Monday, October 8, 2012

Neighbors excerpt by Victor J Banis

In Neighbors by Victor J Banis, Linda, who is becoming bored in her marriage, finds herself fixated on the new neighbor who has moved into the trailer next door. Might she be the change Linda's looking for?

Untreed Reads Publishing (June 14, 2010)


She hated having to pretend, to fake something she didn't feel, but she knew how he was—he'd just go on and on and on, till she wanted to scream, really, and not from any orgasm, either. So far as she could say, he was utterly tireless. Sometime, maybe, she'd wait him out, see how long he really could keep it up. All night wouldn't surprise her. A month wouldn't surprise her, actually.

She began to grunt and to groan, softly at first, and as if it were his cue, he picked up his tempo, driving harder and faster now. Usually, she would drag it out a little, she knew it made him happy when it lasted, but tonight she was tired and her back ached from stocking shelves at the Seven Eleven. She thrashed her legs and moaned, louder, and tightened her grip on his shoulders, and, finally, stiffened her body like an ironing board.

It worked. It always did. She didn't know how he did it, holding himself at the ready the way he did, and then able to let go just like that. She thought there were probably a lot of men who would envy him. She knew he was proud of it. Probably, if you were a man, it was something to be proud of. Maybe there were women who would appreciate it more than she did. Her sister was proud of the way her Schnauzer would roll over or stand up on his hind legs when she told him to. It was just a matter of training, wasn't it?

Maybe you're just a bitch, she told herself, and did not have to fake a sigh of relief when he rolled himself off of her.

After a minute, he got up and went to the bathroom. He left the door open. He always did. Before they had fucked you, men closed the door. After, they always left it open. Why was that? She'd always wondered, and couldn't think who to ask. Once, she'd almost asked the minister, and had to stifle a giggle at the thought of his reaction. But, really, how were you supposed to find these things out? They sure didn't mention that in Ladies Home Journal.

She listened to him pee noisily, and couldn't help noticing that he didn't wash his hands before he came back to bed, slipping in beside her, bending down to give her a quick kiss.

"How was that?" he asked.

"It was great," she said, as enthusiastic as she could make it. Which wasn't very, but he never noticed. The question was rhetorical. He thought it was great. That was all that mattered. He lay back beside her and gave her thigh a pat.

"Have to keep my baby happy," he said.

"You sure know how to do that, Ray," she said. Once, she had made the mistake of telling him she hadn't had an orgasm. Not like she was complaining, or anything, it was just, he asked, and she had said, no, but it was okay, it didn't have to be every single time for a woman.

"It has to be for my woman," he said, half pouting, and he went and got himself a beer, and drank it lying in bed, not saying anything, and then, just about the time she was drifting off to sleep, he rolled her on her back and climbed on, and started all over again.

That was the night she started faking it. A year and a half ago. Almost two years, actually. A long time without, she supposed. She didn't miss it as much as you would think she would. Sometimes, but mostly not.

Once, she'd run across one of his girlie magazines. Stuffed at the back of his sock drawer. Curious, she'd looked through it, wondered how the women could do that, let their pictures be taken that way. She hated those times, luckily not often, when he decided he wanted to do it with the lights on.

"I like to see what I'm getting," he said, but even he could not fail to notice that it made her uncomfortable, and he had given that up.

She had looked at the ads, though, some of them she wasn't sure she even understood, but it was fairly easy to understand the vibrators. She'd looked long and hard at a full page ad of them, and wondered what it would be like, if she could give herself an orgasm with one of them—but he would never go along with that, and she couldn't have one without his knowing about it. It was hard to keep secrets in a small trailer. Anyway—maybe if it didn't look like something attached to a man. She'd had her fill of man things, thank you very much, and no pun intended.

"I saw the lezzie," he said, startling her out of her thoughts.

"Amy?" she said without thinking.

"That her name?" He sounded surprised. "Say, you two ain't getting all chummy, are you?"

"Just neighbors," she said. "You know, she's right next door, we see one another coming in and out, you have to say hi."

"Maybe she's comin' on to you," he said.

"Don't be silly." She knew Amy wasn't. Knew, because Amy had told her that. She'd asked Linda if she wanted to come in for some coffee, and Linda had acted like some stupid schoolgirl, all flustered and blushing, and Amy had said, "Hey, don't get excited, I wasn't coming on to you. Just being a neighbor."

"I'm just teasing you," Ray said. He gave her thigh another pat. She held her breath, hoping this wasn't going to be one of those nights. "Hell, no reason for you to want a woman, when you got a man to take care of you. Reckon I do that, all right."

"That's for sure," she said into the darkness, thinking about that time Amy had asked her in, wishing—not for the first time—that she had gone. Not for that. Just for, well, she didn't know what exactly, something. Something maybe a woman could get from another woman, something she thought certain was unknown and unknowable to a man.

"That's probably all she needs, too," he said. "Maybe I ought to stop over and see her some night."

"Ray," she said, like she was shocked. Frightened was more like it, though, frightened of the way Amy would look at her differently if he did something like that, of the difference it would make in the way she smiled at her, like she really wanted to be friends. Well, you couldn't be after that, could you, after a man had brought man stuff into it.

"Maybe we ought to have her over here," he said. "Let her have a taste of what I get regular, and then show her what I can do. Give her the old double whammy. What do you think?"

"I think you're letting your imagination run away with you," she said, She rolled on her side, turning her back to him. After a minute, he rolled on his side, too, away from her.

"Might be kind of fun, though," he said, chuckling softly.


She waited until he was asleep, snoring noisily. When she was sure he wouldn't wake up, she got out of bed, found her bathrobe on the doorknob, and walked barefoot out to the kitchen. She left the lights out. Even with the door closed, the light still spilled into the bedroom, and anyway, the door squeaked and she might wake him up closing it.

She got herself a Bud from the fridge, opening the door just enough to reach it out, twisted off the cap, and took a sip. It helped rinse the taste from her mouth that she didn't know where it came from.

She went to stand by the sink and look out the window. Amy's trailer was right there, not even eight feet away. Her blinds were only half closed. She could see Amy moving around inside, doing something, it looked like stretches of some sort. She had her music on, the same girl singer she mostly listened to, black, Linda thought, sweet voiced and vinegary all at the same time. "Embrace me…"

Amy wore this oversized tee shirt, so big it was almost a dress. It was what she usually wore when she was home alone, Linda knew that from other nights, standing at the window, watching, and when she bent over, you could catch just a glimpse of jockeys—not panties, but jockeys, like a man wore. Linda thought it was cute. She wondered what Ray would say if she tried wearing a pair. Probably he'd say she had turned lezzie on him. Or maybe it would turn him on. That thought discouraged her. Whatever that man needed, it wasn't anything to whet his sexual appetites.

Amy finished her stretches, walked to the kitchen area of her trailer, did something at the sink. They were only a few feet apart, facing one another. If Linda's lights were on, they could wave, maybe open their windows and talk. Only, not with Ray there. He'd think it was sex. He thought everything was sex. What Linda wanted was something different, something she didn't have any words for, and she knew he wouldn't understand them if she found them. Amy would, though. Somehow, she felt sure of that. Which was silly. How could you know something like that about somebody you didn't even know? She thought it was true, though.

She supposed she oughtn't to complain, really. Compared to a lot of women, she had it pretty good. Carol Sue's husband knocked her around. Carol Sue denied it, but they all knew it was true, and Bobbie's man jumped on anything that stood still for more than forty seconds, probably including the Schnauzer when he wasn't rolling over, and Sandra's spent all their money on Jack and smack, half the time Sandra and the kids didn't have enough to eat.

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Lloyd Meeker said...

Absolutely gripping, Victor - how you can set up an entire conflict in just a few paragraphs impresses the hell out of me. And not just any conflict -- a believable one, with real emotional depth. Gorgeous!

Victor j. Banis said...

Lloyd, thanks, I write very little lesbian fiction, for the obvious reason, but also because as tight as the markets are for gay male writers, they are infinitely worse or lesbian writers, for whom it mostly does turn out to be a labor of love. But I did like this little story, in large part because there are no bad guys - even the husband, within his own limitations, is a nice guy. His wife knows that. And she's not a bad person either. It's just people trying to figure out how to make it work. And we all know how had that can be.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Nice one, glad you got that out. For the same reason as Victor I have a hard time of writing lesbian stories, my 'Girlfriends' was the only one I did, and that was many, many years ago. It's in my "100 Whores" collection but sure would love to try again but know I won't, too many unwritten stories have been thrown to the wayside. But am happy you got yours out.

Lori L. Lake said...

Victor, your writing NEVER ceases to inspire. Thanks for being my friend and luminary.

Anonymous said...

Great excerpt, Victor. Sets the right tone and mood.

Joe DeMarco