Read First: Life During Peacetime: Part One
I felt something heavy landing on my chest; my room is completely pitch black at night when the light is off, so I went straight into panic mode. I fell onto the rug and started waving my fists, scrambling for the nearest blunt object.
Fucking Christ, someone broke in, someone broke in…
“Matt, MATT! Are you alright!”
I was about to grab an unplugged surge strip and swing it at my phantom attacker when my mind snapped out of its reverie. If this was a home invasion, we’d be dead by now. In the blackness of the room, my adjusting eyes spotted a furry tail disappearing behind the armoire… through the open door.
“You idiot!” I screamed at Audrey. “Why did you leave the fucking door open?”
“I went to the bathroom!” She recoiled in fear.
“I shut that door for a reason! If I leave it open, the cats jump up and wake me up while I’m asleep! SHUT THE FUCKING DOOR!”
“What is wrong with you? The cats probably need something!”
“No they don’t. I know these fucking cats. All that fat cat wants is more food.”
“Shouldn’t you feed them then?” She was indignant.
“Now? It’s what, four in the morning? Screw them, they can wait until I wake up.”
“God, you’re so mean!”
“Well, if you love those damn cats so much, then you feed them!” I snapped.
“Fine, I will!” Audrey sprung out of bed and stomped out of the room.
“Dry food’s by the fridge!” I yelled down at her.
I flopped back down on the bed and shut my eyes. After ten minutes or so, I heard the door slam and felt Audrey climbing back over me to lie down.
See? I told you you’d be sorry.
“Wake up, honey.”
I awoke to a girl on the plain side of cute pecking me on the lips.
Less than a day knowing me and I’m already “honey?”
“Jesus Christ, what time is it?” I fumbled for my cell phone on the nightstand. I really need to get a new watch one of these days.
“It’s quarter after ten, you slowpoke,” Audrey chirped. Shockingly, she looked as good in the morning sunlight as she did dolled up in makeup.
“Geez, who gets up at ten in the morning on a Saturday?” I groused.
“I do. And I probably should have gotten up earlier, because your stove is disgusting. I had to spend twenty minutes getting all the grime off so I could cook.”
The faint smell of cooking eggs wafted into my nostrils.
“Oh wow,” I stuttered. “Lemme get dressed.”
“Oh, and I’m doing some cleaning after we eat breakfast,” Audrey scolded. “The kitchen is a pigsty, the sink is full of dirty dishes, and you’ve got kitty litter spilled all over the floor. By the way, I emptied the litter boxes and refilled the cats’ water for you.”
“Are you trying to be my lover or my mother?”
“No Matt, I’m just being a girl.” The eyebrow raise again. “I’m supposed to do these things for the man I love.”
I could get used to this.
I pulled her face down for another kiss, then rolled off the bed to get dressed and go downstairs. Audrey had cleaned off the kitchen table—covered in piles of junk mail I had yet to sort through—and laid down glasses and forks. She insisted on serving me herself and when I was done, she whisked away my plate to start working on the dishes. I had my own chores to do, so I left Audrey to her domestic duties and went down into the garage to fire up the weed-eater.
A couple of hours later, I was done mowing the lawn and butchering recalcitrant weeds, so I came back inside. I found Audrey vacuuming out the study, individually lifting up the rugs and moving the chairs around to ensure she got every nook and cranny.
“Y’know, you don’t have to clean every inch of the house,” I remarked.
“If I don’t, I doubt you will,” she tsk-tsked. “When was the last time you cleaned this place?”
“I’m more fastidious about keeping my main home clean.”
“I really hope so.”
“Anyway, I’m done with what I had to do, so hurry up so we can get a move on.” I was getting impatient. “Unless you’re planning to scrub my toilet next.”
“Already took care of it.”
Oh. My. God.
I bolted into the bathroom and saw the tiny, cramped bowl filled with cleansing blue fluid. I ran back into the study. Audrey was brimming ear to ear, proud of herself.
That does it, we’re getting married.
An hour later, we were on the road to Ithaca.
Audrey had blown off a trip to a major Midwestern music festival to hang out with me instead. I would have preferred meeting up with her at said festival, but I liked making money more, and that week I was getting paid to effectively lounge around all day and read. Fortunately, I’d managed to grab tickets to Earthlife, a popular folk and indie festival in the Finger Lakes.
Hipsters vs. hippies: it’s not a big difference anyway. Both of them have bad facial hair and don’t shower.
Earthlife wasn’t being held in Ithaca proper, but in Agamemnon, a tiny town about 45 minutes away. We had time to kill before the big headlining acts that night, so I parked my car downtown and took Audrey sightseeing. We checked out the Commons, grabbed a couple of Italian ices from my favorite coffeeshop, got some nice pictures from the waterfront, and walked around the Cornell campus. On the way up to Agamemnon, we also stopped by the waterfalls. Audrey was dressed in a yellow sundress and kitten heels, so we couldn’t go hiking.
The Earthlife parking lots were full up, so I drove into town and parked outside the Masonic lodge. The festival itself was total bedlam; carnival games, greasy food carts, kids running around screaming, old hippie chicks sunbathing and state troopers maniacally trying to control traffic. The old biddy taking tickets at the gate cast a quizzical eye at us.
“Wow, you look excited,” she remarked to Audrey, who was grinning like she’d just gotten engaged.
“Well—” I stuttered.
“He’s my boyfriend!” she cut me off. “It’s my first time here!” She self-consciously leaned into me as if to rub it in: that’s right you old crone, he’s hitting this.
“Yeah, we’re just tourists,” I acquiesced.
“Well, you two have a good time.” Once again the insincere smile as she stamped our hands, clearly wondering what could have brought a girl with a Scandinavian lilt and a guy with a pronounced New York accent together. I jerked Audrey’s hand and dragged her away like a dad yanking her daughter out of the supermarket.
It was a good night. We wandered around the festival playing carnival games, sifting through boxes of records, sharing cups of Heineken and watching various crappy bands—including a strange group from Nigeria who blended traditional African music with Moog synthesizers—perform. Around ten, when the festival started winding down, we headed home to Ogygia, after I’d spread out on the lodge’s front lawn for a few minutes to sober up.
“Look Matt, a hitchhiker!”
I turned my neck and saw a woman my mom’s age waving her thumb next to a Camry. We were just within the Greekville village limits.
“You have to pick her up.”
“I don’t want to…”
“Come on! She looks like she needs help! And you were a hitchhiker!” She squeezed my arm.
Audrey was right; I had to pay it forward. I hit the brakes, threw the car in reverse and backed up to the Camry while Audrey rolled down the window. The woman was overweight and haggard-looking but had prominent smile lines on her face.
“Need some help?” she asked.
“My car’s broken down and my phone is dead. I can’t call AAA.”
“We can take you up to Ogygia,” I replied. “There’s a 24 hour Mirabito, you can make a call from there. Audrey, take care of the back seat.”
Audrey hopped out of the car and cleared a spot for the woman to sit down. She got in and we hit the road.
“Thank you so much!” she exclaimed.
“No problem. I used to hitchhike myself, so I know what it’s like.”
“Yeah, he hitchhiked all the way to Oregon!” Audrey beamed.
“Wow. Are you two from around here?”
“I am, but—”
“Yeah, we live in Ogygia up the road there!” Audrey cut me off, pointing off to the east.
“Are you married or…?”
“He’s my boyfriend!”
Will you come off it already?
“That’s nice. My name’s Pat. I’m from Rochester. I was coming back from visiting my daughter down in Binghamton when my car broke down.”
The conversation was cut short as we hit the “Village of Ogygia: Founded 1798″ sign, the Mirabito glowing just yards away.
“And there we are. You should be able to make a call here.”
“Thanks so much again!”
“You’re welcome!” Audrey waved goodbye to Pat as we pulled back onto the road.
“See, now don’t you feel good for helping someone out?” Audrey put her hands on her hips.
Back at the house, neither of us were ready to turn in yet, so I popped 1991: The Year Punk Broke into the DVD player while we worked on the next pack of Woodchucks. This time, I was antsy and didn’t feel like waiting, so I started drunkenly pawing and fondling Audrey in the middle of “Teen Age Riot” like a cat playing with a ball of string. She wrapped her arms around me, the brief resistance of last night gone completely as I effortlessly peeled her clothes off right on the couch. Emboldened by familiarity and her submissiveness, I started barking orders.
“Suck my dick!” I slobbered.
“I don’t know how!” she responded.
You’ve had too much to drink, pal.
Her reply strangely satisfied me and I decided to just stick it in instead. This time, I was prepared with a bottle of K-Y I’d scored from Rite Aid earlier in the day. I squeezed a big glob of the stuff inside her, then coated my dick like I was readying for a marathon spank session. It glided in like a fat kid on roller skates, as Audrey’s eyes rolled up and she moaned in sync with each slam against her cervix.
As I flipped her over for doggystyle, her knees became unsteady. I gripped her ass like it was the safety bar on a roller coaster, railing her so hard that her face was shoved into the couch pillows. The volcanic pressure was building up once again, and I suddenly realized that I wasn’t wearing a condom. I momentarily thought about coming inside her—I could think of worse things than to impregnate a cute girl who doted on me like this—before my rational mind stopped me.
“Haaaaaa… haaaaaa… HAAAAAA!”
My semen landed dead center on the small of Audrey’s back as she fell onto the couch. The movie was still going. A few seconds later, she forced herself up, my load running down her back and dripping onto the sweat-stained couch.
“See what I meant about the first time being the worst?”
I hurled myself onto the carpet and half-rolled, half-dashed downstairs. My bladder felt like a water balloon one pinprick away from bursting. I scrambled to the toilet without even shutting the door and whipped it out.
Ooooh… ahhhh… ooooh…
Crisis averted, my mind emerged from its post-sleep tranquility. I had stepped in what felt like a clod of mud; probably tracked it in when I had been weed-eating earlier. As I walked over to wash my hands, the reek of feline feces suddenly hit my nose.
That was NOT mud.
I immediately sat down and sniffed my foot. Yep, it was cat shit. I suspected Garfield; the fat little turd had a habit of deliberately crapping outside his litter box as punishment for me not petting him enough. But the bathroom? This was a first. Exactly what I wanted to do at three in the morning: wipe up cat shit.
I hopped over to the shower to douse my foot in soap and water, then went out into the kitchen to grab paper towels and Windex. Rummaging under the sink, I suddenly noticed a beam of light—and a muffled, wheezing sound—emanating from the living room.
As I crept down the hall, I completely froze at what I saw. For what seemed like an eternity, time completely stood still, save for my inner paranoiac reemerging for one last bit of schadenfreude.
You. Are. So. Fucked.
To be continued… (Part Three)
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