Little Mexico
Home Up Losing Control


Book One:



Written by Rick Archer

 © 2015, Richard Archer




So far, my saga of High School Hell has been something of an unremitting horror story.  However, in a manner similar to the eye of the hurricane, there was one good year in there.  My Junior year in high school wasn't so bad.  I made good grades and played a lot of pick-up basketball after school when I wasn't working.  Best of all, my job at Weingarten's helped me emerge from my acne-induced shell. 

For fun, I dyed my hair blonde and let it grow long.  This guaranteed me plenty of attention from my sparring partner Mr. Murphy. Consequently I spent many a Saturday morning in Penalty Hall.  But I didn't care.  Still full of bitterness, I liked irritating the man.

I also took perverse pleasure in irritating my mother.  During my Junior year of high school, my relationship with my mother disintegrated to an all-time low.  I was an angry kid who had little respect for my mother.  Not surprisingly I developed a serious case of teenage rebellion.  I argued with my mother constantly.

To my surprise, at the end of my Sophomore year, Mr. Ocker had offered me a full-time 40 hour a week job at Weingarten's for the summer.  That summer, I made a significant amount of money.  As the school year approached, I decided to purchase a used VW Beetle.

The purchase of a car created a seismic shift in my relationship with my mother.  I was now in roughly the same situation as any college student who lives at home and commutes to school. 

Thanks to my many years without a support system, I had grown into a fiercely independent young man. Consequently I developed the attitude that I didn't have to answer to my mother for anything.  Other than a bed and a roof, I didn't need her any more.  I came and went as I pleased.  I had my own car, my own job and enough spending money to do practically anything I wanted.  Half the time I fed myself at the grocery store and paid for it with my own money.   I even began taking my school uniform to a cleaner next to the grocery store so I wouldn't have to depend on my mother to clean and iron my school uniforms. 

I decided my mother couldn't tell me what to do anymore.  I developed a cocky, arrogant attitude and defied my hapless mother at every turn.  Mom and I fought non-stop in my Junior year, mostly about my smart mouth, my surly attitude and my refusal to take orders from her.  I wasn't the nicest kid, not by a long shot.  I had a lot of venom in me.  Two years of intense bitterness from the acne attack finally had a chance to emerge in my Junior year.  Any time Mom told me what to do, scads of pent-up anger would spew out from some toxic storage dump in my psyche. 

Once I ceased respecting her authority, quite a bit of resentment built up between us during the 11th grade.  By the time my Senior year rolled around, we barely spoke to one another.  As my mother put it, if I wasn't going to listen to a word she said, why bother trying to talk to me? 

Mom was right; I didn't respect her authority.  Some days I got up so early and came home so late I didn't even see her.  I spoke to my mother only when necessary.

Seeing me break away, Mom decided to move on with her life.  If I was going to pull away from my mother, she was going to do the same to me.  Recognizing her role as 'Mother' was no longer recognized, she began making plans for her life after I was gone well ahead of time. 




In the summer before my Senior year, Mom decided to buy a house. 

That in itself seemed like a good idea.  However, once I saw the run-down condition of the structure and realized what part of town we would be living in, I was very upset.  However, she wouldn't listen to me.  My well-being was no longer my mother's concern. 

'Pleasing her son' was a bridge that had been burned.  If anything, she relished her chance to impose her will on me.  

Mom intended to suit herself. 

Therefore, despite my strenuous objections, my mother moved us out of our comfortable Montrose-area apartment to a run-down shack near North Main and Quitman.  This move took place late in the summer one week before the start of my Senior year.  At the start of my Senior year of high school, I found myself living smack dab in the middle of a Mexican slum. 

Mom had done this to make Ramon, her latest live-in boyfriend, feel more at home.  She had finally found steady employment working in the Medical Center.  Now she dreamed of owning a house.  Mom believed this North Main house would increase in value rapidly.  Not me.  I had my doubts.

Mom bragged about the low price she paid.  Her realtor told her this house was so close to downtown that property values were sure to skyrocket any day now.  Soon this spot would be the next West University, an area that was currently the darling of the newly rich.  Mom thought her investment was the real estate steal of the century. 

And what did I think?  I thought Mom was out of her mind.  This place was a dump.  Increase in value?  Highly unlikely.   


However, I wasn't quite ready to pay for my own apartment, so I gave in.  Under protest, I followed my mother to the giant house on North Main in pursuit of her get-rich quick scheme.

This move took me from a comfortable middle-class neighborhood two miles from my school across the city to a poor side of town six miles from my school.  However, since I had a car now, the extra distance to and from school didn't matter. 

Maybe this move would work out for her.  I was impressed at the size of the house.  It had a wrap-around porch, an upstairs balcony in the back, and four bedrooms... one downstairs and three upstairs.  Perhaps Mom had made a good move. 

A little paint, a little love and maybe this place did have potential.  However, Mom was not a fixer-upper.  I was skeptical she would make any improvements.  That prediction proved to be correct.

I tried to make the best of it.  There was a part of me that still cared about my mother and I wanted what was best for her.  Yes, I resented leaving my Montrose home, but the new place had a bed and a roof.  What more did I need? 

I had one year to go till college.  I figured I could handle living here if it made Mom happy.   As long as no one saw where I lived, I figured I could tolerate it for a year.

However I wasn't happy to be living in a slum. 

This section of North Main was 75% Hispanic and the other 25% belonged to a sad collection of alcoholic bums and homeless people.  There was a wino on one corner, a beggar on the other, charity stores like Good Will and Salvation Army within walking distance, and church missions complete with homeless shelters nearby.  This was definitely the soul-saving part of town. 

Speaking of soul-saving, I was in for a rude awakening.  It wasn't until we moved in that I discovered the real reason why this huge two-story house had been priced to sell.  Mom had only visited this place during the day. 

Big mistake.  Hindsight reveals she should have visited at night as well.

Mom's new house was situated right across the street from a Jehovah's Witness church.   This fortress-like Holy Roller church was less than 100 feet away from Mom's house.  How did she ever overlook this place? 

The answer was simple - the church was quiet and deserted during the day.

However, at night the house was rockin'!!  This place was loud loud loud.  The first time I tried to do my homework in my bedroom, I found it impossible to concentrate over the organ music and the raucous singing.

Throughout the night, the screams of "Hallelujah, Praise Jesus!!" along with occasional weird shrieks straight from the Psycho sound track left me incredulous.  I admit my curiosity was tweaked by the bizarre sounds I heard.  Did they really rant and rave and speak in unintelligible tongues like maniacs?   Did these people really roll on the floor when the Holy Spirit seized them?  Based on the sounds I heard, quite possibly. 

Something strange was definitely going on inside that place.  Besieged by wails, cackles, screams, moans and shrieks, I began to believe the rumors about holy roller churches might actually be true.

I never got my answer to those questions because there was not a single window I could see through.  Yet despite the brick walls, the closed doors and the sealed stained glass windows, the shouts, chanting and organ music made it across the street into my bedroom with surprising ease.  This was the most religion I had gotten in years, but I wasn't in the mood.  I would have preferred the sounds of silence.   

Throughout my childhood I had been able to study in complete solitude.  As an only child, there had never been a single distraction in my home.  Furthermore, the Study Hall and the Library at St. John's were kept as quiet as possible.  Not even whispering was allowed.  In other words, not once in seventeen years had I been forced to cope with noisy distractions when I studied.  Now I was stunned to realize I had no immunity to this endless racket assaulting me from across the street.

That neverending organ music and those psychotic screams were driving me nuts.  Once I discovered they did this practically every night of the week, I was furious.  There was no way to escape the noise.   I simply could not study in my mother's new house.

As I tried to shut the irritating noise out of my mind, the disparity between my impoverished home and my rich kid's school took a larger toll on me than it had in the past.  For eight years I had always envied my classmates, but I was able to keep it under control.  Now as I tried to study for a math exam with organ music blaring in my ears, my bitterness grew to unprecedented new levels.

My Senior year was marked with the first course I had ever struggled in - Calculus.  Always an 'A' student in anything to do with Math until now, I had fits gaining traction in my Calculus class.

I hated Calculus with a purple passion thanks to Mr. Flansburg, a boring, monotonous instructor who ruined all interest I previously had in math.  I had never had a mediocre teacher before.  Now my run of good luck had ended.  Mr. Flansburg was a walking talking sedative.  I could not stand to listen to a word he said.

I realized I had taken my series of gifted teachers for granted.  No more.  With the appearance of my first-ever mediocre teacher, my respect for Mr. MacKeith, Mr. Curran and Mr. Salls soared to Olympic heights. 

Something was wrong with me.  Here at the start of my Senior year, my vaunted self-discipline seemed to disintegrate before my eyes. Thanks to my ambition to reach college following the acne attack, my super-human ability to study had carried my grades close to top of my class.  Now I found I could not force myself to study due to all this noise.  Nor could I force myself to pay attention in class to a teacher I didn't like.  My self-control was falling apart.  I was shocked at my sudden failure.  

As I sat at my desk paralyzed by distraction, I wanted to beat my head against a wall.  I had to listen to this awful racket every single damn night of the week!  How was I ever going to get into college if I couldn't study?   I had Calculus homework right in front of my eyes, but I hated it.  I could not make myself do it.  This had never happened to me before.  I had always been able to force myself to do my homework.  But not now. 

I felt a deepening sense of despair.  I was competing against the smartest kids in the entire city.  The playing field had never been even in all my years at SJS, but now the disadvantage was the worst it had ever been.

When I compared their mansions in River Oaks to this run-down shack in the Mexican barrio with the accompanying Holy Roller soundtrack, the unfairness of our comparative situations rankled me no end.  For the first time in my nine years at SJS, I lived in a home that made it extremely difficult to compete.  How was I supposed to keep up with them if I can't study?    

Being poor was crippling me.  I was overwhelmed with self-pity. 

Looking back, I remember spending my entire Senior year in a state of extreme bitterness towards my classmates due to their advantages.  I just could not seem to keep my resentment at the immense good fortune of my classmates under wraps any more. 




Senior year was off to a rough start.

An intolerable home situation.  A non-existent father.  A mother I couldn't stand.  A teacher I couldn't stand.  No social life.  No idea how to pay for college.   However, just when it could not possibly get any worse, it got worse. 

Out of nowhere came a distraction for which I had absolutely no answer.

Despite my disfigured face, I had a perfectly healthy libido.  I had the same problem wrestling with lust that plagues most teenage boys.  My problem was that I lacked the courage to approach a girl my own age and take action.

Out of nowhere, I was presented with a slam dunk opportunity to solve my problem. 

One day shortly after Thanksgiving in 1967, I came home to a huge surprise... two attractive Mexican girls my age had just moved into my house.  I was informed they would be sleeping in the two upstairs rooms on either side of my room.

When I saw these two girls, I immediately went into shock.

It was obvious from the moment I met Linda and Janie that they were no strangers to the company of men.  I was instantly aware of the possibilities.  Indeed, at the mere sight of them, my body sprung to attention.  However, considering how my acne problems had removed me from even the slightest contact with girls my age, I was not in any way prepared to know how to proceed when these two sexually active women were dropped practically in my lap. 

Up till now, I had been able to cope with my monk-like status due to my avoidance of all available females.  The attractive girls at my school were so far out of my league that I gave them a wide berth.  The SJS girls were wonderful eye candy to say the least, but in another universe when it came to thoughts of touching one of them.  I put the odds of a meteor striking the earth and the odds of me kissing a St. John's girl at roughly even.  I had zero experience with girls.

Therefore one can also assume when it came to dealing with my burgeoning sex drive, I had absolutely no defenses developed. 

I now learned an interesting lesson the hard way.  Magnets are indifferent to each other until they are close enough.  But get them close enough and they suddenly jump together.  As long as a pretty girl kept her distance, my sex drive didn't bother me too much.  But the moment these two girls were within touching distance, I was on fire.  I felt a burning in my loins so intense that I was instantly in pain.  This was a new and quite unpleasant feeling.  I had never experienced this kind of male frenzy before and it actually scared me a bit. 

Embarrassing as it is to admit, I didn't even know the secret of masturbation yet.  With no father, no brothers, and no guy friends who talked about sex, I was completely in the dark.  How exactly was I supposed to dissipate this involuntary throbbing?

Nor did these two young ladies make it easy for me.  They began flirting with me the moment they saw me. 

Janie and Linda were the younger sisters of Ramon, Mom's live-in boyfriend.  Up till now, they had lived in Vera Cruz, Mexico.  Ramon had sent word that there were extra rooms in our house, so come on up.  I found it strange my mother had given me no warning, but considering we weren't on the best of terms, that was typical of my mother who found odd ways to spite me. 

Ramon had been around for a while, maybe six or eight months.  Mom had met him towards the end of my Junior year when we were still living in the Montrose area.  Ramon was a factor in Mom's decision to buy this crazy house.  I think they were planning to get married.  I liked Ramon.  Ramon was a gentle, easy going guy.  He was the best live-in boyfriend since Miguel back in the 7th grade.  Ramon seemed to make Mom happy, so that was good enough for me.  Heck, it was a big house.  I didn't mind him living with us at all.

But I wasn't counting on this development.  I nearly fell over when I saw Ramon's sisters.  Both girls were hot!  They were also very close to my age.  Janie was three years older than me and Linda was one year older.  These young ladies were not remotely modest.  I was extremely distracted by having two attractive girls walk around in shorts and revealing tops.  Although both girls were a bit on the plump side, that didn't bother me.  In my book, they were borderline voluptuous. 

On the very first night they were here, Janie, the older sister, greeted me in her underwear as she came out of the bathroom headed to her bedroom.  She didn't seem to care one bit that I gawked.  She just smiled.  My teenage hormones flew way out of control.   I found myself overwhelmed by an instant sexual frenzy that refused to go away.  Her unabashed sexuality was attacking me on a level for which I had no answer.  My go-get-her system and my don't-you-dare-touch-her system immediately engaged each other in a pitched Civil War.  I felt completely out of control.  I turned and ran to my bedroom in panic.

Neither girl spoke a lick of English.  But they knew how to smile.  That they did.  They also knew how to let their bodies do the talking.  Despite a list of a dozen reasons I had just created explaining why I should leave them both alone, I found myself getting turned on against my will.  Their power to evoke my sex drive left me panting and frustrated.  I was worse than a dog in heat.  I hated the control they had over me. 

I am going to tell it like it is.  Both Janie and Linda knew full well how to advertise their charms.  I assumed that came from plenty of practice.  The way they dressed, the way they moved and the way they smiled made it obvious that both girls were experienced in the ways of men.  In other words, they had the right equipment, they knew how to use it, and they had plenty of practice.  I also think they knew full well what they were doing to me.  It crossed my mind that Janie had been a 'professional' back in Vera Cruz.  I think it was her blatant disregard of clothing that gave me my first hint.  Linda?  I wasn't sure about her.

Due to my lack of experience, I was quite eager to change my virginal status.  The moment I saw Linda and Janie, their presence and proximity presented an almost irresistible temptation for me.  Their bodies had a magnetic effect on me.  I could not take my eyes off of them.  Furthermore, based on the way they flirted with me, they seemed quite open to any suggestions I might have. 

Only one problem.  I didn't speak Spanish. 

I smiled grimly at the irony.  Languages were my specialty.  I knew enough German, Latin, and French to exchange ideas.  But no Spanish. 

With no way to communicate, my remorse knew no limits.  Whatever had possessed me to choose a useless language like German? 

In the culture from which these two sisters came, sexuality was a highly valued commodity.  Linda and Janie had learned how to entice men.  And when they first got here, I was the only man available to entice.  Since they were in a new environment, they understood at a certain level that they needed to make friends quickly.  I was their first choice.  Or to be fair, at the moment I was their only choice.

Thanks to the curse of my acne, of course I was a virgin.  Heck, I had never even kissed a girl.  Now the opportunity to do some serious catch-up was tantalizingly right before my eyes.  The temptation to act was overwhelming.

I was game to try.  But how should I proceed?  I didn't know, so I decided it would be foolish to dive right in like I wanted to.  Instead I decided to give the situation some thought.

In those first few days and nights, I was so turned on I couldn't settle down.  Study for calculus?  Are you kidding?  I was being driven mad with desire.  My body was pleading with my conscience for permission to take action.  I was so busy coping with the constant battle between libido and conscience that I could think of nothing but sex.  I could not get these two girls out of my mind. 

Plain and simple, I wanted to have sex.  Either one would do just fine, didn't matter which.  The sooner the better.

However, my conscience made it clear I couldn't just attack them.  So how would I go about gaining their consent?   How could I approach these girls the right way?   I went nuts with confusion on what to do. 

The upstairs of my mother's massive house had three bedrooms.  Mom and Ramon slept downstairs while each girl had a bedroom of her own.  Janie was across the hall and Linda slept next to my room.  There was a door between our bedrooms.  Each night, I sat in my bed staring at that door.

The temptation and the ease of opportunity was a powerful combination.  All I had to do was wait until the middle of the night, tiptoe across my room and softly knock on the door.  But I didn't have the guts to try. 

There were several things stopping me.  One problem was my hope that my first sexual opportunity would be with someone I cared about.  Well, that wasn't going to happen here.  Was I willing to compromise my dream?  Probably.  The importance of my romantic dream was eroding rapidly.

The thought of having my mother find out was a huge deterrent.  Mom was no saint, but I could not help but wonder what she would say when she discovered her randy son was merrily bed-hopping with the Latin nymphets.

And then there was my conscience.  It was wrong to exploit these girls.  I wasn't sure why I felt that having sex with these experienced girls was exploitive, but that's how I felt. 

I had little to offer beyond a roll in the hay.  Perhaps fooling around would have been acceptable, but I had no way to know ahead of time.

I think I could have put my conscience to rest if I could have found a way to get explicit consent from one of the two young ladies.  Propositioning women is a delicate task in the best of circumstances, but my inability to find the words to express myself frustrated me no end.  In this situation, my inexperience around women really worked against me. 

In retrospect, perhaps the purchase of an English to Spanish paperback would have done the trick.  From there, a simple invitation to walk in the nearby park... "Caminar en el parque, Linda?"... plus a little hand holding might have led to a kiss.  Perhaps a bottle of wine smuggled from the kitchen would have improved the odds.  Who knows where things could have gone from there?  But I was a rookie and apparently not very imaginative.  This idea never crossed my mind.  When it came to romantic skills, I had none.

Typically kids my age were supposed to get to know each other, hold hands, develop feelings, kiss a little, fondle some and then begin to negotiate what to do about the growing desires.  For some reason, the gradual approach never occurred to me. 

Let's skip the base paths.  My mind was fixated on heading straight to home plate.  I wanted to just knock on the door in the middle of the night and crawl into bed.  Would I be greeted with open arms or tagged out?  Fortunately, I wasn't quite that bold.  Smiles and giggles and walking around in underwear was one thing, but that didn't entitle me to assume I could just crawl into bed with either girl.

If we could have talked about it beforehand, these girls were certainly old enough to signal green light or red light.  But how was I supposed to talk to them?

After a week of near-constant flirting, I still had gotten nowhere.  It frustrated me no end that I didn't know how to solve this problem.

The presence of my mother remained the major deterrent.  I really didn't want my mother to know.  I had spent all those years expressing my disgust at her own sexual practices.  I sure as hell didn't want to hear her laugh at me with scorn once I started walking a similar path.  No doubt my hypocrisy would give her just the ammunition she needed to point out I was no better than her. 

Therefore I strongly preferred my sexual escapades stay a secret.  But without the ability to discuss my desire for discretion, I had no control over what either girl would say.  How was I supposed to ask them to keep our shenanigans a secret?

Even if I was lucky enough to be welcomed into one of the bedrooms, one sister would surely say something to her other sister or to Ramon, her older brother.  There was little doubt that soon enough the entire house would know what I was up to.  That thought gave me great pause.  The thought of my mother's derisive laughter had a paralyzing effect on my libido.

So I hesitated.  I cursed again that I could not speak Spanish! 

I assumed given a little time, maybe I could gather enough non-verbal cues to know how to proceed.  Heck, maybe one of the girls would crawl into my bed!  That was the kind of non-verbal cue I was really hoping for.  Then I would be blameless... "Gee, Mom, it was her idea, she took me by surprise and crawled into bed with me.  What did you expect me to do, push her away?"

I had not gotten a single night of decent sleep in a week.  I just laid there all night long staring at the door and wondering what to do.  The entire time I prayed that door would open tonight and Linda would enter to make a man out of me.  But that didn't happen.

I am not exaggerating when I say I was being driven out of my mind with desire.  For crying out loud, both girls were right next door to me... alone.  And I knew they liked me.  Why else would they go around the house teasing me in their scanty outfits ?  Why else would they laugh and giggle when I was nearby?  I lay there in torment all night long trying to think of a way to finesse this tricky opportunity. 

Where there's a will, there's a way.  Why don't I admit the truth?  It wasn't any faint heart or lack of courage that stopped me, it was my conscience.  Right from the start, a part of me was strongly convinced that approaching either girl for sex was wrong. 

There was some part of me that felt these girls were not fair game.  Ultimately that is what kept me away.




I have been told I think too much.  Probably so.  But I couldn't shake the lingering feeling there was something about this situation that was sure to backfire. 

I compared my situation to Odysseus and the Sirens.  The Sirens were beautiful naked mermaids who sang their song to sailors as the ships passed their isle.  The sailors could not resist.  They would inevitably draw closer, so close in fact that their ships would crash upon treacherous rocks hidden below the surface of the waves.  Now the men would die as punishment for their failure to resist temptation. 

I had some Sirens of my very own.  Their song was pulling me closer.  Would I end up crashing on hidden rocks as well?  There seemed to be something I had overlooked.

Mr. Curran, my teacher friend at school, had told me a joke.

"Experience is a comb that life throws you after you have lost your hair.

That wisecrack resonated with me now.  I was almost certain that my inexperience was hiding something important I needed to know.  But what? 

I figured it out.  What if they got pregnant? 

Since this was all brand new to me, I wondered what the odds were of pregnancy.  Too bad I didn't have the slightest idea what a condom was.  I had never heard of one.  Unsure of the odds, my fear of getting one of the girls pregnant added yet another layer of complexity to my problem.  As I recall, this deterrent was just as powerful as the fantasy of my mother's scorn.

Mother. Pregnancy. Permission.  These three issues kept my ardor at bay.

I wrestled with this dilemma day and night.  So far I had resisted temptation, but it had been an ordeal.  I wondered if I might die of sexual frustration.  Meanwhile my education had gone into complete suspension. 

I recalled the Arabic saying that the easiest way to forget a problem is to find a worse problem.  By worrying about sex non-stop, I had found a way to quit worrying about college and calculus.  There was no homework being done and the holy roller music had become the least of my concerns.  I was getting way behind in Calculus, but all I could do was think about naked vixens in the bedrooms next to me.  Unless Calculus could help me solve my virtue problem, it would have to wait.

There seemed to be no solution.  One week into this mess and I was still being consumed with intense sexual desire.  I was practically defenseless against the attack on my virtue that these two girls presented.  I was in heat any time they were near me.  Terry was no help.  No doubt my dog was amused that this time I was the one suffering from sexual frustration instead of him. 

One Sunday morning I was reading the paper in the living room.  No one else had risen yet.  Linda came down the stairs wearing shorts and a teeshirt, but no bra.  Watching the motion of her breasts as she walked down the stairs, I stopped breathing.  She sat down next to me much closer than necessary and picked up the Sunday comics.  I was wearing shorts as well and now our legs touched.  The moment I felt her bare leg against mine, I was instantly turned on.  Her action seemed very deliberate.  It felt like Linda was daring me to touch her. 

My hand began to tremble.  Just one little pat.  Why not?  What's the harm?

It took every ounce of my self-control not to reach out and grab her bare leg like I wanted to.  I had to literally clench my hands together for fear I would lose control.  I began to tremble with desire.  Embarrassed and uncomfortable, I had to leave the room lest she realize how flustered I was.  Here we go again.  For about the tenth time that week, I had to go to my bedroom until I cooled off.

These two girls would have been a test for any man, much less a lonely, sex-starved boy like me.  My body wanted them in the worst way, but my conscience and the fear of pregnancy held me back. 

My body said yes, but my brain said no.  I told myself that Linda and Janie were pure trouble, but my body wasn't listening.  The temptation to make some sort of move was overwhelming.  I lived my life in constant turmoil. 

It didn't help that they walked around the house in various states of undress.  Did they think I was their brother or something?

No, I wasn't their brother.  Why were they doing this to me?

I was obsessed.  I craved release from this torment.

One night I finally had the chance I hoped for.

About a week after the girls moved in, I came home from work around 8:30 pm.  The house was dark, so I didn't think anyone was home.  As I entered the living room, I froze in disbelief.  Janie was lying on the couch watching TV.  Janie was wearing a loose fitting bathrobe that revealed considerable flesh.  I imagined there wasn't much else underneath if anything. 

Seeing her disrobed like that, I was instantly on fire.  Upon seeing me, Janie smiled warmly.  I noticed she didn't bother to cover up.  Without sitting up, she smiled and patted the couch, an obvious invitation to join her.

We were the only two people in the house.  All I had to do was go sit on the couch and see what happened next.  Maybe hold her hand?  If she didn't pull her hand away, maybe put my arm around her?  Perhaps a kiss?

Instead I fled straight up the staircase, my usual solution.  As I sat there on the side of my bed quivering with desire, I ordered myself to go back down there.  However I had to think one last time if this was the worst mistake I would ever make.  That was a waste of time.  This ain't no thinking thing.

My passion was too strong to think.

The knowledge that half-naked Janie had invited me to sit next to her was irresistible.

First Linda had taken a direct shot and now Janie.  What was I waiting for?

I got up from the bed and immediately went back down the stairs.  I was done playing nice guy. 

I was halfway down the staircase when I heard voices at the door.  Mom was home as were Linda and Ramon.  From above, I watched Janie hastily rearrange her robe and sit up.  Instantly those inviting curves disappeared.  I didn't know whether to scream for joy or cry in anguish.  I was a nervous wreck at the lost opportunity.  I felt like such a damn fool.  Crushed over the missed opportunity I had been begging for, with an air defeat I made my Napoleon's retreat to the bedroom.

That encounter with Janie was excruciating.  I could not withstand this neverending tease another minute. 

I was in heat all the time.  The temptation was killing me!  I decided the only way to solve this problem was to get it over with and have sex with one of the girls.  Otherwise I might die from unreleased lust.  To hell with my conscience or whatever my mother might think of me.  This had to stop.  I began to plot what to do.  I decided to make my move in the night.

Each girl had a bedroom of her own upstairs next to my room.  The fact that each girl slept alone was not lost on me.  If they had slept together, it would have taken a mountain of courage to come knocking.  However, their separation made it much easier.  Divide and conquer.  This opportunity presented an overwhelming assault on my will power to resist. 

I tossed in my bed unable to sleep. 

Janie was the one who had signaled availability a few nights ago with her couch invitation.  All I had to do was wait until the middle of the night and tiptoe eight feet across the hall, then softly knock on Janie's door.  If she opened the door and smiled, well...

However, Janie was not my first choice.  I had my sights set on Linda, the younger and much prettier one.  I caught Linda watching me on several occasions.  So far she hadn't been as bold as Janie, but after the Sunday morning move, now I was certain she was interested in me.  Linda's room was right next to mine with an adjoining door between us.  I knew the door wasn't locked because I tested it every day.

In other words, in the middle of the night, I could just knock and walk in.  It was that easy.  As I lay in bed, I stared at that door endlessly.  I could not get the image of Linda sleeping alone in the next room out of my mind.  Did I have the guts to try something?

I came to the conclusion that the door remained unlocked for a reason.  She could lock it if she wanted to.  I tested that too.  The door could be locked and yet the door remained unlocked.  Surely this was a signal of permission. 

Tonight was the night.  As I lay there in my bed, the only thing stopping me was me.  But I couldn't make myself do it.

I finally figured out what my issue was. 

At first I thought my biggest fear was getting caught by my mother.  Nope, not any more.

Then it was fear of pregnancy.  Definitely a problem, but willing to risk it.

And of course that permission issue.  It occurred to me that both girls had gotten more aggressive.  Was there a contest?  Whatever the reason, considering the teasing maneuvers, I had all the encouragement I needed.

No, it was back to that exploitation thing. 

During the past week, my sex-crazed body had calmed down a little.  I was actually starting to get used to the girls being here.  As each day passed, it began to feel like they were members of the family.  This is difficult to explain, but I had finally begun to focus on these two women as my sisters of a sort rather than sexual punching bags put in this house for my pleasure and convenience. 

At first, my viewpoint towards the girls had been purely selfish.  Some juvenile part of me assumed they had appeared out of nowhere as a gift from the Universe to satisfy my powerful teenage urges. 

However, the more I thought about it... and trust me I thought about it all the time... the word 'permission' became the ascendant phrase.  Deep down inside, it wasn't my 'faint heart' that held me back.  I was 90% sure that I could walk through Linda's unlocked door tonight and receive a warm welcome. 

But I cared about her feelings.  I wasn't sure why, but there was some inherent 'hands off' feeling growing within me.  I was convinced that whatever happened, it was sure to end poorly.

Unlike my mother's one-night stands where her sailor boys conveniently sailed off to Greece or Yugoslavia the next day, I would have to face this woman in the morning... and the next morning... and the morning after that.  There would be no walking away from a girl who lived under the same roof.

What exactly did I have in mind for Act Two??

It was my understanding that Mexican men didn't treat their women well.  These girls came from a very sexist culture.  Given how these two women were used to being treated, why should I feel any need to hold myself to a higher standard?  Why on earth was I wrestling so hard with my conscience when these girls knew full well it was a man's world?  Where they came from, a man took what he wanted.

I was positive any Mexican boy my age would have been in and out by now or at least given it a shot. 

So why was I being so careful about their feelings?

Because I was better than that.  At St. John's, women were respected.  We were all equal.

I realized I preferred to stay loyal to the values my own culture had taught me.  Now that I realized Linda and Janie were members of the family, they had become my equals as well.  They deserved my respect.  I had no business being aggressive in any way, shape or manner.

In the end, it came down this... I was hardly boyfriend material.  Our worlds were so vastly different there was practically no intersection. Due to the language barrier, I had no way to entertain them outside of the bedroom.  Nor did I care to try.  I wasn't ready to date these girls or have them as a girlfriend.  What was I supposed to do, take Linda to the prom?  As far as I could tell, she didn't even own a dress. 

I had nothing to offer either girl other than a good time or money... and money would have been an insult. 

That left 'a good time'.   However, if it was going to be casual sex, I had to know ahead of time if they were just as interested as I was.  No bold first moves on my part... I needed a clear signal on their part that a casual sexual encounter was acceptable.

Although lofty morals turn to mush when a sexually available girl leaves her door unlocked at night, somehow my values held sway.

To be honest, in the rare moments when my mind wasn't clouded with sexual frenzy, the thing that cooled my ardor the most was my fear of hurting the girl.  Yes, underneath my lust-clouded mind, I discovered a streak of decency.  Given the language barrier, I anticipated the odds that a casual sexual affair had about a zero percent chance of ending gracefully. 

We lived here together.  What would happen when the passion cooled?  Given that we lived under the same roof, when the music's over, things would become very awkward.

After endless analysis, I concluded the only scenario that would let me off the hook would be if one the girls took the initiative and crawled into my bed one night. 

I prayed that would happen, but my prayers were never answered.  Well, perhaps my prayers were answered when Janie patted the couch, but I dropped the ball.  Now that it was my turn to make a move, my conscience held me back.

I had some sort of chivalry in me that said these girls were not fair game.  Unless they made the first move, it was hand's off.




In a flash, the problem was solved.

To my eternal exasperation, nine days after the girls showed up, Linda and Janie got jobs as waitresses at a nearby Mexican cantina on North Main. 

With their looks, I imagine they were hired on the spot.

One week after that, Janie acquired a boyfriend.  

And how did I learn this?  One night Janie brought her new amigo home with her.   The constant sound of that squeaking bed absolutely blew my mind.  All night long!!  I think they finally stopped just before dawn.

I was not in the least bit happy about this development.  However, at least I still had Linda to pursue.  Besides, she was the one I really liked.

It's Now or Never

Nope, too late on that front too.  The next night Linda didn't come home.  In fact, I didn't even see her the next day.  Assuming that she had spent the night somewhere, obviously Linda had found a boyfriend as well. 

I was incredulous.  Thanks to my inexperience, it had never occurred to me I might have a deadline to make my move.  My big chance had evaporated.  As I contemplated paradise lost, I felt like a fool for wasting a perfect opportunity.

A couple nights later, I was awakened at 2:15 am by voices on the stairs.  I know the time exactly because I stared at the clock in disbelief.  I could tell by the voices and footsteps there were more than two people out in the hall.  Terry jumped out of bed and went to sniff at the door for danger. 

I frowned.  I knew exactly what was going on.  Both girls had brought their boyfriends upstairs.  Sure enough, I heard the door to Janie's room open and then I heard Linda's door open as well.  Then I heard a male voice in the room next to me.  I was fit to be tied.  Linda had brought her new boyfriend here tonight.

I froze when I heard the lock in the adjoining door click.  A horrible wave of anguish overtook me... shame at having not acted when I had a chance, extreme jealousy, feelings of rejection.  Even though I had not 'acted', I had still been flattered by the attention.  For the first time in my life, I felt desirable.  Now that both girls had moved on, I was crushed. 

The two sisters and their boyfriends began to have sex immediately.  I was inflamed with jealousy to realize Linda's bed was being put to good use, but not by me.  Of course I had no business being jealous, but that is how I felt nonetheless. 

I noticed Linda's bed squeaked just like Janie's.

There were moans of ecstasy and squeaking beds on both sides of my room.  Stereo!

For the next few weeks, the upstairs at my house stayed as busy as any bordello.  I was treated to the soundtrack of nightly lust, but without the video.  No problem.  I had my disturbing imagination for that. 

I had the empty thrill of listening to Linda moan with pleasure as she had sex with her new boyfriend next door.  I was jealous as hell.  By the way, the private door remained locked now.  I smiled in grim appreciation of the implication.  Nice guys finish last.

I felt like such a chump.  I had my chance and I blew it.  Look what my lofty middle class morals had cost me.




In short order, there were more developments.

First Reymundo, Linda's new boyfriend, showed up with a suitcase.  He was moving in.  Now there were six of us in the house... Mom, Ramon, Linda, Janie, Reymundo and me.  Janie was not to be outdone.  In short order Enrique, the other boyfriend, moved in... and brought his two year old baby son Manuel along for good measure.  Now there were eight of us, including Manuel the screaming toddler. 

Soon enough there was news that a ninth member of La Familia was on the way.  Linda was pregnant. 

The sobering implication of that development was not lost on me.  I finally had a reason to compliment myself on my restraint.  However, I was in no mood to pat myself on the back.  This situation was intolerable. 

The household metamorphosis had begun just after Thanksgiving.  In the space of one month, my home had turned into a Mexican halfway house of sorts.  I was going out of my mind. 

Shortly before Christmas, I went to my mother in protest. 

Imagine my shock when Mom told me she had not only given these girls permission to bring their boyfriends into the house, she could have cared less about my discomfort.  Mom made it clear she was going to let those men continue to stay in my home whether I liked it or not, screaming baby and all. 

I was aghast.  Did my mother have the slightest idea what she was putting me through?  I was furious at her indifference.

I blew up at her.  We had a very ugly confrontation.  I could not believe how hot my temper was.  My mother lost her temper too.  In fact, this was the angriest I had ever seen her.  My mother was normally a very gentle person, but now she began to scream at me for my constant selfishness and surly attitude.  She accused me of not caring about her one bit, so why should she care about me? 

"Well, damn it, Mom, I live here too.  I'm sick of you bringing your boyfriends home with you, but I never dreamed you would turn this place into a brothel!"

No doubt my words stung.

"Who the hell do you think you are?  This is my house, Richard, and I can do what I want.  You think you are so important, well, guess again.  You're leaving soon.  Maybe it is time to quit thinking about your problems and think about my problems for a change.  I have a house note to pay.  I can't wait for you to leave.  I am counting the days.  Then maybe I can rent your room out too!"

"What did you just say?  Rent my room out too?"

I could tell from her expression, my mother had made a mistake.  She had let something slip.  Mom responded with defiance.

"That's right, rent your room out too. These people are paying rent and I need the money, so deal with it, Richard.  This isn't your home anymore, this is my home."

That last comment shut me up.  That barb actually hurt a lot because I think she meant it.  I wasn't welcome in my own home.

Mom took advantage of my hurt silence to continue.  She issued a semi-comic ultimatum that from here on out, she wasn't going to be washing my clothes any more either.  I remember exactly what she said.  "And while you're at it, Richard, you can wash your own goddamn clothes!!  I can't stand the smell any longer."

What she was referring to was my gym clothes.  Because I played afternoon basketball two or three times a week for hours at a time, I generated a considerable amount of sweaty clothing that reeked.

And with that ultimatum, the argument ended.  I stomped off.  Mom had won this round.  The Mexicans were here to stay.

This was the most vicious fight I ever had with my mother.  I was consumed with rage for days afterwards.  I don't forgive easily, so the anger refused to dissipate. 

This fight had an ironic consequence.  Due to her demand that I wash my own clothes, I would one day get into serious trouble at school. 

My mother's words had hurt me a lot, but I wasn't about to let her know that.  Nor was I about to give Mom the satisfaction of letting her see me wash my own clothes.  This declaration became the reason I turned to borrowing gym clothes at school.  I did this because I was determined to snub my mother.  Instead, I simply began taking clean gym clothes from the SJS athletic department and returning my dirty gym clothes to the hamper in the locker room.  With a new source of clean clothes, I didn't have to give my mother the satisfaction of seeing me capitulate to her wrathful declaration.  In that way, I kept my hurt pride intact.

Mom and I stopped talking to each other.  Completely.  It was Cold War.  Or maybe we should call it a Mexican standoff.

The house underwent a rapid transformation. 

First the girls arranged a Mexican Christmas.  Up in my room I heard the strangest song coming from Mom's record player. It seemed very familiar.

"Cascabel!  Cascabel!  Suena el Cascabel..."

It took me a minute, but I realized it was Jingle Bells.  Linda was playing a Christmas album with Christmas carols sung in Spanish. 

Soon the friends of Janie and Linda from the bar started dropping in to say "Feliz Navidad".   Mixing tequila with egg nog... I kid you not... soon the place was a festive madhouse.  If I wasn't such a grouch, I would have noticed they were all having a lot of fun.

With Blanca Navidad playing in the background, I mercifully excused myself to visit the Clark family instead.  The Clarks were the Quaker family who had taken me with them on four summer vacations.  I much preferred to have a Gringo Christmas.  Terry wasn't so lucky.  He was overwhelmed by all these strangers.  I found my dog hiding on my bed upstairs when I returned. 

The Mexican Merry Christmas was the precursor.  As the days passed and the gang got more comfortable, friends of La Familia began to stop by on a regular basis.  They came over in the evenings and watched boxing or wrestling on TV together.  Other times it was the beloved El Tri, nickname for the Mexican soccer team... aka fútbol.

Thanks to the beer and cheer, the noise level got so loud I couldn't even hear the organ music from across the street. 

Not surprisingly, Spanish became the official language of the household.  

Some time ago Mom had learned to speak fluent Spanish... easier to pick up Mexican guys in bars that way.  Noting how my own lack of Spanish had handicapped me with the sexy senoritas, I tipped my hat to my mother.   From my vantage point at the top of the staircase, I secretly observed Mom watching the boxing matches right along with everyone else.  She was cheering in Spanish no less... o!    

Mi Madre loved it.  Mom was now la gran dama de la casa, the Mexican Matriarch.

I had no idea all these years that Mom wanted a big family.  Mom was having a great time. 

One night I came home and the house was alive with mariachi and ranchero music.  They had pushed the chairs and couches aside in the living room.  Everyone was singing in Spanish and dancing.  It was Fiesta time at Madre's casa. 

I quietly slid past everyone and climbed the stairs.  Up at the top of the stairs was Terry looking as confused as he could possibly be at the pandemonium below.  He was unbelievably relieved to see me return.  Together we went in my bedroom for sanctuary and closed the door.  Over the din, I could barely hear the organ music across the street.  I was flabbergasted to note things were so weird now I actually missed the days when I could still hear the organ music.  This house was insane. 

For an only child who had spent the first seventeen years of his life totally alone, living in this house full of strangers and their constant amigo visitors was quite a stretch.  I had to wait to use the bathroom.  I discovered my peanut butter had been eaten by someone else.  The Wheaties were gone too.  Whenever I tried to study, the shouting at the boxing matches made it impossible to concentrate.  Plus one wall or the other vibrated with the sounds of sex every night.  I couldn't remember the last time I had slept the night through.

One day Janie saw me in the hall and greeted me with 'Ola!  Cómo estás, Senor Ricardo?' 

Ricardo??  Is that my new name?  Janie used to call me 'Rick'.

Except for my mother and Ramon, not one of my housemates spoke more than two words of English.  The few times I shared a family meal, the language barrier got under my skin.  I sat at the table and couldn't understand a word they were saying.  I had no idea what people were talking about in my own home. 

I never sat in the living room any more.  Enrique and his little boy were always there.  I was aghast.  Before my very eyes, my home had become a teeming halfway house for Mexican immigrants.  My entire world had been turned upside down.

I shook my head in bewilderment.  This was the strangest situation I had ever been in.  It was like being an exchange student in a foreign land, except I was unable to participate.  I didn't belong here, did I?  I had become the odd man out in my own home. 

I felt attacked on every level of my being.  Having the Mexican Brady Bunch as my new family flipped my brain upside down.  I just wasn't flexible enough to withstand this overwhelming culture shock.  This wasn't my home.  What was I doing here?  I felt completely alienated.

I had always wondered what it might be like to be part of a big family.  As they say, be careful what you ask for.  This wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

I ruefully thought how I had always envied the large Ballantyne family and their seven children.  Gee, that gave me an idea.  Maybe my new family could challenge the Ballantynes to a fútbol match.  Mexico versus Greece.  Mrs. Ballantyne and Mom could be goalies. 

I had not belonged at St. John's for a long time.  Now I didn't belong in my own home.  I didn't belong to either world, did I?

The absurd paradox of Prep School by day and Little Mexico by night was unsettling.  Every morning I would drive to school with its privilege and perfect manners.  I would sit in the Senior Room and wonder what my classmates would think if they knew what kind of life I was living at home. 

Every night I would drive home to holy roller music, Spanish dialogue, a screaming two-year old, and the maddening sound of squeaking beds.  Trying to cope, I began to eat dinner at the grocery store, come home as late as possible, grab the dog, sprint to my room, close the door, and turn on the radio as loud as I could.  Anything to drown out this strange world surrounding me. 

I had been raised amidst total privacy.  That was long gone.  Sometimes I thought I was losing my mind.

The lyrics to a recent hit song ran through my mind on continual playback.

"We got to get outta this place if its the last thing we ever do."

It was a race against time.  Would I escape before I went insane?   




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