On Doing Goodness

He asked if I had pantyhose. Nude or black? It didn't matter.

He said they were to help direct growth, let the fruits of labor swell from their seeds, hang heavy with ripeness, growing to the threshold of where flesh bursts to juice, growing sweet.

This is how you please people, you take what they are after and you offer them hyperbole and let them decide if it is what they were expecting, if they like exaggeration or the routine of unsurprise.

He asked for two pairs.

I brought him black pantyhose, my least-favored ones that pill or sag in the knees, in the groin, where they are loose instead of fitting. The difference between tights and pantyhose is that the latter has a diamond of fabric sewn in for a crotch to excuse you the need of wearing underwear. A catch-all that bleeds in the sink, shades of browns and greys whenever you wash nylons, especially with detergent. I once read that soap is unnecessary for killing bacteria and all you really need is friction, the motion of rubbing your hands together quickly and firmly. Hot water helps, too.

I have not seen the pantyhose again. They were clean when I brought them. Inside his home I look for their drab and limp formlessness strewn carelessly somewhere, but all I see is organic produce, an empty wine glass in the sink, the large white bed neatly made next to where I came in through the window. Two men I did not know helped me lift the only unlocked pane from the outside, by the light of a cell phone, and met me at the side door I unlocked from inside. He wasn't home. They took his refrigerator.

The replacement smelled like nail varnish and was hot inside where I put the groceries back on the shelves. I had closed the bedroom window but could not lock the door, so I left the porch light on and left.