"Isn't your father a black man?" Mona often demands on her bad days, aggressively shoving an index finger into Bo's chest and confronting him as soon as he arrives.
"Shut up!" the son, boiling with humiliation for the 10,000th time, orders his mother.
But Bo is not flustered. "Well, ma'am," he says, "Daddy does have sort of a dark complexion. I guess maybe . . ."
"And doesn't he come from Russia?" The mother bites these words off with the challenging authority of a self-righteous prosecutor.
"Well, he's got that weird accent," Bo admits. "I guess it could be Russian." Which is, of course, nonsense. Like most of the people over forty in East Morton, Ohio, Bo's father is a native Kentuckian and sounds like it.
"Then he's Communist!" the mother barks. "Or Communist-inspired. Which is it?" Now she has backed Bo into a corner of the kitchen.
"Mom, shut UP!" the son shouts.
"I'm not sure, ma'am." Bo contritely shakes his head. "But I can ask him when I get home tonight--that is if he doesn't blister my buttocks for being tardy and letting my bean porridge get cold." Bo has never seen porridge in his life. "I could call home and ask him right now, but we're too poor to have a telephone." Also nonsense.
"This," Mona proclaims, setting a dish towel on fire at the kitchen stove and shaking the flames toward Bo, "is what happens to black Communists. You tell that to your Russian nigger father!" As the familiar stench--she's burned a thousand dish towels--fills the trailer, the son herds his friend quickly outside. He knows that Bo, a great mimic, will recreate today's scene for their mutual acquaintances later, either behind the son's back or right in front of him.
Because Mrs. Cox drives carefully now in anticipation of the rough road, the jolt when she hits the big pothole again is not so great as it was the first time. But the lovers are anticipating, too, teasing themselves with rigid restraint. Robin's dress is up to her waist. Her black birthday panties are pulled to one side, her legs as far apart as she can spread them. The son, agonizingly hard for her, feels one moment the torturously teasing kiss of her tender wet flesh against his; the next, he is a fraction of an inch inside her, then a fraction of an inch outside again. When the bump finally comes, slightly diminished though its impact is this time, the lovers know what is meant to be, and they restrain themselves no longer.
"Oooh, GOD!" they moan to each other again.
"Take it out?" the son asks.
"No! Yes! Oh, God!" Robin whispers frantically. "Half!"
The son obeys.
"No. Give it back," she orders. "Push."
"Does it hurt?"
"Out a little," she says. "No, in. You're fucking meee! Oh, it's meant to be! We have to get those things . . . it's all right . . . just, Oooh, my God! Did you . . . it's all right!"
It doesn't take much time for the son to finish. The pleasure of being completely surrounded by Robin is more than he can withstand for long. After a few strokes he explodes all over her glorious insides, but keeps thrusting as she directs him, until his erection is completely gone.
"Did you two find the Big Dipper yet?" Mrs. Cox wants to know.
"Dime," Bo said out of the corner of his mouth. The dealer slipped a bag out of his pocket and into Bo's, neither looking at the other. Then they passed the money by shaking hands--not like businessmen, but with elbows bent and forearms pressed vertically together, clasping each other's fingers in the style that signified their brotherhood, their politics, their hipness.
"That your old lady, man?" the dealer asked Bo, indicating Tonya with a nod of his head.
"I wish," Bo said. "My friend's."
"Foxy," he said, smiling at the couple watching from the street. "Peace, my brother and my beautiful sister." He flashed the two-fingered 'V' at them. "I see you already have love." They returned the sign and headed back to East Morton with their bag of "pot," which as usual turned out to be some nondescript weed completely devoid of THC. On the way home, the small-town heads smoked until they were sick, repeatedly asking each other, "Do you feel anything? Are you high?"
"I don't know. Are you?"
"I'm not sure, man. Maybe, a little."
"Let's smoke another one."
"What happened to peace?" Storm asks, looking up in bewilderment from where she sits involuntarily on the carpet.
"The only piece around here is the piece of ass you just gave your little soul mate on my goddamned couch!" the husband shouts. "Why didn't you just screw him on the waterbed? Huh? You know I hate like hell for a man to be uncomfortable while he's fucking my wife!"
The son gets up now and stands staring at Storm, who still sits on the floor, groggy, pushing hair from her face, while her husband glares maniacally back and forth from his wife to her guest. The son wants to rescue Storm from this situation, but doesn't know how.
"I'll be all right," Storm says quietly, giving the son permission to go. "Everything's cool."
"Cool, my ass! GET THE HELL OUT!"
As he drives away, Storm, still standing naked and shockingly perfect in the doorway, smiles and waves to him, completely unself-conscious. She really has tossed out all the bullshit, middle-class values that characterize Greased Morton, Ohio, the son reflects. He has been foolish to avoid her. How can a mystical affinity such as they share possibly be wrong? It elevates him. Though he will be physically present for his required six hours at school today, he will be transcendent. Upon students coming straight from cozy bedrooms in their parents' little homes, from breakfast tables in bright Beaver Cleaver kitchens where Mom serves up the pancakes and Dad doles out the lunch money, the son will look with contented disdain. He will be still warm from the motel-room bed of a gorgeous, long-haired, freaky, 22-year-old, married chick. Sex for him is no longer a quick weekend thrill in the backseat of Daddy's car. It is motel rendezvous and candlelit bubble baths and other things as yet unknown but soon to be revealed, he is sure. He has had a woman, not corn flakes, for breakfast--fucked her barely 30 minutes before the start of first-period Senior English--and will walk into the building today with Storm still on him. Of course he will not boast about it, but he hopes he bears some kind of invisible mark that will tell (everyone but Tonya) where he has spent the night. Already, he is addicted to the difference between himself and others.
"Does your mother let you go out with boys?" the son asks her.
"You mean like have dates? Nooo, buddy. I wish she would." Esther says, smiling again at Bo and perching, knock-kneed, on the middle lawn chair once more.
"You know, Esther," the son warns, "I forgot--that chair collapsed right underneath me the other day. I don't know if it's safe for you to sit there."
"You don't think Ah'm too fat, do you? Ah weigh 82."
"No, but I don't want you to get hurt and have to explain what happened to your mother," the son says. "Maybe you should sit on Bo's lap, just to be safe."
Esther breaks down giggling again, but through the hand covering her face she glances questioningly at Bo. "He probly don't want me to. Ah maht break his laig."
"I bet you're not that heavy," Bo says.
"Ah bet Ah am."
Esther, still snickering behind her chip-nailed fingers, quickly and self-consciously transfers her terrycloth-ensheathed little butt to Bo's kneecap. Sitting bolt upright and staring straight ahead at the son, she says, "I never sat on a boy's lap before, except my cousin Hot Rod, when they was too many of us in my uncle's truck down in Kentucky one tahm."
"You're right," Bo says. "You weigh a ton!"
"Bole!" Esther squeals, trying to get up, but Bo grabs her by the waist and pulls her back onto his knee, which he then starts to bounce gently up and down, singing "Giddyup, horsey." With his fingers, he twirls the ends of Esther's bright hair. "I can't believe you're not a natural blonde," he says.
"Oh, Bole!" laughs Little Esther, riding.