Mary

Short Fiction for Guests of the Wordfeeder
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time to write another short story, but I’m not sure what I should write about. ..Hm. Should that be “about what I should write,” so I don’t end up with a dangling preposition? I don’t care. I don’t like the way it sounds.

I need a storyline. You know, a plot, not to be confused with a “plat” which is a drawing of a lot, versus “Gersplat!” which is the sound you make when you fall off a building onto the pavement, followed by “buh-bump” when the bus runs you over just when you started to get up.

I haven’t written a detective story for a while.

Maybe Mary will be horny and stop by after she gets home from work. Do I mind being her go to guy for an occasional quickie? Are you kidding? You haven’t seen Mary. Actually, yes I do mind. She hangs out with me. We have a great time talking, laughing at stuff, rubbing body parts. She even stays over some nights, always at my place for some reason. Heck, I know the reason. We’re good together in every respect, except in public. That’s because she has a boyfriend. He’s a dentist. How boring is that?

She’s not even in love with the guy. Not really, although she won’t admit it. I think she’s in love with me, but just doesn’t know it. It’s the idea of the guy that she likes. I can see her holding out her hands, palms up, pretending to be weighing the alternatives. “Let’s see. Slightly overweight writer-in-progress struggling to make a living at his chosen profession in one hand, versus perfectly fit professional guaranteed six figure income guy with a really nice car and, no surprise here, perfect teeth in the other hand. They’re so clean.. His teeth. I’m talking about his teeth. They’re so clean they squeak when he smiles and his lips slide over them.

She doesn’t invite me over to her place, just two floors up and a few doors down, because somehow that would be cheating. In her head, I mean. Here, she’s a different person, so it’s like it didn’t happen. We were hungry the other night, so I suggested we run out for something, maybe split a couple of appetizers and a Cobb salad. (I’m dieting and writing here at my kitchen table this close to the refrigerator isn’t helping me lose weight.) I could wear a hat. Maybe bring a pad with me, take notes like we were having a meeting. But nooooo. So I reheated some homemade lasagna which, because I’m a really good cook, turned out to be even better than when it was fresh. And we had some wine, and I made some cannoli while we had sex on the couch, and the floor, and my granite kitchen counters, and finished up on the couch. I find sometimes that starting and stopping sex, to tend to something I’m cooking, actually makes for a bigger “Kaboom!” at the end – and I’m not talking about my kitchen exploding.

Okay, so I need to write something. Keep writing and someday, who knows, I may even be able to make a living at this. What would Dashiell Hammett d…

“Bzzzz.”

Wait. There’s someone at the door. ..Why did I write that down? Because typing makes me feel like I’m actually writing something.

“BZZZZZZ!”

“Okay already, I’m coming.”

“Hey.” It was Mary. “Can I come in? ..There’s no one here?” she asked without waiting for an invitation, touching my chest on her way past my kitchen into the living room, knowing full well that the odds were I was alone.

“Sure,” I said, closing the door behind her, watching her walk being one of my favorite things to do. There was just something about her legs being much longer than they should have been for a person of her height. It’s some kind of really attractive genetic screw up that scientists need to study. “What’s up?”

“Look,” she turned to face me, one leg straight down, the other angled away. “I know what I’m about the ask is.. unfair, and presumptuous, even hurtful.”

“What, you’re going to make me order Chinese?”

“Not exactly. Bud’s coming over.” Bud’s the dentist.

“When?”

Mary checked her watch. “In forty minutes, and he’s always prompt, if not early,” she added. “Usually early, in fact, which becoming a real problem.”

“So, let me guess, you’re here to have sex with me because.. Becausssse.. I have no idea why you’re here.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I can’t have sex with two different men the same night.”

“Words to live by.”

“No. That would be cheating. ..What I need,” she said, pulling her jersey top off over her head. “is for us to start to have sex, but stop just short of you-know-what.”

“You’re not wearing a bra.”

“Are you paying attention?”

“Not really.”

Reaching behind her waist, she shifted the back of her skirt to the front, unbuttoned it and let it fall onto the corner of my Persian rug.

“I’ve always wondered, with a thong that small, what’s the point? And aren’t you afraid it’ll get stuck? ..like giving yourself a wedgy, front and back?”

“Bud..” She was standing there, hands on her hips, her head tilted just enough for her hair on the one side to brush up against her shoulder. “Well, Bud wants us to, you know, together, but he can’t wait for me. ..Do you know what I mean?”

“I can only imagine.” I was trying to empathize, but I’ve problems being sincere. “Actually, yes I do. So, what’s that got to do with me, and why are you standing here, mostly, in front of me? ..Aren’t we in danger of violating your two men in the same night rule? Or is it more of a guideline, in which case..”

“I need you to warm me up, as it were.”

I just stood there, taking a second to realize what she was talking about, but then I got it. “Just to be clear, you want to have foreplay with me so you can have a timely orgasm with Bud, the dentist, who has an unfortunately short span of attention. ..How’m I doin’?

“Perfect. I knew I could count on you. Could we get started? I had one of those days at work, and this could take a while.”

“Oh my gosh. So..” Give me some credit here. I am, after all, a man, fully capable of doing manly things, resisting temptation being one of them. The least I can do is try to sound indignant. “So all I am to you is foreplay? For another guy??”

“Of course not,” she said with conviction. “Not usually, but tonight’s an exception.”

“How humiliating. We really don’t have any future together, do we?” To be honest, this entire line of dialogue, beginning with “How humiliating,” was something I was thinking to myself, on the way to my couch. “Tell me again why I’m doing this,” I asked her.

“Because,” she checked her watch and then began unbuckling my belt with reckless abandon, “I’m going to make it worth your while.”

“You know,” I advised her, “it might help if you didn’t say that in such a matter-of-fact way, more like a lover, not so much like a lawyer.”

“I’m only a paralegal. If I was a lawyer, I wouldn’t need the dentist. ..Now let’s do this. Time’s a wastin’”

“I thought you guys billed by the hour,” was the last thing I remember saying before losing consciousness, figuratively speaking. Thirty five minutes later, she came to an abrupt stop. I now have a real sense of what whiplash feels like.

“Whoa.”

“What?”

“That’s it. I’m good to go” Jumping up from the couch, she stepped into her skirt, grabbled her top and had it down far enough to be decent by the time she cleared my front door which she hurriedly pulled shut behind her.

“Bzzzz”

“Jeez.” Fortunately, I was disheveled, but still dressed. “What?” I demanded meekly, swinging my front door open, expecting to find Mrs. Schmeldnick from the apartment below me with mail delivered to her box by mistake. Instead, there was Mary. Two steps forward in my direction, and she kissed me. It was the perfect kiss, not to hard, not too soft, the kind that has that little follow up, like an aftershock, that you never expect no matter how many times it’s happened before, the kind when a little bit of saliva leaves the two of you attached for a precious few extra seconds.

“Thanks,” and she smiled when she said it, and then started walking away, but stopped after only half a step and turned back. “For the record, there are times, sober times when I’m thinking really clearly, that it occurs to me that you’re the one.”

“No kidding?”

“No kidding,” and she headed off toward the stairwell, waiving goodbye to me with the back of her hand, without turning around. And all I could think was how good she looked walking away.

“Honey? ….Honey??”

The voice was familiar, but I wasn’t sur.. Oh, yeah.

“I’m just wrapping up.” Putting down the lid to my Mac, I got up from our kitchen table where I’d been typing and walked into our bedroom where the love of my life was reading something in bed. She was looking up, over the rim of her glasses which had slid a bit down her nose. I think her lips were moving, but I wasn’t listening, the taste of Mary’s kiss still lingering on my lips. I didn’t want to spoil it by thinking about anything else, but then something she said got my attention.

“I was getting our mail this afternoon and I met this new girl, Mary something, that moved in last weekend. Seems very nice. Maybe we should invite her over.”

“Sure.”

“Have you seen her?”

“Uh, yeah. I think I saw her at the gym this morning. I’m not sure. ..She was gyming.” Strike that. “Exercising. Nothing special. Pretty much the usual stuff people do there,” and I pretended, standing there and the end of our bed, that I was running.

“She’s really attractive, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Depends what you mean by attrac..”

“..and single as far as I could tell. We only talked for a couple of minutes, but I think maybe we should fix her up with my brother.”

“Uh, I somehow don’t think she’s Bud’s type.”

“Why? Did you talk to her?”

“No. I just don’t think anybody’s his type. Nothing personal.”

“Of course not.” She went back to what she was reading. “How’s your writing coming? Another detective story?”

I’ve always wondered how she could do that, talk to me without actually paying any attention. “No. I decided to write a fantasy.. about me having sex with the new girl, Mary.”

“That’s nice.”

-wf

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