Hildy's Bar

Harry’s isn’t a popular bar.  Hell, it’s not even a very good bar as bars go.  It sits on the corner of two streets down in the older section of town and the windows haven’t been washed in at least eight years that I know of.  That’s how long I’ve been going there on nights like tonight.  The windows are painted over on the inside to keep out the sunlight, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

The inside is worse.  At one time, years ago, the floor was polished hardwood and the walls were painted white.  After a couple decades of spilled drinks, tracked in mud and grime, and the occasional drunk who up-chucked his beer, the floor is pretty much an even shade of black with the original light brown only showing under the bar stools and booths.
 
The walls are a little better because they’ve been painted a few times over the years.  The paint covered up most of the cracks in the plaster though the off-white color is now sort of a light gray.  The ceiling is also sort of a white color, but there are yellow-tan places where the ventilation system has sucked in all the cigarette and cigar smoke over the decades.

Neither of those things matter much because there’s very little light inside the place.  A few beer signs on the walls try to shine their neon rays of red, white, blue, and yellow across the long, narrow room, but without much success.  Even those signs are old and while some are well known brands, others are signs from breweries that have long been out of business.

The signs fit the usual customers of Harry’s.  That area of town used to be the bedroom community for the men who worked the factories that made machine tools and appliances or who worked in the foundry, welding shops, and machine shops that supplied those industries.  

They didn’t drink beer from craft breweries and compare aroma, subtle flavors, and aftertaste, and they didn’t drink apple or mango martinis.  They drank American brewed beers like Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Falstaff, and Hamm’s, sometimes with a shot of bourbon first, and they drank to relieve the stress of their jobs.  I still remember watching the bears on the Hamm’s beer commercials on our black and white TV when I was a kid.  My dad always drank Hamm’s.

Today, it’s the bar where those same guys hang out because they’re retired and don’t have any other place to go.  They sit and quietly talk about what they’ve done in life and sometimes about when they’re going to leave it.  The crowd gets a little smaller every year.

It’s light enough to see the few people lined up on stools at the bar or sitting at the six booths against the opposite wall, but that’s about it except for the two light fixtures over the racks of bottles on the wall behind the bar.  They light the back bar and cast enough light over the wood bar you could read a newspaper if you had good eyes.

The owner of the bar and the bartender is Mathilda.  Her mother, also named Mathilda, was a German national her father met at the end of WWII.  They married and she came to the US with him.  You’re probably thinking with a name like Mathilda, she’s probably blonde and has big tits with a big belly and a big ass to match.  

You’d be wrong.  Mathilda, who likes to be called “Hildy”, has blonde hair all right, but the rest of her is pure sex on two really nice legs.  Her tits aren’t all that big, but the bras she wears under her tops give her some really nice cleavage.  Her ass isn’t tight like a teen-age girl’s ass, but it’s an ass that makes her jeans come alive when she walks.

Hildy inherited the bar from her dad when he died.  She’d been working the bar since she was old enough to get a bartending license from the state and decided to keep it open by herself.  She lives in an apartment above the bar.  There used to be a stairway in back, but Hildy had that torn off and another put in from her storage room to the second floor.  She told me she feels safer that way.  

I don’t quite understand that, because Hildy can handle herself pretty well.  I know she has a .380 auto either under the bar or in a holster strapped inside her waistband, and she carries one of those ‘flick open’ knives in her jeans.  I also know she knows how to use both.  Her dad was in the Army in WWII and taught her.

As a result, Hildy’s not like most women, but then, most women don’t grow up in a bar fending off drunks wanting to do a little tit and ass groping before they go home.  She’s about thirty-five, I think.  I’ve never asked.  I know better.

I know all this about Hildy because Hildy and I have a rather unique relationship.  That’s because Hildy’s taste in men is also a little unique.  I happen to be that type of man.  I’m a cop, or rather, a detective now after several years of wearing a uniform.  Hildy needs a man who’s strong and will take her the way she wants it, that being hard and fast without a lot of lovey-dovey shit in the process.

The first time I walked into Harry’s, Hildy got my beer and asked what I did for a living.  When I said I was a cop, Hildy looked at me kinda funny.

“What kind of cop?  Traffic?”

“No, I’m a detective in Drug Enforcement.”

“So you go breaking in doors and arresting drug dealers?”

“Well, usually, the SWAT guys do the door breaking thing.  I do the arresting and questioning of suspects.”

“Ever have to wrestle a guy to put on the handcuffs?”

“Yeah, more often than not.”

“Ever shoot anybody”, she asked.

“Yeah, two times.”

Hildy frowned.

“Sounds like you’re not a man to fuck with then.”

I shrugged.

“It goes with the job.”

With that, Hildy smiled and walked down the bar to another customer.  I drank my beer and left.

The second time was different for us both.  At least it was different for me.  I’d gotten out of bed at one AM for a three AM raid on a suspected drug dealer’s house.  Some of his neighbors had complained about what was going on, so we took their statements and then watched the house for a week until we got enough for a warrant.  SWAT did the door and we all rushed inside with drawn weapons.  

I don’t know how the guy reacted as fast as he did.  When Nick and I opened the bedroom door, there was the guy standing there naked with a nine mil pointed at the door.  Beside him, also naked, was a girl on the bed trying to pull the blanket over her bare ass.

Nick yelled, “Police.  Drop the weapon.”  

I don’t know if the guy thought Nick and I wouldn’t shoot out of fear of hitting the woman or what.  He didn’t seem to care, because he pulled the trigger.  Nick grabbed his belly and fell down.  I put three in the guy’s chest and then yelled “officer down” as I knelt to help Nick.  It wasn’t any use.  He was already gone.

Since our suspect was laid out in the morgue, investigating the crime scene just  meant searching the property and interrogating the woman.  She turned out to be a hooker who was balling the guy for a steady supply of coke.  She didn’t know anything except that the guy always had drugs in the house and he bragged to her that he had half a dozen street dealers who worked for him.  She didn’t know any faces or names because the guy always made his deliveries and collected the money while she was at her apartment asleep.  

I spent the afternoon writing my report about what happened.  By the time I finished, I was pissed at pretty much the whole world.  Nick and I had gone through the academy together and had both made detective at the same time.  He had a wife and two kids.  The police union had negotiated burial benefits, life insurance, and a pension for us, so his family would be OK financially, but they’d lost the man they loved because of a piece of dog shit drug dealer.  

I was also mad at myself for killing the guy.  Killing was much too quick a punishment for what he'd done.  He should have sat his ass in jail for a couple months before his trial and then gone to prison for the rest of his life.  At least then Nick’s wife would know he was living out some of the hell he’d caused her to go through.

Like I said, I was really pissed at everybody and everything.  I figured on dropping by Harry’s for a beer or two to adjust my attitude and then go home and get something to eat.

I did have the first beer along with part of a bowl of peanuts Hildy sat down in front of me.  I’d just about drained the bottle when she walked up again.

“You downed that beer pretty fast.  Something the matter?”

“Yeah.  I lost a friend today.”

Hildy leaned her tits on the bar and that caused them to sort of well up out of her low-cut tank top.

“Wanna tell me about it?”

“No, not really.  I would like another beer though.”

Hildy brought my beer, then leaned on the bar again.

“You know, you really oughta tell somebody or it’ll just screw up your head.”

“Well, my head’s pretty screwed up all ready, but this second beer will fix that.”

Hildy smiled.

“That’s what my daddy told me after he broke up a fight one night.  One guy went to the hospital with a broke nose.  The other had a skull fracture or at least that’s what the ambulance guys told Daddy.  They asked Daddy how that happened.  Daddy told them the guy just ran smack dab into the baseball bat he was holding at the time.

“Two beers didn’t help him though.  What did was telling me about what he did in France during the war.  That fight brought back some of the memories he’d tried to forget.  Probably help you to talk out what happened to your friend too.”

“There isn’t much to tell.  I’d just bore you.”

Hildy let her back arch down a little and that pushed her tits up a little higher.

“Try me”, she said.  “I’m a good listener.”

After telling her no again and half way down the second beer, I relented.

“It wasn’t supposed to go down like it did.  We knew the guy was dealing, and we intended to catch him with his stash when he was asleep and couldn’t run.  It couldn’t have been more then ten seconds after we broke in the door that Nick opened the guy’s bedroom door, but in that time he’d gotten off the girl and got his auto.  Nick yelled at him to drop it, but the guy pulled the trigger and shot Nick.”

“What did you do then.”

“I put three rounds into the guy and then tried to help Nick, but it was too late.”

“Sounds like the guy got what he deserved.”

I looked up at Hildy.

“No, the bastard didn’t get what he deserved.  What he deserved was to sit his ass in jail for a month or two until his trial and then watch Nick’s wife and kids look relieved when the judge sentenced him to life.”

“I’ll bet Nick’s wife doesn’t think that.  She’s probably glad you shot the creep.”

“I don’t know.  I haven’t had the courage to talk to her yet.”

Hildy patted my hand.

“You will, one of these days.  Want another beer?  This one’s on me.”

I guess I was pretty tired because I’d been up for almost twenty hours by then and because of what I’d been through.  I vaguely remember Hildy bringing me a fourth beer, but then things sort of go black.  I woke up naked in a strange bedroom that had sunlight streaming through the window.  My watch said seven AM but that didn’t worry me.  Since I’d started the day yesterday six hours before my normal shift, I had the day off.  The headache I had didn’t worry me all that much either.  I’d get over that as soon as I was up and moving around.  What did worry me was the bare leg that was draped over my thigh.

I didn’t remember leaving Harry’s, and I didn’t remember any woman except Hildy.  As slowly as I could manage, I rolled over to see who belonged to that leg.  

Hildy was watching me when I finally got my head in a position to see her smiling face.

“Took you long enough to wake up.”

“Hildy, how did I get here?”

She grinned.

“Well, you weren’t in any shape to be walking, much less driving, so when I closed the bar, I brought you upstairs.  You’re heavy when you’re drunk, did you know that?”

“How much did I drink?”

“Just four beers.”

“What did we…I mean, I didn’t…did I?”

Hildy sighed.

“Nope.  It’s not like I didn’t try, but you weren’t quite up to the occasion.”
 
“What do you mean, you tried?”

I felt Hildy’s hand on my chest, then slide down my belly until her fingers circled my cock.

“I needed to be fucked so I tried to get you interested.  You just went to sleep.  You’re not asleep now, and it feels like you’re interested.”

“That’s just because I have to take a leak.”

Hildy pointed to a door on the other side of the room.

“Over there, but you better come back to bed.”

When I came out of Hildy’s bathroom, she was laying there on her bed with the sheet and blankets thrown off the bottom.  She held out her arms.

“Come here and fuck me like I want to be fucked.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but the sight of Hildy laying there naked was having it’s effect on me.  I’d seen her cleavage, like I said, but her bare tits were gorgeous. I thought the left one was a little smaller, but that didn’t matter to me.  What mattered was they were soft and round and her nipples stood up like little gumdrops.

She had her thighs spread wide, and I could see she’d trimmed a bit.  The hair wasn’t really short on her mound, but the hair over her pussy lips was and they weren’t hard to see at all.  It wasn’t hard to see that they were open a little either.

Probably I should have just gotten dressed and walked out the door.  Somehow, I couldn’t do that.  I walked over to the bed and laid down beside her, then started to stroke her breasts.  Hildy found my cock again and stroked it for a minute or so and finished getting it stiff.  I was feeling my way from one nipple to the other when she moaned, “Don’t mess around so much.  Fuck me.  I’m ready”, then tried to pull me on top of her.

I’d done my share of sleeping around once I made the force, but I’d never slept with a woman like Hildy.  The girls I’d been with always needed a lot of stroking and kissing before they spread their thighs for me.  I thought that was the way all women were.

When I probed Hildy’s slit with my cock, she reached between us and guided the head to her entrance, then lifted her hips.  As I pushed my cock inside her, she wrapped her legs around my waist and her arms around my back.  I didn’t get to push my cock all the way in.  Hildy used her legs to pull herself up and over my cock.

She moaned when the base of my cock spread her lips out, then said, “hard and fast…hard and fast”.

It was the damnedest thing I’d ever experienced with a woman and also the hardest to control.  I’d hardly touched her before entering her and yet she was wet and slippery inside and her hips were rocking up into my strokes.  Sometimes she pulled herself up quick enough her ass slapped against my thighs.

I was having a problem too.  All her little moans and the gyrations of her hips were taking me to the point of no return way too fast.

“Hildy, I need to slow down a little.”

“No you don’t.  Suck my nips and I’ll cum.”

If Hildy had been any shorter, I wouldn’t have been able to reach her nipples.  As it was, she had to hold her tits up so I could.  When I sucked on the left one, her body jerked.

“Harder and bite a little…harder and bite.”

When I sucked as hard as I could and then pinched her left nipple between my teeth, Hildy gasped.

“Yeah, like that.  I’m close.”

The same treatment of the other nipple did the trick.  As soon as I closed my teeth around the stiff nub, Hildy cried out and her hips began to dance up and down over my cock.  I felt a strong contraction tighten around my shaft, then another, and after the third I couldn’t hold back.  Hildy screeched as I pumped the first shot of cum in her, then grabbed my ass and held me down as her hips did the stroking for me.

She held me like that until my cock stopped throbbing and then eased back down on the bed.

“Mmm…that was just…wow.”

“Yeah, it was pretty wild.”

“Can you stay for breakfast?  I make a killer omelet.”

I did stay and Hildy’s omelets were great.  So was her coffee, and as we sat in her little kitchen drinking a second cup, I had to ask her the question that had been on my mind since I’d come out of her bathroom.

“Hildy, this morning was fantastic, but why me?”

Hildy frowned.

“Does it matter?”

“No, I guess not.  I’d just like to know.”

Hildy sipped her coffee, then put the cup down.

“Mama passed away when I was eight and Daddy never remarried.  I grew up very close to him and thinking that’s how men should be.  I found out most men aren’t.  They wanna get all romantic and I don’t like that.  I need a man who will take me like a man takes a woman.  I don’t remember ever seeing them in bed together, but I always thought that’s probably how Daddy was with Mama.  You're a man like Daddy was.”

Hildy smiled.

“Wanna be that man for me again before I have to open up?”

The second time I sort of knew what to expect so I could be a little more in control of what was happening.  Hildy seemed to get a little wetter and breathe a lot harder when I told her to lift up her tits.  I felt those same contractions milking at my cock when I sucked her nipples.  I didn’t suck them long enough to make her cum, at least not the first time.  I let her get close and then stopped.  Hildy mewed, “Don’t stop.  Keep going.”

“I’m not ready for you to cum yet.”

“But I’m so close.”

“Then just lay there while I enjoy the feeling of your tight little pussy.  I’ll make you cum when I get ready.”

Hildy was moaning and rolling her ass under me so much I was there way before I wanted to be. I couldn’t wait for very long even though I tried.  When the inevitable was about to happen, I sucked her right nipple hard and then pinched it between my teeth.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that waiting would only make Hildy cum harder. Hildy shrieked and dug her nails into my ass, then started to babble a little.  It didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand the words because I couldn’t listen anyway.  The contractions around my stroking cock and the way she pulled at my ass had me there a little after Hildy shrieked again and came hard.  She didn’t hold me down that time, but her hips still did most of the stroking.  

I came hard too, and collapsed on top of her trying to get my breath back.  Hildy squeezed her thighs around my waist to keep me inside her.  Only when my cock got soft enough it slipped out on one stroke did she let me go.

On my way home from Hildy’s I did a lot of thinking about what had happened.  I was surprised as hell that she saw anything in me.  I was just a forty-five year old cop, and didn’t offer her anything she couldn’t have gotten from a guy her age.  I knew several younger cops who would have jumped at the chance to bed her.

After that, I got to thinking maybe I should start seeing her, so a couple nights later, I stopped off on my way home for a beer.  Hildy grinned when I walked up to the bar.

“The usual?”

“Yeah, just a beer…unless you have something else in mind.”

Hildy smiled.

“Nope.  I’m good for a while.”

Hildy was all business that night.  She didn’t stick around to talk to me and she didn’t set her tits on the bar when she took my order.  After a second beer, I asked her if she was mad at me or something.  She said she wasn’t.

“Mark, I’m not mad at you at all.  I just don’t feel like…I don’t know why I get like I do sometimes, but when I do, I have to have it like when we did it.  The rest of the time, I don’t.”

I went home then and was pretty confused.  The morning I woke up in her bed, Hildy was more than just wanting to be fucked.  It was like she had to be fucked or she’d explode.  That night, she was just another woman.  I decided there was nothing between us other than she’d gotten really horny for some reason and I was available.

It was a month later we raided another drug house.  This time, we caught the guy completely off guard and he gave up.  The bitch in bed with him didn’t.  I was cuffing the guy when the little red-head jumped off the bed and tried to scratch my eyes out.  I managed to catch her hands after she got in a couple of swipes, but that didn’t stop her.  She kicked me in the balls and almost doubled me over.  

Warren pulled her off me and got her cuffed, then took her to my car.  Once I could stand up again, I took the guy out to one of the squad cars and put him in the back.  Warren walked up grinning.

“You OK?  I thought you were gonna fall down when she kicked you.”

“No, you asshole, I’m not OK.  My balls still feel like she kicked ‘em up to my eyeballs.  Maybe you oughta let her kick you like that so you’ll know.”

Warren just grinned.

“You head back to the station and rest your balls.  We’ll finish up here.  The other guys already found his stash.  We just need to box it up and take it to Evidence.  His ass is toast.”

Like the last raid, I spent the morning interrogating the guy and the red-head, though this time Warren sat in with me.  The guy knew we had him cold.  He tried to say the coke and grass weren’t his and he didn’t know how they got there.  Then he asked for a lawyer.  We stuck him back in a holding cell and then interrogated the red-head.

She was still being a little fireball, and when I told her she was going to be charged with assault as well as with dealing drugs, she told me to go fuck myself.  I smiled.

“You really should listen to me, because you’re in a heap of trouble.  Here’s what I think was going on at that house. Harvey says the drugs belong to you and he didn’t know they were there.  I sort of believe him because he didn’t resist arrest like you did, and he’s doing his best to cooperate with us.“

The red-head snapped at me.

“I never had any drugs. I didn’t even know -”

I cut her off before she could finish.  I was pretty sure she wasn’t involved with the drugs, but letting her keep talking might have led to her asking for a lawyer.  I wanted her to tell me everything she knew about the guy and his drug dealing before I let her do that.

“Just stop talking until I tell you what I think.  Then you can tell me your side of the story.

“Like I was saying, Harvey gave up pretty quick, but you were the one who started fighting us.  I figure the assault will get you at least a year on top of the twenty or so for dealing.  I imagine you’ll fit in really well in prison.  Some other female inmate is gonna think you’d be great at…well, if you don’t know how, I’m sure she’ll teach you.  Probably share you around if the other inmates pay her with a few cigarettes.”

“You don’t have anything on me except that I kicked you in the nuts.”

“I said not to talk until I get finished.  If you can’t do that, I’ll stick you in a holding cell until you can.  Can you just listen to me until I get done?”

The red-head nodded.

“OK, then.  Whether you’re guilty or innocent will be up to the jury to decide, but we have a pretty strong case.  The crime lab guys found your fingerprints on one of the coke baggies and I’d bet once we get a DNA sample from you, it’ll match the red hairs we found stuck to one of the packages of grass.  

“With all that evidence, the DA will make me charge you, but I’m not sure that’s right.  In spite of all that evidence, I don’t really think a girl like you would be mixed up in dealing drugs.  I figure you just had a thing for Harvey and that’s why you were there.  Am I right?  You can answer me now.”

The red-head calmed down a little then.

“Yeah, I like Harvey.”

“And you were afraid we’d take him away from you, right?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“So, if I told the DA I think the fingerprints and the hair are just because you were in the same house and that you started fighting me because you love Harvey, you’d tell me what was really going on in that house?”

The red-head started to cry.

“Harvey took me in when I didn’t have any place to go.  I did know about the drugs, but I never had anything to do with them.  I might have touched one of the bags when I was cleaning up or something, I don’t know, but I wasn’t selling them.”

“Did you see Harvey selling drugs to anyone?”

“Yeah, a few times.”

“If that’s the case, if you’ll write that down and agree to testify against Harvey, I could probably convince the DA to just charge you with assault.  You’ll still get a year or so, but it won’t be at the state prison.  It’ll be here in the city.  Want me to give him a call?”

She sniffed and wiped her eyes.

“I suppose so.”

I used my cell phone to call the DA even though I knew he was sitting in the room next door and watching the closed circuit TV that was recording everything.  He waited about five minutes and then walked into the interrogation room.

I wasn’t quite as successful with Harvey.  When I showed him a copy of the red-head’s written statement, his lawyer looked at it and then whispered something to Harvey.  Harvey said it was all a lie and he wasn’t talking any more.  His case would go to trial in a couple of months.  In the mean time he’d be sitting in jail unless the judge set bail he could afford.

They were both arraigned the next day.  Harvey had bail set at a hundred thousand.  I figured he’d find a way to pay that, but we had already planned on watching him if he got out.

The DA explained to the judge that the red-head was cooperating with the department in the case.  I was a little disappointed that the judge just released her.  I felt sorry for her in a way.  She couldn’t go back to Harvey’s house because it wasn’t hers.  At least jail would have given her something to eat and a place to sleep.

It was two days later we got a 911 call about a woman lying in an alley.  I didn’t take the call because I was already talking to another dealer we’d hauled in.  Warren did.

He came back to the station and sat down beside my desk.

“That red-head from two days ago, she won’t be testifying against Harvey.  She’s in the morgue.  The EMT’s say it looks like she OD’d on heroin.  The day we picked her up, I didn’t see any signs she was a user, did you?  She didn’t look like she’d shot up recently and she didn’t look like she needed a fix.  Surely I’d have seen some needle tracks when I cuffed her.”

I shook my head.

“No.  She was no user, at least not heroin.  She was just a mixed up girl with the wrong boyfriend.  The asshole had her offed so she couldn’t testify.”

Warren frowned.

“I’ll start the investigation, but you know we’ll probably never find out who did it.”

“Yeah, I know.”

I left the station with that feeling that I get at times like this.  It was a feeling that I wanted to tell the world to fuck off and then go live in a cave somewhere by myself.  It’s bad enough that the Harvey’s of the world exist and that there have to be people like me to haul their asses in to jail so they can’t keep selling poison to people.  It’s worse when a relatively innocent person, a girl in this case, gets dead because she got hooked up with them, and it’s worse yet when I had something to do with it.

It was six when I walked into Harry’s.  I must have looked miserable, because Hildy asked me what was wrong.

“Nothing you can do anything about”, I said.

Hildy leaned down, perched her tits on the edge of the bar, and said “Try me.  I’m a good listener, remember”.

Over the course of the evening, I remembered.  I remembered Hildy’s bedroom when she locked the bar door at three and then led me up the stairs to her apartment.  I remembered when she mashed her body against mine and breathed “fuck me now” into my ear.  I remembered when she shrieked and arched into the stroke that cause cum to race through my cock.  I remembered when she wrapped her arms around my back and held me on top of her until my cock slipped out.

She giggled then.

“Oh damn.  I wanted that to stay in there.”

“Well, that’s just what happens afterward.  I can’t control it.”

“You can control me though.  Right now, that’s what I want – to be controlled by a man.  So, control me.”

“How would I do that?”

“Tell me to make your dick hard so you can fuck me again.”

After that time, I started stopping at Harry’s about every night.  Over the years, there have been more than a few times I felt like shit and went to Harry’s to feel better.  I guess that goes with the job of being a cop.  There have been other times I went to Harry’s feeling pretty good and just wanted some of Hildy’s company.  Sometimes, that company is a lot more than just talking.  In both cases, I end up with my cock in her and trying to keep it there while I’m cumming and she’s digging her nails into my back or my ass as she cums too.  She always says she feels great after either of those things happen.  I do too.

Like I said before, Hildy is pretty unique.  She doesn’t want anything more like dating or even having dinner together.  Hildy just wants to be fucked hard and fast when she needs it and to be sort of a friend when she doesn’t.

I’m not really sure what Hildy gets out of our relationship other than cumming a couple of times when she needs to.  I know what I get from Hildy.  If I’m down for some reason, Hildy can make me forget all about that for a while, and afterwards  things don’t seem to be as bad as I thought.  I’m not sure why, but that’s how it works.

I still haven’t figured out what trips her trigger.  Maybe it’s me being down in the dumps.  Every time I walk into Harry’s feeling like shit, I end up in her bed with her and feeling and hearing her cum hard.  The other times when she walks up, perches her tits on the bar and says, "You’ll stay until I close up, won’t you”, end up the same way.  Probably a shrink could tell me what’s going on, but I’m not all that interested in knowing.   Sometimes, it’s better to just let things happen as they will.  It’s working pretty well for Hildy and me anyway.

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