June 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Charles Rammelkamp 


I’d seen The Graduate, so I knew what Mrs. Sheridan was doing when she asked me to come up to her bedroom. I’d made passes at her at my sister’s wedding reception, fooling around trying to stick my hand up her dress, telling her she was the best-looking of all my parents’ friends. I meant it, too, the way a seventeen-year old kid means the stuff he says when he’s tipsy on beer for the first time in his life. Mrs. Sheridan liked to drink and kid around too, and we all knew the stories of how she’d made a cuckold out of Mr. Sheridan with Norm Blake, the banker.

Mrs. Sheridan had me carry an armful of clean laundry up the stairs while I waited for Jerry to get back from work. He had a job at a McDonald’s. We were going to a party at the home of one of our classmates. On Mr. Sheridan’s side of the bed was a stack of Playboy magazines. Mrs. Sheridan picked one up, gave it a cursory glance, tossed it on the bedspread. It fell open to the centerfold, a young woman with enormous tits. Mrs. Sheridan’s tits were pretty big, too, though they sagged in her shirt.

“Just put the clothing on the bed there, Tommy,” she instructed. Then she had me sit down in a chair by the window while she put some of the clothing away. She handed me the Playboy. “Dale says the interviews are good,” she said. “I never read it myself. Do you like the interviews, Tommy?” Her voice had a teasing quality but I ignored it, pretended to take her question seriously.

“Sometimes they’re pretty good. I don’t read it all that often, though.” I sat in the director’s chair and flipped through the magazine. Meanwhile, Mrs. Sheridan, having put the clothing away, lay back on her bed like some old time movie star, Mae West or somebody. She started doodling with her hair, twisting a few strands between her fingers, looking all dreamyeyed. She was wearing a housedress and it came up over her knees; her legs were spread haphazardly. Casual.

I continued to stare at the Playboy, though without focusing on the words, waiting for the time to pass while Mrs. Sheridan lay back on a pillow.

After a minute, Mrs. Sheridan got up from the bed. I sneaked a quick look at her to see if she was angry or embarrassed, but I couldn’t tell.

“Let’s go downstairs, Tommy.”


Charles Rammelkamp’s new collection of poems entitled Fusen Bakudan (“balloon bombs” in Japanese) has just been published by Time Being Books. It deals with missionaries in a leper colony in Vietnam during the war. Charles is a Fiction Editor for The Pedestal.


One thought on “Centerfold

  1. fieldinski says:

    Rammelkamp, eternal teenager, knows how to build up the bust-your-pants factor in other post-pimples but never-to-grow-up ‘adults’. Literature is in good hands (left or right) with him!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
68 days to go.

🍋 Instagram

We have some happy news to share! The Citron Review contributor Amye Archer has joined our Creative Nonfiction editorial team. Let's welcome her! Amye Archer - Author of Fat Girl, Skinny: A Memoir, and is the co-editor of If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2019). She holds an MFA from Wilkes University. Amye's work has been published in Scary Mommy, Longreads, Feminine Collective, Brevity, Marie Claire, and more. Amye is mom to twin daughters and wife to Tim. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania. Follow her at @amyearcher #briefliterature #cheerstotenyears #amreading #TheCitronReview #creativenonfiction
We're pleased to highlight creative nonfiction from Julie Watson. "Odds Are" is now available in our Summer Issue. #amreading #flashcnf #summerissue #cheersto10years
Anita Goveas, @raspberrybakewell, has fiction featured in our Summer Issue. #amreading #flashfiction #summerissue #cheersto10years
New Flash Fiction from Mary Grimm, who has published a novel, Left to Themselves and a collection of stories, Stealing Time (which are both on Random House). She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University.…/…/21/the-dream-of-her-long-dying/ #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #Summer2019 #flashfiction #cheersto10years
Creative Nonfiction from our new Summer issue, "What About Me?" by Phyllis Reilly. #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #Summer2019 #flashcnf #cheersto10years
From our summer issue, "How Much Snow" by Erik Moellering. Erik Moellering teaches English at A-B Tech Community College in Asheville, NC, where he also performs in a variety of theatrical productions. #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #CitronSix #Summer2019 #poetry #cheersto10years

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: