"they call me the midnight gambler"

by Jerry Ratch


That night I came as close to getting laid as I had ever come in my life, without actually getting laid, after two and a half hours of intense petting, begging her to go down in the front seat of my car, with her asking: Why? Why, Jerry? Why? That was all she kept saying, until finally after hours of this, she slipped completely out of her clothes and then looked up at me with the truest look of innocence she could muster. By the time she had relented, my hard on went down just as I attempted to get on top of her, and that was the end of that.

            I did not know how to physically do it with her lying on her back in the front seat of the car, her legs all scrunched up, her head against the door handle, with the steering wheel cold and hard against my ass. It seemed like an impossible equation to accomplish this maneuver. I didn't have enough experience in these things. I thought that was the only way sex could be performed. The missionary position. I'd never heard of the sitting position, which is only natural in a car seat.

            I came so close, and yet it was a long way off. I felt the strength going out of my penis, which had been completely hard until then. Both of us were panting with the excitement, steam coming out of our mouths, and sweat forming a pool and making suction noises between us. The windows were fogged over. I glanced at the clock ticking away on the dashboard and squinted to see what time it was. I was unable to believe what I was seeing. It was 2:30 a.m. already. We were both going to be in for trouble. We'd been parked there in the forest preserve in a frigid car with our clothes off for well over two hours. And we both had to go home and face the consequences.

            When I dropped Lynda off in front of her house, which was in a subdivision surrounded by open fields in Lombard, her hair was still wet and sticking to her wide, high cheeks since we'd been practically swimming with the heat of our attempt at passion. Her eyes looked so strange, but excited and alive with the air of sex about them. She had a haunted look about her. Something seemed to have a hold on her. Her body had control over her mind, I think. It was like a disease. "Will you call me before you go back down to Urbana?" she asked.

            She was sitting right beside me with the length of her leg against my leg. I could feel the heat being generated by her, coming right through my Levis. I had driven all the way back from the forest preserve with my arm around her.

            She put her hand on my stomach. "Please, Jerry?" she said.

            I liked the way my name sounded on her lips.

            "Will you? Huh? Call me on your way out of town. Okay?" 

            Her eyes were alive with hunger, and with sex. "Okay," I said.

            And that was what I did.

            And as I drove back home — it was nearly three in the morning — I remember suddenly out of nowhere whistling a tune that had been popular when I was much younger. The lyrics went something like: "They call me the midnight gambler. // They call me the midnight gambler.”