It’s because I’m travelling through the mountains that things are so weird. They even speak a bowdlerized form of Elizabethan English here. There is one hillbilly whose house I stop at on the road to the wide world. A shoeless caricature who knows not birth control. His sons run off and he tries to get passing boys to take his daughters off his hands. There’s a girl in her early twenties hanging up laundry on a clothesline as I pass. She’s the one I like.
The one I have eyes for I had noticed a year ago when I passed this way. I’d stopped and sat on the porch with her and her sisters and the old man. The girl would sit with her legs propped up so I could see her panties. She never wore shoes but that week she had different colored panties for each day of the week. And she seemed clean. Like she actually took a bath every day.
There’s a man sitting on a fifty gallon drum squinting at me and talking to the girl. She purses her lips and winks at me and throws back her head and laughs.
What say, jellybean? She says to me.
What RU laughing at? I say.
What RU looking at? She says.
Not much, I say.
She gives me a Bronx cheer and turns back to the laundry.
He’s looking at them nice titties of yours for one thing, the man says.
You wanna see em? She says to me.
I want to, I say.
Then gimme a quarter.
Don’t have one.
How much ye got?
Not a bleepin dime, I say.
Well go borry it from my old man and you can see em.
I can owe you, I say hopefully.
What? She says. Say you wanna blow me? She moves incrementally and impudently closer to me. I have not taken my eyes off her and I look right into her very green eyes.
I said owe, I say softly, moving a step closer to her. Furtively she touches my calf with her instep.
I think, Honey I would speak cunnilingus to you in five languages.
The man says, What you got that he can see for a dime?
He’s already done a dollar’s worth of lookin, she says.
I haven’t seen anything, I say.
You don’t need to see nothing, she says, bending and picking up a washed shirt. Just to make your pecker hard, she says, turning away. I don’t have time to mess with you uns. If ye ever got any of this you’d never be satisfied.
I’d like to chance it, wouldn’t you? says the man.
Life’s short, I say.