"WOULD IT BE UNREASONABLE FOR ME TO SAY that your pussy has the exact shape, tightness, and warmth that…" He stops and tries to think of a unique way to say it, "takes me off?" He finishes and smiles silently in the dark.
She doesn’t know quite how to answer and pauses, looking up at the ceiling. For the second day in a row he can’t hold anything inside, squirts it limp like a 16 year old vomiting off his old man’s whiskey stash. He doesn’t care, is the thing. He just doesn’t give a fuck. She doesn’t really either.
She’s disappointed. She wants this guy to give her a good ride. The first night, camping in the wilderness, he had a little more booze and it worked for a moment, probably 100 seconds... Sober for the next two rumps and there was nothing staying. Tonight it’s a clumsy attempt to enter and then in. One two, push in a third and out it comes.
“Fuck.” Is what he said the first time.
“What?” She answered, perhaps something wrong with the condom.
Their relationship inaugurated as follows: girl likes guy for one month and on one drunk occasion attempts to throw herself at him. Guy, who is coincidentally her co-worker, refuses advances but refuses every so lightly to ensure girl continues advances, which she does. Weeks later, when incident is almost forgotten, girl has party for holiday and speaks her troubled mind. I like you. She says. I like you too. You’re great to work with. The best. Sure. Sure. I’m leaving in two weeks. Girl says and guy is a little sad to lose friend. Eh, what the hell, they both think and that night they sleep side by side. Cautiously. He taking her shirt off and stroking her unmanaged hair; never to encounter it directly. She yanking on his dick for a time and he thinking, what the hell, I could do this better myself.
They fall asleep and wake the next day. Again shrugging their shoulders. Girl happy with herself for seducing man. Guy ambivalent, she’ll be gone in a couple anyway, he rationalizes. He’d never do it if that was different.
Next was the trip together with a mutual friend to a nearby national park in winter temperatures where they huddle together under the influence of thick stouts bought as the highway dipped out of Utah and into Arizona before returning to Utah again –the land of reduced beer quality and potency. Also the land of idiots breeding like rabbits and shitting on the desert with whatever means they have. It’s a shame, the two of them and the likes of them think. About the locals.
“No.” She answers to his strange declaration / question. “I guess it wouldn’t be strange.” She says a little confused as to what she answered. It wouldn’t be strange to ask the question or for her vagina to be the perfect shape for him to have no control. It would be strange, though, she thinks.
They stay in silence, him staring at the ceiling and her at him. In the dark. It’s two in the morning and they’re at her house.
“I’m not trying to brag or anything, especially given my abysmal performances, but there was this one time when I was getting laid a couple times a day. Probably 12 times a week. You know. Where I couldn’t cum. I’d do my girlfriend for 45 minutes and couldn’t squirt. She’d ask me if it was ok for us to stop. She was sore. That happened, probably like, one out of five times.” He says to her and shrugs in the dark. She turns from her side, where she was facing him, and flips on her back, like he’s doing. She wonders about him. He’s a little off. She is starting to analyze their togetherness, sensing he’s just along for the ride. Not at all into it, like she is. Which is the case. He half heartedly doesn’t want her to know that, though.
“What do you think it is then?” She asks, rolling back over to face him.
“I really don’t know... I guess my stamina’s just gone. Just couldn’t hold onto it.” He says and thinks: could he not hold onto it? or did he not care if let go after the initial contact? No. He cared. Or course he cared. This was ego. This was power.
“Do you think it’s the condoms.” She asks.
“Probably.” He answers too quickly, eager to toss the blame. She turns back on her side and reaches for his chest and rubs it.
“It could be that your pussy is still new… do you care that I call it a pussy?” he asks.
“No.” She answers and pauses. “That’s what it is.” She asks in a voice with the intonation of a question.
“True... Some girls think it’s derogatory, though. A woman made up the term. Though. I heard it comes from a Latin word meaning dog faced… no, that’s vagina, the correct term. Ok. I remember.” He says clearing his thoughts. “Vagina is a Latin term meaning ‘dog faced’. Pussy is a term made by a female having to do with cats, somehow.”
She contorts her mouth in the darkness, thinking of an answer. “I didn’t know that.” Is what she musters.
“What was I saying?” he asks and she pauses, not answering. “Oh yeah. I’m a bad lover, for starts, I guess. I don’t want to say anything else until I can prove otherwise. But, you’re so new. You know? My old girl was… familiar. You know. There was no anticipation, everything was already known.
With you it’s still new and the anticipation is enough excitement to… blow it…” he says and thinks, his hands behind his head. “Maybe. I don’t know.
That’s kind of stupid. I just haven’t been laid in 4 months. I guess. The first time it was like, oh shit. The second was too much pressure. If it’s a third time. Then something’s fucked… I stopped masturbating about a week ago, I guess.”
“Maybe that’s it.” She says.
“Relieve it,” she says, “can’t go out with a loaded gun.”
“Maybe.” He says. “I sort of thought the opposite. It breaks my stamina. Masturbating, that is. You know, it’s almost like a race. I guess it could be the other way around. But that’s not how I do it.”
“Well. We’ll just have to wait and try again.” She says and moves her hand to his belly.
More silence and he thinks about where her hand is. He wants her to play with him. They’ve fucked several times now but aren’t yet intimate. He won’t ask and she’s reluctant. There is still a trace of novelty for him. Anticipating what she’ll do.
“Yeah. If it’ll work.” He says. A few silent minutes drag by while he’s wondering if she’s waiting for him to get hard again. Rubbing his belly won’t do it. “Sorry,” he finally says.
“I don’t know. You’re going to have to help out a little more if you want to go again.” He says.
“Oh… Ok.” She says matter of factly and starts to pull on him. In his mind she travels back and forth between someone who’s nearly a virgin and someone who’s far more experienced than him. Or if nothing else, much more open and nonchalant about everything. In that reach she maneuvered her way to the experienced end of the spectrum.
He grew and said. “Ok… I think I’m ready.”
“Ok.” She says and stops her hand then waits, still gripping him.
He pauses for something else from her then turns on his side and again opens the drawer at the side of the bed, pulling out a random condom from her stash. He rips it open and pushes his finger in it to unroll it. He’s nervous and feels a little threatened; wearing the condoms of another man. It’s been awhile since he’s had to wear a rubber, not since college, and there seems to be too much extra space at the reservoir, like the old boyfriend’s a bigger size than he. He slides it on. It’s tight and he thinks it feels good. It reduces his sensitivity, he thinks. Would that make him so trigger happy?
He rolls on his side and they again begin to kiss. He wants her on top but knows it won’t happen. So he rolls on top and tries to reach a hand under to slip in but can’t find a good place to reach from. He tries under her leg and it’s too far of a stretch. Above her leg is an awkward angle. She reaches under and slips him in. They move together and he slips out. She does it again and the same thing happens. A third time and then a sigh from him and she says:
“I don’t know what to do with you.”
He rolls on his side and lays on his back. “I don’t know. Maybe in the morning?”
If it’d been light he would have seen her shrug her shoulders and smile assuredly. Instead he saw nothing and only felt her warm body come into near full contact with his, reassuringly. Her chest, belly, and legs touch him. He raises his hand and she’s already learning. Her head rises and comes to rest on his outstretched arm. Before, she would have tried to slip her own, now awkwardly placed, hand under him.
A week and a half later he’ll be with her again, half naked; she’ll have driven from Utah through Nevada and into northern California, Eureka. Then east over 5 mountain passes into the front range of the northern Rockies, Montana. He’d have worked his mind numb in her absence. In her bed he’ll be reluctant to reach down her pants. She’ll have had lovingly embraced him, through, upon his arrival after his six hour drive. After this embrace they’ll have their minds packed with powder skiing and he’ll think of his backward leaning turns down the black diamond bowls. She’ll be thinking of when the bowl dumps her out onto the blue run and she can mainline it to the lift in full speed. Empty runs and no lines.
He’ll think about how a change of environment can make him like her more. She’s presented to him as a different person. He’ll think about how he’s now scared to be more intimate with her. He’s rock hard and feels on edge of losing it again; as if upon touching the wet rim it’d be messed. He won’t do that though. Instead he’ll hold her tight, alternating positions on the small futon mattress that hugs the dog hair covered carpet. They’ll make out for a while each night, rubbing against each other but always waiting and not acting on a next step they’ve already taken –several times.
In his mind will be the loose gathering of words getting back on a horse, as he’ll prepare himself to prop on an elbow and rub it from bottom to top on her patch and whisper something about birth control. But somewhere in the space of his evanescent courage she’ll speak up about how it was difficult seeing her ex in Montana. How they never really broke up and how they only put it on pause. And once they were again in the same vicinity, the game of their relationship proceeded again from exactly where they’d hit that button.
“But don’t get me wrong,” She’ll say, “I really like being with you. It’s new and it’s exciting.”
Somewhere along the line she’ll prop a question of which the answer from him will be, “I don’t know…” followed by a contemplative pause for the easiest words, “all I know is that it’s cool and it feels good.” They’ll pause with those words, wishing more from them, and he’ll say, “I don’t really see a point in thinking past that.”
During the night he’ll realize the entire power paradigm in their budding relationship was inversed. He’ll think this as he contemplates her life in this new city, this tiny room she has rent free from a sister and the line of snowboards outside the door in the entryway. The apartment is nothing but a holding pen between riding sessions. That’s not a bad thing, he’ll contemplate, as vagabond philosophies cover his dreams. He’ll be momentarily jealous that she’s now collecting unemployment while he’s paying into it for a distant date that’s most likely removed from her.
Perhaps three minutes after she ambiguously explains to him the scenario with her ex, with enough space for him to assume and picture her casually making love to him, he’ll realize what this added dimension of competition is triggering in him. The next day he’ll near unknowingly act as if they’re boyfriend, girlfriend. And for her part, she’ll loop her arm in his arm and they’ll wander around the dirty city in the northern Wasatch range, snow still dropping powder and obscuring their mountain. Going Christmas shopping he’ll think, this feels nice. He’ll think, this feels nice even if I’m pretending.
It’ll be around this time, zipping around the contiguous and homogenous sprawl of multinational corporations that snake around the individual cities, that he’ll realize being there isn’t that bad. He’s content and at peace. Something that hasn’t occurred in a while. He’s usually tense and in a state of anxious preparation from a thing he doesn’t understand. It’ll be this calm he becomes cognizant of that pushes him to the realization that this girl is not just a girl but a package; she’s a sphere –and reciprocally he must be too– of action, results, and experience. This women will be a great influence on what he’ll experience in the future, and consequentially, who he’ll be. And the biggest trip for him to comprehend from that weekend in northern Utah will be the fact that he could, at that moment, predict with vivid clarity, the experiences and influences she would have on him.
The Big Gulp:
by Michele McDannold
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