Joe Mclean was a regular middle-aged, blue-collar, New York city guy with the standard credits on his résumé’---- 23 years married, 5 years divorced, 2 kids on child-support, mortgage payments on a house he wasn’t allowed to live in, and a boring futureless job with 12 years left to suffer at before mandatory retirement.
His love life consisted of porno dvd rentals and fantasies. His only actual physical encounter since his divorce was the time two years ago when he won $500 in the state lottery, took his co-workers to Brewski’s, the local gin-mill, got roaring drunk and indulged himself with a working girl in his car parked in the alley behind the saloon. He thinks he enjoyed it, (at least he’s convinced himself it was fun, to rationalize the expense), but his memory of the experience is foggy at best, he was so very drunk.
Meeting women for the ordinary Joes of today’s modern North American culture is no easy task. Talk to a woman at the workplace and you could have a sexual-harassment charge added to your resume. There was the singles bar scene, way too expensive for Joe, the local church dances, way too boring for Joe. He tried the local topless club one time, he watched marks stuffing bills into g-strings, whispering deals for lap-dances, spending cash like water. He could spend a 2 week pay check in an hour or two in a place like that.
Someone told him that some of the girls who danced in those clubs could earn over a $1,000 dollars a night! Even without having sex! Joe wondered when go-go girls started making more money than brain surgeons; it must have happened when he was married, he certainly wasn’t paying attention to much back then. Poor Joe. He needed a change, he needed some fun, he needed a woman, he needed.
Then, the Gods of Fate gave Joe Maclean a break. They sent him an angel, to guide his way, an angel in the form of Frankie Rosario. Frankie worked at the same company that Joe worked. His friends called him Frankie “the Rose”. Every guy in the plant envied the Rose.
Frankie had no ex-wife, no mortgage, no kids, no responsibilities to anyone or anything but his own personal pleasure. Joe took the subway to work, Frankie rode his Harley when the weather was nice, his BMW when it wasn’t. Joe had the special in the cafeteria for lunch, (when he could afford it), the Rose had a steak across the street in the Clubhouse Restaurant where the management ate. Joe had never even talked to the Rose, until the Gods of Fate intervened.
Joe was riding the subway home to another boring night of t.v. and a frozen dinner when who of all people sat down beside him ?, The Rose himself.
“Hey I know you”, the Rose said, “You work the forklift near the loading dock, same plant as me, no? I’m Frankie Rosario, and you?” Frankie’s hand was out, Joe never seen one before, but he could swear the Rose had a manicure. They shook hands, Joe introduced himself, then the Rose talked, and talked, and Joe got an education, and an inspiration that would change his life, all in a 45 minute subway ride.
The Rose wasn’t shy, he was on the subway because his Harley had a fuel problem, no time to deal with it now, he had a date tonight in the D.R. so he had to get home quick. Joe said he never heard of a bar called D.R., and Frankie roared with laughter. “The D.R. means the Dominican Republic, the most beautiful girls in the world, a quick flight, a hotel for the weekend, and a different girl every night costs less than a prom night here in New York.”
Joe was bright enough to realize that he may never get a chance to glean info like this again, so he pried everything he could about the D.R. from the Rose, he even took notes. He became obsessed, he spent all weekend finding out anything he could, flight costs, hotels, everything Frankie told him appeared to be true. Frankie the Rose had even given Joe a list: Fly to the capital Santo Domingo.
Taxi to the Zona Colonial, stay at the Mundo Hotel, or the Palo, they were “chica friendly.”
“But I don’t speak Spanish” Joe whined to Frankie.
“You mean you want a woman to talk to?” the Rose asked with incredulity. Then they both snickered like schoolboys.
Joe booked his first weekend flight of his life the next week.
It was the birth of Gringo Joe, he would never be the same again.
(PART 1 OF 2)
EDITOR: Dominican Today welcomes Capt. Kennedy’s Log to its select group of collaborators.