minutes, I can make Asian dishes others marvel at. In Mountain View a childless elderly Italian woman across the street adopted me when I was an 18-year old pregnant bride. She taught me Italian cooking. The Mexican women next door grew corn, ground it and made tortillas. From her I learned to cook the "real enchilada". I befriended older women and learned their recipes and got good advice about men.
Food and drink influence happiness, health and appearance. Unfortunately, many in America have surrendered to "heat and serve", "shake and bake" or microwave. "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach," is trite but true. A rendezvous preferably includes food and drink either at a restaurant or a meal I prepare.
Enrico never took me to an upscale restaurant, gulped down food I prepared and failed to see food and drink as art in life. While educated with a degree in engineering his deportment suggested a lack of a “proper” education. Once I brought lasagna to room 314 with a small bottle of ice wine and a bottle of his favorite cheap beer. After our encounter, he got up, piled the lasagna, still warm from my oven on a plate and was back in bed gobbling it down with his beer chaser instead of waiting for me while I dressed.
I had the little table set up with plates, glasses and napkins for eating with a loaf of ciabatta bread. As I was bent over strapping my shoes on, he said with mouth full.
"This is great! You'd make a good wife."
I’d never be the door mat his wife was. I wouldn’t put up with his put down slurs. Staring at him sitting in bed, irate fire in my almond dark eyes, I said.
"I’m a good wife! Better than what you got!"
I grabbed my purse and walked out leaving everything and was out of the parking lot before he could dress and chase after me, if he ever did. The next day I didn't answer the phone to ensure not taking his call. I knew he was calling as the phone would ring and ring and then repeat itself.
A day later I answered but was still smarting over his attempt to put me down like he did his wife. He kept wooing and apologizing. His ego couldn’t take the jab of being walked out on. If the relationship was going to end it had to be by him. After sweet talking me I agreed to meet him, if he stopped acting stupid. Once in the hotel room I let him assuage my anger with sweet words and courteous deportment, great efforts for him.
"I am so happy you are no longer angry with me."
I acted indifferent. When pressed if I was happy, I replied.
"You think too highly of yourself. You’re just a misanthropic man who cheats on his wife, what else is there to say?"
I wanted my guppy to chase me, not I him. I knew Enrico would put me in his safe category next to his wife if he felt I was enraptured with Mr. Supini. He would then make another conquest to replace me.
In the parking lot, he took the dishes out of his trunk I’d left from my walk out, relieved he no longer had to hide them. He had left the bottle of wine in the room. I told him to replace it the next time we met and drove off.
Instead of worshiping him as he expected, I destabilized his ego. I stopped his swearing in my presence and improved his manners. Despite my efforts he remained a cheap beer drinker and uncouth. I told him he was unsophisticated but did upgrade him to drink his beer out of a glass. I even had to show him how to pour it down the side of the glass to keep down the foam. I made sure he always wore fresh clothes when meeting me and even once took him shopping to upgrade his style.
In public with me he was a Beta but in the motel room switched to Alpha. I asked him once if he was going to get a hair transplant when he got too Alpha cocky. To keep him off guard I would occasionally get upset and leave. I never told him what was wrong and acted like he was an idiot if he didn't get it.
It was as if we were married which of course we were but not to each other.
Author Notes: An illicit relationship becomes too familiar with heat turning cold.