Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake
I saw Jodi again the other day. She’s a whore now making twelve thou a year, doing quite well at it. I remember, way back in college days, thinking to myself, now, Jodi’s not the marrying type. There stands (or sits or lies prone) a career woman if there ever lived one. It was nice to know I’d been right, and that she was doing so well.
She offered me some, no charge of course, for old time’s sake, but I just couldn’t get into the mood. I mean, it would be like taking free legal advice. I mean, it’s the girl’s profession.
So we sat around at her place — lovely little apartment in a hotel on Lexington Avenue — and talked over old times together, college days and what happened to so-and-so, and what we’ve both been doing since, and we both got a little smashed on Scotch — a bottle of Vat 69 given her by one of her admirers for some symbolic reason or other.
It had been ten years since I’d seen Jodi, and Lord how she’d changed! Those huge soulful dark eyes were even deeper and more level and piercing than they’d been when she was twenty-one and could still remember back to the loss of her virginity. And her body had filled out very nicely — lovely surging breasts and firm hips and the kind of solid thighs that can constrict a man if he doesn’t watch himself — the inevitable result, I suppose, all that filling out, of her constant activity. She’d had two more abortions since last we’d met, she told me, making a grand total of three, and the unlicensed fraud who committed (I can’t say performed) the third one slipped a bit, and now dear Jodi can rest assured that there will never be opportunity or necessity for a fourth.
It was mid-afternoon, a Tuesday in fact, and so both early in the day and early in the week for Jodi to be down and about, making a living. She was wearing a green knit sheath dress — it went well with her naturally-tanned complexion and honey-blonde hair — and she persisted in crossing her legs, revealing the long tanned underslope of one rounded thigh. That was distracting as hell, but I averted my eyes, and compromised by looking intently at her breasts instead, outlined individually by the tight green knit, proclaiming twice that she wore no bra beneath.
I knew I’d get a grumbly sort of hell from Marty for not coming back to the office after lunch, but this old school reunion was just too good to miss. Besides, I had all my copy in on the Dexter Frozen Dinners — “A Square Deal On A Square Meal” — and didn’t really have anything to do until I got the go-ahead from the Dexter people. So old time-clock Marty could go to hell with himself. I would spend a quiet afternoon here with dear old Jodi, and take my normal train back to Helen.
I thought of Helen, my wifey-wife, the frigid witch of the Ramopos, icily waiting off in our Rockland County suburban hideawee, and I glanced again up under Jodi’s green skirt, and I shuddered at the contrast.
We sat and chatted and got quietly snockered, and I contemplated sliding the palm of my hand up along that thigh, fingers extended, and in a happy glow composed of one part Vat 69 to one part reminiscence, I remembered the first time I had ever taken dear old Jodi to bed...
Spring of my sophomore year, it was, twelve years ago. I was nineteen, only recently devirginized myself, and suddenly discovering in me some of the common aspects of the bull, with the exception that I seemed to be eager all the time.
It was Friday afternoon, I remember, in late May, and a bunch of us had cut classes to go down to the lake and swim. There were about twelve of us, evenly divided into boys and girls — which is always the best way, I think, after all — and we’d begun as simply an amorphous pack, only gradually pairing off. I’d taken Jodi to a movie once upon a time, but aside from some sporadic breast-clutching in the darkened balcony of the theater, nothing much had happened. I looked at her that afternoon, and I knew at once that that was a mistake that had to be rectified, and the sooner the better.
God, she was lovely! Picture this, if you’ll be so kind: A girl of eighteen, just tall enough so that the top of her head was even with my shoulder. Long slender legs, tanned an amber gold. Smooth tanned arms, cameo shoulders and neck, the softest downiest throat in all creation. A longish pixyish face shaped somewhat like an inverted triangle. No! What a ghastly picture, that isn’t what I mean at all! Picture an elf, with the straight slanting jawline, the high cheekbones, and somehow hungry look. Add to this picture a flawless tanned complexion, two huge round dark eyes as deep as night, a straight not-too-narrow nose, and cupid-bow lips of a red that would put Titian to shame. That was her face, framed by honey-blonde hair cut rather short and brushed very straight, curling around the shells of the ears.
I purposely left the portion encased in the bathing suit till last. The bathing suit itself, of course, was black. Two straps curved over those lovely shoulders and shot down toward the breasts. Firm breasts, not yet very large, but exciting to touch for all that. And, below, the bathing suit hugged down across a perfectly flat belly. And now we turn her around, as though she were a work of art upon a pedestal, and we stare for a while at the back view.
The lovely breasts around front distracted us so that we didn’t really notice her waist. Now, with the aft portion facing us, we can see that she has a hell of a good waist indeed, the sides sloping in from beneath the arms — that’s just a hint of breast-curve we can see there, when she raises her arm that way, and isn’t that the most beautiful sight in all the world? — and the sloping-in ends at a waist that is just the perfect degree of slenderness, without the malnutrition look that goes over so big in the clothing ads. And below the waist, the whole business starts to slope out again, curving this way and that, in the cutest rear you’ve ever seen. You just want to walk up behind her and pinch, and lean your chin on that soft shoulder and whisper into that soft ear, “Hiya, Jodi.”
That was Jodi.
At any rate, we all cut classes and went off to the lake for an afternoon of swimming and fooling around. It was, as I said, late May, and too early for the lake to be filled with tourists and vacationers and cabin-owners, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We ran shouting into the chilly water at the public beach and immediately swam around to one of the better private beaches, where we knew the owners hadn’t yet put in their annual arrival. One poor fool — old Jack Fleming, I think it was — tried to swim the whole way one-handed, holding a portable radio up in the air with the other arm, and of course the result was that he practically drowned himself and gave that radio a hell of a good soaking.
But they really made radios in those days. We opened the silly thing up and let it dry in the sun for two or three minutes, and then we slapped it back together and turned it on, and by God it played! It played mainly static, of course, but here and there you could detect a note of music in the garble, so we turned it up to top volume and then spent the afternoon screaming over it.
I went after Jodi right away. She’d spent a short while going steady with a guy named Andy Clark, but he wasn’t there that afternoon, and the whole thing between them was finished with anyway, so she was unattached, and I made damn sure I was the first one to attach myself to her.
It was the usual routine that afternoon. We swam around a while, and then we splashed each other, and chased each other around in the shoulder-deep water, and I dunked her a couple of times, and then I kissed her. Her lips were cool from the water, the rounded double-front of her bathing-suit-covered breasts was rough and exciting against my chest, and her waist, way down beneath the water’s surface, was cool, the perfect size for my arm.