A Little Sex Talk Goes a Long Way


When Brendan came home last week, he noticed that Devorah had a somewhat tense look on her face, which was different than her usual annoyed look.  As any good boyfriend would, Brendan worried that he’d done something she didn’t like. Whenever he had done something she didn’t like in the past, it was usually something he didn’t think twice about—putting damp work-out clothes in the hamper, drinking all the milk, slurping at his bowl of ramen—small things, at least he thought they were.  But as it turned out, Devorah wasn’t upset with him. Not at all. “No, it’s Mrs. Rappaport,” she told him.  “She started yelling at me today.  Awful shit,” Devorah added in an ear-defying whisper.

Brendan thought this was odd, completely unlike the old woman he saw every day on his way to work. That old woman was always asking how he was doing. “Hello, Brendan. You’re doing ok? Oh, good. So nice to see you.” Mrs. Rappaport was just one of those people who said typically polite BS-things but actually seemed to mean them, which is why Brendan couldn’t believe that she would say anything awful let alone, shit. Which is also why he had to ask Devorah to give up details, which she did: “Well, she was cursing and ranting about fucking and whores.” “She called you a whore?” Brendan asked.  “I’m not sure if she was talking to me, but I think so.” “What did she say–exactly?”  “She said, ‘stop your fucking, you whore. Stop fucking, you fucking whore!’” Devorah giggled as she told this to Brendan, who, in turn, was pleasantly surprised since she didn’t do that so often now that they lived together and she was always having to pick wet clothes out of the hamper. “So what’s your plan?” “Plan?” Brendan asked. “Yeah, what are you going to do?” “I don’t know. I guess I’ll talk to her when I see her. You’re sure she was yelling at you?” “Yeah, I’m pretty sure. No definitely. She was.”


The next night, right as Brendan was coming home from work, Mrs. Rappaport was carrying her laundry into the lobby.  Devorah had called him again at work that day and again, accused Mrs. Rapaport of yelling at her.  But Devorah, Brendan thought, was mistaken—she had to be. He was sure of that now that the old lady was in front of him.  This sweet old person in her housecoat and slippers was just that: sweet. Brendan looked at her smile and how grateful she was when he offered to help her with her clothes. Even when they reached her door and she adamantly refused to let him carry her stuff into her apartment, even then, she was a sweetheart about it.

He went up to his apartment, ready to tell Devorah that she was wrong, but she was waiting for him. “Did you talk to her?”  Devorah was so intense that it scared Brendan, and as a result, he laughed a little without wanting to.

“Why do you always do that? Don’t dismiss me,” Devorah began to yell.  You always think you’re right about everything.” “I don’t always think that,” Brendan countered.  “In fact, I know you know more than I do about most things. It’s just this time I’m wondering if you might be a little off—that’s all.” “I know when someone’s yelling shit at me,” again, Devorah whispered the word as she said it.

So Devorah went to sleep quite angry that night and didn’t give Brendan a kiss in the morning. But she did call him at work the next day and told him that there was no doubt about it—that the old bitch was crazy and that he should go speak with her or else not come home.  Again, Brendan thought Devorah had to be mistaken but didn’t say anything this time. Devorah had pulled out the big guns, which meant that even if she were wrong, she believed she was right, and that meant that Brendan, good boyfriend that he tried to be, had to give her the benefit of the doubt.

As a result, he came home early that afternoon and took the elevator up to Mrs. Rappaport’s apartment. Almost as soon as the elevator doors opened, Brendan heard Mrs. Rappaport’s voice. It was muffled at first, but as he got closer, he could make out what she was saying and to Brendan’s surprise, she was saying exactly what Devorah had told him. At the top of her lungs, she was yelling at someone to stop fucking, somoene who, in Mrs. Rappaport’s estimation, was was a whore—a “dirty whore” to be exact.

It was an odd thing, but the more he listened to the voice, the more it changed from surreal to sad and then to disturbing. After about five minutes, Brendan couldn’t take it any longer.  He knocked on the door, tepidly at first and then more forcefully. He called her name out, asked her if she was ok, but Mrs. Rappaport just kept screaming at someone she thought was a whore.

After another couple minutes, Brendan started thinking the old lady was stroking out—or maybe it was a Turrets thing. So he yelled louder and when that didn’t stop her yelling, he began to pound on the door until to his surprise, the door opened.  He walked in, assuming that Mrs. Rappaport would be on the ground, writhing or foaming at the mouth. He did not think there would actually be a whore there fucking because that would be a little too odd—even for New York. But when he entered Mrs. Rappaport’s tiny apartment, he saw just that–kind of.

Mrs. Rappaport was seated on her sofa, smoking a cigarette and yelling at Devorah and a naked man on top of her. Brendan’s jaw dropped. He didn’t know what to say, so Mrs. Rappaport, as politely as ever, stopped her yelling helped him fill the awkward silence in the room: “Hello, Brendan. You’re doing ok? Oh good. So nice to see you.”


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categories: fiction

Author:the circular runner

g. martinez cabrera currently lives in San Francisco with his lovely and talented wife. He holds degrees from Columbia and from the Harvard Divinity School where he spent three years thinking about lofty things. Since then, he tries to write some lofty and some not-so-lofty things down so others can see how lofty he sometimes is. When he’s not writing or spending time with said wife, he tortures young people with learning. He blogs at www.circularrunning.wordpress.com and Tumbls at www.circularrunning.tumblr.com

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6 Comments on “A Little Sex Talk Goes a Long Way”

  1. December 6, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Very funny! Reminds me a bit of an old movie I saw called Four Rooms where some kids keep reporting a bad smell to the bellboy who doesn’t believe them and it turns out to be worse than anyone dreamed. Great timing– the fast pace really keeps me into it even though I had no idea what the old lady was doing there– or is it her apartment? Why would that be? Oh, who cares, it’s just hysterical.

    • December 6, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      It’s Mrs. R’s apt. Thanks for reading. BTW, I know the movie you mention here –funny stuff.

  2. December 6, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much. You have excellent content on your blog.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Content Writers Wanted

  3. windruffle
    January 11, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Loved the atmosphere here, slightly insanish but honestly, Devorah’s name was kind of a giveaway. What else would a Devorah be like? (any Devorah’s reading this please excuse me, I’m sure you’re different) 🙂

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:47 am #

      I agree. All Devorah’s except for the ones reading this, are certifiable.

  4. February 13, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I’m still giggling!

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