The phone was ringing on Starky's nightstand. He opened one eye to see the time on his alarm clock. "7:00. Jeez, who the hell..." He reached for the phone, placing it on his bare chest while he fumbled with the receiver.
"'utch?" He said with a little worry in his sleepy mumble.
"Hello, Doll, it's your Mother. You don't say hello anymore you say "Hutch"? You have other friends, don't you? Are you still in bed?" His mother was obscenely wide awake.
"Time difference, Ma. Time difference, remember?" Starsky yawned, then bolted upright on the bed.
"You OK, Ma? Why'd you call on a Sunday?" Starsky was fully awake now.
"I'm fine, sorry I did forget the time thing. Just got back from Senior Yoga, I go with the neighbor lady. Then we get a big breakfast at the Greek diner." said Ma Starsky.
Starsky smiled. "Ma, you are too much!"
"I will be too much if I keep eating bagels with the works after yoga, but their Nova Lox is to die for, I tell ya!" she said with a giggle. "Did you get the package I sent you? The postal guy wanted me to pay ten dollars to get it there overnight! I told him for ten dollars it should be already there." said Ma.
"Hold on, Ma, I brought the mail in late last night, I was tired and just put it on the couch. Hold on... right back." Starsky made a run for the couch and a grab for a small package he had barely noticed the night before. He jumped back on the bed excited that his Ma had sent him a present. "This should be good." He thought.
Starsky picked up the phone, holding it with his shoulder while opening the package.
"Davey? Are you there? What did you do last night that you were out so late?" she asked
"Yeah, uh, dinner and a movie. We saw "Star Wars". It was pretty good, campy though, reminded me of Buck Rogers." Starsky said absently, looking at a little gift box in his hands.
"Oh, I don't like space movies. Makes me feel claustrophobic." said Ma.
Starsky chuckled at that."No, Ma. I think you'd like it. It's about these two guys and a Princess, oh, and this kinda big dog guy. And they gotta fight this scary cloaked guy, um. Dark Invader or something like that..."
"Is the Princess in love with one of the guys?" Ma interrupted.
"No! Well, yeah, she kisses one and sorta flirts with the other." Starsky scratches his chest and lays back down. This phone call is gonna take forever, he could tell.
"Doesn't sound like a Princess to me. So what was her name?" asked Ma.
"Oh, yeah, ahhhh, something with an L... Lena...I think. Yeah Lena, Lou, Hands and Chewbacon." Starsky really didn't pay attention.
"What? What was it a double date?" quizzed Ma.
"What are you talking about, Ma? I went with Hutch. We went to Huggy's and ate and took in a movie. We gotta work today."
"Hutch? I meant the name of the girl you had a date with. Oh, never-mind. Open the gift already." said Ma.
Starsky opened the box and there nestled in a satin lining were two silver key-chains each with half a silver coin attached to it. The two halves fit together as if someone took a whole coin and carefully cut it. The coins were engraved with something written in Hebrew. Starsky was a little disappointed. He was hoping for something edible.
"Thanks, Ma. What are these exactly?" asked Starsky.
"Mizpah key-chains. For you and Ken. I had them made up special" said Ma proudly.
"What does Mizpah mean and what do they say?" asked Starkey. He took out one of the key-chains and studied the coin. It seemed familiar somehow.
"Davey! Did you ever pay attention in Hebrew lessons?" Ma scolded.
"Never," Starsky mumbled under his breath. "Come on, out with the story, I know you're dying to tell me." said Starsky.
"Well, Mizpah means watchtower. In the Torah, a cairn of stones was built between the land of Jacob and the land of Laban. A symbol of the covenant between them. And when they said goodbye, Jacob said the prayer, "The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent from each other." The prayer has been put on coins and jewelry for years. It always comes in two pieces one for you and one for your friend or loved one. It's meant to show an emotional bond, one that's strong enough that it will protect you from harm, a prayer to help keep each other safe when you can not be together."
Starsky stared at the prayer on the half coin. "Me and Thee, Ma? You said... Me and Thee?" Starsky had no idea that Hutch and his special saying was from a prayer. He thought he made it up or heard it sometime long ago.
"What's wrong, Davey? Don't you like it?" Ma heard the catch in Starsky's throat.
"Ma, Hutch and me, we say Me and Thee all the time. To us it means who can you trust, Me and Thee." Starsky voice was full of emotion.
"Davey, sweetheart, sounds like you and Ken made up a covenant of your own. I'm so glad you have him to... oh, what was that he said to me, oh, yeah "watch your backside." said Ma.
"Back, Ma, back! Watch my back! Jeez... but, yeah, I'm sure glad too. These key-chains are beautiful, Ma. Hutch is gonna love this. It's good enough for a birthday present or even Christmas." said Starsky.
"Don't wait too long to give him one. You two need all the protection you can get." Ma sighed.
"Ma, I love you. Thanks so much. And don't worry about me. I got Hutch." Starsky smiled.
You're welcome. I love you too. Maybe I will go see that Star Wars movie. Were the two guys in love with the Princess handsome?" she asked.
"How would I know? They kinda both looked like Hutch." Starsky looked down at the key-rings and chuckled.
"That answers that. Very handsome. Give Ken my love. Goodbye, be safe."
"Bye, Ma." Starsky hung up the phone and thought longingly about going back to bed with a cup of coffee and the funnies. He hated working Sundays, but he told Hutch he'd pick him up at 8:00. "Maybe Hutch would read the funnies to me." he thought. Starsky took one last look at the key-chains before stashing the box in his dresser and heading for the shower. "Me and Thee," he said softly.
Starsky slipped off his blue pajama bottoms and stepped into the shower. He started humming parts of the Star Wars theme and thought about the movie, well, about Hutch and the movie. Starsky hadn't paid real close attention to the plot, but he did pay attention to his partner. Hutch was like a kid all big eyed and excited, munching popcorn and nudging Starsky's shoulder, whispering,"Wow, Starsk that's awesome" at the bit about The Force and "That's so cool!" at all the spacey battle parts. "That bit where they jumped to light speed was cool," thought Starsky, "The whole audience cheered, and Hutch grabbed my arm and spilled half his popcorn." Starsky chuckled, "That smile on Hutch's face after the Millennium... eagle jumped, coulda lit up the whole universe." Starsky chuckled again. "And that part where Hands Solo covers everybody with his blaster was cool too, but me and Hutch coulda taken out all those Storm Trooper guys, they dropped like flies, crappy armor." Starsky imagined Hutch dressed up like a space guy, with tall leather boots and tight pants, a Blaster in his hands, covering Starsky while he made a run for the ship. Starsky felt a certain stirring in his nethers. "Shit!' he said out loud. "What the Hell is this?" He reached out and turned the water to cold. Thinking about Hutch in space and getting hard was not good.