The text from my mother read:
Your Father and I will be home around nine tonight. When you clear out the leaves from the hedges AND front flower beds, DON’T forget to put them in the LARGE BROWN recycling bags…
You told me that yesterday Mother…
Then after you finish that, the pile of mulch in the backyard needs to go…
And if you finish that, you can get started on the…
I didn’t need to read anymore. My Parents were making sure I was busy all day – “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” – so I didn’t spend all day laying in bed jilling myself silly…not that that wasn’t necessarily a bad…
I checked my socials, texted Clara and Liya and Jordan, then set my phone down, rolled over, and looked out the sliding glass door. The sky was milky white – it would be another incredibly hot and humid day. That year, instead of the usual one month of slowly-rising-from-winter temperatures mixed with clouds and rain until mid-May when summer would gently settle upon us, we had spiking temps and violent storms. Two days earlier on Cinco de Mayo a line of thunderstorms had rolled through, dropping an ocean of rain along with ninety degree temps and rain-forest humidity – hence the milky white sky at eight-fifteen in the morning.
I thought of the long day of yard work ahead – not how I intended on spending a Saturday at home ALL BY MYSELF, no work at the sub shop! – and sighed. My parents had driven to Chicago last night and were spending the day at some event that had to do with my dad’s work, my sister was of course away at college, and my high school graduation was a little over a month away. Me and Clara and Liya and Jordan and everyone else, high school would be ending in a little over a month, and then starting two months after that, little by little, one by one, we’d all start to trail off to different parts of the US – and some of us, the world – to college. This was supposed to be Our Time, to celebrate all that we had accomplished, all the good times we had had together, before we’d start the next chapters of our lives – and here on one of our last few Saturdays I’d be chained home raking and packing leaves and shoveling mulch in a Great Middle West sauna. How glamorous!
Clara and Liya and Jordan and me had been like best friends since middle school. We all came from really small grade schools and we all got plopped down into this regional junior high. After a month, we all had just sort-of drifted together – similar tastes in music, movies and tv shows, for sure, but the BIGGEST was we all were born in February! And we had turned eighteen way before any of our other friends – Jordan the third, Liya the ninth, and Clara the fifteenth. I was the “baby” of us, born on the twenty-third. Being born in February was cool – it meant we all got our drivers’ licenses around the same time. It would also mean that we’d be legal to drink earlier in college, too. As if being legal to drink in college meant anything. As if.
But yeah, we’d all be heading off to colleges in a few months, Liya out east, Jordan down south, Clara west. I’d be staying north, in-state. The veterinarian program was one of the best in the country and I got a pretty sweet scholarship deal. And school would be just-far enough away so parents wouldn’t be just “dropping in, to see how things are going” all the time, THE key factor that lead me to going down-state to State.
So there I was, my eighteen years and two months old self laying on the sofa mattress in the basement zoning out…until I had an itch on my left knee and I blinked hard a few times and shifted on the sofa mattress and slipped my hand out from underneath my sleeping boxers and scratched my knee. I had been lazily playing with myself. My middle and ring fingers trailed up over my waist, then my navel, leaving a trail of my own wetness behind. I wasn’t exactly horny, or at least I didn’t think I was – but then again, I had spent the last, what, ten, fifteen minutes absentmindedly swirling myself while staring out the sliding glass door, and it was when THAT thought found purchase in my mind that I laid out flat on my back then slid my hips down a little closer to my heels, bending my legs up at the knees, then spreading my legs a little wider while lifting my boxers away from my body with my left hand before sliding my right hand back inside them, my middle and ring fingers reaching the top folds of my lips while I jiggled my butt cheeks a little harder onto the mattress, my middle finger slipping between my labia and…
Are you up yet?
My cell broke the spell.
I snapped a snippy text back to my Mom, then muted her, dropped the phone on the mattress, and stared up at the basement ceiling. The basement media room is much more comfortable than the “official” one off the dining room. Down here, there’s a huge sectional couch that has a pull-out mattress Ankara travesti and it just feels more relaxing to chill out via the SmartTV. There’s also a bathroom with a stand-up shower, a bar with a little sink and little refrigerator, a small microwave, a pool table, surround-sound, and a few armchairs and tables and chairs and you could seriously live down here for like forever and never once have to cross paths with anyone. Which is pretty much what my sister did her senior year of high school and that’s how the couch got the name “The Pullout Couch” because she’d have sex down here all the time with all her different boyfriends and well, you know, the threat of Parentis Interruptus is the primary cause of Spontaneous Pulling Outus.
So I lay there staring at the ceiling thinking of what to do. I could go back upstairs, through the kitchen and front parlor, up the stairs to my bedroom, grab my vibes out from a tear in one of all the old dolls I had as little girl that still cover the pillows on my bed, then fall into bed and slide my boxers off, find a porno to watch, then I could walk the penguin for a hour…or six. I have three vibes – one, a little black battery-powered bullet, a small pink rabbit, and my fav – this thin, little lavender wand with a soft bendable bulb-tip. It’s not long or fat – Jordan has this MASSIVE suction-cup vibe that’s like fatter than your wrist and about as long as your forearm – that when she showed it to me for the first time, I honestly got scared. That thing, in me?! I’m not really sure Jordan does all the things she says she does with it, it seems anatomically impossible – and dangerous! – but if she does she’s definitely going to be one of those size queens who post vids of themselves humping squashes and weird, mutant dildos shaped like fire hydrants.
To be honest, I haven’t really had anything inside me bigger than one of my fingers or one of my vibes. I guess that technically makes me a virgin. I haven’t had…No. I haven’t let any boy into my Secret Garden with either a finger or a penis. Girl either. And I’ve never even touched a real penis or some other girl’s juice wallet for that matter. The whole thing just seems so…complicated. Liya and Jordan and Clara all have partners – Liya has been with Hector since like forever, Jordan’s new pet-cock is Preston, and Clara just got together with Olivia – but me, I don’t know, I’m different. I mean having sex with someone, or even just messing around, seems so…intense. Like, I mean, you’re opening yourself up literally that way to someone, totally open and totally naked, I may be like medieval-old fashioned but that seems really, really personal. That, like, you’ve got to really trust someone to be that way with them. Or want to be that way. You respect them, of course, but mostly you want them to respect you. Not that I don’t get super wet – it happens all the time, especially when reading stories online, I really like that, I get so horny, more so than vids, with vids it’s all like right there in front of you Wham-Bam-Bam!, loud and graphic – the dudes are jacked-out on creatine that they probably shoot straight into the baseball bats hanging between their legs and the women with breasts so fake and lumpy it’s sad – but reading, you get to imagine it all in your mind, it takes longer to build and the building is so incredibly HOT, it makes the final frenzy more intense, it’s like your whole body orgasms – but turning that rush into sex with someone? I think I’ll wait until, as the saying goes, “the time is right.”
So all that could await me upstairs. I stare hard up through the ceiling tiles, then, resolved, kick the bed linens off my legs and feet while rolling off The Pullout Couch, grab my phone, climb the stairs into the kitchen, cross through it then the front parlor then up the stairs to my bedroom…where I undress and put on a pair of old shorts and a sports bra – not that’s there’s a need to corral much there, my 30AA parabolas aren’t going anywhere on their own soon – and a ratty t-shirt, tie my hair in a scrunchy, go into my bathroom and brush my teeth, then head back downstairs and grab a Coke from the ‘frig and slide into the garage. A date with a rake, a wheelbarrow, brown recycling bags, and a mountain of leaves and mulch awaits me.
I think I’m going to faint.
It’s almost noon and I’m melting. My eyes are beyond burning from all the sweat. I went into the house and ripped off my bra about two hours ago and since then I’ve had to change my t-shirt twice. Little twigs and leaf pieces are scratching me inside my hiking boots, I feel all sticky and gross inside my shorts, and I’ve stuffed twenty recycling bags and I still have another row of hedges to de-leaf. Not to mention the mulch pile in the backyard. Why couldn’t my parents just hire a lawn company like normal people do!
Filling the twenty-first bag, I hoist it into the wheelbarrow and haul it down to the little Antalya travesti strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk and set it beside the other bags. Returning, I grab the recycling bags and lay them in the wheelbarrow, place the rake on top, then walk the wheelbarrow to the side row of hedges that separate our yard from the Henderson’s. Looking up at the sky, my stomach grumbles. I glance at my phone – 11.55 – then at the hedges. There isn’t much for me to clean out and I could probably finish in an hour. Then I could go inside, take a shower, have a little lunch, and double-click the mouse all afternoon on The Pullout Couch while reading some of my favorite stories, riding out another forecasted afternoon of brutal weather.
The promise of treats is great motivation.
I make good progress, I think it’s been less than an hour and I’ve only needed to fill one leaf bag and I’m stuffing a second one on the Henderson’s side of the hedges, when “Hi Mabel!”
I turn. “Hi Mrs. Henderson.”
She’s inside her M5 leaning over talking to me thru the open passenger’s window.
“Parents working you again?”
“Yeah. To keep me out of trouble.” I run the backside of my right hand over my brow at the hairline.
“Hopefully you’re getting twenty-five an hour.”
“Yeah. Wish,” I reply while turning at the waist to the left, then right, then scrunching up my shoulders.
“Hi Mabel!” It’s Ashlee, Mrs. and Mr. Henderson’s infant daughter, in the backseat car seat. “See my poppet?” and she holds up a little Raggedy Ann doll. “She’s pretty.” Ashlee doesn’t look up while she continues to gently smooth Ann’s hair back over her head. “Like you.”
Yeah, right, I want to say. I’m sure four hours of yard work on the surface of the sun has transformed me into Anne Hathaway.
“I’ve got one of your father’s pink flamingos,” Mrs. Henderson says. “I found it behind one of our spicebushes by the front door. It must have blown over during the storms this past Thursday.”
My father is so INCREDIBLY embarrassing. He has a collection of pink plastic flamingos that he sets all over the front yard. Depending on the time of year, he poses them into sports configurations, complete with equipment. In winter, he sets up a hockey game, six flamingos a side, with sticks and goals. In spring, it’s baseball with bases and gloves, soccer in summer with two nets, and fall football with helmets and tiny jerseys and miniature goalposts. Every few years, the president of the neighborhood association stops by to ask my father if he could “tone things down some” and my dad promises he will – but he never does. Before the president leaves, he and my father will be out in the front yard drinking beers as they both move the flamingos around mimicking a game of whatever sport the season calls for. Imagine what it’s like growing up and being known as “The Pink Flamingo Girl” everywhere you go!
I’m looking at Mrs. Henderson but I’m not really registering her. When “Anne Hathaway” crossed my mind, I got a little buzz…inside…down below. Maybe instead of RWF – Reading While Flicking – I’ll cue up ‘Love and Other Drugs’ on Netflix and –
“So later this afternoon, okay?”
Smack back into reality.
“I said I’ll bring the flamingo over this afternoon after I get back from Ashlee’s doctor’s appointment.” Mrs. Henderson is looking at me funny, a kind of quizzical smirk on her face. “Okay?”
“Yeah, sure, Mrs. Henderson.” I don’t know why I’m stammering but I am. “That’d be great.”
She sets the car into reverse and backs down the driveway and pulling away Ashlee yells “Bye Mabel!” out from inside the car.
“Bye!” I wave as the car pulls into the street and speeds off and for some reason I feel guilty, as if a giant text bubble appeared over my head with the words Jills To Anne Hathaway inside it. A text bubble that Mrs. Henderson had clearly read.
I squeeze more water out of my hair into the sink. A thick fog fills the bathroom. I can’t see myself in the mirror. The shower lasted a good twenty minutes. I needed it. After finishing the hedges and while rolling the wheelbarrow into the backyard towards the mulch pile, I made a decision. Or, better still, committed to a whimsy from earlier: I’ll do the mulch tonight, after the temp drops and before my parents get home. It will be an afternoon in the basement on The Pullout Couch playing the clitar.
I dry my hair, skip the brushing, then slip on my bikini. Aside from wearing my school uniform skirt pulled up over my waist and an oxford blouse completely unbuttoned, flicking the bean in a bikini gets me super hot, the way the spandex cinches in tight, kind of what I imagine being tied up 50 Shades-style might be like, your fingers tracing the outline of your nipples underneath the nylon, feeling them strain up, then your fingers trailing down over your navel, pulling the bikini bottom to the side İstanbul travesti with one set of fingers while slipping the middle finger of the other hand inside the bikini bottom over your lips, the hood of your clit budding, so when you pull your fingers out a little bump appears from underneath the otherwise flat bikini bottom…
I need to get to the basement and I need to get there quick.
But first I stop in my bedroom and retrieve my vibes, Daisy the Bullet because she’s got these cute little daisy flowers painted all over herself, Rachel the Rabbit, and Wanda the Wand. Yeah, I’ve named all my vibes – kind of dorky – but when you’re getting, like, intimate with something – or someone – they should have a name, right? And knowing going in that this is will be a roller-coaster of an afternoon, I’ll need My Three Sisters to see me through it.
In the kitchen, I make an almond butter and apricot jam sandwich. As I do so, I see the three dildos I had set on the dark granite counter before making the sandwich and for some reason, like I did when Mrs. Henderson was backing down the driveway, I’m suddenly nervous. My hands shake a little and my throat is a little dry and with knife in hand I glance around the kitchen. What would happen if someone walked in and saw you standing in your kitchen in a bikini with your sex toys out in the open on a…
Another little buzz, there.
This is going to be wild, I’m thinking, it’s been like FORVER since I’ve been in the house all by myself! Clara and Liya and Jordan will be jealous of ME for a change when I text them later telling them how I spent my afternoon flossing the otter.
I finish making the sandwich and with it in my left hand, I grab the dildos and slide them inside my bikini bottom, which swallows up the bullet whole – it feels weirdly coolly cool! – and looking down I see Rachel’s ears and Wanda’s tip sticking up from the waist of my bikini. I lower my right hand and tuck them completely inside my bikini bottom against myself – so HOT! – then I open one of the kitchen cabinet drawers and grab some batteries – five Single A’s. Don’t want to be abandoned mid-jill – it’s happened, for sure, to all of us, right at the edge, another handful of seconds to go until Wow!, but No – Shit! – dead battery.
Supplies – sandwich in my left hand, right hand full of batteries, and a bikini bottom full of sex toys – crossing to the door leading to the basement I feel myself already getting squishy down below. What am I doing? and I wonder again what it must look like – me descending into a basement with a quarter of a sandwich in my mouth and some precious cargo mashed against my glory. Only this time, stepping onto the basement floor and crossing towards The Pullout Couch, in my mind I do see what it looks like, and with each step I can feel My Three Sisters slipping ever-so-farther down into my bikini bottom. I’m trembling all over, I can barely walk.
I work on swallowing the remainder of the sandwich while I retrieve my vibes from my bikini bottom and toss them onto the mattress. I reach for the tv remote on the low coffee table by the couch then skim myself sideways across the mattress, pushing with my heels and hands until my back is against the seat back and sleeping pillows. I’m powering up the tv while pushing the top sheet and blanket further to the bottom of the bed with my feet, and settling into a sort of gentle recline – propped up so I don’t have to strain my neck to see the tv but not too high so I can’t relax onto the mattress – I navigate to the internet. I’ve got all my favorite stories bookmarked in a folder called “Studying” but nothing captures my immediate attention. My favs aren’t the two minute rub type, a long and slow tease before a big finish, yes, but here, now, in this moment, I need one that will get me off fast and hard, then I can spend the rest of the afternoon wasting batteries edging myself into one massive pass-out-from-the-intensity orgasm courtesy of My Three Sisters.
So, instead, I jump over to another folder, “Practice”, where my favorite vids are. While scrolling down the list, I think of Love and Other Drugs, then 50 Shades of Grey, and as I feel my heart begins to race, I’m about to click onto the Netflix icon on the side of the screen, my eyes catch something, a group of vids I haven’t visited for a while.
I choose one that I renamed “great opening” after I bookmarked it. Going way back to the early 2000s, this guy from Norway has been making these really high quality porn films – that’s what they are, films. There aren’t like the usual pornos – freaks of nature doing nothing but fucking and grunting through a scripted series of positions until the dude blows all over the woman’s face. No. The sex is slow, there’s lots of buildup, the actors are nice to look at – like for-real models. There’s definitely a connection, an intimacy between them, tantric I discovered it’s called, and it’s like you’re a fly on the wall watching people having sex with people they actually respect. Girl-Guy, Girl-Girl, Girl-Girl-Girl, Girl-Girl-Guy, Solo-Girl. And Massages. Oily, Sensual Massages. Clothed Girl Massaging Naked Guy, Clothed Guy Massaging Naked Girl, Clothed Girl Massaging Naked Girl.