plan short story

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written by Josh Harraway (copyright 1999)

Carefully I led the girl around to the back door of the house. I knew the old Jamaican lady had been fast asleep for hours, but I could take no chances, so I tip-toed staying as quiet as possible. I pulled out my keys and headed for the front door, opened it, and walked inside. I never took my shoes off or washed my hands unless the old bitch was around and she wasn’t. So, I simply walked to the backdoor and let the girl inside.

Now, my pitiful box of a room, as it was positioned within the greater box of the house, happened to be very close to the back door, which was very good because only a few seconds passed before we were in my room with the door locked. Quickly I turned on my  “air conditioning”, a small fan which sat upon a short fold up stool, and began to hang several coats in front of the window - the window that stared into the living room. (The very awkward existence of such a window led me to develop two interesting thoughts. The first was that my room had once been a part of the backyard and the old lady had turned it into an extra room for profit. This first thought was somewhat obvious, but, for the life of me, I could never quite understand why she hadn’t removed the window. It was definitely not looking out into the backyard anymore. Instead it looked in on my privacy or the privacy of anyone else who rented the room. The jalousies were always closed and I never actually discovered her looking in on me, but the window’s very awkward existence always implied her lurking presence overlooking my actions; her elderly yet evil body humped over the window, watching me, studying; and after thinking about this I came to my second thought: she had wanted things just the way they were.

You see, the old Jamaican lady was a real son of a bitch. I only lived with her because she knew my mom and therefore charged me only 45 dollars a week. That was something I could handle; her mouth was not. She owned that little box of a house on the corner of something street. My room was the smallest of three rooms where lizards sometimes vacationed and roaches went on picnics. I stayed where someone wet my bed every time it rained a little too hard. A guy named Jack stayed  in the next biggest room, and he only paid 50 bucks a week. That’s because he was a pioneer in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, and it was his duty to go out from door to door every morning and bother people about the basic questions of existence.

-Have you ever wondered why God allows so much crime and violence? Here, let me share a bible scripture with you.


Now the old lady slept in the biggest room, of course, and when I say “slept” I mean that sleeping was all she ever used to do in that room. During the day she had one and only one position: the chair. All day she would sit in the stale vinyl chair that faced the door sometimes glancing at the phone on the contiguous inn-table, but mostly looking out the window into space. This was her spot. This is where you could find her at any time just sitting, rotting in that stale vinyl chair, waiting for you to walk through the door so that she could tell you to take off your shoes; so she could tell you to wash your hands. Hands and shoes came from the outside and could contaminate the inside. (I never thought to make her ask the lizards and roaches to wash themselves.)

            At one point I became so annoyed at the thought of hearing her repeat the same command a thousandth time that I started to say it myself. As I entered the house I would mock her singing “Wow, I have to take off my shoes” or “I have to wash these germs off of  my filthy hands with some soap and water”. When the old Jamaican lady heard these clichés she would writhe with contentment and exclaim “Dat’s righhht!!”. This was when her thick accent became evil. I soon discovered that any cliché repeated with just the right sarcastic note could elicit the same reaction from the old bag; and I saturated all my conversations with platitudes and biblical scriptures, saying things like

-I have to keep my room clean at all times because Godliness is cleanliness.

-I love my parents because the bible says that you must honor your father and your mother.


After each cliché I would almost always be rewarded with an ignorant “Dat’s righhht!” and a repetition of the phrase I had already repeated. I think those were the only times that we ever got along. That’s probably because the clichés made me seem more like something trite and banal. That’s what she was used to dealing with; the trite, the banal, and the bible; how I hated her and her stupidity! She disgusted me like cold oatmeal.

Fortunately, I would only be rooming with her for a few more weeks, then it was off to college. So, I endured the heat and counted my days off like a little boy waiting for Christmas. Slowly the weeks passed one after one and there I was, two days before I was supposed to leave, with the door locked and the girl on my bed.

            I watched  her. The fan played in her hair as she perused one of my philosophy books. The last time that we had been together her hair had been long and black, but she had cut it and now it was short and shaggy; it seemed wilder. I watched her. She didn’t look me in the eye, but kept her face in the book, mentioning something she had not previously known about Spinoza. He was my favorite. I commented, then laid back and closed my eyes.

It was very cool; the fan on the stool; no closet, just a bookshelf; clothes and books on the floor; soft light from my lamp on the window sill; a soft bed. I wondered why we had never slept together before. Then I remembered life as an agnostic in a religious household. I remembered my father. I remembered being kicked out, finding somewhere to stay; a place less strict, but strict; the old Jamaican lady and her pioneer Jack. He was out of town this week. That’s why I had never slept with the girl before.

I opened my eyes. There she was, curled up like a soft cat at the edge of the bed.

I would fuck her. I would fuck the girl under the roof of the old Jamaican lady’s little box of a house. I would fuck her as the Jamaican lady slept soundly in her room, then, in the morning, I would walk her to the bus stop and return to pack my clothes. My door was locked and the window had been covered with shirts and coats, so I would fuck her. I would do this not only because I wanted to, but to curse the old Jamaican lady; to curse banality and platitudes and the pious and God.

The girl was horny. She had already stopped reading and now we pretended to talk. I decided to tease her, withholding the obvious.

“Spinoza’s my favorite”, I said staring into her eyes. She listened and thought. Then she asked me why, and all of her - every part of her - spoke of arousal.

“Well, he just is”, I said. “He just is.”  With that she looked at me for a moment, leaned over and switched off the light in an attempt to feign sleepiness. In the dark she curled back up at the edge of the bed. I took off my shirt and pants, fluffed my pillow, peeled the covers from the bed and tucked myself in.

“Why don’t you come up here”, I asked. “The pillow is much more comfortable.” So, without a word she slowly crawled to the head of the bed and onto the pillow and under the covers with me. When she had gotten settled in bed her smooth warmth pressed against my own and I felt her breath upon my neck and it was dark and my dick was hard. I ran a hand across her arm and down her thighs. I was done teasing her. I wanted to fuck.

“I know you want me”, I whispered in her ear, and all she could do was moan her agreement. As she wrapped an arm around me I kissed her neck and sucked and listened to her moan. Then I found her lips, kissed them, sucked her tongue, undid her shirt and bra. In the dark, as the fan blew over our hot bodies, I kissed and licked her flesh until I had reached her nipple. It was such a beautiful pink that all I could do was suck and as I did she moaned louder and louder.

“Shhh”, I whispered. “She’ll hear.” I still hadn’t forgotten the old bitch. Even with a nipple in my mouth the old Jamaican lady stayed in the back of my head.

Slowly my hand slid down the girl’s thigh and into her panties. She was moist and very hairy, which made me even more horny. As I gently bit her breast my finger slid into her pussy and she sighed deeply. I picked my head up and looked into her eyes as I finger fucked her. She spread her legs and I licked her bottom lip. She loved it; I could tell with each moan being louder than the one before. She came, then she came on my fingers again, and I kept whispering “shhh” so as not to awaken the old Jamaican lady.

Then I told her to spread her legs even more and I crawled down to the foot of the bed. I pulled her panties aside and put my face in her pussy. It stank. She moaned wildly, but I could hardly bare the smell and taste of the pussy. So, being disillusioned, I backed off, inserting a finger instead. After a while she came again. I got up on my knees and pulled out my cock and the girl’s eyes grew big as she stared. I grabbed her by the thighs and put her in position, but before I could begin she stopped me.

“I can’t”, she said. “I don’t want to get pregnant.”

“I have condoms”, I replied, looking down at her nakedness.

“Still”, she said. “We can do it other ways, like I’ll suck your dick.”

I do admit that this was quite disappointing at first - it wasn’t in the plan - but I was no rapist, so I respected the girl’s  wishes and laid down. There we were, side by side. The window was still covered, the door was still locked, and my dick was still hard. My dick was so hard that it stood straight up like a monument to my horniness. The girl just stared. I could still taste her pussy on my lips. She had gotten off a few times and I hadn’t even started. There was a pause, then she grabbed my dick, laid her head upon my stomach and began to make good on her promise. She slid my cock into her mouth and began to bob her head upon it. Her throat was warm and she choked once or twice, but kept on going. Occasionally I would feel the sharp prong of an incisor.

“Open your mouth wider”, I said.

“I can’t”, she replied. “I have a natural over-bight.”

So, there I lay with a dick as hard as Gibraltar and the head of the girl bobbing up and down upon it. I ran my hands through her hair, hoping. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen. Nothing. Then I told her to jerk me off. She slid her mouth from my dick and sat up next to me. She grabbed it in her hand and began to stroke, but her palms were too coarse and it hurt. I told her to spit on her palms and she did, but after a while it started to hurt again. Even the canister of Afrosheen on my window sill was no use. I just couldn’t come. So, in despair, I laid back on the bed, with my dick in my hand and the girl at my side.

It was 3:30 in the morning. That’s when she told me. That morning, that night, whatever. That’s when she said it.

-I know that this is gonna sound really technical, but do you remember when I was jerking you off and that stuff was coming out of your dick? Well, after that I think I might’ve touched my pussy and because of it I think I might get pregnant.


-I’m really serious. I just feel like I might get pregnant. I get these feelings about things and …

-Look! You are not fucking pregnant. We didn’t even have sex.

-Well, stranger things have happened …


It was ridiculous; a little pre-ejaculation and she was getting worried.

-Do you have any coke?


-Coca Cola?

-What? What are you talking about?

-Well, Id somewhere that Coca Cola can act as a sort of spermicide.

-No, we don’t have any Coke.

-We have to get some Coke.

-What are you talking about? It’s 3:30 in the morning!

-We have to get some Coke.


And that was it. That was the call to adventure. We have to get some Coke. Why? Because Coke was like a makeshift spermicide, and of course, we needed spermicide because without it the girl would be pregnant. I found this whole situation quite ridiculous, but I reasoned in the following manner: she most probably isn’t pregnant at all, but if I don’t satisfy her intuition she could become hysterical and stupid; but if she actually is on her way to becoming pregnant, though highly unlikely, it would only be to my advantage to see that it doesn’t happen. So, very reluctantly and only after a few angry grumbles, I turned on the light and climbed out of bed. I put on some clothes and the girl did as well. I opened my door and tip-toed to the back door. Everything was cool. With my keys in my pocket I opened the back door and called for the girl to follow. She scurried outside. I closed the back door, but I didn’t lock it. That way we could get back in through the back of the house, but I also had my keys just in case.

Now, the old Jamaican lady’s little box of a house happened to be in a fairly decent part of town. The people in this area cared about their property and didn’t want anyone to mess it up. They had even gone so far as to get the city to block off parts of the neighborhood so that you could only enter and exit through certain specific streets. Although this neighborhood was fairly decent part of town the area of town just up the street was not. This part of town was a haven for drug dealers and bums and vagabonds of every sort. It was not uncommon to hear of shootings and drug busts and other such things from this part of town, and when you drove through you always kept your door locked and your window rolled up. On the corner of a street somewhere within this part of town was a little no-name convenience store. For some it as a real hang out spot. Like most of the convenience stores in this area it was run by a family of  Cubans. They sold beer, cigarettes, lottery tickets, pornography, chips, family products, pig’s feet, hot sausages, and all the other common convenience store items, but most important of all Coca Cola. It just so happened that at 3:30 in the morning this was our destination.

The night was peacefully dark. There was a breeze coming in from the ocean and the girl held my hand as we walked. My dick was somewhat sore from the previous events of the evening. None of this had been in the plan. I had expected to get laid, but, to the contrary I hadn’t even ejaculated. I had expected to spend the whole night comfortably indoors, the fan blowing across my body and cooling the room, yet here I was walking the streets at 3:30 in the morning contemplating pre-ejaculatory, artificially, inseminated pregnancies. I had also expected the convenience store to be littered with an entourage of burly black stereotypes and unfortunately this was the only expectation that had come true.

There were seven burly men of color waiting for us in front of the store. As we were still too far off for anyone to notice our advent, we listened, and this is the sort of talk that we heard:

-nigga … man, I got yo’ back. know what um sayin, nigga?

-umma fuck dis nigga up, you know what um sayin’, nigga?

-know what um sayin’, right? I got my nine, nigga. umma bus’ a cap in this

nigga’s ass.  know what um sayin?

-I got yo’ back, nigga. this for real, know what um sayin’?

-nigga, you my nigga, a’ight? We fenda do dis shit, nigga. Know what um sayin’?

-nigga, we be …

- yeah, nigga. umma be on dis nigga …

- … nigga …nigga … dawg …nigga

- …nigga! … yeah nigga! … my niggas …

- … know what um sayin’, nigga!!


Now it is needless to say that this dialogue elicited great apprehension. The last time that I had been in a fight was the sixth grade; and that was only because Keebo had called my sister a “faggot”. I had nothing on my person that would even resemble a weapon and these guys were talking about nine millimeters and gunfire. I knew that they hadn’t been talking about me or the girl, but their dialogue had shown me their true natures. If we weren’t careful we could get hurt. There was so much animosity surrounding that little convenience store; I wondered if the Cubans ever really knew the extent of it all.

I stuck out my chest to look “tougher”. I tried to walk a little “cooler”.  It wasn’t in the plan. I improvised. My clothes were all right; they could pass. Yo, um hip. You best not be fuckin’ wit’ me!  That’s when it hit me: the girl was white. She was Anglo-Saxon, Caucasian, of fair-skinned European descent. To the guys down the street she would be a “honkey” or a “cracker”. I had never really thought of it that way before. For the first time I actually realized that we were different in this most trivial way. I condescended in order to see things from a different point of view; a 3:30 in the morning point of view. Something like this could make us most conspicuous at 3:30 in the morning, especially in the area of town that we were headed for. So, right then and there I stopped the procession to level with her.

“Look”, I said. “I’m  BLACK and you’re WHITE”. She stood there.

“Now, this isn’t school. Some people really take offense to stuff like that. So, I’m just sayin’, ya know?” She stood there. I believed  I had enlightened her, so we moved on.

There was a truck parked in front of the store. It was big enough to block us from their view as we finished our procession. That way we could just pop up from behind the truck seemingly out of  “no where” and walk into the store as opposed to walking head on into them. (There was no telling what they could have thought up with a good fifteen seconds to gaze upon the both of us.) So, with the girl in front we circumnavigated the truck until we found ourselves in front of the convenience store door and in front of these loud strangers. All of a sudden they had become quiet. The girl’s hand quickly grabbed the see-through door, opened it, and walked inside. As the door started to close back my hand grabbed it and began to open it again. Just then another hand reached over and grabbed the door. It was an extremely big and ugly one of the previously self-proclaimed “niggas”. He stood about six foot three and his eyes were extremely red. It seemed as though half of his teeth were composed of gold or silver and he was wearing almost twice as much of the stuff around his neck and fingers. As he grasped the door he looked into my eyes with a grimace on his face and said “Don’t I know you from somewhere, young-blood?!?”

Now ordinarily a question of this nature would not  seem so bad . It is often the case that people meet other people and afterwards lose so much of these first memories that only a faint mood or mental picture remains. It is also the case that on a second encounter these faint memories of moods and vague mental pictures can be conjured up. “Don’t I know you?” or “Have we met before?” is quite normal, in fact. The only problem was that this man was not a personality that I could have reduced to a vague memory or mental picture. He brought to mind Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and savagery and brutality.  I had never seen this man before in my entire life and if I had I would definitely have remembered the event. I knew he had not really asked the question in sincerity. It was merely a test of how I responded. Standing there outside the convenience store with his gruesome coterie behind him, this gold toothed ruffian was like an urban proctor. He was watching me  for fear, testing my balls. He didn’t know me. He had never seen me before in his life. It was all a test. “Don’t I know you from somewhere, young-blood?” I had to respond to the question. There was no doubt about it. My response had to be concise; too many words would betray me. So, as I was about to walk  into the store and this stranger asked me “Don’t I know you from somewhere, young-blood?” I paused, looked him in the eye and said “Naw, man. Naw.” Then I walked inside.

I had failed. I could feel it. As soon as we walked outside those guys were going to jump us, beat the shit out of us, take our money - whatever. They could sense that we didn’t belong in that area at that time of night and they were right. We didn’t. They hadn’t been fooled for one moment. We had ventured into a “tough” neighborhood at a very late hour and we weren’t “tough”; not at all. This was something that you just didn’t do. We had broken the rules. We would be punished. The worst had actually happened. Those guys were going to jump us.

It felt like we were safe as long as we were in the store, so I tried to stall; but the girl, the Coke! We had to go. I gave her the money. She paid for the coke. I stalled. I didn’t have anything that even resembled a weapon. I thought sixth grade. Then I thought about the movies and how some guy finds an empty bottle and how he breaks it on the ground or on the truck or on somebody’s head and how the edges are all sharp and how he gracefully fights off his opponent as if the bottle were a knife. Then there’s a commercial. I scanned the store. Arizona Iced Tea! I bought it. The girl, the Coke. We had to go. I gulped sloppily to empty my weapon. Tea spilled onto my shirt. Those guys were going to try and jump us, but now I had a weapon. When they attacked I would break the bottle on the ground and fend them off as we made our escape. I told the girl to get in front. If anything happened I wouldn’t want to have her running behind me. I would stay in the back with my weapon and make sure that everything was all right. That was the plan.

There we were, the girl and myself, standing in front of the convenience store’s see-through door. She had the Coke. I had the tea. Her hand grabbed the door, opened it and walked out, straight ahead. She moved fast, but she wasn’t running. Then out I stepped right behind her.  It all happened so fast. I wasn’t running. I gripped my bottle. Then, just as I had stepped off the curb, I looked to the left and I looked to the right. They were all gone. There was no one outside other than the two of us. It was as if they had all just disappeared. The truck was gone too. I caught up with the girl. She was anxious; she thought she was going to be pregnant. I looked around just one more time, but there was nobody in sight. I sipped the last of my tea. A breeze blew over us. I couldn’t wait to get to my fan.

So, together we started to make our way back to that little box of a house on the corner of something street. The night was still just as dark, still just as silent, but somehow it didn’t seem as eerie as before. Within a few minutes we were at the back door and the girl was ready. As we stood there under the night sky she began to shake the plastic Coke bottle in her right hand. She spread her legs and lifted her skirt. The night was so dark that her figure was just a surrealistic silhouette a few feet in front of me. I stared. She placed her left hand on the cap and put the bottle between her legs. Quickly she unscrewed the cap and thrust the bottle into her vulva. I heard the soda sizzle as it exploded into her vagina and spilled onto the gravel underneath. I was motionless as I gazed upon her figure in awe. A dark line of fluid ran down the inside of her leg. This situation had become extremely queer. With her left hand she screwed the cap back on and with her right hand she shook the bottle. Then she unscrewed the top again and let her hands disappear into the depths of her dress. I listened as the Cola slapped the gravel as it poured back out of her. I stared in awe. As the last drops splattered on the ground she once again screwed the cap back on and began to shake the bottle. At this point I had seen enough. I was ready to go inside. I was disgusted, but when I began to speak she promised that this was the last time; she just wanted to be safe. So, once again she shook the bottle, unscrewed the cap and deusched with the carbonated beverage. This last attempt had left the bottle almost empty. So, as the dark puddle of fluid beneath her legs began to disappear into the gravel I opened the door and checked to make sure that the hall was clear. The old Jamaican lady was still fast asleep. No one had sneaked into the house while we were gone. Jack hadn’t returned unexpectedly. We were safe. Everything was fine, so  I whispered for her to come. And as I stood there waiting, to my chagrin, after everything that had happened, after everything that hadn’t happened, the girl put the bottle to her lips and took a sip.