Charlotte and Jennifer, our next door neighbor’s emus are staring at me again. We should have a fence put up where our arborvitae hedge used to be. I mean, these emus look hungry. As far as I know, they don’t eat people. I’m kidding. I mean, of course they don’t eat people. Maybe they don’t look hungry. We know Mona takes excellent care of them. But they do look like they’re up to something nefarious, and are going to enact their plan any second. Good thing they’re safely behind their fence. A fence that’s easy to see through. Reminder: Yvette ask Mom to call a fence builder.
Mona bought the house next door to us three months ago. The day after she moved in, Mom baked a blueberry pie and took it over. She said, I didn’t think people did this sort of thing anymore. And Mom said, well, I do. I was there. She was smiling when she said it. Wasn’t being a wise ass, she was just saying. Since then, she and Mom have been on walks together, gone out for drinks a couple of times, and shared multiple cups of coffee. She loves cats like Mom, me, and my little sister, Leora, and has two tuxedos. Inside all the time kitties. We have three. One orange tabby, George, and two calicos, Joy and Junie. So Mona and us have become good friends, it’s just that her emus make me, especially .. uncomfortable.
I cut a few pink roses off our bush and head back inside. Charlotte’s and Jennifer’s eyes follow me all the way. What do they think I’m doing? And what are they up to? They aren’t normal emus, but then how do normal emus act?
I put the roses in a vase with fresh water, and my phone chimes with a text.
Hi, Yvette! Just need to let you know. The sex is gone.
And I think, god, what now? This is my across the street neighbor, Irene texting me again. Yesterday, it was something about her Mom’s misplaced recipe for ham and cabbage casserole. I mean, Isabelle should have it memorized. She’s made it for every book club potluck for the last three years. (That’s a dozen potlucks.) We certainly don’t have that recipe.
I text back,
Um, the sex is gone? What on earth do you mean?
I’m coming over!
Before I can text back, my doorbell rings. Nothing to do but answer. Plus I want to know where the sex has gone.
I answer the door, and Irene practically dives in.
Yvette! The sex has disappeared! Maybe forever! And rumor has it that your fairly new, but not brand new neighbor Mona is really Aphrodite on a break. That’s why the sex is incommunicado. And Scorpio, you know, the Scorpion in the sky, sent the emus to keep an eye on her and the whole neighborhood! They’re his assistants.
Irene, what are you on? I thought our Moms discussed this. Coffee is for mornings, gin is for late afternoons and evenings. And not all evenings. Maybe a couple a week.
But Yvette! It’s true. Everyone Mom’s talked to in the neighborhood, and you know she knows everyone, hasn’t had sex since wintertime. Wintertime! Seriously, Yvette, when was the last time you had it?
That’s a little personal, Irene. And I think, I haven’t had it ever. I’m not ready. But Geoff and I made out two days ago in the back seat of his Dad’s Prius. It was a tight fit; pretty cozy, but it worked. I don’t say this to Irene, though. She gets jealous easily.
We have to look for it, Yvette. We need answers. And we have to figure out who Mona really is. Is she really a goddess on vacation? Or what? And what about those emus of hers? They have such a bizarre look to them, and the way they stare.
Irene, I’m the one who told you that those emus seem odd. But I haven’t exactly made a point of hanging around emus during my life.
So what, girlfriend? Are you with me? Find the sex and spy on the neighbors?
Sure, Irene. Why not. I’ve been kinda bored lately. And I think to myself, I’ve seen the actual sex, ever.
Okay, let’s do it. We high five each other. How do we start?
What will happen? Where is The Sex? Hidden with the dust bunnies under someone’s bed? Is it in our subdued suburban neighborhood somewhere? Did Scorpio steal it? And what’s up with Mona’s emus? At what do they stare? Are they like cats who just like to stare at nothing? And will you, dear readers, be able to keep the names straight? The names of the neighborhood residents? The names of the animals? Are the Gemini twins in the vicinity? Virgo? Is Mona Aphrodite? Or is she a master criminal pretending to be a goddess on a break? The biggest question is about The Sex, because isn’t that always the thing? Is it bored with itself or merely playing hide and seek to be complicated?