Proud Mary

Info silverhawk
20 Oct. '18

A lot of people don’t understand what a club DJ does.  There are a lot of club DJ’s who don’t either.  They play the music they like, in today’s day and age on a laptop computer with a DJ software program instead of records or CD’s, and set up the queue so they don’t have to do much.  They don’t like requests for special songs because that means they have to actually work a little.

What a successful DJ plays depends mostly upon his crowd.  People tend to like the music they grew up with.  If I’m playing for a crowd of older people, say at a retirement party or a wedding anniversary, I’ll be playing music from the era of most of the attendees.  I’ll play requests for newer music as well, but mostly I’ll stay with the older stuff.  If I’m playing for a crowd of twenty-somethings in a club, I’ll be playing the latest hip-hop and pop music. As a result, I have a pretty extensive library of music.

Country/western clubs are a different breed all their own.  Most country/western clubs have at least a small dance floor for the line dancers and slow dancers.  The music I play in those clubs ranges from old 50’s country/western to modern pop and everything in between.  Most will be music that somebody choreographed a line dance to, hence the wide range.  About every fourth song, I’ll play something slow.  Most pretend cowboys don’t line dance, but they do like a nice soft woman pressed up against them.

That Saturday night in August, 2009, I was playing music for The Silver Stetson, a country/western bar that had hired me after they fired the last DJ.  He’d been letting his laptop play the music while he was busy entertaining some of the young girls in a back room of the bar.  One of the girls claimed he’d gone farther than she wanted and threatened to sue the bar, so the owners rid themselves of Troy.  

The Silver Stetson was a pretty upscale club as country/western bars go.  They had an actual dress code – guys had to wear shirts, and couldn’t wear backwards ball caps, spurs, or ganster-style clothing.  The dress code for girls was pretty loose and designed to let them dress in a way that would attract guys to the club.  Basically, they couldn’t be showing bare nipples and if they wore a dress or really short shorts, they had to have on panties of some sort.  The club checked ID’s and had bouncers walking the floor to stop any disagreements before they turned into fights.  It was a safe place to kick back, have a few beers and enjoy the music and the dancers.

It was about one in the morning when she walked up to my DJ booth.  That wouldn’t normally have been unusual.  Girls always came up to my booth to request a favorite song.  There were a few I think just came up to talk to me.  I’m no prize catch and I was old enough to be a father to most of them, but they’d come up, smile seductively and flirt for a while before requesting their song.  It was fun to play along, but they were way too young for me.  I was tempted by a couple, but I didn’t want to end up like Troy so I never indulged those fantasies.

This was no girl by a long shot, and I wondered why she was even in The Silver Stetson.  Judging by the lines in her face, she’d left her forties behind by several years.  We did get some older people at The Silver Stetson, but they came early and left about ten before the younger crowd finally got there.

She was a blonde that had probably caught a lot of eyes when she was younger.  She was still pretty, but with that mature beauty that comes with age rather than the fresh beauty of youth.  Her body, what I could make out of it under her check shirt and snug jeans looked the same.  She had nice breasts, waist maybe a little thicker than a young girl’s but not fat, and wide, sensuous hips.

When she smiled up at me, her eyes sort of sparkled a little, or maybe that was the lights from the dance floor.  All I know is her face was captivating when she smiled.

“Hi”, she said.  “Would you have ‘Proud Mary’ up there somewhere, the Creedence Clearwater Revival one?”

As a matter of fact, I did.  Like I said before, people usually like the music they grew up with, and in the past I’d done a lot of high school reunions, Legion Halls, and other venues where people growing up in the sixties were the bulk of the crowd.  I kept some of the sixties and seventies songs just for them.  CCR was always a favorite band, so I had several of their albums.

“I think I might have.  Give me a minute to find it.”

She kept smiling while I searched my song library.  I know she was smiling because I kept looking at her and that made my search take longer.  Finally, I found it and added it to the queue.

“Found it.  It’ll play once this song finishes.”

“Thanks”, she said, and then walked back to a table.  I’d been right about her hips.  Each step was pure seduction.  I was surprised she was sitting alone.  In my experience, most women who looked as good as she did would be with a guy  or at least with another group of women.   I didn’t see any guys walking up to talk either, but that would have been because of her age.  Most of our guys, even the ones in their thirties and forties, are looking for young girls and the younger the better for some reason.

When “Proud Mary” began to play over the speakers, the three girls on the floor who’d been line dancing looked at each other, shrugged, and then huddled for a second to decide if they could dance to it.  I had to smile.  I’d bet none of them had been even thought about, let alone born when CCR recorded it.  They did find a dance that worked though, and were soon strutting their stuff.  I looked over at the woman who’d requested it.  She was sitting on her stool, but her foot was tapping away and she was mouthing the words.

I got a bunch of requests about then and didn’t have a chance to do much except find music and queue it up.  When I finally was able to look over at her table, she was gone.

The next Saturday night I spotted her when she came in.  It was about midnight and a few tables were starting to clear so she was able to find a vacant one.  Her table that night was a little closer to my booth, and when she saw me looking at her, she smiled that smile and waved.

Sally, one of the waitresses, hustled over to take her drink order.  They talked for a while after Sally brought her drink.

Part of a DJ’s job is to stay sober, so The Silver Stetson furnished me with all the club soda I wanted.  Sally was pretty good about watching my glass and bringing me a fresh one when that one got low.  About ten minutes later, she sat a new glass in front of me and then giggled.

“You have an admirer. Did you know that?”

“No, I guess not.  Who is it?”

“She’s that older woman at the table over there.  She wanted to know your name and some other stuff.”

I turned away to start the next queued song, then turned back to Sally.

“What’d you tell her?”

“I told her you’re Jerry and you’re not married.  I don’t know how old you are, so I guessed at about forty.”

“I’m forty-three, so you were close.  Did she ask anything else?”

“Nope, but I think she has a thing for you though.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Well, she got this look on her face when she asked me.  You probably wouldn’t have seen it, but another woman would.  She definitely likes you.”

I grinned.

“So, does that mean you’re jealous?”

Sally grinned back.

“Oh, hell no.  I have enough to take care of with Billy .  I don’t need two men.  Besides, I’m twenty-six.  You’re almost old enough to be my dad.  Might be fun, but it wouldn’t feel right.”

It was about one again when the woman walked up to my booth.  She smiled that captivating smile and asked if I had “Bad Moon Rising”, by CCR.

Three minutes later, she was sitting at her table tapping her foot as the music flowed from the speakers.  

By two, all the dancers had left and the rest of the crowd was just talking.  I knew the subject of all the conversations.  Each guy was trying to convince the girl he was with to go home with him or take him to her place.  Usually he struck out and went back to the bar for another beer.  

I’d played that game at one time myself.  After a while, I learned that being half-drunk didn’t exactly win me points with sober women.  When I started staying sober, I figured out the half-drunk girls were easier, but a half-drunk girl sometimes went to sleep on me before we could do anything, so that didn’t lead anywhere either.  That’s when I started my DJ business as a weekend job.

I’d found my first and only wife as a DJ, but it didn’t turn out well at all.  After two years, she decided sitting at an empty table every Friday and Saturday night while I played music wasn’t much fun.  The divorce wasn’t the knock-down-drag-out fight some of them are.  We both knew it was over and there wasn’t much to split up, so we just split everything down the middle.

Anyway, I was setting up the next song when she walked up to the booth again and smiled at me.

“Could you play ‘Proud Mary’ for me again?”

It didn’t take as long to find it this time, but I made it take as long.  I just liked having her there and smiling at me.  When I said it would play in about three minutes, she thanked me and walked back to her table.

It was the same the next Saturday night, except the song she wanted first was “Born On The Bayou”.  I queued it up and she walked back to her table.

She surprised me a little when the song started to play.  Before, she’d always just sat there tapping her foot and sometimes mouthing the words.  This time, she got up, looked at the three young girls starting a line dance to the music, and then slowly walked onto the dance floor.  What followed had most of the guys left in the bar looking.

I don’t think she was trying to be erotic, really, but she was.  Every move was sensuous from the way she worked her hips to the way she thrust out her breasts and ran her hands down from them to her thighs.  I couldn’t believe a woman in at least her early fifties could be making me think what I was thinking about, but she was.

When the song ended, she walked quietly back to her table and sat down.  About two, she came back to my booth and requested “Proud Mary” again.  I already had it in the queue, so all I had to do was move it up a few songs.

The next Saturday, her first request was the CCR song, “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”, and I was going nuts wanting to know more about her.  I’d never had anyone just request songs from one artist or band before.  I waited until she came back to my booth about two.

I smiled and then asked “’Proud Mary’ again?  You must really love CCR.”

She beamed me that smile and nodded.  

“I do.”

“I’d love to hear the reason.”

She grinned.

“It’s too loud in here.  I’d have to yell.”

“Well, I get out of here about three thirty.  If you can hang around, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and you can tell me then.”

She smiled.

“If you’re that interested, I suppose I could wait.”

At three-thirty, I walked out the door.  There were only six cars in the parking lot, mine, the four belonging to the bar manager, the bartender and the two waitresses, and a black minivan.  The woman was standing beside the minivan and waved at me.  When I walked up she smiled.

“We should probably take separate cars or your co-workers will think we’re up to something. Where are we going?”

Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting across from her at a nearby pancake house.  I’d asked if she wanted some pancakes to go with her coffee.  She grinned and shook her head.

“Lands no.  I have enough trouble with my weight as it is.  If I ate this late, I’d have to starve myself for three days.”

I watched her stir the sugar into her coffee.  She put her spoon down, took a sip, and then looked up.

“The waitress said your name is Jerry.  I’m Mary, Mary Houghton.”
I smiled.

“Good to meet you, Mary.  I’ve been dying to ask you this question for weeks.  Why the love of CCR?  I mean, they were a great band, but there were a lot of great bands back then.”

“It was just something that happened to me at Woodstock.”

“You went to Woodstock?  I don’t know anybody who went to Woodstock.”

Mary grinned.

“That’s because you’re too young.  Yes, I went.  I was nineteen and in my second year of college.  A bunch of my friends heard about it and we decided to all chip in and drive to New York.  You know those old VW buses?  Well, one of the guys had one and that’s what we took.”

She giggled.

“We were crammed into that thing like sardines.  I got poked and jabbed all over, and a few times, well…we were too crowded in there to actually do anything, but we could do everything but.  Today, most girls would be embarrassed to admit doing that sort of thing.  I just thought it was fun, but then, we were all into free love and all that.  

“Most of them changed after they got married and had kids.  They’re just normal grandpas and grandmas now, and they don’t talk about it.  I think a lot of them are embarrassed and afraid their grandkids will find out they were there.  I couldn’t forget what happened when CCR was playing.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.”

“So, you saw CCR up on the stage there?”

“Yes, I did.  I was way in the back, but I saw them.”

“So, if I’m not being too nosy, what was it that happened?”

Mary looked up at me shyly.

“I met a guy from Pennsylvania named Ricky.  It had rained a lot and everything was mud so I’d been standing up all day long.  Ricky said he had a little tent and asked if I wanted to sit inside and listen to the bands.  I said I’d love to.  The floor of the tent was dry and I got to sit down.

“Ricky also had some grass.  I’d smoked grass before, not enough to get really high, but enough to feel relaxed.  I got really relaxed that night.  Between the grass and the music, I got really into what all the people were doing. You were free to do anything you wanted there, and there were girls all over with no clothes on, so I took mine off too.  Ricky said he thought that was a great idea, so he took off his clothes as well.  We sat there naked in his tent and shared a few joints while the music played.

“Well, one thing led to another and right in the middle of ‘Born On The Bayou’…well, let’s just say Ricky taught me a lot in his tent that night.  We didn’t stop until they started playing ‘Proud Mary’.  He looked down at me then and said ‘They’re playing your song, Mary’.”

“Ah, that’s why you like that song so much.”

“Yeah, it always reminds me of what I felt back then.  I was kinda proud.  I was only nineteen, but I felt like a real woman after that.”

“And those other CCR songs?  They remind you of the same thing?”

Mary grinned shyly.

“Oh, yeah.  ‘Born On The Bayou’ was when Ricky first touched me, and ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’…that was the first time I ever really had an…well, my mother never told me it could feel like that.”

Mary giggled.

“I guess she was either afraid I’d turn into a nymphomaniac or maybe it was never that good for her, I don’t know.  All I know is it was really great for me.  Way better than the first two times.”

Mary’s explanation about the songs was interesting, but I was still intrigued by the fact she came to The Silver Stetson by herself.

“OK, I understand about the songs now, and I’ll be happy to play those or any others you like, but why did you pick The Silver Stetson?”

Mary swirled her coffee, took a sip, then smiled.

“That’s another story for another time.  I think I should be getting home now.”

After I walked her to her car, I watched her drive away and wondered what that other story would be.  Mary was a woman unlike any I’d ever met before.  Watching and hearing her talk about Woodstock, I could almost see the nineteen year old girl in that tent, and she wasn’t embarrassed when she told me about having sex with the guy.  

Yet, there was a quiet propriety to her.  She didn’t actually tell me they’d had sex or that she’d had her first orgasm there.  She’d only said her mother never told her it could be like that.  That sounded a lot like my own mother when she talked about sex.  She would never say anything except to use hints about what she was talking about.   The contradiction made Mary interesting, and the way she’d filled out her jeans and blouse made her more interesting still.

The next Saturday, Mary showed up at a little after midnight.  After Sally brought her drink, Mary looked up at me and smiled and waved again.  It was about one when she asked me to play “Lookin Out My Backdoor”.  

I grinned.

“I can hardly wait to hear what special meaning this one has for you.”

She smiled.

“There’s nothing special about it.  I just like it.”

The words sort of made themselves up and flowed out of my mouth.

“I’d kinda like to buy you another cup of coffee anyway.”

She was still smiling, but I thought her smile got a little wider.

“I think I’d kinda like that.”

That second cup of coffee was more interesting than the first.  I found out Mary was a widow and that she hadn’t entirely given up her hippy ways.

“Yes, like most of us did, I got married, not to Ricky, but I got married.  Joe was another of our group at college and when we graduated, we both ended up working in Knoxville, not at the same place, but we were both in Knoxville.  He called me one day and asked me out.  

“We lived together at first.  It just seemed like the right thing for us to do.  Neither of us had lost our free spirits, so whatever society thought was right, we did the opposite.
“It makes me a little sad, though, to remember those times.  We were going to make it a perfect world filled with peace and love.  We had peace and love between us, but the rest of the world didn’t seem to want that.  Joe had gotten a student deferment from the draft and hoped Vietnam would be over before he graduated.  

It wasn’t.  He got drafted six months after he graduated and went to school to be a radio operator.  He thought that might keep him out of combat, but it didn’t. Joe got sent to Vietnam as a radio operator for an infantry unit.  He wrote me letters every day but he wouldn’t tell me what he was doing.  I didn’t know he’d been wounded twice until he got home.

He proposed the day he got back home and we got married a month later.  We were happy for the most part.  We bought a house in the suburbs and had two daughters together.  They’re all grown now and off on their own.  I’m going to be a grandmother for the third time in another three months.”

She giggled.

“My girls found some pictures last Christmas I thought I’d hidden away.  They were of me on the beach one spring break in Florida.  It was a secluded beach and I wasn’t wearing much in the way of clothes.  My two girls were just floored.  They said, ’Mom, you wouldn’t even let us wear bikinis until we moved out, but you aren’t wearing even that much’.  I just laughed and said I remembered what I did then and that’s why I wouldn’t let them wear bikinis.”

I chuckled.

“If your daughters look like you, I can see why.  I’d bet your husband is a really happy guy.”

Mary frowned a little.

“Yes, Joe thought I was sexy back then and as we got older, he kept telling me I just kept getting better.  I do miss that.  

“Joe was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.  The doctors said his cancer was too advanced for chemo, so they gave him a prescription for pain medicine that let him do things without hurting so bad.  Joe and I spent his last days fishing and hiking or just sitting on the porch swing holding hands, things we used to do when we were first married. Thankfully, he didn’t linger in pain like some people do.  He passed away in his sleep one night about six months later.”

I said I was sorry and that if I’d known, I wouldn’t have said what I did.  She just smiled.

“Don’t be sorry.  Joe and I had a good life together.  It ended too soon, but you can’t sit around and mope about things you can’t control.  You have to get on with life and make it the best life you can.  

“My girls think I’m trying to live in the past since Joe died because I don’t dress like an older woman and I haven’t cut my hair short.  I’m not really.  I just don’t feel old and I don’t see why I should have to act like I am.  That’s why I come to The Silver Stetson.  Joe liked country music and after I listened to it for a while, so did I.  Some of CCR’s music sounds a little country too.  Did you know John Fogerty liked Buck Owens?  Not many people do, but he did, and that song, ‘Lookin Out My Back Door’ sounds a lot like some of Buck Owens’ music.

I said I’d never thought about that, but that I could hear that too.

Mary smiled.

“My girls once told me that song was about drugs but it wasn’t.  There were a lot of songs back then that were, but this wasn’t one of them.  John wrote it for his three-year old son, and part of the inspiration was a Dr. Zeuss story.  It’s just a silly song written for a little boy, but it’s still fun to listen to.”

As soon as I said it, I regretted it.

“Well, anytime you want to hear it, all you have to do is ask me.  I like playing music for sexy women.”

She didn’t seem to take offense like I’d thought she might.  Instead, she grinned.

“Now you sound like my Joe instead of a young DJ.  I’m flattered, but you should save that kind of talk for the young girls.  You’ll go putting ideas in my head.”

“I’m not all that young, and most of them are young enough to be my daughter.  I’m just not into that like some guys.”

“Why not?  I thought all you guys wanted young girls.”

“They’re OK I guess, but they’re too young to really know what they want and they’re too young to know what a man really wants.”

Mary leaned forward and when she did, her top sort of fell away from her breasts.  I was staring at some really inviting cleavage and almost didn’t hear what she said.

“So, what does a man really want?”

“I can’t speak for all men, but I like a woman who knows who she is and is comfortable enough with herself to tell me what she likes.”

“Like me telling you why I like CCR and why I come to your club?  What if I told you some other things I like?  Would that make you happy?”

She was twirling a strand of her long, blonde hair when she said that, and she was smiling an impish little smile.

“I do have things I like besides CCR and your club, you know.”

“Uh…well, I’m sure you do.”

“Yes, a lot of things.  I do some more than others.  I’ll have to tell you about them sometime, but I think I’m ready to leave now if you are.”

I figured that night would end like the first.  Mary would get in her minivan and I’d watch her drive out of the parking lot.  She surprised me.

I walked her to her car and waited for her to unlock it and get inside.  She unlocked it, but then turned back, put her hand on my arm, and smiled.

“Before I go, would you like to see the inside of my minivan?  I had it customized.”

I’d never known a woman who customized anything except her clothes, and most didn’t even do that.  They just wore whatever came off the rack and fit.  Mary was a little different, though, and I was curious as to what she might have done. I said I’d love to see it.  She pulled the handle for the side door and I heard a motor start.  As the door moved toward the rear; two strip lights, one on either side of the top, came on and cast a warm, red glow through the interior.

There was a curtain just behind the front seats so anybody looking through the windshield would have only seen that.  The side windows were all pretty darkly tinted, and even after those lights came on, I couldn’t see a thing through them.  The seats I’d expected to be upholstered captain’s chairs with a table between them weren’t there.  Instead, there was a bed that ran the length of the driver’s side and the rest was thick, red carpet.  The ceiling and walls were more red carpet.

The bed was wasn’t very wide.  Two people would have had to be really good friends to sleep on it.  What was more unusual about the bed was the tie-died sheet and pillow case.  Folded up at the foot were two blankets that looked really soft and fuzzy, and they were tie-dyed too.

Mary asked what I thought.

“Well, I’ve never seen one like it.  What do you use it for?  Do you go camping or something like that?”

“No, I don’t go camping.  I just wanted to make it look a little like that VW minibus we took to Woodstock.  That one wasn’t as nice, but it did have a bed and it had red carpet everywhere.  The bed is comfy.  Wanna see?”

Mary climbed inside, sat down on the bed, and then crooked her finger.

“Come on in.”

I couldn’t very well tell her no, so I climbed inside and sat down on the bed beside her.

“It is nice”, I said.

“I need to show you the rest.”

Mary pressed a button on the wall and the door closed.  She pressed another button and I heard the door locks click.  She looked at me and grinned.

“Now nobody can get inside.  It has a stereo too.  Let me show you.”

Mary turned toward the rear of the van and pushed another button.  A panel in the wall moved up and revealed a control panel with two knobs and more buttons.  She pressed one of the buttons.  I saw a blue LCD screen light up and a second or so later I heard CCR flow from speakers behind grills on the roof and sides of the minivan.  The song was “Born On The Bayou”.

“It’s an MP3 player”, she said.  “I have all CCR’s songs on it and all the songs Joe liked too.  Here’s one we both liked.”

She started pushing a button and words started scrolling up the screen.  A few seconds later, Mary pressed another button and the music changed to “Follow The Wind”, by Trisha Yearwood.  

Mary moved over next to me and after a few seconds, put her cheek on my shoulder.  I hadn’t had that happen in a long time.  It felt kinda good.

She sighed.

“I love this song so much.”

“It’s a long way from CCR.”

“I know, but it’s special too.  It’s from a movie that came out several years before Joe knew he was sick.  We went to see it, and Joe just had to have the soundtrack just to get this song.  He said it reminded him of us, that we were following the wind through life and trusting it would lead us where we should go.  

“The middle part, where she sings about failing and a compass pointing the way…he said that was us too.  When Joe came back from Vietnam, he wasn’t the same Joe.  Before, when we were in college, he thought protesting about the war would end it.  When it didn’t and he got drafted, he thought he’d failed somehow.  When he came back after seeing all those men killed, he sort of blamed himself for living through it.

“For a while, we had some trouble.  He smoked a lot of grass and at least once or twice he tried cocaine.   I didn’t mind the grass, but I couldn’t let him kill himself with the others.  We sat down one night and had a talk about where we were and where we were going.

“I told him I couldn’t just sit around and watch my husband kill himself over something he couldn’t control.  I said I loved him too much to do that, and that because I loved him so much, I’d help him any way I could.  He said nothing would help unless he could get some of the things he’d seen out of his head and that I wouldn’t understand because I hadn’t been there and seen the things he’d seen.

“I said I’d try.  That’s when he started telling me about Vietnam.  It took a lot more talks like that one, but Joe started to be more like the Joe I knew before.  He’d been fired from one job for not coming to work, but he straightened up and got another one.  A couple years later, we were living well and happy most of the time.  It got better when we had kids.  They gave Joe something to do besides think about the past.  

“One night when the girls were asleep, Joe put the CD with this song in the player and started it.  He sat down on the couch beside me and put his arms around me. He told me for a long time he’d felt like the song said – that he’d tried and failed and had told himself nobody lived inside him.  Then he hugged me and said I was the compass the song talked about, and that I’d shown him the way.

“Well, I cried for a while.  I mean, Joe was never a very romantic man, and for him to say something like that…well, it made me so happy I had to cry.  

“When he got sick and we found out there was nothing we could do to make him get well, he said for me not to be sad for very long after he was gone.  He said we’d had a good life together and that he didn’t want to leave me alone, but the wind was taking him where it thought he needed to go.  He said the wind would take me where I needed to go too.  That’s why this song is special to me.”

I suppose it was just instinct that I put my arm around Mary and gave her a little hug.  She sighed again.

“That little hug is what Joe used to give me.  You remind me a lot of him in some ways.”

“I’m glad, I guess.”

Mary lifted her head up then.

“I should probably be letting you get home so you can get some sleep.”

“I’ll be OK.”

“I need to leave too.  Tomorrow, I’m flying to Denver to visit my oldest daughter.  I’ll miss seeing you next Saturday.”

“I’ll miss seeing you too.  Maybe I’ll play “Proud Mary” even though you’re not there to hear it.  I’ve started liking that song too.”

The next Saturday night wasn’t much fun.  Oh, the girls line dancing were sexy like always, and like always, a couple came up and flirted with me.  At a little before three, I watched the guys who were left trying to pick up the girls who were left.  It just wasn’t the same without Mary, though.  I’d gotten used to seeing her smile and having that cup of coffee after the club closed.  It took three beers before I could fall asleep after I got back to my apartment.

The next Saturday night, I started watching the door of the club at eleven-thirty.  Just like she’d done before, at about midnight, Mary walked inside, paid the cover and then found an empty table.  She smiled when she looked up at my booth and waved when I smiled back.

Her first request was “Born On The Bayou” again, and an hour later, I played “Proud Mary” for her.  Two songs after that was my slot for a slow song, and I’d already queued up “Follow The Wind”.  

When it started, Mary closed her eyes and just sat there at her table with a smile on her face.  When it finished and  I queued the next song, she walked up to my booth.

“How did you know I was thinking about that song?”

I shrugged.

“I didn’t.  I bought the soundtrack from the movie last week because I thought you might like to hear it since it’s special to you.”

She grinned.

“You’re pretty special to me too.  Not many men would remember something like that from an old woman.  Can this old woman buy you a cup of coffee after you close to say thank you?”

“No, but I’d like to buy you one.”

Over coffee, Mary told me something that hit me hard.

“My daughter thinks I should sell my house and live with her in Denver.  She’s worried because I live alone and if something happened to me, I wouldn’t have anybody close I could call.”

“Is that something you’d want to do.”

“No, not really.  I know what would happen.  I’d have to give up most of my freedom.  She’d be telling me I need to slow down and act my age.  What she’d really be saying is I should sit in a rocker and knit sweaters instead of going out and having fun.  Jane’s a good girl, but she’s a real prude about a lot of things.  I don’t know why.  I didn’t raise her that way.”

“Have you made a decision?”

“No.  I’ve thought about all the bad things that would mean, but there are some good things too.  I’d get to see my grandkids more often, and Joe and I always wanted to go see the Rocky Mountains.  What she said about not having anybody to call is true too.  I’m still thinking about it.”

“You know, you could always call me if you needed help with something.”

Mary smiled.

“You’re sweet to say that, but as young as you are, you shouldn’t have to be worried about an old woman.”

I’m sure I frowned then.

“Mary, you keep saying you’re an old woman, but you aren’t.  You don’t look old, you don’t act old, and you don’t think old.”

“I’m fifty-nine.  Isn’t that old?”

“Only if you want it to be.  I don’t think you do.”

Mary finished her coffee, then smiled.

“I suppose I should be going now.”

“I’ll walk you to your car.”

When we got to her mini-van, Mary unlocked it, then turned around.

“Would you like to see the inside?”

“Well, I’ve already seen it once.”

“Oh, but I changed something since then.  Come on inside and I’ll show you.”

When we got inside and were sitting on the bed, I looked around but I couldn’t see anything that looked different.

“Mary, I’m probably just not looking in the right place, but what did you change?”

She smiled again, but it was kind of an odd smile.  

“Me.  I changed me.”

“I’m not sure what you changed.  You still look the same to me.”

“I changed inside.  After I went to visit Jane, I changed inside.”

“What does that mean?  You’re not sick are you?”

Mary smiled.

“No, I’m not sick.  I just decided I wasn’t feeling enough like I did when I was really young, and that I should be doing more things to feel that way.”

I chuckled.

“Like what?  Don’t tell me you’re going to start going to rock concerts and running around naked.”

She chuckled too, but then her face got serious.

“No, I don’t like the music they play at concerts now, and I don’t have the body to run around naked.  I do still have the thoughts I had back then…”

Mary looked me square in the face.

“like when Ricky and I were in his tent at Woodstock.  I know it’s probably not something you’d want to do with me, but I’ve thought about it a lot.”

I looked at Mary, and I didn’t see a fifty-nine year old woman.  What I saw was a woman who’s body was fifty-nine but who’s mind was still young and vibrant.  It was one of those spur of the moment decisions I made that night.

“What makes you think I wouldn’t?”

“Even if we did it here?”

I smiled and put my hands on her soft shoulders.

“Where doesn’t matter to me, but you do.”

Mary was right about her body.  It wasn’t a body to be displayed naked at a rock concert.  Her body was the lush and sensuous body of a mature woman, and meant to be caressed and fondled, not ogled and leered at.  I did look, of course.  The red lighting inside the mini-van turned her pale skin into a warm, erotic, soft pink except for her nipple beds and nipples.  They looked more of a light brown, and the contrast was erotic as all hell.

She was satin-smooth and soft everywhere except for those nipples and nipple beds and the sparse covering of blonde hair on her mound.  As soon as she took off her bra, those darker circles on her breasts tightened a little and raised her nipples off their surface.  Just a few light strokes tightened her nipples too, and when I licked the tips, Mary sighed.  

“It’s been so long…I thought I’d forget, but I haven’t.”

The blonde hair on her mound was covering lips that were thick but softer than any other part of her I touched.  Stroking my fingertip over the separation between them was like stroking velvet.  Stroking my fingertip between until I felt her slender inner lips caused Mary to purr out a little moan.  

At the top of those lips, I felt a small bump beneath more velvet skin.  Mary moaned at my light touch, then opened her thighs wide.  Her outer lips opened with them.  Just sliding my fingertip down over the rippled surface of her inner lips led me to her entrance, an entrance that promised to be just as velvet soft.

I’m not sure how long it was before she stroked her hand down my chest and then my belly to find my cock.  I know she didn’t need to stroke it.  Just seeing her and touching her had it standing straight and swollen tight.  I saw her smile when she found it.

I’m also not sure how long we lay on that narrow bed in her mini-van just slowly exciting each other.  I don’t remember because she was so different from the younger women I’d been with.  They always wanted to hurry, to feel me rubbing their clits fast until they were almost ready to cum.  Usually they’d jack my cock until I had to stop them.  Then, they’d pull me down on top of them.  It didn’t last long after that.  While I was stroking away, they’d be rubbing their clit too.  

Mary didn’t do that, and at the end, I understood why.  She was stroking my cock, but so gently all it did was keep me at the point of needing her so badly I could hardly stand it.  She was doing the same to herself by not rushing things.  She didn’t say anything like, “Pinch my nipples” or “rub my clit”.  Occasionally, she’d sigh and murmur something like “Oh, yes…keep doing what you’re doing”, or, “I haven’t felt that for so long”, but that was all.  

I was taking my cues from her, and they were subtle but they were there.  First it was a little tightening in her tummy, just a little contraction that quickly went away.  A while later, she used her free hand to stroke my back.  I knew she was nearly ready for me when she began to breathe deeper and then held her breath while that tummy contraction lasted longer.

I was in no hurry.  Most women don’t understand how much a man enjoys seeing her respond to what he’s doing, but we do.  Mary was responding.  She wasn’t dancing around on the bed or moaning all the time, but she was responding.  It was the little things she did that let me know that, and just hearing her catch her breath or make a little mewing sound just added to the soft hand slowly stroking my cock.

I kissed her nipples, then sucked the right one gently.  Mary did moan then, and I felt her hips rock up into my hand a little.  When I did the same to her left nipple, the moan was louder and her hips rocked more.  When my finger slipped inside her, Mary caught her breath and then wiggled her hips a little.  My finger slipped deeper, then deeper until it was stopped by the rest of my hand.

After some slow strokes from her entrance to the little bump at the top of her inner lips, Mary moaned and pulled on my back.

“Now, Jerry”, she murmured.

Entering Mary was incredible.  I’d thought after two kids, she might be more open, but she wasn't.  I felt the same wet slippery warmth for a little bit and then the snug fit just inside her.  A little more pressure let my cock slide in a little more.  I pulled back out and then eased back inside Mary again.  She put her hand on my ass and pulled this time.  My cock head found that snug spot again, and when Mary felt it, she rocked her hips a little.  My cock slowly entered her until my belly was touching her mound.

Mary sighed then and pulled on my ass and rocked her hips at the same time.  I thought I was as deep inside her as I could get, but that little rock pushed me deeper, deep enough I felt the end of her passage.  She moaned then and relaxed her hands a little, so I slowly pulled back out of her.  

As soon as my cock head met that snug spot again, Marry pulled on my ass.  I let her hands tell me how fast she wanted my cock by staying just ahead of the pressure.  For a while, my strokes were slow and deep, just like Mary’s breathing.

That changed as time went on.  I felt her increasing the speed at which she pulled me into her, first just a little, and then more.  I also started feeling her rock her hips up into each stroke, and about every other stroke, Mary would moan.  After a while, the pull of her hands on my ass became her digging in her nails, and the quiet little moans got louder.  

The end came pretty fast after that.  Mary’s hands were pulling me inside her faster, then faster still, and instead of taking breaths, she was starting to pant.  I was starting to pant too.  After enduring her soft little strokes to my cock and then feeling the ripples of her passage massaging it with each stroke, I was crazy with the desire to reach the end.  I could feel the tension building in my body, a tension that would be released with spurts that raced up my cock and splattered inside Mary.  I was hoping I could hold out until she was ready.

I didn’t have to wait long, and she told me so I didn’t have to guess.  During one stroke of my cock, Mary raised her hips up off the bed and gasped, then fell back down.  At the next stroke, she raised her hips up again and they rocked twice.  The third was the same except she didn’t fall back down.  She dug her nails into my back, gasped, and her hips began to shake.  She gasped again, then cried out, “Oh Jerry, now”, and then arched her back even higher.

Her nails digging into my back and that little cry took me there with her.  I couldn’t really stroke because Mary’s rocking hips were moving too fast, but I didn’t have to.  The contraction around my cock right after she said “Now” did it all.  I groaned as the first shot raced up my cock and inside Mary.  The second made me gasp, and the third was so strong I thought I was going to fall down on top of her.  It was the way her passage kept contracting and then relaxing so fast that caused that I think.  I’d never felt that before.  It was the slow build-up that did it, and now I understood.

Mary stayed up in the air like that for a few seconds, then moaned and eased back down on the bed.  When I stroked my cock once, she caught her breath and tried to squeeze her thighs together.  I stroked again and she gasped, spread her thighs open and pushed her body up to meet me.  I tried another, but she stroked my back and giggled, “If you keep that up, I’m going to pass out”.

It was about five in the morning when I watched Mary drive off in her mini-van.  She still hadn’t decided what to do.  All week long, I hoped I’d see her again on Saturday night.  I didn’t want to see her for sex.  That had been fantastic but that wasn’t the reason.  

No, as corny as it sounds, I just liked Mary.  I liked her smile, I liked the sparkle in her eyes when she talked, I liked the fact she was fifty-nine and drove a mini-van with a bed in back and carpet on the floor, and I liked her requesting me to play “Proud Mary” for her.  

On Saturday night, I queued up every CCR song I had and kept moving them down the queue while I waited for her to walk in the door.  At three she still hadn’t come in.  I closed up shop and went home thinking she’d probably decided to move to Denver and I’d never see her again.

The next Saturday was the same.  It was hard on me, but I knew she was doing what she thought was right for her.  After another week, I’d come to grips with that fact.  I did queue up “Proud Mary” though.  I just wanted to hear it again.

Things got kind of busy for me up until about midnight.  There was a group of line dancers from a different city on what they called “a field trip”.  They didn’t know most of the dances our girls knew, so they had me searching through my laptop for songs I usually didn’t play.  It was a little after midnight when they all got up and left, and I was trying to get my queue of music back into my normal order.

I’d just started a song our girls knew and heard Sally set a fresh glass of club soda on the mixing desk.  I turned to thank her, but I couldn’t.  Mary was standing there looking up at me and smiling.

“Sally was busy, so she asked if I’d take your club soda to you.”

“Mary, I though you went to live with your daughter in Denver.”

“No, that’s not why I haven’t been here.”

“Well, why then?”

“Buy me a cup of coffee when you get done and I’ll tell you.”

Mary finished stirring her coffee, then smiled.

“Did you miss me?”

“No, not at all.  You can’t miss someone when you’re going crazy wondering where they are.”

“I’m sorry about that. I should have told you what I was going to do, but I had to be sure first.”

“So, what did you do?”

“I flew back to Denver and stayed for a while just to see what it would be like.”


“Well the first week was great.  I played with my grand kids and took them to the zoo on Saturday.  On Sunday, Jane asked if I wasn’t overdoing it.  She said I looked tired.

“Well, I was tired.  Did you ever try to keep up with a two year old and a four year old?  They’re like those little race car toys except their batteries never run down.  I know now why you have kids when you’re young.

“Anyway, on Monday night I said I was going to see if this bar I saw in one of those “places to see in Denver” magazines was any good.  Jane looked at me and said, ‘Mom, aren’t you a little old to be going to bars by yourself”.  Well I was just…just really put out by that.  I mean, it was like she was trying to be my mother and tell me what I should and shouldn’t do.

“I was going to stay another two weeks, but after that, I knew it wasn’t going to work.  I know Jane was just trying to take care of me, but I don’t need or want that.  I came home after three more days.  I’ve spent the last week and a half thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and how I should do that.

“I couldn’t decide until I played ‘Follow The Wind” one night.  I listened to the words and one part really got to me.  It was when she sang, ‘I follow the winds into tomorrow.  I trust where it leads me, and I know that I’ll blow home’.

“I started to cry because I was thinking about Joe, but then I remembered that’s what he’d told me when we found out he had cancer.  He said the wind was taking him where it wanted him to go, and that I should let the wind take me where it wanted me to go too.

“I thought about what I’d been doing since he died.  I was sad for a long time, but then I came to your bar.  I don’t know why I picked it except that it’s a country bar.  There are lots of country bars around, but I picked this one.

“Then you asked me if you could buy me a cup of coffee and I said yes.  I would never do that with a man I’d just met, but for some reason I did.  I did it again when you asked the second time too.  The third time, I surprised myself by asking you if I could buy you one.

“Then, that night in my van, when we made love…well, I didn’t think I’d ever want that again, but that night, I decided I did and that I wanted to do it with you.

“It’s like the song says.  I’ve been following the wind and trusting where it leads.  I just didn’t realize that.  I decided yesterday to keep following it, doing what I feel like doing, and trusting that it’s the right thing for me to do.”

“So you’re not going back to Denver?”

Mary laughed.

“Oh, I’ll go back once in a while, but only for a couple of days at least until my grandkids are old enough to stay in one place for longer than two seconds.”

“So what comes next for you?”

“I bought a bikini and I’m going to Fort Lauderdale for a week.”

I chuckled.

“I thought you said you couldn’t do that anymore.”

“No, I said I couldn’t go naked any more.  A bikini isn’t naked.  Besides, if people don’t like how I look, they don’t have to look at me.”

“After that?”

“I don’t know yet, but I’m not going to stay home and get old.  I’m going to live as much of life as I can.”

“You’ll let me know when you take off the next time, won’t you.”

“I will, unless you want to come with me.  Right now, I’d like you to come home with me.  The bed in my mini-van is OK, but my bed at home is better.”

Well, it’s another Saturday night and I’m still playing music at The Silver Stetson, but unlike the old country song, I do have somebody.  Mary makes it to The Silver Stetson about every other week now.  The other Saturdays, she’s off somewhere doing what she thinks the wind wants her to do.

Some of those things are a bit out of my comfort zone.  I went to Florida with her last winter.  It was supposed to be a week of getting away from the cold and soaking up some sun.  She could have told me the beach in front of the hotel was a nudist beach, but somehow she forgot that.  She also forgot her to take her bikini or any other kind of swimsuit.  

The first day felt a little weird.  I mean, there haven’t been all that many women who’ve seen me naked, and usually it was dark when I was.  That beach had what seemed like hundreds of women of all ages just walking around naked like it was the most natural thing in the world, and they all looked at me.

Well, it seemed like that anyway.  Mary just giggled when I told her that.

“If your uh…flag pole wasn’t sticking up, maybe they wouldn’t be looking.”

“If you’d put on some clothes, maybe it wouldn’t be sticking up.”

She grinned.

“Flattery will get you everywhere with me.  Wanna go upstairs after while and see where the wind blows us?”

It’s about midnight now, so she should be…Yeah, there she comes.  She’s gotten a little more free with the way she dresses since we went to Florida, but I didn’t think she’d go this far.  Her top, what there is of it, looks like it’s painted on, and I’m pretty sure she’d not wearing a bra.  Her breasts look like they’re moving around a lot while she walks, and those two bumps might be buttons but I can’t think of any reason why she’d have buttons there.  Her jeans look tighter too.  

The high heels are a bit much for The Silver Stetson, but that’s just Mary.  She’s hearing CCR in her head, following the wind wherever it leads her, and she’s trusting it to blow her home.


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