This above all else: Don’t have sex with a woman whose husband is in town. This is not to discount adultery entirely, as monogamy is the refuge of the insecure, but at least let him be a truck driver or a timber worker who is trimming the fringes of the Monongalia National Forest in the center of the state. Don’t be a dumbass and mistake an intrastate truck driver for an interstate truck driver, because Clarksburg ain’t Cheyenne, and he could walk through the door while you are still trying to figure out how to work the trappings of the latest bra with one hand. Take caution: You will not hear him pull into the driveway, because he has to park his rig at the top of the trailer court.
A state delegate’s wife could be an option while congress is in session, but she would not be very likely to live in a trailer park, much less our trailer park. A state delegate’s mistress maybe, but she would not want anything to do with you, considering she thinks she can lure the delegate away from his wife and all. The mistress lives in a trailer at the top of the hill and sunbathes on the back porch every day between ten and noon, before she goes back inside to watch Days of Our Lives and take her afternoon nap. She is bronzed and her body is firm, and she is also way out of your league. The state delegate has the life, because our part of the state has no coal seams, and therefore no squabbles between the United Mine Workers and West Virginia Coal Association, so he drives to Charleston to listen to men from Mingo, McDowell, and Boone Counties try to scheme ways to evict the coal companies while still keeping jobs for their constituents with the same coal companies. The UMW will not let this happen, and I know this doesn’t make sense, but trust me: It doesn’t make sense to him either. He will sit and daydream about having sex with his mistress and his wife at the same time, and why not? You sure as hell can’t get into the pants of either.
The easiest potential mates are the female relatives of your friends. I’m talking mostly of older sisters, and by older I mean in their late twenties because that means they do not have the high ideals a woman in her early twenties would have about the trailer park being only a temporary state of being. A woman in her late twenties has not entirely lost her looks, only a slight loosening of the stomach from a kid or two, and she is able to separate sex from love.
You have several of our friends’ older sisters to choose from, seeing as most of them are just post-or mid-divorce, and they want to be closer to home so their mothers can readily babysit when the sisters want to go dancing at Rosie’s Bar and Cantina. You must be the lion: Find the weakest wildebeest of the pack. The longer she has been in the trailer court, the better your chances.
Buy her a case of Bud Light. Better yet, buy a half-case of Bud Light long-neck bottles. You will not seem overly eager by trying to get her too drunk. Bottles show class, cans show desperation. Think quality, not quantity. Yes, you could get a case of Hamm’s Extra Gold at the service station in town and have enough left over for two chili dogs, even after paying the town drunk an extra five dollars for buying the beer, even though it is more like six by the time everything is settled. But this is a special night, so splurge a little. Surprise the town drunk by giving him an extra two bucks, which is good for karma. He will be dead in a week from cirrhosis, but you will not know this. Otherwise you would have found another person to buy you beer this week to establish familiarity after the town drunk has gone to meet his Maker.
You may also be tempted to slice out the middleman and buy direct from Rosie’s Bar and Cantina, but I’m going to cut you off right there. You will not be the first seventeen year-old trying to pass himself off as twenty-two, and they will not buy the story that you forgot your ID at home. It is a biker bar, but you do not need to fear getting your ass kicked. They know you as your father’s son because they went to the same Molly Hatchett and Ram Jam concerts that he did at Shiley Acres, a biker’s Woodstock way the hell over in Jefferson County where they throw beer cans at the band and smoke dope in the open field. You may wonder why your dad would drive all the way to Jefferson County, but c’mon, that was Molly fuckin’ Hatchett.
This above all else: Don’t have sex with a woman whose husband is in town.
She will have a friend over to the trailer. You will know the friend because she will be fifty pounds overweight, have close-cropped blonde hair, and have one tattoo on her ankle and one on her lower back, the former probably being a dolphin or Tweety-bird and the latter being a sun or a butterfly. Do not worry. She is meant as an outlet, a reason for the sister to back out of doing something she’s not sure she wants to do, which she will not do seeing as you made the intelligent choice and bought the bottles instead of the cans.
If you have done your homework properly, you will have already had sex with a few of the girls in the trailer court. There are at least three available, the easiest being your friend’s little sister. She’s fifteen, which may seem beneath your dignity, but she’s closer in age to you than the woman you currently have designs on. Do not waste your time with Budweiser long necks with her. Five dollars will buy you more than enough Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill to accomplish the task. She will ask you to stop during sex so she can piss. Let her. She always does this, and don’t hold it against her because she means well. As for her brother, he’s set to move in with his uncle in North Carolina, outside of the Fort Bragg gates, so he may not even find out before he leaves. If he does, don’t worry. He knows how she is.
This above all else: Don’t have sex with a woman whose husband is in town. Now that I’ve told you three times, and I know you are paying attention. I can tell you why: He will not kill you. We are not the goddamn Hatfields and McCoys, and he doesn’t have it in him anyway. He’s probably sleeping with a high-school senior himself, the girl who sits next to you in Geometry with the unibrow and big tits. You will not have sex with a woman whose husband is in town because when she’s caught by her husband, she will say you raped her just to keep from losing her kids. He will accept this story because he won’t have to admit that he can’t satisfy his wife. Chances are you will only be arrested and not convicted. But personally I don’t like to take chances in such matters. Our friends will bust your balls for the next year, teasing you to cover your corn hole in the hoosegow. Hell, I will tease you, but don’t take it personally.
Again, don’t be dumbass and start counting the beer bottles to see if she is drinking more than six, and thus your share of the beer. Trust me, she needs it more than you do.
Chances are this will be the best sex of your life, but not because she is that good (although I don’t want to disparage her by any means). You will be thirty-five before you sleep with another twenty-nine year-old, and you will never again have a partner with such an overwhelming advantage in experience. Take your time. Trying not to come, you will think about the triple you had in last week’s JV baseball game, how bad the Orioles are this year, three phases of power versus two, the difference between a Rallysport and a Supersport Camaro, all the parts you would have to remove from a car to remove and replace a CV joint. You will imagine yourself in the woods on a snowy day hunting squirrels in old man Rankin’s field or catching a good string of small mouth bass while floating down the Cacapon River in an inner tube this summer.
If you feel this is not nice in respect to her, fair enough, but she will not be thinking about you either. She will be too busy trying not to think about getting pregnant her last semester in high school, causing her graduation gown to fit too snugly over her swelling stomach. She will try not to remember the face of the father of the child who moved away, probably to Cleveland to work at a paint factory with his uncle. She will try not to remember her step-father kicking her out of the house with the words, “Old enough to breed, old enough to work,” with her mother crying in the background, but saying nothing. She will try not to remember the face of the father of her second child, a man all too willing to play father to the first, before he became addicted to Miller Light and oxyContin cocktails. She will try not to remember moving out of his house in the middle of the night with her two kids, her boyfriend passed out on the couch and her too afraid to check whether he is alive or dead. She will try not to remember moving back in with her mother, the two kids sharing a room with her brother until she could scrape together enough money working as a housekeeper at Coolfont Resort to put a down-payment on her own trailer plus $200 first-and-last months’ lot rent. She will try to remember a time when a man treated her with a little respect and dignity. She will try to remember a time of her not-so-long-ago youth when every day of life seemed temporary, that the next day would come like a desert flood and wash everything away with violent and sanctifying force. She will try to remember that she is having sex with you because you are a temporary option without attachments.
If she wants to talk afterward, then listen to her. Be a gentleman. If she wants to cry afterward, then listen to that too. This trailer court is only temporary for you. You will graduate this summer, and there will be no jobs in the county, so you will move to Baltimore to lay pipe at a new housing complex in an effort to merge D.C. and Baltimore into a megalopolis along I-95. You will not move back in to the trailer park until you are at least twenty-five, with a kid of your own that you don’t see, and running out of options yourself, and by then you might realize how permanent she feels.
Steven W. McCarty writes and makes music in Middleburg, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter at @stevedubmc.