I was in the park, my usual spot for a warm Sunday afternoon. It was nice and clean after a long week of spring rains, everything had turned green and the sky scrubbed blue. Not a cloud in it. And I'd found a good spot near an old beech tree to put my big quilt comforter. It was old and a bit ragged, a classic patchwork of fabrics hand stitched by my own grandmother before I was even born.
I loved that comforter and sat on it happily, pulling my long skirt down my legs and finding a well worn paperback in my purse. It was a western, Zane Grey, and thin because the man just didn't waste a lot of time with a story. It wasn't the usual fare that a young woman of twenty would be expected to read, but I wasn't the usual sort of woman most people would expect either.
Oh, I'm pretty enough, I suppose. I'd even been called beautiful by some of the boys in high school, but what did they know? Blonde hair and blue eyes tends to confuse the issue and having a hard, athletic sort of body didn't hurt. Most people assumed I was a swimmer, which I didn't completely understand, but perhaps it had to do with my smallish breasts and obviously toned arms and legs. My flat tummy might have helped too, but a swimmer? Nah. I wasn't quite so industrious in my hobbies.
This particular park was my favorite of the dozen or so scattered throughout and around the city. I liked it because it wasn't overly crowded, for one thing. There weren't a lot of college guys dragging coolers behind them and trying to hit attractive girls with their Frisbees as an excuse to introduce themselves. There were few children as well, which I appreciated, and none today that I could see. The playground here was some distance away and close to the parking lot and it wasn't much but a few swings and one lonely merry-go-round. I liked children from a distance.
The gay guys didn't come here either, since the local haunt for such activities was a park near the lake. From what I understood, the old boathouse there was a happening spot after sundown ... If you happened to be a gay man, which I'm obviously not. The lesbians, such as they were, liked a certain park on the hills to the west of town. It's a heavily wooded place and blessed with numerous hiking trails and I'd been there as a girl growing up. You could pick any path and find women sitting here and there, waiting for someone to come along. It had seemed strange and lonely to me at first, rather sad in a way, but I'd understood the necessity of it and made many brief friendships in that place.
Picking blueberries. That what I'd called it and such was always my excuse to my parents. I wasn't a lesbian anymore though. Much like boys had been, girls were just a passing fancy while I window shopped life. That was what I called it now, window shopping. I'd thought I needed a label when I was younger, you know, like straight, or gay, or bisexual. I was a girl. A daughter and a sister, and I was a student and smart and pretty and all of that. There were so many labels; so many names I could use to try and describe myself, but that seemed silly and finally I gave up.
At the end of the day all I really am is me, right? And so I decided to be me, which is hardly as easy as it sounds! What a paradox and not the sort of problem to be tackled on an empty stomach.
I had half a sandwich in my purse, egg salad, and I unwrapped it carefully, holding it by the paper towel I'd used. I'd eaten the other half on the bus getting here and now I was finishing my lunch and quite enjoying it while I read my skinny book and basked in the sunny day. I wish I could say it was fate, or better yet that I'd somehow planned what happened next, but the truth was that it was entirely by happy chance that a rather large puppy decided that he wanted a bite of my sandwich as well.
"Hey!" I narrowed my eyes as most of my sandwich disappeared, leaving me with a thumb sized bite as you can imagine. "I was eating that!"
"WOOF!" He had a deep voice and I think he had some mastiff in him, but a lot of St. Bernard as well. He had a huge dopey face, grinning from ear to ear, and so it was rather difficult to be angry with him.
"Well, you can't have this!" I said, popping the last bite into my mouth and savoring it. "I'm hungry!"
"WOOF!" he agreed and he was white and brown, with thick fur and deep brown eyes, lazy eyes too. I'd thought they were oriental at first, but no, the dog just didn't want to open them properly beneath his heavy brows.
"So, who are you then?" I asked and I reached for his collar, because he did have one. "Jasper, huh?"
"WOOF!" he nodded happily as I read his name aloud. He wagged his tail too and he was a dog in all respects.
"Do you have an owner, Jasper?" I wondered. "Or have you run off to seek your fortune?"
I looked around and there he was, as he had to be. A young man about my age or a little older, I suppose, early twenties and smiling sheepishly as he walked towards us. He was tall with dark hair and friendly eyes, a handsome man probably, and not particularly boyish despite his youth. He had the presence of someone older, someone in a hurry and I wondered how he could afford a dog like Jasper. Friends like that require a lot of time and I could tell already that this man slept with his watch on, which was a habit I could never abide. I'd thrown my watch away some while before.
"Jasper!" he said with mock exasperation. "What are you doing? I'm sorry; he got away from me and..."
"Yes he did," I nodded. "He ate half of my sandwich."
"Oh. Shoot, uh ... He sorta does that," the man frowned and Jasper was happy to sit on my comforter and I'd found myself scratching the dog behind his left ear.
"I'll make another one when I get home," I shrugged.
"Right," he cleared his throat and he'd already looked me over several times and now he did it again, so I smiled.
"Are you looking for a date?" I asked him before he could do something silly like introduce himself.
"Uh..." that drew his eyes to mine and they were blue, like mine. "Excuse me?"
"A date?" I tilted my head invitingly and took Jasper's left ear in my hand, giving the animal a playful tug. I liked his ears a lot.
"I'm not sure, uh, are you..." he stopped there because to go much further and be wrong would be very, very bad for both of us.
"I'm a prostitute," I nodded, letting him off the hook.
"I see, well ... Huh," he grinned. "I never would have guessed that."
"Yeah," I shrugged. "It's up to you anyway."
I kept playing with Jasper's ear, but let my eyes fall back to my book as I held it in my lap. I was just starting chapter six and wondering if the sheriff was going deputize his son-in-law, or just shoot the young man. It was that sort of story and I was enjoying myself quite a lot. I think I would have been very much at home in a time and place like the fictional old west and I contemplated buying a revolver and learning how to shoot it. I could even get a holster and learn to quick-draw, maybe.
"Ahem," the man was still there and he cleared his throat.
"Hi," I smiled up at him.
"How much?" he asked and then glanced around, but we were quite alone.
"Depends on what you want," I said. "Oral is fifty. Straight fucking is a hundred. Anal, hmmm..." I looked at Jasper and gave his ear another tug, just to see if he'd care, " ... One fifty for that, I think. I'm sort of small back there."
"Oh," he swallowed thickly and looked at his watch. "Okay, um, sure. Yeah."
"Yeah?" I smiled at the guy. "Great. You can pay first, it's alright."
"What?" he blinked at me. "Oh, I've never done this, uh, paid for sex or anything, um..."
"So why are you doing it now?" I wondered, glancing at my paperback and memorizing the page number.
"Well, um ... You're awfully pretty," he said and then laughed nervously. "But I guess you know that, huh?"
"Sure," I shrugged. "That's the only reason?"
"My wife..." he said slowly, but without looking around.
"Wife?" I was putting my book in my purse.
"Yeah, she's pregnant," he nodded. "Eight months, but it's been pretty hard on her. She hasn't been in much of a mood for a long time and..."
"Oh," I nodded too. "It's been hard on everyone, huh?"
"Exactly," he smiled, seemingly relived that I understood him so well. "I just really need to, uh, relax. You know?"
"Sure," I agreed pleasantly.
"So, where do we go?" he wondered. "I'm Stephen by the way."
"We don't have to go anywhere," I said, patting the comforter I was laying on. "That's why I brought this."
"Here?" He seemed surprised by that.
"Oh, I think it'll be okay," I smiled, glancing around and there were a number of people, a lot of dogs too, but I was hardly bothered by that. As I said, it was that sort of park, or perhaps I didn't make that clear.
"I thought you had a room someplace, or..." The man was nervous, which made little sense to me. I'd be the one breaking the law.
"It's such a nice day," I grabbed Jasper by both of his ears and pulled hard, but the dog only grinned at me. "You don't mind, do you?"
"WOOF!" Jasper replied and he was smarter than he looked, unlike most people I've met.
"Now," I smiled at the man, this Stephen person. "What was it that you wanted me to do?"
"Well, if we have to do it here," he said slowly, making it clear that he was unhappy, "I guess, um, just a blowjob would be okay."
"Hmmm..." I nodded. "Cool. So ... Fifty up front?"
"Oh, right," he agreed, taking one more look around before reaching for his wallet.
.... There is more of this story ...