Ding Dong The Bitch Is Dead

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When I heard that my mother was dead, I laughed so hard I pissed my pants. Donald, my mother’s stupidly loyal husband of fifteen years, called with the news. His voice was raw from hours of crying. I hung up on him so he wouldn’t hear me laugh.

Paula, my basket-case girlfriend, looked up at me curiously. The joint we had been sharing smoldered in her hand. “What is it?”

“My mother’s dead,” I stated, then let loose a gale of laughter. Paula, I’m sure, managed to convince herself that my hysterics were from grief.

“Oh my God, Emma,” she said. “How?”

“Fuckin’ shark ate her,” I managed, then lost it. There could be no doubt now that it was hilarity I was gripped with. I laughed so hard I fell to the floor and rolled around gripping my sides. The tears were falling now, to be sure, but they had nothing to do with grief. The laughing gave way to coughing, my lungs still a little tender from the pot. That’s when it happened. Hot liquid erupted between my legs.

“Oh no,” I coughed. “Oh shit.”

Paula looked with horror upon the dark wet spot on the crotch of my jeans.

“Are you all right?” she said, dainty nose wrinkling in disgust.

I shook my head violently, still laughing. I was helpless. Two full minutes went by before I got myself under control.

“God,” I said when I could finally breathe again. “I thought that cunt was going to live forever.”

“Emma!” Paula said, aghast.

I glared up at her. “Fuck you, Paula. Like you don’t have mother issues.”

When I was eight I entered into one of the periodic war of the wills which defined my relationship with my mother. This was after she divorced my father, but before she married Donald. It was just the two of us living in the house. The object of conflict, this time, was my messy room. Mother would be damned, she told me, if she was going to clean it. I was a big girl now and could clean my own room. I’m sure this was true, but I had chosen this arena to test the boundaries of parental authority in my new father-less world. Normal childhood behavior, I have been assured. Only there was nothing normal about my dealings with Mother. The conflict had been going on for weeks with neither side willing to compromise her position. My bedroom attained dizzying levels of slovenliness. This made me curious as to how bad it could get, and drove my mother into paroxysms of rage. I was screamed at, slapped, and grounded until college, but I would not concede.

Eventually, I was locked in the room and told I could not come out until it was clean. I sullenly rearranged the mess, shoved half the crap under my bed, and broadcast my displeasure by slamming things around as loudly as possible. When this didn’t satisfy my mother’s white-glove criteria, the door was again locked. So I snuck out my bedroom window and spent two days hiding out in the toolshed behind my friend Stacy Barnum’s house.

I eventually got tired of eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Stacy smuggled out to me and came home, only to be locked in the room again. This time Mother took all my clothes so I couldn’t run away. Undefeated, I slipped out the window naked and ran screaming down the street until the neighbors called the police.

That should have broken my mother. I fully expected it would. Embarrassment was her greatest fear, and her daughter running stark raving naked down the street should have been enough to kill the woman. But I underestimated her. After I was returned home, wrapped in a policeman’s blanket, Mother sat me down at the kitchen table. On the table was a bowl containing the goldfish I had kept for over a year. His name was Jaws, of course.

“I want you to watch very carefully,” Mother stated. Then she grabbed the green fish net and scooped Jaws out onto the table.

My pet flopped around, drowning in the air. I tried to rescue him, but was slapped back into my seat.

“Watch, you little bitch,” Mother hissed.

She grabbed my arm and held me fast. I watched the fish die.

“You’re going to go upstairs now and clean your room,” Mother then stated with certainty. “Or I’m going to kill Fluffy, too.”

Fluffy was the kitten my father had given me just a few weeks before. I looked into her cruelly smiling eyes and knew she was telling the truth. Sobbing with acknowledged defeat, I sulked upstairs and cleaned my room. It was spotless when I was finished.

Now, years later, sweet karma balances the score. While swimming in the ocean by the beach house of some of her good rich friends, Mother was attacked by a hungry hammerhead. Bit off her leg in one bite, then came back for a good chunk of her side. She died of either shock or blood loss before any of her swimming companions even realized she was in trouble. The revenge of Jaws? If the universe is just, it must be so.

Two days later and I was on a plane bound for Miami and the funeral. I was traveling by myself. Paula had wanted to come, but I had insisted on going it alone. This, of course, had prompted a huge screaming battle. I swear, mersin escort sometimes I wish I’m straight. Any boy would be silently grateful that he was being let off the hook, but of course a girl takes it as a mortal insult that you don’t invite her along to your mother’s funeral.

It’s not like I was ashamed of her. Actually, I would have rather enjoyed the mortification I would have caused my family by showing up at the funeral with my girlfriend. They were all such uptight, repressed WASPs. The only thing that could have possibly offended them more would be a black guy. Knowing that my mother would be the most humiliated was almost enough to make me change my mind. I told her that I was gay once, years before I had actually slept with a girl.

“Don’t come crying to me when you get AIDS!” she had shrieked.

I laughed at the memory as I leaned back in my narrow airplane seat. At least I had a halfway decent buzz. I had flirted with the male flight attendant, and was rewarded with double the usual allotment of plastic-cup gin-and-tonics. I wasn’t anywhere near drunk, but was far enough along not to mind either the indignities of air travel or the knowledge of what awaited me on the other end of the journey.

I decided then that it probably was embarrassment, after all, that made me want to keep Paula away from this experience. But it was my family I was ashamed of. I had lived in Chicago for four years and had carefully cultivated a bohemian air of art school lesbian chic. That’s all Paula knew of me. I didn’t want her to see what I come from. The gossip harpy aunts and golf club dentist uncles. So goddamn dreary.

The only person I was at all looking forward to seeing was Donald. My hapless stepfather was almost as out of place in my mother’s world as I was. He was a high school Biology teacher, for God’s sake. The only reason he lasted with my mother as long as he did was because he was so spineless. He was probably the one man in the world who could have put up with Mother’s shit for as long as he did.

I always liked Donald, even if I never really respected him. He was warm and friendly, as opposed to my mother’s cold-cunt cruelty. He had a dry, offbeat sense of humor that I came to appreciate more and more the older I got. But Jesus, he flinched like a puppy when my mother snapped her fingers. This made his occasional stabs at exerting parental authority simply pathetic. I guess we had our share of conflict during my stormy adolescence, but I always felt bad about it later, whereas I took pleasure from battles with Mother.

Donald also played an important, if inadvertent, part in my sexual development. Once, when I was eleven, I walked in on him masturbating in the bathroom. Talk about an embarrassing moment. I withdrew silently, and he came out red-faced a few minutes later, apologizing, terrified that he had somehow scarred me. I guess in a way he did. His was the first adult penis I had ever seen outside of forbidden magazines. That sight was the basis of nearly every sexual fantasy I had until I actually had sex. All the boys in my dreams wore Donald’s cock. My memory swelled it to grotesque proportions. None of my male lovers have ever been able to live up to the imagined glory of my stepfather’s prick.

I thought of this memory when I stepped off the plane and found him waiting for me. Nobody else in my family had thought to meet me at the airport, but there was poor, grief-stricken Donald; unshaven and disheveled, eyes puffy and red. He wore the same look of flinching guilt that I remembered so well, like he was afraid that any minute Mother would start yelling at him to quit being such a fucking cry-baby. I compared this to how he looked when I walked in on him, in the instant before he had seen me. He had smiled with the modest victory of his secret pleasure, a thrilling power not even my Mother could take away from him.

“Emma,” he said warmly. “I’m so glad you came.”

He hugged me. It was as asexual a hug as you could hope for from a meek step-father like Donald, but without thinking I pressed myself close and felt his body through his clothes and my clothes. I wondered if I could make him smile like that again.

When he released me, he only blinked. If he had noticed the pressure, he gave no sign.

“How was your flight?” he asked innocently.

The two of us went down to find my luggage, Donald catching up on my life and relating details about Mother’s death in his usual halting, disjointed way. I quickly saw him again as the middle-aged dork he was. I discounted that crazy flash of whatever it was as just part of the weird trip that death works on your head.

The funeral was the next day. Closed casket, of course. What they had found of Mother wasn’t very attractive, I’m sure. For most of the wake, I sat near the back of the room staring at the expensive box that contained her remains, unable to shake the belief that she was in there staring back at me.

I was wearing a black dress carefully calculated to provoke the whispers of my bitch aunts. Just a little too short and a little too tight to be respectful, but not bad enough to be outrageous. On a last minute impulse before leaving the hotel that morning, I had taken off my panties. Kind of a final fuck-you to Mother. I remember once, on a dare, me and a few girlfriends had gone to the mall in short skirts with nothing underneath. Through her powerful sixth sense for impropriety, Mother had known. She confronted me when I came home, lifted my skirt to confirm her suspicions, and asked me in all seriousness if I was trying to get raped. Well, Mother, here it is, your last big social function, and again your flighty daughter has forgotten her drawers. Once, very quickly, I opened my legs and flashed the coffin.

I circulated the room a few times, the masochist in me feeling it necessary. I was subjected to not only the predictable clichés about Mother (such a shock, at least she didn’t suffer, aren’t the flowers lovely, etc.) but also asked not once, not twice, but three times if I was going to do something “more practical than art” in graduate school. At least I was only asked if I was seeing anybody once. My answer that yes, I was seeing someone, her name is Paula, spread through the room faster than I could.

Donald looked even more lost than I was. I noticed that he kept casting furtive glances up at the coffin, as if he too was convinced that Mother had through death gained the ability to see through solid wood. He did this in between doses of the candy-coated cruelty of Mother’s family, possibly expecting her to sit up in the coffin and berate him for embarrassing her in front of her rich sisters-in-law. I flashed him an encouraging smile from across the room and he returned it sadly. His eyes were brimming with tears and I could tell he was only barely restraining himself from blubbering.

Then who should show up but Dan Mason. Dr. Dan. Sans Mrs. Dr. Dan, of course. Handsome like a seventies soap star, Dr. Dan Mason was our family physician and Mother’s long time lover. I found this out when I had mono in the seventh grade. The good Doctor did house calls, all right, but spent more time attending to Mother than to me. Dr. Dan actually had the balls to go over and shake Donald’s hand, offering his condolences, knowing full well that Donald knew all about the affair.

All my Aunts were half in love with the doctor themselves, and were whole-heartedly in favor of adultery where Donald was concerned. So they cooed and cried with Mother’s boyfriend, watching out of the corners of their eager eyes for the inevitable breakdown of the cuckold.

Donald bravely gulped back tears and retreated with dignity intact out of the room. Without pausing to ask myself why, I followed. We went downstairs, to where the restrooms were.

“Donald,” I called after him.

“It’s OK,” he choked. “I’m OK. Just . . . give me a minute, OK?”

“Donald,” I caught up to him and put my hand on his back. I felt him shaking through his jacket.

Donald turned to face me, his entire being quivering with barely restrained collapse.

“Oh, Em,” he said, running a hand through his thinning hair. “Em, I . . .”

The grief exploded on Donald’s face. The tears literally sprayed from his eyes as he was wracked with choking sobs. I knew what I had to do. I pushed Donald back, towards the lady’s room door. Donald allowed me to guide him, too dumb with sorrow to realize where he was being led.

It was one of those high-class woman’s restrooms, its true function as a place of elimination concealed by tasteful wallpaper and carpeting. There was a comfortable couch by the door, beside a clean table that looked like it was made for a tea party, not a toilet. I pushed Donald down on the couch and locked the door.

“I loved her, Emma,” Donald sobbed, “but she . . .”

“She’s a bitch,” I sat beside Donald. Close.

He looked up at me, shocked that I’d say such a thing, not realizing yet how close I was.

“She’s the coldest, meanest woman who ever lived and you are so much better off now that she’s dead.”

“Emma, don’t say . . .”

Before he could protest further, I grabbed Donald’s left hand and pressed it into my naked groin.

His eyes opened in shock, but he didn’t pull his hand away. “What . . .”

“Shh . . .” I squirmed against him, soaking wet. Amazed, Donald slid his fingers across my sopping lips.

“This is wrong,” he said weakly, and I kissed him to shut him up.

He kissed back, like he had never done before. All of our kisses in the past had been chaste, fatherly/ daughterly, never on the mouth. But he was so hungry now. His fingers penetrated me at the same time as his tongue.

Thank God Donald was left-handed. I felt his wedding band graze my engorged clitoris and I wanted it inside me. I wanted the ring my mother had put on his finger deep in my cunt where it would get lost and dissolve in my womb. I grabbed his hand and shoved it up inside and my vagina clenched down on his fingers, grasping, trying to swallow the ring. I knew it was engraved, and I saw my juices filling my mother’s initials, and this thought made me come so hard I cried out.

Donald withdrew his dripping hand, ring still on. I don’t know if he was afraid he’d hurt me or afraid that the vicious spasms of my cunt would chew his fingers off.

“Are you all right?”

“Shut the fuck up,” I snarled and Donald tore at the strap of my dress, ravenous now, exposing my breast and devouring it, sucking the whole thing into his mouth. The one thing I had not inherited from Mother were her large breasts, but I know she never let Donald eat them the way he ate mine now. I wished I had milk for him, to feed him, but I was hungry too and we didn’t have much time.

I pushed him off and tore at the fly of his swollen pants, breaking the zipper in my frenzy to expose the prick I’d dreamed of for so long. It swelled out as big as I remembered, bigger even. Jesus, was that possible? As I had done countless times in dreams I let that great gorged monster fill my mouth and tasted its delicious musk. Donald whimpered and I wondered if Mother ever did this for him. Probably not. My mother was incapable of anything so selfless as a blowjob.

Someone knocked on the door and Donald tried to pull away but I would not release him, would not let him go until I had sucked him dry no matter if the whole fucking wedding party burst in on us. My hand grasped Donald’s testicles and I felt the orgasm start there before it exploded in my mouth. At that instant I remembered that Mother had made him get a vasectomy. Donald’s cock twitched and danced under my tongue and sprayed its spermless come which my mother owned but never tasted and I squeezed the solid shaft and felt the course of the boundless liquid which spurted again and again until my throat couldn’t take any more and my mouth was full and I let him go and my chin dripped with semen and still he kept coming and coming spraying like a geyser all over the tasteful couch and his funeral pants and my black dress and the tea party table and I wondered if he would ever stop coming.

He finally did, though, and only then did either one of us breathe.

“Jesus, Donald,” I said. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

We both laughed at that, amazingly. Laughter, our sorrow drowned in Donald’s voluminous ejaculation. The knock at the door came again and Donald and I exchanged a guilty, delighted look.

“Just a minute,” I called sweetly, and we both laughed at that, too.

I stood up and looked in the mirror as I pulled my dress back on. The whole front was dripping with semen. I wet a paper towel and tried to wipe it off, but in my years of exclusive homosexuality I’d forgotten how sticky and indelible that stuff was. This was going to be a very visible stain. What’s known as a “Presidential” stain in this day and age.

Donald was even worse off than I was. His receding penis was hanging out of his busted zipper, incredibly still dripping post-ejaculate down his trouser leg.

“Oh, shit,” he said, grinning boyishly as he looked down at the mess.

He stood up and put himself away. I wiped him off the best I could, then zipped him up as far as he’d go and pulled his jacket shut to try to cover his yawning fly. With his sheepish guilt and crusty pants he looked exactly like someone who’d just been sucked off.

“Well, it’s going to have to do,” I shrugged.

I opened the door and admitted my purse-lipped Aunt Marlene.

“It’s all yours,” I said.

Together, Donald and I went back upstairs to the corpse of my mother and his wife. We feared her no longer. Our betrayal had set us free.

I wished she could have seen it. The stares and the whispers of her family as her come-stained husband and daughter watched her planted in the ground. I know Donald probably felt the same as me, that at any minute she would claw her way out of the casket and point an accusing finger at the both of us. We both felt that way right up until she was covered with that symbolic first layer of dirt. When nothing happened, I could sense Donald was relieved. But I felt a weird, crushing disappointment. Like what I’d done with Donald was an attempt to enrage her to the point of resurrection.

When it was done, Donald had no more tears. And, for the first time, I couldn’t stop crying.

I sobbed for the entire flight home. The kindly old woman seated beside me asked me what the matter was, and I said that I was coming from my Mother’s funeral, as if that explained everything. She nodded with understanding and patted my hand and gave me a little box of Kleenex from her purse.

I could no longer remember one negative thing about Mother. I tried. God knows. But every time I closed my eyes to try to conjure one of these traumas which had flowed so freely just the day before, I just saw the time we had gone to a parade when I was four and Mother had lifted me up on her shoulder so I could see the horses. Or all the times I was sick and she’d bring me 7-Up and crackers in bed. Or when she gave me a puppy for Christmas. From the deep well of my memory, I cast down for pain and came up with Kodak moments.

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