Clyde kicked the car into second as I took a pot shot at a cow in the field.
“What are you doing?” he yelled. “Put that gun down! You want some farmer barreling out on to the highway with his shotgun out the widow aimed at us? Jeez, Rick. Sometimes you are really stupid.”
“I wasn't aiming at the cow. Besides, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn,” I said as I put the pistol into the glove compartment.
“Where are we going?”
“Goin' to see an old girlfriend.”
“Good grief! Not again. Don't your remember the last time? I nearly tore your car up trying to get us out of the driveway, bobbing up and down. Let's go somewhere else. There's plenty of daylight left.”
“Nope. Promised her I'd be there about two and it's almost that now. We won't stay long. Why don't you just mix yourself another drink and enjoy the ride.”
“Won't let me shoot a cow. How'm I supposed to enjoy myself? You know every time we go out like this I end up sitting here in the car while you go inside and, uh… what do you do in there? Come to think of it I've never been inside when you drag me along.”
“Quit your poutin'. You got plenty of booze there and time with nothin' goin' on in your life. What else you got to do?”
“I don't know but I could sure think of something.”
I started to stare out the window at the passing country side. We traveled another twenty minutes and arrived in Elloree, SC. A booming metropolis. L or E, I thought. Some illiterate who didn't know his letters musta named it.
I pulled the bottle from under the seat and poured a stout measure into my cup. A dash of coke and I was ready to wash out the dust of the dirt road we'd bounced onto when he hit a huge bump and my head hit the ceiling. The cup at my mouth jerked upward dousing me with bourbon and a touch o' coke—in those days coke was a cocola as we'ens said in the south, or Coca Cola for those of letters. Whatever it was called it was dripping into my ears and eyes and completely soaking my shirt and pants. The sound filtering through the lake of bourbon and coke in my ears was the laughter of my dear uncle as he hit the break, slid to the side of the road into a fence and collapsed in a fit of hysteria.
“That's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time,” he said as he took control of himself and eased the car backward from the fence. He dropped it into first and pulled forward.
“That's why I take you along. You make me laugh.”
“Only because I'm an idiot.”
“Well, yeah, there's that, too. OK. I see her house over there. Now you look relaxed,” he said, laughing again.
She came to the porch and waved.
“Hey, sugah! Hey, Rickey!”
“Hey,” I said in my most relaxed tone.
She walked over to the car and leaned on the driver's side. Her eyes went wide when she saw my khakis soaked from belt to mid thigh. The smile crept over her face quickly.
“Well, what have you done,” She sniggered. “Clyde didn't you stop at a filling station so that nephew of yours could use the public facilities.”
“Fraid not, babe. He never said a word til it was too late and I hit a bump a ways back from here. He just couldn't hold it after that.”
His laughter filled the air. She joined in, slapping the car door.
Indignation swelled in my like a red river.
“It's bourbon and coke, dammit! I never peed my pants in my life. This jackass of an uncle hit that bump on purpose just as I filled my cup and was fixin' to drink a slug. He jammed the gas and hit it hard. And here I sit in a puddle. I oughta pee all over his seat.”
She stopped laughing for a minute and said, “Why don't you go inside and get outta those wet things? You could probably find something in the closet to slip into while your clothes are in the washer. . Go on now, go on in and take 'em off and throw 'em in the tub. I'll be in d'rectly to get the washer goin'.”
“Oh, all right,” I said and got out. As I headed for the front door she shouted to me.
There was giggling as the screen door slammed to. I found the washer and stripped. The only think I could find in the closet was a red bathrobe. A tad small but in this case it would have to do. I was looking for something to read when I heard them come in.
“Now, Sugah, you go on in there while I take care of this young'ns clothes.”
She stopped short, looking at me.
“Oooie! Aint't you pretty now? Where'd you find that? I been looking for that for some time.”
She headed toward the washroom. I followed her. She took the soap box from the shelf then tilted it over the open washer. She dropped the lid and turned the switch.
“There. That shouldn't take too long. Why don't you go out and sit in the car while Clyde and I talk over old times? I'll call you when your clothes are ready.”
“I am not going out of this house dressed like this. This ain't no way for a guy to be wandering around out doors. Nope, I ain't gonna.”
“Now honey,” her voice taking a harder timber, “you just head on out there. Not a soul is gonna see you like that. Everybody's at their jobs. Ain't nobody around. You'll be fine. Take this book and go get in that car. I'll let you know when your clothes are dry.”
She snatched a book off the shelf and tossed it at me then patted my behind into the general direction of the car. I grudgingly opened the door and peaked out. It did look deserted. I sprinted to the car, bathrobe flapping in the breeze.
I jumped into the front seat pulling the door shut behind me. I pulled the flimsy bathrobe around me folding the open front over my legs. Settling down, I held the book in front of me. It was a paperback. The title was PARTY GIRL.
The cover illustration presented a scantily clad young blonde staring out at me. There was a man behind her looking over his shoulder. Articles of clothing draped over a chair that which separated her from the man. There was a bed to the right and next to the man. Hmm…
I'd been reading in a fevered rush for about twenty minutes and was halfway through the book.
The girl on the cover was one of those girls. The ones the guys talked about. She was a high priced girl of the night who only went to the high bidders. It was like nothing I had read before. I was breathing heavy when I got to the part where she was on a yacht.
“She was staring down into the water where the man of wealth was bobbing in the wavelets. He was beckoning her to join him. She slipped out of the tightly fitting dress. It dropped to her feet. She popped the clasp of her bra, or brassiere as it was called in the '50's, and it dropped to the deck. She slowly removed her panties allowing the sea air to flow over her naked body. She looked at him again. He watched her edge to the opening of the of the guard rail. The moon light washed over her perfect form. He licked his lips as she leaped into the air and arced smartly into the water in front of him. Her body gracefully slid into the ocean with a small splash.
He watched for her return to the surface. He became agitated when she did not rise from the waves. He called out and began to swim toward her entry into the water. She stopped him with a quiet throaty laugh. As he turned, she moved toward him. Her firm slippery body pressed against his. His smile grew as her face came closer to his. She reflected that smile. Her large firm breasts spread across his as their mouths lingered in a long searching kiss. She encircled him as they joined together in the cool gentle roll of the sea. Their bodies rose with the waves and dipped when they passed. They rode with an easy bouyancy the loving touch of the lapping waves. Their own bodies began a rhythmic undulation of their own. The throaty moans of the party girl came heavier with each thrust…
The book was yanked from my hand. I became aware of laughter on both sides of the car. Clyde and his woman were howling with fits of laughter.
“Good gracious! What is that stickin' out of my bathrobe?” She screamed in a fit of glee.
“Whoa, honey! What's that book I gave you?”
She looked at the cover.
“You're too young to be readin' that,” she said holding the book up in the air.
“Maybe not,” said Clyde. He was holding his side.
I covered myself.
“Get into the house before the neighbors see that. Especially Ms Fine. She'd have you over for a weiner roast in a skinny minute. Go on! Get into the house. Your clothes are dry now.”
“Can I borrow that book?” I asked wrapping the bathrobe around me as best I could. “I'll get Clyde to bring it back. Honest.”
“No. I don't think so. Your momma'd beat you good if she found this.” She tossed it on a high shelf as she entered the house. We walked into the washroom.
She pulled my clothes from the dryer and handed them to me.
“Now you go put these on and think about your evil ways. You're too young to be drinkin' like that uncle of yours. He ain't gonna come to no good and you'll end up the same way if you continue down that same road. You listen to me, now!”
She patted me on the rump again aiming me in the direction of a small bedroom.
She stayed in the kitchen while I changed into my clothes. Pulling my pants up I began to think about the girl who had jumped into the water and I couldn't zip my pants up. Clyde whistled outside meaning, “ Get a move on.” I managed to get myself together. I walked past the kitchen. She was outside with Clyde. I eyed the book on the shelf near the door. I made a jump for it. My hand made contact. Quickly I pocketed it and walked outside letting the screen slam.
“I'm ready,” I said. “Thanks for washing my clothes.”
“Happy to do it,” she said. She gave Clyde a peck on the cheek as he opened the car door.
“You boys be careful going back,” she said hugging herself.
I waved as we backed out the drive.
“Bye, now,” I yelled.
She yelled back at me,” Bye! And you enjoy that book, now, you hear?”