75th Street

by Maeve O'Connell

I never knew such comfort as the days we spent sitting on our front porch. The living was simple but it was so good. We didn't have any money, but our neighbours kept us entertained.

One night in July we were sitting out as usual when this guy came over. He was big big big and built like a house. He was all flushed and blubbery and very irate.

- You guys seen my rubber doll?

Now understand me ; my friends and I were not at all prepared for a conversation, let alone on a topic such as the one now presented to us. Our blank faces told of our surprise and as he jumped up and down without his feet ever seeming to leave the ground.

- My rubber doll, Marge, you know, with the big breasts.

Just why we needed rubber breasts we did not know as he certainly had breasts a-plenty to share , but he did not budge from where he stood still we told him that no, we had not seen Marge that day.

Now this wasn't exactly true and even as he blubbered off in a huff, Aoife started to giggle aloud. You see, we had come across Marge that day, lonely and deflated on the beach. And, well, we couldn't just leave her there, could we?

Infact there's no telling what might have become of Marge if we hadn't found her that day. But home she came with us and we washed her up real good and left her on our sofa. Now, I can't honestly remember whose idea it was or maybe it just happened, but somehow we figured that we might make a bob or two if we got kids to come in and look at her. And we did. Twenty bucks we made the first day. Mostly they just looked, copped a feel or two and ran out giggling. But some of them, kids of about twelve or thirteen, well they made fuller use of those rubber orifices - it was understandable; those were some ugly kids and Marge was as near as they were going to get a lay for the next seven years.

And Marge looked all the better for it. Like, we had to pump her up every now and again and wash her out, but she looked happy as our Lady Marmalade and, of course she never did complain much anyway.

Marge had paid us about two hundred dollars in rent by the time we saw Blubberbuns again. There he was, on our step, panting and heaving, big as a house. And he was unhappy.

- I hear you guys have my doll, he fumed.

Now perhaps we would have denied it or something, but from the front room came quite audibly the sound of a thirteen year old boy pounding away between rubber thighs. Unable to contain his rage anymore, he pushed past Aoife into the living-room, screaming.

- I'm gonna whoop your flabby ass, motherfucker, and he grabbed the offender by the scruff of his teenage neck.

Turning him around so as to throttle the boy, whose pants dangles about his knees. Blubber stopped and started. The par regarded each other long and hard until at last the flabby fist relaxed and the boy hit the floor.

- Jesus, Blubbs said. Jesus Fucking Christ.

The boy was ashen. Blubberman cried

- Boy what have you done for yourself

At his feet sat crying his thirteen-year-old bare cheeked son. Marge lay smiling on the sofa.

They left, arm in arm, man and son, wobbling away through the parking lot. Blubb junior could be heard sniffing until he turned the corner onto the highway. After that we washed Marge up and brought her to sit with us on the porch. She stayed with us rent-free a few more weeks and then one day in early August she disappeared. No-one knows where she went, but I've heard stories about a rubber doll keeping residence in a Good Samaritans shelter; a synthetic angel to bring some cheer to less fortunate folk. Marge never did come back to our porch or sofa, but then I reckon she had better things to do than making money for us so as we could buy beer.

Some kids used to come back hoping to see her again and again and I've heard that they still came, long after we'd left that place and moved on to some other, crazier, town on the sunny east coast.

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