For You, The Stars
Chapter Five: Paid in Full
Keith parked his Hyundai in an alley near our office. He had the front windows tinted although he told me that it wasn’t legal. We’d get in his car and he’d drive around as we passed the joint back and forth. We both had jobs you could do easily while stoned. I kind of enjoyed xeroxing with my walkman on when I was baked.
Keith and I talked about music and women mostly, and also drugs. He was the one who told me that you shouldn’t eat when you’re high, because it “soaks it up” and you come down faster. He was also the first guy I ever heard referring to having an orgasm as “busting a nut.” I though that was a great expression.
One thing I really admired about Keith was that he would walk right up to women on the street and ask them out. “You never know if you don’t ask,” he would say.
Speaking of orgasms, I finally noticed that Cecilia wasn’t having any. I hated to admit it but I wasn’t always sure when or if a women had come. With me, it was pretty obvious. It’s not just that a girl could be faking it. It’s that there didn’t seem to be a clear cut “moment” sometimes. Also, each new woman seemed different. Often there would be a series of small climactic events but then finally a much bigger one. It was kind of embarassing to ask a girl if she’d come (yet), and I felt stupid no matter what the answer was.
With Cecilia I didn’t notice right away because she did the getting excited thing and then she’d pull away and say she was too sensitive, which I knew sometimes happened after an orgasm. As we got more experienced with each other’s bodies it became obvious to me that her pulling away would happen before she came. In fact, it seemed to happen just when she was on the verge.
She’d sometimes turn away from me and hide her face. I tried talking to her about it and she opened up to me slowly. Finally she told me she had never had an orgasm, not with a guy, not by herself.
“Not even masturbating?”
“I don’t masturbate.”
“You mean you’ve never even tried?”
“Well, I’ve tried.”
I tried to be really understanding about it. I felt guilty too. I was “getting my nut” every time and she never was? It sounded like the most frustrating thing in the world.
We tried everything. We tried creeping up on it with stealth. We tried running the barricade. We tried endless oral sex till my tongue and jaw muscles were hellishly cramped. We tried we fingering her in various ways. I bought her a vibrator. It was always the same. She’d get worked up, she’d get close, she’d get right on the verge, and then she’d freak.
One time we went to a play at Theatre Artaud, a funky place near Potrero Hill. I don’t remember what the play was about but one character delivered a long soliloquy on the singular joys of the “big O.” Cecilia just looked at me and whimpered.
Besides her inability to get off, our sex life was great. One time Cecilia actually admitted to me that she was more into being seen as sexy than she was into sex, but who could blame her, really? Despite that, or maybe because it was part of maintaining her image as a sexpot, she was a very giving lover. I had just to mention a fantasy to her and she’d fulfill it.
Like a lot of women, she didn’t love giving head, but she made a point of doing it from time to time without having to be asked. We’d take showers together in the little shower off of her room and she’d get down on her knees and blow me before we were done.
She liked the way I worshipped her body and she was happy to have me fondle her breasts when we were in bed together. The way she dressed, tight tops and sometimes bike shorts that showed her camel toe, I’d sometimes grab her body when we were sitting around her sister’s house. Then she’d complain about it. Of course, none of the women I’d ever been with had liked me grabbing their tits or their ass out of the blue. It was just interesting to see where she drew the line on being constantly desirable.
I sometimes wondered if her presence in the house was at all distracting to Todd or a problem for Laurie. I was’t kidding about the tights or incredibly tight pants she wore. “You could see everything,” as they say. I’m sure Todd appreciated the show but I wonder if that made him feel creepy, like lusting after the babysitter, which - come to think of it - is exactly what Cecilia was to him, not to mention family.
I was getting more and more bored at work. It was never a really meaningful job for me and the atmosphere was becoming less playful as the recession took hold and they started laying off architects. It seemed especially lame that they were hiring marketing people at the same time they were cutting the people who actually did the work of the firm.
Ironically, I was indispensable as the only person in the office who understood my spreadsheets. I got to be friends with a couple of the architects. They seemed really “grown up” to me at the time. Not old, exactly, but maybe middle aged. They were probably just pushing 40 at the time.
It seemed like nearly every Friday we had a going-away party for whoever had just been fired. We’d usually go to the Cadillac Bar or one of the other downtown restaurants that could handle large parties. The Cadillac served Mexican food. You could order a hamburger there but if you did your waiter would shout “Hamburger!” over the incredible din and the whole room would laugh at you.
The architects explained to me how the interior was designed to intensify the noise and make the place sound like a party. It was always painfully loud in there. We’d all have beers and margaritas with our lunch and then stumble back to the office and getting nothing done for the rest of the afternoon.
One time instead of heading back to the office the two architects I had gotten to be friends with took me barhopping instead. One of them even produced a bowl as we staggered between bars and got us stoned. We ended up sitting on a hill overlooking the perpetually unfinished Moscone Center.
They explained to me some of the endless wrangling that had gone into building that convention center and how it had ended up being built entirely below ground level.
“I thought they were going to put a building on top of the site,” I said.
“No, it’s just going to be like it is now.”
“It’s not so much a building as a taking up of space,” I said.
They told me I could be an architectural critic with lines like that.
We talked about the women in the office. There was this one “older” (mid-40s) women with a middle european accent and heavy makeup whom I always felt was flirting with me.
“She flirts with everybody,” they told me.
“Sometimes I think I’ll just grab her and drag her into a closet and do her,” I said, the margaritas talking.
“You should. She’d like that.”
On one of my weekends up in Marin I overslept on Monday morning and decided to blow off going into work. Instead I called in sick. It was a beautiful sunny day and with Todd and Laurie off to their jobs we had the whole place to ourselves. I helped a little with the baby and in the afternoon we did some nude sunbathing. I was really starting to like my body.
Cecilia sunbathed in the nude a lot. She wanted an all-over body tan. The back deck was sheltered so it wasn’t like anybody could see us, although I sometimes thought that she wouldn’t exactly mind being ogled by a peeping tom.
Cecilia even convinced Chad’s girlfriend Chelsea to sunbathe nude topless on the tiny little deck off of his room in our house in the city. We were hanging out in their room on the back deck one day and Cecilia asked if we minded if she took off her top. Chelsea said that sounded like a nice idea and asked the same question. Chad and I looked at each other, amused.
“No problem,” he said. Cecilia had nice tits but Chelsea was in another league entirely. I soaked up the sun and tried to fix the image of those swollen oversized orbs in my mind, filing them away for a later day.