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Kelly, part 3

23 Feb

We met at a Barnes & Noble that I don’t typically go to (this tactic by now having become second nature), where we shared a coffee with too many syllables and looked at display books while finding reasons to accidentally brush against one another. I flipped through a browse-worn Postsecret book and shared with her my secret that, although I think Postsecret is trite in the extreme, I remain hopelessly addicted to it. Our date followed the progression of the desperately horny: bookstore to apartment to living room to bedroom. During our couch times before our bedroom times, I slipped my hands beneath her camisole. We kissed, and I touched her between hips and ribs, waiting for encouragement to move higher or lower. She pulled away from our kiss and looked down at me. “Stop playing with my fat,” she said. I shifted my attention to her breasts. We left our clothes in a pile next to my coffee table.

I traced my fingers down Kelly’s tattooed back, touching the sprays of stars and planets that covered her shoulders and then moving my hands down her body toward where my hips met hers. I had made my bed with newly cleaned sheets just for the occasion. Her elbows and knees, bearing her full weight and some of mine, twisted the bedclothes, pulling the fitted sheet away from the corner of the bed. The exposed mattress showed faded stains; I noticed and hoped that she didn’t. Probably it wouldn’t have mattered all that much. My nearly featureless bedroom was empty of furniture apart from a tall, thin bookshelf; my unframed bed; and an inconvenient credenza whose shallow shelving held far less than its size would suggest. Nothing decorated the walls in here, and their thickly painted white length stretched ten unrelieved feet up to the ceiling.  The box springs and mattress rested directly on the carpeted floor, and before tonight I had not yet been confronted with the logistical challenges of having sex on such an arrangement. I positioned myself between her and the wall, trying to find some orientation that felt natural on a coital platform that was fifteen inches shorter than usual. She lowered her head, letting her hair cover her face, and wordlessly encouraged me with full-throated vocalizations.

I appreciated her sincerity, which I took as an article of faith. Some people claim to be able to tell when their sexual partners falsify a moment of physical ecstasy. I don’t. I don’t try. I can’t even tell when someone merely pretends to be pleased to see me, let alone uncontrollably, spasmodically excited that I’m touching her in a particular way. If you tell me, using moaning un-words that would expel you from polite company, that you are thoroughly enjoying yourself, then I will believe you. It makes things easier for everybody.

However—there is always a however—as hot as I found her tattoos, they became a distraction. Rather, I focused on one specific tattoo, a brief message stamped in the tramp zone beneath another tattoo depicting the planet Earth. I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but it had to do with God, or who God loved, or advice for staying right with Him, or something. Whatever it was, it made concentration difficult. Catholic guilt and erections tend to exclude one another. At least, my experience with guilt and erections suggests that conclusion. I shifted my hands to cover the words.

Afterward, we snuggled together on the bed up against the wall.

My bed is a twin size. Did I mention? Snuggling becomes mandatory.

Idly, I tried to stretch the fitted sheet back over the bed corner, and we got to know one another in a way that most people do prior to coitus. I twirled my fingers through her hair like I used to twirl my own hair when I was very young and very sleepy. I felt very sleepy. She asked me questions.

“How many people have you slept with?” Curious, not accusatory. It’s a fair question. I flushed slightly and mumbled.

“It depends on how you count, but twenty or so. I don’t know exactly.” This was a true statement.

I have justifications for both this number and its vagueness. I thought you should know. However, no one has ever wanted to date someone based on the strength of his justifications. This is also a true statement.

“How about you?” I asked. She shifted onto her side and lazily put her arm around me.

“You’re number seventy-five.”

My fingers stopped for a moment. Then they twirled again, moving her hair over and over between them.

 
 

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