A Secret Grave 140: Enigma

 

Ramona refers to Lloyd as “Larry” since she always likes a diminutive. He is not, as she carefully pointed out, her boyfriend, but rather one of several male admirers and/or advice seekers who call her several times a day (often at work, which pisses me off) to get her opinion on whatever is stressing them out at the moment. A problem with their boss. Money worries. Difficulties with an ex-wife or girlfriend. Problems with aging parents or teenage children. General malaise. You name it, Ramona soothes them all, and they can’t get enough of her voice on the phone.

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pink cell phone

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In Lloyd’s case there were no specific problems. He was a hard-edged, bitter, lonely man who liked to vent. “I think he may have personality issues,” Ramona told me. He was quick to anger – for instance, in the car. He had a fabulous little Alfa Romeo that he enjoyed driving fast. I think his zippy little car was one of the attractions for Ramona. He’d take her for thrilling drives in the hills, top down, a scarf fluttering over Ramona’s hair, bright red lipstick and huge black sunglasses that made her feel like a movie star. Beside her, Lloyd, with his classic profile and grey crew cut, looked strong and manly. But if there was a slow driver in front of them, he’d fly into a rage. Once they were stopped by a cop for speeding. Ramona thought he’d lose his temper and argue with the officer, but instead he was pleasant and chatty. And the cop, who’d started out mean, became extremely polite once he’d checked Lloyd out on the computer. “Here you are, sir,” he’d said, handing back Lloyd’s papers. He didn’t issue a ticket.

What was that about?

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sports car

204416 PD ALFA ROMEO, Paolo Piscolla, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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“Just luck,” Lloyd said. “I know how to manage cops.” His father had been a cop, so that made sense. But somehow the incident stuck in Ramona’s mind. There was something about Lloyd, something she couldn’t put her finger on, that didn’t add up. For instance, at sixty-five years old he was so toned and fit that he looked more like a man in his early fifties. Even his face, unlined, no bags or wrinkles, was that of a far younger man. “How do you do that? Plastic surgery? Fillers?” Ramona asked.

“No!” exclaimed Lloyd, appalled. “I come from good Swedish stock. It’s in my genes.”

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blond hair blue eyes

Typical Swede (The Conference 2012, cropped, Media Evolution, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

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Ramona wondered if he had stolen some of Victor’s secrets from long ago. She’s usually good at extracting information about people, but it took her weeks to get details on Lloyd’s history.

 

To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ http://internal-acceptance-movement.tumblr.com/post/2625950770

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