ÿþ 74,209 Words
THE UNFORGIVING MINUTE
A Novel by
20493 Linksview Way
Boca Raton, Florida 33434
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And which is more you’ll be a Man, my son!
By Rudyard Kipling
There is a generation of American men whose older brothers
served in the second world war. Most of them were reaching
puberty when World War II was coming to a close. They heard
their older brothers talking about their sexual experiences,
either real or imagined, and couldn’t wait to date girls so that
they too could participate in this fabulous experience. This
generation had grown up in a sexually repressed society. A
society where in the popular movies of the day, married couples
were depicted as sleeping in twin beds and with those who were
not married, a kiss was the ultimate, forbidden experience.
When men of that generation dated girls, they found out
that sex was impossible to achieve, except with the most
adventurous or most immoral girls and those were not easy to
find. Hundreds of thousands of these men came to their wedding
bed as virgins, as did their brides.
In 1954, Hugh Hefner came out with the first edition of
PLAYBOY. The magazine depicted the suave, urbane male who was
comfortable with women and who was adept at the art of seduction.
These men read the magazine and daydreamed about these women and
hungrily admired the nude photos, previously unavailable for
overt public consumption.
Soon afterwards, the sexual revolution broke out. There
were nubile young women, thirsty for sexual adventure, who
suddenly were available everywhere. Many of the men of that
generation found the temptation irresistible and succumbed. The
intoxication became habit forming and many found themselves
repeatedly involved in affair after affair. These men came to
consider this a normal part of their lives and felt neither
guilty or immoral. Each and every year, in movies, novels,
magazines and conversation, sex became open and almost
The protagonist of this novel is one of these men.
The country club was filled with bustling life at seven
o’clock on a sunny Saturday morning in August. Strings of golf
carts linked together noisily arrived at the first tee. Men in
various stages of mostly tasteless dress walked sleepily from the
locker room to the driving range or the first tee staging area.
Most had enormous potbellies hanging over their golf pants or
shorts. The air was filled with the sounds of men greeting each
other and vying for the starter’s attention. Some held
polyurethane coffee cups and sipped the steaming black liquid
while watching each foursome tee off.
I stood on the first tee with the dew gleaming on the
lush, green fairway like a thousand diamonds in the morning sun.
Golf, I thought, is a game that is always played in pretty
I was in a situation that most men never achieve in their
lifetimes. I had sold my management consulting firm the day
before and had received seven million dollars up front. Seven
certified checks for one million dollars each now sat in a safe
in my home, ready to distribute to various banks and brokerage
firms on Monday.
I stood on the first tee and felt the first wave of muggy
heat and humidity that is so common to Long Island at that time
of year. I kept my eye on the ball and took a slow, smooth
backswing. As I brought the club through the ball, I heard that
beautiful click that portends a long, great shot, but
alas … the ball hooked to the left and came to rest about two
hundred and twenty yards away, to the left of the fairway and
behind a large tree.
As I strode to the ball with my caddy, I felt a surge of
depression go through my body. It wasn’t the shot I hit. I had
long since learned to cope with the betrayals of that little
white ball. A man who had just been handed the “Golden
Parachute,” at age fifty-five, should have been elated. Instead,
I plodded morosely behind my caddy toward the errant ball. When
I reached it, I stood there staring at it as if I were in a
trance. I was aware of the caddy suggesting the best way to
handle the shot, when I suddenly turned around and walked toward
the clubhouse. The caddy hurried behind me in a state of total
confusion. When we reached the clubhouse, I reached in my pocket
and paid him for a full eighteen holes and walked into the locker
room. I hurriedly changed my shoes, not even thinking of the
rest of my foursome and what they must be thinking. I walked out
the door, got into my car, and left, knowing that I wasn’t going
to be back for a long time.
August 3, 1985
I turned the key quietly and walked into the house. I
knew that Julie would surely be sound asleep at eight-fifteen on
a Saturday morning. I kept a wall safe in my study, which was
more for knowing where things were kept than for security. I
opened it quietly and withdrew four certified checks. Two were
in the amount of two million five hundred thousand dollars and
two in the amount of one million dollars. I went to my desk and
made out deposit slips at various banks in which Julie and I
maintained joint accounts for all but one million dollars, which
I slipped into the leather pocket portfolio in which I kept my
passport. I replaced everything in the safe and left the house
as quietly as I had entered. I got back in the car and headed
for the Swissair terminal at Kennedy Airport.
As the big Town Car rolled quietly, counter to the summer
traffic, over relatively empty roads, I thought of the old saw
that a drowning man’s whole life flashes before him. I had the
feeling I was drowning for quite some time now.
I guess about ninety-nine percent of the world would give
their eye teeth for my life, but I felt thoroughly disgusted with
I guess, to put it in perspective, I’ll have to start with
my marriage. I grew up in a middle-class family. My father was
the son of Italian immigrants. His name was Angelo Boisano.
When he met, fell in love, and subsequently married my mother,
the former Roberta Peck, he changed his name to Andrew Boyd and
became a Presbyterian. My father was an accountant and raised
his family well, sending me, my brother Andrew, and my sister
Frances through college. Six years ago, both of my parents were
killed in an auto crash while driving to Florida through an ice
storm in the Carolinas.
There’s a lot more to fill in about me, but let’s get to
Julie and me, which I guess is the crux of the problem. The
religious intermarriage thing gets even better. Julie, the
former Julia Liebowitz of Cedarhurst, Long Island, is Jewish. I
never converted, but religion doesn’t mean a hell of a lot to me
so we were able to work it out, complete with an ecumenical
mixture of all the fun traditions. The kids benefitted the most,
taking off the Jewish holidays and getting Santa Claus and the
Julie was, and is, the daughter of Moe and Esther
Liebowitz. Moe was a successful furrier and is retired to a
beautiful home in Jupiter, Florida, where he and Esther are
currently living happily ever after.
Julie and I met at the University of Pennsylvania in
Philadelphia. She is a year younger than I, but we were in the
same class year because she skipped a year in grammar school.
The first moment I laid eyes on her in a freshman literature
class, I was hooked. I spent the next four years wrestling her,
hoping to take her virginity and lose mine as well. On our
wedding night in 1952 her virginity was still intact. She was a
dark-haired, dark-skinned beauty, and with her dark brown eyes
looked like everyone’s fantasy of Cleopatra. She was
intelligent, charming, well-spoken and had impeccable manners.
She was the epitome of the girl I wanted for my wife.
When we announced our engagement, Moe and Esther all but
called out the Marines, in contrast to my parents who were
instantly delighted. Moe and Esther couldn’t bear the thought of
Princess Julia marrying a goy, who were all known to be wife—
beaters and drunks. Her mother took her aside and told her,
“Don’t you know that the first time you have a fight, he’ll call
you a dirty Jew?”
Her mother and father finally gave their blessing and I
never did call her a dirty Jew or beat her. I did, however, from
time to time get a little drunk, but no more so than some of our
Jewish friends. We were married in October of 1952 and Julie
worked as a bookkeeper in Philadelphia while I got my MBA at
By the time our wedding night came along, I had lost my
virginity and been magnificently educated in the sexual arts,
thanks to my college pals, who, as a bachelor party present,
bought me the most elegant and expensive hooker in Philadelphia.
They paid her three hundred 1952 dollars to spend the entire
night with me. The next morning I was not only educated in all
the erotic arts, but I was so enamored with the hooker, who was a
Ginger Rogers look-alike, that I almost forgot I was in love with
The wedding was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York and my
in-laws pulled out all the stops. Our wedding night, however,
was a shambles. Julie was frightened to death to have sex. Her
mother had done a hell of a job on her. Every time I thrusted,
she backed up. This went on for an hour until I decided that
rape was the only answer. I pinned her down with my forearm,
erect and poised to strike. At that moment I started to wilt and
when I pushed it bent in half. The more I pushed, the softer I
got. Combine that with the fact that she was dry and frightened
and you can figure out the results. The marriage was not
consummated that night. We fell asleep exhausted, her virginity
We honeymooned in Hawaii at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on
For those of you who have recently been to Waikiki, you
are probably imagining the touristy Kalakaua Avenue of today,
with hotels on both sides of the street and hawkers everywhere.
In 1952, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was known as the “Pink Palace
of the Pacific.” It was a must stop for visiting royalty and
Presidents of the United States. It stood out like a pink jewel
and Waikiki beach behind the hotel was relatively uncrowded and
exotic, especially to a couple of young kids from the big city.
The plane trip took about fifteen hours, with several stops. We
held hands like true honeymooners for the whole flight, but our
sexual failure was on our minds all the way.
When we reached Honolulu, we got the royal treatment. My
in-laws had, of course, paid for the trip and everything was
deluxe. We were welcomed with orchid leis and driven to the
hotel in a limousine, which was a very big deal in 1952. We had
a suite overlooking the Pacific which was filled with tropical
flowers and fruits and stocked with the finest champagne.
Soon after we were settled in, Julie went into our ornate
marble bathroom to shower. I quickly peeled off my clothes and
jumped in with her. We stood there, the warm water cascading
over us while we soaped each other’s nude bodies, exploring,
probing and squealing with delight. We were young, good-looking
and passionately in love. We left the stall shower, soaking wet,
and fell onto the bath mat. We were so taken in by the moment
that we forgot about our failures. In order to be a superb lover
I closed my eyes and imagined I was with my Philadelphia whore.
I performed as she had taught me and hearing Julie’s screams and
moans was a tremendous sense of accomplishment for a twenty-two—
year-old with a .500 sexual batting average. Julie later
complained of some pain and mild bleeding and I felt like a
After a marvelous day of sightseeing, including an
emotionally moving trip to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and a
sumptuous dinner, we got into bed with a balmy tropical breeze
blowing from the sea through our window. I felt amorous and
aroused and, knowing that Julie was in pain due to the loss of
her virginity, I decided to introduce Julie to another delight my
wonderful whore had taught me. I straddled her head with my
knees and attempted to lower myself into her mouth. She sat bolt
upright and said, “Oh my God, you’re disgusting; you’re an
animal. What do you think I am, some kind of tramp?” She ran
into the bathroom and locked herself in. I couldn’t believe it.
The whore told me that women loved this. I lay staring at the
dark ceiling for what seemed like hours. Julie finally got back
in the bed, turned her back on me without a word, and either went
to sleep or feigned sleep. Oral sex from either party didn’t
come up again for five or six years. The next morning she acted
like it never happened and so did I.
We flew home two weeks later, very much in love and ready
to settle into our new apartment in Manhattan.
My mind was so occupied that when I reached the approach
road to Kennedy Airport, I didn’t even remember driving there. I
pulled into one of JFK’s outrageously expensive short-term
parking lots and walked into the Swissair terminal in the
international arrivals building.
The counter was empty and I walked up to a charming girl,
who was obviously an American, but well schooled in the
courtesies that Swissair is famous for. I purchased a one-way,
first-class ticket to Zurich on Swissair’s Flight 101 leaving JFK
at five-fifteen Monday evening, August 5, 1985. I paid the girl
in cash and left with the ticket in my pocket.
I drove back to the country club, this time creeping
through Saturday morning beach traffic. The same trip that took
me twenty minutes to the airport took me one-and-a-half hours on
the way back.
I walked into the club dining room, which at eleven—
fifteen was fairly empty, and eyed the manager’s office. I knew
the manager didn’t arrive until lunchtime on Saturday and that
his secretary only worked weekdays. I made sure no one saw me
and I stole into his office, locked the door behind me, and sat
down at the typewriter and typed three letters.
I don’t quite know how to begin this letter,
except to say that I really love you and the children very
much and I hate to do what I have to do. Enclosed find
deposit slips for six million dollars. I have taken one
million with me.
I feel that I am drowning in a sea of torment. It
isn’t your fault; it’s mine. I must drop out for a while. I
don’t know how long or where to. I know we will worry
about each other, but I feel this is the only way I can get
my life in order. Please try to explain to the kids. I can’t
bear to write them.
I hope to snap out of this soon and return and
give you the life you so richly deserve.
All my love,
What can I say to you that I haven’t said a
thousand times before? I thought that you and I had the
supreme love affair. I really thought it was forever and
would never end. I feel such a sense of loss that it is as if
someone has died. The feeling is so much like it was
when my parents died.
You will not be receiving any more annoying
phone calls from me. I am dropping out and
disappearing to God knows where for God knows how
I’ll always love you.
Dear Ann Marie,
You’ll always be my best friend, so I’m going
to level with you. I’m dropping out for a while and no
one but you will know where I am. I’ll keep you posted
as to where I am, so that if any emergency comes up in
my family, you will know where to reach me.
My first stop will be Zurich, but I probably
won’t stay there longer than it takes me to do some
banking. I will write you and probably call you, because
you know I will need you desperately from time to time.
It’s so good to have you in my life. I don’t know what I
ever would have done without you.
You’ll hear from me very soon.
Va Bene Belissima,
I addressed two of the envelopes and stamped them,
courtesy of the country club, and merely wrote “Julie” on the
I would mail the two immediately, and take the third home
to leave in a prominent place on Monday afternoon.
The hard part now was to get through the usual weekend
social events without tipping my hand.
I carefully escaped the manager’s office, walked over to
the bar, and ordered a double vodka on the rocks.