Fiction

Heidi Klum Wearing Just Paint

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My wife banged so loudly on the door the pills in the medicine chest rattled in a way I found, amid my tears, eerily pleasing. “Heidi Klum’s here,” she said. I dunked my head underwater and resurfaced, saying, “The model?”
    “Yes — and she’s wearing just paint.”
    “Huh.”
    “I’d told you I wanted to finish all that work in the garden before the sun went down. Can you deal with her?”
    “I guess,” I said, contemplating, as if for the first time, the strange motion with which the hairs

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on my chest swayed underwater.
    “You guess or you will?”
    “Will!”
    She stood as if in a moment of silence for my contempt before padding off toward the garden. I emerged from the bathroom in the white robe I’d stolen from a Hyatt in Big Sur, on a truffle-hunting trip I’d won in a raffle. The robe hadn’t come with a matching belt — part of my justification for stealing it — so I had to walk around holding it shut. Though I’d never dressed like a woman, nor desired to, whenever I wore the thing in front of company I always felt strangely whorish, like a stripper who’d just finished working a bachelor party.
    When I got to the living room, Heidi Klum was sitting on our couch. Her legs were crossed, the extended foot pointing with a definitive arch to the floor. The woman was indeed wearing just paint. A yellow bikini, in fact. “Um,” I said, careful not to let the robe slip open as I took a seat across from her, “it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
    “Your wife is adorable.” Her German accent was staggeringly sexy.
    “Sure,” I laughed, at once trying and not trying to discern if any pubic hair protruded through her painted bikini bottoms. “So uh . . . something to drink?”
    Heidi flashed a smile that single-handedly explained why companies pay thousands for such a specimen to wear their products, and then said, “She already offered. I’m cool.”
    I sat there staring at her.
    “That painting,” she said, pointing above me, “that yours?”
    “Yes! I mean . . . you like it?”
    “What is it?”
    “Oh, it’s — sometimes I think it’s a — oh, you’re just going to think it’s stupid.”
  

“Heidi Klum wants to fuck me,” I muttered, careful so the neighbors wouldn’t hear, “I mean, if that’s cool with you.”

  “Don’t be shy. Tell me, silly.”
    I opened my mouth and then said, “Nah.”
    “Oh, don’t be a shit. Come on.”
    “Okay, I think it’s — oh, you’re going to think it’s stupid.”
    “It’s not becoming, this modest stuff you have.”
    “You’re right.”
    “I’m not right. It’s just, you know, an opinion.”
    “Okay, you ready? The painting. It’s God.”
    She chewed on the insides of her lips as she examined it.
    “There is a God,” I said, “and he’s an ironist.”
    Heidi burst into laughter only Julia Roberts could replicate. She was the first person to truly get the joke, though it wasn’t necessarily a joke, or maybe it was. “Anyway,” I went on, “I only started painting a few months ago, but it’s such an expensive craft, so I try and — “
    “Do you want to make love to me?” she said, re-crossing her legs.
     My monogamous cock grew ferociously erect. I crossed my own legs and said, “Absolutely.” She nodded somewhat dryly, as though the idea of a man wanting her bored her to tears. “That is,” I said in an attempt to redeem my eagerness, “I’d appreciate that. But I’m afraid I’ll have to pass — ” I pointed toward the back of the apartment, as though that particular section represented my marriage — “I’m . . . married.”
    “I’m sure your wife won’t mind.”
    “Oh, I doubt that. ” I held my hands up. “All due respect.”
    She didn’t respond, so I leaned forward and said, “You two have a conversation about it?” She shrugged again, this time with such a look of sudden boredom I lost my hard-on.
    I held the robe tight and hurried to our small backyard, where my wife stood on her tippy-toes, peering over the fence.
     “Heidi Klum wants to fuck me,” I muttered, careful so the neighbors wouldn’t hear, “I mean, if that’s cool with you.”
    “Check this out,” she said, “it’s a dead squirrel. You never see dead squirrels back here.”
    I joined her in peering over the fence.
    “You authorized this?” I asked, referring to Heidi, not the squirrel.
    “No, not at all!”
    “You think she’s lying?”
    “I don’t know what that woman’s doing in our house. But be nice to her. She’s famous.” Amid the purpling dusk, my wife looked really pretty, and I wanted to kiss her. But I held back. She picked up a caterpillar she’d found crawling on my robe and said, “I don’t know what to do with you anymore.” She dropped the caterpillar onto the woodchips, and I began to wish she’d cupped it in her hand and pet it, named it — something tender.

 

     

  

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    “You’re so drawn,” I said.
    She shrugged, looking down at her garden sneakers. They used to be her jogging sneakers, and before that her “kicks” she wore with jeans on a Friday night out with her friends. I ran my hair through her hair, saying, “How many times do I have to tell you, I forgive you.”
    “I know, but you’re . . . sad. Which is understandable” — she was talking in that relaxed, calm voice that magically masked any anger and usually seduced me into confessing something — “but how long can you go on hurting me with your indifference? I’m so tired of you ignoring me all the time, it’s, like, been months. Is this you from now on?”
    “No,” I said, although her assessment was dead-on, so much so that I suddenly felt ashamed, not so much for the coldness I’d been exuding in my efforts to hurt her but the pathetic transparency with which I conducted them. Generally, when a man cheats, his woman is expected to grow enraged; but whether or not she leaves him is arbitrary. When a woman cheats, however, if her man does not leave, he is rendered so emasculated to his friends and neighbors and family members that he might as well donate his testicles to some desperate soul who could actually use them.
    “It won’t be the same without you there.”
    “All right,” she said, wiping the sweat off her forehead with the back of the glove. “Just let me wash up a little.”
    Holding the robe together, I hurried back to the living room, half expecting to see an empty chair. It was empty, but this time Heidi was standing up, looking at our pictures on the mantle. A yellow thong had been painted rather expertly down the middle of her buttocks.
    “It’s all good,” I said, “but I think it’d just be more appropriate if she watched. Is that cool?”
    She crossed her arms, squinted at me for a moment before saying, “Sure . . . it’s cool.”
    “Wait,” my wife said before Heidi lay on the bed, “let me get a towel.”
    “Oh, right,” I said, laughing awkwardly. “The paint might stain the sheets.”
    “It shouldn’t,” Heidi said, and for the first time she seemed annoyed. I tried touching her shoulder, as if to say, “Sorry about my wife’s anal retentiveness,” but my gesture backfired. I came off like one of those straight guys who touches people in a way that always seems gay. After my wife covered the bed with two yellow bath towels, we all stood in silence. I supposed they were waiting for me, so I undid my robe. And my erection stuck out like a gigantic pencil. Heidi and my wife smiled. Then my wife ran her fingernails slowly across my stomach, as if she’d been seeing me through Heidi’s eyes. Meanwhile, Heidi had lain on the towels my wife had set up, her slender arms crossed above her head, her underarms so bereft of hair follicles I began to wonder if she’d had electrolysis.
    It was time for me to enter Heidi, I guessed. But I felt so self-conscious in front of my wife I thought about asking her to look away. Who was I to

“I climbed on top of Heidi, wanting to lick her pussy as a means of respect, but it’d been covered in potentially toxic paint so I just assumed she’d understand.”

penetrate a supermodel, one who was undoubtedly accustomed to men with private jets, exquisite tastes, bank accounts in foreign markets, and cocks that made my dick look like a cellphone antenna. And then I was staring at my wife. She was pretty. But in comparison to Heidi, she looked subhuman, and I felt sorry for her.
    “Are you shaking?” Heidi asked, touching my arm.
    “He’s just nervous,” my wife said protectively.
    I climbed on top of Heidi, wanting to lick her pussy as a means of respect, but it’d been covered in potentially toxic paint so I just assumed she’d understand. I rubbed her clit until her whole body curled like a flower pedal, and then I slipped it in.
    “Wow,” I said.
    “What?” my wife said.
    “Nothing, it’s just . . . warm.”
    “Oh,” said my wife, sounding jealous.
    “Yours is the same way,” I said.
    “Sweetie,” my wife said, obviously embarrassed, “focus.”
    “Hmm,” Heidi said. She rested her feet on my back, reclining like a woman at the beach. I found myself at her
neck, tasting the salt of her sweat, losing myself inside of her. At one point, I looked up and saw my wife with a hand shoved down her jeans. I came explosively.
    “Did you leave . . . inside her?” my wife said, alarmed.
    “Oh my God,” I said, “I totally forgot.”
    “It’s not a problem,” Heidi laughed in that way Europeans are always telling Americans to chill the fuck out. I wanted to ask her if she’d enjoyed it.
    “We’re safe, you know,” my wife said, “I mean, we’ve all been tested and all that.”
    “I’m not worried,” Heidi said politely. She got up and my wife immediately showed her the bathroom. We hadn’t turned any lights on and the living room was dark. Heidi emerged from the bathroom and stood mysteriously before us, as if she wanted to offer some sound, spiritual advice. But instead, with a compassionate smile, she waved a little and left.
    “Did she tell you why she stopped by?” my wife whispered, locking the door. “No,” I whispered, “you think she stops by other apartments too?” “You think?” “I love you.” We clutched one another in a violent hug that practically melted my molecules — until my wife sniffed my neck and said, “You smell like her.”
     We peeled away and retreated to respective seats in the living room. She moved to turn on the lamp beside her. "Don’t,” I said. Staring at her silhouette, I wanted to tell her that while I was mounting Heidi, it was her I’d really wanted, that I’d realized my love for her trumped the pleasure of being inside a supermodel. But it wasn’t the case. Nor was it the opposite.
    “You know,” I said, “it just was.”
    “I know,” she said. And she did. If there was anything we understood, it was what was. Staring at this purple ghost of her, I decided that was enough. For a lifetime.
 

  

     

©2006 Tom Lombardi and Nerve.com.
ABOUT
THE AUTHOR:
Tom Lombardi’s fiction is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly, and has appeared in Fence, McSweeneys.net, and Opium. His website is www.tomlombardi.org.