.Flash Fiction Post
Here is my contribution this week... and as promised... it is a little EARLY THIS TIME!
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As the rumble receded westward, a fine layer of dust settled on the tall stack of vintage condom boxes.
Rodger looked out the side window of his room and could see the tail-end of the pick-up grow smaller and smaller as it raced further away. A tear slowly rolled down his cheek into the corner of his white beard.
Awareness never came willingly or easily to Rodger, but instead only breached his skull when forced, almost always resulting in pain... usually physical, but in this even rarer case, emotional. Instead of any awareness, instead of conscience, Rodger had lived his life viscerally, sensually, only for the textures of the moment. Sensations were the house of cards upon which he constructed his life, for that is what the magazine had informed him he could do, what the magazine had guided him to become and be. He religiously obeyed the tenets of that magazine and allowed it to shape him and mold him into who he was.
He first found the magazine back when he was just a young pup of 23, still wet behind the ears, but not recognizing that fact. At that time, he had been married only a few months to his high school sweetheart, Mary, and all was fine with the world back in those glory days of 1955. He had a decent job as a postman, was considering going back to school now that he had completed a brief stint in the reserves, and was ready to live the American Dream.
The magazine first showed up in his postal sack to deliver, the first month he started delivering mail. It was simply wrapped, in plain brown paper, and had no identifying marks on it other than the label to the person for whom it was to be delivered. Because of the wrapping, being so utterly non-descript, he remembered the magazine and noticed it every month when it found its way into his sack to be delivered. Even though he new it was none of his business, he wondered what the magazine was contained within the brown paper.
The fateful day happened in late April of that year, for in Rodger's sack this day was again the wrapped magazine. However, on this particular day, the wrapping around the issue was torn slightly. Curiosity may not have really killed the cat, but it sure as hell did a number on Rodger, for in his acting on his curiosity at that instant, he shaped his life forevermore. He slid his finger carefully through and under the small tear in the wrapping, peering into the crevasse created to see what the magazine was called.
"Damn." he muttered quietly under his breath. He had heard of the magazine, of course, but even during his stint in the reserves, he had never actually seen a copy. A tingle ran down his spine.
Instead of delivering the magazine to its rightful owner that day, Roger instead stealthily took the magazine with him at the end of the day, stopping on his walk back home to carefully look at the magazine. Sneaking into the basement before his wife arrived home that evening, Rodger took off the brown paper and began to peer at the contents.
The May 1955 issue featured articles, and advice, and all sorts of ads. Of course, there was a pinup as well. This month's feature was of Bettie Page
. And gawking at her image resulted in the requisite sensations deep in his loins. But, it was an article that captured his imagination more fervently. In it was a question and answer interview on how anyone (by God, even Rodger) could become a playboy.
It did not happen immediately, but within the manner of about a month and a half, Rodger's fascination with the lifestyle of the playboy grew to an obsession. He began to be on the prowl, so to speak, every waking moment, and just like the article suggested, he always kept a condom with him at all times, in case a willing (or convincable) woman would succumb to his "charms". A true Playboy was in it for the moment, and didn't want to plant any seeds.
To cover his growing
hobby, Rodger even began to use a condom when with Mary, suggesting to her that it added to his "stamina". However, Mary was not gullible for long. A bit of lipstick, in an errant shade from her own that she found on one of the shirt tails of his postman's uniform made her fully realize the infidelity of the phrase, "The Postman Always Rings Twice."
When Mary confronted Rodger, it didn't even phase him, for his heart and mind (if not his body) had already left for another manner of life, one in keeping with the mantra of the magazine. Only a few days after the confrontation between the couple, did Rodger leave, never to harken her door ever again.
He did lead the life the magazine instructed him, through the caffeinated/beatnik 50s, and the hazy hypnotic 60s and 70s, through the 80s and 90's up through the near present. Every step along the way, his perpetual subscription to the magazine shaped the choices he made, not only in his sexual proclivity, but in every manner of how he lived and viewed life.
It was in 1998 that he first began to show some symptoms. For better than two decades, Rodger had been mildly diabetic. Left untreated (hell, it did not fit into the Playboy lifestyle at all) the condition progressed slowly at first. The neuropathy was relatively mild, but the circulatory issues grew more and more problematic.
While these circulation issues he faced were systemic, occurring throughout his body, his only concern was the softening and difficulty he had with his erection. Again, it was his bible that was his guide, for he learned about a pill that would help him continue his journey, his quest to be a playboy. It was called Viagra, and it continued to allow him to blithely continue the pure hedonism he had constructed for his life for a few more years.
But, there eventually were consequences to pay, and Rodger was no exception. The years left a heavy toll on him in many ways. Circulatory problems were the the major culprit still and two years ago, his circulation had gotten so poor to his legs, that first one and then the other were amputated above the knee. The loss of mobility forced Rodger to be placed in a convalescent center, where he had very few options. The two primary pastimes he engaged in were watching daytime television and masturbation... both more akin to each other than dissimilar.
It was July 15th of this very year when Rodger had the surprise of a visitor stoping by. This caught him off guard for he really had no one at all who cared for or new him anymore, other than the nurses, who were paid to bathe him, feed him, and medicate him. One night stands, the hallmark of the playboy, did not lend themselves to long-term relationships. And to top it off, the visitor was a burly man, who appeared in his mid 50s. He was carrying a packing box.
"Are you Rodger Dobzyanski, originally from Toledo?" said the man with a hollow, gruff voice.
"Yes." stated Rodger as he lay in his hospital bed, covered with sheets and a blanket up to his shoulders.
Feeling nervous, he slowly, but reflexively slid his hand toward his member and held himself, which calmed him somewhat.
"I brought this for you." stated the man as he heavily placed the box on the bed, where Rodger's legs would have been. "My mother died a month ago."
Rodger took the lid off the box, and a rare look of awareness grew over him. He looked up toward the fellow, but it was too late, he had already turned and walked out of the room. Moments later, Rodger could see him open the door to a large pick-up, and traveled west on the road leading toward the Interstate.
He peered inside the box again. The old condoms were on top, but as he rummaged deeper, he found his and Mary's wedding photo, and a photograph he had taken on their honeymoon. Also tucked into the folder containing the photographs was a worn copy of a birth certificate as well, it listed the baby's birth date as October 5th, 1955. The baby's name, Rodger Dobzyanski, Jr.
The lone tear of emotion that ran down his cheek was something that was not comfortable for him. Quickly, he closed the box and called a nurse to come take it away. Looking up at the ceiling after she came and left with the box, he again reached under the blankets to grasp himself, desperately yanking on himself so he could forget and return to his unaware state of playboy "bliss".
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Well, that is for this week's effort. I am not sure if I like this particular story or not. I am not sure this is as strong as the others, but I hope that you enjoy it and leave many, many comments. As always, thank you.... and *I have posted the story ahead of time to boot*!