The Secret of an Old Man

by on November 13th, 2014
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I was sitting in a busy downtown Chicago bar, waiting for my date. When a tall well-built gentleman approached a seat next to me. His countenance was of a business man, which reminded me of a billboard model. Although, he looked weary in need of a drink. The bartender perceived the same. Before the bartender could utter the formality, the stranger desired two shots of blue vodka.

” How has been the day so far for you?” he asked.

” So far so good…still drinking water,” I replied showing off my half empty glass.

” Huh! Good for you…don’t want to be in my position…”

Curious I am, always, to listen to the stale tales from strangers.

” Please do explain.”

” Are you not waiting for someone?”

” Yes a blind date…but doesn’t look like she is showing up.”

He smirked. I raised my glass for a toast.

” Cheers! Let’s pass some time.”

He followed my toast with his second shot of blue vodka.

” I am not sure where to start. You may not believe some of it…probably will throw some of my talk in trash.”

” Please go ahead.”

He poured the second shot inside without a breath and then signaled the bar tender for more. I did the same but for soda.

” I used to work at the Playboy office here in downtown. You know one on the Lake Shore Drive.”

I nodded positively but had never heard of any such office.

” Once I had a chance to visit the Mansion. It was considered personal achievement for any employee to get an invitation to the famous mansion. I was excited. My coworkers envied me. So, I did accept it,” he continued.

” There is always some party going on in the mansion. One night, I was drunk, but I was sober. I sneaked into the private corridors of Mr. Hefner. It is forbidden to go there. Although, it is no secret what goes on there. Any aspiring cover page model has to pass through the activities inside the restricted area.”

I was slurping my fructose drink rather slowly. While, my story teller ordered additional shots of his blue vodka.

” There he was. I peeked from behind a mahogany desk. Mr Playboy…none other but Hefner…our boss…our president. He was old. You can tell from his falling off wrinkled skin. But he walked straight. It was his makeup room…I believe.”

His hands shook. He hastened another shot of his favorite drink inside.

” I always wondered how an eighty year old man, at that time he was eighty, had all the tenacity of a twenty five year old. I suspected he must be on some kind of secret medication…or may be he was into some secret yoga regimen. But, after visiting his mansion none of my apprehensions were true. Yet, he was always accompanied with the beautiful mermaids and angels…interposing breaks…for what’s the word I am looking for….ah…yes…invigorating himself. That was remarkable! My curiosity to know his secret grew. After all who won’t want to be in eighties and performing like twenties…wouldn’t you…”

I again nodded positively to keep my story teller interested, although, at the back of my head, I disagreed. If the energy of twenty five, at the age of eighty, is given to me, then I would rather pass. I believe in mortality and in passing on the baton to our next generation. The morals and ethics wouldn’t provide peace to my logical gateways. Anyways, but this is not my story.

He continued, “So I settled behind the desk, determined to unravel the secret. Our boss came in front of a large mirror. He seated himself rather oddly, with his legs open apart almost hundred eighty degrees. I could see that he disgraced his old skin when he spread his fingers over his wrinkly face. Then he took of the wig. I was little shocked. I had never pictured him like a bald old man. I continued to watch…he started spreading fingers over his head…I was thinking he was massaging his head…but…”

My strange story teller stopped, for a moment, to pour in another shot.

” He was searching for something else. When his fingers found that location…they stopped for a while. It looked like he was scratching something on his head. And…then….(gulp)…he tore off his skin!”

I looked at him perplexed. I could see he was drunk, and a drunk does not lie. I gestured to continue.

” It was like his entire body was a mask. A cover up for a creature I have never seen in my life. I almost shrieked like a girl…but I was determined…I controlled my fear and excitement…I continued to watch.”

He wiped some of his perspiration from his hands.

” This creature was in front of me…same height like Hefner…I had never seen even in a science fiction movie…something like this…it was a cross between the Jedi master Yoda and an Ape!”

I tried to imagine, but the caffeine in soda failed to create an impression in my natural intelligence.

” It then trotted in front of a naked lady’s statue standing on a round platform. I could not see what it was doing. Slowly that statue opened up. The front section of the statue came apart like some kind of pod. The creature pressed some buttons on its wrist, what appeared like a watch. It then went inside. The front section closed in. The platform started rotating. The statute of naked lady also started rotating. First slowly…and then gradually it picked up speed. There was a swirling sound…similar to the sound of a hair dryer when turned on . Few minutes later the statue stopped. The statue opened up again and out came another creature. Yes, this creature, which came out, was different…”

” How could you tell?” I interrupted.

” Its face was light green, and nose was flat. The other one had a pointed nose. It was also little taller than the other one.”

” And…then…what happened?”

” This new creature went to the skin lying on the floor. It picked up the skin and wore it, as if the skin was a dress. And…there he was Mr Hefner…our boss…our president…he admired his energy in the mirror….and then walked out of the room.”

We both stared each other as if our retinal elements are going to fall off. Then we reached for the drink…poured our drinks inside.

He continued, “I was in a state of shock…this was the queerest event I had witnessed…so I waited there for a couple of hours…and then frantically walked out…although pretending to be normal. Next day, I resigned from my job. Now, I am a traveling salesman.”

” Why didn’t you tell this to someone?”

” I have recited this tale to so many and they all laughed…credited the event to my drunk hallucinations. I became a comic for a moment. So, now whenever I read about Hefner…it sends shivers inside my skin. And sometimes I meet a good listener like you where I spill the tale again and again.”

Both of us got distracted when a bar tender walked to me.

” Sir your date is here!”

I bid good bye to my stranger. He ordered additional shots. Meanwhile, I tried to forget the whole tale to be a fiction…could it be really, aliens having fun in disguise…may be…may be not…

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