Malcolm Glass :: The Panties ::


Southern Legitimacy Statement: As I previously done said last time I submitted, I grew up in Florida. And that certainly doesn’t count. Surrounded by rich Yankees for twenty-some-odd years, I had no idea what the South was about. But I came to Tennessee sixty years ago and went to Vanderbilt, one of the most important breeding grounds of dead mules. I learned a lot about Southern Literature from Ransom, Davidson, Tate, Warren, and those guys. Even learned about “mushmillions” from Cleanth Brooks, even though he was a Yankee. I settled in and stayed, and that’s when I started learning about the real South. You know, pitch-forking hay, ornery sheriffs, English ballads turned hillbilly music, Arcadian under-achievers, and all that. And I will be quick to admit I stole that reference to farmers right out of the mouth of Gamble Rogers, one of the most neglected Southern raconteurs in history. And to think, I grew up with Gamble in Florida, not knowing till later how Southern he was, cracker to the bone.

The Panties

Dale sat on the one good kitchen chair, pulled a deck of cards out of the box, and laid out a game of solitaire. By the sink, Vicky was making lunch. Dale plunked down cards, his mind still on their romp the night before. She was a wild thing. And noisy. He loved that. 

His ex, Jeannie, the mouse, he called her, was so quiet between the sheets. He’d wonder, Is she thinking about someone else? He would try to look in her eyes, but they were always closed. No, she’s always quiet like this, lost in herself, he’d think. Then the real answer came when Jeannie moved out to move in with Barb. That was four years ago. Didn’t hurt much then and sure didn’t hurt now. And they were still friends.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Vicky said.  

Dale hunched his shoulders. “How?”  

“I’m a mind reader.” She was at the counter with her back to him, chopping onions. On the stove a kettle was shrieking. Vicky turned it off. Dale scooped the cards and started another game.

“Yeah?” he said. “What am I thinking?” 

“About that uptown slut Jean. You called her Jeannie cause you thought she looked like that witch on TV. Ha! She’s ugly as a mud fence. I thought she looked like Endorra.” 

Vicky moved around the kitchen in her black bodysuit and loose, white blouse that slipped off one shoulder. She sure knew how to tease with her clothes. He wasn’t interested in wandering. 

“I know what’s on your mind, you hound. You want to get back with that witch. Have you a little side dish.” 

“Nope.” He plunked down a card, then stuck it in the middle of the pack and drew another. He did this several times, until he got a card he could use. “I’m thinking about you.” Dale eyed her as she moved around the kitchen. Her blouse swayed and bounced gently as she moved. “Jeannie’s ancient history,” he said gathering up the rows of cards.

“Then why you got her panties?”

“I don’t.”

She pulled out underwear from her purse. “What’s these then?”

Dale looked up to see Vicky holding pink see-through bikini briefs with Jeannie printed in red across the rear.

“Oh, them.”

“Yes, them,” Vicky said with her hand on her hip. 

“Where’d you get those?” Dale said, nonchalant.

“In your sock drawer, dumbass.” 

“Been there forever,” he said. “She left them here years ago. Before I met you.”

Vicky snorted. “And you still got them?”  

“I forgot they were there. You want them?” Dale squared the pack and started a new game.

“Hell no! What a thing to say.” Vicky frowned.  

“Just kidding. I could give them back, I guess.” 

“What! Don’t you dare go near that woman!”

Dale laughed. “Don’t you worry about that, honey.” 

“But you’ve been thinking about it. The other night in bed your mind was somewhere else. I could tell. And then I found these. I can put two and two together. I ain’t no fool.” She held the panties in front of his face. “This is where your mind is.”   

He gathered the cards again and stuck them into the ragged box. “No, Vicky. My mind is on your top. The way it swings back and forth.” He waved his hands side to side over the table. 

Vicky held her hands against her breasts and gave him a wide-eyed look. “You pervert!” 

“You got that right,” he said. 

She rolled her eyes and grinned. “And that’s what I love about you.” She sat on his lap and kissed him.

“More,” he said.

“Mmm . . . more,” she said back. Then she broke the kiss, leaned to the side, and eyed him. 

“I was trying to fix lunch, Dale.”

“I ain’t hungry right now,” he said. “Not for lunch anyways.” 

“Suits me fine. It’ll all keep,” she said, kissing his neck.

“You didn’t know Jeannie was gay, did you,” Dale said.

“You got to be kidding!”

“Nope. She fell in love with some woman at work.”

“Was you hurt?” Vicky asked. “I thought you all was a tight couple.”

“Nah. Not really. She was a cold fish anyhow.”

“Well, ain’t that something. In high school everybody thought she was a skank. Guess I can stop being jealous, huh.” She went for his ear, gave the lobe a love bite. Then she whispered. “I put them panties in the trash.” 

“Right where they belong,” Dale said.