PERVERT: The Disillusionment Of Paradise
June 16, 1958
Leaving the buggy on the side of the road beneath a tree, slipping the strap of the diaper bag over her shoulder, with Michael in one arm, the blanket and towels under the other – long since giving up on the steep, narrow, weed choked path she’d used as a child – she walked down the incline of the ‘Public Beach Access’.
Coming off the well beaten path, angling towards the water, Marsha nodded to the one other person out this early: an older man she’d seen with a woman here a few times before. Going about forty yards across the sand, to the place Marsha had designated as ‘her spot’ when she was nine years old.
Letting the diaper bag slip from her shoulder, dropping a towel onto the sand, sitting Michael on the towel, she spread and smoothed the blanket.
Muttering, “Oh, yes!” The man had been waiting for her, watching for her, expecting the young woman because it was at this approximate time that she came each day.
The man had seen the lone woman and baby a number of times over the past week, but had been with his wife each time so it wasn’t the right time so he was unable to... ‘approach’ her.
The man watched as she went to where she went each day: to within six or seven yards of the water’s edge where she lowered her baby onto a towel, spread the blanket, then sat the baby in its middle.
“There we go, Mikey.” Unzipping the bag, Marsha removed her book and a light weight summer blanket meant more for keeping the sun off her baby than for warmth. Although, even though the sun shone brightly from a cloudless sky, a slight, cool breeze came off the lake. Remaining in the bag was a fresh diaper, a light pullover shirt for Michael, a jar of cereal with bananas for him, a pack of Twinkies for her, an empty nipple bottle and a thermos of apple juice for her and him. Also in the bag, laying at the bottom, was Marsha’s wallet, the key to the cottage and a Kodak camera.
“Come here, you!” Familiar with the on-shore breeze, well aware it pushes warmer, surface water inward, Marsha removed Michael’s diaper, “Okay,” lifted him to his feet and, “Let’s go!” Holding his hands, helping the naked baby toddle across the soft, warm sand. At Waters edge, holding both hands stretched above his head, swinging the giggling baby over the calm water, she allowed his feet to touch as, sucking his breath, he tried lifting his feet, but within moments, his flesh accustoming to the tepid water, laughing his baby’s laugh, held safe in his mother’s hands, kicking, Michael splashed the water as, “Ollie,” lifting him so only his feet touched, “ollie,” dipping his feet, “ooops!” sitting him in the few inches of water, Michael again held his breath, then, laughing, he splashed with both hands until, lifting him, cradling him in both arms, Marsha walked to where the water reached her navel. “Ollie,” stooping, “ollie, ooops!” she wet her baby to his neck and herself to her shoulders and, “Ollie, ollie, ooops!” again, and again. Carrying Michael so sand wouldn’t cling to his feet, the mother and baby went back to their blanket.
Unaware he’d been holding his breath, Gordon Nathanson watched as the streaming young woman came from the water, laid her baby onto the blanket, knelt over him, rubbed him dry with a towel and re-diapered him.
Sitting as he was sitting – about forty feet to the right of her blanket – he had a sharp view of the woman’s small, tightly encased buttocks and, “Ummm!” – unaware he had moaned aloud – Gordon Nathanson was aware, though, that he did have an erection... and an all but uncontrollable urge to do ‘it’ now!
Sitting between her thighs, “Okay, Mikey.” the two looked outward, to the west, to Chicago.
Each lost within their own thoughts, Marsha wondered of Mitchell: Where’s he now? What’s he doing now? Is he thinking of me now? While the fifteen month old baby, actually unaware of any thoughts, wondered at the warm, blue stuff up there and the wet, green stuff down here.
Forcing his eyes from the young woman, looking to the water also, concentrating, he waited for his erection to subside... When it did, before standing, looking about to see if any of the now, three other people on the two blankets were looking in his direction. But to far away in any case, probing with his finger, lifting the sewn-in bathing-suit supporter, the man adjusted his now flaccid penis.
Softly said, “Hello.”
Public school in session for another four days, it was too early in the season for ‘old familiar faces’, and other than a few curt nods from a couple of women that had seen Marsha here, weather permitting, day after day, no one had spoken to her and she was not too sure that anyone was speaking to her now.
The sun at her back, the shadow cast across the blanket.
“Hi, there!” Gordon repeated, going to the other side of the blanket.
Looking up, “Oh...” By Marsha’s reckoning the man was at least as old as her father and, other than being exceptionally thin, in a small way reminded her of Eli. The man had a kind, gentle face and, as her father, a prominent nose. Unlike her father, the man has dark eyes and black streaked gray hair. His chest and legs were covered with fine, sun-bleached, near white hair. His spindly legs, almost comically, poked from his loosely fitting bathing trunks. . “...sorry. I didn’t realize you were talking to me.”
“No, no, it’s okay! No need to be sorry.” Close up, he thought her even prettier than from a distance. Standing above as he was, he was able to see the crevice and upper swell of her moderate sized breasts. Which, of course did not matter, but the fact the she was pretty certainly added icing to the cake. “I’ve seen you here, at the beach, and you always seem so lonely that I thought I’d just come on over and say hello.” Before she could respond, adding, “You seem so young. Is this your baby?”
“Oh, yes! This is Mikey... Mikey, say hello to the man.”
Looking up, smiling, Michael gurgled his rendition of “hello.”
Standing at the fringe of the blanket, smiling at Michael’s smile, “Hi, Mikey! Squatting, Gordon gently squeezed the baby’s chin. “Your baby’s beautiful. I’ve two of my own, you know; grown now.”
“Thank you... Boys?”
Your children, are they both boys?”
“Oh, no. One of each. Hal, uh, he’s almost twenty-four and Marge is, uh... Oh, God! How time flies! My daughter’s thirty. They’re both on their own now, you know.” A frown replacing his smile, Gordon became reflective. “Hal lives in New and Marge is... uh, someplace else.”
“We used to live in New York, too, Mister, uh...?”
“Nathan. My Name’s Nathan, but you if like, you can call me Nate.”
“Hi, Nate! I’m Marsha... Here,” patting the blanket, “why don’t you sit down.” Edging sideways, bringing Michael with her, moving to the center of the blanket she made room for the man.
“Thank you, Marsha, don’t mind if I do.” Actually sitting more on sand than blanket, he crossed his legs.
Facing ‘Nate’, the sun at her back, “Mitchie and me... he’s my husband; we used to live in New York when we were first married, in a place called Seagate, off Coney Island. You ever been there, uh, New York City, I mean.”
“New York City? No. Your husband...” Supporting himself with his arms spread outward and backward, leaning back, the man looked downward, “I haven’t seen him on the beach with you and Mikey.”
“No, Mitchell’s... uh,” Her eyes following his eyes...
When Marsha Goldman was eight or nine years old, occasionally some gawky, gangly-legged boy, usually right here at the beach, would inadvertently allow his penis to show through the gap of his wide legged shorts or bathing trunks.
Being young girls and being, to say the least, curious, Marsha and her girlfriends would, of course, look, and rather than embarrass the boy – or stop the show – once away, “J’ya see it? J’ya see Donnie’s ‘whatchyamacallit’?” The girls would compare notes and laugh, unaware, though, that every now and then, although, truly, not near as often as the boys, some gawky, gangly-legged girl would inadvertently allow her vulva to show through the gap of her wide legged shorts or bathing suit.
Being young boys – until they’re ninety – and being, to say the least, curious, but unlike the girls, not sure if they were seeing just a crease of flesh or ‘something else’, the boys would try not to stare and rather than embarrass the girl – or stop the show – once away the boys would compare notes and as boys take ‘these things’ much more seriously than girls, “J’ya see ‘it’?” They’d ask in tones of pure wonder. “J’ya see...” As she was always the gawkiest and gangliest, often it was:... Marcie Goldman’s whatchyamacallit’, I think?”
Quickly moving her eyes upward, It’s by accident, Marsha thought, He doesn’t know ‘it’s’ out. Because, as when she was a child, Marsha did not want to embarrass the man, also, her inbred respect for elders forbidding her to say anything rude, pretending she does not, did not see it. “My husband and I...” But whether it was or was not by accident, whether Nate did or did not know, her instincts taking over, “He’s a salesman and hasn’t been able to get away till now, and he’ll be here later.” Adding, “Today.”
“Oh, that’s nice.” Intently watching Marsha’s face, Gordon had noticed – what he considered to be a ‘lingering look’ – the downward and rapid up-shift of her eyes along with the change in the tone of her voice. She’s seen ‘me’! he thought excitedly. And the thought that this so young, so beautiful woman had seen ‘it’ and was so shocked roused him even further, and he engorged ever further. “I’ll bet,” Nate said matter-of-factly, “you can’t wait to see...?” Moving his extended arms further backward, leaning back, the gap in the thighs of his trunks widened. “What did you say your husband’s name is?”
“Uh, Mitchell.” Not sure that what was happening was really happening, and not wanting to look in any case, but wanting, having to prove ‘this’ was not happening, Marsha’s eyes were, once again, drawn downward, where...
Restraining himself, publicly, for the first thirty-three years of his life, Gordon Nathanson – from the time Marjorie was eleven and Harold five – exhibited himself only to his children until seventeen years ago when he went ‘public’, showing his thin, albeit, in Gordon’s opinion, magnificently long penis to unsuspecting women and, in particular, to young girls throughout the city of Detroit where he’d been dubbed ‘the snake man’ by the Detroit Police Department whom had been on the lookout for him for almost sixteen years.
While on his yearly vacation with his plump wife, Harriet; while at the beach, in order to effectively cover ‘himself’, or his reason to show himself, Gordon wore a size ‘Large’ athletic supporter in addition to the sewn-in supporter of his, purposely, loose-legged bathing trunks.
Sitting with Harriet at this beach over the past six days, seeing Marsha, watching Marsha he fought the urge to treat this young woman to the sight of ‘himself’ But on this day, now being hours before check out time at the ‘Emerald’ and returning home – to the wealthy Detroit suburb where he and Harriet lived – hoping Marsha would come to the beach, Gordon had purposely instigated an argument with his wife so she would not come with him, so he could take the chance to show her, and...
A moment ago it was only the glans and an inch or two of his penis that Marsha had seen. Now, about six inches of extended, obscenely pink flesh was exposed and, “Oh, my God!” Marsha said aloud as – spasmodically jerking upward, attempting to free itself from the restraint of the seam of his trunks – before her eyes it still grew till it lay extended near midway to ‘Nate’s knee.
Other than her son, if he had to urinate, and those little boys of so long ago, and they did not have erections, she thought, Marsha had seen only her husband’s penis in an extended state. But the size of her husband’s was – so he had told her and so it was – average sized, and in comparison to this man’s penis Mitchell’s was...?
She and Mitchell had occasionally joked about the size of ‘it’. She saying, jokingly, that, “It’s a teensy-weensy- weenie.”
He, of course, knowing his was the only adult penis Marsha had ever seen, especially in a state of arousal, had, jokingly, told her, “No, baby, I am definitely a man of gigantic proportions!”
Once, driving on Touhy Avenue on the north side of Chicago, they’d passed a Steinway Piano store where a banner was on display in the window announcing, ‘a piano and organ exchange’, and Marsha, jokingly, had prompted Mitchell to go inside and have his organ exchanged.
Knowing Marsha was openly staring, “Your husband...” Gordon said, glancing about once again to be sure none of the now nine people on the beach were looking in their direction. But only yards from the water, there was no one behind and, sitting directly in front of Marsha, unintentionally she was hiding what he was displaying. “...what’s he sell?” Continuing the conversation as though nothing was happening, inching the leg of his trunks back, until... “Everything is so expensive nowadays,” ...his entire penis and scrotum were fully exposed and, “it’s got to be pretty hard to support a wife and baby now-a-days.” The man said in a, to Marsha, infuriatingly matter-of-fact voice.
Shaking her head, closing and opening her eyes to be sure this was really happening: A man – that was old enough to be her father, that in a small way resembled her father – was sitting directly in front of her, smiling, making everyday conversation, asking everyday questions about herself and her family as all the while he, so, nonchalantly exposed himself.
The unbelievable , surrealistic scene before her eyes suddenly becoming real, the lump of anger in her throat having the taste of vomit, making no pretense of her abhorrence of him and repugnance at what he was doing... And in some hypnotic way forcing her to see, she compelled her eyes to shift from the man’s loathsome penis to his bland appearing face. The expression on Marsha’s face changing from incredulous shock to utter abomination...
Which, of course, was the same look Gordon Nathanson had seen on the faces of the hundreds of women and girls he’d molested in somewhat this same manner, which, of course, was exactly what Gordon Nathanson wanted, because Marsha’s look of revulsion, far from abrading, further stimulating him, lifting it, holding it from beneath, pointing it at Marsha, “You want to touch my cock, don’t you, Marsha!”
“ ‘Touch it’?” She said incredulously. “No! God, no! You’re disgusting!” Standing, scooping her baby from the blanket. “We’re getting out of here!” Having no way of knowing how many women, girls and Detroit Police officers agree with her. “You sick, perverted, nauseating, bastard!” Marsha snarled, “They ought to lock you up!” Her voice rising. “They ought to put you in a God-damned Looney-bin and throw away the God-damned key!” As he was only sitting on part of the blanket, using her adrenaline pumped strength, Marsha was able to yank it from beneath him. Shoving her arm through the strap of the diaper bag, spitting out, “You perverted son-of-a-bitch!” Not bothering to fold the blanket or towels, bunching them under her arm, her son in her other arm, Marsha Lipensky stormed off the beach.
The few people sitting about had heard the young woman’s rising voice, however, all wanting privacy on this presently sparsely populated beach had spaced their blankets far from their closest neighbor and between the babble of some of their children, the lapping of water and the rustling of wind in the tall grass of the embankment, unable to make out the words or understand what she was saying, those on the closest blankets sat up and watched as Marsha jumped to her feet, gathered her belongings and baby and rushed from the beach.
Shifting their gaze to the elderly man that sat cross-legged on the sand, those looking watched for a moment, then went back to their reading, dozing or keeping an eye on their children.
Still unbelievable, “My, God!” Marsha muttered as she trudged through sand and up the incline of the Public Beach access. “Oh my, God!”
Catching her breath only after placing Michael in his buggy, Marsha realized – as old world explorers eventually brought plague to the natives of virgin lands – that ‘Nate’, Gordon Nathanson had become the despoiler of Marsha Goldman’s paradise, and Marsha Lipensky knew that the paradise of her youth, as her youth, now existed only in mind and memory. Be it the loss of her utopia, or the encounter with Gordon Nathanson in her utopia, the realization caused more than merely anger... The realization caused an insurmountable sadness and Marsha Goldman Lipensky cried.
...Having past experience, he knew the best way to make an exit was by being nonchalant. Ignoring the looks of whomever might be looking in his direction, still seeing, still savoring the look of disgust on the young woman’s face, his hand hiding the cylinder of hardened flesh that showed from beneath his trunks, turning to the water, Gordon Nathanson sat in the sand for the two minutes it took for the blood that engorged the cells of his penis to reverse, then going to his blanket, gathering his belonging – hurrying to the closest ‘Private Beach’ access – he left the beach.
Wanting to be someplace away from Detroit for his spring vacations, Gordon and Harriet Nathanson first came to Union Pier, Michigan in 1955.
Hesitant to use a beach near the Emerald Isle Hotel, where they always stayed; afraid he might do something he hadn’t the power to stop and later be recognized, Gordon told his wife it was too crowded at nearby beaches and that he’d found a much quieter beach a few miles away, in neighboring Lakeside.
With the help of more slaps, and punches then she wanted to remember, Harriet Nathanson had long since learned to give in to the whims of her perverted husband and, knowing why, she’d readily agreed to go to whatever beach Gordon wanted.
Her husband’s perversion had driven the boy from their home by the time he was seventeen, and Marjorie when she was fifteen. They did hear from Harold every now and then, but the girl, never, and seemingly she had disappeared from the face of the earth.
Harriet Nathanson had three fears. One: That one day she would learn of the death of her daughter. Two: That one day the police would discover and arrest her husband, and three, that they may not.