Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Lonely bike boy seeks obsessive murder magnet
Oh hey, come on in. I’m Jack Reilly. Don’t mind the chaos. The shop’s in a bit of a mess because my shipment of Italian brakes and those chrome wheels just arrived all at once. I just opened CYCotics a little over a year ago and it’s taken a while to get it all sorted out.
Right. It’s not all that sorted out today. Point taken. Have a seat on that pile of boxes. Thanks for bringing me the latte. I love those. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention that you almost tripped over the heap of bike seats to my friend, Charlotte Adams. She’s kind of obsessive about things. Great girl. Gorgeous and smart and generally wonderful. That obsessive thing is the only issue. Well, not the only issue. She doesn’t like my Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts much and she thinks I should get the lead out and finish my PhD, but clutter is the big one for her. Okay, that’s three issues.
Listen, I have issues too, I just wish she’d stop messing around with murder. She’s like a tiny turbo-charged creature that has to fix everything. Everything can mean villains and dangerous situations or helmets not set up right. She fixed that display for me. But murder’s the problem. The rest of us get drawn into all that. I don’t mind, because I’d do anything for her. Well, I wouldn’t let her organize my desk or business or change the way I dress. And if I want to keep bike parts in my oven, why would anyone else care?
I should be used to her after all these years. Did I mention we met in grade school? We’ve been friends ever since. When I look back, I wonder if it was my mum and dad that were the lure. Charlotte’s mother, Esme, is a bestselling author and the most self-absorbed person in the universe. Maybe in several universes. Four husbands. Endless list of relationships. I think Charlotte needed a stable family and she liked mine. She spent a lot of time in my mom’s kitchen —eating, not cooking. I think she soaked up all the extra love my folks had to give. I gotta admit, I was the luckiest adopted kid anywhere.
I liked having her around. She was a perfect little girl, really pretty and smart. I always liked smart girls. She always had her homework done early and perfectly. She was willing to do mine too, claimed it would be done ‘right’ that way. She did put all my baseball cards in order and bought card boxes to store them. Course, I could never find any after that.
I used to miss her like crazy when Esme would drag her out of school to hit London or Paris, wherever the latest man was located. The worst thing was when she went to New York City after college and hooked up with that banking creep. Yes, the one who cheated on her and broke her heart. I guess I’m lucky he did, but I hate to think about how much that hurt her. Two and a half years ago she came limping back to Woodbridge and rented the second floor apartment in the house I inherited from my parents. She started her organizing business and rebuilt her life.
Things are pretty good now as far as they go. She adopted Truffle and Sweet Marie, the bonded pair of miniature dachshunds I was fostering through Welcome All Good Dogs (WAG’D). Did you know she’d never had a pet before? So that’s working out. We eat pizza and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk together. We both mock the WINY news as a team. We hang out with our misfit friends. But I wish she could let herself relax, accept that someone could love her and care for her forever. And maybe she could learn to trust me. You know what? I’d die for her. Come to think of it, every now and then I almost do.
I know she’s worth it. Wish she knew that too. In the meantime, I found the perfect bike for her birthday. Now if I can just get her to ride it.
By the way, if you have any relationship advice for me, bring it on! And if you want to get in touch with my author, Mary Jane Maffini, contact her at
Maybe suggest that she go a little easier on us. And if you want to see the doggies, check out
Hope to see you at the shop one of these days. Or in our latest adventure: Closet Confidential.