Fiction: An interview with Elliott J.

The first time I had sex with Rachel? We were just kids. Not kids like little kids, but compared to now, you know?

She was cute, long brown hair, real tall. I noticed her in our freshman comp class. Serious. All button down shirts, and pushing her glasses back up kind of serious. It was her first time away from home I think. She didn’t really fit in, but who does when they’re eighteen? We’re all trying on new personalities.

Anyway, freshman comp. It was like she didn’t know how to relax, she raised her hand for everything, even though Mr… Mr. Stevens, was it? Yeah, he would just call on you randomly, but she didn’t catch on. I liked how earnest she was. She was whip fucking smart too. Book smart. She didn’t pretend to know the answer to make herself look good or anything. She really knew it. I could imagine the pep talk someone must of given her the day she left for college “Make this family proud, Rachel!”

It took me until nearly Christmas break to get up the nerve to speak to her. She had no idea how cute she was. I watched other guys try to score with her. It’s not like she blew them off, it was more like she had no idea they were flirting. So I was smart, went the direct route and said “Hey, Rachel, I like you, let’s go out.”

Her face lit all up, that was when I realized how innocent she really was. I’m not even sure she’d been on a date before then. One the one hand, I wanted to protect her. On the other hand, I wanted to bang her silly. She had no fucking idea what she was. I felt like the first guy to connect the dots, to see the X marked on the treasure map. Goddamn.

We didn’t actually go out until after the break, she was overly nice about telling me how she had to go home for the holidays, what day and time she’d be back. It was like she didn’t want to disappoint me, you know? She called me right the moment she got back to the dorms, all explaining who she was, like I’d forget. I couldn’t forget, who could forget Rachel? Continue reading

A little travel tale

The only thing I knew about Effingham, Illinois, is that my friend got laid there years ago. He would never give details, other than to say he put the “F” in Effingham, then he’d smile slightly and change the subject. He was a hell of a pool shark, curly hair and mild manners. I imagine he hustled someone good that night and stole the girl at the same time, but I’ll never know for sure.

We pull into Effingham at the end of a long trip to Texas and back. It’s so completely Midwestern: the motel snuggled between Wal-Mart and the freeway, the sign shouts “BEST RATES HERE”. The motel is very burgundy, from the industrial carpeting to the polyester-blend comforter. The room is big, the window frames a terrific vista of the parking lot, Wal-Mart and the strip mall beyond.

There’s one good restaurant in Effingham, where food is described as “organic” and “local”. The waiters and waitresses, young fresh faced Midwestern kids, grew up on McDonald’s, but they’re learning the language of food that costs more than pocket change. They’re earnest, they squint and flip little pages of notes to find out if the cheese comes from a goat or if the beef is grass fed. It’s good, and we stop there every chance we get. Continue reading

We drive.

Every so often, Tony and I will drive all night. We’ll drop someone off at their house and keep going. We’ll be hanging out at a party, we’ll look at each other and get up and leave.

And then we’ll drive.

We go off armed only with the prodigious knowledge every country kid has of the back roads; we all know how to get from one end of the county to the other without our wheels ever touching pavement. This is before GPS, before any of us had ever heard the word “internet,” or could even imagine such a thing. There is a crumpled and tattered state map buried under layers of white fast food bags somewhere in the back seat, stains of ketchup and mud obscuring most of the destinations, but we never use it.

We just drive.

Our first stop is the only 24-hour store in town. A weary, frizzy-headed woman in a blue polyester smock rings us up as we load up on Mountain Dew, shitty bitter gas station coffee, chips, candy bars, cigarettes, anything we think will fuel us until dawn. We pay her in dollar bills and count out lots of change. She sighs in exasperation, but takes the pile of quarters and nickels anyway, noisily dropping each coin in its little plastic drawer as we walk out the door.

Tony always takes the wheel. I kick my shoes off, resting my bare feet against the dashboard or out the window, and we go until we feel like turning. Sometimes we’ll come to an intersection and he’ll look at me. I’ll say “How about left?” or if I say “Go straight,” he’ll always say “Remember, it’s always forward, never straight,” and then he’ll laugh at his own little joke.  Continue reading

“Let me sketch you,” Edward says on one of our first dates.

We’re in a museum, and we’ve wandered into the children’s wing. Kids are shrieking happily, making giant soap bubbles and pressing big red buttons that light up giant displays of frogs or dinosaurs. There’s an art area tucked in the corner, the only people sitting there are tired parents with armfuls of coats and sweaters watching their children run around the room at full tilt.

Edward sits down in front of a comically small easel, made of sturdy yellow and blue plastic. He tears off the top sheet of paper and arranges several colors of magic markers in front of him. For a long moment, he stares at me. Just when the feeling is getting uncomfortable, he picks up a black marker and furiously begins to sketch. The marker goes dry, he picks up the green one instead.

Within moments, with just a few well placed lines, he’s replicated me in multi-color: the bump on my nose, the loose hair falling from my ponytail. I look beautiful, and it surprises me. I’ve never seen myself through someone else’s eyes before. Continue reading

This is one of those paramount moments,

the kind that echoes around in your brain forever. A moment of what-if’s and should-have-beens. I’ll give the ending away right now: We won’t kiss or caress, we certainly won’t have sex, fuck, or even make love, but this moment is enough. It’ll have to be.

I won’t even tell you the back story, it’s sort of complicated and mostly boring. I’ll fast forward through all the getting-to-know-you and mundane conversations. Just know that she’s Kim, my friend’s Tony’s girlfriend and I’m crushing on her, hard. I think the feeling is mutual.

We sit on her bed, talking, like we’ve done a hundred times before and she turns to me.

“Would you like to brush my hair?” She unloosens it from her ponytail as she asks, crystal blonde waves fall around her shoulders. I look around, and she points to the hairbrush on the dresser. In my mind, when I remember this moment, it’s a heavy old fashioned Victorian silver brush with an ornate handle and all the romantic trappings one can attach to a brush. The sun streams through the windows, the light catching every nuance in her shimmering hair. Continue reading

It feels serendipitous when Tony introduces me to Dean.

“He’s got a job and a car,” Tony whispers in my ear as he makes introductions.

I just turned twenty-five and I’m in a panic. Everyone else my age is getting married, people are talking behind my back. They already think I’m odd and snobby because I won’t go work in a factory.

Dean’s good looking in that beefy sort of way, dirty blonde brush cut, big blue eyes. He tells me how he had a football scholarship, about the blown out knee that killed the deal and the dream. We find that we know nearly all the same people. He’s not terribly bright, but he’s polite and attentive. He’ll do. I let him move in a few weeks later.

The sex is good, he can keep up with me. We spill our fantasies and skirt around the edges of secrets. Dean confesses he’s always wanted to see what it felt like to be fucked in the ass. I tell him I’d be happy to oblige. He says he thinks he might be bisexual. I’m cool with that.

We go to a shady sex toy store the next town over, but when we get there I get shy and refuse to go in. I wait alone in the car, shrinking down in the car seat, hoping no one spots me.  Dean comes out, hands me a paper sack. He bought a dildo for himself and a bondage magazine for me. I glance at the cover. Twelve dollars! A small fortune, but I’ll hang onto it for years, the only proof to me that someone else out there likes this stuff, not just me.  Continue reading

I follow a Facebook link, not expecting what follows.

My heart stops, I’m plunged into memories.

There you are, dressed for the prom, your arm around her. I’ve not seen a single photo of you in more than twenty years. Every memento I had of you, every photo, every note we passed in class, was destroyed by a jealous boyfriend back when we were still young.

He was right to be suspicious.

You were my first boyfriend, you sat in front of me in seventh grade Mythology. I’ve made this into my own myth. Tall, taller even then me, brown eyes, brown hair, people asked if we were brother and sister. “He’s trouble,” is what everyone said when I’d mention your name.

Notes passed back and forth until the first snowfall, our first kiss. I mimicked what I saw in movies, wide hungry mouth, hands pressing the back of your head. I shoved my tongue down your throat until you pushed me away.

Practice made perfect. Continue reading

Your ferocity unfolds, a dangerous blossom with petals made of knives.

Blood lust boils to the surface, emerges as you pin my shoulders to the bed. All cruel things, all dark intents are given fresh life in your eyes. Channeled down from your brain to your hands to my body, your thoughts become my reality.

I want to ache from your whims. Wrap your fingers in my hair, compel me to be still. Hold the vibrator to my clit until I’ve spent every last drop of fluid, then force me to come again. Fingers, cock, dildos, fists, cram it all in, stretch me to the limit. Fill me with you.

Restrain me. Make my hands useless little clenching butterflies. Pin me to the bed like a specimen to be opened and examined. Tie the ropes tighter. Make me ache to wrap my legs around your waist, to pull you closer.

Leave me a drooling, mewling mess. Let my cries and screams and moans be muffled. Watch me choke on your cock, tears rolling down my face. Hold my head tight against your groin as your dick tickles the back of my throat.

Clamps on my nipples, my breasts, the tender inside skin of my wrists. Make the clothespins on my cunt clatter as you fuck me. Blindfold me, take away my sight. All your movements become meaningless blurs and shadows. Noises sharpen, even familiar sounds amplify, create equal fright and longing.

I want my suffering to please you as much as my coming. Shower me with little kisses. Wipe away the drool and the snot and the come and tell me I’m your good girl. Such a good girl.

It’s the weekend, we’re all hanging out at Eric’s place.

Eric’s rich, at least by our standards. He lived in Vegas and worked as a mortgage loan-something-or-other. Whatever he did, it’s far beyond our comprehension. No one really knows why Eric moved back either, although I suspect it has something to do with pills and that his sister is a doctor here.

Eric bought an entire building downtown, something also beyond our comprehension. Once, I overheard him tell his brother-in-law that he only paid eighty grand for the whole place, they both laughed and I didn’t know why. It’s a four story building, the top three floors are one giant apartment.  I don’t fuck him just because he lives here, but it doesn’t hurt either. Continue reading

The emptiness swells.

It fills the room, threatens to break windows and smash furniture. I’ve masturbated the entire day, it’s not enough.

I make phone calls.

“Fuck me,” I plead.

“Can’t,” a voice whispers back, “The girlfriend is here.”

“Can’t,” another voice answers, “Have to go to work.”

The world feels like a blank space between my hands, like I should be holding something in them, but there’s nothing to grasp. I reach for something that isn’t there. My mind races along, thoughts shoot out in a hundred directions, all of them leading nowhere. Continue reading