Afternoon Delight


If you were in eighth grade and you had a weekly afternoon paper route delivering the Detroit News in Saginaw, Michigan, and you rode your red Schwinn with the basket to do your route and then rode it again on collection day, what would your fantasy be?
If you were Chet, it would be Mrs. Robinson coming to her door in a beige negligee. That’s right, I said beige!
You’d keep pedaling with peanut butter sandwiches and pure lust as your fuel. You’d ring the doorbell and wait for the show. Would the lady of the house answer the door in a skimpy pair of capris and a see-through cotton blouse? Or would she have on a tight sheath dress that hugged her womanly form? To a thirteen year old boy peering into the adult world, it was enough to keep you going till the next stoop.
“Collecting for the Detroit News, $2.00 please,” you’d say when she came to the door. And then you’d take it all in, the foyer, hallway, the front room. She would go get her purse or the cookie jar or a tattered envelope. Sometimes she would slip you a quarter as a tip, or hand you a brownie, or brush your skin when she put the two dollar bills in the palm of your hand.
It was enough.
You were acutely aware of all things female, the curves under the clothing, the smell of perfume, the red lipstick on those perfect, kissable lips. Yes, you were a good Lutheran boy, but ooh, lah, lah, the way she sashayed down the hall, your eyes glued to her backside!
News alert: you were still two and a half years away from dating real girls and getting your first real job as a draftsman for the city planner, with the help of your well-connected father. This was all you had, for now.
The lady of the house would answer the door in her flip or bob hairstyle, or your favorite way, ratted and piled high, the back of her neck revealed as she turned away from the door, the sparkle of her earrings in the afternoon sun.
If you got delayed and collected too late, the husband might be home, would hand you the money and would break the spell. The fantasy would end, you weren’t going to be with any of these women, you were only thirteen.
But if you collected early enough, you could collect those lovely smiles, put them in your shirt pocket, take them home, and lock them in your bedroom with you until dinner time, if you know what I mean.

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