The Nude in the Window

As I have pointed out in other stories in this section, my father owned and ran a milk business. We delivered six days a week and since there wasn’t much margin depended on people paying on time (or paying in the first place - see “The Curtain Moved” for an example).

After I turned seventeen, of course, I was expected to do the deliveries on days I wasn’t in school to give dad a break. So, Saturdays often found me delivering milk on the Penns Grove route and having the responsibility to collect what was owed, generally a two week bill. Since DuPont paid every other Thursday and Atlantic City Electric did the same but on opposite weeks, there were always collections to be made on Saturday. This made the route take about an hour to two hours longer.

On one particular Saturday, I was nearing the end of the route and had about 10-12 more customers to serve expecting to collect from about half of them. 

We had a recently acquired customer who lived in a small apartment complex and were quite young, in fact, they may have been newlyweds or married only a couple of years. Needless to say, they were in their very young 20’s and the woman, from whom I normally collected was quite good looking and well built. They lived in an upstairs apartment and the parking lot sloped downward at such an angle that I could see almost directly into the large picture window of their apartment.

I had noticed that their car was not there and figured that we would miss them this week, but as I looked out, there was the wife standing in the window looking right at me without a stitch of clothing on. I may have been young and naive, but even so, I could see what was going on, so I pretended I had seen nothing, placed their milk on the doorstep and got in the truck and left.

When I got home, dad was very angry with me. “You cost us a customer today”, he shouted and proceeded to tell me that the wife had called and complained that though she was home and knew I had seen her, I had not rung the doorbell to collect.

I asked my dad if she had told him what she was wearing and puzzled, he said, “What does that have to do with it?”  To which I replied, “Well she didn’t have any clothes on at all and based on this reaction, she hadn’t planned on paying the bill anyway, either that or she had more than one agenda.”

Dad sent them a bill in the mail and we received a check in return, but they didn’t return as customers. I’ve often wondered what would have transpired if I had rung that doorbell!!

Davdan @ 2008-2018