I got a text from Jefferson: “Want to see the mermaids?”
I’d forgotten: it was the day of the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. I had never been. In fact, I don’t think I had been to Coney Island since I was three years old. Since I had between planning to spend the day stalking Jeremy I deemed this to be a healthier option. I said sure.
I got to Coney Island late, but Jefferson and company were later. I wandered for a bit, eating a lemon ice, then stationed myself outside of the Surf Ave. exit of the subway station, where people were streaming out.
It was hot and I hadn’t brought any sunscreen. I was moving back into the shade, right by the exit, when I saw someone: Jed.
What were the odds? It was so improbable and yet as I’d been thinking about him, I wasn’t as surprised as I ought to have been, statistically speaking. I started towards him: this was too good an opportunity to miss. Jed was talking to someone, a girl. For a second, I veered away, uncertain. Then I thought: Don’t be ridiculous. So I went up to him and tapped his arm.
A grin spread across his face: “What are you doing here?” I gave him an awkward kiss. He wore a camera around his neck and was carrying a silver board, I guess for lighting.
“Jefferson invited me … didn’t you…?”
We stared at one another for a moment.
Then he said, “I’m actually supposed to be meeting some friends but I missed them…”
I squinted up at him; he was a good head taller than me. Would he hang out with us, then? “Can you see?” Jed asked, gesturing at the mermaids.
I shook my head.
“Get on my back.”
I clambered up onto him and rode piggyback, feeling a little weird. After another phone we finally met up with Jefferson and the others: “Look who I found!” I glinted triumphantly at Jefferson.
I had recently proposed my theory of Jed to Jefferson. The previous week, I had lamented my inability to get quality time with Jed, and Jefferson had, sensibly, suggested that I go all out and actually contact Jed myself!
So throwing caution to the wind, I had sent Jed a brief email. It read: “Jefferson says that in order to get some time alone with you I should be blunt. I should say (his exact words) ‘Get me a drink and fuck me good.’”
Then I went on to say that while I felt this was a little forward, my sentiments were the same and, in fact, a drink wouldn’t be necessary – did he want to get together?
Jed never responded, which could be chalked up to his total flakiness, but also endorses my theory that Jed is interested in women who don’t approach him. I felt that Jefferson’s instincts had led me wrong and that I had made a tactical error by pursuing Jed. Hmmph. So now I was resolved not to approach Jed, which had gone out the window as soon as I saw him.
But here he was, flitting around with his camera and just being there in the corner of my awareness, all hot and no doubt conscious of the effect he was having on me.
Jefferson was accompanied by Callie, Jake, Cody, Viviane and a tall redhead whose name I didn’t know. He was wearing a blue tee shirt emblazoned with the words DADDY LIKES in raised felt letters, sort of old school looking. “I like your shirt,” I said, tapping him on the chest. Jefferson smirked.
Wendy caught up to us along the parade route – I’d thought she was with Jefferson and hadn’t grabbed her when Jed and I found Jefferson. So we all busied ourselves getting cups and digging Double stuff Oreos out of plastic bags. Cody was wearing a short sleeve shirt and I saw long thin weals along her left arm. That girl. When I first met her, in February, her naked torso was scratched with scars, which I had thought were evidence of a sexual masochism. But Cody’s self inflicted scars designate a more personal and less exuberant message. I hadn’t recognized them for what they were because I’d never seen the results of taking glass to the skin in an effort to overcome emotional pain with physical mutilation. Seeing her pale arms all scraped up made me want to shake her. She smiled at Jake and stood leaning into Jefferson and I thought, “You’re such a pretty girl. You don’t need all that makeup.” Her face was covered in foundation, and I’d like to see her bangs thinned out a bit, too. She’s so pretty, and they hide her face.
“Do you want to see?” Jefferson motioned me up to the front, and introduced me to the redhead, a.k.a. Meg, teacher and slut. I stationed myself right by the barrier, where I could see mermaids in all their weird glory: the Seapranos, the guys dressed as Vikings selling “Mermaid meat,” synchronized swimmers performing their routines on the ground. I hadn’t realized that these costumes were more than just mermaid outfits. I stared, open-mouthed as Jefferson took photos of the “Lady Marmalade” sex mermaids.
Jed strayed into the parade itself to take photos and when the parade ended he had disappeared. Wendy told me that he was planning to meet up with us later. Huh. I figured we had seen the last of him. So much for my plans for bedding him.
We all trekked to the beach, finding an empty spot far to the left of the Cyclone. There we settled ourselves with plastic plates full of Wendy’s macaroni salad and strawberries, drinking bottled water and red wine and gins and tonics from a big thermos.
We sat and gossiped and some adventurous folk even dipped their toes in the water. At 7:00 my phone rang: it was Jed. “Where are you?” he asked.
“We’re to the left of the Astroland sign,” I said helplessly. He said he’d find us but had to call back as my directions were so vague. I stood up. “I’ll come meet you,” I announced.
“Do you see the kites?”
I studied the sky: “No!”
But eventually I spied a fluttering red ribbon, just over the water. “Oh, right!”
“Meet me by the kite flyers.”
The kites bobbed above the water, and there I made a right and followed the strings, like that guy looking for Ariadne in the labyrinth, only without the nobility of purpose. At last I spied Jed, concentrating on the kite string he was tugging. He was standing next to two girls, both of whom appeared pretty impressed by their luck.
I greeted them all, and one of the women offered me her spool. I’d never flown a kite, and gingerly took the spool in my hand, and gave the thread a few tugs.
“You don’t have to raise you arms like that,” one of the girls counseled. “Just gently move your wrist.” She was, I noticed, wearing a black stretch bandage around her wrist. God, had kite flying given her carpal tunnel syndrome? Yikes. I adjusted my movements. Next to me, Jed swung his arm over his head wildly, enjoying himself, I would guess.
But the others were waiting for us. After a few minutes I returned the kite to the girl and Jed and I stumbled over the sand back towards the others. My sense of direction is not the best.
I gestured to the camera around his neck: “Did you get lots of good shots?”
“Yeah, great. Listen, do you want to come over later?”
Score! “Sure,” I said.
“Do you want to go on the roller coaster, maybe?”
I glanced at the Cyclone: “OK. I’ve never been on a roller coaster, you know.”
“Yeah. Except for a kiddie one. But, you know, this is my year of living somewhat dangerously, so I should take the plunge.”
“Lily,” there was a laugh in his voice: “Am I just part of your experiment?”
I clutched his arm: “Oh, Jed,” I vamped, “You are so much more than that.”
When we reached the others everyone was starting to clear up. I helped pack up and then we made our goodbyes and headed towards the Cyclone.
At the line for the roller coaster, Jed went off to get something to eat. He came back carrying a corn dog, and offered it to me.
“I’ve never eaten a corn dog,” I offered, taking a bite. It was salty and boiled rather than grilled, and the cornmeal (?) was sweet and thick.
“Really? Well, this isn’t the best representation,” Jed allowed.
I took one more bite and gave it back to him. “I’m nervous about going on the Cyclone,” I said. Absolutely true. I had realized what I’d let myself in for: a ride on an elderly wooden roller coaster. “You’d better finish that.”
Jed wanted to sit in the front car but I, terrified, convinced him that it was enough for me to ride on the roller coaster, I needn’t have a heart attack as well. We checked our things and settled into the third car, locking ourselves into the seats. Jed put his arm around me and clamped his arm onto my hand. “Just hold on,” he advised. No worries there: my arm was glued to the metal rung.
We started with a slow rise, and it was beautiful, sunset over Coney Island. The sky was streaked pink and the lights from other rides were winking along the boardwalk. “Whoooo!” Jed screamed in happy anticipation. Then the car jerked and swerved, and we went over, swooping sharply down along the tracks. “Aaaaahhhh!” I, and everyone else, shrieked. “Keep your eyes open,” Jed counseled. Too late: I had shut my eyes just before we’d swung down, and I didn’t dare open them: “Ahhhhhhh!!” I screamed. With each movement I was lifted out of my seat a bit, and I was terrified that somehow I would be thrown from the car and hurtled to a gory death below. A girl flew off a roller coaster in the Midwest a few years ago; it’s happened.
We swooped up and down, and I dared open my eyes during our slow climb, but otherwise contented myself with gripping the armrest and shrieking. But it was over very soon, and we shambled to a halt under the grid of the coaster. My heart was pounding, and my limbs were weak with relief as I climbed out of the car. “I have to tell you,” I admitted, “I kept my eyes shut for most of that.”
Jed looked disappointed.
Safely on the ground he lit a cigarette. “Can I have a drag? I just rode a roller coaster, so I think I’m entitled.” I clutched his arm. “You know,” I said, “In my first ad…”
“My Craig’s List ad. The one I published a year ago. Well, on it I said I wanted to do some of the things I’d never done, like have casual sex, ride a roller coaster, and eat a habanero pepper. Now I’ve done two of those things!”
“Let’s get you a jalapeno!” He tugged my arm. Luckily we did not find one, but instead threw softballs towards a basket in the hopes of winning some stuffed animals, with poor results, and shot up bad guys at an arcade. Finally I bought us both bottles of beer and we agreed to split a cab back to his place. We stood on the corner outside Nathan’s Famous. Jed, still clutching his silver board, was being jostled. He drew me aside and we stood in the dark, the people pushing past us, drunk and merry.
We kissed, and then he placed his hand where my neck and jaw meet, and that seemed to me a kind of possession, and I liked it. I swallowed, and trailed my fingers along the gap between his top and his jeans. “I like that,” he said.
We stood there for a moment. “Come on, let’s get a cab,” I said finally.
Eventually we found ourselves in the backseat of a Lincoln heading back towards his neighborhood, trading stories about our youth. I could picture him as a cocky adolescent, stalking around in his cowboy boots, declaiming on philosophy while eager girls hung on his every word. He had not lost the habit of declaiming, for he managed to turn every anecdote or sentence into a moral lesson or to explain how it had affected him. He appeared interested in my stories, but not as interested as he was in his own. Which I suppose is the case with all of us, only some of us know how to hide this disinterest better, perhaps.
Back at his place we dumped our stuff on the couch. His roommate was nowhere to be seen. Then Jed took my hand and I followed him into his room.
I took off all but my underwear – hell, I hadn’t shaved my legs, and I was wearing really old bikini underpants. That’ll learn me. I climbed up the ladder, and sat on his loft bed, the roof low over my head. After a minute Jed joined me.
We looked at one another. “Turn over,” he said, “I want to hit you.”
With a sigh I obeyed: “Start slow,” I warned him.
So he did, just how I like it – the first tentative brush, then the light slap and then the thwack. I clenched my ass against the onslaught. I was shaking. Wow. Wow. Wow. I heard myself whimper.
He entered me from behind. Although I find being on all fours rather exhausting and hard on the knees, I like lying on my stomach and being fucked. I don’t come that way, at least I never have, but it really feels good. “Are you OK?” Jed asked as he pumped away.
“Uh huh. You?” I am nothing if not polite. I turned my head to face him, looming over my shoulder.
Jed smiled: “Unless you’re penetrating me, you can assume I’m OK.”
Soon I climbed on top. of him and started swinging back and forth, not taking my eyes off him. As expected, he slid a finger into my ass.
Jed’s hair spread out against the pillow. God, he was sexy. I thrust my hips forward and rode him back and forth. “I have been thinking about you all week,” I breathed. True: he turns me on so much, I’d been fantasizing about fucking him, off an on since I’d last seen him.
Jed didn’t say anything. Was this the wrong thing to say? Oh well. I came.
Afterwards we switched positions, with Jed on top of me. “Can I fuck your ass?”
He had asked me that before, and I’d said OK, but in the end he hadn’t done it. Later, I’d asked him why, and he said he could see it wasn’t that into it. He was right, I wasn’t, and I wouldn’t pretend otherwise.
“I had two fingers in there,” Jed went on. Meaning he thought it wouldn’t be painful.
“OK,” I said. He had the BabeLube and was prepared to use it, I knew, and would go as slow as I needed. I didn’t like the idea that it might be painful, but what the hell: Live Somewhat Dangerously.
So. He slicked up his dick and slid his finger up in my ass again, and then another. And then, after a bit more lube and fingering, he put his cock in my ass and slid his body on top of mine.
Hmm. I lay there, breathless, as Jed pushed himself inside me. I was astonished to discover that it did not hurt. Hallelujah.
“OK?” panted Jed. I nodded.
It felt strange, I was being fucked – I felt like I was being fucked—but at the same time there was this empty space in my cunt where cock usually fills me up.
“You like getting your ass pounded?” Jed muttered.
“Uh huh,” I said, in wonder. I kind of did.
“You like being destroyed?” He thrust at me.
I exhaled loudly: “Uhh…” then he turned me over and slipped back inside my cunt before he came. Ahh.
Well. So. I’d been butt fucked. Another virginity gone. And it hadn’t even hurt. I felt perfectly fine, not at all raw or sore. I stared at the ceiling, considering this. Then Jed and I clambered down his ladder and got dressed. At the door of his room we faced one another, smiling. “I dig you,” I said, looping a finger through his waistband.
We settled on the couch in his living room. After a moment Jed turned to me and said, “Lily, I have to talk to you about something; it’s really important.”
I drew back and raised my brows in mock alarm. “OK.” I looked up at him.
“No, really,” Jed nodded emphatically: “I’m serious.” I nodded again. “I want you to know that I really like you, but I don’t see myself falling in love with you. I just don’t see it.” He shook his lovely golden head and waved his hand to indicate no: “I don’t see it at all,” he added, in case I had missed what he was saying.
I stared at him, openmouthed.
“I mean, I just want to make sure everything’s clear. I just didn’t want you to think … I know that we’ve hung out together a few times…”
Like, what, when we went to the movies? Huh! Had I been auditioning for the role of girlfriend without being realizing it?
Here’s what I was thinking:
1. You twit! Of course you’re not going to fall in love with me, nor I with you. I am 11 years older than you.
2. What, do you think I’m falling for you? You conceited little… You’re not all that! I lust after you, but I should hope that at my advanced age I know the difference between chemically induced infatuation and romantic longing.
3. Huh! What, I’m not good enough for you to fall in love with? I’m hot! I’m smart! I’m kind! I listen to you! How dare you not want to fall in love with me!
4. Do I seem needy? Oh, please, not that.
5. Oh, grow up, Lily. You’re being a baby.
6. Am not.
7. Are too.
But I forbore to say any of these things. Because, as I’ve noted, I am 11 years older than Jed and even if he is tactless, I am not.
“Uh,” I said at last, smiling faintly: “I … don’t expect that from you…” I shook my head.
“Really?” Jed looked relieved. “I met this girl, and I don’t know her as well as I know you, but…”
But I didn’t have time for this: “Do I seem nee—”
“No, no,” Jed promised. “I don’t think you’re needy, or clingy, or anything. I want everything with us to stay exactly as it is now. I like talking to you, and I like listening to you…”
At least I wasn’t needy. And then I wondered if he’d deliberately waited until after we’d had anal sex to inform me. I mean, my vanity was wounded more than anything else, but if Jed had really thought I was falling for him, surely he had been selfish…
And Jed went on about this girl he was interested in, a Danish woman he had met briefly and “spent a few hours fucking,” as he put it. It occurred to me, and not for the first time, that Jed likes girls who aren’t really available. I watched him covertly (at this point I was mortified to think he thought I was falling for him, and didn’t want to stare), and I felt kind of sad for him. I don’t know why, exactly. So we sat on the sofa and Jed checked his email while I tried to decide how I felt about this conversation. There was a party going on at some warehouse and Jed wanted to go, but first we were going to stop at a different party on his roof.
“Hmmm,” I said. “Do I smell like sex? Maybe I should take a shower.”
“You smell like fresh girl,” he said. Which was nice.
So we went to the roof, but it was empty so we headed out onto the street. Jed had a yelled conversation with a guy looking out the window of the building opposite. I could not believe how much I was reminded of college, despite the urban setting. Then we headed over to the party.
It was held in an old factory about a ten minute walk from Jed’s apartment. We got our hands stamped and Jed bought a burger with onion jam and I had a gin and tonic. We sat at a picnic table and I tried to ignore the fact that I was older than everyone else here. And the fact that, thanks to our illuminating and ego-bruising conversation, I no longer felt comfortable with Jed.
Soon we got up and started to dance. I talked to some girls, and Jed disappeared. And even though we’d had our conversation and I had no intention of falling in love with Jed anyway, I still had my eye out for him and wondered if he found this or that girl attractive.
After about a half an hour of this Jed reappeared. We danced together for a bit, but by now it was pretty late and I was tired.
I said as much to Jed. “I’m torn,” said Jed. “I mean, it’s not even about other girls. I just want to dance. How about I walk you home and then I’ll come back?”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. I laughed: “OK.”
But first we climbed up the fire escape and checked out the rest of the party. There was a room where people were waiting their turn to play Centipede (Centipede! I mean it’s retro to the party guests who are in their 20’s but to me it’s an actual game I remember from arcade machines and on friends’ Ataris…) on a screen projected onto the wall. We wandered for a bit, then left.
Back at his place Jed disappeared into the bathroom while I slouched on the sofa. His room was so hot and dark, I wanted to relax here for a bit.
At last Jed came out. He walked over to me and, leaning over, said, “Remember how I fucked you earlier?”
I wasn’t likely to forget it.
He went on, “How would you feel about turning the tables on me, and you fucking my ass?”
“OK,” I said. “Sure.”
“Really?” He shook his head. “You are something else.”
I went into the bedroom and after a minute I heard Air’s Masculin/Feminin start: this was kind of sexy. Then Jed appeared, carrying a messenger bag. He climbed up to the bed and took out a cloth-wrapped package. It was two dildos: one short and wide, the other long and thinner.
Jed lay on his back and I sat between his legs, examining the dildos; I’d never held a one before.
“OK,” I said, glancing up between Jed’s legs. “You’re going to have to direct me.”
He nodded. “Lube up,” he instructed and I, accompanied by the trusty BabeLube, obeyed, squirting the liquid all over my fingers. “Now put you finger inside me.”
I slid my hand beneath him, and between his butt cheeks; he yielded easily to me. OK, so far so good.
“Now take it out. Now put it in.”
I followed along.
“Now two fingers.” Jed was looking not quite at my face, but at somewhere behind me. I applied more lube, and slid two fingers inside him.
It felt tight and wet and strangely familiar, much like my cunt feels like when I’ve put a finger inside. I pushed my fingers inside his yielding, juicy flesh.
“Watch your nails...!”
“Take your fingers out. Now put them back in.”
This went on for a bit and then Jed said, “OK, take the shorter one—” he meant the dildo – “Put some lube on it, and, yeah, turn it so it’s facing up. Is it facing up?”
“Uh huh.” I held the dildo in my hand gingerly, with the head curving towards me. I hoped I was doing this right.
“OK. Slowly put it in.” I pressed my hand against the dildo, and it slid right up Jed’s ass. It fitted like a plug. I smiled.
“Now take it out,” Jed said. His voice took on a new urgency.
I pulled, and the dildo came out with a slight pop.
“Slowly, take it out slowly,” Jed advised, breathing steadily. “OK, now put it back in, and out. Put it in. Take it out.”
I obeyed, my hand thrusting and tugging as I watched Jed’s expression. He took a bottle of poppers and swiped it under his nose – hey, why hadn’t he offered me any? – while I concentrated on fucking him.
“Now the other one,” Jed breathed. I rubbed lube all over the second, longer dildo, and making sure it was facing upward, slowly slid it up Jed’s ass.
“Yeah,” said Jed, as he tugged on his cock. “Oh, yeah. Take it out. Now put it in.” I was getting wet, seeing how aroused he was. “Oh Lily, yeah, fuck me,” he said as I bent over him, sweating, determined to fuck him good and proper. “Fuck me, Lily!”
He’d never said my name before during sex; I liked it. I squirmed a little, my panties were wet.
“Oh, oh, yeah! Yeah!” And then with a sigh Jed slumped, his hand still wrapped around his dick. I held the dildo in place as he came, semen spurting onto his stomach. “Ahhh,” Jed sighed.
We looked at one another.
“That was hot,” said Jed.
I nodded. My knickers were still damp. “I’m just going to wash my hands,” I said. I climbed down the ladder again and in the bathroom carefully scrubbed my hands, all the way up the forearm, hands dependent, like I’d been taught when I volunteered at a hospital. I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair was frizzy with heat and waved out everywhere. I had just been fucked in the ass, and had fucked someone else’s ass. I looked for evidence to this effect in my face; I looked the same as ever, if slightly overheated. I looked around, at the bathroom of the 23 year old boy I was fucking, and I felt a long way from home.
When I went back to the bedroom Jed was dressed in jeans and a striped t-shirt. He was going back to the party, and I was going to sleep. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours,” he informed me.
He gave me a kiss, and as I climbed back up to his loft I heard the front door slam shut.