The bathroom door opened and the light from within made me squint for a moment. There she stood, her lithe figure striking a cliché pose with her left hand on her hip, right arm extended along the door frame, and a sly smile on her lips. Oh, that figure. A man who wouldn’t consciously choose to forgo a shot at heaven in the afterlife to be with this woman was just not that into women. Maybe not even into humans, for that matter.
She exaggerated the swaying of her hips as she walked into the room. I envisioned nightclub tables comically being knocked over by those glorious hips. Between them, the intersection of leg and torso, and the muscle underneath, the eye was drawn naturally toward the most revered real estate, but only for a breathtaking instant that would suffice to leave a man dying happily with the memory of having gazed upon it. Her wink, too, was exaggerated, reminiscent of Betty Boop cartoons. No matter. She was having her moment, and I was a man in love.
Halfway from the bathroom to the bed she stopped, and put the brilliantly red nail of her index finger between her teeth, at the side of her mouth, as in Marilyn Monroe’s famous photograph. “Shall I strip for you?”, she asked, but her tone said that stripping was something she’d already choreographed for this evening. “Oh, yes, please do” I said, in my best actor playing a sexy role voice. She ran her hands along her sides, caressing herself, looking me in the eye the whole time. She asked coyly, “You like?”. “Oh yes”, again in my best sexy actor voice, “very much”. What I liked most, though, was knowing that her cheap K-Mart negligee would soon be on the floor or tossed onto a chair. Just the thought of that stiff, abrasive fabric rubbing on the part of me that mattered most at the moment made me wince uncontrollably. I pointed toward my back and waved at her, feigning that it was a muscle spasm that made me wince, because I was a man in love and this was her moment. My moment would arrive soon enough.
She began stripping, clumsily, and vocalized a tune I didn’t know. She had the voice of an angel, and I wondered where it had gone. Finally fully naked after the full repertoire of action movie stripper moves, she held her arms out to her sides and shook her breasts, managing somehow to make a pair of breasts that were utterly perfect look more like water balloons slapping a lamp post. But I was a man in love and this was her moment. If she felt sexy, then dammit she was sexy and I wasn’t going to take that away from her. And, truth be told, I also had my own purely selfish motive, south of the navel, dancing to the beat of my heart.
Coming around the side of the bed she lifted the bottle of champagne from the ice bucket, and while flirting with her eyes and giggling a bit, she removed the wire bail from the bottle and gave it a shake. I held my hand out to indicate that it wasn’t the greatest idea, but she playfully pushed my hand away and began a sort of foreplay for fellatio with the cork. She really had my attention then, I’m not ashamed to say. But then she took the cork in her teeth, and before I finished calling out “No!” the cork was propelled into her throat by a gusher of foaming champagne. She dropped the bottle and clutched at her throat, unable to breathe. I bolted upright, and with my left hand behind her head to keep her from pulling away, I reached into her mouth with the thumb and index finger of my right. I found the back of the cork but she jerked away when I touched it. “Hold still!”, I commanded in my best voice of authority, “I can’t get it out if you won’t let me!”. There was sheer terror in her eyes. I reached in again, and found the cork. Grasping it between thumb and index finger, being glad it wasn’t yet slick with saliva, I gave a firm tug and it came right out.
She vomited. When she realized it, she turned away from me and in no time at all I, the bed, the nightstand, the clock radio on the nightstand, the telephone on the nightstand, and a good sized patch of the floor were covered in what were just shortly before our sexy fun finger foods. And stomach acid and bile. Little bits of cocktail shrimp were stuck to the lamp. Leaning forward with her head between her knees, she coughed a bit, gasping for air between coughs. She had a very sexy back, even for a woman who’d just given the technicolor yawn and was making strings of saliva all the way to the floor between her feet. I asked if she was okay, and between gasps she managed to croak “Yeah, I think so”. Then she dashed into the bathroom, and started the shower. When vanity kicks in, the woman is not in immediate danger. At least I hoped that was true.
It wasn’t until the bathroom door closed behind that glorious ass that my erection noticed that things were not going in its favor and it disappointedly resumed its usual “I’m just what that asshole pees through” role. Its southern neighbors would express their displeasure with the state of affairs later, the little blue bastards.
Oh, what a mess. I turned the pillow over, vomit side down, and folded the bed spread with images of something resembling English knot gardens on it over the unpleasantness on the bed. This was quite the opposite of what I’d had in mind for this tick of the clock.
While she showered I dressed, being glad that my clothing had been in a chair on the opposite side of the newly redecorated room. The smell of vomit permeated the air, but there really wasn’t anything to be done about it at the moment. I just sat in the chair under the air conditioning vent, catching the freshest air available, not really thinking anything except to wonder without prediction of what would happen next, and in a few minutes she came out again. Instead of the negligee she was in the jeans and a frilly, hippie kind of gypsy kind of blouse that she’d been in earlier. Very attractive. Very sexy. The woman could make an old canvas tarp covered in tree sap and bird shit look sexy. The room smelled of vomit. The cork I’d pulled from her throat sat next to the telephone looking like some kind of poisonous mushroom. I thought that in that moment I knew the true meaning of ambivalence. “I’d really like to go home now”, she said. I nodded, and helped her pack her things back into her overnight bag. We didn’t talk.
I tried to reassure her that everything was okay in my view, but she held up her hand in that infuriating chick way that conveys “Don’t talk to me. DO NOT talk to me. There’s nothing I want to hear, and anything you might say is sure to make me feel even worse and piss me off, so don’t”. A man who knows the first thing about women knows what that pushing palm gesture means, and shuts the hell up.
It really makes no sense, giving in to that pushing palm the way guys do. We’re bigger, stronger, louder, more aggressive, more prone to violence, scarier in every way, but that pushing palm reduces us to little boys afraid to get spanked. Even if we don’t want to get any closer to the vagina below than we already are, even if we’re already too close to it for comfort, even if we hope and fully expect never to see the woman behind it again, we give in to that pushing palm. And women still claim that we dominate them. And we don’t argue because they push their palms at us if we try. Go figure.
On the way out the door I dropped the room key atop a fifty dollar bill, a tip for the housekeeping staff who really didn’t deserve what they would find in the morning. I cranked the thermostat of the air conditioner to as cold is it would go hoping it might help a little, and closed the door behind me. The A was broken out of the sign, leaving it to be “C melot Inn & Suites”. Hmm. Cum a lot in. Not tonight. A hundred forty-nine bucks plus Anaheim extortion made it right about $175 to get puked on by a chick who’d just exited an abrasive cheap ass K-Mart nightie, and $225 with the housekeeping tip that allowed me to get out with something pretending to be dignity. The Disneyland fireworks began across the street. Must be 10:30. At least someone’s getting fireworks tonight. Probably cheaper, too.
She didn’t seem to want to talk on the ride home, but when we pulled up in front of her house I asked her again how she was. “I feel like I got face fucked by a splintery old mop handle”, she said. Where did that come from? Until that moment she hadn’t gone so far as to say heck, and now all of a sudden it’s face fuck? She said she’d see herself to the door and got out, leaving me no option to do the gentlemanly door opening and walking her to the door thing. Oh well. She probably had puke breath anyway. She let herself into the house, the porch light winked off, and she never looked back. The interior light that illuminated the curtains in the door went off, too, before I started the car. Nope, she’s not looking back.
The next morning I stopped in at the cell phone store, where the manager, Alex, greeted me. “Mr. Jones! Again? And so soon? I thought you said you could fall in love with this one”. Alex didn’t need to know that my name wasn’t Jones or that the address I’d given him some months prior was that of a vacant lot where there used to be a gas station. “Sometimes, Alex,” I told him, “love doesn’t last. This time it lasted almost two hours.” I handed him my phone so he could do whatever it is that they do to change the phone number and make sure the new one works. My phone rang, he handed it to me, and I answered it. We talked for a moment to each other on the phone, across the counter. I’ve always thought it strange that people doing that, talking on the phone to you for whatever reason from just a few feet away, suddenly stop looking at you. The floor gets interesting. Why is that?
I stepped out of the store, back into the sunlight, and wished that I’d got into Miss Anaheim instead of Jack Daniel’s the night before. Life is like that. Sometimes you step up to the plate ready to swing for the fences only to find yourself limping down the first base line thinking it a cruel fucking joke that you were born with balls. Then later you step up to the plate again because you can’t hit homers if you don’t swing the bat.
Ya know, it’s always good to keep two phones so it’s not a big hassle to change numbers in a world in which love doesn’t last.
The above bit of fiction was an all in one go thing, a raw brain dump based upon actual events. Four days after the inspirational event your humble scrivener married, in a Las Vegas quickie and every bit as impulsively as that sounds, the attractive runway model who didn’t know that exaggerated runway moves look cartoonish everywhere but on the runway. Two and a half months after that she saw herself to the door and never looked back.
The Camelot Motel across the street from Disneyland has almost certainly replaced the bedspread since. The author has not gone and doesn’t intend to go back to find out.
No love was lost in the making of this story.