The video shop was crowded. I was somewhat relieved by the bustle, because I felt that my anonymity would be preserved amongst the crowd. I quickly scanned the group looking for any neighbors, local politicians, or friends of my children. I immediately searched the comedy tapes, and then the Walt Disney videos hoping that any suspicious eyes would be relieved by my innocent selections. The true nature of my video quest would have to wait until I felt more secure.
Slowly, but deliberately I worked my way over to the counter. I leafed through the video catalog. Mysteries, comedies, documentaries, dramas, musicals and then adult movies! Immediately, I turned back to the pages cataloging the mysteries, comedies, documentaries, dramas, musicals, and yet, as if by a magnetic force, I was once again scanning adult video titles.
“Can I help you”, said the clerk. I was stunned, and I immediately closed the catalog book. “No thank you”, I blurted. I had never said, “No thank you,” so rapidly. I felt caught out, so I walked over to the wall displaying the latest video releases. I needed a moments respite. I was almost ready to take a copy of “Raindance”, and suppress my urges. I could rent the musical, and hold my head up high as I left the store, but lust and desire held me in place.
I did take the musical. I roamed down an aisle, and worked my way to the rear of the store where there was a separate room filled with adult movies. Why did they have a separate room dedicated to the worlds smut? Everyone knew what was in the back room. Every child in town knew that the rear of the store housed videos reserved for the local perverts. Entering the room, even casually, would mark you as not just curious, but as a lustful degenerate.
Just to the right of the rear entrance was a rack of foreign language films. Fortunately, I had every right to stand near the rack and scan the foreign films since my wife was French, and I could speak the language. I took two videos that were in French, with English subtitles, and I furtively slipped into the sex room.
The walls were covered with video cassettes featuring near nudes of women, men, two men, three women, etc, etc. Each title seemed intriguing, as did the photos. “Lust on the Orient Express”; Caught from Behind 6”; “Charm School”;” James Bond Meets Octopussy”. Should I choose from the title alone, or from the cover picture?
I picked up one of the videos, and as I started to read the description on the box, a middle aged man walked into the room. Quickly I replaced the video and left the room. I went directly to the counter with the French films, and waited for the clerk. “Is that all you want?’ she said. “No”, I said, “Just put this aside, please” As I regained my composure, I wandered through the shop and re-entered the back room. Just as I did, the man left. I was annoyed that he had left. I wanted to make my selection in his presence, without shame and without guilt.
I found myself staring at one video that featured sadomasochistic content. Dare I take that one? The thought excited me, but such a public demonstration of my fantasy life was too frightening. I chose one film, because it contained my name in the title, but I then randomly chose another with a cover that could have been a husband and wife in a bathtub.
I went to the counter and told the clerk the numbers of the videos that I wanted. The French films were numbers 334, and 336, and the smut was number 113. I thought that would be enough, but she replied, “Excuse me, was that number 113”? I thought to myself, who heard her? Did anyone hear her? Even if no one else heard her, I did! She must have known that all films with numbers from 100 to 200 were X—rated films.
I had been in the store for twenty minutes, and I knew that fact. I repeated, “Yes, number 113”. I meant to say it in a whisper, but it came out in full voice. She replied, “That will be eight dollars, Mr. Golden.” I was stunned. Instantly a massive fever gripped my head. Suddenly I realized that I had worn my golf shirt, which had my name embroidered on the chest pocket. I forced a smile, withdrew the eight dollars from my wallet, paid the clerk, and quickly exited with my three videos. With head bowed, I scampered to my car and drove home.
Which do we watch first? The French films of critical acclaim, or the depraved. Sarah must have heard me as I entered the house. She startled me with her shout from the upstairs bedroom. “Tom, please bring me a glass of water.” I was so tense and guilt ridden, that I replied, “Do we have any oranges?” Sarah replied, “Tom, I said water, not juice.” I replied, “Sure, darling. I’ll be right up.”
It was time to bite the bullet, or at least my nails. “Sarah, are you up to watching a movie?” She shouted, “What?” “I was wondering if you would care to watch a movie?” “Tom, I’m thirsty.” I shouted, “I’m coming. You like love stories don’t you?” She replied, “Yes, sure I do. Are you coming up”? I walked to the bottom of the stairs holding the video # 113 in my right hand, and the glass of water in my left hand. I shouted, “Sarah, you know many love stories are so boring – don’t you think?” Somewhat annoyed, she replied, “Tom, I’m really dying of thirst. I don’t care what movie we watch.” That should have been a relief, but no way.
“Sarah, the video clerk suggested this great foreign film. Should I bring it up?” Sarah with some exasperation replied, “Whatever. Tom are you coming or not?” “Sure, I’m coming. I’m just getting some ice for your water.” “Tom I don’t need any ice. I’m not hot. Just thirsty.” I laughed to myself. I was just thinking about the orgy that might occur if only I were able to climb the stairs.
“Tom!” “Yes”, I replied. “Would you like some ice?” She replied, “No thanks, I don’t need any ice. I’m not hot.” I laughed to myself. “Tom!” “ Yeh!” Sarah said, “Tom, forget the water, I’m going to sleep.” I called, “Sarah!” No answer. She must have put the wax plugs in her ears. Ah what the hell! I shouted anyway. “Sarah, I’ve got this Triple X porn video for us. You’ll love it. What do you say?”
All was quiet on the second floor. If I were not married, I would have watched the video myself, in the family room. Being married I felt such an act would have been the ultimate perversity. I walked into the kitchen, and opened the refrigerator and took a Stoneyfield Vanilla Yogurt. I ate the yogurt, while reading every credit on the porn video box. I’ll try tomorrow; the video rental is good for three days.