Wednesday, September 28, 2011
How did I get so lucky? Cody asked himself. She has to be the hottest girl in the world. He lay half-awake in a blurry tingly haze, Sondra wrapped in the pink robe and softly snoring, an arm and leg draped over him. How long had they screwed? — an hour? more? — it didn’t matter. Necking had led to groping, then as soon as he put a condom on she’d straddled him and rode him to exhaustion. She came at least twice, maybe three times, or maybe it was just one long orgasm… Cody didn’t know that much about sex, only the stupid stuff from Internet porn and bragging of seniors, but if Sondra was happy it was another thing that didn’t matter. He’d thought he was going to explode when it was his turn to come; he remembered crying out and Sondra’s sweaty grin, her robe flopping open around them both, his arms around her hips, lifting off the bed, her nipples still hard as she gasped again at the end…
He started to respond to the memory, but achieved only half-mast. In the morning then, he thought, if she doesn’t wake me up for more first. He grinned, realized he wouldn’t be sleeping for a little while, and eased out of bed.
“Gotta pee,” he whispered, and realized it was true. Sondra made no more sound; she was a heavy sleeper most nights. He threw on a t-shirt, pants, and a fleece they’d picked up on the way out of Sears, and slipped outside to the porta-john they’d rolled from a construction site on the other end of Laurel. It was dark — no moon tonight. The stars, more than Cody was used to seeing, told him there were no clouds. He played his little flashlight over the path and made his way to the blue booth on the other side of the street.
A pair of low green lights greeted him as he mounted the steps on the way back — Shady again. “Hey, cat,” he said. “You couldn’t sleep either?” He sat on the top step, and Shady hopped purring into his lap. Shady stood, front paws on Cody’s chest, and gave a mighty yawn as he stretched under Cody’s massage. “Yeah, me too.” Cody yawned himself. “You passed it to me, now who do I pass it to?”
“Shady?” Kelly’s whisper rasped down the cave-like hallway, just ahead of the splash of flashlight. “Who’s that?”
“Just Cody. Yeah, he’s here with me again.” Cody stood, holding the kitten and turning to face Kelly.
“I guess he’s going to make a habit of this,” Kelly said, taking possession of Shady and yawning. “That’s three nights in a row. I went to use the bathroom, and when I came back, he got out.”
“Yeah. How’s he getting along with Ben’s cat?”
“Oh, they either sniff each other or chase each other all around the place,” Kelly laughed. “Then they sleep together in the laundry pile.”
“Hey guys,” Tim said, walking down from the other side. “Late-night meetup?”
Cody was glad the darkness hid his embarrassment; Kelly glanced down the walk over her shoulder. “No,” she said, “Shady got out again and Cody found him. Thanks, Cody.” She hustled away.
Tim’s cocked eyebrow in the flashlight beam asked Cody the same question. “Uh-uh,” he said, shaking his head. “I just had to pee, and the cat was up here waiting for me to come back.”
“So she didn’t throw you out?” Tim glanced at Cody’s door then gestured for Cody to follow him back to the bottom.
“Uh-uh. We’re getting along… okay, I guess.” They sat on the bottom steps.
“That’s good. You want a beer? I couldn’t sleep either, so I thought I’d sit out here and watch the stars. The trees block the view from the balcony.”
“What’s — what’s up with you?”
“Oh… I guess I’m just keyed up about the run to that solar panel place tomorrow,” Tim said, handing Cody a can. “Sara’s coming, but she’s never handled guns.” He opened his own can. “They’re not cold, but at least they’re not warm either.”
“Yeah. I kinda wish I was going with you guys, but Jason’s got me helping with that composting toilet thing. We’re making a run to Home Despot so we can build a couple johns, and stuff for the brick ovens and more rain barrels. Sondra and Max are coming along in case there’s trouble. I guess you and Cleve are the cops for your own run, huh?”
“Yeah, and Johnny’s bringing a carbine. He found it in his unit, that and a couple boxes of ammo, so Sara’s the only one of us that won’t be armed. Cleve ain’t happy about that, but Sara insisted on coming to help.”
“Yeah. Maybe neither of us will run into anything.”
Kelly slipped back to the top of the steps and listened to them talk until Shady started squirming, then hurried back to #202. She kept a firm grip on her kitten until the door latched, then let him jump to the floor and run to the laundry area. Ben, sleeping on the futon in the living room, stirred then was still. An ember crackled in the fireplace, and the honest smell of a wood fire had conquered the last of the stinky fridge. Except for her flashlight, which illuminated very little beyond a few feet, the unit was pitch-dark. She walked to the hallway then turned off the light and trailed her left hand along the wall, navigating by feel, until she reached her bedroom. Kicking off her shoes, she burrowed under the pile of blankets and quilts on her bed and waited for things to warm up again before shedding her clothes.
Okay, I guess, Cody had said. Tim had probably forgotten how to speak Teenager — Susie Lin, a classmate, once told her that Mandarin was another language where a word could have multiple meanings depending on inflection — so he wouldn’t know that Cody said I’m in heaven, dude. Things had gotten so complicated… she hadn’t thought she was interested in him until Sondra came along… and not only were the two of them free agents, Kelly had both her parents to watch over her! How was she supposed to compete with that?
Tim and Cody weren’t going to be the only ones having a hard time sleeping tonight.