Hey, Lover-Boy - or rather, the artist formerly known as such. You know I wanted to make a story out of that disasterous night, don't you? A bombastic action-packed tale? Well, I can't. I can't even begin to try chronicling those events in a sensible story-telling fashion. It's just too cringeworthy. So instead, I am going to attempt to write it all down another way - not as a story, but just for the record. And I'm going to do it as a numerical list: I'm going to start with the least unpleasant moments and see if I can work my way up to the more troublesome ones, stage by stage. It won't make sense to anyone but us, but it's the only way I can make myself do this. I have to approach the worst parts stealthily.
Coming up now: the least unpleasant moment. And then, if I can really cope with it, the rest.
1) In the taxi, after our successful bid for escape, I demand a pen and a scrap of paper from the taxi driver and I begin scribbling down a "contract" in my best drunken handwriting: "I, .......... (name), do hereby swear that I will never put you through another night like this one for as long as we both shall live. Signed:............. (signature), this ......day of .......... (month), 20... (year)" I hand it to you to sign. You read it. Then, without a word, you grab the pen off me and sign your name with a scrawled flourish. I tuck the contract into my purse, knowing you'll forget you signed it, already planning to pull it out and astonish you with it, some distant day when the moment calls for it. Then we sit back and look at each other.
"We haven't much time left," I say, "What the hell were we thinking of, actually? How could we waste this whole night doing... that!"
You reach for me and draw me to you. You say, "I'm sorry. I swear, that was the last time. That stuff is over for me now. You're the only woman I ever want to fuck from this day on. I will never, ever want to fuck another. You know I hated her smell the whole time? You're the only one who smells good to me. I just want to have you and be happy. In fact, why didn't we just fuck each other's brains out in my hotel room tonight? That would have been so nice. Don't you think?"
"You're drunk," I say, "We don't fuck anymore, remember? And we never will again."
You sigh and your eyes shift inwardly as if you're trying to focus on me through a jar of vaseline. "Yeah. Course I remember. Why is that, Baby? Can you explain it? All seems so wrong to me."
"Because you were breaking my heart. So I dumped you."
You say, "Jesus," and shake your head. Then you say, "Thanks for being you. Please, forgive me for everything. And please don't ever change."
Then you reach out and pull me closer. Then you kiss me. You just kiss me. Just like that, after nearly two years. Just as if it was your God-given right. I know you won't remember any of this later, so I don't even bother to struggle or protest or push you away. I kiss you back, fiercely, until the taxi stops. Then I get out. When I turn to close the door, you slump back and immediately fall asleep, but the taxi driver says he'll wake you when he thinks he's near your hotel. He drives off in the glistening drizzle with you bobbing drowsily on the back seat. You've only got about 4 hours before you'll have to check out.
2) Two minutes earlier than item 1 above, running headlong down the stairs, trailing scarves and coat sleeves behind us; you somehow hopping your way into one shoe with one hand and zipping up your jeans with the other; me stuffing an armful of underwear - my bra, my knickers, my suspender belt and stockings - into the top of my handbag as I careen after you. When we burst through the downstairs door, I still have one arm trapped inside my top. I stride along the pavement next to you as it burrows blindly upwards in search of a sleeve hole.
We should have been laughing as we came down those stairs. I think perhaps we were; breathily, like rabbits.
3) Still moving backwards through time to a moment very much earlier: at the bar counter, introducing you to that couple as my "ex-lover", seeing you physically cringe at the term and thinking, "Ah, so that still really hurts, does it? That's nice."
4) Switching directions and moving forwards in time now, to right after the bar: me walking along the dark street behind you and the couple, Katy and Walter are their names, and calling, "Look, don't be annoyed, but I'm going to go home. You three go on and have your experience. Have a nice time. I know this isn't going to be my thing, so I'll just head off, OK?"
You walk back to me and try to persuade me. You say, "Hey, I won't go with them if you don't want to come, too."
I say "No, you go on. You always wanted a gang bang. Go have a threesome without me. I don't mind."
You say "But I don't want to be with them if you're not there."
I say "Oh God, I'm just so fed up with having sex with people I don't even like. It feels horrible. I really hate it. I feel like shit the next day. I swore never to do that again. And look at these people: the girl is pretty enough but that old geezer is repulsive. All that nasty grey hair and the smug, greasy way his tie hangs under his shirt collar. I'm sure he's her head of department in some airless, fusty-carpeted, stinking little company. That's the only reason she's having an affair with him. He's sordid. It's distasteful to even think of them together."
You say, "Either we both go back with them or I'm coming with you. I want this experience, but I don't want to be alone with them. I'd rather be with you and miss it than be there without you."
What is this about? Is this meant to be gallant? Romantic? What? You're making me feel like I'm going to be the killjoy who spoiled your adventure if I don't go with you. Then Katy and Walter crowd around me too and say, "Hey, we're cool. You won't have to do anything you don't like. You can just be a voyeur. Come on. It'll be nice."
I give in, but ungraciously, because I'm not very adept at submitting to things I don't like. I announce, "OK, everyone, just to be totally unambiguous: I am not going to have sex with any of you tonight. I'm going along due to group pressure and I'll hang out and drink your wine, but if it occurs to any of you to try to seduce me, I might not be very charming about it. And just to be extra extra clear: it's not because I'm jittery about group sex. It's because I don't feel attracted to any of you."
I'm already being uncharming. I feel it's only right to give them this demonstration of how bolshy I can be. But they smile at me as if they were captivated. Katy says, "No matter what it is you're saying, it always sounds rather sweet."
5) Moving forwards in time again, we are in Katy's flat, in the kitchen. Katy is flirting with you. I see you making your moves on her. Your hands are on her waist; the music is playing from a cheap little stereo with crappy little speakers; you're dancing and drinking with her. You're not looking at me at all, which makes me think you must be feeling especially aware of me. I'm sitting there trying to work out if I'm jealous, but I'm just that little bit too drunk to work out the emotional intricacies of it. I feel quite unconnected. Walter is sitting next to me on a kitchen chair, looking at the two of you, regularly swivelling his head around to see my reactions. I don't return his gaze. What does he think I am - a TV screen? Doesn't he know it's rude to stare at cognisant human beings? I ignore him. And yes, I am especially aware of him. He makes my skin crawl.
"I can't wait to see him fuck the dirty little bitch," he murmurs to me and starts massaging his groin. He reaches over and inserts his sweaty hand, in its limp, rolled up office shirt, between my inner thighs.
"Please, don't attempt to arouse me Walter. Just take your hand away," I say and I splash as much wine into my glass as I can get in there. I'm a little clumsy.
You are taking off Katy's clothes, pulling off her jeans and her top. She's in her underwear now. Her figure is good - the legs slim and lithe, stomach slightly rounded. You're in your shorts and you're looking good too - vital and brown with those muscular arms of yours. I'm watching you touching each other. I don't really like watching it all unfold like this. I want you to move faster and get on with it. I want you to get past this stage because I think that actual sex will be much easier to watch unconnectedly than this slow seduction scene. I think brutal loveless fucking would be very much easier to watch. I'm so terribly impatient for this part to be over, and yet I still keep my eyes on you.
As I watch, I can't help thinking that neither of you is really into the other. It seems to me that she's putting on a show, playing the dirty girl for her dirty old head of department. She's not particularly bothered about you. I can see that. She doesn't know or care who you are, she can't see what it is that makes you special. I almost hate her for that. But then, you aren't turned on by her either. You're trying your best, but I can see that you're not getting the least bit hard. You've realised it yourself and you're trying to direct all the attention in the room onto her, playing for time and hoping you'll get there in the end. You don't really like her, do you? But there's no elegant way out of it now. You have to go through with it, and with an audience, too. It's good that I'm feeling so unconnected, or I would feel uncomfortable for you.
I swig back my wine. I congratulate myself on having had the wisdom to know how to avoid getting into your situation. I knew these people wouldn't be a turn-on. I knew pretending they were would turn into a dreary, endless chore. I'm so glad I'm not in your place.
Katy sits down on a chair and you kneel down between her legs and lick her pussy. She's moaning and writhing but I'm not convinced. Seems patently clear to me that the only person in the kitchen who is genuinely enjoying himself tonight is Walter. Walter now pulls his pants down and flips out his cock. It's almost fully erect. It's also nestling in an unkempt clump of the same slightly flattened, slightly damp-looking grizzled hair that he has on his head. I find myself thinking of his member as a kind of randy old wire-haired dachshund wallowing on an unwashed, hair-encrusted blanket. It even seems to smell like an old stumpy-legged dog, though that could be a hallucination brought on by the association. Nonetheless, the image seems so vivid that I hiccough and retch slightly as a low surge of vomit swells into my gullet. I try not to think about Walter's dachshund cock anymore. I try to think about streams and fresh fields and being home. Meanwhile Walter leans over and starts to mould Katy's small breasts from the back. You're still down between her legs in front of her chair. She is still writhing about rather ostentatiously. Then Walter looks over at me. I am sipping wine expressionlessly at the table beside him.
"You're the one who's turning me on right now, my beautiful" he whispers, "I love the fact that you're hating this in a million different ways."
"I'm quite indifferent about it, to be honest with you, Walter," I say, with a studied air of tedium.
He grins and wanks himself off with his other hand, watching me closely.
"I know your kind," he says in a little while, "I know what's in your mind. I know exactly what little Zora needs."
Then he makes a lunge for me with both hands and starts pulling me towards him and pushing my face down towards the straining dachshund on its horrid hairy blanket.
"You need to be forced, don't you, my pretty? You need a man to be a real man."
He is pushing my face down and down and down and the nearer it comes to his cock, the stronger the fusty animal reek. In a reflex reaction, I straighten my legs so that I'm standing bent over and I kick back the chair, then I reach up and wrench his arms away from my head, fuelled by a surge of defensive viciousness that lends me a surprising strength. I straighten up and then strike him full and hard across the face. He reels.
"Do not presume!" I say, flashing my eyes imperiously at him, "Do NOT presume to know ANYTHING AT ALL about little Zora. You know nothing about me and you never will. Is that clear?"
Raising his arm to shield his face, he nods and mutters, "Christ! Ok, ok, I've got that now."
Then I sit down and start drinking in earnest. I feel a premonition that he is about to grin so I decide not to catch sight of it and turn my back on him - on everyone, in fact. I decide to drink swiftly and dedicatedly until I don't recognise any of you anymore and have no idea where I am. Fuck you all, I think. I hope I puke on something precious.
6) Moving forwards again, I don't know how much later it is, but I'm coming out of some sort of blackout. It could be two minutes later or as much as an hour. I'm in another room, a tiny living-room - drinking straight from the bottle and you're all in the bedroom now. I remember harbouring a feeling of deep scorn for Katy's DVD collection, though I can't remember why. Disney? Billy Crystal? The memory escapes me. I hear Katy calling to me to come in to the bedroom, too.
I stagger in. It's another tiny room and you are all on a mattress on the floor. She is bouncing her face up and down on Walter's fuzzy cock and you are stroking her pussy from the back. You still aren't hard. I think they are both disappointed that you haven't been able to fuck her, and that's why they've called me in. I'm your emergency stand-in. I plonk down on the mattress, feeling disoriented. I laugh and slur the words, "I really don't fancy any of you."
"Not even me?" you say. You look hurt. I try to give you a level look and to fill my eyes with haughty coldness.
"Of everyone in this room, you're the one I'm least likely to have sex with," I announce.
As I say the words I realise how angry and passionate they sounded and hope you're too drunk to be able to notice. You've been drinking more too. Your eyes are drooping. You look crestfallen.
Then Katy reaches over and starts to kiss me with her dachshund-scented mouth. She pulls off my skirt, my top, my underwear and strokes me between my legs. I'm much too drunk to feel anything and much too drunk to sit upright. I lie back. She starts bouncing her face up and down on Walter's cock again beside me while I lie next to them and try to ignore the way the pumping motion of her head seems to jar with the spinning of the ceiling. She has one hand between my thighs and is rubbing away at me. If I was sober enough to feel, I wouldn't like it at all. As things are, it is a just minor irritation. It is keeping me conscious, at least. You are down at the foot of the bed between their tangled legs. I feel Walter's hand reaching over and grabbing one of my nipples and pinching it hard so I slap his hand away as if he was a child interfering with a cake. She takes her hand off me, too.
"Still fighting it, Zora?" he says, "If you knew how much that turns me on!"
"I'm not fighting anything, Walter. It's just that, even this drunk, I still can't bear your touch."
He starts to approach a climax. A swift, sober part of my brain informs me that he enjoyed hearing those words. He thrills to the thought of forcing himself on me, sullying me. Katy starts whimpering, her face burried in grey fur, her mouth full of old dachshund. Another show. I reach over with one arm and pat her on the head and say, "Don't try so hard, dear" before bursting out into silent laughter.
Then I hear a scuffling at the end of the mattress and look down. I see you sweeping up whole armfuls of clothes, a wild, crazy, hunted look in your eye.
"Hey, what are you up to?" I hiss.
"I'm out of here," you say, "I've got to get away from these disgusting people, right now!" You're rummaging around frantically for socks and shoes.
"Stop! Wait! Don't you dare leave me alone with these two jokers!" I cry, leaping up and gathering up handfuls of what I hope is my own clothing. Then, our arms fully laden, hunched over and swaying slightly like two vying sumo wrestlers, we exchange one brief split-second glance across the mattress, above their ostensibly ecstatic bodies. You shrug. I smile at you. You smile, too. I feel... warm, hot, soft. I feel - and it's ludicrously inappropriate of me - I feel love. And then, in exactly the same instant, we dash headlong to the door, naked and with our feet scrabbling everywhere like the skidding paws of puppies. And, yes, we are laughing, quietly and breathily.
Startled, Katy stops bobbing and cranes her head around after us, trying to peer into the dark corridor. Just as she says, "Huh? What are they doing?" and just as I sing out, "Na-na! Told you I wasn't going to fuck you!", Walter ejaculates all over the back of her head and then the flat door slams behind us.