The Lisa Diaries

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The Lisa Diaries by Lisa Carver  

The Winners

September 21, 2000

Grant comes from London via Manhattan, and Lilly, the hand-and-foot model — Dave’s winner — lives in LA. We arranged to meet them at Carabella’s in Dover, where few-toothed men do heartful karaoke and line-dancing. I drove right past the bar and into another town by accident. I was nervous. Dave too — he was afraid his winner would be hideous. He figured there had to be some reason she’s only allowed to show her extremities on camera. But finally we were there, and Lilly had a sweet face and a laugh that made everyone else laugh too. Grant looked like . . . Dave! Lilly’s husband Paul had come along with her. They made a frank couple. Husband and wife both used the word “pussy” within five minutes of meeting us. Paul even stuck it in the same sentence with “cream cheese,” and I watched Dave sink deeper and deeper into his chair until he was about halfway under the table. Dave’s favorite movies are E.T. and It’s a Wonderful Life. He’ll do anything — as long as you don’t name it (for instance, he still insists he is not bisexual). Paul also said the Brit’s sense of humor was too dry — “it needs some lube.”


People were line-dancing under a disco ball; couples were making out and grinding their fifty-year-old genitals into each other. DJ Jazzy Jeff (apparently no one told him someone else is using that name) suddenly donned a giant rubber alien head. He didn’t draw attention to this, he just did it. Then he went under the booth and took it off and re-emerged, and we all rubbed our eyes wondering if we’d been seeing things. Our guests were amazed at the complete lack of irony in Dover. In New York, you wear a mustache for a reason. It’s a cultural signifier. Here you wear a mustache simply because you’re a man, and that’s what you see fit to do with your lip. We were discussing this when the barkeep sliced his hand wide open cutting limes and blood spurted in every direction while old men sang Elvis Presley and Randy Travis karaoke, completely off key but with firm timbre and poise. There was something so forlorn about them I almost cried.


I put Grant in my car and let Dave drive Lilly and Paul. I trailed farther and farther behind the “the hooligans” (as Dave had whisperingly referred to them) and when we were out of sight I pulled

off the road. Grant and I stumbled down to a dock where a grandpa and his teenage grandson were fishing — at first we thought they were wooden posts. We didn’t talk much; we were dangling our feet side by side and not touching. After our eyes adjusted we saw that there were as many silver fishes in the river as there were stars in the sky. They were letting off little flashes,

like fireflies. Firefish. I never knew about this before. My mother’s ashes are scattered in this river, so I told Grant I was taking him to meet my mother — which is probably either too morbid or sentimental a thing to say to the winner of one’s sex contest, but I didn’t feel like rushing or being bold. I don’t know, I guess I just liked him and I wanted to take him there. He won me by correctly answering math and history questions on a chat two months ago. Since then, we’ve emailed every day, and then one day I didn’t reply and he called and said he was surprised to realize he’d grown attached to me, and that it was strange and he didn’t like it. I was on my back bouncing a chair on my legs like I always do on the phone when I’m agitated. And now he was here and

we said nothing and it was time for us to go home and fuck.


In our living room, we five stood around looking at each other. Lilly opened up her suitcase and it was all sex toys! She passed around whips and voodoo sticks and dildos stuffed into Zip-Loc baggies; she pulled her dress up and her underwear down to show us her tattoo! She was very matter-of-fact about it all: it was like having Annie Sprinkle show up in my living room. I’m not used to being the one dumbfounded. It felt like laughing gas, and I just lay down and let her talk. At last she said it was “time.” I said, “Okay, you guys go up in our bedroom because it’s bigger, and there are three of you. We’ll just be here on the floor.”


“No way,” said Dave, startling everyone. “You’re not leaving me alone.”


I took Dave upstairs to have a talk. He said I couldn’t abandon him to the hooligans. I said that Lilly was a very nice person, and what was she going to do — rape him? He said, “Maybe!” I said, “Just give me ten minutes. We’ll come up right after, I promise.”


“No! You and Grant do it up here with us.”


“You know that if we’re all together, it’s just immediately going to be a big orgy, and that’s nothing like having sex with one person. You know this is how it’s supposed to go. You’ve had two months to object, Dave!”


“You want to sleep with Grant!” He gave me an accusing glare, then jumped on the bed, pulling the covers over his head. If it were anyone else, I would have taken pity on them, but we’ve been married for a while now, and I know the angry-scared-stubborn stage that precedes anything that man does. It usually lasts about ten minutes and is best ignored. I bounced downstairs and told Lilly to be gentle with him.


Grant and I stared each other down.


“Well, Grant,” I said, “Dave’s scared up there, so I think we better have married sex.”


He asked what that was.


“That’s when you do it in ten minutes because you have to go do something else right after.”


He said, “Right,” and didn’t move.


I said, “Do you want to lay on top of me?” We hadn’t touched once, ever. He laid on top of me, and then everything happened in circles — when you kiss someone and you don’t have enough of it so you do it again. Your head is encircled in someone’s arm and then they’re in another position and then you want your head inside the arm again. You’re hungry and you don’t know where.


“Um, sorry to interrupt,” came a voice through the staircase railings — it was Lilly. “Dave’s asking for Lisa.”


“What are you doing to him?” I asked.


“Fucking him!”


I couldn’t believe it. So fast! And with Dave so scared! This girl was good. Grant hadn’t even gotten my shirt all the way off yet!


“Tell him I’ll be up in five minutes.”


Popo the cat tore through, knocking things over, then she perched above us on the coffee table and stared. Five minutes later, Paul came down to check.


“Just five more minutes,” I said.


“I’ve read practically everything you’ve written,” Grant said, on his elbows over me sideways. “This is really strange that you’re, you know, alive.”


I learned that Grant is really good at going down. Then Lilly’s face was between the railings again, and I said, “Just five more minutes,” and she said, “You said that a long time ago,” and I said, “I mean it this time.”


I liked how he wrapped me up, and I liked how he talked, and I liked that while I’m fixed inside this giant house, in this marriage, with my child and this career, Grant is only twenty-three and he was in a new town in a foreign country with another man’s wife and his whole life was like a carpet unfurling away from this moment. But it was time to go upstairs.

To be continued

Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.


Lisa Carver and, Inc.