Archive for February, 2011

Andi, part 7

27 Feb

Andi turned away from me, twisting onto her side. Her breath came in the great gasps of someone who, until just recently, had been very vocal. As I’d hoped, for reasons unrelated to our recent activities, we were the only two at home. Somewhere twisted in the sheets lay her discarded panties, and my head rested on her thigh. My jaw ached, a consequence of exercising muscles atrophied through long disuse. The enormous script of her indecipherable tattoo filled my field of vision. Again, I tried and failed to remember what message she had found it advisable to transmit in Sanskrit to her ass’s western hemisphere. It seemed like the sort of question you can only ask once.

Abruptly, she shifted, jostling my head to the mattress. Annoyed, I looked up at her. She returned the look. “So, you probably still aren’t going to fuck me.”

No, I probably still wasn’t. Whatever unconscious orders my intuitive self had nocturnally issued to my cock remained in effect. To all appearances, my cock seemed content never to fuck again. It remained serenely, blissfully uncooperative.

Possibly this was for the best.

Although Andi kept a bottle of name-brand personal lubricant within easy reach on her nightstand, she showed no sign of owning any type of prophylaxis. I still had a residual condom or two left over from times past, in halcyon days when I believed that sex was a thing likely to happen to me, but I hadn’t brought any with me to Dayton. Before I’d arrived, it just hadn’t seemed like it was going to be that kind of trip. “Well,” I said, “Usually things don’t go this far on a first date.” Her face closed off, a symptom of some silent tantrum thrown behind it. I gestured. “Maybe if you went down on me for a bit, that might help.”

Silently, she sat up and crawled over me to the foot of the bed. I watched her with a residue of detached curiosity left over from last night. She passed over my unclothed body, moving past my hips and thighs, pausing to stretch her arms beneath the tangled comforter. I sucked in my breath, waiting. She sat upright with one hand holding her panties, either the ones from earlier or some other lost and rediscovered undergarment. Small drifts of clothes spotted the room. Here, the concepts of “clean” and “dirty” operated as a spectrum rather than a binary. As a general rule, I didn’t judge, but I desperately wanted this particular undergarment to be clean. She began dressing.

“No, I don’t really feel like it.”

Had I been genuinely surprised, my aching jaw might have dropped open, but I felt relief more than anything. I could go home. To all appearances, I had done my duty. It seemed like Andi had gotten off, and she didn’t strike me as someone to simulate orgasm in order to spare my feelings. She shrugged herself into a hoodie and sweatpants and walked out of the room. In a trance of dispassionate efficiency, I dressed. I followed her into the hallway. Everything still smelled like mangoes.

My car was still parked where I left it beneath a stand of trees. Overnight it had collected a fine coating of natural debris, clogging the crack between the hood and windshield. Andi put her arms around me as I went to put my key in the lock.

“Thanks for driving up,” she said. She kissed me and stepped back, smiling at me as though we’d had a great time. I supposed that maybe she had.

“Oh,” I said. “Sure. You’re welcome.” This is the polite thing to say. Somewhere between her bedroom and the street, she’d found a knit cap and worn it. It looked cute on her. I didn’t mention it.

I drove home.


Andi, part 6

20 Feb

Andi’s footsteps moved up the stairs, thunking on the wooden platforms and then fading as she reached the upstairs tiles. Beyond the kitchen she disappeared, moving into one of the half-dozen or so arterial hallways routing carefully-maintained climate throughout the house. Her bedroom lay hidden in one of them, tucked in some ventricular nook. I waited for her to turn around, to come back downstairs and say something less cruel to me, if not something actually kind.

Still shirtless, I walked the perimeter of her basement, which wasn’t a basement so much as a windowed lower floor, listening to the night sounds of someone else’s house. Predictably, Andi’s parents had hung pictures of her and her brother in strategic locations around the basement, always at eye level where an abandoned visitor, seated or standing, might look. All of them seemed at least a year or two old. I walked over to one of them, a professionally done study in staged outdoor spontaneity. Andi, smiling and confident, thinner and grinning, leaned preposterously in a carefully posed frolic against a tree. I wondered what happened to her in the two years and eightyish pounds that existed between then and now.

Gradually I became aware of myself as half-naked, unaccompanied stranger in a rich person’s basement. I also became aware that, all my efforts to the contrary, I had not fucked anyone, except, possibly, for myself. My stomach rumbled. Absently, I scratched my beard and considered the etiquette of the situation.

All I had to look forward to between that moment and whenever it was that I finally left was an unbroken experience of social misery. I could leave, but still. Andi and I had at least tried to have sex, and so established a certain bond of meretricious intimacy (or intimate meretriciousness). Besides, earlier, much earlier, before ill-advised nudity and the insulting of my penis, I’d told her that I’d stay the night. On the other hand, had this happened to someone else, I’d consider Andi’s aforementioned disparagement to be a faux pas on par with, say, pointing out to someone that her boobs are asymmetrical or observing loudly that she has a wonky vagina. Consequently, any obligations I’d shouldered by helping her out of her panties had evaporated.

Something upstairs made a noise. In my imagination, whatever had made it took on the shape of some faceless parent. I stepped back into the bedroom, pulling the door closed noiselessly behind me and resigning myself to remaining hungry and thirsty until the morning. I closed my eyes, burying my head in the slick nylon of a too-yielding pillow.

Grey daylight woke me. Andi hadn’t returned. Efficient but not rushed, I dressed. I considered whether to attempt bedmaking, but I decided against it. Regardless of how careful I think I’m being, beds that I make invariably look like they’ve been made by someone who doesn’t care very much about the success or failure of this particular task. Besides, I reminded myself. None of this, strictly speaking, was my problem. Leaving surreptitiously again occurred to me, but I couldn’t think of a plausible excuse. She knew, for example, that I had no job to go to, and essentially no one gives job interviews on Saturday. I sighed.

For the size of the house, Andi slept in a modest room, although a four-poster bed dominated it. No doubt some doting relative had bought it for her during a youthful (and, as it turned out, ongoing) princess phase. I’d found my way to it by guessing where I thought the master bedroom was and looking anywhere else but there. I needn’t have worried. The house had the feel of one newly emptied. Whoever had been up before me had already had breakfast and left for work. The house smelled like fresh mangoes. Someone had left a crate of them on the counter.

Gently, I shook Andi awake. “I have to go now,” I said. I tried to think of something else to say, but all that occurred to me was “sorry about that.” Instead of saying it, I stayed quiet. She turned over, twisting in her sheets, wearing only panties and a thin nightshirt. She smiled at me, the sleepy smile of someone who doesn’t know the person who has awakened them is annoyed. “Hi,” she said.

“Don’t leave yet. Come to bed.” She grabbed my hands and pulled.


Andi, Part 5

09 Feb

Mostly, people have out of body experiences when they are about to die. They float gently away from themselves, watching without passion while doctors doctor, nurses nurse, and their relatives relate to one another in the corner of the room, flashing bovine glances to . . . well, to whoever. Medical personnel shout encouragingly hospital-dramatic things like “Clear!” and “Stat!” to one another while their patients’ apparently untethered spirits, like helium balloons, bounce inexplicably off fiberglass drop ceilings, watching pityingly all the while, full of an emotion that would manifest itself as the shaking of a head if they still had heads to shake. Subtly, they feel an unfocused revulsion at witnessing this quivering, busy mass of bodies. Suddenly, there is a flash, a spasm, and their consciousnesses are again crammed back into unwell corpora. At least, that is what the internet has told me. As everyone knows, it’s completely trustworthy.

From somewhere outside my body, I watched myself attempt to go through the motions of mating. With a resignation born not so much of regret as a private, internal expression of preference, I allowed myself to know that, wherever I was going that night, it wasn’t to my own bed. I missed my bed intensely. Our clothes already littered the hitherto spotless floor of the guest bedroom. While dressing and leaving remained possible, it seemed rude somehow.

Andi’s head lay on the sumptuous and entirely unnecessary mound of pillows, improbably intact despite the disarray of the sheets. From my vantage point between her thighs, I watched her face while I went down on her. She held her eyes tightly closed, thrashing her head in what I assumed was pleasure, although I suppose it could have been a particularly emphatic negative, silently signifying an internal monologue: “No. You’re doing it wrong. No, faster. Not that fast. Not so hard. Fuck you, you’re doing it wrong.” And so on. Silently, I waited for her to wear herself out.

After the subsidence of the shudders of what for all I knew had been an orgasm, she reached and pulled me toward her so that my body lay the full length of hers. She kissed me. “Fuck me,” she said.

An instant epistemological transfer occurred between my detached self and my body, utterly bypassing any cognition that might have been occurring uselessly between my ears in response to Andi’s command. The abstract me focused the complete events of the evening—her river, her tallboys, her general heedlessness of anyone not named Andi—into a single holistic message, combined it with the complete absence of condoms, and sent the whole in an irresistible pulse to my genitals, where it was agreed that, despite what my brain might think it wants, it was a Bad Thing to put myself at the slightest risk of impregnating the locus of crazy currently in bed with me. My dick went into immediate hibernation.

Andi reached between my legs, tugging at me. “Come on,” she whined. “Fuck me.”

I raised myself to my knees. “I’m sorry,” I said. “Maybe it was all the beer. My dick’s just not cooperating.”

She threw the covers aside and swung her bare feet to the floor. “Well, your dick is stupid. I’m going to bed. Goodnight.” She walked out the door and up the stairs, not looking back, leaving me alone in the guest bedroom.

Open-mouthed, I stared after her.


Andi, Part 4

01 Feb

We hadn’t gone to any more bars, but we decided to go back to Andi’s house because it had gotten late enough that they were all closed. She entered the security code to the side door and disappeared into the dim interior of her house, walking in that peculiar mincing way called tiptoe by people who have never actually tried to walk on the tips of their toes. Personally, I’ve always thought that walking that way increased your risk of falling over and consequently becoming super, super loud. Probably it’s better to just walk the normal way. Most people have more practice doing that.

She shuffled back to the door and waved to me where I stood near her car, speaking in the raspy, unquiet manner of people who are trying to whisper across absurd distances. We’d parked off to the side so that no one who might be leaving in the morning would have to come looking for us. I remained unsure whether Andi’s parents knew whether or not I existed, but it was with far more confidence that I knew that I had no desire to find out. I didn’t even want to look at them. How would that conversation go? “It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Andi’s Dad. Your daughter and I met this morning. Why yes, now that you mention it, I am hoping to penetrate her later. You know, with my penis.” I cringed in horror.

I brushed lingering grass from my clothes and followed her inside. Earlier, she’d taken me for dinner at a clumsily Bavarian pub that, she assured me, was her favorite. “I feel kind of scandalous,” she said, pawing at my thighs beneath the bar. “I was in here last week with another man.”

I shrugged. “I doubt anyone’s keeping track of who you do and don’t bring in here.”

Her face opened briefly in surprise, expressing rare and genuine emotion. The thought clearly had not occurred to her before. Then she laughed and kissed me, pressing her face very publicly into mine.

Afterward, we’d driven circuitously around her neighborhood, parking eventually in the tiny lot abutting a community tennis court, this being the sort of place that has community tennis courts. The court itself was well-fenced and locked, but stylishly scenic stands of trees stood above the manicured grass surrounding it. We found ourselves beneath one of those, and somehow Andi’s underclothes found their way off her body and into my pocket. We kissed, and as we kissed, she pushed my head intently waistward. I obliged her.

I followed her into the labyrinthine gloom of her house. The faces of digital clocks and expanses of large-paned windows provided the only illumination. Hallways lined with pink granite tile led irregularly away from the kitchen and living room, which seemed to be the foci of the floor plan. She showed me her bedroom. I got a brief glimpse of a four-poster bed, and then she led me away. Immediately, I forgot which room it was. No rationale existed for guessing whether a given door led to a bathroom, a bedroom, or a closet. “We can’t stay here,” she whispered, and walked carefully towards the basement. I followed her closely. Dread of making a wrong turn into her parents’ bedroom sat hot and queasy in my stomach.

She pulled me into a guest bedroom and sat on the duvet. Someone had arranged the pillows with a hotelier’s precision. “Kiss me,” she said. I kissed her. She smiled. “Get undressed.”