Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When I dreamed of the D&D player in the Bath

He was only young, but he had a long red beard and he looked like an old man. I liked him. Many wouldn't, but I did. He had an awkward sense of humour. Sometimes it didn't seem like he was telling a joke, but hours later I would repeat something he said and find the humour in it. He talked a lot about computers. Computers were something new to the world. Some of us had one, a huge boxy thing with barely any memory. I printed my asigments out on a dot matrix printer and watched the paper catch and feed out all askew. I still liked my typewriter with the two line memory and the automatic corrective action that seemed to make the words vanish off the page with just the press of a key.

He preferred my computer although I didn't. He was part of a group that I hung around with, gamers, playing D & D and talking about old Star Trek episodes. He liked Mr Spock and I liked Leonard McCoy and that explained the difference between us. Still. We were fond of each other. He made me cups of tea and he didn't even ask the other gamers if they wanted one. I sometimes put a weedy flower in the keyhole of his dorm room because I knew that no one ever brought him flowers.

I dreamed that we were in the bath together playing D & D. There were other people in the room, the whole gothy, geeky, over-nourished, under-sunned bunch of them. All of them with their little painted figures of magic users and dwarfs and rangers. Someone was rolling the multi-sided die and it was skittering loudly on the tiled floor. No one seemed to mind that he and I were naked in the bath. No one seemed to mind when I ducked down under the water to suckle on his penis. It's not like I had ever wanted to even touch him before this. I liked him. He was fond of me. There was a kind of familial easiness between us that we appreciated, but I had never even thought about his body under his pointy boots and his black trenchcoat.

In the dream there were these little dives under the surface of the water. There was this held-breath suckling as if I were a child and his penis rose like a nipple in front of me. I tasted his pearly pre-come and it was sweet as milk. I would rise up for air and someone would tell me to roll the dice and I would ask them to roll it for me. A twenty sided die which is almost a sphere juddering across the hard surface.

"You've been stabbed in the arm by an orc," the dream nerd told me and I shrugged, took a deep breath, and went down to nuzzle at the orange fur dusting his balls like peach fuzz.

It was a really strange dream. Unexpected. I sat opposite him in the common room and we had our little metal figurines in front of us and there was the dungeon master's screen between us and I still found myself blushing as if I had been caught doing something I shouldn't.

At some point he stood up and went out to the kitchen and came back with two cups of tea. One for him. One for me. No one seemed to notice. This was what he always did. I was the only girl that played and I suppose he did this out of chivalry. He put the cup of tea down in front of me and smiled and I wondered if his pubic hair really was the same colour as his beard.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What happened to that Video Footage

We filed it before the internet had even been imagined. Handicams were rare but we had one and we used it. It was exciting to perform it for the camera. He wanted to do anal sex because it seemed somehow more extreme even though it was an ordinary part of our repertoire. The fact that he was moving my hips so that the camera might watch us more closely made me excited. He did things to me that he never did without this mechanical audience. He showed me to it, opened my orifices and let the camera see what he was getting in to. I spilled my breasts into my palms and licked them, shuffling closer to the lens, a performance for this new and whirring lover. Richard leaned over and we sucked at them together, letting the camera watch, winking at it as if they shared a secret.

We watched the footage over and over and when we thought we had had enough of it, one or the other of us would become excited by the sight of our own genitals and begin the performance just one more time, just one more time, and again and again.

We were sore and satiated and hungry all at once. We lay back in the sweat and juice of our pillows and touched each other's skin as if we were new to each other. We decided we might show the footage to our lovers when we found them, letting them watch us alone as they joined us in the real world. We thought that would be exciting for everyone concerned even though we weren't as toned and tanned and augmented as the couples in real pornos. We thought the humanness of the situation made it more erotic.

For a while we watched the footage almost every time we were alone. We never showed it to one of our lovers. It became a little secret between us and we didn't feel the need to share.

I don't know why we stopped watching it. We moved on, I guess, got bored, as lovers tend to do. It was labeled "Fantasia" because we liked the irony, Walt Disney / Anal Penetration. I don't know what happened to the tape. I'd like to think the tore it up in those sad, hard days before the separation. These were the days before the internet, but it is possible that someone found Fantasia and watched it and somehow digitised it and uploaded it to U-tube. Vintage backyard porn. I should worry about it, but I don't. I think about those old reels of film mouldering in people's cellars till they were restored by collectors decades later. I would like to be that plump and smiling girl on the swing, all sepia striped socks and a huge bush, a crackling image of her swinging onto the face of some other Victorian lass with long curly hair and a taste for minge. I would like to be forever young and voracious when all the children of my friends have grown old and tired of sex. My last grasp at immortality if my novels never amount to anything. I suppose we all want to live forever.

I wonder what happened to that video footage after all these years.

Lunch Money

I didn't know that it was about sex. Our uniforms, the ugly blue check, the sack-dresses, the horrid puffiness of my new breasts all hid the fact from me, but I know better now. The thing with Richard was about sex. It started innocently enough, a tall boy standing over me, the shortest girl in the class and demanding my lunch money. I didn't have lunch money. I didn't have any money at all. I brought my sandwiches wrapped up in Glad Wrap, sweaty from my bag, smelling like damp socks and sweaty banana.
"I'll have your sandwiches then."and to prove it, Richard pinched me hard enough to bruise. I gave him my sandwiches. I was the fat girl. I wasn't about to starve. I ate too much at breakfast and at dinner and I hid around the corner of the building at recess and lunch so that no one would pick on me. That is where he found me, hidden away and furious.
"Give me your sandwiches,"and when I'd given them to him he pinched me again.
Bruises sprung up like a plague. Little patches of blue and purple that I stroked and prodded in Maths class. In science they became constellations of stars, black holes, planets orbiting my elbow. Sometimes at night I pressed my legs together and thought about Richard. I was overwhelmed by the complexity of my feelings for him. Sad that he did not have a lunch box of his own. Frightened that he would pinch me harder next time I saw him, flattered by the attention. None of the other boys paid any attention to me at all. Something was developing between Richard and I and it made me wary.

Then there was the day when Richard was not there. The lunch bell had rung. I was sitting in my usual place, reading, wearing my ugly government issue horn-rimmed glasses. All of it just like any other day. And like any other day I was waiting for Richard. I could barely concentrate on my book. My lunch was on the bench beside me. I looked over and saw the moisture running off the underside of the plastic. The sandwiches looked limp and inedible. I had long since grown out of lunch-time hunger. My lunches were no longer for me. They were for Richard. I waited for Richard until, reluctantly, I closed the book and thrust it into my school case. Maths next. I could barely concentrate on long division. I loved long division. But there was Richard, sitting sullen, brooding in the back of the classroom where he always sat and it was as if I had suddenly ceased to mean anything at all too him. He didn't look in my direction. He didn't even sneer or look threateningly, or seem to notice me.

Lunch time. Another lunch time. Another and another. And this is how a relationship ends. A disappointment of space between us. Bruises fading. Lunches mouldering in the bin uneaten. I had given up on the possibility of Richard rounding the far corner at the bottom end of the school. When the shadow fell on my tatty paperback I was genuinely surprised.

Richard. The tallest, meanest boy in the class standing slumped and crumpled looking in front of me. I had already thrown my sandwich in the bin. I thought about rummaging around in it, but it was too late, really. There would be ants, and all the rules had changed. He was my ex-bully. Something distant and belonging to someone else. For all I knew he had eaten little Wendy Lee's lunch instead.
He sat beside me and I shuffled away because that is what you are supposed to do, but I felt like draping my arm around his shoulder. He seemed much less of himself than I remembered. He seemed depleted.
He showed me his penis. No preamble, no 'I'll show you mine' just a quick shuffle in his ugly faded blue shorts and something lying in his lap like a dead baby bird. I glanced. Just a glance. I knew that it was something private, lying there in a little nest of downy hair. I didn't look too hard and eventually he put it away.
"Do you want my lunch?" I asked him, already moving towards the rubbish bin and the ants and the limp, abandoned bread.
He shook his head.
"No," he said, "It's all right." And he stood up, shifted his school bag higher on his shoulder and was gone.

fascinating rhythms

He made a kind of noise in counterpoint to his thrusting. A rhythm. Enough to distract a girl from the quiet enjoyment of the regular in and out. All evening he had been half out the door, a wild animal, barely contained. I distracted him with games as one might tempt a possum with slivers of fruit. Draughts first. He was very fond of draughts and I found, with sex as the wager, I was particularly good at the game. Still, the four walls and the relative inertia soon had him edging towards the door.
Food. All men like food, cooked expertly and quickly. I suggested an omelet. Toast soldiers. I saw him pause at the door, his leg all jiggly. Eggs. Impossible to resist the urge to throw them. Visual comedy. I was in stitches. He liked the game. He juggled three, broke two, cracked the third one into my hair. We found the shower necessary and here, finally, he removed his clothes. He didn't participate in the kissing, but he watched me kiss him, opened his lips to me and I tasted tobacco on his tongue. His finger was tapping against my shoulder. Morse code perhaps? But of course I soon recognised it as a tune. He hummed through the insistence of my mouth. Our teeth buzzed together, sympathetic vibrations. He was music in a skin bag.
It didn't surprise me when he soon bored of this simple rhythm in a major key that is the initiation of sex. He began to make the sound. The sound was air escaping from his lungs, but if you mic-ed him up he would be a snare drum.
I was in love with him by then. I had fallen in love with the sound of his voice, head curled over the body of his guitar. The kind of voice that calls to you from somewhere you could never be. The sound of my own longing harmonising with the notes on his instrument. The sounds his mouth made during sex were not the kind that had anything to do with me. The thrusting was just an easy base-line. The sounds of air escaping in staccato gasps was the real music and it was all closed-eyes and lost-to-the-world dreaming. Lying there I was as involved as a drum can be when it is played. I felt the sound and my skin became flushed and slippery with a combination of both our sweat, but when I tried to participate, he opened his eyes and stared at me without recognition. I had distracted him from the song and he would not continue until his audience was silent.
I let him sing alone. I listened. I closed my own eyes then and his music vibrated in the tender spot at the base of my neck. I reached down beside the bed and found my vibrator and his eyes remained closed as I used it. He was barely aware of it at all. I knew that he was not even aware that I had climaxed under him, around him. The pulsing of my body would have been like a whoop and a cat call from the crowd, a distraction, easily blotted from his consciousness. The song was still midflight. I relaxed back into my position in the front row and watched as song paced itself through each stanza, the last, a climax, and a coda, a little run of little thrusts to end the music. He settled into the bed beside me and I knew better than to speak to him. He watched the ceiling, twitched. He placed a hand on my thigh just once perhaps to thank me for listening. He fell asleep so suddenly that I wasn't sure if he was just pretended. I lay awake with questions, watching the steady rise and fall of his chest, another rhythm.
Later in the night he opened his eyes and asked if I had read Salinger.
I was dozing. I opened my eyes and searched for the name through the fug of sleep. Salinger.
"Catcher in the Rye."
He shook his head, looked agitated, "no, no. The Carpenter novels. Franny and Zoe, Raise High the Roofbeams."
I must have looked confused because he shook his head in frustration and turned his back to me and seemed to have fallen asleep. I couldn't stop watching him. A fragment of song fell from his lips without waking him. I was entranced. I didn't believe in love but I called it that anyway, entranced by the strangeness of his behaviour.
He got up suddenly before the sun had even thought about rising. He dressed quickly in the dark.
"You can stay."
He said nothing, left quickly, and then, moments later, returned to hover nervously in the doorway.
"Thanks," he said, "for..." and nodded to the place in the bed where his body heat still lingered, the pleasant reek of his nicotine on the sheets. "With Love and Squalour" he said and I thought perhaps it was some comment on my bed until he added, "Salinger."
I nodded. "Salinger." and, "will I see you again."
He laughed. "This is Brisbane." He said to me and left quickly.
Yes. Brisbane. I would, of course, see him again.

Not The Girlfriend Kind.

"You see, you're just not the girlfriend kind." Not a criticism, but a statement of fact, and of course I wondered if he thought this because I had just enjoyed anal sex for the first time. Perhaps girlfriends didn't let their boyfriends slip it into their back passage. Perhaps girlfriends thought to appear violated at the very thought. Perhaps real girlfriends pretended to grimace in pain when their boyfriends dared to breach the sacred passage, despite the modest size of their boyfriends penis.
I was sweating from the effort of it all, an energetic oral titillation with barely a hint of reciprocation. Of course I had enjoyed it. There had been days of teasing. He was an architect, I can't remember his name now, but I'm sure it was something double barrelled. He was from good stock. Moneyed. His clothes were fine and he was fond of telling me the brand name of his shirts although the name meant nothing to me. He did look good. He was good in bed. I had been sleeping with him for over a week and of course, given the repetition of our meetings, I had thought we might have graduated from casual friends to something akin to dating.
"Don't take offence," he told me, struggling with the knot in the top of his condom, wiping himself clean with a tissue, delicate dabs, all care taken.
I think I hated him in that moment, but the sex had been good and I wanted to like him enough to repeat the performance the following night. "But there's this girl I met and she's more like a girlfriend type, I you know what I mean."
I didn't.
"You're sexy," kisses then and nuzzling and really, I didn't like him all that much but the thought that I was something less than the 'girlfriend type' seemed to itch at me. I wanted this boy, the architect, this spoiled little rich kid with his designer shirts, to like me more than he liked her.
"She's a nurse."
I could be a nurse.
"At the hospital."
I could dress in a little white dress with nice sensible white shoes. I could wear good underwear beneath it, or no underwear perhaps. I was sure he would like it if I came, knicker-less with a sponge bath.
"You met her...?"
"On Saturday. At a party."
Saturday was three days, half a relationship ago. The real girlfriend settling into place quietly in the background, and him, the architect, tickling my arse hole with his fingertip, counting the days, in subtle coercions, just a fingertip, the whole finger, then here, day three a full scale anal penetration before beating a hasty retreat.
"Come on. Don't be like that. Surely you know you're not the girlfriend type."
I knew it. Even then, when it was only him, the appalling architect, informing me of my shortcomings. I knew it. There was something unusual about my passion for sex. I consumed it as girlfriends might consume chocolates, licking their fingers afterwards, savouring the smell of it on their breath. Three other men told me I was not a 'girlfriend' kind of girl. A repetition of a theme. One of these men was kind enough to pick out friends of mine as examples - her, she's a girlfriend kind, and her. Considerate lovers.
I feel the rising bile just evoking their flaccid memories.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Need to Talk About Frank's Penis

We never mentioned the size of his penis. It was there before us, thicker than it was long, a little stump of a thing, so wide that the condom barely stretched to fit around it. I'd never seen a penis like it, and, yes, I had seen many penises. He took off his jeans and there it was and there was nothing to be said about it, this little mushrooming of flesh.
We paused, Richard and I. The sight of it broke our rhythm. We were used to the routine with each new lover. I would be there first, the comfort of the familiar, female flesh pressing and touching and licking my way across the stranger's body. Richard would follow the path that I had cleared for him. Richard was alway more gentle than I, easing our lover into the idea of the two of us together, one after the other, my rough urgency, Richard's gentle patience.
Now with the sight of this penis, I faltered. Uncomfortably wide. It was as thick and oversized as something that Robert Crumb might draw in his pornographic comics, but hacked off short like someone had taken the scissors to the thing, some furious girfriend, jealous wife, keeping the better part of it as a trophy.
We didn't mention his penis. Richard found the lubrication, gentled the man, what was his name? Frank. That was it, Frank. Eased Frank up behind me. The thing felt like a fist, pummeling, butting up against the resistance of flesh. Without the lube it would have been impossible, and yet, with each breach of the battlements, there was a quick retreat, little fist, pounding away like that. I was too startled to find any kind of pleasure. When it was done, Richard eased him away from me and I watched him change the condom, gentle Richard, slipping the thing on with his teeth like a whore might do. He learned that one from me and he had mastered it. I watched the stretch of his mouth. No chance of a gag-reflex this time. I wondered how he could do it with a penis like that. It must be like suckling some limb that has been amputated. I felt terrible for even thinking that way.
Afterwards, when Frank left, grinning, touching, kissing too eagerly at the door, we didn't mention his penis. I sat with my cup of tea cooling in my lap and wondered if he even knew how startling it was. How did men get a sense of proportion anyway? It was easy for me, easy for Richard too, to measure one against the next in the cup of our palms. I had no preference, as long as the thing was not big enough to tear me. Smaller gave us more options. More room for play.
I wouldn't call Frank's penis small. Huge, from one perspective, and barely there if you saw it from a particular angle. I wanted to talk to Richard about it but it is difficult to discuss the size of a man's penis.
"He has a good sense of humour." Richard nodded, sipping, curling back into the lounge chair. His own penis had subsided now and lay like a fat and sated worm in his lap.
"He had a particular cologne. Expensive. Did you smell it?"
There was the fact of his penis between us and yet we were talking about his cologne.
"Yes." I lied, "Very nice."
"And a particularly nice shirt. Good taste. Frank has good taste."
It was impossible to mention his penis. Richard talked about his shoes and his underpants and the way he danced and somehow, reducing the man to the size of his penis seemed petty to me.
"Yes," I said, "he was a good dancer."
"I'd like to see him again." Richard smoothed the little piece of paper out on his knee. There was a telephone number scrawled across it. His number. The man with the little fist of a penis, what was his name? Frank. Frank's little stub of a penis. Already I couldn't remember the way he danced or his cologne or his underwear. All of it obliterated by the blunt fact of his penis fisting into me.
"I think we should invite him over for dinner."
I nodded, calm, when all of me screamed out, 'didn't you see the size of his penis?' and 'penis, what about his penis!'
We didn't talk about his penis. We finished our tea and lay politely side by side on the king-sized futon with enough distance between his back and mine so that we would never need to mention Frank's penis.

The Flat White Man

We worked in a fishbowl cafe. Punters rushed, flinging money across the shiny metal counter. I spilled coffee on them in return, anemic coffee, mostly milk, froth like hairdo's used to be, high, air-filled. Crap coffee. They weren't paying us enough.
"They're not paying us enough," he told me and I agreed.
He was gay. He didn't know it but he was gay.
"I don't know if I'm gay," he'd say when we dragged ourselves out into the oily inner-city air and filled our lungs with the thick fug of nicotine and petrol fumes. I'd roll my eyes.
"My partner's gay." I told him, which just confused the man. The very idea of sex was complex enough for him. Now he had layer upon layer of complications for his imagination to deal with. He puffed away on his cigarette and glanced at me, an accusation.
"I'll never find love," he moaned, "I'm too shy. I'll never go to bed with anybody, ever. I can't even have a conversation with someone in a bar."

I took him to a bar. We had a conversation.
"See," I told him, "easier than you knew."

Later, after, I didn't kiss him. I knew him from the fishbowl. He was a friend of mine. He laughed because he had never been naked with anyone before and he was nervous. I laughed because we might have been drinking tea together or baking scones. My partner, Richard, wasn't laughing. I could feel the slight tremor in his hand as he stroked my friend's solid hip with his fingertips.
"But," nervous, giggling, "See, I don't know if I'm gay or straight or anything."
"Don't be so prescriptive." I settled my hips, my legs straddling his wide lap.
He was all Lempica edges, solid curves. I almost kissed him out of habit. It is easy to kiss someone when you are on their lap and their penis has slipped inside you. It is comforting. But tomorrow we would go out for a smoke and there would be a kiss between us and it would make for awkward conversation. Instead I set up a rhythm, kneeling up, settling down and soon Richard was behind me and inside me too, and leaning over and around and the two of them nuzzling at my breast, using my nipple as an excuse to brush their lips together, their tongues shy as anenomes, venturing out to lick and suck and pretending that the kiss that they eventually came to was some kind of accident.

At some point I became superfluous. I rolled aside and my body was no longer the point at which they collided. I watched their twin condoms, both moist with the scent of me, tapping against each other, little wet kisses of their own. I lay back and watched and felt fond. Nice men, both of them, and I was glad that now, briefly, through the thin veil of my skin, they had found each other. There was still wine, and I sipped at it, leaning back against the cold sweat of the concrete wall.
When Richard moved too fast, forcing my friend back against the pillow, making clumsy excited lunges too quick, too soon, I leaned towards them, placed my hands on both their chests and felt their wildly beating hearts slow a fraction.
Mistress of ceremonies. Nothing more. But I took care. Care with the lubrication. Care with the contraception. Care with the post-coital hugging and the herbal tea by the bed, with three mis-matched tea cups giggling with flowers.
Careful too, not to wake Richard when my friend crept away before dawn. Careful not to say a word at smoko. Lighting his cigarette with the lit tip of my own. Smiling, winking, a little nudge with my hip to make him smile, my transient friend who never again wondered about his gender preference and who never again found himself naked in my bed.