|Jul/Aug 2018 Fiction|
Image courtesy of British Library Photostream
Weeks later, she said: "The guy was about middle-aged. All his things right there in his yard. No lie. We got real pissed and danced. In the driveway. Oh, my God. Don't laugh. He played us these records. Look at this record-player. The old guy give it to us. and all these crappy records. Will you look at this shit?"
She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying. —Raymond Carver, the last two paragraphs of "Why Don't You Dance?"
The girl had pulled the man closer as they danced. "You must be desperate or something," she said.
The man said, "Mmm," and glanced at the boy who sat on the couch rifling through the box of records, a new cigarette smoking between his lips. The man whispered in the girl's ear, "Why don't you and the boy get back into the bed." She laughed and swirled away from the man, grabbed the boy's hand and pulled him onto the bed. The cigarette flew from his mouth onto the mattress as he landed.
"Shit, I'm so drunk," he said, slamming his hand on the cigarette butt and sweeping it off the bed, into the air, and onto the grass. "Shit! Shit, that hurt. But good I got it out so fast."
"You always do," the girl said and glanced at the man.
Blushing, the boy turned to the man. "She's kidding." He paused. "Mostly." The couple collapsed onto the bed laughing.
"Hey," said the man as he sat on the sofa. "Why don't you make love?"
"Hey!" said the girl, "You are desperate. And a perv!"
"No. No," said the man. "It's just... well, you've made yourself at home already." He opened a second bottle of whiskey and refilled everyone's glass. The man took a sip of his own. "Mmm. Delicious."
The boy said to the man, "Do we get the bed for free if we make love in it?" Laughing, the girl slapped the boy's hand, letting a dollop of the brandy fly onto the boy's pants. "Geez, now look."
"Take them off," said the man. You can let them dry right over there on the line. The boy handed the glass to the girl. He loosened his belt and then stood on the bed, raising his arms wide as he wiggled his pants down to the mattress. He stepped out of them and sat back on the bed. "Allow me," said the man as he reached for the pants, which he carried to the back of the yard, where he draped them over the clothesline.
"People will see you in your underwear," the girl said. They are going to wonder what's going on." She addressed the man, "In front of your house."
"It's my yard. It's my place," said the man. "No one else's business."
"Nobody here knows who we are," the boy said. "Let them watch."
"Right," said the man. He paused before suggesting again, "Why don't you make love?"
"And what will you give us if we do?" the girl asked.
"Everything," said the man.
"Everything?" The boy wanted confirmation. His dick hardened and poked through the slit in his boxer shorts.
"Everything," said the man.
The boy tried whispering to the girl. "We can furnish the whole apartment and sell what we don't want." He turned to the man. "You won't touch us," said the boy.
"No," said the man. "I'll sit here drinking my whiskey. I may put on a Sinatra record. I may watch."
"How much will you give us to watch?" said the girl.
The man took out his wallet. He plucked out one ten-dollar bill and put it in his pocket before handing the rest of his money to the girl, who smiled at the wad and filed it carefully in a pocket of her purse.
The boy leaned back and removed his underpants. He threw the boxers energetically toward the street. They landed not far from the smoldering cigarette. "Let them watch!" he yelled. His skinny dick stood straight. "I always get horny when I drink too much," he said to the man.
"I see," said the man. He grabbed the folded sheets from the side of the bed and rose a bit to hand them to the girl. "Here."
The girl covered herself like a Halloween ghost. The man watched her movements beneath the sheets. Eventually her bare hand dropped a blouse, slacks, a bra, and panties on the bed. The apparition rose and then settled slowly on the boy's erection.
"Oh, shit. Jesus. That's the problem," the man heard from the boy.
The phantom floated, landing on the floor in front of the man still sitting on the sofa, leaving the boy with a shrinking wet dick. Arms stretched back above his head as if he was being mugged, the boy closed his eyes, and soon he snored.
Beneath her sheets, the girl pulled down the man's zipper. He wondered aloud, "Who's desperate now?"
She answered by circumnavigating the man's foreskin with her tongue before taking as much as she could of his cock into her mouth. She knew what she was doing, the man thought before he came and dropped the glass of whiskey he had been holding onto the sofa.
"Sorry," he murmured. "Spilled."
The man felt someone poking his arm with something hard. He opened his eyes, but had to raise his hand against the morning sun to see the face of the cop poking him with his billy.
"You can't be sleeping in your front yard like this, Mister."
The man sat up on his sofa. His fly was open. "What do you mean, Officer? It's my place."
"Maybe," said the cop, "but people are complaining. You're a nuisance."
"How can I be a nuisance in my own yard?"
The cop looked around at the boxes and furniture strewn across the lawn and tilted his head toward the worst of the mess just as an old pick-up truck backed as far as it could into the driveway. The boy jumped out of the passenger door. The driver and another burly fellow walked with him up to the man.
Smiling, the boy said, "Morning! We're here to take everything."
"Get to it, then," said the cop, satisfied, as he returned to his squad car and drove off.
In less than an hour, the truck was full, the yard empty. The boy shook hands with the man who sat on his porch. "I'm glad we could help you out. With the cop I mean."
"Mmm," said the man.
"See you then," said the boy. He checked once more that the tarp covering the cargo bed of the truck was secure before hopping into the cab. He waved at the man as the truck took off down the street. The man did not wave back, but slapped his thighs, stood, and disappeared into his empty house.