Price Breaks And Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
Foreplay On The Edge Of Forever
Tallulah and I found excuses to see each other pretty much every night, to Hell with work, to Hell with family commitments and to Hell with taking it slow. We made plans for our weekends, our holidays and our summer. We made love like fugitives, wherever we could find privacy or whenever one of us had a house to ourselves.
Thankfully Tallulah’s family loved to take weekend trips and drag their younger daughter along with them. Tallulah was their older daughter and was always willing to stay behind and take care of the dog, usually citing work as the reason but I think you dear reader suspect the real reason. And if you don’t, let me answer you with the following four words.
Captain Al’s Wild Ride.
I will always remember stirring that one Saturday morning, that morning I had woken to see Tallulah had been watching me sleep. Her eyes positively sparkled. We were naked under the covers of her bed. As far as I was concerned this was already shaping up to be a memorable day.
If I only knew how memorable it was going to be.
The previous night we had watched the Headbangers’ Ball and she had learned I was a closet metalhead. Then I learned that she was a closet sci-fi fan and considered reading the DUNE novels to be one of the most important events of her adolescence.
Then the time for conversation had ended and we moved to the bedroom. My lovemaking was still as clumsy as it was sweet but I somehow managed work past my weirding way so I could rock her like a hurricane. Two spent condoms later we had drifted off to sleep.
The only bad point about that night had been the family dog, an elderly poodle named Puff that had gotten into the habit of sneaking into the room so he could stare blankly at us or worse yet steal an article of my clothing to gnaw on.
“Good morning,” she grinned at me.
I grinned back, “It sure is.”
“What do you want for breakfast?”
“You,” I said as I moved closer.
Ah, the energy and virility of nineteen. How I miss it now when I’m in my forties and every other lovemaking session ends in what can only be referred to as a taffy pull.
Once we had finished it was off to the shower, which we shared, giggling at the mischief of it. Then we dressed regretfully and Tallulah made me pancakes. I watched her, my heart brimming over. Nothing else mattered, it was though we were the last people on Earth.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door.
We exchanged panicked glances. “Who’s that?”
She switched off the stove, “Quick! Go make the bed!”
I blundered from the kitchen table, ran to her room, stumbled over the dog and tipped over the bedside wastebasket.
“Oh Hi Uncle Bill!” I heard her say.
I threw the covers up over the bed, then zipped across the hall and after tripping over the dog again made a show of walking out the bathroom.
“Uncle Bill,” Tallulah gave me a panicked smile, “this is Al... my boyfriend.”
This was the first time she had ever referred to me as her boyfriend but I was too busy marveling at her Uncle Bill’s height and shoulder width to enjoy it.
“Good to meet you,” I said.
Uncle Bill eyed me suspiciously, “You’re here early.”
“Yes... yes I am.”
“I am on my way to work, I thought we could have breakfast together.”
Tallulah said, “Exactly!”
Uncle Bill turned to her, “Your Dad wanted me to check up on you. He was worried.”
We all stood there for a moment looking uncomfortably at each other. Puff walked past us with a friendly, “Furph.”
“Would you like to join us?” Tallulah said.
“Yes, I would,” Uncle Bill replied. We led him to the kitchen. He and I sat down at the table and Tallulah got back to the business of making pancakes.
Funny isn’t it? On one hand my girlfriend and I were consenting adults, on the other hand we were worried about getting grounded for life.
Uncle Bill leaned back in his chair, “Al, I hear you want to be a writer.”
“Yes,” I said, “if I live long enough.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Furph.” Puff called from the parlor.
Tallulah and I made small talk with Uncle Bill over breakfast. I tried not to look guilty or like an idiot but idiot is pretty much my default in situations like this.
Puff’s Furph-ings had become an almost gagging sound. “He better not be barfing on the carpet again,” Tallulah’s voice moved from panic to aggravation.
“I’ll take care of it,” I got up from the table, “my Mom is a dog breeder. I’m an old hand at cleaning up messes. You two keep talking.”
“Thank you!” Tallulah called after me.
In truth I was desperate to get out of there. All through my second helping of pigs in a blanket I had been envisioning Uncle Bill’s meaty hands around my throat. I found Puff in the living room.
“Furph. Furph. Furph!”
I realized in a flash of panic he was choking, I drew closer and suddenly the room began to swirl around me.
“Hey!” Uncle Bill called, “What's wrong in there?”
“Furph. Furph. Furph!”
All the pieces had fallen into place perfectly;
The overturned wastebasket...
The curious dog...
The three used condoms!
“Furph. Furph. Furph!” Puff choked and chewed. He might have looked like a mad dog but I knew that wasn't foam on his lips.
“Al?” Tallulah called, “Is Puff Ok?”
“We better check,” I could hear Uncle Bill standing up.
There was no time and I had no choice. I jammed my hand into the animal's mouth and retrieved the greasy handful of dog drool, latex and baby Brunos.
Uncle Bill's shadow fell across the room, I jammed the sticky mess into my pocket and suppressed a shudder. “What's wrong?” Uncle Bill asked again.
“I'm not sure,” I said trying to sound casual, “but I rubbed his tummy and he's fine now.”
“I guess you do have a way with dogs,” Uncle Bill smiled approvingly.
“Oh look!” Tallulah laughed with delight, “Puff is giving Al kisses!”