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Mrs. Stinson
Shoey’s First Love
© 2016 James LaFond
South Baltimore, 1974, Winter
Shoey was fourteen and had been running numbers for Mister Dan in a shoebox since he was eleven. By the time he was finished his morning runs, Mister Stinson, the next door neighbor, was at work and the Stinson kids—all a little younger than him—where at school, some bullshit he had quit at age 12.
Shoey would go upstairs to his bedroom, which was off the hallway that ran above the three-foot-wide alley between the houses. He would then wait and listen for Mrs. Stinson to open the adjacent window. Mrs. Stinson was Shoey’s first love, had broken him in when he was thirteen.
On one rainy day, the window not having been opened at its usual time, he sat in his room tying and re-tying his sneakers, when he heard the window open, a full hour interval after the last of the Stinson kids had gone off to school. He thought maybe Mrs. Stinson had something special planned and became very excited. He did not want to seem over eager though, and waited a few minutes. He even took off his sneakers, knowing that she liked him to just slide into bed next to her, although he preferred watching her take off his sneakers.
Shoey darted across the rainy intervening space, two stories above the narrow concrete alley, and slunk down the hall toward his destination, crept into the room using his Ninja powers, and slid stealthily into bed, thrilled that she did not stir—had not even felt him slide into bed as she lay curled up with her back to him, with her arms around—Mister Stinson! Who just then coughed and mumbled, half asleep, “Not now, Hon—I’m sick as a dog.”
But Mrs. Stinson was doing something with her hand-moving the covers as Mister Stinson grumbled, “Too sick to work, is too sick to fuck, Hon.”
Shoey, actually feeling kind of bad for Mister Stinson, slid out of bed, used his Ninja stealth powers to creep down the hall and leaped across to his own house, where his ailing father coughed himself to sleep downstairs.
Upon stealthily inquiring as to Mister Stinson’s health, Shoey discovered that when he was sick he would drive his kids crazy by getting up and opening the hallway window, even in the winter time. He was henceforth more careful about entering the Stinson Residence, and never did tell Mrs. Stinson he had snuck into bed while she was molesting her sick husband.
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