Deathbed Blowjob By Mark A. Nobles

One comment

The geography, climate, and natives of Texas all share a ‘for it or against it’ attitude. There is little if any middle ground in the Lone Star state. If I had a nickel every time I’ve heard my granddaddy, daddy, or an old man at the diner tell me to ‘get off the fence, boy, either you’re for it or agin’ it,’ I’d have a much nicer bass boat.

My name is Duke, and I’m dying. I’ve been in home hospice care for eleven days and I don’t know how I feel about that. It is springtime in Texas and the weather has been picture perfect. Low cool at night and crisp warm during the day. We don’t get a handful of those in Texas. It’ll be hot enough to fry ants on the sidewalk without a magnifying glass any minute, and I mean minute, not day. Sometimes I’m grateful my kinfolk aren’t having to deal with my death under the hot August sun but sometimes I’m sorry they are grieving me instead of basking in the middle weather of spring. These days are to be cherished. While we are in control of our decisions between birth and death, we have precious little control when it comes time to be born or die, so about three days into hospice I up and quit worrying about things out of my control. Death is in the driveway and ain’t a damn thing I can do about it.

My bedroom has four windows, two facing east and two facing south. The windows are draped with pink blackout curtains because decades ago the room belonged to my youngest daughter and she held onto her obsession with pink well into her late teens. In the mornings and into the afternoon, the sun tries to punch through the curtains and the room becomes bathed in a dark, glowing burgundy. I always meant to change out the curtains when I moved in but never got around to it. I grew to like them. Awash in low burgundy the room has a creepy, New Orleans broken down bordello feel. It turns me on somehow. I absolutely know how that sounds but I’m dying, I feel no need to excuse or explain my eccentricities. Hell, I never felt a need to explain myself when I was young and healthy.

Two chairs sit on each side of my bed. With all the people coming and going to visit and say their goodbyes, my daughters moved the chairs from the dining table into my bedroom. For the first week they constantly moved the chairs, as many as needed, in and out of the room. They didn’t want it to look like a death watch. There was a finality to leaving the four chairs bedside. The finality hit them on the eighth day. There are two more chairs parked just outside the bedroom door because one time they needed six. Most often only two, maybe three, are needed. Two on each side create a symmetry both my daughters appreciate. My girls are both on the edge of collapse, which I think is good. Sometimes the only relief from grief is exhaustion.

She enters the room and I am laying there, eyes closed. Her heart skips as she thinks I might already be dead. I must look like death and I’m sure she did not want to be the one to find me. I’m tall and have always been too long for any bed save a king, and I always kick the covers off my overhanging feet. I don’t have the strength to kick the covers anymore, but the girls keep my feet bare. It is the only way I can rest comfortably. As she approaches the bed she reaches out and touches my foot. It is warm. She knows I am not dead. She is relieved.

She sits in a chair and looks at my long, drawn face. She rarely blinks and her face shows no expression. I open my eyes and turn my head towards her. “Tell the girls to put my teeth in and leave them in.”

“They won’t let you put in your dentures?”

“No, they won’t.” Sometimes I sound like a petulant five-year-old.

“Where are they? I’ll put them in.”

“They’ve taken them out of the room. Probably to the bathroom.”

“I’ll go get them.”

“No, just make the girls put my teeth in before you go. I don’t want you to leave now. I want you to stay as long as you can. I’m afraid you won’t come back.”

“That makes no sense, of course I’ll come back.”

“I’m under heavy sedation. The pain you know.”

“I’ll stay a long while.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I just want to die with my teeth in. Doesn’t seem to be too much to ask.”

“You don’t want to die with your boots on?”

“I don’t own a pair of boots. You know that.”

“What kind of Texan are you, that doesn’t own a pair of boots.”

“A damn good Texan, that’s what kind.”

“I know you are.”

“Don’t you rile me, woman.”

“I won’t.”

“I’m dying, you know.”

“You’ve said and I’m aware.”

“Pretty sure, legally, you have to be nice to me.”

“That goes against my nature.”

“You have always been nice to me.”

She shrugs her small shoulders.

“What took you so long to get here?”

“Travel is hard these days.”

“Dying is no walk in the park.”

She looks at me as only she can. That ‘pity me’ shit does not work on her.

“We had fun, didn’t we?”

“A ton of fun.”

“Damn right.” I pull my arm from under the covers and try not to show how much effort it takes to make this small movement. I struggle, she takes my forearm, pulls the cover up under it and gently places my arm on top of the covers. She reaches over and holds my hand.

“You know I still love you like I always loved you.”

“I know.”

“There were times, though, I let my penis influence my actions.”

“I’m aware of that as well.”

“Back in the day, after our Slow Separation of ‘04 and the Agonizing Breakup of ‘05, my penis told me I needed to get back on those dating sites and look for someone who might have sex with me.”

“I also told you to do that.”

“You and my penis never let me down.”

“Land sakes, Duke.”

“Let me get back to my story.”

“I’m not stopping you.”

“Anyhow, usually I’d rub out a few and that thought would go away. One time, that thought persisted long enough, even after rubbing out several, that I did start hitting those dating sites. I didn’t really think much would come of it. You’re the only person I ever met online that I liked.” I shrug. She listens. “Anyway, I struck up conversations with not one but two women.”

“You never told me this.”

I shrug again, the shrugging wears me out, but I forge ahead. “Both seemed nice, both were attractive. One seemed easier to talk to than the other, so I asked that one out. The first date went well, it met the limited, low bar expectations that I might get laid.”

She laughs, “All men are dogs.”

I weakly nod in agreement. “In any case, she was nice, I liked her fine, not serious relationship quality but friend quality for sure, and she was as attractive as her pictures. I’m ashamed to say it but that’s all I was looking for.”

“What was her name?”

“Sandy.”

“Okay, that’s a nice name.”

I think I briefly fell asleep. Talking and the excitement of seeing her was exhausting. Morphine is a hell of a drug. During the past eleven days I popped in and out of reality so often, I barely noticed and would pick up conversations wherever I left off or just blurt out whatever was running through my mind when I woke up.

“I don’t suppose you could sneak me out of here, get me in a car, and drive me to that lodge in the Davis mountains, so I could die there? Or maybe just to Balmorhea, that’s a little closer and I’ve always wanted to die in the desert.”

She briefly considered it but quickly, slowly shook her head. It meant a lot to me that she considered it.

“Even in this condition, you’re still too big to carry and I’m too old. I don’t buy ten-pound bags of potatoes anymore, I buy five pounds, mostly because I don’t eat that much but truthfully, the ten-pound bag is a struggle to carry. Plus, I didn’t rent a car, one of the kids picked me up at the airport. Kidnapping, compounded with grand theft auto, isn’t what I came here to do. And besides, in the end, you’d rather die in Fort Worth and you know it.”

“I suppose.” I turn my eyes to the ceiling and try to look as if I am deep in thought. I’m not. What I’m doing is trying to maintain consciousness and stay in the moment. To cover my weakness, I try and look thoughtful when I need to rest and gather my mind. Dying people are supposed to be thoughtful.

She softly squeezes my hand. “Do you need to rest?” Without waiting for me to reply, “You can close your eyes. I’m not going anywhere.”

I want to sleep but don’t want to waste my moments left with her and I think I had already fallen asleep once. “Nah, what do I have to rest from?”

She let me rest. We sat in silence for minutes.

“You know I wasn’t fooling about the teeth.”

“I know.”

“A person’s last requests have to be honored.”

“I don’t know that they have to, but I’ll agree that more often than not they should be.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that.”

“Uh-oh.”

“You already committed.”

“I didn’t commit to anything. I was just humoring a drug-addled, delirious, dying old man.”

“Hear me out.”

“I’m listening.”

“I’d like a deathbed blowjob.”

“You are so full of shit.”

“For old times’ sake?”

“Not going to happen, Duke.”

“That’s no way to treat a dying man.”

“Tough titty.”

And that was that.

“Remember when I was telling you about Sandy, that woman I dated?”

“Yes, it was maybe two minutes ago.”

“Not in my reality.”

“You are no longer in any kind of reality.”

I shrug again. I need to stop shrugging. It is beyond my limited physical abilities. I try to look thoughtful. She patiently goes along with my charade.

“Well, we went out, I don’t know, half a dozen, eight times, maybe. I kissed her after every date except the last one. The one where we broke up.”

“Why did ya’ll break up?”

“Probably because I only kissed her. She was looking for more.”

“Rightfully so, I imagine.”

I start to shrug, think better of it, and say, “Yes, but I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I was already in a relationship.”

“Duke…”

“Let me finish.” I am silent a long period. My thoughts scramble between the pain and the morphine. It’s like the time in college I tried to learn to juggle. I failed miserably then, and I fail miserably now. I constantly struggle, reach, and dash after thoughts instead of rubber balls. When I do manage to find a thought it usually isn’t the one I’m after and I just hold it in my head and wonder why I’m thinking that particular thought. “I was horny as hell. I just wasn’t horny for that woman. I felt guilty. Felt like a liar, even though I hadn’t lied, or led her on. I thought I wanted to get laid. I felt guilty for only wanting to get laid. I thought any attractive, intelligent woman would do. I was wrong. I wanted you. I was in love with you. Still am. Always have been since the day I met you. Once I realized I would always be in love with you, life got easier. I became happy and content. I wanted to marry you. I considered myself married to you on whatever grounds you were comfortable with. We lived our lives the way we lived our lives. I’m glad we stayed friends.”

Once I got rolling it just all blurted out at once. I seemed to be hearing what I was saying as it came out my mouth. We are both flabbergasted. I am gasping and hoarse. She still held my hand. It was the best sex I ever had.

She holds her gaze steady to my eyes but says nothing.

“Ain’t nothing to say.” I am spent. I want a cigarette. I may or may not have gone to sleep again.

She hasn’t moved an inch when I come back. “I love you more than I have ever loved any woman. After dating Sandy, I found I had moved into a space where I enjoyed being with you as much as I ever had. It was the same as it always was, just without the boners. I still think about us as if we are a couple. It was, still is, a good place for me.”

“I do love you, never stopped. It just changed.”

“I know. I’m proud of that. It is what it is. If it wasn’t good for me, if it wasn’t positive, I would have ripped the bandaid off long ago. I was in a low, low place for quite some time back then.”

“I remember.”

“There is always more bottom but being around you is good for me. It makes my life better. If you’re going to love someone, love them, and accept them. If it is a net loss, best to move on.”

Ginny creaked open the door and stuck in her head. “You okay, dad?” She addressed me while looking at her.

“I’m perfect. Put a sock on the door and close it. Don’t bother us.”

Ginny laughed and retreated.

“I never kissed another woman after Sandy. Not with purpose and intent. I want to die with my last passionate kiss coming from you.”

“So, the deathbed blowjob was a ruse. You just want a kiss.”

“Oh, hell no, I’ll take the blowjob if you’ll give it.”

“You couldn’t get it up.”

“Never bet against me getting a boner over you.”

“I learned that lesson a long time ago,” she paused and squeezed my hand. “If you want a kiss, I’ll give you a kiss, but you look tired, Duke.”

“I am tired.”

“Rest for a bit.”

“Thank you. I will.”

I drop away and amble off to boyhood, concerts, road trips, my mom, ma-maw, basketball with my daughters, the Monster Mouse, Mustang Park, lake campus, dive bars, and cheap beer. I never come back. It was enough that she would. She was always enough.

glasses

Mark A. Nobles

Mark A. Nobles is a sixth-generation Texan. Born on Fort Worth’s infamous Jacksboro Highway, Mark proudly claims blood and kinship with Thunder Road’s gamblers, outlaws, and wastrels. He is a Pushcart nominee and his work has appeared in various publications and anthologies including Curating Alexandria, Cowboy Jamboree, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Gimmick Press, Sleeping Panther Review, and Cleaver Magazine. He is the author of Fort Worth’s Rock & Roll Roots. His first novel, We’re for Smoke, will be published in the fall of 2020 by TCU Press. He produced and/or directed three feature documentaries and several short, experimental films. Mark lives in Fort Worth but hopes to die in the desert. He loves his two dogs, two daughters, and Texas, but not necessarily in that order.

Previous Publications

Cowboy Jamboree – Abdullah the Butcher in Gotham and Pot Roast from Vance Godbey’s (scroll down to see the stories) – http://www.cowboyjamboreemagazine.com/jobbers.html

The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature – Wilbur Closes the Wallace –https://deadmule.com/mark-nobles-wilbur-closes-the-wallace-fiction-september-2019/

Cleaver Magazine – The Red Moon – https://www.cleavermagazine.com/the-red-moon-by-mark-a-nobles/

Haunted MTL – Whoops-A-Doodle – https://hauntedmtl.com/originals/hauntedmtl-original-whoops-a-doodle-mark-a-nobles/

The Esthetic Apostle – Two Characters in Search – https://www.estheticapostle.com/two-characters-in-search

Crimson Streets – The Soring – http://www.crimsonstreets.com/2017/12/10/the-soring/

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Mark-A.-Nobles/e/B00CBV12N0%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

pencil

Photo by Gerd Altmann

The Annihilation Radiation Short Story Competition is now open for entries.

1st Prize – £500

2nd Prize – £100

3rd Prize – £50

Closing date – 31st January 2020

Finalists will be published in ANNIHILATION RADIATION

£10 Entry Fee

For more details click here!

To celebrate the release of

HOPEFUL MONSTERS

We are offering a whopping 60% off previously published STORGY titles:

EXIT EARTH & SHALLOW CREEK!

That’s 21 stories for £4.99*
or 42 stories for £9.98*

*(R.R.P. £12.99 each. Postal charges apply)

Simply click on the images below and take advantage of this limited time offer.

Discount code will be applied at checkout prior to purchase.
If not automatically applied add discount code HOPEFULMONSTERS

Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.

PayPal-Donate-Button

Sign up to our mailing list and never miss a new short story.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

1 comments on “Deathbed Blowjob By Mark A. Nobles”

Leave a Reply