Steve Grogan is an ongoing contributor to Writer to Writers. He has published several short stories on the site, which can be found on the main page under the heading “Steve Grogan’s Fiction.” He has had several poems and short stories published over the years, some of which are available on Amazon. (See the announcement at the end of this post.)
He is the writer and creator of the ongoing, zombie, post-apocalyptic, Romero-meets-Dungeons-and-Dragons webcomic REDemption. Alternatively, Steve describes the comic by saying, “It is to zombie fiction what KILL BILL was to kung fu movies: everything I love about the genre housed under one roof and mixed with my voice.”
October 6, 2008
When Chris came over I was wearing a bathrobe. Underneath it, my cock was wrapped around my waist like a belt. If it turned into a hard-on, the velocity of it whipping to full attention would probably throw my back out for good, and I’d just lie there on the floor, a complete cripple, until I died of dehydration. Imagine the media storm that would be stirred up if someone found me and my penis hadn’t returned to normal!
Chris had his usual cheerful smile on when I opened the door. He greeted me with a very loud, “Hey, man! How’s it going?”
“All right, I guess. Come on in.”
“I thought you said you had the flu, bro. You don’t sound too bad to me,” he said.
“My congestion is gone, but I still feel out of it,” I countered. “Here’s the screwdriver to get the plates off.”
As Chris took the tool from me, he said, “You still got the Camaro, right?”
“How come you’re taking it off the road?” he asked.
“Don’t really use it much anymore.” I answered.
I was ready to scream if he asked another question. What the fuck was the deal with this interrogation anyway? Just take the damn plates, go to DMV, get back here, give me the green slip, and get this all over with! That’s what I wanted to yell at him but, if I did, then he’d tell me to stick my favor where the sun doesn’t shine so I had to stand there and answer his silly, irrelevant questions even though it meant more time for my cock to spring to life.
“What if you have an emergency?” Chris asked.
“I’ll dial 911,” I quickly replied. “When does the DMV close today?”
Chris looked at his cell phone. “Six, and it’s 5:40 now. Let me get going.”
At long last he headed down the stairs. I hadn’t felt the slightest twitch of an oncoming hard-on. Chalk that up to dumb luck.
As I waited for Chris to return, I sat on the couch and let my mind wander. I thought about how he’d looked at his cell phone for the time. Funny how cell phones could replace so many other accessories. How much had the sales of watches been hurt by them? Or digital cameras? Then again, maybe there wasn’t such an impact on cameras since cell phones didn’t take the best pictures. Hell, maybe not even watches had suffered that much in sales. After all, there will always be some asshole somewhere in the world who wants to show off his status by flashing his $5,000 Rolex.
That reminds me of another show I saw on good old MTV: Cribs. What was the connection between expensive watches and that show? Material excess.
Everyone on that goddamn program has houses big enough to fit a small village in. Instead the only people living in it are the rock star, his wife, and a few kids. With the amount of homeless we have in this country, such greed should be punishable by law. I hate to say it, but maybe we need to start imposing some restrictions on people like China does. They have laws about how many kids you can have. America needs rules on how much space one family can take up, whether the bastards are rich or not.
All the homeless in this country made me think of something else: those nudniks Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It’s amazing to me how eager Americans are to kiss celebrity ass, heaping praise after praise on these two for adopting babies for Third World countries. “Oh, they are such good Samaritans for doing that.” What about all the American babies that need adopting, you dumb cunts? If they’re so adoption crazy, why don’t they help some of the children IN THEIR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY? I wish just one reporter would have the balls to ask them that.
If I had the money those rich idiots have, I’d buy a two-story house. One that had just enough room for me to live comfortably. Then I would determine how much money I could give away, and I would find a charity to support. Finally, if I planned on adopting a child, it would be an American baby. Let’s try taking care of our problems at home before we worry about the rest of the world. We’re so obsessed with saving everyone else that our country is rotting from the inside out.
Chris broke my soapbox mentality when he got back at 6:20. I hoped he wasn’t prepared for another round of twenty questions. All I wanted was for him to give me the green slip and get out. But you know how the old saying goes: shit in one hand, wish in the other, and see which one fills up first.
He didn’t even ask if he could come in. Instead he just barreled past me when I opened the door. Then he had the nerve to look around like he was a building inspector or something. Why had I asked this guy for a favor? Simply because he lived so close to me? Well, one thing was for sure: I’d never make that mistake again!
“Nice place you got here,” Chris said.
“Yeah,” I said. “You got the green slip?”
“Oh, shit! I left it in my car,” Chris said. “Be right back.”
I was very close to being unable to mask my anger. It was a miracle that, when he came back up, I managed to maintain a civil tone in my voice.
“Cost me a buck,” he said, handing over the paper.
“I’m sorry, man. I didn’t realize…”
“Dude, it’s just a buck. Don’t worry about it,” Chris said. “Hey, can I use your bathroom really quick?”
Finally, he’d managed to ask one question that didn’t annoy me, but the outcome did: it took him about ten minutes to wrap things up in there. When at long last he came back out, Chris had an embarrassed look on his face.
In a hesitant tone, he said, “Uh…hey, bro…I hate to tell you this, but I just clogged up your toilet.”
I threw my hands up in disgust. He was lucky that’s all I did because my real desire was to strangle him. The stupid questions. Barging into my place without asking if he could come in. Looking all around as if he were a licensed building inspector. Leaving the paper downstairs. And now this!
“Man, aren’t you close to my age? Don’t you know how to wipe your ass without using half a roll of toilet paper?” I said.
“I didn’t use half a roll, man,” he replied.
“That’s not the point. I don’t care about the exact amount you used. It was enough to clog the damn toilet,” I argued.
“Damn! What are you getting so excited about? It’s just a clogged toilet, not the end of the damn world,” Chris said.
It dawned on me that he had a good point, but then I realized something: as far as he knew, I was still feeling wiped out from the flu. The last thing a sick person wants to do is unclog a toilet.
“Look, I’m tired as hell. I just want to lie back down, all right?”
The words came out with a little more anger than I meant. That much was made clear by the look that came to Chris’s face. It was a hurt, beat-down look. A look you get from a dog when it realizes it has upset you. However, by this point it was too late to reel the words back in.
“So lie down and rest. I’ll unclog it. Where is your plunger?” Chris asked.
“No, really…I’ll take care of it. You have done enough for one day,” I said. “Thanks for running to the DMV.”
I stood by the door, holding it open for him. He walked out of my apartment without another word. As I heard his steps going down the stairs, I got the feeling that there was now one more person at Value Scripts who could spread gossip about me around the office, and I had no way to defend my name. Then again, I worked from home, so what difference did it make? Their gossip couldn’t phase me anymore.
The next step was for me to fax the DMV paperwork. The only problem was my insurance office was already closed. I decided to put the task off until the next morning. Even though you can fax something to anyone at any time, it was a habit of mine to call people ten minutes after I sent them something. This was an old tradition because. I don’t trust technology and always want to make sure the fax went through. Obviously, I couldn’t see that tradition through if I faxed after hours. Then I’d be awake all night with anxiety wondering if the fax was successful. Better to just hold off until morning.
After making that decision, I sat down to watch some television and made the mistake of watching a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. My cock (still dangling down to my knees) was swift to rise. It hovered out in front of me so that its one eye (already glistening with pre-come) could drink her up. That girl’s breasts are so perfect that they’re intimidating. I remember reading a quote in some magazine where Jennifer said, “I’m glad I’m cute instead of sexy.” That just proves she doesn’t have a brain in her head because she is definitely both. Intelligent or not, I’d love to let my flesh train take a ride down the line between her boobs, to let my balls unleash their flood on those mounds in glorious white arcs, making her breasts look like snow-covered mountain tops.
As these thoughts went through my mind, my penis tingled with that old familiar feeling of an approaching orgasm. The next thing I knew, I was ejaculating, even though I hadn’t put a finger on my cock. Every time it pulsated, my rod rocked painfully up and down. The downward swing had enough force to damn near send me flying off the couch. I had to hold on to the shaft with both hands to reduce the range of motion.
The semen shot out so forcefully that it hit the wall behind the television. One perfectly placed gob landed on the screen just as the camera did a close-up on Hewitt’s face. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at that.
Another squirt went over the top of the set and landed on the back. Suddenly there was a loud popping noise, followed by Jennifer’s face disappearing from the screen. Smoke rose from the back of the set. Seconds later, I jumped in shock as small tongues of flame licked their way out of the box.
I did own a fire extinguisher, but it was in the kitchen. Luckily my hard-on was already dwindling, so it wasn’t difficult for me to go retrieve it. Still, the trip back and forth was long enough that the smoke had a chance to reach the smoke alarm, and I was unfortunate enough to own one of the most obnoxiously loud alarms ever invented. It wouldn’t be long before I had Mr. Washington to deal with. To make matters worse, the whole ordeal had wrenched my back all out of shape again.
I want to pause to make a little side note here: in that last paragraph, there I used the adjective “difficult” instead of “hard.” That’s good because I hate stupid little puns like that. I wasn’t even aware of avoiding it until I paused to read it over!
I got back as fast as I could to put out the fire. Unfortunately, as I said, it wasn’t fast enough to prevent the smoke alarm from being activated. It wasn’t long before I heard the old, familiar, impatient pounding on my front door. Once the flames had all disappeared, I answered Mr. Washington’s call.
“Boy, what the hell are you up to in there?” he snapped.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Washington. One of the tubes on my TV set blew and the smoke reached the alarm before I could get the fire extinguisher,” I explained.
“You know, I really have a mind to tell the landlord about you,” he said.
For some reason that threat pissed me off, and the anger just flared up inside me. In our previous altercation, I hadn’t said much of anything so he’d get out of my hair faster. This time, the old bastard had gone too far.
“Tell him what? That my TV accidentally blew a tube? Go right ahead. See if I give a fuck,” I said.
His eyes went cartoon-style wide when the F word hit his ears.
“You little punk! Think you can talk to ya’ elders thataway? I oughta come in there and kick yo’ ass!” he screamed.
Then he tried to do just that. I felt the door start to move, so I leaned my own weight against the other side, not even sure or caring if I was about to slam his fingers in it. To my dismay, the door didn’t close because, for an old man, Mr. Washington was surprisingly strong. We pushed the door back and forth for a minute or so before fatigue got the better of him. As soon as he backed off, I slammed the door shut and threw the deadbolt.
“Disrespectful sonofabitch!” he yelled. “Lemme in there so I can teach you the manners yo’ momma forgot to show ya!”
“Old man, if you come in here I’ll throw your wrinkled ass down the stairs!”
“That’s right. Talk tough behind a door, motherfucker!” he said.
For a moment, there was silence, but I knew he was still out there because I could hear him breathing. After a while he spoke up again, and what he said made me panic.
“You know what, son? For this, I am going to call the landlord on you.”
Mr. Washington stomped down the stairs to make good on his threat. Jesus, the last thing I needed was to be evicted while I was suffering from the size curse. Where the hell would I go? Back to mom’s? No, I needed my own place.
I had my cell phone in my bathrobe pocket, so I pulled it out and dial Bob’s number before Mr. Washington had even opened his front door. Bob answered on the second ring. I described the situation with Mr. Washington calmly and succinctly, but not before he managed to hear my grumpy old neighbor yelling, “Get off the damn phone with him, ya sneaky mothafucka!”
“What in God’s name was that?” Bob asked.
“That was Mr. Washington,” I said. “Do you have call waiting?”
“No,” Bob said.
“Well, that’s why he’s yelling then. He’s trying to call right now, but he’s getting the busy signal,” I said.
Bob let out a long sigh. As he gathered his thoughts, something occurred to me, namely how much it must suck to be a landlord. Dealing with tenants who won’t pay the rent on time is one thing. Being in the middle of bickering is something entirely different.
“I wish you’d called me about this sooner, “Bob said. “Now it sounds like things have gotten way out of hand over there.”
“That’s just it though. There was no ‘sooner’ that I could have called you. This is only my second interaction with the guy,” I said.
“Was the first time friendly?” Bob asked.
“No,” I admitted hesitantly.
“Well, then you should have called me after the first time,” Bob replied. “Mr. Washington has lived in that building ever since I bought it. Now he’s having trouble with a new tenant. Do you see where this becomes a problem for me?”
I didn’t have to even give it a second thought. Any idiot could see what a tough spot he was in. How dare he talk so condescending to me? On top of that, there was another bone I had to pick with what he said.
“Hold on now. I just explained to you that what happened was an accident, but now you’re going to label me as the troublemaker just because I happen to be the newer tenant? Forgive me if I’m wrong here, but I would have thought the part where I said he threatened to kick my ass would have counted for something!” I said in an upset, anxious tone that rose in pitch with each word.
“That’s not what I’m saying. You’ve been there a few months now, and I’ve had no complaints about you. But I have a lot of history with Mr. Washington. He’s been a good tenant too,” Bob explained. “Don’t you see the tightrope I have to walk here?”
I had to admit that I did. Bob assured me he would talk to Mr. Washington and smooth things over the best that he could.
I hung up, and Mr. Washington’s phone ring downstairs. It was so quiet in my apartment (and the floors in the building were so thin) that I could practically hear the old man’s end of the conversation. A few minutes later, I heard his footsteps on the stairs. Then I heard the inevitable knock.
I stood by the door and talked through it. “Are you done with the threats?”
“Yes,” he said calmly.
I opened the door, but just a crack. That old face, usually full of energy and life, looked tired and defeated. My guess was he was bummed out that Bob’s words had made sense to him. Plus, it probably broke his heart to hear the man had no intentions of evicting me. Now the fire of his anger had been put out, which was a funny thought considering fire was what had started the whole altercation.
“Bob just called,” he said.
Nothing. Like he was waiting for me to break the silence. But I had nothing to say. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time my mind felt so empty.
“He wants us to call a truce,” Mr. Washington said.
“Okay,” was my only reply.
Mr. Washington got flustered by my emotionless voice. Plus, he didn’t like talking to me through a door.
“Goddammit, boy, can’t you give me more than one-word answers? And why the hell do you hide behind the damn door when we talk?” he complained.
“I was about to get into the shower when you knocked, so the only thing I have on is a towel. And as far as one-word answers…if there were more to say, then I would say it.” After a pause, I added, “There. Was that enough words for you?”
Mr. Washington’s chest puffed out like he was drawing in the breath to go on a tirade. Before even a single rant could come out, he let the air out in an extended sigh.
Then he started back downstairs. After only two steps, he turned back to me and said, “I may be calling a truce as a favor to Bob, but I still don’t like you. And I never will. There’s something fishy about you, boy. Something that just ain’t normal. I don’t know what it is, but someday it’s gonna come out. And when it does, everybody’s gonna kiss my ass and say, ‘Mr. Washington was right all along.’”
He fell silent, waiting to see if his words had any effect on me.
And they did: they made me laugh.
“I hope you’re still alive when that day comes, old timer,” I said.
Mr. Washington shook his head and headed downstairs. I closed my door and locked it. While I stood there, I noticed my penis was normal length again.
At least something happened to give me some peace that day.
If you like what you have read and would like to purchase this serialized novel as one complete PDF, then please send $3.50 to Steve via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, don’t forget to check out his other writing at the following links below:
Author: Redemption Comics
Steve Grogan was born in the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He has written in a variety of formats (novels, short stories, poems, screen and stage plays, blogs/articles) and genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, drama).
Steve is also a father, a boyfriend, a musician, a fitness fanatic, and a martial artist. He has been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1995, and he maintains a blog/YouTube channel that describe his training habits, epiphanies, and advancement. It also candidly discusses his stumbling blocks, such as his struggle with nutrition and mental health issues.
He is no relation to the New England Patriots quarterback from the 1980’s.