“Yeah, me, too! What do you like to do, Mitch?”
What he liked to do, not necessarily in this order, was go to the movies, listen to the radio, watch television, occasionally play touch or tackle football, or baseball with the guys—really, with Phyllis and Sharon—and think about girls and masturbate… but he wasn’t about to tell her that, so… “Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “Stuff.”
Other than playing baseball, or touch or tackle football, neither knew just how alike they were.
June 18, 1949
“So,” still fishing for conversation, “Immaculate Heart just let out today, an’ you came here right from school?”
“Yeah. Frankie said you’d be here ’bout twelve… Uh, you Jewish kids, you don’t go to a religious school?”
“Yeah, sometimes. I had my Bar Mitzvah two… almost three years ago, an’ that was it for me! God, I hated chader!”
Unable to pronounce the, throat-clearing “ch,” “K-Kader?” Gina asked.
Seeing the look of confusion on her face, “Chader’s a Hebrew school, an’ a Bar Mitzvah’s… When a Jewish guy is thirteen, the Bible, uh, our Bible, says a guy’s a man when he’s thirteen, an’ he has this big ceremony, an’ after…”
“Know what?” Not waiting for an answer, her tongue parting her lips, looking at him seductively, or at least as seductively as a girl with a ring of dirt around her neck and green teeth could look, Gina said, “You sure look like a man to me!”
God, he thought, she really likes me! Why’s she gotta look so dirty? His eyes dropped from Gina’s face to the, albeit small, twin points of her breasts, then to the white flesh of her bare, inner thigh, and what he’d been hoping to avoid, the conversation lagged and the room, once again, became quiet, but fortunately not for too long because within seconds…
Sounds came from the rear of the apartment, then a moment later Frank, carrying a bottle in his hands, was back in the living room while Lisa did something in the kitchen.
Breathing a sigh of relief, “Hey, what took you guys so long? We was startin’ to think you got lost…” He sees traces of lipstick on Frank’s mouth. “…or somethin’.”
“Nah!” Calling to Lisa, “We weren’t lost, were we, Babe?”
“Nah, you’n’me, Frankie, we sure weren’t lost,” came the reply from the kitchen.
Nodding to the bottle that Frank placed onto the coffee table, “So that’s what bathtub wine looks like, huh?”
“Yeah, Mitchie, this here’s the real stuff. Wait’ll you taste it.”
The bottle was a gallon milk bottle, the old fashioned type with a glass cap and a rubber gasket around the inside that was permanently attached by means of a piece of wire held around the neck of the bottle and secured through holes in the lip of the cap.
Coming from the kitchen with the rims of four glasses held between her fingers, putting three onto the table, “Here, Mitchie.”
Crossing the room, taking the glass from Lisa, he looked at it. It was an eight-ounce jelly glass with a full color embossed picture of Porky Pig.
Fleetingly wondering if it was a coincidence that she handed him the glass with a picture of a pig on it, or if she gave it to him because he’s Jewish, though not really caring, “You sure it’s okay now?” he asked, motioning to the gallon milk bottle.
“Yeah, Lipensky, it’s okay! Stop worryin’. We’re gonna have a party.”
Squatting in front of the coffee table, pulling the cap off the bottle, it opened with a slight hissing sound. “The first one’s for our guest.” Taking it from his hand, Frank filled the Porky Pig glass, then the other three.
Holding their glasses up, Lisa and Gina’s clunked against Frank’s.
“Hey, Mitch! You ain’t gonna join us? Salud!” Frank repeated, holding his glass towards Mitchell.
Hesitantly, “Yeah, sure.” All four glasses clunked. Then, moving it to his lips, his eyes moving in a semi-circle, watching the others above the rim of his glass as they drank, he took a sip. The homemade wine was sharp, but not nearly as sharp as the Chianti that he’d had earlier. Taking another sip, Mitchell stopped.
His glass drained, seeing that Mitchell had stopped drinking, “Come on, Lipensky. Thirty million dagos can’t be wrong!” Motioning with his glass, “Come on, Chicken Little. Bottoms up!”
The girls having finished their wine also, all three sets of eyes watched Mitchell, waiting for him to drink.
“Jeeze, Mitch, that ain’t nice, bein’ a guest in Lisa’s house an’ not wantin’ to drink her ol’ man’s wine. She feels real hurt, don’t you, babe?”
“Yeah, I’m real hurt!” Trying to look stern, she smiled instead. “Nah, it’s okay, Mitchie. You don’t have to drink it if you don’t want to… Frank, leave him alone.”
“Yeah, sure, cluck-cluck, you don’t gotta drink it.”
“Oh, what the hell!” Bringing the glass to his mouth, he looked at Frank over the rim. Drinking without stopping to catch his breath, “There!” Slamming the glass onto the table, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, “Ah, ’tis the blood o’Christ!”
“The blood o’Christ! Oh, Shit!” Frank began to laugh.
Grabbing him by his belt, pulling him onto the sofa, “Hey, Mitchie,’ Gina said, “I knew a big guy like you could handle a little glass of vino.”
Pouring a second round, “Here, ya drunken Mick, have another.” Frank, put Porky Pig back into his hand.
“Sure! I’ll show you wops that Jews can drink, too!” Downing half, he noted that for some strange reason this glass tasted much better than the first.
“Hey, how’s ’bout some music?” Going to the console in the corner of the room, Frank turned the dial until he found a station playing danceable music. Going back to Lisa, taking her by both hands, he pulled her up into his arms.
Mitchell took another drink, almost emptying the glass.
“Ya wanna dance, Mitchie?”
Refilling Porky Pig, “No, thanks,” he said, but seeing the look on Gina’s face, “Dancing, uh,” slurring his words, “d’know how.”
“Ya, can’t dance? At’s okay, Mitchie,” she said. “I’ll teach’j’ya.”
Looking at her, he took another gulp of wine.
“Ya don’t gotta be so bashful!” Standing, grasping his free hand, Gina attempted to pull him to his feet, but he wouldn’t budge. “Come on, Mitch!” Pulling harder, she did get him onto his feet, where he wobbled until, putting her arms about him, tightening her arms, pressing her body against his, “It’s real easy. All’s ya gotta do’s make a box.”
Aware of her body pressing against his, “All’s I gotta do’s make a box?” he repeated.
Leading him a step or two to the side, away from the coffee table, “Yeah, baby.” Loosening her hold a bit, so he could look at their feet, “Like this, baby. Watch my feet.”
“Baby?” Looking down he became dizzy and had to lean into her for support. “Only my mommy calls me baby.” He giggled.
His inward movement encouraging her, tightening her arms, pulling him closer, rubbing her body against his, “Okay!”
Okay? Thinking she’d asked, How do you feel? or, How are you doing? “Grrreat!” he said.
Grrreat! Thinking he meant, It’s great to be held by me! Further encouraged, “Yeah? Okay!” she said. “Watch me.” Releasing him, Gina backed a foot away. “All’s ya gotta do’s like this.” Sliding her left foot to the left, her right foot followed. Moving her left foot forward, it was joined by the right. “One-two, three-four.” Making a box, moving her feet to the left, forward, to the right, and backward. “One-two, three-four. One-two, three-four. See? It’s easy!” Holding her arms to him, “Come on, baby, you can do it!”
Stalling, bringing Porky Pig to his lips, taking another drink, then, holding his hand to his mouth to stifle a belch, “URRRPPP!”
“Jesus, Lipensky,” Frank laughed over his shoulder. “You know any other tricks?”
“Sorry, ’scuse me. Okay, Gina,” shaking his head to bring his eyes into focus, “I’ll dance wi’ch’ya.” Taking another drink, he put the glass down, took one step forward, tripped over his foot and stumbled into her waiting arms.
Positioning her arm around his waist and his arm around her waist, taking his hand into hers, “Okay? One-two, three-four.”
Her cheek against his, her whispered words tickling his ear, “One-two, three-four.”
Being held rather tightly, he felt the surprisingly hard, yet soft prod of her breasts against his chest…
And the contours of her warm body against his definitely—most definitely—warming body, Mitchell thought, Funny, she don’t look so bad now. She don’t look so good, neither, but she don’t look so bad. And he further thought…
What the hell. She’s a girl, ain’t she!
“One-two, three-four.” Feeling him slip into the rhythm of the music, releasing his hand, pulling him closer, holding him tighter, Gina put both her arms about him.
Her exotic breath in his ear, the firm, yet soft feel of her breasts against his chest and the contours of her warm body sent a message downward…
But picturing the wax in her ear, he moved the side of his face from the side of her face…
But… the swaying motion of her hips sliding the coarser material of her skirt minutely back and forth over her rayon slip, feeling Gina’s skirt slithering beneath the palm of his hand, what else could he do… but let his left hand drop onto her outer thigh. So now he had one hand on the outside of her right thigh and one hand hanging in space, so he moved it, where else, but onto her left buttock.
Gina was a thin, young woman! Hidden beneath the Immaculate Heart school uniform was the figure of a thin, young woman, and her buttock, oh, yeah, was surprising well defined and, oh, yeah, you bet Mitchell’s hand sent this simple message to his benumbed brain… God, her ass feels great!
As if both hands were mutinous extremities that no longer listened to the message that his brain was sending, his right hand rubbed up and down the outside of Gina’s outer thigh while his left hand opened and closed, squeezing and releasing the firm, yet so soft, oh, yeah, roundness of Gina’s right buttock. He felt the sensuous sensation of the wool-like material of her skirt as it slithered over the smoothness of Gina’s rayon slip and, oh, yeah, he was deserted by yet another member of his body and, if he didn’t have one a minute ago, he sure as hell had one now, and as it didn’t seem to have anyplace to go but to the corresponding area of Gina’s Immaculate Heart skirt, there it probed.
Feeling the projection of his penis again her thigh, Gina arched outward, purposely rubbing her pubis, under the dark material of her Immaculate Heart skirt, against the bulge that pressed outwardly against the faded blue material of Mitchell’s Levi’s.
His erection and, oh, yeah, growing passion not withstanding, even in his wine-induced fog Mitchell was struck with amazement.
His clean ear was pressed against her dirty ear.
His clean face was pressed against her not-so-clean face.
Although, once again, he had to admit that Gina didn’t seem quite so dirty nor quite as ugly as she had when he’d first met her… when? When he’d first met her about forty minutes and two-and-a-half glasses of Porky Pig ago.
His six-foot, one-hundred-and-seventy-five-pound body was pressed against her five-foot, eight-inch, one-hundred-and-nineteen-pound, 34–23–35-inch body and his head said, Stop! Don’t hold her so close! If he were any closer he’d be behind her.
But, Oh, God! It feels so nice!
His head said, Stop! L’go her ass!
He now held both rounded, slithery buttocks in the palms of his hands, and…
Oh, God! They feel so nice!
His head said, Stop! She’s got, uh… small tits?
His chest was pressed against her chest and he felt the prod of the twin points of her brassiere and they might not be very big, but…
Oh, yeah! They were real live tits! And, Oh, God! Pressing his chest against hers, rubbing his chest from side to side, They feel so good!
Mitchell’s head said, Stop, stop, stop!
But he strained closer. He squeezed harder. He embraced tighter and…
Oh, God! Everything about Gina felt so nice!
The music ended, the announcer came on: “L.S.M.F.T. Lucky Strike means fine tobacco!”
Mitchell and Gina still stood, swaying, straining, their bodies locked by four arms and unseen components.
On the other side of the room, in pretty much the same position, Frank and Lisa paid scant attention.
Uh, oh! Mitchell stopped all motion and using all the will power he could muster, pulled his pelvis, breaking the mesmeric, erotic contact.
“No! Stay here!” Breathing the words in his ear, Gina moved her pelvis hard against his. “Don’t move, Mitchie, I’m so hot!”
Thinking, She thinks she’s hot! The embarrassment of an ejaculatory stain on his light colored Levi’s being something he did not want, knowing that he must break away, or else, closing his eyes tightly, biting his lower lip in concentration, Don’t come! Don’t come! Do not come… The wave passed. Thank you, God!
Hunched at the waist—as though thinking if he bent his body forward Gina would not notice that he had an erection—backing to the sofa, he dropped heavily onto it.
Attempting to regain her composure, standing a moment, Gina went to the sofa also and, their thighs touching, sat next to Mitchell.
This time he did not move away.
“Frankie,” Lisa whispered, “they’re watching us.”
“Yeah? Maybe they’ll learn something.”
“Come on, Frankie!” She pulled away. “We’ll be alone in a little while then we can… you know.”
Smiling, “Yeah!” Dropping his arms, they crossed the room.
As they walked to the sofa, walking straight up, as if proud of it, Mitchell could see the telltale bulge in Frank’s pants.
Taking their previous positions on the floor in front of the coffee table, lifting the milk bottle, leaning across the table, refilling all four jelly glasses, “Okay,” Frank said, looking from Gina to Lisa, “there’s somethin’ I gotta talk to you about. When we go to the movies later…”
Thinking, Movies! I don’t wanna go anywhere with her! He looked at Gina. I don’t want anyone seein’ me with her! “Hey, Frankie,” he said, “can’t we just kind’a, you know, kind’a hang around here?”
“Mitchie, Lisa’s mom’n’dad’ll be home ’bout six-thirty, an’ I thought we’d go to a movie or somethin’. What else can we do?”
“Don’t know if I wanna go to a movie neither,” Gina said. Although, in truth, she’d like nothing better than to be seen out with Mitchell. “My ol’ lady’s not supposed to be home ’til late, an’ if you guys wanna, you can come to my place.” The thought of being alone with him, again, later, appealed to her even more.
“Okay, we’ll see ’bout that. But I wanna tell you somethin’ just in case we do go some place later. You gotta call Mitch Mario!”
“Call Mitch Mario?” Lisa said, looking at Frank. “Why?”
“Today, when them two pricks was pushin’ Mitch around, they were only playin’ like…”
Playing? They were only playing?”
“Well, I don’t think they’d’a hurt’j’ya… too much; ’til they found out you was a J… Jewish. Then, when they found out you were, they were gonna kick the livin’ shit outta’ya.”
“Yeah, I thought they were gonna kill me, an’ if you didn’t come out when you did…” Shuddering, bringing Porky Pig to his mouth, Mitchell swallowed half the contents.
“Anyway, when we’re out,” Frank glanced at Mitchell, “if we go out, I want you should call him Mario,” looking from girl to girl, “so anyone seein’ him with us’ll think he’s Italian. Okay?”
“Sure, Frankie, anything ya want… Mitchie,” tucking her knee beneath her leg again, making sure that, minimally, as much of her bare thigh showed as it did earlier, “can I ask ya somethin’ without’j’ya getting’ mad at me?”
Staring at the flesh of her bare thigh again, “Sure…” Having a bit of an idea of what she was about to ask, fortifying himself for the circumcision question with another gulp of Porky Pig, “…I think.”
“Mitchie, is it true you, uh that Jews got…” Hesitating, Gina asked, “Uh, is it true that Jews got tails?”
“Huh? Tails?” Choking, turning his head to keep from spraying her with wine, “Where’d’ya hear Jews got tails?”
“In school, uh, not from the nuns! Well, not from all of ’em. But mostly it’s kids that say that their parents told ’em that Jews got tails…” hesitating again, “like the devil.”
A “Becoming” Excerpt.
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