What’s Wrong With Us? – Crowe’s Point

Johnny, Dom and Jack Corbett were sitting at one of the back tables in the tavern. It was another Saturday night, and as usual, they were checking out the throng of new guests that had come since the arrival of Captain Jack. Like Max, he seemed to be quite popular and was drawing in more fresh blood, which was a good thing for all of them. The more people who visited Crowe’s Point, the more they would keep the place alive. All the boyz needed their movies and memories to be cherished in order that their lives would be forever preserved. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that more guests meant more chances of falling in love.

Johnny smiled at one or two of the regular lurkers he knew and winked discreetly at the ones he had been intimate with. They were nice enough girls, but Johnny ached to meet his connection.

Dom and Jack both shared his frustration. The three of them had been the longest residents at the Point but had yet to find that special one to share their lives with.

Shit, even nerdy, anal Arthur had managed to land someone, thought Dom and then chided himself for begrudging his brother happiness. After all, Artie was a good bloke and he had been waiting a long time too.

Perpetual bad boys like egomaniac Sid and perennially bad-tempered Hando too had met their matches. Why did girls always flock to the wild ones?

“What’s wrong with us?”, Jack asked again for the zillionth time.

“Well, we’re not built like brick shit houses like Max or Bud. We apparently lack the suave charm that Lach or Terry has to talk a woman into anything. We’re not rugged cowboys like Cort, Mannie or East”. Dom shrugged, downing his third VB.

“Yeah, but what is it about Zach, Jeffrey or Nash? How the hell do they do it?”, Jack persisted. “Zack is scruffy and is always grumbling about something. Jeffrey is old and … well you know what I mean”, Jack finished not wanting to blurt out the uncharitable thoughts that they were all thinking. Dr. Wigand was a hefty man, and yet he had Wendy, a woman half his age.

“And Nash is nutty as a fruitcake at times, and yet Karen is crazy about him, forgive the pun.”

They all sighed together again. It was an age-old debate between the three of them.

Jack and Dom were always surprised when any of the women recognized them or had actually watched their movies. You’d blink and you would miss Jack in “Blood Oath/Prisoners of the Sun”. Dominic was only in one of the segments of “Brides of Christ”. At least Johnny had had a starring role in his film.

A fourth chair was abruptly pulled out from their table.

Jack groaned and Johnny rolled his eyes as Kim sat his ass down.

“So mates, finished your little weekly pity party yet?”

“Kim, why don’t you just fuck off and baffle someone else with your bullshit”, Johnny said, not so lightly kicking out at the legs of Kim’s chair.

“Oh c’mon now boys. I’m just here to help you drongos out. I feel it’s my God-given duty as your brother to find you some lovely female companionship this evening. Especially since you’re never able to do it by your lonesomes.” Kim smiled, but as usual, it showed up like a smirk on his face.

“What are you on about?”, Dom muttered in disgust.

“Don’t even listen to him. He’s just talking out of his arse.”

“Au contraire, Johnny”, Kim protested. “As I’m speaking, there are four bodacious and I do mean babelicious women outside in back right now, completely alone and unattended.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed as he gave Kim a withering look. “You never do a good turn for anyone mate without a price or unless there’s something in it for you.”

Kim put a hand to his heart. “I’m mortally offended that you would have such a low opinion of me, especially since I hold the three of you in such high esteem.” He snickered. “However, if you’re not men enough to rise to the challenge, and I do mean that literally, I’ll just have to entertain the ladies as I see fit while you boys just sit back here nursing your blue balls.”

He got up to leave and then almost as if the afterthought wasn’t staged, he whispered, “Oh and Johnny, one of them’s a blonde and looks just like your little sweetheart in that pathetic yawn you call your movie.”

Johnny’s hands balled up into fists at Kim’s comment.

“I’ll just have to make sure I nail her first.”

Dom got up then. “Let’s go. I think I’ll spew in a minute on all this cock and bull.”

The others followed in his stead. Kim had already exited the tavern.

Jack and Dom headed for the stairs but stopped when Johnny proceeded to the entrance.

“Johnny, don’t let him get to you. He’s all piss and wind. You know that.”

Johnny acted like he didn’t hear and kept walking.

“Fuck!”, Jack exclaimed. “The last thing I want to do tonight is act as referee.”

Dom shook his head. “Johnny’s too smart to get all bent out of shape by Kim firing his mouth off. I think he wants to get a gander at those sheilas.”

“Do you really think Kim wants to do a favour?”, Jack scoffed.

“Not on your life. He’s a ratbag, but we’d better keep an eye on Ryan.”

Johnny stepped outside, and his ears perked up at the sound of feminine laughter. It was indeed coming from the back of the bar.

Dom and Jack nearly banged into him like a pair of dominos as they ran to catch up with them. They too heard the giggling and were intrigued.

Johnny put his hands in his jean pockets and casually strolled around the corner. He stopped suddenly at the sight before him.

Four, absolutely gorgeous, women were talking to Kim and seemed to be laughing at every word he said.

He briefly gave them the once-over. Two were very tall, angular and had legs right up to their necks. They were brunettes. One of the other two was shorter but more rubenesque. The fourth one was a blonde who looked amazingly like Meg, his girlfriend, in “The Crossing”.

A muscle in Johnny’s jaw twitched as he watched Kim chat her up. He proceeded to walk over to them.

The ladies all turned at his approach and smiled invitingly.

Kim chuckled and introduced his brother. “Ladies, this here is Johnny. He’s one of the old timers.”

“You should talk Barrett”, Johnny retorted, and at the same time greeted the women with a bob of his head, with a particular emphasis for the slim blonde girl.

Dom and Jack came into view and were also presented.

It soon became obvious that Johnny and the blonde, whose name was Clara, had eyes only for each other. Dom was attracted to one of the tall brunettes, Miranda. The four of them detached themselves from the group and went off separately, by themselves.

Kim kept staring at Brenda’s knockers, which left Jack with the other tall one, Shirley.

Kim already had looped his arm around Brenda’s shoulder which left his one hand dangling in the cleavage of her tank top while his other hand tested out the roundness of her rump. She didn’t seem to mind his bold manoeuvres. Soon they went off which just left Jack and Shirley.
Jack was kind of shy, and he fumbled for witty, intelligent things to say. He needn’t have bothered. Shirley was a bit of an airhead, was only interested in the art of fornication and was assertive enough for the both of them.

He did have the semblance of mind to take her somewhere private and out of the open. Before they had even reached the park, Shirley pounced and was all over him like a cheap suit. But Jack somehow bore the indignity and laid back to enjoy the ride.

When their hurried coupling was finished, Shirley grinned wolfishly at him. “Three down, twenty-one to go.”

“What do you mean by that?”, Jack asked rather stupidly, still coming down from the high.

“Well, you, Kim and Sid make three. I have 21 more men or notches if you prefer to conquer.” She smiled again, and Jack saw through her phony, toothy grin to what she was, just another groupie who was out to lay all the RC characters.

He got dressed in a huff.

“Honey, don’t get mad. You can’t blame a girl for wanting to get in on the action. I mean all of you are prime beefcake. It’s funny too. Each of you has your own style and particular talents, if you know what I mean.”

Jack putting on his shoes gave her a look of disgust. “Sweetheart, I got news for you. The rest of my brothers are off limits. They all have girlfriends or wives, and you won’t even rate a blip on their radar.” He stormed off.

She yelled after him. “Honey, they may be attached but they’re not dead or boring, I’ll bet. Men like variety.”
Dom and Miranda were slow dancing inside the tavern. He felt a little embarrassed by her height. Even without her four inch platform shoes, she still towered over him.

“Did you want to do something else?”, Dom murmured into her ear.

“What did you have in mind?”, she purred back.

“I could give you a tour of the place. This is your first time here, right?”

She nodded.

“Well, there’s the beach, the gardens, the stables…”, he paused as Miranda sensuously licked her lips.

“The beach. Um mm…I could go for a swim.”

Dom grinned widely. “The beach. Right-o”

“But I don’t have a swimsuit. Is that necessary?”

Dom chuckled. “Clothing is always optional. Up to you darlin’. I can act as your personal lifeguard and keep all others away.”

She took his outstretched hand and they both scampered out.
Johnny and Clara were strolling by Max’s vineyards.

“It’s lovely here. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before. It was Shirley who told us about it.”

Johnny couldn’t take his eyes off her face. Her skin was of the peaches and cream variety. Her eyes were warm and brown. Her voice was soft, and her hair was the colour he imagined angel’s dust would be. No, she was not Meg, but she was someone he thought he could fall rapidly in love with.

They talked and talked and soon got on to the subject of past relationships. Johnny said he had been very much in love once. Clara relayed that she had fallen for her high school sweetheart.

“But he left because he was tired of small town and wanted a taste of the big city. I thought he was gone for good so I found someone else who wanted me more than he wanted to escape.”

Johnny was astounded. “That sounds just like what happened to Meg.”

She turned to him expecting him to continue but he didn’t.

“Did the other guy ever come back?”, Johnny questioned. “The one who left?”

“Yes he did, and he expected to just come back and take over where he left off.”

“Who did you choose or did you?”

Clara smiled sadly. “I did choose. I married Stan.”

“The one who went away and came back?”

She nodded.

“But you’re not wearing a ring. Are you still together?” Johnny held his breath, praying that she would be free.

She looked away and then down at her feet. “We’re separated right now”, she said in a low voice.

Johnny’s hope did not all at once die. There was still a chance then.
Kim and Brenda had fooled around, and now all he wanted to do was ditch the shrill-voice bimbo. He wondered how his other brothers were making out.

He knew Shirley would just use Jack. Serve the wanker right. Miranda was an unknown quantity, and he had volunteered to find her some entertainment so he could bang Brenda without her worrying that her friend would be lonely.

It stuck in his craw though that Johnny had got the cream of the crop, that little cool blonde chick. She would probably be a hot number, her type always were. They pretended to be oh so shy and demure but get them in the sack, and they turned into tigers.

Kim didn’t have any use for or too high of an opinion about any of his brothers. Since he was one of the first to reside at the Point, he considered it his own personal domain to rule at will. Strangely enough, his brothers didn’t agree with him. Kim felt he had paid his dues over the long years, and he really believed that he deserved more respect and a better lot in life than he had now. He knew that the older men, Colin, Bud, Biebe, Max and Terry didn’t care for him but merely tolerated his presence. To think that they would put in the same category as Sid irked him to no end.

Someday, he would show them all just what kind of a man he was, and they’d all better watch out. Until then, he bided his time and kept abreast of all the happenings occurring at the Point. He was the eyes and ears of the place.
Dom and Miranda frolicked in the surf. It was a perfect moonlit night. Somehow in the water, she didn’t seem as tall to him. He drew her close and tasted her salty wet kiss. Their naked bodies pressed together. Gradually, they made their way into shore and rolled on to the dark sand. Their bodies did all the talking from then on.

“So do ya think you’ll come back for a return visit?”, Dom nonchalantly enquired as they lay there spent.

She shrugged her shoulders non-committedly. “Shirley likes it here, but it’s not really my scene. Don’t get me wrong; you’re all good-looking but it creeps me out a little the way you look so alike and yet you’re all so different. I mean I wouldn’t trust that Kim guy as far as I could throw him. But you, you’re so nice and sweet.”

“Ahhhh!” Dom rolled over hiding his face in his hands. “Nice and sweet! Them’s fighting words. It’s the kiss of death to be called those. It’s as bad as being called cute.”

“Well, you are silly”, Miranda poked at him affectionately.

“What about studly or a stallion or God’s gift to women?”

Miranda just laughed.

Dom gave up and skipped a stone into the ocean. “Well, if I’m so almighty nice and sweet, how come nobody wants to stick around and explore the other sides of me that aren’t quite so saintly.”

“Someone will come along for you Dominic. I’m certain of it.”

“They haven’t yet, and I’ve been here since 1991. I guess I’m not just special enough.”

Miranda wrapped her arms around his waist, snuggling up to him. “You’re very special. In fact, I predict that 2004 will be your year.”

“From your lips to God’s ear”, Dom replied.
“Do you still love him?”

Clara took a moment to consider Johnny’s question. “I’m not sure. He’s so familiar that I think it would be like cutting off a part of me if he weren’t there anymore. At the same time, we’re not sixteen anymore, and the things that I used to adore about him, now just seem to annoy me.”

“What about you Johnny?”, she asked. “Do you think you could ever love anybody the way you did Meg?”

Johnny jumped up to snatch a leaf from an overhanging branch as they walked past. “For a long time, I didn’t think I would be able to. I lived and breathed for her. But enough time has passed, and it’s time for me to make a life with someone else.”

“I guess no one wants to give up on a dream”, Clara agreed wistfully.

He knew that Clara needed time and space. He took her hand. “Come on. I’ll take you back to your friends.”
It was now going on two o’clock in the morning. Jack, Dom and Johnny were sitting in a back booth in the tavern.

Nobody spoke until Jack asked for the zillionth time. “What’s wrong with us?”