by Matthew Dexter
One summer morning while babysitting a bunch of children (which was normally done at a club in the neighboring town: The Englewood Field Club--where I would pick the kids up from camp around noon and then watch them around the pool--chasing them across acres of lawn and playgrounds till their parents picked them up around four or five); I would often be watching four or five children at the same time, so when you figure five dollars an hour every weekday with that many kids: I was making some serious loot for a thirteen year old. Anyway, this day was different, it was raining or something that made a couple of the kids play at my parents’ house, and as we were walking outside on the deck to partake in some innocuous activity--water pistol wars with Super Soakers or making bow and arrows with rubber bands and tree branches to shoot sharpened sticks at squirrels--we heard one of the neighbors in the houses behind the backyard having an orgasm.
A female, audible, unashamed, crying out in ecstasy and Alex--one of the children--started laughing, asking about it. I tried to ignore it; most embarrassing goddamn moment of my life; almost as awkward as when I “accidentally” typed masturbation into the family computer a couple months later and didn’t have sufficient time to erase it before my mother saw. Anyway, I tried to talk through it, walking away, drawing the kids into the front yard.
Couldn’t believe this suburban whore was having a “nooner” in my neighborhood for all to enjoy. I couldn’t put a face on the old slut, but if she’s receiving pleasure within forty yards of me, to this day I can decipher the chords of her debauchery. The writhing reflection of her wrinkles in the mirror, open windows, and a penis in one of her orifices, perhaps multiple orifices occupied by vibrators from 1992.
“Stop laughing,” I said. Alex was turning red.
“They’re--” he said.
“No they’re not,” I said.
“Yes,” he laughed, front tooth missing, blond hair blowing in the wind, borne back by the unprotected sex of a senior citizen with a vasectomy. Alex was the wildest of the children I babysat and he knew what he heard was more than bird droppings; it was the viscous secretions of her innermost inhibitions, flowing away from her cavities like the last of his innocence, his newfound ambition listening to the sounds of the ineffable. Sexual perverts were taking over the neighborhood, shaking the bed, atavistic deviance; her moans grew louder, reached a crescendo, and surrounded me. The trees began to cave in. The squirrels ran in circles, the cicadas paused to listen; startled birds flew from power line to rooftops--chirping to the rhythm of this cretin whore’s orgasm.
“Who wants to play with water pistols?” I asked. Nobody listened. Only to her writhing symphony of old lust. I turned my Walkman up, Pink Floyd performing Young Lust, but the speakers were not loud enough to deceive her from finishing her business. Sweat glistened, purple veins throbbed, a chorus of elation rose toward the ethereal heavens, filling her with the carnal desire to scream, her flesh now pink and her secretions nothing more than an echo of dust in the wind.
The cicadas returned to their incessant gibberish. The children begin filling up water pistols with the garden hose. In one of the two neighboring houses now burnt into my memory a woman is stuck to the wet mattress beyond shutters, her hair hanging over her scrunched-up forehead and face like a squirrel searching for a nut. If she hadn’t distracted us from making bow and arrows, I’d shoot one through the open window.
Matthew Dexter lives and writes in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He has not returned to the old neighborhood in decades. If he could talk to an inanimate object it would be the aquatic rocks at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Actually, he already does this almost every day.