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An anthology of short stories by Robin Roberts

"Are Fantasies Really Better Than Reality?"
by Robin Roberts

I never could masturbate in the shower. It wasn't for lack of a good grip. I could get it up intermittently, but never for a period long enough to do it justice. There were just not quite the proper objects to fantasize about. Somehow the shower tiles were not the visual stimulant that I needed.

The printed page never did much for me either. I could never synchronize stroke cadence with the rapid left to right eye movement required in reading. I found I simply could not hold my place. Or worst yet, in the few moments where eye and hand movements became one, the page would need to be turned. Late night encounters laying on a bed was not the answer. The cramps and numbness one endured by the upper part of my body were unbearable. The weight placed on the elbow created additional distractions. I would be just approaching nirvana and the incessant throbbing in my elbow would make questionable the level of reward to be obtained. It was at these times when I discovered that Freud's pleasure-pain principle could be easily defined, with the primary example existing in my bedroom.

Attempting to read while masturbating also had a co-relation with the decline of my tennis game. It was the cause of my 'tennis elbow'. One time I told my coach that my elbow was bothering me a lot lately. He suggested that I take a few days respite from practice. "It'll give you a chance to catch up on your reading" was his thinking. Little did he know the reading that would be done would intensify the malady.

I had always been attracted to photographs and drawings. Merely the sight of a shapely young lady receiving a good measure of corporal punishment was all that I needed. I was quite capable of creating my own fantasy around a singular picture. One frame and my mind would create an entire film in technicolor, cinescope and dolby sound.

My closest friend was always beating off to 'TOPPER' and 'NUGGET'. I could never establish a close rapport with either of those magazines. After all, I was a spanking enthusiast. He always thought it strange that I never wanted to borrow any of his books. Even when he offered them to me with: "Jesus Christ, take at least one of 'em, will 'ya". (Of course this is the same guy who is now, at age thirty-one, married, with five kids, and who works graveyard at the GM. plant in Detroit. He is most often heard yelling "Jesus Christ, I don't even have the money to buy a six-pack of beer".)

In 1960 I hit pay-dirt. My mother sent me on a milk run to Osenkarski' Royal Blue Grocery Store. It was a small store on the corner run by an old couple. It was, also, the only place where 'girlie magazines' could be found. I always peeked quickly into the pages but could never muster the courage to buy one. The models all looked alike to me. In print, they all appeared hard and calloused, something similar to Dick Butkus in drag, after a hard game.

Some weeks passed on, and old man Osenkarski did to. He had simply defied death for too long a period of time. He had this old wooden table in the corner of the store next to the magazines. He would sit on that table for hours, sipping on a large bottomless cup of coffee. He made me feel quite awkward. He would sit there drinking coffee, glaring at me while I would thumb through the pages of the magazines. Only once did I find a picture that aroused my interest. She was a beauty, without stretch-marks, bending over the end of a bed. Her bottom was arched, her head tilted. She was looking back over her shoulder at me with a mocking looking upon her face. She looked as though she was pleading to be spanked. God, how I wished I had not seen the photo. I was bending forward at the waist when I could feel the start of an erection tightening the front of my pants. And was old man Osenkarski, glowering away. Coffee cup in hand, flakes of dried on his chin, nostrils flaring, breathing heavily. How embarrassing. I even tried to think of my dog being run over by a train to quash my erection. But it was full moon and rising. I eventually purchased everything in the house to lessen my embarrassment. It helped. I walked out of the store with a double hand full of magazines clutched right in front of my still growing bulge.

Since the old man passed on, a few new magazines started to filter onto the newsstand. Evidently the distributor convinced the new owners that they should try some new titles. 'GAZE' was the first to be a magazine which was to contain pay-dirt. Granted, it was not a terrific magazine. It was like all the all-time anthology of corny, obvious humor in a pocket-size edition. Such laughers as: "Last night the dog chewed a big piece out of my leg" "Well what did you put on it?" "Nothing, he liked it the way it was!!!". Pure corn. But more importantly, countless pictures of Hollywood Starlet Types posed seductively in 1950ish bikini swimming suits, or dresses designed by someone akin to Omar The Tent Maker. And the captions that went something like "Snug as a bug in a rug is Carol, a girl you would love to hug".

The first issue of 'GAZE' that I saw opened a whole new world for me. As I thumbed through its pages, I came across not one but two drawings of ladies being spanked by a male in the traditional over the knee position. I nearly fainted. This was the first public assurance I had witnessed that such events, happenings, trips, or whatever you call them, occurred outside the realm of my vivid, imaginative fantasies. With the repressive Osenkarski unavailable for negative comments I was free to gaze at these two pleasantries until I felt I was under control. To hell with old Misses Thurmer, the rest of our neighbors (and the rest of the world) who might discover their neighbors son (me) reading or buying a book other than 'READERS DIGEST'. With no small amount of emotion I scurried around the store, with my newfound treasure, to secure the bread and milk requested by my mother. I waited for a lull in the line at the cash-register. I rushed to the check-out stand where I paid for all of the items where I thought to myself "AND PLEASE HURRY UP AND PUT IN THE BAG BEFORE SOMEONE NOTICES!!".

But now I had a new problem. Where do you hide a gold mine? I couldn't keep the magazine in my dresser or in any other pedestrian place. I surely couldn't smuggle it into my locker at school. Half of my class knew the combination to my locker. Three jockstraps, four pairs of socks and a sweat shirt had already disappeared from there. And the censure of being caught with a magazine which contained pictures of ladies being spanked seemed unbearable at the time. Turning on to tits and asses seemed within the bounds of normalcy, I mused, but a spanking scene as the motivator must surely be condemned in the eyes of God himself.

No, the hiding place must be so secure as to ensure total privacy. How is it then that I felt compelled to hide my treasure inside the hubcap of right, rear wheel of the family second car, a Falcon Futura? Was I compelled by madness? Quite simply I felt it was a rational decision. My Mom seldom drove anywhere. My sister was three hundred miles away at school. My father had his own car which he used in his business. Neither of them knew how to change tire, so I would be called upon to perform the task. In no way was I going to carry this treasure into the house on my person.

So why was it that of the 5,875 odd days of my life to that time that my father would announce he was going to make a trip to Springfield, and since his car was having transmission problems, he would be using the Falcon. Worse yet, he would be leaving immediately after dinner. There would be absolutely no time available to remove my 'GAZE' from its hiding place. The thought of the Falcon driving to Springfield without me drove me insane. Greater still was the fear that the car might suffer a flat-tire. My God, I thought, that is a six-hundred mile round trip. Christ, any thing could happen. The two days my father was in Springfield were the worst two days of my life. Everything was but a fog around me. My classmate, Harold Hogan, told me that the class-fox, Shirley Jacobsen, had come to school wearing a skirt that was so short it didn't even cover her knees. He tried to entice me into waiting for her under the stairs that we knew she would descend on her way to her locker. I just gloomily shrugged and walked away.

All I could think of were my two ladies simultaneously turning around and around somewhere in central illinois. By the evening of the second day, I was ready to accept any fate. My father, however, had returned home in an extremely jovial mood. The Bastard, I thought. He knows and he is letting me suffer. I know that about the time I start to share his enthusiasm he will pounce upon my body with the fury of a tornado. He remained in high spirits the entire evening.

By 9 pm the tension was becoming unbearable. I suggested that I should check the car over and make sure the air pressure in the tires was ok. After all, it was such a long trip. I figured that comment should provide the impetus required to trigger the explosion. WHAT?? He thought it was a very considerate idea? I should go by myself to the service station? Take my time? It was in that brief moment I knew my treasure had not been discovered. My ladies had returned home to me. They waited for me in private, hiding. I frantically drove the Falcon to the gas-station. I parked beside the building so that it would hide me from the view of the attendants. I knew the attendants and I knew that I would not be bothered. I began to remove the fender-skirts, ripping at them with fingers that had long ago surpassed the consistency of hardened concrete. Just one more pull and OFF!! A screwdriver of immense proportions was tenderly placed along side of the baby-moon hubcap a twist and it was loose. Ever so gently I placed my hand below the bottom of the cap, awaiting to be met with my 'GAZE'.

But what came out resembled confetti. It looked like the debris left behind after a Berkeley Street Rally. And my ladies? They looked like a hundred choruses of 'Old Mac Donald'. You know, here a leg, there a leg, everywhere a leg-leg. Their bodies were a jigsaw puzzle of mutilated bodies. I could hear them almost laughing at my stupidity. I had placed them in what I thought was a car, but in reality was an expensive, over-chromed, noisy paper shredder. I vowed that never again would I be tricked into such an evil series of events. I vowed that I would maintain mastery and control over any possible hiding place. I even considered keeping the location of the hiding place a secret from the magazines to be hidden. They would always be covered, to and from their place of rest.

Just before Christmas I struck upon a brilliant idea. I went to a small town to the South and purchased an X-acto knife. Travelling to the North, I bought the largest edition of the Webster's Complete and Unabridged Dictionary and Atlas. By cutting each page, leaving only a half inch or so of border around the outside, I began to hollow out the epistle. Upon completion, the letters F and Z began to look at each other for the first time in history. I had left all of the pages from letter A to E intact. This would allow the book to appear in order and complete. But it could hold FOUR issues of my precious magazines.

This illusion of perfection came to an abrupt end when my sister came home for the Christmas holidays. She was working on her term paper and had to find the definition of 'vociferous'. I had visions of her vociferously devouring large quantities of raw meat. (We were both at that age when sibling rivalry was not rivalry, it was pure hatred.) I told her to 'Beat It'. She replied, "I'll bet you beat yours". She made a grab for Websters' and out popped Carol, and all of the rest of the girls in print. Needless to say, my sister was a little startled to find 'GAZE' instead of 'vociferous. Actually she was quite decent about the whole affair. She simply informed me that she had always known that I was perverted, totally weird, and that I should keep them under my mattress instead of ruining valuable books. "After all, they would be safe under your mattress. No one would touch anything you slept in or on without total decontamination procedures which would make the printed page totally illegible." Cute, right?

As it turned out this advice was soon adopted. Not for her reasons. My collection of magazines had grown in size. (Somehow, it had never dawned on me to keep only those pages with spanking pictures.) And as the numbers grew my collection I began to just stuff them under my mattress instead of carefully placing them in neat and ordered rows. The pictures rapidly began to look like the heads of the demonstrators after a particularly rough demonstration/riot where the police had visited blow upon blow on the heads of those present. I guess this lumpy appearance was what eventually caused my mother to check into 'The Case of the Lumpy Mattress'. She was concerned that it might need replacement. My posture was bad! I had begun to resemble Quasimoto. I was rapidly becoming The Hunchback of North-Central Illinois.

That night as I retired to my lumpy mattress filled room, I beheld a miracle. Instead of the lumpy bed, I found a brand new mattress, the bed was neatly made. And there, on top of the covers were two neatly arranged piles of my magazines, carefully placed in chronological order. In view of this silent commentary there was not much I could do but to dismiss from my life forever 'GAZE' Magazine. Knowing that my mother KNEW what was going on made it difficult for me to rise to the feat required. But soon spring was in the air. With the fresh air, my posture improved. My tennis elbow healed itself without chemotherapy or cortisone shots. My tennis service became excellent to the chagrin of my instructor.

But most importantly, I was aware of a new thought. First hand experiences must be better than fantasies, and will be an interesting avenue to explore.

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