Hark, faithful reader, for the voice of this prodigal author speaketh to thee once more! Art thou tired of waiting? Didst thou fidget in uncomfortable anticipation while an unfinished goblet of wine sat by thy side, and a stack of neglected bills gathered dust in the corner as spiders silently wove their nests around it?
Of course not! You must have had wonderful holidays, with turkey, and presents, and fresh snow falling on the quiet ground, and those tiny plastic contraptions that explode in a shower of confetti when you pull the string but hurt like hell when your hand comes into the way of the blast. Glad to hear you had a good time. I did, too. Now I’m back in California, and working again.
I found out once more that I can’t write around Lanie. I can’t even read. I think the pent up frustration of a long-distance marriage compels us to focus strictly on each other when I come to visit her in Philly. I was supposed to finish Moby Dick over Christmas but instead ended up watching television, lounging, or having sex while poor Ishmael languished somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, trying to teach me about the marvels of cetacean skeletons. I wouldn’t listen to him.
It snowed on Christmas Day. We don’t celebrate Christmas, me being a godless heathen and Lanie a Jewess, but the thought of inevitable accidents spoiling the holiday for other people bothered me. From accidents, my thoughts turned to the statistical certainty of deaths occurring somehow, somewhere during that day, and I grew depressed. I treated the funk with Lanie’s women’s magazines. She walked in on me reading Elle.
“Find anything interesting?” she inquired.
“Ten ways to keep your man happy,” I said. “One, praise his strengths. Two, don’t dwell on his weaknesses. Three, suck his dick whenever he asks. It’s all downhill from there. Then there is stuff about supercharging your sex life.”
“There’s always stuff about supercharging your sex life.”
“Judging by these magazines, women are just as sex-obsessed as men. Sometimes I wonder why you don’t dig pornos.”
“But we do,” she said with a grin. “They are called romance novels. Porn for women.”
“Ha!” I sat up. “That is interesting. No wonder it’s a multimillion-dollar industry. Here I am trying to figure out how to be a writer, what it was that all the greats did right, and all I really need to do to be successful is crank out some brainless softcore.”
“It’s probably not as easy as it seems,” Lanie warned.
“How difficult can it be? Have you read any of the trash they have on the shelves in pharmacies? ‘Mary stretched demurely on the sofa while listening to the shower run behind the wall. Brandon was in there. She felt her stomach tighten as images of water washing over his glistening muscular body, wrapped in wisps of steam, danced in her head. Soon, she thought, she could put her hands on the boulders of his abs.’”
Lanie laughed. “That’s pretty bad,” she said. “So bad it’s good. It should then say something like, ‘When the door finally opened and Brandon entered the room, Mary was ready. His towel already protruded in front, concealing a massive…’”
“…beast awaiting to be released,” I quickly suggested. She smirked. “Mary could smell his excitement and it only added to hers. But as always, they were going to take things slow. As he kneeled before the sofa and their heads came together, their lips met…”
“…in a passionate kiss,” finished Lanie, getting into the spirit of the game. “Their tongues intertwined in gentle caresses while their hands roamed along the curves of each other’s bodies, exploring…”
“…all the little nooks and crannies, and cracks, and crevices,” I said. “And a chasm or two. The light touch of his fingers on her skin drove Mary wild; she closed her eyes and let out a barely audible moan through her slightly parted lips. She arched her back and let his warm tongue wander to her left nipple while her hands blindly searched for, and found, the Ionic column of his throbbing manhood.”
“Ionic column, huh?”
“Long and hard and curly on top,” I said. “Most definitely.”
“Fine. She found his Ionic column and gave it a good squeeze.”
“Ow,” I said.
“Okay, a little squeeze. Then Brandon’s entire body shuddered and she felt good because… because…”
“…because this strong, bronze-tanned love machine before her was in her full control, switching gears as her gentle hands guided the stick. Finally, Brandon could not take it any longer. With a lithe, smooth motion he put his rod inside her love nest.”
“Love nest? What the fuck is a love nest? What is she, a birdhouse?” Lanie looked at me in mock anger.
“Sorry. I’m running out of metaphors.”
“Anyway, Brandon started moving with long, assured strokes that sent waves of pleasure through Mary from head to toe. ‘That’s it, nice and slow,’ she whispered, and then reached with one hand to the special drawer in her bedstand. Groping blindly, she managed to open it on second try and pulled out a huge black…” I stopped. Lanie rolled her eyes.
“Dildo,” she said. “I know where this is going.”
I laughed. “Then continue,” I said.
“Well,” she said sarcastically, “she pulled out the dildo and pressed it into his right hand. She then guided his hand down toward her anus.”
“That’s right, and as he inserted it into place, she gasped, then relaxed,” I agreed. “You know, they really should be using lubrication and it should take them a couple of minutes and some pain, but this is an erotic novel, right? No one said it had to be realistic.”
“Can we make her come already?” Lanie requested with a grimace.
“Okay, okay. As Brandon entered her again, Mary felt the pleasure building up inside her to an unbearable point. She lay quiet now, like the sea before a storm, and looked at the ceiling with unfocused eyes. She could see the shadows dancing overhead, could hear the faint noises coming from the street but all that mattered to her at that moment was the slow tingling that radiated from her loins and flooded her veins until suddenly it shot to a dazzling peak, and she moaned and thrashed underneath him. Her orgasm was volcanic, a seismological phenomenon; for a few minutes it washed away the universe in a torrent of pure ecstasy, a stream of cosmic bliss flowing to earth, of which she became a helpless, trembling conduit. She arched her back, raising Brandon above the bed swithout noticing, and let out a piercing, primeval scream.”
I stopped to catch my breath.
“And then he came,” Lanie finished with satisfied, evil laughter as a look of hurt and indignation came onto my face.
“‘And then he came’?” I repeated incredulously. “That’s it? I just gave her a fucking divine revelation of an orgasm, and he just ‘came’?”
“That’s for making her take it up the ass,” she retorted. “I even thought of her sticking that dildo in him but figured you might be uncomfortable with that.”
“You will pay for this in another life,” I said. “I predict that you’ll be reincarnated as a butt plug.”
“Oh, come on,” she said. “I’m sure Mary and Brandon will have many more chances to supercharge their sex life. And you now have material for your next masterpiece.”
For a minute we just grinned at each other without a word. Then I gave her a kiss.
“You’re right, honey,” I said. “It’ll be a masterpiece. And I’ll dedicate it to you.”