October – December

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It was an early Fall weekend, damp and chilly. Low clouds were covering Manhattan, obscuring some of the taller buildings.

I was in my 16th floor apartment after a Sunday morning workout, scanning the headlines over a cup of coffee, when a piercing scream came through the walls. My apartment is an end unit, so I figured it had to be coming from either directly above or below.

I tilted my head like a dog to listen, and heard it again — along with the sounds of thumping and scraping furniture, sounds that were definitely coming from the ceiling.

Grabbing my apartment keys and one of those big, heavy, metal flashlights — I didn’t have much else in the way of makeshift weapons — I ran out the door, into the stairwell, up the steps two at a time, and popped out on the 17th floor to knock on the door of the apartment above mine.

The door cracked open — just like in the movies, a New Yorker leaving the chain on, peering through the opening.

She was maybe 15 years older than me, about 70, 5′ 6″ or 5′ 7″, slim, “petite” — and in “quite a state.” Her eyes were big, hair a mess, and she was panting. She didn’t say a word — but instead just looked at me.

“Are you OK? I live downstairs and heard a scream. Was that you? Can I help?”

She seemed to snap out of it. “Oh, yes, yes. I’ve seen you in the building before. Yes, maybe you could. What’s that?” she asked, gesturing to the long metal flashlight.

“It’s a flashlight. I wasn’t sure what you needed, or what was wrong, so I grabbed it.”

“And what did you say your name was, and where do you live?”

“Right downstairs, in 16G. I’m Bob, Bob Turner.”

That seemed to help. She closed the door, I heard the chain scrape as she unlatched it, and she re-opened the door to let me in.

Her apartment was mostly neat and tiny, the same layout as mine — but a chair was overturned, and there were some pots and dented cans of vegetables scattered across the floor. A houseplant had been turned over, dirt and white flecks of vermiculite scattered across the carpet in a brown and white smear. It looked like there had been a fight, or a robbery.

“Are you OK?” I asked again.

“I’ve got a mouse” she said, her voice trembling slightly.

I almost laughed, but didn’t want to be rude. “A mouse? Wow. OK.”

“Yes, it was ugly and gray and I tried to get it, but it got away. I think it went under my couch.”

That explained the dented can of sauerkraut on the floor. She must have been in the kitchen when she saw it and started throwing things.

A mouse. Hmmm.

I got down and peered under the couch, flicking on the flashlight.

There it was, flattening itself against the wall behind the sofa, quivering and heaving as it breathed rapidly. It seemed to have had a rough time of it, being chased around like that. And, I’m guessing it didn’t like sauerkraut, either. That stuff’s nasty.

A mouse in New York City. New York City is never what you expect.

When it comes to rodents you think of rats – rats as big as large housecats, with an attitude to match, like pizza rat. When cornered — if you really want to corner one — they almost look at you and hiss “fuggedaboudit” as they bare their pointed yellow fangs.

But in truth there’s a lot more mice in this city, everywhere — subways, parks, and even here on the 17th floor of a huge luxury apartment building. Which is why you had to admire that mouse.

I mean, can you imagine what it took to get up here?

Unless she rode on top of one of the elevators like the Tom Cruise of mice, she must have scampered up along pipes and conduit inside the walls, up, and up and up. Seemed a shame to dispatch her after all that.

“I see it. What do you want me to do with it?”

“What do I want you to DO with it?! Get rid of it!”

“You want me to kill it with a can of sauerkraut?”

That made her laugh, at least a little. “Well, no, I just panicked. Don’t hurt it. Just take it away.”

Yeah, well, that was going to be trickier.

“Do you have something big I can trap it with? A spaghetti colander? And a piece of cardboard, or a newspaper?”

“Ewww! Not my colander!”

I got up from my hands and knees. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“Sorry, I’m Helen.” We shook hands. I could feel her hand, firm, very warm, and slightly trembling. She blushed and brushed her hair back — she was in a loose fitting t-shirt and a pair of yoga pants which had some flour on them. “And that’s Mildred. Millie.” I hadn’t seen Mildred at first — she was in the hallway, as if she were as afraid to come out as the mouse was. “She moved in after her husband died. We were making brunch when we saw it.”

“I’m Bob — but I guess I told you that already. Nice to meet you both, officially. So about the colander. I could trap it against a piece of cardboard, and it could still breathe through the holes. Probably the best thing to trap her with if we don’t want to hurt her. Besides, pasta is full of carbs, and you shouldn’t eat that much of it anyway.”

“Pasta Bostancı Sınırsız Escort is full of what?”

“Never mind. I could buy you a new one afterwards, or wash it really well in bleach or something.”

Helen seemed to relax a bit. “OK, that makes sense. Let me see…” She went to the cupboards in the kitchen, bent over, and started rummaging around under the counter, clanging some pots.

Forgive me, but I found myself looking at her yoga-pants ass as she bent over to get the colander.

It was obvious that she didn’t have any panties on, and for a brief moment I imagined having sex with her, just like that, in her kitchen, bent over the pots and pans, the brunch biscuits waiting for the oven, the eggs waiting to be scrambled.

My next thought, as I looked at her bottom, was that I needed to stop looking at her bottom and think about something else, even as I noticed that she wasn’t wearing a bra. I needed to think about something else because I wasn’t wearing any underwear and was starting to feel that familiar tingle.

If I kept looking at her ass and thinking like this I’d end up with an erection poking out of my workout shorts. Having an erection in her kitchen in a small pair of workout shorts could complicate things very quickly, so I switched gears and starting thinking about the mouse. Fortunately, that was right when she found the colander.

We then found a section of her Sunday newspaper — she was probably the last person in the building to still get an actual newspaper — and I asked her to get a broom from the hallway closet. Well-armed, we returned to the couch.

“Here’s what we are going to do. First, we need to get Minnie Mouse out of where she is. I’m going to tilt the couch up and at some point she’s going to bolt. Act like you are sweeping her into that empty corner over there, OK? Just like a dust bunny. Just sweep along — you don’t need to even touch her, and certainly not beat her up – just guide her along. Mildred, can you come out and help? Stand over there — if Minnie comes near you just yell ‘shoo!’ and direct her back into the room. Once we get her cornered we’ll let her sit for a few minutes, and then see if we can’t trap her. Everyone ready?”

Mildred nodded, and Helen mumbled “yes.”

Helen clearly wanted that mouse out of her apartment, and wanted to make sure she got it right. “Sweep her? Like this?” Helen made a few vigorous sweeping moves with the broom. I liked the way her tiny breasts jiggled when she did that, but needed to focus.

“Yes, that’s it — just like that!”

I moved to the end of the couch and grabbed it underneath. “Ready? I’m going to count to three. One, two, three!”

Helen hadn’t told me it was a sleeper couch and weighed as much as a small refrigerator. I put my legs into it and slowly tilted the couch backwards. Helen did exactly as she was supposed to, and guided Minnie into the prearranged corner so I could set the couch back down as Mildred watched.

“Excellent! Now stand there so she won’t get away!” I got up, grabbed the colander and the newspaper, came in behind Helen, and got down on my knees, which were beginning to ache.

As I settled down I realized this was going to be trickier than I thought.

The colander was round, the corner was at right angles, and Minnie had smooshed herself into the tiniest possible amount of space in the corner. I edged closer, and then a bit closer, rather gracelessly on my knees, trying to lower the colander.

As I was just about to trap Minnie she squirted loose and ran along the wall next to Helen, who was standing beside me. Helen shrieked again — a sound I was now growing a bit accustomed to — and stumbled backwards, bumping into me, losing her balance, and then falling in slow motion.

The phrase “broken hip!” flashed into my mind like a beacon. I reached out, grabbed Helen around the waist as she fell, and pulled her on top me as we continued this gentle, slow motion tumble into a pile as Mildred made a series of distressed exclamations, “Oh no, watch out!” and such. I could faintly smell Helen’s perfume and feel how soft and warm she was through the thin cotton of her tee shirt and yoga pants.

“I’m sorry” she stammered, “the mouse startled me.” She rolled over and started to disentangle herself from our pile.

“No, no, I’m sorry — I didn’t mean to touch you — I was afraid you’d get hurt.”

And this is where I started to like her.

“Don’t be silly” she said. “I’m glad you did. If you had let me fall I could have broken a hip on that hard tile, and that might have been the end of me at my age. Right Millie?” Mildred nodded, pretty vigorously.

I said the only thing a gentleman could say. “At your age? You are in great shape, so I don’t know why you would say such a thing.” I meant it.

“Yes, well, quite the smooth talker, aren’t we?” She was back on her feet, smoothing her tee shirt and brushing her hair with her hand — blushing a bit as she tried to compose herself. “Let’s get back to the mouse, shall we?”

“Of course.” Bostancı Suriyeli Escort As I got up I noticed (with my peripheral vision, of course) that her nipples were beginning to poke through her nightie.

Which had nothing to do with mice.

We found Minnie quivering in the opposite corner. Having already rehearsed our act we got it right this time: While Millie stood guard, and Helen kept Minnie boxed in I leaned in and lowered the colander at a better angle, slipped the Macy’s advertisement from the newspaper under the colander, and with a quick snap had Minnie the Mouse contained in a make-shift Have-a-Heart trap.

The ladies applauded — and told me to take it outside. “Ewww, get rid of it!”

I walked Minnie to the elevator, took her outside, and released her in the shaded plaza behind our building. She was gone into the underbrush in a flash, probably looking for Mickey.

(“You will NEVER believe the day I had today Mickey!”)

I took the colander back up to 17G.

I knocked at Helen’s door and we went through the same drill — habits die hard. She opened the door a crack, looked me up and down — a bit longer this time, it seemed — and then closed the door, slipped off the chain, and let me in.

“I brought your colander back. Did you want me to wash it, or to just get you a new one?”

“No, that’s alright, I’ll just give it a good sudsing.” She took it from my hands.

“Well, it’s been nice to meet you Helen. I’ve got a cup of coffee that’s been waiting for me downstairs, so I’m going to see if it is salvageable. Did I leave my flashlight someplace?”

“Oh please. Your coffee will be ice cold by now. Why don’t you come in and I’ll make you a cup. My daughter got me one of those machines, what do you call them, the by-the-cup machines, and it won’t take but a minute. You should stay for brunch — Millie and I do this every Sunday, and I’ve gotten pretty good at making biscuits.” A tennis match was on the television with the sound off, and the ladies seemed a bit more relaxed.

I wasn’t sure what her coffee might taste like, but a big breakfast sounded good, and I could smell the bacon, which made the decision easy.

Her kitchen was typical New York, too — a galley kitchen, too small for two people, so I tried to stay out of the way as she bustled about to get some mugs, some k-cups, and fresh water for the coffee.

I looked at her as we chatted – I couldn’t be sure — but it seemed like she had brushed her hair, put on a lick or two of makeup, and probably a dab of perfume – as if she had cleaned up while I was out liberating Minnie Mouse. Millie was at the stove, working on the bacon and chopping something. It all smelled delicious.

“So how long have you lived here?” I asked, making small talk. We seldom get to know our neighbors in these big buildings.

“Five years ago. I moved here after my husband died. I retired from teaching, and after Paul passed, keeping up with our house in the suburbs was just too much. My daughter works uptown, so this made sense. I wanted to be close to her, but not too close to be a constant bother.”

I was almost startled when Mildred finally spoke. “Helen, don’t you think it is long past time for a drink? We shouldn’t be rude.”

“Oh my, yes.” Helen took a pitcher out of the fridge — frosty and orange. “You will join us for a screwdriver, won’t you Bob?”

We clinked glasses and made more small talk as they finished making the food. I helped them move everything to the table – biscuits and omelets, smoked salmon and bacon, oven-roasted tomatoes, asparagus, all the food groups.

We sat down, and I was about to tear into my food when Helen raised her glass. “To the great mouse hunter?” — and now that she had gotten her composure back, I could hear the sass in her voice. Funny that a mouse rattled her — she had spunk.

“Thank you Helen. In fact, as befits a great hunter I was thinking that I should have gotten it stuffed, at least its head, and put it on the wall as a trophy. Maybe the next time.”

“Oh Bob that’s horrible. She raised her glass a bit higher. “To friends and neighbors, old and new.”

“And to mouse-free apartments” I added.

“And to screwdrivers at brunch – bottoms up!” Millie chimed in, and we all took a healthy slurp.

Brunch was fantastic. The biscuits were flaky, warm, and soft, and the eggs perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of cheese. Minnie would have loved them.

I was hungrier than I had realized — or maybe it was the pleasure of a home cooked meal — but I went back for seconds as fast as I could without being rude, had another screwdriver, and pushed my plate back with a satisfied sigh. I helped them clean up a bit, and we all moved into the living room to finish the last of the drinks, Millie and I on the couch, and Helen in an overstuffed armchair.

Whether it was the coffee or the vodka, Millie, who had been quiet most of the morning, was perking up. “You know Bob, you ate like a starving dog. Don’t you have anyone to feed you downstairs?”

“Sorry Bostancı İranlı Escort Millie, but I don’t, no. A meal like this — I didn’t want it to get away. Takeout gets tiresome after a while.”

“So what exactly IS your story, Bob?” Millie said. That’s when I could tell the screwdrivers were creeping up on my neighbors. “Story” came out like “Shtory,” and she was tilting her glass at a 45 degree angle.

“My story?”

“Yes, like what do you do for a living?”

This was always a tricky question for me. I fix things for companies — big messy problems. It’s hard to explain. I can’t talk about my work, I work when needed, and it pays well.

“I’m like a handyman for companies. I help solve their problems.”

“That sounds interesting. And how do you solve your own problems?”

“My own problems?”

“Yes, who cooks for you, takes care of the apartment, you know.”

“You mean like a housekeeper?”

“No, Bob, not like a ‘housekeeper’. Like a girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or whatever.” She sloshed her screwdriver a bit as she gestured for emphasis.

“Oh, well there’s no drama or secret — the drama’s long over. I’ve been happily divorced for a decade now, travel a lot for business, and the truth is, I’m happy to cook for myself when I get the urge.”

And that’s when I could tell the drinks had gone to Millie’s head.

“Speaking of urges, what do you do about those?” she blurted out.

Helen almost hissed at her: “Millie, shush!” but Millie didn’t even look at her.

“Well, you want to know too, Helen, you said so when he took the mouse outside, so why don’t we just ask him?” Millie said, as if I weren’t sitting right there. They were both tipsy, it seemed.

Millie turned back to look at me. “So Bob – everything still work downstairs? And I don’t mean ‘downstairs’ in your apartment. I bet you masturbate like all men.”

Helen didn’t say a word — she just looked, holding her screwdriver, her eyes sparkling as she waited for the answer.

I turned the question over in my mind for a minute.

Of course I jerked off regularly, so the answer was clear — but I was trying to decide how to respond. The thing is — at my age — at our ages — it is a lot easier to dispense with the nonsense, the pretending.

“Yes, I do. And I get it right — I get a LOT of practice.” I expected them to laugh, or giggle, but they didn’t — after all, they weren’t schoolgirls.

Now it was Helen’s turn. “Oh really? Like how much? Once a week?”

That made me laugh. “No.”

Millie’s eyebrows arched as Helen continued fishing. “Once a month?”

I laughed again. “Colder.”

“Twice a week?”


“Three times a week?”

“At least.”

“And how about this week. How many times did you get to take care of yourself this week?”

“Ummm, let’s see. Once last Sunday, and once in a hotel in Chicago…twice.”

“So you are running behind. Does that mean tonight…?

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe I won’t wait until tonight. Maybe I’ll take care of things this afternoon, right after brunch, thinking about you lovely ladies.” I looked at Millie right in the eye and smiled as I said that.

Helen’s eyes got bigger.

I found this all incredibly sexy, and was feeling it in my shorts, too. I was tempted to say something shocking just to take it a step further — but I didn’t need to. Mildred was on a roll.

“So Bob, how do you do it? Do you have a Playboy Magazine under your bed?”

I had to laugh again. “Gosh no Millie, that’s long over. There’s all kinds of inspiration on the internet.”

She couldn’t seem to help herself. “Inspiration? What inspires you? Young girls with big boobs, like most men?”

“I’m long over those fakes. I much prefer to look at real women my own age. Real women that aren’t plastic, and that aren’t models.”

“You mean like us?”

“Maybe, I don’t know. Why don’t you stand up and turn around?”

And much to my surprise, she did.

Millie put her glass down, stood up, put her hands on her hips, and turned in a slow circle, her head turning as she moved so she could watch me as I watched her. She seemed to be enjoying the attention — so I openly looked her up and down.

“Very nice Millie, yes. VERY nice. Yes, I will think about you next time.”

It was time for me to leave.

My cock was about to grow from half a hard-on to full mast — which would be obvious through the baggy gym shorts I was still wearing.

“On that note” I said as I stood up, “I should go.” I saw both of them glance down before looking back up at me.

Helen stopped me. “Well that’s quite rude. You’re leaving before the screwdrivers are gone.” Helen looked right at me as she said this, with that half-a-smirk she had before. “Sit back down Bob, and let’s finish our drinks.”

So I did. I sat down and she got up, picked up the pitcher, and bent over to pour me a drink. She really bent over…right in front of me. The neck of her t-shirt hung down loosely. I could see that she still wasn’t wearing a bra, and halfway through pouring she looked up at me, met my eyes, and gave me a little smile. So much for that half an erection. She poured another half a glass for Millie, and sat back down heavily in her armchair. Millie leaned forward to get her drink, and I could feel her leg against mine, warm.

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