Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Little House in Ozark

A Little House in Ozark
           (From the book, “Romances of a Midwinter Soldiers”) 1977

He knew when she was around, she gave off a flowery scent, he had watched her, and she had watched him as they paced their backyards—more often than not during the evening hours, for over a year now, they had watched one another: but this evening he watched her as she was doing some deep thinking, wondering what she was thinking:  

       As he removed his shirt to dig some holes in the backyard, to pull out weeds, to level the ground, to remove the rocks, to pull up those loose roots, and so forth, she watched him from her screen-in door, as she had done so many times before.
       She clung on to the ajar screen-in door, hands tight on the knob, her thin waist and pare shape, her breast all against the stratum of the door, parting the breasts, pulling her blouse tighter against her body, her long red hair swept over her shoulder, and slightly freckled face, contemplating something deep. Her back arched and behind her, her little rented Ozark house.
      His house, per near a duplicate of hers, side to side, perhaps twenty-feet apart, rented, he was a soldier, a sergeant, at Fort Rucker, Alabama, living off base.
      The Sergeant stopped his work to check on his twin boys—they were five years old—and put them to bed. It had been a long hot Saturday for him.
      Outside again, he took one more look to see if his young neighbor was still by her screen-in doorway, she had stepped out onto the little wooden platform: her husband was attending schooling at the nearby aviation college, he didn’t work per se, rather sold drugs, and that paid his tuition, rent, and his habit.  Actually the Sergeant had learned he was making more money selling pot, than having a regular job, making more money than him, working. But he kept his noise out of his business. Although once when John was broke, he sold to the sergeant his guitar for little to nothing, so he had his months’ rent paid; and so he had his bad and good seasons also. Those bad seasons was when John used more of his own drugs than he sold, and his young wife, was a party to it all.
       He was twenty-four, she: twenty-three, and the Sergeant, twenty-nine.
       Betty, John’s wife, the neighbor next door, stepped over to greet the sergeant, she got to know him quite well. The Sergeant knew something was on her mind this evening (I suppose you might say, they were attracted to one another, but the Sergeant knew, attraction is just that, it doesn’t have any hold, no real hold on anyone, it’s just like being attracted to a new car, similar…)
       Anyhow, this evening she was to take one step beyond that attraction, assert for special privileges one might say.  
       “How’s John this evening?” the Sergeant asked.
       “He’s at his aviation school this evening, would you like to smoke some grass with me?” she inquired.
       “I’m too much into alcohol!” he held; he had remembered when John had wanted him to go in on a $10,000-dollar three day buy and sell deal with him,  and the turnover profit would be $10,000, split: fifty/fifty. But the Sergeant had turned him down; he had his two boys to worry about.
       But this night wasn’t about drugs, that issue was settled once and for all, months ago.
       “What is it?” asked the Sergeant.
      Betty stepped over onto the sergeant’s yard she took his hand softly, looked at it covered with blisters, “I’ll get something for it…” and before she could turnabout,  the sergeant said, “Don’t worry about it, what’s on your mind?”   
       She released his hand; her eyes had some sort of unrivaled passion in them.
       She was stroking her knee, playing with her hair—doing odd behavior, everything but jumping on his bones.
       “Spit it out,” said the sergeant with uncanny directness.

       “Well,” she said, “just how should I put it?” she questioned herself.
       The Sergeant knew John was trying to get him into his business, but he didn’t figure on this, matter of fact, he wasn’t sure if this was part of a ploy to get him into it or just a side thing. He noticed Betty was a little more attractive this evening than other same-same evenings, she had a loose blouse on you could see her breasts tightly hugging each other, pointing out like steeples, and it was a tinge penetrating; and she wore skin-tight, jean-shorts to boot, although the weather called for them, she didn’t usually wear them at night, and her make was light, she had a natural and youthful beauty about her. And for a romance, it was perfect, twilight was just enveloping.

       She acted chilled, and moved close to the sergeant, then said in a soft voice, almost trembling, she was actually scared to spit out the words but tried to hold a firm thought on the matter, as she did spit them out, saying:
       “…this is no trick question, it is simple… (Pause) something John says would be okay, if it is okay with you, that you and I can make love together, have sex together, if you want! He even promised he would not go back on his word, but he wants to watch.”
       The Sergeant’s first act was to catch his breath, then took a long pause as if trying to figure out how to answer that request, if indeed it was: “I really like you, and I’d really like to make love to you, you’re a very pretty woman, and you have a wonderful shape and I like everything about you, but your John’s; and if I would agree, I’d not allow John to be present.”

      She looked a little dumfounded, “I don’t think so, and I don’t think John will go along with that.” 
       Now they both were at ease, as if she was forced to say what she said, and happy he said what he said, and how he had said it.
        And so the question ended up being left at a statement or statement-question, sort of, at least his response was. 
       And so when she left to walk over to her side of the backyard, she couldn’t help it, it seemed, she rubbed her thigh against his, perhaps to her that was a small victory. No more needed to be said.  

Written on the 10th and 11th of November, 2008, Huancayo, Peru.
Reedited, 5/2014, in Lima, Peru.