October 2, 2023

Juan, like his father and father before him, was a ladies’ man. Blessed with a disarming smile and matinee good looks that was the trademark of his old man during his Casanova days, Juan also inherited his wit and charm from his mother, a Southern beauty born to money.
Standing nearly six feet tall and looking every inch like a movie star, Juan was a hit along party row, invited to debuts, anniversaries, and other social occasions attended only by the rich and famous.

A lawyer by calling, Juan, alas, never saw the insides of a courtroom, since court hearings were in the morning, just about when Juan would be getting ready for bed after a long night playing poker or dancing with the ladies up to the wee hours if not gambling in the casinos.

When Juan’s folks perished in a plane crash, he was more shocked than grief stricken when the lawyers said that there was nothing left in his parents’ estate, and that even the ancestral home was mortgaged to the Bank of Switzerland.
Accustomed to a lifestyle that meant caviar and steak, suits tailored in Hong Kong, imported shoes from Italy, and twice a year cruise on a luxury liner, Juan could only nod his head when the lawyers bade him goodbye.

To seek gainful employment was beneath Juan’s dignity, more so since he had never worked in his entire life.
He needed money – and not soon enough. None of Juan’s friends were willing to extend him a “small loan” knowing that his promise to pay was just empty words. Besides, they had long envied Juan and his easy-going life, and now it was their turn to gloat.

It was time. Juan thought to himself, to prey on the lonely and moneyed. Targeting rich widows, divorcees, and married women left by their husbands for younger girls, all Juan needed was to give them comfort and solace, particularly under the bed sheets.
His stories never failed to bring tears to the eyes of his victims – of a father who beat him up each time he came home drunk, of a mother who slept with her husband’s friends when he was out of town.

As icing on the cake, Juan would drop his head on the abundant bosom of his latest conquest, a widow whose husband left her millions.
Pretty soon, as the saying goes, a fool and her money are soon parted.

But with the passing of time, too many nights out, one drink too many, and three packs of cigarettes a day, began to exact their toll on Juan’s body.
His eyes had become puffy, his once thick hair was starting to thin out, and the color of his face was looking ghoulish.
Even more painful, women stayed away from him, since it was rumored that Juan had HIV. The wit and charm was still there, but no one was listening or paying attention.
(To be continued)