Harriman Nelson's Journal

My Friend Lee-page 40
The Creamsickle
The Invitation
Bike Week
The Java Connection
Lee's Tattoo
My Friend Lee-page 33
My Friend Lee-page 34
My Friend Lee-page 35
My Friend Lee-Page 36
My Friend Lee-page 37
My Friend Lee-page 38
My Friend Lee-page 39
My Friend Lee-page 40
My Friend Lee-page 41
My Friend Lee page 42
My Friend Lee-page 43
My Friend Lee -page 44
My Friend Lee-page 25
My Friend Lee-Page 26
My Friend Lee-Page 27
My Friend Lee-Page 28
My Friend Lee -page 29
My Friend Lee -page 30
My Friend Lee-page 31
My Friend Lee-page 32
My Friend Lee-page 24
My Friend Lee-page 23
My Friend Lee- page22
My Friend Lee-page 21
My Friend Lee-page 20
My Friend Lee- Page 19
My Friend Lee-page 18
My Friend Lee page 17
My Friend Lee-page 16
A Short Story
A 'Harry Halloween'
My Friend Lee-page 15
My Friend Lee-page 14
My Friend Lee-page 13
My Friend Lee-page 12
My Friend Lee-page 11
My Friend Lee-page 10
My Friend Lee-page 9
My Friend Lee-Page 8
My Friend Lee-page 7
My Friend Lee-page 6
My Friend Lee-Page 5
Life With Lee-page 4
Life with Lee- page 2
Life with Lee-page 3
Reflections-the 'In Between Years'
My photo-scrapbook album
About Me

Excuses 2

It was past midnight so I was surprised by the call. Immediate fears were quickly put aside by the fact that I didn’t recognize the number on the screen.

“Sir? It’s Sharkey. Are you okay?”

“What? I’m fine. Are you drunk?”

“No sir…well, not much…it’s just…Ski and the guys and I were havin’ ribs and beers and he got a call from the Skip to go over to his place, right away he said. The kid said he sounded…nervous and upset. What could it be but that something’s happened to you or Mr. Morton? We called him too, but he’s fine, so….”

“That left me. Well, I assure you I’m fine. He didn’t tell Ski what it was all about?” I demanded.

“No,sir. Just that he had to see him, a.s.a.p., he said. At his place. I don’t suppose you can call him?”

“You know me better than that, Chief. If the Captain called Kowalski personally, it’s none of our business.”


“I’ll admit I’m curious,” I acquiesced, “ But there’s a principle at stake here, Francis. You might want to pass that on to the rest of the crew. Understood? Goodnight.” I ended the call. I know I’d been a bit curt, but I didn’t want the men invading Lee’s personal space even though I sure as hell wanted to.  He’d never forgive us if we did.  

His place’ , I pondered. Lee had kept his old apartment, for as much as he and Miss Hale pretty much lived together at hers, he liked having a  place to go to to unwind at times. Alone. Away from any feminine distraction. But this? They’d had arguments before. And gotten through the night in spite of them. (Of course, that was water-cooler gossip. I did not, as a rule, ask Lee any such personal questions) Was whatever this was, some kind of irreconcilable difference?

And what had Ski to do with it? Of course, my supposition might have been incorrect, but I was on edge.

I did the only thing I could. I dressed, and drove to his place.  My plan? A kind of stake out. Nab Ski when he came out and ask him what it was all about. Sneaky? Yes. Ethical? No. But this was Lee. And I was worried.

Apparently Chip was too, if I recognized his car parked near the all night convenience store on the corner.

In the end I joined him in his car, and we waited. And waited. It was 0230 when Kowalski finally emerged and the lights showing from Lee’s apartment windows went out.


“Damn!” Ski yelped as we practically accosted him at his car door,” You nearly gave me a heart attack!”

“What’d he want?” Chip demanded.

“Oh, the Skip? Uh…I can’t tell you.”

“You- can’t- tell- us?” Morton asked  dangerously.

“I kinda’ promised not to say a word, sir. In case Miss Lola found out...I mean…er..”

“Too late. Out with it,” Chip said.

“Oh shit, sir…I mean…if he finds out I told you…if she finds out what I told him….”

“He can’t hold anything against you if we ordered you to talk, “ I said gently.

 And so, in brief, Ski explained that his Skipper needed a course in FemThink 101, or ‘how not to get yourself kicked out of your girlfriend’s bedroom’.

Flabbergasted that Lee hadn’t had a clue about self- preservation in how to respond to her loaded question about body image, Chip just shook his head and started to laugh.

“It ain’t funny sir,” Ski came to Crane’s defense, “I mean, he may know all the right moves about getting’ to 3rd base and such, but he’s kind of ignorant ‘bout how to stay there.”

“And you advised him what to do?” Chip asked, incredulous.

“Well, I know about dames, sir. I really do.  I told him that you always gotta’ answer a broad with what they want to hear, not what they should hear. Or you’re gonna’ end up in trouble. Like tonight. She  kicked him out…at least from the bedroom. Told him to go play house with somebody else. He..well…he kind of asked me ‘bout some other stuff too…like when’s it time to call it off or…”he hesitated.

“Or?” I  prodded.

“Or like when it’s time  to get married.”

“Hallelujah!” I actually clapped my hands.

“Shhhh. You want to wake him up?” Morton warned.

“Call me old fashioned, but it’s about time he’s seriously thinking about it! Do you think he’s going to ask her soon, Ski?”

“Well, sir, he really doesn’t know what he wants yet, sir. That’s why he’s gonna’ ask you what he should do, tomorrow on the golf course.”


“He trusts your judgment, sir.”

“Am I correct in assuming you put  that idea into his head, Ski? About asking me, not my judgment.”

“He kinda’ came to that conclusion all on his own, sir. It’s gettin’ late. I gotta’ get goin.. Oh, and Mr. Morton? Remember Miss Angie and Miss Lola are expecting you to treat them to breakfast tomorrow.”

“I’ll remember…”

Breakfast?” I asked.

“Long story sir. They’re going to help with the contest. As chaperones.”

I nearly gagged. Angie, anywhere within a hundred miles of a beauty contest? Lola? Well, perhaps…though she usually took Angie’s side on most things.

“It’s a PR thing. I had to use a little bribery… a coin toss decided on the pancake place. They’re always open, so there’s plenty of time before we have to be at the convention center. Don’t worry sir. I won’t bill it to NIMR.”

“Ah well, then, it seems as though you have things well in hand.”

“Uh, sir?” Ski hesitated.

“Yes, Kowalski. Breakfast is on me too.”

“Yes sir! See you at 0700!”

“Chip, I’m not meeting Lee until a bit later at the golf course…I don’t suppose…”

“No problem, sir. Come hungry!”


Three hours. Three hours and my alarm would signal the start of a new day, though mine had begun some time ago with Sharkey’s call. 

Looking forward to Saturday's pancakes, bacon, and pure Vermont Maple Syrup, not to mention the anticipation of watching Chip as host judge on TV later that night , I knew I was sure to fall  asleep quickly.

I wasn’t sure if Lee would.