This may sound like the beginning of a joke but it’s not—it’s my life. She says, hi there, my name’s Beth. Is your dad home?
Mom, I say, visitor!
I grab her. I say, look, Mom, this is what I’ve been talking about. This woman—her name is Beth. She’s naked and she’s screwing Dad.
The woman is tall, elegant. She’s a direct contrast to my mom—even naked. She looks like she could be at the Russian Tea Room, the nudie version. Here sir, would you like some tea? It’s nice and warm, from my boobs.
Here, my mother says. Have a seat. We wait. Any minute he’ll be home. The devil, aka Jeff Schulman, paterfamilias and screwer of women everywhere. Young ones. Old ones. The man does not discriminate. For some reason I don’t hate him. I hate her, my mother, who is serving Beth tea, and not from her boobs, from the kitchen. So how do you know my husband? Are you colleagues? You can say that, the woman says.
She’s beautiful, this woman. I’d fuck her too. I think about it—climbing on top, feeling all that hair, that skin. I wonder if it would bring us closer, me and Dad, if we’d share tips, tips for fucking women. It doesn’t help that I’m a girl. It makes it harder for him to confide in me. Since I’ve grown breasts he keeps his distance. It’s as if they have a sign: no dads allowed.
He comes home. Beth smiles and my father smiles back. My mom says, hi honey. Dad grins. He flings an arm around Beth’s shoulder. So how do you know this woman? Oh, she’s a student, honey. He tongues Beth’s ear. That’s nice honey, my mother says.
She gets up and cleans the dishes. That’s her thing. The world could be ending or my dad could be having an orgy in the other room, and she won’t know it, but her hands will. They’ll say, cleaning time. They hang there in the water. The water runs over them, like a waterfall. They turn red then white then whiter. She turns around. She sees—my father, fucking the woman from behind. She’s moaning and my dad’s moaning and there’s Judge Judy, on TV. She looks at all of us, stern-faced.
Mom, I say, don’t you see this?
She looks away.
Come, on, I say. Seriously?
I walk behind him. I put my hand on him, his shoulder. What do you think you’re doing, he says. Beth laughs. I think she has an Elektra complex, she says. I forgot to mention—my dad’s a shrink. He teaches social work. Come here, Beth says. I put my head on her, on her breasts. They’re hard. They feel like plastic. It’s the most unerotic thing I ever felt. I feel like I should do something, lick one maybe. I feel Judge Judy watching. My mother. The water runs there in the back.
My father laughs now. Oh boy, let me help you. He pushes my head deeper. I’m stunned. I never expected it to go this far. I feel something new for him, something icy. I wait for the world to end, but it doesn’t.
Leonora Desar reads “A naked woman shows up at the door”:
Leonora Desar’s writing can be found or is forthcoming in River Styx, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, and Quarter After Eight, among others. She recently won third place in River Styx’s microfiction contest, and was a finalist/runner-up in Quarter After Eight’s Robert J. DeMott Short Prose contest, judged by Stuart Dybek. She writes a column for New Flash Fiction Review—DEAR LEO.