Fall of '69 Ch. 08bywilderness©
Becky and I slept like vines -- our limbs pleasantly entangled. My root remained planted in her moist, fertile furrow for as long as I could manage. But the connection didn't last. We woke up next to each other, with me sporting some brand new growth – fresh, good-morning wood.
"Wood?" Becky laughed.
Wrapping her warm hand around its trunk and shaking it playfully, she asked, "Why wood? Why not sausage, or kielbasa? Now that's a filling breakfast!"
I laughed at her uncommonly suggestive comment. "Beckster! You surprise me."
"It's all your fault, Doc. You created a monster last night. You turned me into a sex fiend."
Damn, just what I was afraid of.
Trying to convince her otherwise, I said, "No you're not. It was just an isolated event -- something that just happened."
To argue her fiendish metamorphosis without words, Becky bent down for breakfast, ignoring the dried coital-funk coating. "Num, num, num."
It was all my fault. Before we met, this newly created sex fiend had been a chaste girl.
Even though, at the moment, she was giving me amazing head, morning-after regrets were all mine for a change. I lay there, docile like a fossil, trying to put recent events into perspective, and soon decided to mend my lecherous ways. I came to the conclusion that, somehow, I had to get rid of skinny Lisa. She was the bad influence affecting both of us. Her presence just amplified my lecherousity. The threesome that happened wasn't my fault. It was Lisa's. Guys can't be held responsible for opening the fantasy door when opportunity knockers come calling.
Tapping my happy-stick on the side of her formerly innocent, yet still sweet face, Becky looked at me with questioning eyes, and asked, "Do all penises look like yours?"
"Huh?" Uh-oh, this question meant trouble. "Yeah, pretty much, only a lot smaller."
She laughed. "I don't know if I can believe you."
"Why would I lie?"
She shrugged, and said, "I don't know… but maybe I should do some research, and find out for myself."
At the suggestion of supplementary penile studies, my morning hardwood began to wither. She wiggled my increasingly limp limb, and asked, "What's wrong, Doc? You jealous or something?"
A little too forcefully, I said, "Yeah, I think I am… jealous, or something."
She let go of my wood, which now looked more like damp a twig, and got out of bed.
Rapidly getting dressed, Becky rather brusquely pointed out, "I don't know why you'd feel that way after last night. You had your fun with Skinny. Why shouldn't I have my fun with another guy? Obviously, you and I are not a couple. We're just…" Zipping up her hip-huggers, Becky looked at me, puzzled and annoyed. "What are we, exactly… Master?"
Before I could conjure up a coherent response, she walked out, saying, "I don't know, either. All I know is, life is short, and I'm going to live it on my terms. I'm tired of playing the fool."
I laid there for a while, because getting out of bed seemed like a bad idea. In the game of life, today was one of those days when I'm a loser, and the game goes straight into extra innings.
Biding my time, I looked around the room at all the family photographs and thought, how strange that Becky allowed us to fuck in her esteemed Grandparents' bed. It felt disgustingly disrespectful even to a weasel like me. Becky must be really messed up emotionally to act so detached from everyone she loved. My bad influence had only compounded the problem by leading her down the dead-end path of moral ruin, when all I really wanted to do was love her, and for her to love me.
The debauchery in the last 24 hours weighed heavily on my conscious.
Circumstances dictated immediate action. I had to get out of bed and see if the damages could be mitigated. I had to face the mountainous uphill climb to decency, doubting that I could find my way even if I had the Dalai Lama as a guide. I'd probably corrupt him too.
The old farmhouse bathroom, with its cast iron, claw-foot tub, breathed 19th century charm and, unfortunately, the shower head spat 19th century spray. No hot water after two minutes. Afterwards, my chattering teeth made it hard to shave.
Clean and mean I went downstairs to the quiet first floor. "Anyone home?"
The kitchen showed signs of recent food consumption. I spotted a mouse dragging a bread crust toward a hole in a cabinet base. Breakfast cleanup had begun.
An engine roared -- a big engine -- and sounded like it came from the barn. I went outside to investigate.
The gigantic red tractor rumbled out of the barn with Becky and Lisa sitting on the open fenders. The driver's smiling face was partially hidden by a cowboy hat, but the jaw line looked vaguely familiar.
When Becky waved to me, the driver looked up. It was my new friend, Jack Ass, from the night before. He stopped smiling, and I felt a sudden chill in the warm autumn breeze.
Jack turned toward Becky and said something. From watching his lips, I guessed he'd asked ‘Who the fuck is that asshole?'
It seemed likely that Becky continued with her "He's Lisa's boyfriend" explanation of my identity, because after she answered, Jack nodded and put his hand on Lisa's boney knee.
When Lisa put her hand over his, he smiled at her and then glared at me with a what're-you-going-to-do-about-it sneer.
It felt too early for that kind of macho posturing, so I ignored it. Besides, he could have Skinny. Maybe things were suddenly looking up.
Becky climbed off the tractor. Lisa and Jack drove off toward the golden waves of corn.
Walking over, I asked, "Who was that?"
She watched them drive away. "Him? That's Jack Osborne. He's a neighbor."
Jack had his arm around Lisa's waist and she had her arm around his brawny shoulders, talking close to his ear.
Becky turned, and sighed wistfully. "I've had a crush on him since the 6th grade."
Irritation in my voice, I asked, "What's he doing here?"
"His family is renting my barn. Why? What's your problem?"
"I met him in town last night. He's a jackass."
Frowning, she said, indignantly, "You don't know him. He's really a nice guy."
I bit my tongue and changed the subject. "When are you going to Topeka?"
"I'm not. I've changed my mind. They probably don't have any more information about my brother than I do, and if they did, they probably wouldn't tell me anyway." After a momentary pause, she looked away and softly added, "Besides, I think he's dead."
Even though I also thought her brother was dead, to hear her say it saddened me. Becky had given up hope.
I put my hand on her shoulder, and she moved in for a hug.
"Well then, what do you want to do today?"
Grinning mischievously, Becky said, "Come on," and she led me back inside the barn.
I began to think I was in for a repeat of yesterday's barn-boffing, until she opened a cupboard near the front door and extracted a plastic bag.
"Lisa's pot." Handing it to me, she said, "Let's get high. I want to know how it feels."
In my head the bag weighed 50 pounds, but in reality it weighed less than an ounce. Staring at the potent golden buds, I flatly said, "No."
"Fine." She snatched the baggy from my hand and, without a backward glance, ran after the tractor, waving frantically.
Two hundred yards away, the tractor brake lights came on.
I watched until she climbed aboard the empty fender, brashly waving Lisa's stash of mother-nature. I seriously hoped Jack wasn't as big an ass as I thought, and would tell both the girls to get lost.
No luck. A ‘whoop' of elation boomed across the field, before the tractor began to roll away once again. They drove to a hedge row and park under an ancient maple with a brilliant red canopy. Jealousy squeezed my stomach. When did I become such a stick-in-the-mud?
Unsure about my next move, I went back into the house to brood over a breakfast of peanut-butter toast and coffee. Maybe it was time to head back to school. Becky was safe and sound in her home. She didn't need me anymore.
The grandfather clock in the living room chimed nine o'clock. Still early morning at the frat house, I called anyway. The phone rang 10 times, before Gerry -- one of the new brothers -- answered.
"Hey, Gerry, it's Don. How's it going?"
"Don! Where the hell are you? We were about to call the cops and report a missing person."
I laughed. "You guys noticed I was gone? Far out."
"Let me wake Roger up. He's been all bent out of shape, wondering what the hell happened to you and what's-her-name."
There was a loud thud, as he dropped the receiver.
After two minutes of waiting, I stood up and looked out the window. The tractor was still parked under the oak tree. From this distance it was hard to see much detail, but it looked like the threesome was sitting around the tree trunk, passing a joint. Not much harvesting or plowing was getting done today. Well, maybe a different kind of plowing.
The phone rattled on the other end of the line, and I heard a sleepy Roger say, "Don?"
"Hey, Rodge. What's happening, Man."
"Where the fuck are you?"
"Kansas? You hanging out with Dorothy and Toto?"
"No, just Becky and Lisa."
"Two chicks now? When are you coming back to give us the juicy details?"
"I'm not sure. But I need my stuff. Have someone pack it up and ship it too…" I picked up an envelope lying by the phone and read him the address.
"Doesn't sound like you plan on coming back anytime soon. The house won't be the same without you, Man."
Roger could talk the ear of a cornstalk, so I prevented further questions by saying, "I've gotta run to town and get some paint. I call you soon."
"Paint? For what?"
I hung up the phone, while watching out the window.
Becky stood up, waving her arms, appearing angry.
Jack sprang from the ground and got in her face, acting equally irate.
Becky slapped him hard.
Jack immediately hit her with the back of his hand, knocking her down.
To Lisa's credit, she pounced on his back, choking him with her forearm for a few seconds before he flipped her over his head, Judo style, into the dirt.
Whatever happened in the next few seconds I missed, because I was running out to my truck. By the time I roared down the dusty path, Jack and the tractor were headed across a corn stubble field. Becky was helping Lisa limp in my direction.
Skidding to a stop a few yards away, I jumped out and ran to them. "What the hell just happened?"
"Nothing important." Becky wouldn't look at me. Blood ran down her chin from her lip.
"Don't tell me ‘nothing happened'. I saw him hit you."
Lisa explained, "Jack started blabbing about the war." She looked sympathetically at Becky, before continuing, "He said her brother was stupid for going to West Point and fighting in Vietnam."
"I called him a coward," said Becky. "I shouldn't have."
"I'm going to kick his ass."
She grabbed my arm as I turned toward my truck to chase after the tractor. "No. Leave him alone. It was my fault. He has epilepsy and he's always been touchy about being less than physically perfect. He has a chip on his shoulder that gets knocked off too easily. In school, he was always fighting to prove how tough he was. Then he'd have a seizure, and the older boys would tease him mercilessly about being a freak."
He probably deserved it for being an asshole. Aloud, I said, "That's no excuse to hit a girl."
Becky gripped my hands. "Please, leave him alone." She looked at me with pleading eyes. "For me?"
Staring at her, I came to the realization that Becky was a bad judge of character. She seemed to have good intentions about helping people, but didn't have the strength of will to uphold her idealistic values. Unfortunately, I was included in her poor character collection.
Too mad to say anything, I just got in my truck, and they followed.
Back at the house, I spotted Jack's pickup parked alongside the barn, and was tempted to flatten the tires instead of flattening his nose.
As Lisa and Becky got out, I announced, "I'm going to town."
Becky stopped, and asked, "What for?"
"Are you coming back?"
That was a question that I wasn't sure I had an answer for. "Yeah, I'll be back," I said, to prevent further discussion, and drove off.
In the bright morning sun, the town of Elder Forks reminded me of Andy Griffith's Mayberry -- quaint and quiet. The worst thing that could happen here was a cat stuck in a tree.
I parked in front of Roberts Hardware -- not a parking meter in sight.
"Hi! Nice truck, Mr. Pennsylvania." said the smiley, plump girl at the cash register.
What a friendly town. "Thanks." I smiled back, as I moseyed past.
"That's the first Pennsylvanian plate I've ever seen. Not too many visitors around here."
Just to spice up her humdrum, tiny-town day, I paused to add more gossip to her future party-line phone call, wondering if their telephones still had crank handles. "Really? With all the fun things to do in this town? Hard to believe."
She laughed. "Isn't it? Tell all your friends about us. Maybe the town board will open a museum in the old meat packing plant to attract more tourists."
While absently straightening a stack of paper bags, she probed, "What brings you here?"
Pointing outside, I said, "My truck."
Placing her hands on her hips in a show of dissatisfaction, she thrust out her ample chest, straining the buttons on the blue sweater. I was tempted to put up a hand in defense of a sudden release.
She gave me a crooked grin, and said, "Ha ha. You know what I mean."
"I gave a friend a ride home from college."
"What's his name? I probably know him."
"He's a she -- Rebecca Jeffries."
She made a frowny face, and said, "Becky's back? Why?"
"Did you know her brother?"
"Jeremy? I loved him. All the girls did. He looked so handsome in his Army uniform in the Memorial Day parade." Suddenly, it dawned on her, and she grimaced. "Is he dead?"
She made a sad groan, and said, "Poor Becky. She's lost so much family already."
I thought about mentioning how Becky was building a new family by starting a commune filled with sex and drugs, but changed my mind. "Yeah, she's kind of a lost soul right now." I didn't mention that I was the one who spun her around blindfolded and let her loose, hypothetically speaking.
"I should call her," said the buxom, rosy cheeked salesgirl.
I answered, "She'd like that," not knowing for sure, but looking for an end to this dialogue.
"Tell her Sandy said hi and will be praying for Jeremy."
"Okay," I said, walking out of sight, down the paint aisle.
Didn't work. She followed me. "Can I help you find something?"
Sandy turned out to be very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. She wasn't totally unattractive. Women with a brain are sexy, as long as they haven't become bitter man-haters. In fact, that's what I first loved about Becky, her mind.
I left the store with enough painting paraphernalia to start my own business. Sandy was good at her job. Probably would own the store, someday.
As I was loading my truck, I glanced down the street and spotted a sign outside the Methodist church, and read, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for." Becky needed to regain some of her lost faith. Maybe we could do it together.
I drove back to Becky's farm and, after unloading my supplies, found an extension ladder and set it up against the front porch roof. The girls came outside, red-eyed and giggling.
Already knowing, I asked, "What have you two been doing?"
Becky leaned against the rail, and said, "Just chillin' out."
She floated down the stairs and threw her arms around my neck, the scent of cannabis lingered in her hair. "Why don't you take a break and joint us?"
Joint us? What that meant exactly I didn't want to ask, afraid I might buckle to temptation. So, I kissed her cheek, and said, "Maybe later. I want to get the front scraped today, so I can paint tomorrow."
"Aren't you the busy bee." She rubbed my crotch, and commented, "I like your stinger, Mr. Bee."
"And I like to poke you with it, Miss Tulips."
Skinny waited on the porch, watching and listening. "Come on Beckster, let him work. We'll keep busy, inside."
I whispered in Becky's ear, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." Then I had second thoughts. "Forget I said that. Don't do anything I would do."
Her husky laugh tickled my ear, and she answered, "I'll do anything I want."
As she headed back up the porch stairs, I said, "I met an old friend of yours at the hardware store. Sandy says hi. She'll be praying for Jeremy."
"Sandy Roberts?" Becky stopped, and placed a steadying hand on the banister.
"Yes, I guess so." Apparently she will be running Roberts hardware store someday, if not already.
After a slight delay, as if she were thinking deep thoughts, Becky said, "That's nice," and continued inside.
Skinny waved goodbye. "Don't fall down and break your stinger."
Working in the sun, I soon became hot with the exertion and removed my shirt. It felt good to do some physical labor. My mind wandered as I scraped, until the bedroom window, a foot to my right, opened.
Becky stuck her head out, and asked, "How's it going?" She held out a glass of water. "You look hot. Want a drink?"
As I moved toward her, Becky extended farther out through the window, until her bare breasts were exposed to the world.
Stupidly, I asked, "Where's your shirt?"
"Where's yours? It's hot in here and the fresh air feels good, doesn't it?"
No argument from me. I took the glass, saluted her, and took a big gulp of icy refreshment. Suddenly, a pair of hands appeared from behind Becky, snaked around, and pinched her nipples. I began to cough and gag as the water rerouted toward my lungs.
Giggling, Becky looked over her shoulder, and said, "Skinny, stop it. You almost killed him." Then she ducked back inside and laughter ensued, followed by unsettling silence.
Trying to be unaffected, I ignored them. I didn't even glance inside. I finished drinking my water without another mishap, set the empty cup on the window sill, and went back to scraping paint chips.
Then I faintly heard, "Num, num, num…" and a moan distinctly Becky's.
That was it. I couldn't handle the mental image. Throwing down my scraper in loud aggravation, I scrambled down the ladder and marched to the barn. I had to get away from the sounds of their intimacy if I was going to have any self-control. I'm sure they would've welcomed my entrance through the window, but I'd made up my mind I was done with casual sex. I wanted Becky all to myself. The problem being, Becky was just beginning her sexual journey. A journey I launched.
Not having any specific direction in mind, I stalked toward the barn where Jack Ass's truck proved too tempting a target for my frustration. Angry at myself as much as anyone, and not having the common sense of a mongoloid, I picked up an Idaho potato-sized rock and threw it through Jack Ass's back window. The shotgun resting in the gun rack looked tempting, but I left it alone and continued inside the barn to cool off.
After closing my eyes and taking a few deep breathes, I tried to decide what to do next. The cavernous barn begged exploration and would provide a nice diversion. So I began near the front and worked toward the back. Several doors led to storage rooms filled with farm tools and bags of crop-crap that I had no knowledge of.
As I opened the last door on the left, I heard Becky shout from the far end of the barn, "Hey!"
She appeared as a silhouette against the sunny background, the lines of her bare legs enticing below a tee-shirt that just covered her hips.
Swallowing a lump, I said flatly, "What."