Thursday, December 27, 2007
Then I went to work in the (mild) November rain, where I did what I always do when faced with romantic confusion: I emailed Jefferson. I had confided my crush on Dean to him some months ago, and he had been unfailingly kind in allowing me to blather on about it. Jefferson has also been the patient recipient of my more inane ramblings, like my astonishment at coming across a reference to Lesa Aldridge in an old Smithsonian magazine (kind of obscure: Aldridge is the onetime girlfriend of Alex Chilton -- he of the super-awesome Big Star, The Box Tops, and that Replacements song) as well as my disgruntlement at my sister’s choice of name for my newborn nephew (she named the baby after our grandfather. But that name was earmarked for my as-yet-unborn son!) Best of all, Jefferson always responds to my emails, and in a timely manner. Truly, yea, he is a paragon. And then, after some cathartic whining, I composed an email to Dean.
It was a very nice email, but it said that I was dumping him on the grounds that I didn’t think he wanted to be my boyfriend, and the casual nature of our relationship was turning me into a nervous wreck. I waited for Caroline to call me back before I sent it, since I never do anything without her approval. When she phoned I recounted my conversation with Dean. She suggested that perhaps instead of dumping him as a preemptive strike, I should instead ask Dean if he wanted to date me seriously.
“I don’t want to do that,” I whined. “That gives him the chance to reject me.” Also, it would make my email an ultimatum, which meant I was the kind of woman who gave ultimatiums: manipulative, scheming ... female. I preferred to see myself in a more flattering light.
But Caroline prevailed, since she is the therapist and I am the neurotic. I thanked her and then I sent the following email:
Hi. I cannot tell you how much I regret our conversation last night. I revealed information I suspected you did not want to hear and painted myself into a corner. But I learned my lesson, and that lesson is Lay off the pinot grigio. I'm still hungover. Jesus.
But the corner. As I said, I want to date you seriously, exclusively, whatever. But you said you weren’t sure you were capable of being in a relationship, which, alas, didn’t sound like a yes to me.
I think that the more I see you, the more I will want that kind of intimacy. So there are two options. One is I stop seeing you. Frankly, my nerves are shot and if we continue to date casually, there is a strong likelihood of a repeat of last night’s theatrics. I’m not up for that. The other option is you give some thought to us dating exclusively. And then you say, ‘OK, sounds good.’ That means we take our personals profiles down and you think of me as your girlfriend and when we get together we make dumb jokes and have sex.
Anyway. I’m sorry I haven’t got the nerve to talk to you about this in person. I will be disappointed if you don’t want to give it a go, but I will understand. (This part was not really true: I would have a hard time understanding. For once I was the victim of high self-esteem; I thought he ought to want to date me). I will miss you. I like you tremendously and think you’re lovely and, if this is it, I really hope everything turns out well for you. Take care. Many kisses.
I sent it and decided I would not check my email until the following morning. To facilitate this, I went home and went to bed. It was not yet 7:00 pm, but I’d had a trying 24 hours.
The following morning there was an email in my inbox from Dean. He too apologized for the conversation, said he liked me very much, and needed to discuss my proposition with his therapist. See? I thought, We have so much in common!
So then I settled down to wait for his answer. I didn’t cry, though. I’m done with that. At least I hope I am.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
As usual, Dean and I were eating dinner and sharing a bottle of wine. His knee was sandwiched between my legs. We had just finished comparing parent horror stories (sexy!). He swallowed some linguini. “Anyway,” he concluded, “I’ve decided that I won’t have children…”
I looked at my plate. And then I sipped my wine. I stared at Dean, and then I looked at my plate again.
“You look really displeased,” said Dean. “I guess this isn’t something you want to hear about.”
I hadn’t realized I looked displeased. My policy is to maintain a totally noncommittal expression whenever Dean says something that flummoxes me. After all, it’s none of my business. We’re not a couple. Also, I don’t want him to know that when he says, for instance, “I’m not having kids,” that I think, “Oh, yeah? Well, I’ve picked out the names for mine!” I mean, I’m sentimental and dreamy, and I feel this is a character flaw. So I make a big effort to appear normal.
But my emotions had been detectable! I gulped down some more wine. “Well,” I said, and my voice sounded belligerent. “Are you saying this, or are you saying this to me?” Meaning, was he trying to tell me something?
“I’m just saying this. I’m just talking.” He clasped my hand. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“No, you didn’t –” He hadn’t upset me, had he? Oh. He had.
I narrowed my eyes. “I mean, what are you saying to me, Dean?”
On our first date I had given Dean this blog address, and I’d regretted it mightily ever since. To compensate, I’d been pretty close-mouthed about my feelings both in person and online. But now, thanks to a bottle of wine, I was about to precipitate a discussion I didn’t want to have. That is, I was going to be honest.
It got a little convoluted, but this is the upshot:
- I blurted out that I really, really liked him, and wanted us to date exclusively.
- He said, “I didn’t know you felt that way; I had no idea.”
- I thought, Oh, thank God and then said, “Well, how do you feel?”
- He said, “I like you a lot.”
- Note the lack of enthusiastic Yes! on the idea of us dating exclusively. Something in me collapsed a little. So I said, “Listen, I like you tons, but dating you is very stressful for me.” No joke. I would wonder, Hmmm, who else is Dean seeing? Is she prettier than me? She can’t possibly give more enthusiastic head – though admittedly that last insight did provide some comfort. I had started to think I’d developed an anxiety disorder, but now I realized it was just romantic neuroses.
- He said, “Lily, I don’t even know if I’m capable of being in a relationship,” and took my hand.
- I swallowed and half-whispered, “Dean, this isn’t going to end well for me.” Then I pushed my chair back. “I think I should go,” I said, melodramatically.
- He said, “Sweetie -- sweetie. Don’t go. I’m so sorry I upset you.”
- I said, “Excuse me,” and flounced off to the bathroom. Unfortunately it was occupied so I could not fling myself in there in sulky outrage. Instead I fidgeted in full view of Dean until the bathroom was free. Once inside, I cursed myself for being such a drunken moron. I’d been honest and if Dean wasn’t interested, I was going to have to dump his ass. I mean, I couldn’t go on dating him casually, knowing he didn’t want a relationship with me. For the past few weeks I’d suspected this discussion was only a matter of time. But now I’d gone and done it. Apparently my nerves couldn’t handle the limbo of wondering how (if at all) Dean felt about me.
- I sheepishly returned to the table, and Dean, after ascertaining that I hadn’t been sick, paid the bill.
- We left the restaurant and, outside, Dean wrapped his arms around me and stroked my hair, “I’m so sorry,” he said. “Please don’t be upset. Don’t go. Come home with me.”
- “Why?” (I was fishing.)
- “Because I want to be close to you and lie next to you.…”
- And I whined into his leather jacket, “You knew I would say yes.”
So then he took my hand and we went for drinks and didn’t say any more about it. I drank two glasses of dessert wine but did not touch Dean’s passion fruit sorbet, which as a rule I make pretty quick work of. I was mortified and thought I might as well go the whole hog and get really wrecked. I was going to have to break up with him.
Walking home, he reminded me that I’d agreed to visit him in Atlantic City, where he was planning a 10-day poker trip in a few weeks. “OK,” I lied.
I appreciated the gesture, and he might have meant it, but I’d just told him I wanted us to be a couple and he’d not given me a terribly enthusiastic response. We weren’t going anywhere together; there was no way my ego would allow me to hang around him after this. I had forced my own hand. Damn you, pinot grigio!
Back at his place I hurriedly drank a glass of port, which I hate, and joked with him like everything was fine. We went upstairs, curled up on his bed and watched most of an old Fawlty Towers episode. When Dean smoked a bowl I joined him, which I never do. Like I said, I was determined to get really ploughed.
Then he kissed me and I went at him with a ferocious longing. I gave him a very ardent blow job and then he fucked me. I thought: This is the last time he’ll be inside me. He fucked me quickly and steadily. I couldn’t look at him. He breathed heavily in my ear and said my name.
Afterwards he clasped me close and I breathed him in, thinking, I’ll never lie here next to him again, because I am very self indulgent. When I shifted away he wrapped his arms around me and pressed my head to his chest and stroked my hair. I craved the comfort of him, the physical closeness he initiated. Maybe that is what I like best about Dean – how physically affectionate he is, how easy it is for him to take my hand and tell me I’m pretty and cuddle me.
I didn’t sleep well, but instead concentrated on the intangibles I anticipated missing: Dean’s scent, the way his fingers felt in my hair and the funny chirps he made when he snored.
In the morning I was wide awake and overtired, examining my broken-out complexion in his mirror as I applied my makeup.
“Want to see a movie on Thursday night?” Dean asked after I’d said, “I’m headed out,” and waited for him to kiss me goodbye.
“OK,” I lied again. I slipped out of the apartment. Dean, clad in his boxer shorts, peered at me from behind the front door as I clopped off down the stairs. I was going to have to do the rest of my truth-telling via email.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
“Very nice,” said Paul. He stretched out on the bed and moved over to let me in, and I climbed in beside him. He pulled off his shirt and pants and, again, I was amused to note he wore tight bikini underwear. I feel boxers are the most appropriate undergarments for men, but I guess he had his reasons. Still, he had such a nice body – muscular arms, a tight stomach – totally impressive. It seemed churlish to mind the underwear. He pulled off his bikinis and his dick stood out, erect and slightly curved. I smiled.
Paul leaned forward to kiss me, and with one arm unhooked my bra. “Are you impressed?”
I giggled. “Could you do that cause you’re an older man?” I still can’t get over the fact I’m sleeping with a 51 year old. Fifty one!
He smirked: “I have years of experience.”
Naked, we pressed our bodies against one another. I felt great – the rough softness of the blanket, the give of the mattress, the silky hardness of Paul against me in the dim room – I felt like purring.
Paul slipped his mouth across my skin and down my belly. He tugged my underwear down my legs and then off. I stiffened a little, cause getting head tends to make me anxious. “Mmmm,” he said, burying his face in my pussy. I sighed and twitched as his tongue flickered against my clit, fighting the nerve ending-jumps I felt.
It was OK, but I really wanted to go down on him, so after a moment I pushed him away and got right on my knees. When I wrapped my mouth around his cock he moaned: “Lily…”
I liked hearing my name, and I liked the feeling of his warm, firm dick in my mouth. He wasn’t huge, but well-sized, and I had no problem taking him all the way in, my throat was relaxed and I was eager. Paul jerked his pelvis at me, accompanying his thrusts with moans. None of this was very out of the ordinary (though it was the first time Paul and I had gone down on one another), but I couldn’t get over how good everything felt – my skin felt sensitive only to pleasure, and I was just basking in his touch and my eagerness for him.
After a moment Paul slid his fingers between my legs. I was afraid I wasn’t wet enough, but after a minute I was slick. The blood throbbed in my groin. I moaned a little, too.
Paul whispered, “I want to do nasty things to you.”
I smirked. “You can. You can do whatever you like,” I breathed.
Paul lay on top of me and angled his cock towards my pussy, the tip just touching my cunt. “I want to — just for a —”
I shook my head. No way. Jesus, we weren’t teens: Let me put it inside, for just a minute! Gah.
“Then let me get a condom.”
I nodded, and sank down into the mattress. “You know what?” I said. “I think we have to turn off the music.” I get very distracted. We were listening to the soundtrack to American Gangster, a movie both of us had recently seen, and liked.
“Really?” Paul sounded disappointed. “OK.” He dutifully shuffled over to his laptop and turned off. Then he got back into bed and rolled on the condom. “You want to get on top?”
“No, I mean if you—”
He chuckled. “Get on top!”
“Well, OK then,” I said, and dreamily slid down his dick until he was all the way inside me. I rested there for a moment, his solidness opening me up, making me all liquid.
I rocked myself slowly against him, and my hair swung forward, hiding my face. I shifted until I could see Paul again, smiling up at me. “Does this make you feel good?” he whispered.
I stretched my thighs against his legs. “You make everything feel good.” It was true. My body seemed incapable of anything less than a kind of exquisite comfort; a sexual relief and happiness that had nothing to do with love, or even with lust. My brain was engaged only enough to notice that I felt fantastic. Maybe it was the quiet of Paul’s bedroom, with his big neatly-made bed and dim lights? Maybe it was Paul, who is so polite and enthused? At any rate, we were murmuring at one another, and my skin hummed.
“My baby’s going to come for me,” Paul muttered, and I vaguely registered that as my body worked towards an orgasm. I came with a cry and then I pressed myself close to Paul, waiting for my breathing to return to normal. After a bit I rolled onto my back with him still inside me, but then he said, “No wait,” and pulled out. He got on his knees. “I want you like this—” he said, so I turned over, and felt my stomach sink into the mattress as he found his way back inside me.
“Ahh,” I said into the pillow.
He thrust at me, “I’m going to come soon,” he noted ruefully. “I’m going to come fast.” I thrust my ass up at him. When he came he collapsed on me and his weight felt great, but he quickly pulled out, even though I wanted him to stay right there, inside me.
I felt blissed out and serene. Paul put his head on my shoulder and his solid compact body against mine, and we lay there quietly. After a while his breathing changed; he had fallen asleep.
Was this ideal casual sex? Paul is lovely, but I’m not in love with him. The person I feel most strongly about is Dean, who doesn’t get me off with such easy pleasure. And this didn’t feel the least bit weird, like sex with Alejandro had. It wasn’t particularly kinky, and didn’t require angst, like fucking Jed sometimes did. It was just pleasurable.
I was laying there, feeling pleased with myself and wondering if this was some sort of sexual nirvana – no attachment, no pain kind of thing, when Paul shifted in my arms and raised his head. “Do you have to go soon?” he asked. Then, “Wow. l asleep. Did you?”
I slid out off bed. “No I didn’t,” I said, and stalked off to the bathroom.
Under the bathroom lights I managed to squirt liquid soap all over myself. When I had cleaned myself up I went back to the bedroom. Paul was sprawled out on the bed. I picked my bra up from its lonely stay on the floor. “That was unnecessary, and rude,” I said, struggling to hook myself in. “‘Do you have to go soon?’ This is the second time you’ve said this to me.” (True. He’d said the same thing after our first encounter the other week, when I’d also been congratulating myself on the ease and simpatico-like qualities of our sex.)
“That’s not what—”
“Don’t worry,” I said, stepping into my underwear. “I won’t overstay my welcome.”
“Lily, wait. That’s not what I meant.” Paul grabbed my arm. “I’m sorry. I just worry about you getting home. It’s late.”
“You know, I remember New York when it wasn’t safe to get on the subway after nine. I just worry about you being safe.”
Well, that was nice, only if he was really worried about my safety he could have walked me to the subway station three blocks away. Or, you know, the elevator. He had just kissed me goodbye the door to his apartment. He could have seen me out properly, you know. I didn’t say anything.
“That’s not what I meant,” he repeated, and tugged me into the bed next to him. I relented as he spooned me. It felt good. “I’m sorry,” he said again.
“It’s OK,” I said. He was allowed to want me to leave, just not to express it, I thought. And I guessed he wouldn’t express it again.