For You, The Stars
Chapter Two: Have a Cigar
Things started to unravel. I went to one of those drinkathons up in the hills and Dannie was there and she ended up the evening driving me to her apartment. First place I remember back then where somebody lived by themselves. That was a revelation. The place wasn’t a mess, like mine would have been.
It was a fairly large apartment for just one person. Something about her dad paying for it. She must come from money, I remember telling myself. She was a good kisser. Not too sloppy but succulent. She drew me in.
We undressed each other in her bedroom. I was excited to see the body of a “fat lady.” They’d for sure be the biggest breasts I’d seen or touched yet. I wasn’t sure how I was going to respond to her belly, her arms and legs. Not that I was a swimmer exactly myself.
I put my arms around her and she felt solid. I didn’t have that usual feeling that I’d better go easy or else knock the girl over and trap her arm behind her back or pinch something. There’s nothing that spoils the mood so much as someone crying out suddenly in pain, unless that is the mood.
She wore elastic legging and she was soft and loose when she finally stripped down to her bare skin. She was very pale. Not as soft as I expected. Her hair felt course. I could feel her goose bumps or her legs. The back of her neck was sweaty and thick with her hair. My fingers would get stuck there as I pressed her face against mine. She was strong and she was not above biting my lower lip.
We fell into bed. I always liked making out the best. I was as horny as the next guy, maybe more than most, but there was something about those first experiences, spinning the bottle when I was 12 or so, that made kissing and “feeling up” the most erotic things I could imagine.
Finally I rolled on top of her and found I didn’t have the wherewithal to go through with it. She offered to suck me to get me hard again and I agreed. That worked. I held her breast and stared at the ceiling and her soft warm wet mouth did the trick, but when I climbed between her thighs again I was once again not in the mood.
Her thighs were slick. I was actually fasinated by the concept of a fat pussy. I put my face as close as I could and I started lapping my way in closer. I figure I owed her that much. It was very dark in her bedroom. Total eclipse of the moon.
Eventually she came, kept coming, till she told me to stop. I slid up under her arms and she reached down to hold my cock, which was still soft. We talked about why I was unable to go through with the actual fucking. I think it was my idea to talk about it. I mentioned Simone. She had heard I had a girlfriend across the bay but she didn’t care.
With her arm around me, I felt like she was the man and I was the girl. She was literally bigger than me. Not taller, but more massive. She also had a rough almost stubbly texture under her chin and I remember for a moment wondering if she could possibly be a guy. But that was impossible. It felt oddly plausible though, without making any real sense. Her aggressive energy I guess. I had never been pursued like that before.
She told me it was OK and put her feet up against mine. “You’ve got cold feet,” she said.
In the middle of the night I woke up and started nuzzling the nearest breast. I kissed my way down to her belly as she woke. Now, for whatever reason I was almost painfully hard and suddenly “performing” brought on no anxiety at all. Afterward, as we lay sweating and panting she told me that she always thought of architecture while making love.
“What style did I remind you of?” I asked her.
“I know what you’re trying to tell me,” I said, thinking that I had perhaps been a bit methodical, rather more utilitarian in the end than decorative.
“No, it’s nothing,” she said. “It’s not a metaphor. I just see buildings.”
I didn’t feel that great the next morning and I felt worse the next day when I saw Simone again. She and I tended to get together about three or four nights a week. We didn’t keep tabs on each other. We did, I should state for the record, have an exclusive relationship. I was still studiously avoiding the L word but she wasn’t and though I managed to put off conversations about “where are we going with this” I had definitely agreed with her that we were, to use the previous generation’s parlance, “going steady.”
There was no ethical loophole that made what I had done with Dannie acceptable. My middle of the night returned to form had scotched any potential “eatin’s not cheatin’” defense and to be honest I wouldn’t have been brazen enough to put it out there. For all of my frankness now, at the time I expressed myself even in the privacy of an intimate relationship, in fairly chaste, gentlemanly terms. It was part of the my charm. The rakish “safe boy” gone a little dangerous. The naughty page boy who still observed the finer points of chivalry.
I confessed everything… to Maura. I told her about the whole episode, the flirtation that led up to it, my self loathing afterward, in my next letter to her. I did it deliberately, knowing it would stir her up. Even here my motives were selfish. I knew that Maura would be envious and at the same time would sense the coming downfall of Simone. This might embolden her or it could resurrect her old disappearing act.
I wanted to get a rise out of her, though, but I poured on the anguish thick in my letter. For one, the feelings were true. For another, I knew Maura would hang on every word. Also, we were on some level writers competing with each other, co-writing a story and trying to outdo each other with each serial update.
I also told Dave. Dave was turning into my confidante. It went both ways. It was almost better that we’d never really gotten to know each other in school. We had a relatively blank slate. After my initial drive to write a few stories I’d gone fallow again, but he was still taking his writing class and we talked about writing theory a lot. Is conflict necessary? How close can you get to reality and still call it fiction? I was writing much but I had all the answers.
I went to Dave with my moral dilemma. I had cheated on Simone. He was a little shocked. It didn’t fit my good-boy image. Also, he had gotten friendly with Simone. Her friend Sharon, from our original double date, had pretty much fallen out of the picture after going out with another one of my roommates, a total waste case named Seth Savage. More on him later.
Dave hadn’t hooked up with anyone yet and he and I and Simone sometimes did things together. She went out on some of our Operation Culture nights, although she said she found the ballet and the opera “pretty boring.”
So I felt doubly bad telling Dave I had cheated on Simone with Dannie. I was kind of putting him in an awkward position although I really had no doubt where his loyalties lay.
“I can’t figure out whether to tell her or not,” I said to Dave. We were sitting in our living room. I was on the rescued couch and he was on the big La-Z-Boy chair.
“Well, you can’t tell her,” he said. “She’ll never forgive you, and you wouldn’t be telling her for her. You’d be telling her to make yourself feel better.”
“That’s good,” I said. “Because I don’t really want to tell her. I’m chicken. Plus it’s not going to happen again.”
My big problem, I told Dave, was that this didn’t fit into my preexisting idea of myself. It was a kind of a mystery. Was a really the sort of guy who cheated on his girlfriend? Apparently I was. Did this mean I was a bad person, or cheating was OK, or something else entirely?
I was fairly attached to the idea of myself as a good guy, so I told myself that this was just a one-time thing - a reaction against all the sameness and routine that had been creeping into my life.
I resolved not to tell Simone and not to let it happen again.