Posts Tagged ‘Lake Michigan’

Suburban Life

October 13, 2009

Suburban Life

Filed under: Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 5:53 am Edit This

Boothe was the new tennis instructor at the Country club.  Boothe used a Rod Laver wooden tennis racquet to teach the women at the club that over looks Lake Michigan in the northern Chicago suburb of Winnetka.

Boothe had played division I tennis for Cornell and had the type of good looks that made every smile material for an L.L. Bean catalogue.  He had sandy blond hair and perfect teeth.  He was wiry but muscular and although tennis was his game, women were his sport.  The challenge was always putting the chase on and seeing if he could land his target.  Only once in ten years since college graduation had Boothe been shot down and the woman who shot him down had actually been really and truly happy with the man she was with;  A definite oddity.

Now Tanya, a raven haired second generation Russian woman whose husband struck gold buying up World War II era ranch homes and reconstructing them to be small palaces, was the object of Boothe’s attention.  When the economy was good, Tanya’s husband made a killing as they say.  Vlad was new money amongst the old money, trust fund, Ivy League clans of Chicago’s north shore.

Vlad was as big as the houses he rehabilitated.  He stood six feet five inches and nearly three hundred pounds of solid muscle.  He wore his blondish hair in a flat top and with his square jaw; his head looked like a block.

The country club charged him a one time fee of $550,000.00 to become a member which was about $200,000.00 more than others were charged for membership.  The price jack was to dissuade the large Slavic man from entering one of the last bastions of Anglo-Saxonism.  Vlad paid the fee more than anything to appease his wife who wanted to be like all the other women in the neighborhood.  She wanted to work out all day, get her nails done, drink coffee and gossip with other rich neighborhood women and learn to play tennis.

Most of the other women in Winnetka pumped out three to five children a piece and gave them pretentious names like Boothe that was clearly a last name rather than a first name.  Old president’s last names were popular as first names for boys and girls alike.  Mostly Republican presidents back from the days when presidents were white and primarily Episcopalian.

Tanya had two kids and really felt one more would help her to fit in but with her children being in grade school, the autonomy during the day was quite refreshing and besides at 32 years of age, Tanya was in the best shape of her life.

Boothe caught Tanya’s attention by flashing his model like smile and making small talk.  Over time, Boothe was able to take small talk to another level and before long they were meeting for coffee and dinners in the city, far away from the eyes and ears of their small burg.

Vlad was really into fishing and shooting guns.  He had a basement full of riffles from all over the world from over a two hundred year period.  Vlad had told Tanya that he was going up to Ontario to fish for a week.  He packed his large Ford Truck with all his supplies and gave his wife one day notice of his plans to fish and hunt for a week with his friends in northern Ontario.  Tanya was actually relieved and liked the idea of Vlad being gone.  Tanya could run around with Boothe and not have to worry about excuses or cut their meetings short so as to not draw attention to her numerous absences from home.


Boothe looked at his Rod Laver racquet and spoke to it as he twirled  it and read the text message out loud.  He called his racquet Betsy and spoke to it as if it were real.

“Betsy ole girl, I shall be soon putting another notch upon you…  This shall be number 129 over the course of our career.  This one will be very special to me as I have never had one from Russia…  Very exotic.”

Tanya bathed in the best smelling bath soap she owned and put a hint of perfume on various strategic areas of her body that would be most likely to be kissed and caressed.  She wore a dress with no underwear and lit the fireplace.  Smooth Jazz played on the stereo.  Boothe came in wearing khaki pants with Top Sider boat shoes with no socks.  His white sweater was wrapped around his pinstriped collared shirt.  He was ready for love.  The two of them downed a bottle of sweet red wine from Georgia as in the Republic of Georgia.  They kissed passionately and Boothe ran his right hand up Tanya’s dress to find that there were no under garments to impede his progress.  Everything was perfectly perfect until Tanya caught a glimpse of a truck pulling up the drive way on her close caption television that had a camera fixed on drive way.

“Oh my god!  My husband is here!”

“I thought you said he was in Ontario…”

“He was supposed to be.  He left two hours ago… Oh my god!  You have to go out the back door now!”

“That’s all fine but my car is in the driveway, he’ll see it as soon as he pulls up.”

Boothe ran through the back yard and scaled the ten foot fence, crushing banzai plants and tripping twice as he ran through the garden in the back.  Boothe was walking towards his car as the lights of the truck hit him.  He was trying to smooth his breathing out and not look surprised or nervous.  Boothe had in the trunk of his Audi, catalogues for time shares in exotic islands all over the world.  He calmly as possible opened his trunk and took out a folder of information.  Vlad got out of his truck and inquired as to who Boothe was.

“Who the fuck are you?”

“My name is Boothe, I work for the country club and wanted to stop by and discuss time shares and condos with you and your wife.  Your wife said that you may be interested in buying a time share in Mexico… Does that sound right to you?”

“No, that doesn’t sound right to me…  Come in, I want to gather more information myself.”

Tanya too was fast acting and within minutes, she was able to put cold cream all over her face and wrap a towel around her head.  She wore a velvet warm up suit and pretended to be talking to her sister in Russian when her husband walked in with Boothe.  She pretended to tell her sister that she would call her back when she caught sight of her husband with Boothe.

“Vladi…  I thought you would be in Canada by now…  What’s going on?”

“What’s going on?  You tell me.  Who is this man?”  Asked Vlad.

At this point, Boothe’s heart was beating at nearly 100 beats per minute.  He had beads of sweat on his forehead and was fearful of either being beat to death or shot by one of many muskets in the basement.  Boothe stayed cool.  Tanya had a wide eyed look that left Vlad unconvinced.

“This is my tennis coach from the club…  Boothe, this is my husband Vlad.  Vladimir, this is Boothe.”

Vlad looked down at the smaller slighter man with a furrowed brow.  Boothe could almost feel him breathing down on him.  Boothe took the opportunity to show both of them the information that he had in his trunk.  He played it off cool and convincing.

“I’m sorry to come by uninvited.  I was at your neighbor Liz’s house discussing property in Maui and I remembered that you had said that you and your husband may be interested in purchasing a time share or a condo at the new building going up in Miami or perhaps the new building we own in Cancun…  I apologize for the intrusion.  I’ll just leave the info for you and if you’re at all interested, my card is in the folder.  You can call me and I’d be happy to discuss with both of you at a time that is more convenient,” said Boothe.

Boothe turned and walked out.  He walked swiftly to his car and took off fast.  Vlad studied his wife for signs that she was covering up something.  She too was playing it cool.  Vlad had forgotten his passport down in the basement and came back to retrieve it.  It was a plausible thing for him as he was crossing the border into Canada…  Allegedly.  Vlad came up the stairs and calmly threatened his wife.

“If I ever see that man around here again when I am not around, I will kill him and then you…  Do you understand me?  I will choke the life out of him with my hands and then when I’m done, it will be you…”

With that, Vlad slammed the door and drove off in the Truck.  Tanya wiped the cream off her face with one hand and constructed a text message to Boothe with the other hand.


Boothe never responded to the text message or the other three that followed or the phone calls after that.  He got home and looked at Betsy as he poured himself a Scotch.

“Ole girl, I almost met my Waterloo…  That was too close for comfort.  We’ll have to be happy for 128 for now,” said Boothe.

Vlad parked his truck in the garage of the home he was working on six miles away from home.  Waiting in the circular driveway was a large Cadillac stretch limousine.  In the car was a pretty young woman of twenty two years of age, which was fifteen years younger than Vlad.  She was text messaging a guy that she had been with in the past.  The man was her tennis instructor by the name of Boothe.  This is what his message said;


The young girl kissed Vlad as he entered the limousine.  She quickly sent a text message back to Boothe.