A Serialized Novel by Wilson Barbers
The day turned out to be a summer scorcher, heavy on the humidity. It was a struggle to get anyone to do anything outside. Even the college boys were sluggish. As a result Bob spent his day in the air conditioned gym, helping campers sweat in comfort, leading them through a series of low-impact routines. Outside of the knowing looks that Harvey continued to flash his way, Bob had no indication that any of the other campers were aware of last night's activities. Occasionally, one of the older women would indulge in some loaded banter with him, but it was mostly harmless.
Still, there were moments when he found himself eyeing bodies like a horn-dog kid. Even the oldest fat camper had something to catch his eye: a dimply upper arm, a well-packed pair of calves or just the right amount of jiggle. By afternoon, Bob was beside himself with distraction, wishing for Maureen to make an appearance, so he could at least keep his lust in focus. Finally she arrived, dressed in a shimmery lyrca leotard, and all was well. It was wonderful watching her bounce to the rhythm of the music.
The day's heat didn't keep them from meeting in the grove again. This time Bob brought his own stash of food. He'd kept it all day in his office, a cooler packed with macaroni and pasta salads as well as dessert and drinks.
Their lovemaking was as good as it had been the night before, and he was again home late. If he'd stopped to think about it, Bob might have worked up a convincing set of excuses for his tardiness, but he was too wrapped in his obsession with Maureen. He knew it was going to be short-lived - Mo, after all, was leaving for home in two more days. He subsequently justified his shitlooseness by telling himself that he'd fix things with his girlfriend after Maureen left camp.
He bought a carton of lasagna and some garlic bread on the way home. Ann's reception could only be characterized as cold. They ate in the living room on ill-balanced trays, his second dinner that night. (If he didn't watch out, he thought, he'd turn into one of his own clients. But he didn't want Ann putting anything together from his saying that he'd already eaten.) As a result, he spent the night feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Ann sat in front of the tube all evening, a vacuous array of teevee comedies parading before her, munching on cheese and corn chips and pointedly ignoring him.
The whole evening he vacillated between irritation and guilt. But there was no way he could bring himself to ask what was on her mind. They slept hugging opposite sides of the waterbed.
That night he experienced a dream that he hadn't had since he was a kid, one that he'd buried so deep in layers of young boy shame that he'd almost forgotten it. The original dream had been inspired, he remembered, by an episode of a long-dead cop show, Burke's Law. In it, a blond chorus girl type had discovered a corpse in an apartment with a lavish spread of food; she prepared to phone the police but was so distracted by the banquet selection that she held off calling until she'd eaten it all. The combination of full-blown sexuality and gluttony had been pretty potent on his young hormones: he'd dreamed and fantasized about that woman for weeks but had ultimately been too unsure of himself to hold onto the image.
Now his adolescent dream girl was back. He woke next morning with an erection.
Next day at work was Friday, and Bob didn't know whether to dread or anticipate the coming weekend. Mo was leaving camp Saturday, which meant that things would soon be back to normal. Though they were clearly sexually compatible, Mo's age was starting to get to him: she just didn't have the same generational referents as him. There was no way the two of them could maintain anything long-term. He'd already prepared for their last evening together.
He avoided Harvey's grove driving into work, but he was unable to dodge Dale Harvey. As he entered the reception area, the computer man was just leaving, a canary eating grin on his jowly face. Filling his cup from the Mr. Coffee, Bob got the scoop from Tina.
"Dale's taking me out," the slim receptionist said, knowingly smirking at Bob as he perched on the corner of her desk. Her hair, Bob noticed, was back to a natural color.
"What did I tell you?" Bob teased. "Didn't I say the guy had the hots for you?"
"You did, smart-ass."
"You take him up on his offer?"
Tina stretched her slender arms, took a spoon of vanilla yogurt out of a half-eaten container and deliberately licked it. "You know that mature men are scarce around here," she said. "And you already shut me out!"
"I told you I was taken."
"That's not what I hear. . ."
He paused and tried to keep the next question casual. "Really?" he said, sipping his too-hot coffee. "Are there rumors going on about me?"
"Only that you're pretty flirty with the campers - and that you've got half the clientele madly in lust with you."
"Only half?" he chuckled. "I'll have to work harder."
"Just keep away from Dale Harvey," Tina said. "I've got dibs on that 'un."
"No problem there," Bob shot back, heading toward his office. He tried to mesh this latest info about Harvey with the computer man's story about his food fair romance, but the niceties of sexual attraction were too varied and surprising to make for any readily understood equations.
He considered taking a side trip to Maureen's room but thought the better of it when he caught sight of Max Venn skulking around the sleeping quarters. Mr. Peephole, he thought angrily, wondering if Venn had tried looking in on Mo. For a moment he had an image of Venn spying on the two of them in the woods, bald head squeezed among the branches, a look of rapt arousal on his reddened face. (Hadn't there been an instant last night, a tiny voice asked, when he'd thought that they were being watched - and not just by squirrels?) Venn in the bushes: that was enough to dampen any man's ardor. . .
That Friday a.m. before breakfast, was the scheduled time for the campers' weekly weigh-in. Though each dieter had the option of checking themselves more often, Friday's tally was part of the behavioral contract. The recreation therapist had a role in this ritual. It was his job to hand out breakfast tokens to campers after their weights were written down: not one of the choicest assignments, but Bob thought he could use the time to be individually encouraging. He sat at a fold-out table with the camp's part-time (a dark-haired severe type with the personality of sandpaper) and greeted each camper as they stepped on the industrial-strength scale.
The results were generally consistent - each camper showing a two to three pound loss - until Dale Harvey came ambling in. Where most of the campers approached the scale tentatively, needing to be coaxed into the room, Harvey strode up and practically stomped onto the platform. Nurse Dann looked at the digital read-out once the scale settled down and barked out the number: "395!" It was the same weight as his initial weigh-in. Typically, the first week was where you saw the most weight loss, as the body quickly depleted its excess water weight. Not so with Dale Harvey.
"Looks like you folks ain't doing your job," Harvey said, theatrically hiking up his sweat-pants and winking. He patted his stomach with both thumbs in his pants band, like a satisfied German berger surveying a beer and brauts fest. Bob didn't answer.
Ms. Dann foolishly rose to his baiting, however. "Looks like you aren't holding up to your end of the job," the nurse sourly answered. "Perhaps a more stringent caloric regimen's the answer." While Bob didn't concern himself with the nutrition piece of the program, he knew the basic guidelines: men got a daily intake of 1,500 calories, women 1,200. Harvey blew his quota just on morning fruit pies!
The computer man made a show of convincingly pouting, then tromped off to breakfast. The next half hour passed uneventfully. It wasn't until Ruth Dann left for a coffee refill that Maureen showed up to be weighed. Obviously, she'd been waiting for the chance to get Bob to herself.
She looked luscious in a white pair of shorts and sandals, another sleeveless tee-shirt showing off her upper arms and bra-less pendant breasts. Her long hair was braided into two ponytails that enhanced her girlish pose. She looked like a dark-haired version of the pudgy middle-European fraulein, counterpart to Dale Harvey's well-fed bergermeister. Blowing a kiss as she stepped on the scale, she smiled and read off proudly. She had gained another three pounds.
"I thought so," Mo said, hopping off the scale, breasts bouncing as she hit the floor. "I had a feeling that I'd gained some weight: I've very attuned to my body." Leaning over the table, she examined her chart. Her hair smelled fresh and clean, catching the light appealingly. "I figured if I came in when that witch was out, you could fudge for me. Keep us both out of trouble, eh?" She blew him another kiss than sauntered off, swinging her wide hips so broadly she came close to banging both sides of the door frame. As she left, Nurse Dann re-entered with Venn at her side.
"There's another one with a poor attitude," she said in Mo's wake, Venn nodding in agreement. "I wouldn't be surprised to see that she'd gained weight. . . These dieters who turn cheating into a game," she sighed, picking up Maureen's chart. "239," she said, reading what Bob penciled in, "that's three pounds less than last week!"
"Must be Bob's good influence here," Venn said, coming up from behind and plunking his hands down on Bob's shoulders in an unconvincing show of fellowship. "Even the recalcitrants are starting to lose."
"All except Mr. Harvey," Nurse Dann interjected, emphasizing the gender title broadly, sounding as if the fat man's lack of progress were indication of a pernicious male plot.
Venn was jovially dismissive of this last comment. "As long as he pays, right, Bob?" he said in stage whisper, walking around the table and tapping the scale's weights amiably. "The man's old enough to know the consequences of his own behavior." He laughed, smiled at a duo of middle-aged stragglers, and left the gym. It occurred to Bob that he'd barely seen Venn all week. What did the man do with his time?
"Patronizing asshole," Ms. Dann muttered loud enough so only Bob could hear. With that, the two stragglers sheepishly reached the scale - obviously nervous about the week's weigh-in - and it was back to business.
The rest of the day passed quietly, with Mo and three other outgoing clients meeting Bob in the gym that afternoon for a final pep-talk/exercise session. That evening in the grove was short and sweet, a quick passionate adieu that had them both feeling spent and relaxed. They barely spoke the entire time, but then they hardly needed to. He left Maureen lying on the blanket, and it was the perfect parting image. Her naked body was lying belly down, breasts and paunch squeezing out from her enticingly, sweat from the humidity and exertion glistening her skin. She was facing him, head resting on her crossed arms, with a look of satisfaction.
What a week, he thought, speeding back to the duplex, ready for dinner - part two.
When he got to his apartment, music was wafting out from between the door jambs: soft-rock from the mid-seventies, one of Ann's favorite albums. Unlocking the door, he found the living room candlelit and bayberry scented. In a skimpy black teddy, resting on the couch, was Ann.
"I've been waiting for you," his girlfriend whispered, rising to meet him in the doorway. Raising her arms to his shoulders, she embraced and slowly kissed him. Her full lips tasted delectable. "We haven't been very sympatico in the past few days," she continued once their lips parted, "and I wanted to make it up." She lifted one of her smooth, trim legs and put it in his hand; her thigh felt firm and cool. After another, even more elaborate kiss, she led him into the bedroom. Behind them, Dan Fogleberg was crooning on the CD player.
Ann sat on the padded rail of their waterbed, long legs crossed at the calves, small breasts perking up in her teddy. Bob peeled off his sweat-dampened tee-shirt and reached for her. The fabric of her lingerie was artificial, scratchy and vaguely off-putting; as his arms scraped against the garment's fringe, he let off an involuntary shiver. Pressing against Ann's willowy frame, he anxiously wondered if he had enough in him to make love to his girlfriend.
The problem, Bob thought as he rotely felt along her bony shoulder blades, wasn't just exhaustion from his time with Maureen but a matter of comparison and contrast. In the space of a few days, just looking at Ann had somehow shifted from a turn-on to something disastrously neutral. The sight of her in an undergarment that he'd found sexy in the past wasn't enough to rouse him right now. There simply wasn't enough of her in that teddy to excite him.
That thought was distressing enough, but he also couldn't bear to disappoint Ann. They'd spent too much good time together for him to fling it away so easily. This newfound preoccupation with buxomness had to be a temporary thing. A phase. He'd get past it, he was certain. The immediate problem was his present non-reaction. As he nervously shucked the rest of his clothing, Bob desperately scrutinized his naked girlfriend. She looked objectively lovely and yet so unrelated to his present desires - if only she had a little more curviness to her. . . He lifted the straps off her slight shoulders and tried to picture his girlfriend with more padding on her; with that vision, he found himself starting to grow anew.
This was the way to do it. He brought up the image of Ann from the night before, sitting on the couch and crunching junk food. He saw her grown larger, pudgy form a steady regimen of snacking: her once-flat stomach now a definable pot-belly that pushed her legs open, her smallish breasts grown to womanly size, her hips widened to accommodate the rest of her, the start of a second chin on her face. . .
With this, he hardened significantly and was ready to climb into bed. Bob rolled onto the mattress, feeling it wave with every placement of his knees. Lying astride her, he kissed Ann fiercely and became even more erect. She had already grown aroused - no doubt from spending the early part of the evening anticipating this romp - and he was able to easily enter her.
He saw her beneath him, both in the flesh and as plump vision, and traced the area above and around her where her larger body would be. A puzzled expression flickered across Ann's face, but then he began wriggling himself inside her, using the waterbed mattress to rock his knees slowly. Ann let out a gasp. The cool air from the bedroom's window air conditioner hit his damp back.
(In his mind, Ann was standing in front of the refrigerator, her substantially widened form outlined in the fridge light. Her great butt was encased in tight jeans that accented each full globe; her well-shaped legs had become fuller and sturdier. He saw her eating in front of the open Frigidaire, enlarging as she ate. Her face grew round to match her ample lips; her chin doubled and then tripled. She reached into the fridge and pulled out stacks of ready-to-eat food - a chicken leg, piece of cake, slice of cold pizza - that she stuffed into her mouth with unrestrained gluttony, making moans of pleasure as she swallowed. Her blouse had started to come apart at the seams, white flesh widening the gaps as she continued to devour the seemingly endless supply. She looked his way, an expression of orgasmic pleasure on her huge face. And then he saw himself atop this obese Ann, pumping into her as each push made her balloon even larger.)
Bob was thrusting frantically now. Ann's fingernails raked his thighs, and she began to shake her head back and forth as if she couldn't believe the intensity of the experience. His hardened member was more sensitive than usual; he felt her muscles expand and contract on him, felt the button of her clitoris each time his tip came into contact with it. He was going to stay hard a long time, he knew, but somehow he suspected that Ann wouldn't have any objections to that fact.
(She'd swollen to giant size now, her ballooning belly predominating as it grew with his thrusts. It overpowered her breasts and arms, which could only flail by her sides. He leaned over her mountainous torso, unable to reach her face to kiss her. Her lips were even fuller, surrounded by quivering cheeks and jowls that overshadowed the rest of her features. Her eyes had grown small behind the tops of her cheeks and the puffs of fat overhanging her brow, but they were expressive enough to communicate their excitement. She was unable to move from the bed now without his help. He continued to pump and make her even bigger, caught in the thought of her expansion. Her belly grew and shoved him back each time, but it wasn't enough to stop him. He kept on thrusting until she was the width of the queen-sized bed, a human mattress that shimmed like their waterbed. "Harder!" Ann screamed.)
The sound brought Bob back to the bedroom, and he redoubled his efforts on his thin girlfriend. He bent down and suckled on her up-thrust nipples, as he grabbed her trim thighs with his hands and brutally pushed upwards. Bob's licks turned into bites as he ground himself into her. He pushed himself back up, mashing her mams with his palms and aggressively impaling her as he stiffened his arms.
The CD player clicked to album's end. The waterbed mattress sloshed loudly, as they worked to reach their respective climaxes. Then suddenly, he came, shooting into her with more power than he'd have thought possible. The act was enough to push Ann over the edge into her own loud orgasm. Crying animalistically, they pushed as if trying to meld their bodies into each other.
When Bob was finally spent, he softened rapidly, feeling bruised and sensitive. Quickly withdrawing, he leaned over and gave Ann a peck on the lips. A nagging sense of guilt over the nature of his fantasy threatened to overcome him, but he'd had guilt over sex before and he wasn't going to let it affect him now.
They rested in each other's arms, and an exhausted Bob quickly nodded off. He didn't see the odd and examining expression on Ann's face as she stood beside their bed. He didn't see the way her tears intermingled with the sweat on her face as she turned toward the bathroom to clean and get dressed.