Neighbor

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

English: A picture of a porch, with chair, tak...

English: A picture of a porch, with chair, taken by me. Unidentified location. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bubble Bath 3

Bubble Bath 3 (Photo credit: MacGeekGrl)

Indiana

Indiana (Photo credit: huskypup)

After I get to Indiana I go straight to a cabin on some lakefront property Dana knows nothing about.  I lie in bed for days and am too depressed to get up.  Finally I do and take a bath because I can smell myself.  When I was a man I might go for a week or a month without bathing if there were no others around.  But a woman really stinks when she doesn’t shower.  So I take a bubble bath with my hair pinned up in the big lion’s claw tub.

This chickie luxury seems out of place without Dana.  She’s the only one I have to look or smell nice for.  I shave my legs and get out and dry off and put on Balmain but it seems pointless.  Still I feel better just by moving around.

Outside on the porch the clay soil hangs musty and airless above the stench of the woods.  There’s a path down the hill to the lake and I walk it without any particular reason.  Soon depression will set in again but right now I don’t want to think about Dana or whether she will have me back or if I can live without her.  Who am I kidding?  I know the answer to those questions.  Maybe what I need is a gf.

Maybe things will get better.  The sun doesn’t shine up the same dog’s ass every day after all.

I’ll be alright.

Bullshit.  I am fucked.  The only good thing is that I have all the money.  Without it Dana will be broke.  I left her enough cash in the hotel room to clean up the bills.  She’ll have to go home to the farm and find a way to live.

I am out of shape and huffing and puffing when I get back to the cabin.  When I walk around the side to the front I see something moving on the porch and freeze.  Wary, I ease up the front steps.  And see a puppy.  Looks like a Rottweiler puppy and it must belong to somebody, which means I have neighbors I didn’t know about.

The dog whines and circles and looks at me.  I go up on the porch and look at the collar and see a cell number.

That was easy.

I go inside and get some dog food I keep for the raccoons and feed it to the dog on the porch.  Then I go inside and call the number and a girl that doesn’t sound very old answers.  She says she lives in a cottage down the road and apologizes and will come and get the dog right now.  I sit on the porch and wait in the dappled sunlight.

A subcompact pulls up and the dog looks at it and whines and wags its tail and jumps straight up.  What mustve been the girl I talked to gets out of the car and looks at me and smiles and suddenly I am so wet.

Oh, honey.  She looks to be the age of a college undergraduate.  Dana would have a seizure if she saw this little black haired girl.  She is perfect.  Even a little plaid skirt.  Hair tied back with a scarf.  Brown eyes.  Two inches shorter than me and not so thin.  I hope when I talk to her I don’t stammer.

Hiii!  She says cheerfully to me as the dog skips over to her.

Hi, I say shyly.  I’m Erin but everybody calls me Fanci.

I’m Trudi, she says.  Do you live here?

Not often but I own the place, I say, wishing i’d put on my face.  My heart is slamming in my chest and my glands raging and I am so in love I want to cry.

We just bought the shack down the road a year ago and fixed it up, she says.

We?  I say, my heart dropping.

My parents.  In the summer when i’m not in school I come up here to look out for the place.  I take Buddy here for company cause I don’t want to be here by myself.  Is your husband with you?

I shake myself out of a trance and say, What?

That ring on your finger, Fanci.

Oh, this, I say, tugging at the Marquis diamond.  No, we’re-we’re separated.

I’m sorry, she says.  For good?

IDK.

I’ve got lots of food and beer down there.  You look lonely.  Why don’t you come down tonight?

She moves closer to me and I think, Don’t stand so close.  No, please, come closer and hug me before I die.

What time?

Any time.  You know where it is?

I know where it is.  Where do you go to school?

IU Bloomington.  How bout you?

Why do you think I go to school at all?  Because I have Monroe county plates?

Well, uh, yeah.

I got my master’s a long time ago.

Well, I guess I thought maybe you were a graduate student…she shrugs.

Flatterer, I say and smile coyly.  And damn if she doesn’t return the smile and get just a little flirty.

I was a graduate student before you were born, I say.

She laughs.  I doubt that, she says.  Do you mind if I ask how old?

I’ll be thirty three this fall.

Oh, that’s not old, she says.  I thought maybe you were twenty five.

I am going to kiss you, I say.

And damn if she doesn’t kiss me on the cheek.  She even lingers it just a moment longer than she should.  I have died and gone to heaven.

My head is so in the clouds that I have to say, Huh?

I hope the puppy didn’t bother you, she says.

No, he was fine.

You look so sad, she says.  I’m sorry.

How about if I come down at seven?

Any time, she says.

She puts the dog on a leash and walks to the car and then turns back and smiles and flips her hair.  OMG.  That’s what a girl does when she’s interested in a guy.

When she is gone I sit on the porch and think, I’m dreaming.  This is out of a Harlequin lesbo novel.

No.  I’m not dreaming.  I wanted a gf and here she is.

The sun doesn’t shine up the same dog’s ass every day.

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