His Brother’s Key
July 20, 2000
I generally get one Zipper ride per boyfriend. I distract them so they don’t notice the cage hanging its occupants upside down seventy feet up and then dropping them down lightning quick, over and over. I sent Dave off to buy fried bread dough, and kept him occupied looking at things other than The Zipper (sometimes called The Apollo) until it was our turn to enter one of the metal cages. Once we were upside down, Dave yelled, “I hate you! Why did I listen to you?” Then it started spinning, and he couldn’t speak at all. His necklace (Italian silver from some relative over there) landed in his mouth and stayed there, as he clamped his jaw in terror. I was laughing so hard the whole time, I drooled. My joy at others’ fear on rides is great and uncontrollable.
We went to the playground to recover, and witnessed the attempted seduction of a sixteen-year-old girl on a swing by a fourteen-year-old boy. Oblivious to us and anything else in this world, he was all over that swing like R. Kelly; he wiped her tears and took her head in his hands, even as she shook it No. He moved his hips in every geometric pattern I learned in school. Even the moon seemed like it was only inches away, trying to keep from touching her. I never noticed before what a sex spot the carnival is. Even the six-year-olds were dressed like trollops! I’ve known a lot of prostitutes, and none of them dressed as whorey as those little girls their shirts tied into bandanas, neon-colored short-shorts, bangles and high heels and a strut. The loud music telling listeners to do various things “all night long,” the men and boys unable to keep their hands to themselves . . . except for my man, who held his over his stomach. “I would rather have been beat up than ride The Zipper,” he said.
Dave and I walked with the mosquitoes the two miles to our campsite deep in the Maine woods. In separate stone houses, I did my ablutions with the ladies and he did his with men, just like in a Muslim country. I was excited because I was about to have sex (I thought) in a tent for the first time. Inside our miniature tent, it felt like being covered from the night by only an eyelid. The air rustled the leaves all around us and it sounded like rain, and then it was rain. The rain didn’t fall uniformly. It would hit a copse to our left really hard and barely touch our tent, then move over us, then pour someplace behind us, like it was looking for something. We didn’t know how waterproof our tent was, but so far so good. I made some moves on Dave but he was “still waiting for the nausea to pass.” He noted that his travel toothpaste was made in China. “It makes no sense!” he cried. “They must pay more in coal shipping it here than the entire worth of the toothpaste tube.” I explained to him about intrinsic value, revenue, labor laws. I wasn’t quite sure everything I said was right, but usually that stuff gets him going. This time, however, my big Chinese labor speech elicited only a soft snore.
Earlier that day, a drunk blue collar guy in another car had given me the eye and I’d waved to him and he tracked us down to a gas station. While Dave pumped the gas, he pulled up next to my window and informed me that he “had his brother’s keys” like I was supposed to hop out of the car and go with him to his brother’s apartment and do it. When I turned him down, he screeched out of there and a cop on a bicycle put the siren on to pull him over. He tried to outrun the bicycle cop, at which point all these cop cars pulled out and chased him down. DWI, reckless driving, resisting arrest: if this fellow was half as erratic in the sack as he was on the street, I’d done a terrible thing by turning down his invitation. Instead, I’d spent my evening talking someone to sleep with China.
From across the river, a tremendous noise came. It was someone being killed, or maybe a loon. Loons mate for life if a mate dies, it is never replaced. That loon out there was probably frustrated just like me, jammed tight in a sleeping bag next to a soft, sleeping cock just like that fourteen-year-old alone in his small bed at the family home, just like the drunk driver on a thin prison mattress with no use for his brother’s key.
There was a little moisture gathering inside our tent, but I assumed it was condensation from Dave’s heavy breathing.
I dreamed that friends of mine ran a progressive insane asylum. One of the crazy people was beautiful. She had black hair parted down the middle. She was remote like a ballerina or a French actress. I found myself alone with her in the tall garden. “I’m going to caress your pussy,” she said, “because I want to, and there’s nothing you can do about it. They can’t put me in prison, because I’m insane. And they can’t institutionalize me, because they already did.”
I was wet. No, really the sleeping bag was soaked. Dave had lots of clothes on, the rain must not have gotten through all his layers yet, because he still slept. But I was naked, and I felt slimy all over with hot tent wetness. I woke Dave and we moved to the car, which did not cocoon our body heat like the tent had. The seats were freezing and hard and unfortunately I’d left my clothes in the tent, so they were soaked. Dave found a dry towel for me, and I shivered naked under that while he shivered in wet clothes he was too sleepy to take off.
My friends were taking the crazy people on a field trip and I volunteered to help. I was in the backseat with the black-haired lady. Her dog was in my lap. “Helen must really trust you,” said my friends, “She never lets anyone touch her dog.” The tiny, panting beast was hot like a hummingbird. His heat soaked into my lap. I looked at the girl, she looked at me. “I got my brother’s key,” her face said, and this time I said, “I can’t wait.”
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.