Mrs. Glist had just come out of the shower. Her hair was wrapped in a towel. Otherwise, she was naked. I stood in the doorway and stared. I stared at her waspy waist and high breasts. I gazed intensely at her broad hips and her sliver of pubic hair, at her long legs and slender neck, and at her deep navel. My eyes were everywhere but hers. She stood still, looking at me, I think. Minutes passed and I kept looking. I had forgotten that I had come into her room hoping to use her bathroom while Lindsey was in the shower. I had some vague awareness that I should turn around, but I was caught in a spell. After an almost interminable time, I heard Lindsey call out my name, “Cathy.” I looked down, shut the door and went back to Lindsey’s room.
I was fifteen at the time. I was terrified what would happen when Mrs. Glist and I met at the breakfast table later that morning. It was almost surreally normal. She gave no indication that I had spent something like five minutes staring at her nakedness. Apparently, neither did I. Lindsey and I went off to the mall and chatted about Robbie, a boy we both had a little crush on.
Lindsey was my best friend and we spend most of our time at her house. It was relatively empty: she was an only child and her family had no pets. Mrs. Glist worked at home, but she spent a lot of time in her office, or out with clients. My house was a fool’s riot dream: I have five siblings, and at that time, we had three very large and excitable dogs. My mother was a stay at home mom who fixed every meal from scratch and made as many of our clothes as we would allow (we weren’t particularly kind about indulging this particular miserliness).
Lindsey and I loved the freedom to hole up in her bedroom and talk freely, play backgammon, or whatever else we wanted to do without a younger brother barging in to show us his science project, or my mom calling up for us to walk one of the dogs.
For me, though, the best part was the relaxed atmosphere. While my home was messy and invasive, it was also surprisingly structured. There was a decorum expected amongst the daily riot. Dinner was always at 6:15 sharp. We had to change out of athletic clothing as soon as we got home. We had to say “please” and “thank you” for everything, as well as “may I.” Our shirts were always properly ironed, if covered in doggy hair.
The Glists were much more casual. Dinner was served whenever it was done, which was as likely to be 9 as 6. Proper clothing was what you were wearing. Manners consisted of “thanks,” “okay” and “I guess.” When Mr. Glist was out of town on business, Mrs. Glist and Lindsey often spent Saturday morning lounging in their bathrobes and had left-over pizza for breakfast (one of the rules in my house was that each food had one—and only one—proper meal; consumption of a dinner food for breakfast was forbidden).
Those occasional Mr. Glist-free Saturdays were my favorites. Lindsey and I would stay up late on Friday night watching scary movies and sleep in as long was we wanted. Sometimes Mrs. Glist had pancakes for us, sometimes we ate cold pizza, sometimes she ordered Chinese food at 11 am and we had hot-and-sour soup and drank cocoa. It was never regimented and never routine.
However, the casual attire meant that on several occasions after that first, I would encounter Mrs. Glist naked, or in a loosely-tied robe while Lindsey was in the shower or otherwise occupied. And I always stared. And stared. Our eyes never met and nothing was said. She would stand like a deer caught in headlights, and I would look at her as if I was witnessing a wonderful and rare celestial event. Only once did Mrs. Glist do anything that might suggest she was an active participant: she shifted her arm slightly—less than an inch—and her robe fell open. I watched as her nipples hardened. I think I had had turned sixteen a few weeks before. She never did anything like that again.
I suppose this sounds as if all of my time in the Glists’ home was sexually charged. It wasn’t. Mr. Glist was rarely out of town, and even on the occasions of his absence, Mrs. Glist and I rarely had such encounters. I think that I saw her nude or nearly so perhaps six or seven times in two years. Most of the time, we behaved entirely normally.
Well, perhaps that isn’t quite honest, either. While I rarely gazed on Mrs. Glist’s rather amazing nude figure, there were other, more frequent times when I found myself looking at her, transfixed. These long gazes always occurred when Lindsey and Mr. Glist were elsewhere. Sometimes, Mrs. Glist would lean over to put something away and I would be looking at her broad hips and toned bottom, then suddenly realize that she had stood up and that I had lost all sense of time. Sometimes, Mrs. Glist would join Lindsey and I in the swimming pool and I would become fixated on her narrow waist until Lindsey splashed me.
At various times, I found myself staring at Mrs. Glist’s bust, her legs, her waist, her bottom, and even the back of her head. I think Lindsey may have suspected I had a crush on her mom, but I didn’t. I didn’t fantasize about her, or even think of her much outside of the staring episodes. I had crushes on boys and even dated a few.
Shortly after I turned seventeen, Lindsey’s parents divorced. The divorce was very amicable, and wasn’t a surprise to me. I always suspected that Mr. and Mrs. Glist were better friends than spouses or intimates. My parents, and the parents of my other friends, seemed to have some degree of physicality about them, but Mr. and Mrs. Glist almost never touched. Mrs. Glist also would note “what a cutie” various actors were when we watched a movie. Mr. Glist seemed resigned that his wife seemed more interested in those pixilated people than himself.
While Lindsey took the divorce much better than I would have imagined I could, she had occasional fits of anger or sorrow and often divulged things I didn’t know about her family. I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I found out that the Glists’ had something of a shotgun marriage when Mrs. Glist had become pregnant with Lindsey at sixteen. In some ways, it explained a lot. Mrs. Glist certainly looked much younger than my parents (who were married at twenty-five, and started having a child every year-and-a-half for the next eight years). They also seemed more youthful in attitude than my other friends’ parents.
After the divorce, I got to know Mr. Glist a lot better. It turns out that he is the most naturally giving person I know. I think he always deferred to Mrs. Glist on parenting while they were married, so we didn’t have a chance to see how funny and caring he was until Lindsey started spending two weeks a month with him. He bought a house just two miles from the old house, so Lindsey could stay in the same school, and took us out to do fun things like horseback riding or hiking whenever I was staying with he and Lindsey.
When Lindsey was with her mom, things became even more casual. Both of them liked to lounge around in their robes, so I caught Mrs. Glist nearly naked more often. I still wasn’t admitting my crush on her, but on some level, I got to the point where I expected to stand and stare at her. When I would stay over on Fridays or Saturdays, we had grown into a shower order: Mrs. Glist, Lindsey, and myself. I always needed to pee once Lindsey got in the shower and found myself in Mrs. Glists’ bedroom door, gazing at her. Sometimes she would have her back to me when I entered and I would be transfixed by the narrowness of her waist and the musculature of her buttocks and legs. Once I found myself placing my hands in the air in front of me as if I was encircling her waist, taking measure of the improbable smallness of Mrs. Glist’s figure. Later in that week, I was studying and suddenly found myself getting a tape measure and calculating how big Mrs. Glist’s waist was. I guessed twenty inches. Mrs. Glist is a tall woman, perhaps five foot nine. My waist at the time was twenty-two inches, and I am thin.
At other times, she would have just come out of the shower, her blonde locks always wrapped in a towel. She would look in my direction, and might turn to face me, but we would never meet each other’s eyes, and never close the distance between us. I don’t think she looked at me while I was looking at her. I think the rules of the game required her to look away. I don’t understand the rules, since what were doing was so obviously forbidden that rules shouldn’t have applied, but we followed them more rigorously than any other rules in that house.
That spring, two things changed. One Saturday, I was once again in Mrs. Glist’s bedroom doorway, looking at her nakedness. I felt my heart beating faster than normal, and breaking the rules, I allowed my gaze to reach up to her face. Her eyes were looking away, towards the mirror. I realized that she was watching my eyes via the mirror, and probably had been all along. Our eyes met in the mirror. After a long time, she turned her head towards me, and our eyes met without the intermediating mirror. Her mouth turned into a soft smile, and then she looked away.
After that, my urinary urgency disappeared. I no longer desperately needed to pee while Lindsey was showering. Instead, I would wake with a fast heartbeat and a pressing anticipation for Lindsey to turn on the shower water so I could return to Mrs. Glist’s room. We went back to the rules, our eyes carefully avoided, but my conscious mind’s denial was beginning to crack.
.... There is more of this story ...