Five Bucks a Pill

“You think living this long, I’d know all there was to know about myself”, I said not expecting an answer.

“What are these?” she asked, fingering the thin white caplets only half-listening.

“Tramadol”, I told her. “Five bucks a pill.”

“They any good?”

I shrugged but she didn’t see it.

“No oxy?”

“No oxy, no hydro…that’s dry. Maybe some perc’s end of the week.”

“Huh”, she said knocking the pills around with a blood red fingernail that matched her lipstick.

“So whatta you think”, I asked after a moment. “Am I frightening?” She looked up with a crinkle around her green eyes that could have presaged either a smile or a wince. “Do you think I’m frightening? Am I scary?”

She wriggled her ass deeper into the chair and crossed her legs; a bit of stage-business while she fashioned an answer. “You do tend to lean in a bit”, she said finally. “But you always did that.”

“Huh”, was all I could come up with. “But I never saw myself as scary.”

“We’re all used to you, sweetie. You get to be a particular way, we leave you be.”

Fuck, I thought, taking a turn at spinning the pills across the dark Formica tabletop.

“Poor Tommy”, she said reaching across the table and patting my cheek.

“Don’t say that”, I said more sharply than intended. “My mother always says that.”

“How is she?”

“Same. She’ll never die. Too busy killing me.”

“Christ, boyo…” she pulled back a little and reached for her purse. “You wanna get high?”

“Naw. I might get all scary and shit.”

She smiled and took it as a joke, which is probably not how I meant it. “This is bugging you bad, isn’t it? Who said you were scary?”

“I was at a party last weekend up in Mifflin and a girl said…”

She sniffed. “Mifflin? Shit. You have to stop trying to mix with new folks. They don’t know you like we know you. Play in your own sandbox.”

She pulled a crumpled pack of Pall Mall greens out of her purse and squeezed it open to peek. She’d need a new pack soon. “Five bucks a pill seems steep for something I never tried.”

“You should get out more”, I grinned. “Three for you.” She was thinking-counting how many were on the table. I’d go down to two.

“Do you…?”, she asked haltingly, then stopped.

I let the silence ride a little. She was waiting for me. It was my turn to say something. But I wasn’t. I saw how this whole fucker was going to play out. I had the high hand. I didn’t have to do anything to win. All I had to do was sit there and shut up, collect a few bucks and she’d be out of the picture until she was dry again. But I didn’t. Instead I said, “…What?”

“You interested in doing a deal like we used to do?” she asked. “It’s been awhile.” Fuck! It had always been my idea. My suggestion. My task to pull her in. Of course I wanted to, but… “Cause, I’m fine with it, if you are. I’m ready. “

I closed my eyes and leaned back in the creaking chair. For whatever reason, it was Joe Pesci’s voice in my head saying ‘Don’t do it! You better not do it!” When I opened them the first thing I saw was the smattering of faded freckles across the bridge of her nose. And the lines around her eyes were gone, the skin unetched by time. I knew I was seeing memories; not what was in front of me. But I was seeing it that way.

If she only hadn’t smiled just then, I’d a’ been fine. But of course, she did.

“Sure”, I said. “Why not?” Playing it like it had been my plan all along.

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Breaking the old Ennui – 3

 

(Continued from Breaking the old Ennui – 2)

Karen lay on her side facing her friend in a bubble where neither they, nor the air, moved for the long minute before the thermometer ‘pinged’. Theresa refocused on Karen’s face, biting her lip and sighing lightly as the tube was withdrawn from her bottom.

“That’s odd”, they both heard Tim say.

“What?” asked his wife.

“It’s reading a perfect normal.”

“That can’t be right”, said Theresa looking back. “I feel…”

Karen reached back and slid her fingers across Theresa’s bottom, squeezed lightly then cupped her top cheek. She lifted, opening her back there.

“Try it again, Tim”, she said.

Her friend’s mouth gapped slightly as the tube was reinserted and Karen released, allowing her bottom to close around it. She got up on her elbow and began to loosen the Velcro holding her binding sling in place. “Help me, here”, she asked Tim. Having had the same surgery, Karen knew what flexibility there was and how to move and not move the shoulder. Theresa said nothing, allowing herself to be gently manipulated. She lifted her arm slightly and let Karen unbutton, then slip her shirt off.

The thermometer sounded again. “Leave it”, said Karen paying attention to the clasp between Theresa’s breasts. “We know what it’s going to say, don’t we Trece?” Again, Tim helped with the unveiling, sliding the strap off the shoulder and releasing the ripe fullness of her breasts. Now it was Karen’s turn to suck air between her teeth.

“You are naked on our bed, Babe”, she said.  “Is that what you had in mind?”

“I don’t know…what I had in mind. But it feels good. Doesn’t it.?”

Karen rubbed her thumb over one of the taut, swollen nipples. “Somebody’s liking it”, she said.

“I’m kinda surprised though”, Theresa said quietly watching Karen roll her nipple gently between her thumb and forefinger. “Why haven’t we done this before?”

“I don’t know, love. Sometimes the stars just have to line up.” Karen arched her back and dipped her head, opening her mouth and closing it softly over the end of Theresa’s top breast. “Oh-Oh-Oh…” which might have been an “Ah-Ah-Ah…” the breath from each exclamation puffing at her hair. More than a mouthful indeed.

“Timmy, would you please stop that beeping?”

With a whimper-inducing jiggle then a flourish, Tim pulled the thermometer out of her bottom and held it up. “Ninety-eight point six”, he announced.

“Ah…I see what’s going on here…” said Karen back close to Theresa’s face. “Somebody’s fibbing…”

“I just wanted to play a little. God, I didn’t think it would be like this…”

Karen shifted slightly, the seam of her jeans digging into her own moist crease as she moved their game along.

“Tim and I have a way of dealing with fibbers, don’t we Tim?”

“We certainly do”, he said rubbing his palm across the top cheek of Theresa’s creamy white bottom. Her eyes widened, knowing where this was going. Karen and Tim weren’t shy about how they played.

“Come on Karen”, she said. “Not a spanking…”

“Oh, I think absolutely a spanking.”

“Nooo….” She whimpered.

“Tell you what. We won’t spank you. We’ll just help you get dressed and go back out into the living room and watch TV. You OK with that? That will be fine, right?”

“No….” she pouted with her lip out.

“I didn’t think so…” Karen knelt at Theresa’s side and reached over delivering a firm SMACK to her bottom.

“Ouch!”

“Don’t be a baby! That was a love tap.”

“Hurts.”

“Shhhh…”

Karen leaned close, one hand on her friend’s waist, the other delivering light but stinging slaps to her backside. “Ow-ow-ow…” Theresa whispered, not wanting to be a whiner.

“There!” said Karen straightening up after twelve or so slaps.

“I’m done?!” said Theresa, delighted.

“No. I’m done. Timmy’s turn…”

“Oh…”

She writhed gently has he smacked her reddening rump firmly but playfully. She moaned but couldn’t say much more as Karen, lying face to face, had slipped her tongue into her mouth. The spanking slowed then stopped, Tim using his large hand to rub and knead her mottled bottom. She lifted slightly to allow his hand to slip between her legs.

“Please don’t”, she said.

“If you want me to stop, say stop.”

“Please don’t”, she repeated.

“If you want me to stop, say stop”, Tim said pushing his fingers deeper as Karen gazed intently into her eyes.

“Please don’t stop Tim…” she giggled, saying the words that her flowing quim had already made clear. With the palm of his hand fused to the inside of her bottom cheek he rubbed slowly and gently, only increasing pace and pressure as her breath quickened. She drew her leg higher as he did what she had asked him not to. Tim stopped the internal massage and withdrew his fingers eliciting a soft whimper until she felt Karen’s hand sliding across her belly and between her legs from the front.

Thus engaged, she didn’t notice Tim slip his pants off freeing his cock. Karen watched it rise then reached across her recumbent friend to take his firmness in hand and pull him toward her. Her mouth provided all the lubrication he would need. He dragged his damp piece across Theresa’s warm, spanked cheek and slipped between, allowing his wife’s hand to guide him into the dripping warmth.

He hardened with the penetration and thrust deeply feeling her butt against him. “Finally fucking Theresa”, he said with a smile.

“What took you so long?” she joked breathing heavily. Karen was kneeling, supporting her injured shoulder.  Tim, on his side, held her hip and caught the wet slap-slap-slap rhythm of their coupling. “I’m…going to come….” She gasped. “It won’t take long…I’m going to….” Further announcements were unnecessary. She coughed once, then bit off a squeal and finally groaned as she stiffened.

To be continued….

 

Breaking the old Ennui – 2

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Perchenonso.tumblr.com

(Continued from Breaking the Old Ennui…)

They moved as in a dream-flowing, not walking-Karen with her hand on the center of Theresa’s back. A bedside lamp, left on earlier, blanketed the room in a soft golden glow that welcomed them inside.  Karen slowly sat on the edge of the bed and pulled Theresa in front of her. She was moving precisely but languidly knowing that each action, once over, could never happen again. It might be repeated-but never relived as it happened the first time. And she wanted everything to last.

Shaking only slightly, she opened Theresa’s belt then unsnapped her jeans. Exaggerating her movements as if playing to the back row, she grasped the sharp, metal tab and, before sliding it down, looked up. Her friend, not trusting words for the moment, simply lay her hand on her shoulder. The zipper came down and the jeans pulled open. Now Theresa leaned for balance as Karen worked the jeans over her hips then down her legs, leaning so that her breath tickled at Theresa’s thighs.

“Wow”, Theresa said deep in her throat. “I thought you’d just like take them down. Not off.”

“Naw, that’s miserable. They’d be all bunched around your legs. Here. Lift”, she said bending forward and taking the jeans off one leg then the other. Her hangs lingered on her calves then up to her knees as she straightened.  “Pretty panties”, said Karen rubbing her hands up the outside of her thighs and across the purple silk covering her hips. Theresa’s hand crawled from Karen’s shoulder to the side of her neck and squeezed lightly.

“Who’s going to do it?” Theresa asked.

“Oh IT. Timmy’s the doctor, right Tim?”

“At your service”, he said from behind her. She had been so preoccupied with Karen she had almost forgotten about Tim.

Theresa gave a little wince that morphed easily into an embarrassed smile. “I thought you might do it.”

“I’ll be right here honey. Come on now”, she said getting up. “Onto the bed with you.”

Theresa helped herself onto the bed with both knees and an arm. She let herself down easily on her right side. Karen pulled a pillow down under her head.

“Comfy, hon?” she asked sliding her hand along the contour of her hip then across the tightly stretched panties encasing her bottom. She had meant to pat her once then back off but didn’t. She carefully kept her wandering hand on the panties though, as if the thin film of silk offered some measure of propriety to an affair that was feeling less proper as it felt more right.

To answer the question, Theresa was more than comfy. She didn’t know what she had in mind exactly when she stopped by this evening. She didn’t know what-if anything-would happen and she couldn’t swear she wanted ANYTHING to happen. All she knew was she couldn’t bear one more night alone in her bed with her vibrator. Lil Buzzy was a wonderful distraction and necessary release but not meant to be a steady diet.

So, no, Theresa didn’t know what she specifically had in mind as she circled the block for an hour before texting Karen. She didn’t even know what she wanted, let alone what she needed, and wouldn’t have known what to ask for if a question came up. But that was then. Right now she wished that Karen’s hands would slide down the backs of her legs, would cup her bottom, would knead the soft…

Her reverie was interrupted by Tim sliding open the drawer in the nightstand. She watched dreamily as he picked out the thermometer and a tube of lube.

“I thought it would be bigger” she joked, her voice cracking just a bit. Damn! What was with her voice?

“This little thing?” Tim held it between his fingers. “You won’t even feel it.” Then he disappeared around the bed and out of sight. She settled her head on the pillow end let her eyes glaze; a flutter in her chest. She didn’t want to crane her head to see what they were doing but Karen’s hand was still on her hip and she could feel, more than hear, a kiss pass between them. Then the bed moved and the hand disappeared. Karen came around the front with a small smile and sat on the bed beside her.

“I have to get these out of the way”, Tim said his thumbs in the waistband of her panties. They were tighter than she wanted them to be-it was her last line of defense in the battle with her weight. She would not buy larger panties, determined to fit the ones she had. Some were more of a struggle than others. She lifted slightly and he pulled them down off her hip, then down her bottom reveling her deep crease and firm, billowing cheeks. She expected him to stop right below her butt, but he rolled them all the way down her legs.

“Hey”, she said looking up at Karen. “That thermometer isn’t that big…”

“Your panties are too tight”, Tim said rubbing a thumb along a crease on her bottom. They’re cutting off your circulation.”

“That’s fine” she said stretching a little into her new-found freedom. “I’m just feeling a little exposed is all…”

Karen, without a thought, crossed her arms and grabbed the hem of her sweat shirt. As quick as a shrug it was off and tossed to the floor. She wasn’t wearing a bra.

“There now. Feel better?”

She’d seen her naked before, usually quickly in a cabana while changing for the pool or in a locker room. Here, seeing the flow of her hips rising out of her loose-fitting jeans, the goose-fleshed bumps of her ribs and swollen nipples…it felt different. Very different. Her eyes had settled on Karen’s flat belly when her attention was drawn behind her. Tim was rubbing her panty lines then her cheeks.

“It’s ridiculous that nobody’s had their hands on this ass for how long?” he asked softly.

“Long time” she sighed, her eyes sagging closed. Karen watched a small smile play across her friend’s lips as Tim rubbed and kneaded her ample backside. He glanced up from his ministrations to get an affirming smile from his wife. Then, with a practiced assurance, popped the lid from the lube with one hand and opened Theresa cheeks with the other. Her lips parted with a tiny sigh as the small, cool tube entered her behind.

“See?” said Karen close to her face. “Can’t even feel it.”

“Oh, I feel it”, Theresa said smiling. “I feel it fine.” Karen leaned closer until Theresa opened her mouth slightly to accept a soft kiss. Karen’s mouth closed over hers and her tongue circled the inside of her lips finally nibbling the top one.

“What was that?” Theresa asked quietly when they uncoupled.

“Did you like it?”

“I liked it. I liked it a lot.”

“We’ll take care of you baby…”

Continuing…

Breaking the Old Ennui…

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“What?” she said looking up from her book.

“Nothing.”

“Why’d you turn it off?”

He didn’t answer right away and she didn’t ask again. Finally, without turning his head, “Tired of it. Wasn’t watching anything-just staring.”

She pulled one ear bud. The new white-noise app she’d downloaded made it possible to sit and read in the same room where he watched television. Evenings passed this way for most of the last few weeks-each in their own bubble, doing their own things.

“But now you’re just staring at nothing. That’s weird.”

“I’m thinking.”

“That can’t be good.” Her phone pinged a text and she glanced at it. “Don’t get too deep. Theresa’s stopping by.”

“What? Now?”

“Apparently.”

“Why?”

“Don’t be mean.”

“How can she drive with that sling?”

“She maybe can’t. But she says she’s been cooped up for weeks and it’s time.”

“Great”, he said meaning the opposite.

“Come on. She hasn’t been here in months and you only visited her the one time when I made you.”

“Okay. Not that I have any choice. I’m back and forth on Theresa and right now I’m not feeling it.”

“You’re still pissed that she wouldn’t kiss you at the bonfire last month. Christ, get over it!”

“There’s a difference between ‘not kissing’ and pushing you away with two hands!”

“Not everyone is turned on by a mouthful of bourbon and cigars.”

There was a knock at the door.

“Already?!”

“Shhh!” Karen shushed him. “She was just down the street when she texted…”

“Christ” he grumbled convinced that this interruption would kill any chance of any sort of sex tonight though they hadn’t needed people coming by unannounced to kill their amore lately.

“Be nice!” she ordered as she strode out of the room. He couldn’t help watching Karen’s lithe butt swing in her jeans in perfect complement to the blond ponytail. He felt something no doubt, always did watching her move but lately it faded quickly-a guttering match in a breeze.

He cringed at the ecstatic greetings he heard from the kitchen. The high-pitched “Hi Girlfriend…Look at you! No look at you…!!” He sighed and turned the TV back on.

Theresa was shorter than Karen, and rounder. Not fat by any means but not hiding the couple pounds a year she had put on in the last six or seven. Her hair was cut short to simplify styling during her rehab from rotator cuff surgery. She wore a sling attached to a block across her chest that kept her left arm immobilized across her chest. It was the same surgery Karen had two years previous, further cementing their goofy sisterhood.

Karen led her to the couch, passing behind Tim’s recliner. “Hi Timmy”, she said tousling his hair. “Happy to see me?”

“Always happy to see you love”, he said with an overwide fake smile.

Karen sat her at one end of the couch and she flopped down at the other end. “So you’re getting around now?”

“I still shouldn’t be driving but I was going stir crazy.”

“Getting better?”

“Every day! This is the first day I actually put on a bra. A real one-not a stretchy one I could step into.”

“You should have called Tim. He would have helped you-isn’t that right honey? He was a sweetheart when I got mine done.”

“Whatever I can do to help…” he smiled a less affected smile.

“Honey”, Theresa said, “With your titties you don’t even need a bra. These girls”, she shrugged and her breasts, round as ripe grapefruits, nodded in affirmation “They need all the support I can give them.”

“All the better to call him. Maybe he needs more than a mouthful now and again.” She ducked but caught the pillow he threw. Then they settled into comfortable small talk that friends of a decade can have. Tim was able to stay in and out of their conversation as called for. He was content watching a Bar Rescue rerun with the sound off.

“…Plus I think I’m sick”, he heard her say.

“How nice of you to come over and infect us”, said Tim without looking.

“I don’t know”, Theresa said. “Maybe it’s nothing.” She leaned toward Karen. “Do I feel warm?”

Karen reached over and put her palm on her forehead. Then the back of her hand on her cheek.

“I don’t think so. Tim?”

“I’m no good at that-my hands are always cold.”

“Really”, said Theresa. “Do you have a thermometer?”

Karen froze when she should have just said “No”. Tim, his eyes still on the set said, “We only have a rectal.”

“A…what? Really?”

She cut her eyes to one, then the other. Karen was engrossed in the grain of the coffee table and suddenly the morons going broke owning a Tiki Bar were fascinating beyond words.

“You guys”, said Theresa smiling and shaking her head. They’d been friends too long for her not to know a little about how they played. Or played when they were playing which they currently were not.

“Couldn’t you just wash it real good?” asked Theresa

“How good?” asked Tim.  “Sure, I’ll do that…be my guest.”

“Yuck”, said Karen her face wrinkled. “You can’t do that.”

Theresa smiled. “I’ll swing by Walgreen’s on the way home. You guys…” she repeated and shook her head.

“Well, we offered”, Karen said.

“Yes, you did. And I appreciate the gesture. I just can’t lay on my belly with this…”

“You could lay on your side…” Karen said lightly without looking at her.

Theresa did something that sounded like a snort-almost a laugh-then sat back. Tim flipped through the channels and found a rerun of American Pickers that he stayed with for a moment hoping to see Danielle. Nobody spoke and when he stole a glance at Karen, she was looking at him, a tiny glint in her eyes. He looked toward the other end of the couch and let his eyes settle on Theresa. “So?” he asked.

“Sad truth, it would be the first time anyone’s touched my ass in months.”

Tim caught his wife’s quick grin and he felt a buzz in his crotch.

There had always been something going on with the three of them; a stolen kiss here, a drunken feel there, never secretive and never pushed beyond the realm of friendly naughtiness. This felt different. They were all sober for one. Theresa had been miserably unattached for months, and Tim & Karen had become, for the first time in the marriage, sexually unmoored. Neither had made a thing of it when Tim began sleeping, with increasing regularity, in the spare room. There were reasons: he snored, she was a light sleeper, he wandered about at night…all valid but only true on the face. The fact was they were spending more nights apart than together. Theresa was cutting her eyes from one to the other.

“What do you think, Nurse Karen?” Tim asked. This was going to be her call and how the balance of the evening would be spent hung on her answer. His wife waited then lay the back of her hand against her friend’s cheek again. “Hard to tell” she said playing at trying to figure something out. “But you do look flushed. We should check it out.”

“Alrighty then”, said Tim, then fumbled about, deferring again.

Karen stood and took Theresa’s hand. “Let’s go back to the bedroom. More comfortable for you to lay on the bed than the couch.”

(Continuing…)

He Remembered to Eat

He remembered to eat, at least.

Two rice cakes with peanut butter.

He did it in front of her as she was leaving for the gym

So she could see.

She kissed him on the cheek and he’d playfully grumble.

Once gone, he would swallow the pills that she didn’t know about

Nor what he did to get them.

They would make

The day tolerable.

No, that was wrong…

They would make the day livable.

No, that’s the same thing.

They would make the day…enjoyable.

He would be right with the world by the time she got home.

She would sometimes mention his good moods

As if complimenting a puppy for not shitting on the rug.

How happy she was to have him back she’d say

Though he never remembered being anywhere.

He’d watch the clock and with every blink of the passing morning feel the

Darkness begin to lift, the grays become tie-dyed.

Feel yesterday’s regrets dissolve and tomorrow become nothing.

He would try to remember the feeling. This fearless thisness, and try to

Recapture it later, without the pills.

He tried that always.

It never worked.

The darkness always lurked, like a thief hiding

Until everyone was asleep.

Those times when she lay her head on his chest as she once had

With no direction, meaning or pretense and he could

Smell her sweet scalp through the shampoo.

Those times he wondered why it wasn’t enough.

Why nothing was ever enough.

Doc Savage

Doc Savage Cover

The sun was barely up and already muggy; more August than October. That’s why I hadn’t gone out that morning-had humped and sweated two thick, buggy ridges the day before and felt wrung out. Didn’t feel like archery season. I liked the woods in the fall; not the summer, so I let them go without me-I’d hunt the evening; spend the day reading and chilling. That’s what I was doing when Jerry’s girlfriend Lynn padded softly into the kitchen. We were all staying in her grandparent’s decrepit farmhouse in the foothills of the Adirondacks.

I wished I could say I was reading Kerouac, Gary Snyder, even Hemingway but actually it was one of the Doc Savage series; don’t remember which-there were a ton of them and I’d had most as a kid. Brought them hunting with me because they were small enough to pack and there was something reassuring about them. Having read and re-read them for years, they calmed me and brought me back to earth when I got too high. Which was hard to avoid when hunting with Jerry and the boys.

Lynn said “Mornin”, soft and sleepy and I looked up with a ready smile to find her completely and totally naked, a wrinkle from the bed clothes traced along her hip. Not a thread, not an earring, nothing. “I can’t sleep in anything in this weather”, she said. “I hope you don’t mind.” No, I told her, I’m fine. I put my head down to read again but that didn’t feel right. If she came down dressed I wouldn’t read and ignore her.

The smells of sleep swaddled her-all like baby milk, vanilla and dried sweat. She picked a cup from the sideboard and poured, her back to me, skin shining in the morning dim of the old house. Sugar was there and the cup tink-tink-tink-tinked as she stirred. She had a great ass-that I knew from the jeans she wore. Her butt was like Marcia’s a little smaller, maybe firmer. No, couldn’t have been. Marcia’s butt was bounce a quarter off it firm. Marcia-Jesus. Hadn’t thought of her in months. She liked me to spank her-the first girl who ever asked for it. I didn’t get it at first, but I’m a quick study.

She laughed like I was tickling her; and she’d fake these little ‘ooohs’, and ‘ouches’ like I was hurting her. As if ever that could have happened. She broke up with me when she went off to college. Didn’t want any encumbrances she said. That was her word. I thought I was going to be her husband, but suddenly I was an encumbrance. Christ.

“I’m going back upstairs”, Lynn said turning a little my way so I could see her tits. She liked them and should have, but her eyes, looking sideways, betrayed nothing. She was giving a show but couldn’t tell if it was for my benefit or hers. “There’s a cross breeze up there-feels sweet and you can still taste the last bit of evening.”  I thought to say ‘Yeah’, but some kind of weird, strangled sound came out, so I kept my mouth shut as her bottom disappeared into the shadows and creaking, back up the stairs.

I had never been so hard in my freaking life. It was like all my morning-wood ever rolled together but I didn’t know if it was Marcia’s memory or Lynn’s reality that lit the fuse. I read a paragraph, Doc was in trouble, but remembered nothing. Read it again-then a page, then the same page again. I tried reading aloud in a whispered mantra to bank the fire but it wasn’t working.

Then I heard the creak again-on the stairs. I knew, and started reading harder, silently but unable to drown the sound of her bare feet scuffing across the old hardwood.

“I thought you would follow me.”

She was still naked, her body-facing me now-luminous in the knife edge of sunlight that was peeking through the kitchen window. Golden dust motes twinkled, a cape swirling in the air above her.

“I could.” I kept my eyes on hers as she waited to hear more. “Can I spank you?”

The corner of her mouth lifted; her eye caught the sun. She turned slowly, languidly, a weekend swimmer taking a turn in a pool. “Sure”, she said over her shoulder as her butt walked off again into the shadows.  “Just not too hard.”

For a second, I thought of Jerry. No, less than a second. I’d known him since first grade but it wasn’t like we were brothers or anything. I cringed at the squeaking sound the chair made pushing away from the table.

Flea Market

Homage

He had brought forty bucks with him

But couldn’t imagine what he’d spend it on.

He followed her up one aisle and down the next

Passing tables burdened with crap that

Had the church not held a flea market would have been tossed.

She had bought an occasional table that they had no place for

And a single place setting that almost looked like their good China.

He handled a couple of Civil War books that he already had

And a broken faux Tiffany lamp that might have been worth fixing

If it had been real.

He was ready to slip out the side door for a smoke

When the Barbies caught his eye;

Dozens of them on a back table-houses, cars, outfits.

He moved in that direction and picked one up.

Then another, looking for something until she caught up.

What are you going to do with those? She whispered low.

She caught the glint in his eye.

For Chissakes!, she said.

This is a church you know. The basement,

But still a church!

He laughed and bought six for five bucks each.

She wouldn’t walk with him to the car.