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
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
“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
None of us have gone to bed yet,so it’s still New Year’s Eve to us. I’m not sure how I ended up here, it wasn’t planned. Someone asked if I wanted to ride along, so I did.
The table and counters are crammed with empty bottles. Sticky pink tendrils of wine from a broken bottle spread in a corner of the kitchen, threatening to creep under the refrigerator. A thin ice cold breeze wafts from the window, open just enough to let out the smoke from the pot and cigarettes that have been burning for hours.
I know some of the people here. Tony, of course, and his girlfriend Tasha. Tony and I have known each other for a long time. I used to be his boss when we worked on a summer crew at the state park. We have that comfortable kind of friendship, that watching-TV-together-with-my-feet-in-his-lap kind. In an few years, he’ll introduce me to my future ex-husband, but I’m in between boyfriends at the moment. Continue reading
This is the fourth New Year’s Eve in a row that I fuck Tony.
We fuck only on New Year’s, our little secret tradition. Leaving the noise of the party behind, we slip off to a makeshift bathroom in someone’s basement. I balance on the toilet seat that rests on the sloshing bucket, my little red lycra dress snags on the dirt wall.
Tony’s leg tangles in the old brown shower curtain that serves as a door, it moves back and forth revealing us with every thrust. The room smells like warm piss and we smell like cheap beer. I wrap my legs around him, knocking down the sign that says “Don’t shit in the bucket, go upstairs.”