*wrote this sometime in 2012 or 2013.
“It’s been an hour since I dropped her back at her house and she hasn’t sent me a text.” He said, “She must be pretty mad.”
“You said you dumped her?”
He swigged his beer. I drank my coffee. We were on the porch and it was early daytime.
“Yeah, man. I dumped her.”
I said, “I figure she must be upset.”
“Shit.” He said, and nodded.
I looked out across the lawn, across the street, and to the other side. An old man stood on his porch in dark blue coveralls and he wore a red hat. From afar, I could only see his egg white skin and blue eyes that I figured must be almost dead up close. He cracked a beer and drank from the can. He kept an eye towards us.
Johnny started kinda giggling next to me. He wasn’t looking out, but in, and he said, “Yeah, she was pretty mad. You wanna hear something?”
“Ok, so we were in bed and I was tired, you know. I’m layin there and I’m trying to fall asleep, because I’d only woken up when she got up to take a shit or something. And I’m still all comfortable in bed when she comes back in, you know, after crappin’ her brains out, well, THEN she starts being frisky. Don’t get me wrong, I love to do her. But I wasn’t so tired I hadn’t pictured her crappin’ out all those lentils she eats. I mean I know what that shit does to me.”
I stopped listening. I stopped nodding my head. I lit another cigarette and looked into my empty mug. His words slipped past me. The old man was in his garage then. He seemed to move about carrying the weight of hopeless burdens. He scuffed his boots on the pavement. He put on his work gloves.
“After everything, we’re all cuddled up and I’m definitely trying to sleep now. Thing is, it’s her hair, you know it’s so goddam curly and after getting pulled on a bit, it’s just a fucking mane. It gets everywhere and I’m laying there and it gets in my mouth and I’m like, ‘Fuck!’ You know?”
I was a beat late on this cue.
“Shit, man, you there? Oh, you out of coffee, you fuckin’ pussy faggot?” He said, “If you’re going in there, grab me another one.”
I went in and was back out when I saw the old timer across the way. He had two black trash-cans out in the driveway, and he was tying heavy black bags into each. I handed Johnny the beer.
“Man, I shoulda said, ‘Grab me two,’ but I guess this is alright.”
“Just shut up and drink it.” I said, “And you’re welcome.”
We drank our liquids and watched the old man perform. He looked methodical, solemn and only semi-lucid as he enacted this boring brand of magic. Slowly he made his way behind his house and disappeared.
“Yeah, she still hasn’t sent me anything.”
I said, “You’re joking.”
“I’m tellin ya, she must be on her period or something.”
“Women,” I said.
Johnny drank his beer and looked at his phone. We heard a large engine start up. Pretty soon, the old man was pulling around the corner of his house in a John Deere. It was bright green and it was rigged for mulching with nylon pouches, but he only had a small lawn. From afar, I figured the soft old bastard must like riding a fancy mower better than dying behind an old, heavy push.
“Honestly dude,” he said, “I’m kinda getting worried.”
“What could have happened?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure she’s just crying or sleeping or something, it’s just that the other times I dumped her, it wasn’t but fifteen or twenty minutes before she’d send me something.”
“Oh my God, and those were always the best messages to get from her, too! She’d get like wild. I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss those texts.”
“This one time, I fucked her at her parent’s house. I guess that was the first time we fucked. She made me wear a condom, which sucked, but it was still pretty awesome fucking her. Anyway, she said she had heard of some new vaginal condom or diaphragm or something that she was gonna get. She said it was gonna be just for me, cause she knew I hate condoms and I told her I wanted to cum in her.”
The old man was making quick work with his mower. The blade cut clean through his Bermuda without tearing it. He nudged up against the flower bed too, and he got it good enough that he wouldn’t need a weed-eater. He smirked, and I know I saw that.
“So about three days before my twenty-first, I’m thinking about who I’m gonna fuck, and I got a couple of options. You know, none are really superstars or anything. Nothing I couldn’t live without, but, anyway I’m sensin’ that this ‘Her-and-I’ thing is just gonna fuck me up on what should be the funnest day of my life. So I just ditched her cause I wanted to sleep with Shannon because Shannon’s got such big tits. Well, it gets time to meet up with my girl and I’m drunk so I call her. I told her that her pussy is too loose and that I don’t want her busted ass anymore. Oh man, she went nuts.”
“Makes sense,” I said.
“Yeah, well that night Shannon’s friends are like cock-blocking the shit out of me, and then all those bitches run home early because they got a test or some shit the next morning. So I call her back, and she’s not happy, but I get her to talk to me and I get her to let me come over.
“It was funny, man, it was fucking funny when I showed up because she opens the door and she’s still got on her dress and her make-up is all washed out. And she was so damn mad! I couldn’t believe it, but I got her back into bed. I don’t know how, man, I was fucking drunk as shit, but I did, and I fucked her until I puked.”
“Yeah.” He smiled.
“You twisted son of a…”
“Haha, exactly! I puked all over the side of her bed, dude!”
“Jesus,” I said. “Then what?”
“I dumped her for real.” He said, “I busted my nut, barfed and went home. She texted me later, but not because she was mad, but because she wanted me back.
“She was sending me shit like, ‘Oh Johnny, please take me back!’ you know, but then she’d say stuff like, ‘I want you to cum in my pussy cause I just found my diaphragm I’d been telling you about. I’ll let you fuck me all night Johnny, I swear. Just come pick me up, Baby. Please. Please Johnny, come back and let me have it!’
“I mean I was blown away by that shit. All the time though, it was stuff like that.”
“Just like that?”
He said, “Well, you know. Just crazy shit.”
“Well maybe she’ll text you.”
“Yeah.” He said, “Maybe I’ll text her, you know? I mean, just to make sure she’s ok.”
I looked at the old man who was shutting off his mower. Slowly, with aged joints, he moved off the mower’s saddle and moved to dump the clippings in the cans. He dragged the just full cans to the curb. He put out the sprinkler.
Johnny started stirring and it was hot outside so I started moving to head back inside.
“I don’t know dude,” I said. “I think you gotta make it a rule, and the rule has gotta say you gotta fuck another girl before you can go back to one you already fucked. Otherwise dude, she owns you. You know what I’m saying? You gotta prove to yourself that she isn’t the only bitch you can get. I say you find that Shannon girl and smack those tits around just because you can. Then, maybe, think about goin’ back to the ‘same-old, same-old’ bitch who apparently fucking loves you for some stupid fucking reason.”
“Damn dude, that’s truth right there. That’s truth.”
“Let the big dog eat,” I said.
Johnny laughed hard and said real loud and deep, “LET THE BIG DOG EAT! ARF! ARF!”
We laughed and high-fived before Johnny went in checking his phone for numbers. I heard him inside saying, “Yo Shannon, how you doin’, girl?”
I flicked a dead cigarette butt into my yard, and then saw the old man staring at me. Even from over here on my porch, I could see he looked disappointed.
He turned away and started into his house. The door was open as he slowly crossed the threshold and I heard what must’ve been his wife playing piano. A happy grandma-laugh burst as her song was abruptly halted. I heard her laugh again, then play and sing some bars of “For He’s a Jolly-Good Fellow.”
The old man in his work-suit danced the rest of the way past the door. She kept playing, then the door closed and their laughter went hidden.