This was a late-summer sex party, unplanned, poorly executed, starring half-a-dozen lonely white people and too much bourbon. It was being held on the second-story porch owned by my pal Clete.
Clete* was a transplant from Mississippi, one of those restless Southerners whose intellectual needs had driven him from Dixie’s dullard bosom. He lived in an old colonial crammed with books and photographs and 167 bottles of chili sauce. He had a daughter, too, a darling four year old on whom he doted. She was with her mother.
Clete encouraged visitors to keep him and the bourbon company. Eloise, a towering British lollipop of vigorous sexual intent had arrived with Jenni, who managed the restaurant where they worked. Also on hand were Clete’s best friend Greg, Bitter Monique, and Drunk Dave Dinger, an aspiring minister and part-time yoga instructor. I arrived around two, after my Sunday softball game. I hadn’t meant to stop by. But I was between girlfriends, at work on a novel whose heart had stopped beating, intent on avoiding my apartment with its oppressive dust.
I was fairly certain drinking before sundown would activate my Jew Puke reflex, so Greg got me pleasantly stoned and I ate 10,000 pistachios while everyone else tanked up on the hard stuff. By four, the gathering had assumed a dire momentum. The innuendo was sloppy, yearning stuff. Words that rhyme with pussy, words that rhyme with cock.
Eloise popped inside and came back out with jars of neon body paint. She stripped down to skivvies and showed all us dogs the smooth brown of her belly, upon which we slathered the expected slogans: Slippery When Wet, Lick Here, R U Man Enough? Drunk Dave tried to fingerpaint one of Jenni’s breasts and Monique swatted him. Then it was our turn to strip down and let the girls paint their sweet vulgarities on us. The bottle took another trip around and soon we were hurling macaroons off the porch, into Clete’s convertible below.
Next, it was literature. My first book was slated to be published in a few months, and Clete had a galley. This was filthy stuff:
female ejaculation, anal sex, joyous adultery. Eloise very much enjoyed reading the words in her posh accent, while Jenni downed shots and blushed.
At six, Greg and Monique peeled off — they had significant others — and the party was down to us professionals. Eloise stumbled inside with Jenni, off to do lady things and discuss how they saw all this playing out.
"She looks good," Drunk Dave said of Jenni.
"Dropped some weight," Clete said.
"She’s got that mouth."
"That blowjob mouth."
Her lips were lovely, classical in shape and deserving of higher praise, but I nodded right along.
Out came the ladies and down went the bourbon and pretty soon Eloise wanted to play a game, which consisted of one of us guys lying on our back and hoisting her into the air with our feet, so she could extend her arms and fly like Wonder Woman. It was a way of becoming physical without the undue risk of initiating an orgy (which frightened us) or launching a game of spin the bottle (for which we were, by twenty years at least, too old). So onto my back I went and Eloise climbed aboard and I could feel with the balls of my feet the soft curve of her mons pubis. Then it was Jenni’s turn, and she squealed as she rose and gazed down at me with her brown eyes and I could see that she had made her decision.
Jenni was older, or seemed older, because she managed an entire restaurant, a fancy one, and there was something both thrilling and vaguely disappointing in seeing her unshackled from her official capacity. She was short and generously proportioned. Her face was pretty, particularly that mouth, and she had the sort of low, sultry voice that made you feel her throat was full of smoke.
Clete was zeroing in on Eloise, nudging her toward copulation with his lazy Southern rap; Drunk Dave was downstairs frisking the liquor cabinet. But I suddenly wanted to stagger home, in safe retreat from my own leering intentions. So I had my lousy moment of clarity: we were just two lost people with parts that needed greasing. What’s more, I stunk. My sweat pants were stained with mud and my hair was greased out and my underwear and socks had curdled darkly. Really, I was in no shape to fuck.
"I gotta go," I said.
Clete removed his nose from Eloise’s neck. "What?"
"I gotta take a shower. I smell like a garbage pit."
Jenni narrowed her eyes.
"No way," Clete said.
"Sorry," I said.
I tried to climb to my feet, but Jenni pulled me down onto the porch and flipped me (rather easily) onto my back. She pressed her face close to mine and turned her mouth into a giant pout. "You don’t want to make love to me?"
"It’s not that."
"You don’t want to fuck me? I’m right here, and you don’t want me?"
Somewhere above, I could hear Eloise. "Come on, Steve. That’s a beautiful bird waiting for your willy."
"Don’t be a dick," Clete said. "You can use the spare bedroom."
"I’m moving to Missouri next week," Jenni offered.
"Do it for Missouri!" Clete yelled. "The Do Me State."
Eloise giggled. I heard the sound of her flesh being stroked, then drunken footfalls leading into the house.
"I’m ready," Jenni said. Her breath was bourbon and bean dip. She gestured delicately toward herself. "I’m ready right now."
The spare bedroom had a distinctly date-rapey feel: lumpy mattress, tiger-stripe bedspread, a drawer with condoms of unknown vintage. Worse still was Jenni’s sudden bravery. She was a sex kitten now. She was going to seduce me. "I want you to fuck me good," she purred. "I know you know how." She removed her blouse and skirt with a doomed extravagance. It was a nice thing to say, a nice bit of nonsense. But she was pushing too hard. There was fraudulence at the heart of her gestures. She stood naked before me, stroking the flesh of one hip, while, with the other hand, she guarded the sag of her belly.
I could hear Drunk Dave out on the porch, asking where everybody was, yodeling his sexless woe. Clete and Eloise were next door in the master bedroom, presumably thudding at the loins.
"I want you to do things with me you’ve never done before," Jenni said. She walked toward me, or sashayed, with her heavy breasts swaying. She had developed the idea that I was an author of famous depravity, a suburban De Sade. I was now in charge of her sexual abandonment. As if to ratify this notion, she stepped forward and set her hand on my cock.
Despite the blood hurrying south, despite the inevitable swelling of prick and pride, I could see that anything I did would be
tinged with regret. I gazed down at Jenni, at the thick delusion of her desire, and felt besieged. This made me think about all the fucks disbursed by women on behalf of pity, all the sad, phony thrashing undertaken by the desolate of this world.
And just a little later, I slid my head between her legs and lapped at the sour flesh, breathing through my mouth. I hoped this might be enough, but Jenni wasn’t done. She lugged me on top of her and grabbed hold of the required equipment, but before we could commence, the door swung open and there stood Drunk Dave, glassy-eyed and weaving.
He took in the situation: Jenni on her back, legs spread wide, my bare ass up and poised for entry.
"What’s up?" he said.
"Get out!" Jenni said.
Reluctantly, Drunk Dave closed the door.
I tried to roll off, but Jenni clenched my hips and smiled up at me with a grim determination. "Do me this way, then we’ll go from behind."
I looked down and caught sight of her dark pubic hair and this seemed to confirm, in my woozy mind, my commitment to the act. In I went.
Oh my God! she said, and It’s so good! and Yes-yes-yes! All this fakery only made things worse, though I was grateful for her voice, which obscured the soft squinching down below.
The door opened again.
We both flinched.
"Seriously," Drunk Dave said. "You guys mind if I come in?"
"Get out!" Jenni shrieked.
Dave looked confused. "I just wanna watch," he explained. "Like, from the corner." His eyes were fixed on Jenni’s jittery tits.
"Not cool," I said.
"You guys won’t even know I’m here."
Now Jenni produced a sound of such sharp and stunning displeasure that Dave spilled his drink down his shirtfront. She made the sound a second time and Dave, looking like a scolded pet, closed the door again.
This should have been enough to bring our clumsy coital ballet to a close. I had gone soft again. I stunk. We were both slipping from the joys of drink to the pink recriminations of the dusk hangover. But Jenni was nothing if not stubborn. She had set out to be debased. She would be debased.
She spit on her hand and jacked me into something vaguely resembling a hard-on. She went down on me, too. I smelled my own foul scent and watched the fine curves of her mouth ruined. Then she suckled my grimy toes.
I wanted the whole thing over, wanted to be gone from this room, with its reek of old latex and mildewed sheets, away from this woman, her eagerness to lower herself to anything, and my own part in it. Clete, though, was effusive. This, he insisted the next day, was an historic conquest: "Groupie pussy, boy!" He hoisted a drink in my honor. But I couldn’t even remember how it ended, if I even managed to come, or whether, like her, I faked that part.
"She sucked you off, didn’t she?" Clete hooted. "With that kisser. Goddamn. I wish I could have seen that shit."
"Sure," I said.
"Was it hot? Dave said it was hot as hell."
How did I respond to this? I did what us cowards always do: I told him what he wanted to hear.
*I should tell you straight out that I’ve changed the names here, because I still know some of these people and like them pretty well and it pains me to think of them reading such an unsparing account of the very bad sex in which we engaged. So there. n°
© 2007 Steve Almond & Nerve.com