The Big Six O





by shalimar

We considered ourselves the “Knights of the Round Table.” The ten of us had been friends and frat brothers since college and had helped each other since. We helped Hector and Robert Kay start businesses. We were there for Lionel and Percy when they got divorced. We were able to bail out Eric from his company’s bankruptcy. Although it wasn’t our goal we each benefited from helping Hector, Eric and Bob. We were now helping Lance who was the latest victim of circumstances. He lost everything and was living upstairs in my Greenwich Village townhouse. And, of course, Arthur had just received notice that his fourth divorce was final. Art again had become my roommate for the fifth time when she kicked him out.

Because he was alone again and he was the oldest, we decided to help Arthur celebrate his sixtieth birthday. He loved Chinese food so we took him out to the Peking Duck House in Manhattan’s Chinatown. We sat at a large round table. I was to the right of Arthur and Lance sat to his left.

“Looks like we are still the Knights of the Round Table,” Hector commented.

There were smiles and a couple of chuckles to his comment as we sat down.

The meal consisted of the appetizer: Assorted Meat with Vegetables, Shark’s Finn Soup, two Peking ducks, Sweet and Sour Sea Bass, Rack of Lamb Peking Style, Lobster in Ginger and Scallions, Braised Pork, Shanghai Shrimp, Chicken with Walnuts, and Steak with Black Pepper. As the proportions were oversized that was enough for us. In fact we had a few doggy bags at the end.

We had called ahead and the management allowed us to bring in a birthday cake that we shared with the other patrons and the staff.

Lance said, “Make a wish,” before Art blew out the candles.

“What was your wish?” asked Percy.

“You know I’m not supposed to tell you,” Art replied.

“I know what it is,” I claimed. “You wished for happiness for all of us.”

“That’s a given, Glen,” Lance told me as we all laughed.

To finish the party, the management gave us orange slices and fortune cookies. We each opened the fortune cookie and silently read its contents.

“Well, read yours out loud,” Hector told Percy.

“You are a caring person to three of your friends,” Percy said. “What does yours say?”

“You will protect all three,” Hector replied.

“Mine says, ‘You will get love and give life in return,’” Bob noted.

“Pretty is as pretty does,” Boris commented. “Strange.”

“I have, ‘You will not have a care in the world,’” Eric continued. “I wish.”

“You will give love and get more in return,” Lionel read. “That’s not bad.”

“There is another one just like you,” Luke said. “I have a twin someplace.”

“You will be able to do it over and this time do it right,” Lance’s said. “I could do it the right way this time.”

“A happy wife gives you happy children,” Art’s read. “It would be about time.”

I looked at mine confused.

“Glen, alright already,” Lionel fumed. “What does it say?”

“By helping him you will get the love you always wanted.”

“What’s so bad about that?” Bob asked.

“It just seems that it should be for a woman, not a man.”

“Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it is for a girl.”

When the waiter gave us the bill, Arthur pulled him aside and asked, ”Has any of these cookie fortunes come true?”

“I will ask the boss.”

As nine of us were figuring out our share of the bill the manager came to our table where Arthur again inquired about the fulfillment of the cookie fortunes.

“It can be done, but you must follow my instructions to the letter and all of you must do it together,” the manager explained.

“What do we have to do?” asked Art.

“I have special candles, a distinctive black and white cookie and some ginseng tea in the back. What you need to do is light the two candles, read the fortunes, eat the cookies drink the tea then burn the fortunes in the candle. Make sure the paper is completely burnt. Then let the candles burn out by themselves. You also must believe what the paper says will happen. If the gods approve of the changes the fortunes you received will happen. The gods may take their time. The hard part may be waiting.”

“That’s it? Who’s in?” asked Art.

Everyone agreed, except me.

“Oh well,” I reluctantly said. “We are the Knights of the Round Table. I’ll do it for y’all. All for one and one for all.”

“All for one and one for all,” the others repeated.

“Wait here and I’ll get the two candles, cookies and tea,” the manager told us while we paid the check. “It will be a gift from us.”

When he came back he handed the bag to Arthur who looked inside and checked what was there. There were four normal ginseng bags similar to what are sold in many stores, ten cookies and two candles.

We walked downstairs to street level then grabbed cabs to my townhouse on Mc Dougal Street. When we got to my place everyone sat around the kitchen table while I made the tea. Art got a plate and put it in the center of the table. Then he took two candleholders and put them on either side of the plate. Art then put the candles in the holders while I served the tea. Everyone else looked like they were apprehensive or excited while they waited.

After that the cookies were handed to each of us. The cookies were the common black and white cookies, except they had the ying-yang symbol on them.

“The ying and yang symbol implies that each idea, thought or person has their own opposite within them.” Lionel commented.

Art lit the candles then we each took our fortune out and read it. We then ate the cookies then drank the tea. Finally we burned the papers in the candles’ flames.

Nothing happened.

The candles were nearly burnt out when Arthur said, “What I really wish for is that we were all happy. We all had major disappointments in our lives that wouldn’t have happened if things were a little bit different.”

“Si,” Hector agreed.

Around the table each of us also agreed.

Just after that the first candles started to flicker and finally the smoke from its wick signal its death. Two minutes later the second candled ended.

“I feel like a fool,” Art told me after the others had left. “An old fool.”

“Hey it was an adventure,” I reassured him as I yawned. “And we did it as the Knights of the Round Table. Together, like we always try to do.”

“All for one and one for all?”

“Would I have you and Lance living here if we weren’t?”

“Besides, if it happened you would make an ugly woman,” Art teased.

“With that I’m going to get some sleep and I suggest both of you do the same.”

“Would you guys mind if I slept on the couch tonight?” Lance asked.

“Nah, go right ahead,” I answered as Art and I got some sheets a pillow and a blanket for him. “But I get first dibs with the shower in the morning.”

Art and I then went to our respective rooms and to bed.

I awoke noticed the sun was up, put my robe over my nightgown and went to the bathroom and did most of my morning routine except the shower. Before going back into bed I made sure I took off my panties. I needed to feel a little sexier and be a little more risqué.

I tried falling asleep but was kept awake by a hand coming over me and rubbing my belly through the nightgown. It felt good so I let the hand continue. The hand went higher onto my breasts and I just let it continue to please me. Then the body that was attached to that hand moved closer to me and we spooned. I felt his penis touching the outer lips of my vagina. It didn’t bother me that I had a vagina. In fact keeping it there only made me wetter and more willing to let this lover into me. I turned over to see who my lover was, making sure my ass rubbed that love rod. It was a younger version of Art who was smiling at me.

“Why? How?” was all I could say as I put my arms around his neck and pulled him down to me to be kissed.

“I think it is the cookie fortunes,” he replied as he kissed me. “I think we are more than lovers. “If my additional memories are correct I think we are married. Yet, I still have my old memories.”

“So do I,” I replied as he nuzzled my neck.

He took care of my other breast that also had its needs to be handled. He then got on top of me and did both breasts. Happily I massaged his manly chest. When his hand entered my love hole I gasped. A few minutes later his penis entered me. I didn’t come, but I was satisfied, especially by my hole being filled. He lay on top of me until he was too small to stay in me. He rolled off of me and I went to bathroom to clean myself off.

While I was there I head a baby crying. I went to where the sounds came and I saw this adorable two-year-old girl standing in the crib. I knew she was our baby and I picked her up and changed her. I wondered what other changes had occurred with our “Knights of the Round Table.”

“Me Lance,” the baby told.

“I know, sweetie,” I agreed. “But you are Lainie, now. That’s short for Elaine. You have a chance to grow up allover again, just like the cookie fortune said.”

I don’t know how I knew that, but I did. I also knew that my name was Gwen, short for Guinevere. I took our daughter and two of her dolls to our bed where she played between Arthur and me. I kissed Art and held his hand before closing my eyes.

“You are more than pretty,” he told me. “You are beautiful.”

“Thank you, your majesty.”

“I’m glad you are my queen.”

I was woken by the telephone. Kay was on the other end reminding me that we agreed to go to Central Park Playground with Patty so our kids could play together. There would be four two-year-olds, Kay’s Doris, Patty’s twins, Lucinda and Erica, and, of course, Lanie.

“I hope the guys will enjoy the Knicks-Nets game, this afternoon,” I agreed. “That was a great birthday present.”

Can we meet around noon at the park?”

“See you then.”

“Should we pack a lunch?” she asked.

“Not if we’re going to Central Park. We can get something from the street venders and we should have something for the girls.”

“Of course they will get hungry. I assume Cheerios and bottles of milk will do.”

“Dress in a short skirt or shorts. It should be a warm day.” I suggested. “How about you with the change?”

“What about it? I mean I was Bob, but I was lonely, even with having all of you around much of the time. I had no family. Now I have Lionel as my husband. I thought of Boris as a grouch, but Doris seems happy as my daughter. I love them both dearly. What about you?”

“I feel complete,” I admitted for the first time to myself. “Like I’m fulfilled. Even though it is only a few hours I couldn’t imagine life without Artie or Lanie.”

“That’s what Patty said. She prefers things this way instead of being Percy. She adores Hector. She also thinks that Luke and Eric are better off as Lucy and Erica. By the way, did you?”


“Did I hear a smile?”

“You sure did! It was that good! And you?”

“It was one of the nicest things I’ve ever experienced, and Patty liked it, too.”

We were still the “Knights of the Round Table” although some of us were a bit different now.

Notes: Based on “The Fortune Cookie,” a “Glimpses by Wanda” story by Wanda Cunningham.

All the original names of these men except for Glen were major or minor Camelot knights or its king according to the stories and legends. Guinevere was, of course, Arthur’s queen.

The Peking Duck House on Mott St. in Chinatown, NYC and its sister restaurant, the Beijing Duck, which is uptown, are two restaurants where you can order and get Peking duck without ordering it in advance. Although not related, there are other Peking Duck restaurants including Alexandria VA, Melbourne Aus, and Beijing.

I thank Allie Townsend, Holly Logan, and Prudence Walker for their comments, editing and proofing.

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