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We have narrowed it down to two possibilities: they’re doing drugs or they’re having sex with other men.
Janice said it was probably just a broken dishwasher or something, that the guys who come to the house are repairmen, but we pointed out that not all these visitors come in a truck, that even the guy with the truck comes early in the morning or late at night. I mean, no repairman ever comes at those times, and no one has ever seen one of these men carry a tool box or a ladder or anything else someone on the job would bring into a client’s house. Plus how many repairs do they need! Come on, Janice, we said, use your brain. It’s either sex or drugs.
Once we got her to think like that, we started timing. If it is drugs — and we don’t know if the visitors are picking up from or delivering to Dave and Daryl — that might explain the brief visits, like 15 or 20 minutes. But no one can have sex that fast! I mean, you don’t just jump in bed and do it. You warm up. At least that’s been my experience with Jerry.
Then Rosemary said maybe they don’t even bother to do it in bed. Maybe they do it in the living room, but they have modern furniture, so we don’t know where they could be actually doing it. There are no soft surfaces, not at least that we saw when they had the open house last spring. Very modern. Not our taste, but that’s not our business. They can do what they like. Live and let live.
And then some visits are about an hour, which seems long enough for sex and smoking pot. Maybe they’re not dealers or buying. Maybe they just have friends who come over and smoke. I don’t know. They don’t act loopy, and Dave and Daryl are always going to the gym. We don’t know exactly.
So far we’ve seen a white truck, a sporty foreign car, and a van. The van looks like it could belong to a married guy. Which disgusts us. I mean, why would you want to bust up somebody’s marriage? Unless they don’t know he’s married. We’ve got to get a look at his ring finger, and Rosemary lives the closest. She could see from her kitchen window if the guy comes in the morning.
Oh, we like Dave and Daryl well enough, that’s not the problem. It’s just that we don’t know what they’re up to! And we’ve all agreed that this kind of behavior doesn’t suit this neighborhood. Apparently they lived in an apartment in Boston before they moved here. We have only single-family homes up here, with kids. Most of ours are grown, of course, thank God, but what about the little kids? What do they make of it? We decided that we’re not going to say anything to those neighbors. Maybe they don’t notice what’s going on, so what they don’t know can’t hurt them.
We’re not worried about our husbands, of course, those of us who still have them. Our husbands are homebodies most of the time, and when they associate with anyone else on the block it’s always with each other, guys they’ve known for a long time. Darts. Snowmobiling trips. The gym — just treadmill work. It’s even creepy to say that we might be worried about our husbands!
There is one strange thing that happened last week. Two guys came over, at almost the same time. The truck and the foreign sports car. They came at different times between 10 and 11 at night and stayed until midnight, all together. Why so late, that’s what we want to know. Who has guests then? Janice said that maybe they’re just getting out of work and coming by for a drink, but who drinks at that time of night? And Dave and Daryl both have to be at work by 8:30 in the morning, so late at night seems like an unusual time to have friends over. There must be something else going on that we don’t know. They’re having another open house in a couple of weeks, they said, so if we’re invited, we can maybe get some more information. Rosemary says that we should check the photos on the walls or the mantel and see if there are any clues there. I’m not sure what clues we’d be looking for, but that’s a place to start.
Paul Lamar lives with his husband, Mark, in Albany, NY, where he teaches, reviews theater for a local paper, and---in better times---conducts a chorus. They have three grown children and two delightful grandchildren. Over the years his poems and stories have appeared in Steam Ticket, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, Off the Coast, etc.