Talking Out of Turn - Sleeping in the Aviary
Presented this month is my
unfinished fiction work, tentatively titled "11seven." I offer it in
small mostly digestible doses of between 700-1,100 words. It contains
strong language and sexual situations as intended for a mature audience.
Parental discretion is advised. (I got all that from watching
"Justified"!) Each entry will come with a song from our BOTG mailbox and
discussion questions for Oprah.
PART ONE: Solitary Confinement in a Convenience Store
PART TWO: Stu & the Lost Male Art of Subtlety
All Desperate Horny Teens Deserve Charity
“Cut the shit, Stuart,” I says. “I’m not gonna turn you in or call your folks, and I’m not gonna preach at you. I’m just testin’ out my own psychic abilities,” I says.
His eyebrows furrow, and he looks a little more intently at me. He don’t believe me, and I reckon I didn’t blame him. “Well I’m right, right?” I said.
His chickenshit-brown hair cocks over to the side, and he acts like he’s got one up on me now. “Are you one of those Tarot card people? Like, a gypsy or something?”
He kept staring me down, trying to decide what to think of me. And I gotta tell you, it stirred me up. I’m not some horny monster of a woman who needs to tickle myself to orgasm every day. About once a week does me just fine. And between the day Ralph disappeared and the day Stu walked in, I hadn’t so much as nudged a man’s testicles. It’s tough to get too horny when you’re subsisting off Twinkies and Pepsi and cramping from trying to catch every last Z in a fucking office chair.
The only nuts I even tease are owned by Jimmy the Cop. A woman alone in a convenience store gotta make the right friends if she wants to keep safe, so Jimmy comes by a couple times a night on his shifts for free coffee, free hot dogs, free whatever the hell he wants. And I don’t consider it stealing or even taking advantage. If anything, I’m getting off cheap. More Jimmy, less armed robbery. Simple as that.
Jimmy’s married, and I lucked out that I’m pretty sure he’s interested in staying that way, so mostly we just do this harmless flirt thing with each other, and he swears he’ll never come in drunk and off duty or in any way touch me inappropriately, and in return I swear I’ll never show up on his doorstep in the middle of the night or boil a bunny in his kitchen. (Didja see that movie? It ‘bout pulled my eyelids back, that one did.)
I know cops. Trust me, most of 'em mean to be decent guys, but something about that gun and those handcuffs clinging to their hips every day, feeling like John Wayne or Ponch, it messes with their heads. But Jimmy actually believed he was doing good work, that people are good and his job is to protect them. All that crap. It's not his fault he's a guy, with a dick, and a wife that apparently forgot about it plenty. Most decent family men only just need to know there's someone out there waiting for them in a definitely maybe sort of way. If they have that, just a little bit of teasing, just a healthy dose of flirting, they can get by. Most of them. That's kinda how Jimmy and I had arranged things.
But back to Stu, who was standing there trying to figure me out, which had me all hot and bothered and feeling a teensy bit naughty, since the boy had only barely probably figured out the whole wet dream thing.
Finally, he broke. “Penthouse.”
“I KNEW it!!” I shouted and did a cheesy Icky Shuffle-looking thing that probably risked giving away my gin intake, except that Stu was young and seemed pretty clueless about all that stuff. When I looked up from my moment of joy, my celebration of feeling I was capable of looking into other people’s souls and knowing what’s there – porn, usually – Stu had made it most of the way to the door, apparently thinking my dance was meant to humiliate him.
“Wait!” I says, probly a little too excited-like, but who cares. Stu turns around, like, what else is this wacky bitch gonna do to me, and I say something silly: “Don’t you wanna know what I got for your birthday, Stuart?”
Again with the furrowed brow. All intense and trying to peer into my skull. “Go grab that issue. It’s on the house. Happy birthday,” I says.
Stu looked at me, and them brows unfurrow, and he laughs a little, then he stops laughing and looks down the aisle at the mag rack, and then he whips his head back to me like maybe I’m testing him or entrapping him in some massive horny teen sting, and I gesture my arms Vanna White style back toward those mags and nod my head like a Beatlemaniac, and Stu raises those precious eyebrows up. “Really?” is what those precious eyebrows are saying.
“Really. Mean it,” I says.
And this was the part where I knew I loved Stu. He walks all the way down the aisle toward that March 1988 Penthouse, never once taking his eyes off me the whole way, scrutinizing my face every step of the way to make sure I’m not shitting him. Then he looks up, grabs it, and walks slowly back toward the door, still looking at me.
At the door, he stops. “Really?” he says.
“Happy birthday, kid,” I says. “Just keep your pants on 'til you get back home. Don’t want you to wreck or nothin’.”
Poor boy gets a little red – I guess he didn’t realize I might know the magazine had a utility purpose beyond mere boner-inspiration – and then backs out of the door with a barely-audible “thank you” before hopping in his 1980 Toyota Carolla hatchback and inching away like a grandpa.
Actually, he said, "Thank you, ma'am."
Discussion Question: Is there ever any scenario where it is acceptable to discuss one's own onanistic habits?