Picture this; a double-wide with a satellite dish out front and a Plymouth hatchback parked beside it. Low maintenance Astroturf front yard. An ice-chest with no lid rests on its side, partially hiding a spilled-over three drawer tool-box that looks injured, as though left there to die, red and rusting. A picnic table, slumped over grey in the middle of the fuzzy green front yard with a broken leg. Three cinder blocks prop it up. A bicycle leans against the faded white aluminum siding of the house-trailer. A greasy useless chain hangs from the sprocket onto the too-green plastic turf. The front side-door is open, the light from within showing three metal steps. I popped open a can of beer and walked up and in.
She was watching re-runs of “Tales From the Darkside” on an old plastic Montgomery Wards black-and-white TV. According to the information I had gotten over the phone from the Dial-a-Date Agency, she was a Honey-moon widow, whatever that was and she had an older brother in the Army…a D.I. whatever that was. My telephone date had a messy little daughter, four or five years old, Shit-Assed Suzi, who ran around naked. Right off I didn’t like her, I wouldn’t go near her because she was too loud and dirty and because she really did have shit all over her back-side. If her brains were made out of dynamite she still couldn’t blow her own nose. My telephone date, that is.
She was curled up in a big chair over in the dark corner , facing the TV with a gaudy knit comforter on her knees. She kept lighting cigarettes and stirring whatever was in her coffee cup. She didn’t offer me anything to drink. Barely saying hello, she hardly looked at me. I sat across the room from her, in the only other chair I could find, on top of several days newspapers, near the side door I had come in. A blue-grey lazy river of cigarette smoke moved past me out into the Trailer Park evening. I sipped at my can of beer and grinned.
We sat there in silence in her Mothers’ double-wide and waited for “Love Connection” to come on. I fidgeted around, getting bored so I tried to imagine what she might be like in the sack. It was difficult to tell from where I sat but in the TVs’ glare she appeared to be a little pudgy but not all that bad looking, really.
It was very dark now except for the shifting light from the TV. Her dishwater blond hair in bangs half covered her eyes. She had on a print dress from probably K-Mart. I made a lame joke about the fish tank being like Sushi-on-the-hoof. She gurgled her disapproval saying that those fish were her Mothers’. I belched a beer-taco urp in return, to see if we could find some common ground. She began to speak but choked on her words. After she was done coughing, she sat still, then looked at me. “I always wanted to be on that “Love Connection” show, ya know? I know I could, ya know like… do real good on it.” Pleased that she would confide in me, I revealed to her that I had always wanted to own a liquor store in Jersey. “Where’s ‘at?” she managed to ask me. I sighed and jerked my thumb over my shoulder, pointing no place in particular.
Mongrel dogs from the Trailer Park neighborhood wandered in and out of her Moms’ trailer all the while. The side door was open on this moist, warm night and we needed the air. A long-haired mangy dog coughed and choked and then spit up outside on the aluminum steps. As a distraction, I wondered out loud if she had ever gone to see the Greyhounds run at the nearby dog-track. She said “It would be nice if, ya know, it might be fun if you’d take me, sometime, ya know like maybe sometime…” I nodded my head and smiled out loud. Now we are getting somewhere, thought I. Then she floored me. “It’s hard to be a women when you’ve never before had to be a woman.” She straitened up…sat up. Looked almost pretty for a moment. I could see by the light of a television commercial that she did have breasts under that blouse. She spoke again, dramatically, “Take me. Make me a woman.”
I couldn’t believe that she had spoken such an idea to me. It must have been a line from some movie or a TV show. I took a long swig of my beer. She doesn’t actually expect me to…? As I contemplated this, Shit assed Suzi came barreling through the long, hollow mobile-home on a plastic green and yellow Big-Wheels. If it would have fit through the narrow side-door by my side, she would have gone flying out, down the aluminum steps, over the dog puke, out into the cluttered dark yard. As it was, she hit the doorway loud… bounced backward into the Kitchen/Living room area, knocked over a green aluminum glass with ice-cubes and some liquid all over the floor. What a fucking racket. Smelled like Kool-Aid. Then Suzi commenced to laugh and cry, real loud, facing me by maybe two feet, nose to nose. I sat still and nursed my now empty beer in my left hand with a frown. The entire double-wide was rocking and quivering. She howled at me for quite a long while, then abruptly gave up when I wouldn’t react, and she walked off down the hall, tugging her Big-Wheels with her side ways.
As Suzi wandered away to the other end of the trailer, the brown-warm smell of baby-shit subsided and I took a couple deep breaths. Tried to get comfortable. Couldn’t. I looked over at my telephone date and grinned, tried to catch her eye. But she had gone back into the TV fantasy world of bogus romance and safe intrigue. I sat with my legs wide and my left hand on my crotch, hoping she’d look over at me and see that my dick was trying to get hard. When I couldn’t get her attention, I lost interest. I thought of blue-sky days, of looking down on a pillow of sunlit clouds from an airplane. Soft white Bunny Rabbits at Easter, the smell of fresh-mown lawns. I tried to remember how late Taco Shack would be open.
Showing on the old black-and-white TV , she was watching an old movie now. It had the heroin being saved from certain discomfort by an Errol Flynn-type guy. Here comes the Railroad Steam Engine barreling into a tunnel. I figured I knew what was coming next and so I quietly stood up and slipped out the door there. As I stepped in the dog vomit on the narrow aluminum step, I heard the girl on the TV say melodramatically, “Take me, make me a woman.” I chuckled and tossed the empty beer can onto the vague-green plastic grass and I walked toward my trusty old pick-up truck.
As I breathed in the fresh night air I smiled wide. The beer and the night-air had made me dizzy and it felt good. Walking easy, without a hop or a skip, I neatly sidestepped the ice-chest in the moonlight and swung my right leg hard and kicked the shit out of the red metal tool-box. Thwack! The Trailer Park neighborhood dogs woke up defensive, barking loud, surprised. The dogs scattered as did the wrenches and screwdrivers, sockets, loose nuts and bolts that went clattering all over the place. That kinda woke me up, too.
I was thinking about which Liquor store would still be open and that I would have to call up Dial-a-Date again sometime, because this one had gone pretty well, all in all. Before I stepped into my trusty old truck, I took one more deep breath of that delicious, dark, warm narcotic American night air. It felt good to be alive. I burped up a long belch that left a bad taste in my mouth. Spitting out an ugly present onto the parking lot, I smiled knowingly and got in and started her up and left.