Stuart Watson

Hard to Imagine

When you take your boyfriend to watch his grandparents fuck, your central processing unit can overheat or short out or launch into space.

Bret didn’t believe me when I told him that a gentleman, well attired, with a tie, could probably bed me even if he was no older or younger than seventy-five.

“That’s like … my grandfather? No way.” 

Bret thought I was close to aging out, at twenty-five. That age made me only fifty years younger than a lover with experience. An older lover, I figured, was probably endowed with stamina and patience, and gratitude. And pills. Unlike Bret. 

Bret and I were talking about watching other people have sex. He said porn did nothing for him. I said I enjoyed it, but only gay porn.

“Why?” Bret asked.

“It helps me understand how I can please a man.”

Bret looked at me. 

A man?” he asked. 

We had been exclusive for a year.

“OK, how I can please you,” I said. 

“But I’m not gay,” he said.

I slapped his leg. “Dork,” I  said. “You don’t have to be gay to be pleased by someone of the opposite sex who has learned a thing or two from watching gay couples or threesomes or whatever.”

He sipped his PBR. He could have learned something watching people drink better beer. 

“Here’s one I’ve never seen,” he said, “or never wanted to. It would probably be so totally gross I would never want to have sex again.”

I waited.

“Watching my grandparents fuck. I don’t know why I thought of that. Maybe it was the picture of you and somebody as old as PawPaw.”

“Not my point.”

“No matter. They probably don’t fuck. Probably can’t. I just can’t imagine it. But if they could –”

Laughter lit up his face. “That would give me a severe case of Ewww-bola.”

“Experience counts,” I said. “Never forget that.”

Not long after, he took me to meet his grandparents for Sunday dinner. They raised him. He and they were still tight. The sun floated low over the rooftops across the street, torching the living room. His “PawPaw” Art brought us beers. 

I asked them how they met. “Side by side on carousel horses at the Santa Cruz boardwalk,” he said. 

“When the ride stopped, I told Ella she looked like ice cream.” 

“He always knew what I needed,” Ella said. 

They were so cute. Mad for each other. They even had a wall phone, with the curlicue cord. While Bret was using the restroom, I glanced at the number penciled on the phone. Repeated it six times in my head.

A week after that dinner, after dark, late, I drove Bret and me down the street where his grandparents lived. I pulled up and parked across from their house. I was going to propose to Bret later, but first I had a surprise. From the car, I looked at the shadows of Art and Ella behind the blinds, shutting down the house for bed. When I looked at Bret, he seemed confused.

“Follow me,” I said. 

We tiptoed down the gap between their house and the one next door. I motioned him to crouch down, beneath the window to his grandparents’ bedroom. We heard them inside, brushing their teeth, getting ready. They climbed into bed, but they didn’t turn out the bedside light. We heard them giggle. Muffled words. One time, Ella cooed, “What got into you?”

“I saw you,” Art said. “Hotter’n … whatever.”

Bret smiled. “We should go,” he whispered. “I don’t want them to catch us.”

“It’s OK,” I said. “I cleared it. Relax. Enjoy the show.”

“Cleared it?”

He paused. I just smiled, knowingly.

“The show?”

“They told me they were happy to let us see some Ewww-bola for ourselves.”

He silently mouthed a “WTF?”

“They didn’t want you to feel sorry for them. Or think they were fogies. They were kind of excited, knowing we might come by. They’re not shy. Just having fun, like Art said. Give you a taste of where you came from.”

I motioned for him to get his eyes above the sill. Things were getting active inside. 

He rose slowly, and peered inside. In a second, he turned back toward me.

“She’s wearing a bra with metal spikes all over it,” he whispered. 

He went back for more and dropped back to report.

“PawPaw sure can bring it, I’ll give you that. Gram’s on top.” 

Then he went back to the sill. The thought of it had me steamy. Bret must have found it interesting. His phone pinged in his pocket. He checked it. PawPaw: “No photos!” 

Bret’s shorts were riding tighter than when we arrived. 

I gently slipped them down and took him into my mouth. If he had been a few decades older, he might have lasted as long as both of us desired.





Stuart Watson wrote for newspapers in Anchorage, Seattle, and Portland. His writing is in more than forty lit mags, including Yolk Literary, Barzakh, Two Hawks Quarterly, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Mystery Tribune, Bending Genres, Flash Boulevard, Revolution John, Montana Mouthful, Sledgehammer Lit, Five South, The Writing Disorder, Grey Sparrow Journal, Reckon Review and Pulp Modern Flash. He lives in Oregon, with his wife and their amazing dog.

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