Authors: C. D. Payne
. I drag my weary body out of bed and stumble over to the men’s shower room. At least I will avoid the amorous fat bald guy. Wrong! He enters quickly and sheds his robe with a leer. He approaches, grossly naked. I retreat under the steaming spray.
“Mind if I share your shower?” he asks coyly. “I hear there’s a drought on.”
As the corpulent blob looms ever closer, I grope for the knob. Finally, my hand touches metal and I give it a turn. The steaming spray turns to a chilling blast. The blob leaps back.
“Sorry,” I say, my teeth chattering. “I like my showers cold.”
Ten minutes later, dressed, teeth brushed, ready for a busy day, I knocked on the door of Sheeni’s trailer. I prayed Mr. Saunders wouldn’t answer. Improbably, God was listening. After several tense minutes, the door opened and Sheeni peered out sleepily. My heart leaped! Oh, to roll over some morning and meet those beautiful, sleep-fogged blue eyes. Sheeni clutched the undiaphanous terry cloth to her exquisite form.
“Nick? God, what time is it?”
“Sheeni, hi! Nice to see you. I was out for a walk and thought I’d drop by. I’m sorry I got upset about Trent. That was very immature. He sounds like a great guy. I’d like to hear more of his neat poetry. Would you like to go to the beach? How about breakfast?”
Sheeni told me to come back in two hours. She said she was going on a hike and I could come along “if I liked.” Just the two of us together in the primeval wilderness. What rapture!
Suddenly, I was ravenous. I walked into town, found an open cafe, and ate six chocolate cream-filled donuts. As the life-giving sugar entered my bloodstream, I felt immediately restored. I also figured I’d be safely back in Oakland before the zits started erupting.
Sheeni was ready when I returned promptly at 8:15. She was wearing stout hiking boots, khaki shorts, brown work shirt, red bandanna neckerchief, and an Australian bush hat. A large canvas knapsack was slung over her shoulders. She looked like the world’s most desirable Girl Scout.
“Nick, where are your hiking boots, water bottle, provisions, survey maps, and compass?” she inquired.
I said I wasn’t hungry, wasn’t thirsty, had an infallible sense of direction, and preferred to hike in running shoes. “Like John Muir,” I said, “I enter the wilderness with nothing more than my journal and a childlike sense of wonder.”
Sheeni said OK, but she didn’t plan to baby “any slackers.” She set a fast pace out of town. We walked through rolling brown hills that seemed, mostly, to roll uphill. She asked me if I had heard from Martha. I said yes, Martha reports she is busy modeling and has almost finished her monograph on B. Coma, an early blues singer. I asked if Trent was well. Sheeni said he was very well, thank you, and was hoping to visit Lakeport that weekend. The miserable jerk! I said how unfortunate I wouldn’t get to meet him as we were leaving on
Friday. Sheeni said yes, that was unfortunate, as she was certain the two of us “would become great pals.” I said any friend of hers was a friend of mine.
“Likewise, I’m sure,” she replied.
Despite the heat, Sheeni maintained a torrid pace. All those aerobic church services have left her awesomely fit. I followed as best I could, keeping up my spirits by concentrating on the rhythmic movement of her exquisite ass inside her hiking shorts. After a while the exertion, fatigue, lack of sleep, nervous excitation, and six greasy donuts began to be felt in my lower digestive tract. I excused myself and ran into a clump of trees. Some time later, I stumbled back down the trail to find Sheeni reading my journal!
I grabbed it away from her. The brazen sneak wasn’t even embarrassed. She said I had egregious handwriting, a fairly decent vocabulary, and Trent was not an “affected twit.” I replied that my private thoughts were “none of her damn business.” How would you like it, I demanded, if I read your journal?
“Read it if you like,” she said, pulling the blue notebook from her pack. I opened it to the last entry and squinted at the neat script. Except for names (a lot of them mine!), it was undecipherable gibberish.
“It’s a shorthand of my own devising,” said Sheeni smugly. “A necessity for an intelligent child in a household with two prying Christian parents.”
“What does this say?” I demanded.
“Wouldn’t you just like to know,” she teased, taking back her notebook. “That last passage would be of particularly compelling interest to you too.”
I grabbed her by her thin, delicate wrists and demanded she spill the beans. She refused. We wrestled. Sheeni protested. I held on tighter. Her perspiring, squirming body brushed against mine. Instant T.E. She saw it. “Hard-on!” she chanted, “Nickie’s got a hard-on. Nickie’s got a hard-on!” I turned baboon-ass red and let her go. She continued to chant. I told her to stop. She went on. “Nickie’s got a hard-on!” I put my hand on my zipper. “Stop or I flash,” I said.
“You wouldn’t dare,” exclaimed Sheeni.
“I will too,” I said.
“You haven’t the nerve,” she taunted.
I unzipped and fished around in my shorts. My erect pecker blinked, surprised, in the bright sunshine. Sheeni studied it with interest.
“It’s extremely ugly and not very big,” she said.
I suddenly felt very shy and put away my wilting tool.
“I don’t know why boys always want to expose those ugly things,” Sheeni said, sitting on a tree stump. “Trent is obsessed with showing me his. He imagines it gives me a thrill.”
“I suppose it’s quite good-sized,” I said.
“Oh, enormous,” she replied. “Mother Nature can certainly be quixotically extravagant at times.” (I hate you, Trent.)
I had to know. “Have you and Trent got it on?” I asked, sitting on the tree trunk beside her. Our bodies touched, but Sheeni didn’t pull away.
“I haven’t made love with Trent, if that’s what you want to know,” she said. (Thank God!) “But I’m not a virgin.” (Rats!)
Sheeni said when she turned 13 she resolved to discard the crushing burden of her virginity. She promptly gave it up to a convenient high school jock in her neighborhood named Bruno.
“Did you enjoy it?” I asked.
“Hardly,” she said. “The clod was a clumsy dolt, but fortunately it was all over in five seconds. I found the act slightly less erotic than a gynecological exam. But according to the sex manuals I’ve read, it’s supposed to get better with practice.”
“Why not practice with Trent?” I asked. (Or me!)
She explained she was waiting for “grand passions in romantic European venues,” not “furtive backseat gropings in the California boondocks.”
I said I could see her point.
“You’re still a virgin, I can tell,” said Sheeni, smiling. (It shows!) “Maybe that’s why I like you.”
Sheeni looked at me expectantly. I looked back and gulped.
“Kiss me, you wienie,” she said.
I put my arms around her and tentatively approached her luscious mouth. Our noses dodged successfully and our lips met. Hers were soft and warm and wonderful. Her lips parted and I tasted her sweet tongue. The experience was awesome. We’re talking life-threatening heart palpitations and instant, killer T.E. After a very long time, we broke off.
“My hard-on is back,” I confessed.
“That’s to be expected,” said Sheeni, jumping up. “OK, lover. Break’s over. Let’s go!”
We hiked on. For twelve miles. In the heat. Straight up. My feet never touched the ground.
Later, walking hand in hand through town on the way home, we passed the fat, bald guy shuffling toward the beach in a grossly skimpy bathing suit. He pretended not to know me. Sheeni smiled at him and said, “Hello, Reverend Knuddlesdopper.” He mumbled an incoherent reply and hurried on.
That fat pervert is the minister for the trailer congregation! Sheeni was shocked I’d gotten in the shower with him. “Knuddy has the hots for boys,”
she said, matter-of-factly. “Everyone knows it. He says extreme pedophilia like his is irrefutable proof of the existence of the devil. The congregation says special prayers for him—especially the younger boys.”
“Well, they haven’t helped,” I said.
“Get up early tomorrow,” said Sheeni. “And you can shower with me in the ladies’ room.” She looked me in the eye. “If you dare.”
I said it was a date.
. Hot and tired, the sun is beginning to set behind Mt. Konocti. Sheeni and I are sitting at the tiny green picnic table on my trailer patio writing in our journals. Mom, after another day of righteous ostracism, was happy to have Sheeni’s cheerful company for dinner. During the meal, Sheeni was endearingly polite, mature, and even tried to make intelligent conversation about trailers with Jerry. He mostly leered and stared at her chest. I may murder him later in his sleep.
Can’t write any more. I am completely brain dead. I am looking forward to a good-night kiss (and possible furtive grope) with you know who.
. I returned from grappling in the warm darkness with Sheeni to find this note in my back pants pocket (and I thought she had been caressing my ass!):
Please excuse me for reading your journal. I have found that people who can successfully resist temptation invariably lead depressingly stunted lives. Fortunately, any willpower I ever had withered long ago.
Naturally, I was charmed by what you wrote about me. Your contemplation of suicide and your invention of Martha—both clearly prompted by your regard for me—cannot help but evoke a strong emotional response in my breast.
We are both young. At least one of us is innocent. The future is so precarious. Yet I look forward to our times together. Let’s just live and what happens will happen.
I’m lying in bed, reading her wonderful note over and over again. My first love letter! “… what happens will happen.” I hope that means what I think it means.
WEDNESDAY, August 22
— Another perfect California summer dawn: a cool breeze smelling of brown grass and eucalyptus, crystal sunshine, a pale moon lingering in the blue morning sky, birds singing, dogs barking in the distance. A good morning to linger in bed, thinking about life and idly scratching your dick. But I bounded up at 5:45—a man with a mission. I slipped a robe over my nakedness, struggled for what seemed like hours to piss through an anticipatory erection, brushed my pearlies, then quietly slipped out the trailer door.
Except for birds twittering in the trees, the trailer park was absolutely still and silent. As I approached the shower building I could hear the sound of running water from the women’s side—enticing music to my ears. I feinted a pass at the men’s entrance, then darted quickly around the corner and entered through the forbidden door.
To my surprise, the women’s shower room had real stalls and privacy doors. Sheeni, wisely, had selected the last stall in the row. I walked toward the cloud of steam billowing over the old green plywood, my robe bulging out in front like the prow of a Roman galley. In one smooth, effortless motion I shed my robe, hung it on a hook, kicked off my slippers, opened the shower door, and stepped into the steaming spray.
Sheeni looked up startled. Pendulous breasts! Sagging skin! Patch of white hair under the drooping belly! Wrinkles! It was Mrs. Clarkelson!
“Excuse me!” I stammered. She screamed and hit me in the eye with a bar of Lifebuoy. Blinded, I stepped back and slipped on the soap. I fell, knocking the naked old lady down on top of me. She struggled for a handhold, grabbed my boner, and screamed. “Rape! Rape!” Pinned to the wet cement, shower spraying directly in my face, I gulped for air but kept swallowing water. Mrs. Clarkelson pummeled my nuts with her fists. I groaned and pushed her away, fingers repelling from contact with the ancient flesh. Then the door swung open and a hand reached in and pulled me up. It was Sheeni. “Get out quick!” she hissed. I grabbed my robe and ran, while Sheeni—still wearing her bathrobe—dived into the hot spray to rescue the victim of my lust.
Back in the trailer, I threw on my clothes and woke up Mom. “I’m going into town for breakfast,” I whispered. “If anyone comes around here, tell them it was all a mistake. A big mistake.”
Startled, Mom wanted to know more, but I left before the inquisition could begin. As I ran through the park, a few of the residents out on their patios eyed me suspiciously. Jet-propelled by adrenaline, I raced into town—not stopping until I reached the donut shop. Too scared to eat much, I gulped
down four buttermilk bars, then lingered longer over a maple bar. A sheriff’s car roared down the street (toward the trailer park), its siren wailing.
Sheeni found me on the beach an hour later. I was down by the water, trying to wash human vomit (mine) from my tee shirt. She walked toward me across the sand—a vision in lavender. Pale lavender blouse, unbuttoned, over an aubergine two-piece bathing suit. Someday, I thought, this beauty will look like Mrs. Clarkelson. How cruel is the hand of time. Better to die young than witness such ravages.
Sheeni smiled, leaned over (a view of exquisite breasts, nestled in purple), and kissed me. “Yuck,” she said, “you taste awful. What have you been doing?”
“Puking donuts,” I answered. “They taste better going down than coming up. Should I go to the sheriff’s now?”
“Not this time,” said Sheeni, plopping down on the sand. “I saved your ass.”
“She’s not going to press charges?”
“I don’t think so. I managed to convince her it was an accident. I told her you were retarded and couldn’t read the sign. Odd, though, she initially had some trouble believing that.”
“Thanks a pantsful!” I said.
“She wanted to know why—if it was all an innocent mistake—your privates were elevated.”
“My what?” I asked.
“That was the expression she used. Rather charmingly quaint. She doesn’t know your privates are always getting elevated. They look a bit elevated now, for example.”
I looked down. She had a point there.
Sheeni went on. “Thinking fast, I said, of course, any man would get excited by the sight of her feminine charms—however innocent their intentions. She did agree with that. So, anyway, from now on when you see her you have to act retarded. Drool on your shirt and pick your nose—you know, sort of like you’re always doing.”