Thursday, September 15, 2011

11seven (four)

What Do You Want Me to Say? - The Dismemberment Plan (mp3)
Mace Spray - The Jezabels (mp3)

Presented this month is my unfinished fiction work, tentatively titled "11seven." I offer it in small mostly digestible doses of between 700-1,100 words. It contains strong language and sexual situations as intended for a mature audience. Parental discretion is advised. (I got all that from watching "Justified"!) Each entry will come with a song from our BOTG mailbox and discussion questions for Oprah.

PART ONE: Solitary Confinement in a Convenience Store
PART TWO: Stu & the Lost Male Art of Subtlety

PART THREE: All Desperate Horny Teens Deserve Charity

11seven
four.
Going Steady

That was a year ago last February, so, what? Fifteen months I’ve known Stu? Fifteen months he’s come into my store once, sometimes twice a week? Always later at night, because his parents are older and tend to pass out by 9 ‘cuz Stu’s a nerd and never been in a lick of trouble his whole sad nerdy clueless jerkin’ off life.

I wouldn’t say we’re dating, because I’m married to Johnny and keeping Jimmy the Cop on a leash, but we’re doing something fun and a little wrong, like cowtipping or Ding Dong Dash.

But we’re seeing one another regularly. And at that time of night, it’s almost exclusive. Maybe an occasional alkie comes stumbling in, and maybe a few people stop for an emergency fill-up, but mostly our time is ours. Well, and Johnny Carson. I can’t totally leave my second hubby out of it, so he watches over me in the background while Stu and I talk about all those things 40-year-old women and 16-year-old boys just don’t and apparently shouldn’t talk about.

Which is to say tits and pussies and asses and cocks and sex. And sometimes all that other stuff, too. Like school, girlfriends, marriage, drinking, friendship, running a business, sleeping in an office, wondering if your parents really love you. What’s been a little frightening is that, beyond the sex, where Stu is utterly clueless, so much of how he sees and experiences the world ain’t all that different than how I do. People say men don’t listen, and men can’t have really great conversations. What they really mean is, men don’t listen and can’t have really great conversations unless once in a while something about sex gets thrown in the mix.

There was that experiment I saw featured on PBS one time, where these lab rats got trained to push a lever and get cocaine. Anyway, they called it random intermittent something or other, and what it meant was, the rat never really knew exactly how many pushes it took to get the drug. Maybe two pushes. Maybe 20 pushes. Maybe 100. But if it was convinced that it would get the drug at some point, it would push forever. The rats would literally kill themselves pushing that button, ignoring water and food and sleep until they just keeled over and died.

Men are like that with conversations as long as sex is some random intermittent topic. As long as they think sex talk will show up – two seconds, 20 seconds, 100 seconds, whatever – they’ll pay attention and listen attentively to knitting stories if you like.

I’d love to tell you that the reason I haven’t jumped across the counter and thrown sweet little Stuie up against the chip rack and ridden him like a rented Shetland Pony is because I’m a queen of morality and self-restraint, but if I’ve learned anything about people, it’s that most of us are only as moral and well-behaved as we have to be. When given opportunity and capability, we’ll usually ruin ourselves.

You see, the reason it’s been so easy for me to swear off sex isn’t as simple as wanting to get back on my feet. When I was 19, I chipped a vertebra in my neck, right near the base of my skull. Doctors said it was a miracle I wasn’t paralyzed from the neck down for life.

I’d miscarried earlier that month, and Ralph and I kinda had ourselves a tough time dealing with that. We’d been engaged before I got knocked up, if you’d believe that, and we both really wanted a kid. What the hell else is there to hope for when being a rocket scientist is out of reach, right? Anyway, I didn’t handle it too well and must’ve spent most of the month drinking myself silly.

At 5’3” and barely 100 pounds, which is what I was back then, drinking a pint of whiskey was about three times more than I needed to get good and shitfaced, and I did it pretty much daily. Poor Ralph was in his own world o’ hurt and kinda let me alone for a while. Finally, though, he’d had enough and set me down to tell me I had to stop. We had words, and I eventually hit him with a frying pan and jumped on top of him and started wailing away at him. He shoved me off, and my neck cracked against the seat of one of the kitchen table chairs.

If all that had happened today, with no witnesses, poor Ralph woulda been put away or something. Everyone woulda just assumed he’d beaten me silly for no reason, and that I was only trying to defend myself. People really are stupid about couples and fights. All I would have had to say is that Ralph started it, that I was just a sweet innocent victim, and there he goes into the clink.

Anyways, I’m all laid up in the hospital with my neck when more problems happen with my private parts, and next thing you know, me and my broken neck are getting rushed in for an emergency hysterectomy. Bye-bye babies.

Meanwhile, my neck injury left my fingertips and toes pretty numb. I’ve cut myself slicing a tomato or something and not even noticed for a while. It’s kinda spooky. I also get real dizzy when I bend my neck too far in any direction. You might not believe it, but when your neck movement is limited, some of the fun of sex goes away. Some people talk all about how pleasure and pain mix real nice, but those people don’t have massive neck trauma where one degree of extra torque leads to this fiery sword feeling straight down the length of their spine followed by this weird all-body charley horse thing. Ain’t no perverted fetish groups out there with that particular interest.

Not to mention we couldn’t have kids, and we weren’t quite as liberated about the whole Sex Is Fun shit as maybe we coulda been in the first place. So what we ended up becoming was just really good business partners who occasionally helped each other get their rocks off.

Once I’d mostly recovered was when Ralph decided to buy into the franchise. I’d always told him it would be easy for me to do most of the work inside a store like that, and he’d always been one to save every damn penny he could, so we jumped in and never looked back. And with both of us putting every bit of sexual frustration and useless parenting instinct we had into this store, we were making bank and then some by the end of the first year.

Sure, it’s kinda tough to stock things and unbox things with all my medical ticks, but sex, God bless it, is kind of a choice. Surviving ain’t.

Discussion Questions: Is sex a choice? How do you react to her observation about Ralph being arrested for abuse?

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Of course it is a choice.

I agree with Gladys about Ralph. Most people would assume the big football player was the aggressor not the cheerleader. I wonder if Ralph readily admitted that he was being whooped by a girl?