I walked behind Sonia all the way to her house, and my eyes traced the lines of her back. She chattered idly about this or that, as I responded drunkenly to every point she raised. “Do you know any constellations?” she asked.
“No,” I said, because I’d barely seen the stars in my city-boy life. “Why, do you?”
“No, I’m like you,” she paused, craning her neck as she inspected the sky. “I’m a city girl, but I just kind of like the idea of it.”
I watched Sonia while she paused, with her hands in her lap, staring up into the sky. “The idea of it?”
“I like the idea that the cave people were looking up at the sky,” she raised her hand above her head, pointing to a plot of imaginary dots in the sky. “And they told each other, like, ooh, that’s a bear, that’s a deer.”
“I think people told ‘em to each other,” I paused for effect, “like a around the campfire and, I bet there were a lot of dirty ones.”
She laughed explosively, and I could feel my penis respond as it rubbed up against the inside of my underpants. I knew she liked jokes, and the jokes I told especially, but I couldn’t believe that I really turned her on. She slapped her own thighs as she nodded up and down like a metronome. “Yup!” she said, patting herself lightly on the chest, “I bet there are a lot of dick constellations.”
We laughed and laughed, picking imaginary constellations out of the starless sky, pretending we saw vulgar forms. Sonia pointed up at nothing above, “Look, there’s a constellation of a prostitute pleasing a man orally.”
“That one’s called Vicensia the Whore,” I said, keeping our game of dirty constellations going.
Sonia smiled and giggled as she continued the joke. “Over there is Trompo, or man with anal beads.”
Her line caught me, as many of her previous lines had, just right, and I guffawed powerfully slapping myself on the knees. “I see it!” I pointed my finger up at the sky, tracing an imaginary figure. “That’s where the legs come together, and then there’s a line going down the middle.” I stood with her head next to mine, pointing up at nothing above us as our eyes followed my finger. When our cheeks touched, I turned my head, waited for Sonia to look into my eyes, and planted another kiss on her lips.
She pushed me away, ending our kiss and holding me at arms length. “I don’t know,” Sonia glanced at the ground. “Don’t you have work tomorrow?”
She enfolded her left wrist in her right hand, waiting for me to answer.
Is this moving too fast for her now? I didn’t know if I could interpret romantic signals, and I thought I might have skipped a step. Is she worrying about whether I’m gonna spend the night? Would she like me too? “Do I have work tomorrow? I don’t know.” I trailed off, raising my knuckle to my chin in consideration. “Whatta you think?”
It was the best thing I could think of, leaving it up to her. Sonia clapped, and brightened with a smile that showed her teeth. “I think you can call in sick tomorrow, that’s what I think.”
She folded her arms over her chest and mimicked a schoolmarm stalking the grounds during curfew-check. Her pace quickened and she kept her eyes forward, anxious, I assumed, to get me back to her place and have her way with me. All my sexual fantasies of powerful women leapt into my mind at once, from the hot teacher to the stepmom and the babysitter. I searched the catalog of masturbatory tableaus in my mind, and selected one of my favorites: the hot nurse.
I imagined Sonia, wearing a wispy paper apron, stopping by my room, saying it was time for a sponge bath. It was only a moment before my penis was fully erect.
I guess it had been a while since I’d had an accidental erection because when I first felt my penis stiffen I had the thought that something was wrong with my pants. It’s an odd sensation, the feel of a boner on the inside of a pair of jeans. At first this sensation made me reflexively nervous, but then I beamed with pride and excitement. I could still get an incidental boner, and I was about to use this one for its intended purpose.
“Okay,” Sonia said, clapping her hands together as if to clean her hands of chalk. “Well after we fuck, you can go, but I’ll ask you to be quiet, my tenants get pissy if you wake them up.” I grinned
Sonia turned up the sidewalk heading to her front door, but before she reached her front step I reached my hand out and grabbed at her left shoulder. “Listen, I. . .” I don’t know exactly what it had been my intention to say. I was going to say that I could call in sick the next day, and that her face had awakened in me a passion that had long been dormant, but instead I just pulled her in and gave her a long kiss. I believe my point came across.
This kiss was not nervous, as the peck I’d given her in the bar had been. I closed my eyes and attempted to feel her heartbeat through the skin on her cheeks. My right hand felt the coarseness of her hair as my palm rotated around the back of her head. I remembered all the romantic stories I’d known, and thought that this was the start of our own narrative.
I held the kiss for as long as I could, forcing her to bring it to a stop, which she did.
When I gradually opened my eyelids, I could see that Sonia’s eyes were already wide open, and the expression on her face was one of bemused curiosity. “Well, okay,” she grinned and chuckled briefly. “Okay fine you don’t have to go after you’re done, I was just saying—“ I kissed her again, I might even have opened my mouth a little towards the end of it. In response to this expression of passion, I felt her hands press on my shoulders and push me to an arms length away from her. “Okay now, let’s save it till we get inside yeah?”
She seemed to respond positively to the attention I was giving her, so I kept at her as she opened the door, kissing her neck and pawing at her limbs. She chuckled, half heartedly keeping me at a distance until she entered her home. I followed, pursuing her and kissing her deeply. It is no mystery what came over me, but still I was surprised by its insistent power.
We worked our way up the stairs and into bed, wasting no time getting to it. We had sex, and it was in a word awesome. I mean awesome not in the sense that it was simply fantastic, but in the sense that it inspired awe in me. I marveled at every sensation, enthralled at the way I could feel myself lost.
This was the first time I’d had sex in several years, so as it began, though I was rapturous, I was also extremely nervous. What if any of the myriad things that could go wrong went wrong? I thought about all these terrible things that could happen, from premature ejaculation to erectile disfunction, and when none of them did happen, I lost myself in pleasure.
Sex had always appeared in my life thus far as an unpleasant memory. I could not relive any of the times I’d had sex without also remembering the pain it had brought with it. I couldn’t remember my first time, a fumbling piece of ecstatic excitement I’d experienced with Lee-Ha, the Korean exchange student I’d known in college, without also remembering the moment in front of her dorm just two days later when she told me she’d prefer to stay friends.
I cursed myself all the way home after that. Raging against myself and the entire world. But all that pain was forgotten the instant I could feel Sonia’s skin, energized with life as we surged together into an active bliss.
In the middle of it, the part of my brain that constantly chirps at me with all-consuming criticism shut off. Immediately afterwards, I was blissful as I lay next to Sonia, closing my eyes and drifting away on wings of gratification.
It wasn’t until long afterwards, when we were lying next to each other, that she spoke to me again. “You gonna call in sick?”
“Oh, yeah I should,” I groaned, coughing through the end of my sentence. “But I haven’t missed a day in a couple years, it should be fine.” As I said the word “fine,” an enormous grin broke over my lips, and I felt truly happy.
“Yeah me too,” Sonia said, “I don’t have any pressing appointments this morning.” She beamed at me.
“Good,” I said, stretching my arm over her chest and letting it lay. Something about the way Sonia said “morning,” caught me, and I sat up like lightning. I suddenly realized that my mother might be dead. “Oh shit, I gotta make a call.”
“What? Why?” Sonia asked these questions in a way that seemed aggressive rather than inquisitive. Though I might have been offended by the brusk directness of her questions, but I wasn’t.
This was excellent, or at least I considered it such, as this meant that Sonia had forgotten I live with my mother. I realized that this fact would allow me to construct whatever reality I wanted for myself. I thought about what would be most endearing and least pathetic. “I gotta walk my dog.” It wasn’t until I said this that I realized it made no sense.
“Dogs can’t answer phones,” Sonia said, cocking her eyebrow up suspiciously. “You’re married, aren’t you? I won’t be mad.” The look on her face was disappointed, and as I looked on it I recalled from my own past what it had felt like to carry such an expression.
“No, I just, um—“
“I remember, you live with your mother, I’m just asking’ why you need to make a call.” Sonia cackled at me, and it warmed my heart. That she remembered such a piddling detail from our prior conversation boded well, I thought, and it further indicated she didn’t mind my living situation.
She’d asked why I wanted to call my mother, and the truth was that I didn’t, but I felt like it was something I should do. “I don’t know, I guess I was worried.”
She beamed very slightly. “Worried about your mom?” She looked up at me, stunning me with her eyes as a full smile plastered on her lips. “That’s sweet, wanna go home?”
I didn’t want to go home, at least not yet. I looked around Sonia’s bedroom thinking about where I was and how I’d gotten there. I pulled the phone out of my pocket and held it up to my ear. As I selected “Home” from the contacts list and pressed call, raising the phone to my ear. I heard three monotonous, long, chiming tones before I heard the answering machine message.
“This is the Forsyte residence, leave your name and number.” Hearing my mother’s voice, recorded in the machine’s database, made me wish that she didn’t drink as much as she did. I had forgotten how she could sound. “Hey mom, I spent the night at Sonia’s and I think I’ll call in sick today, so I’ll see you in the early afternoon. Love you, maybe we can play Scrabble later like old times.”
Sonia chortled, mockingly. “Gonna play Scrabble with your mommy later?”
“Yeah, yeah I might.” The moment I spoke this, I realized what a laughable concept it was. To think that my mom would be cogent enough to play a game of Scrabble, and willing to play a game of Scrabble, was a laughable presumption. “Ever since I was a little kid, we’ve always liked Scrabble.”
Sonia lay her hand over my shoulder, “Aww, that’s sweet.” This judgement of Sonia’s, for once, did not seem mocking. It seemed like she actually thought it was touchingly adorable, which may have made her envious of my relationship with my mom. This prediction that the two of us would join in a game of Scrabble was a lie, as I assumed she would likely be passed out.
I don’t know why I lied in this way. I had nothing to gain by convincing Sonia that my relationship with my mother was healthy, but still I attempted to do just that. I scanned her bedroom with a cursory glance, and could not find a picture of either of her parents. “How is your relationship with your parents?”
Immediately after I had asked this question I regretted it. Her eyebrows were knit hard above her eyes as they stared at me. “Why?”
I stumbled, struggling to quickly decide what I would say. “Uh—um,” Sonia seemed annoyed. “I don’t know, curious I guess.”
“Bullshit,” she said, leaving her mouth hanging open after she did. “That’s a weird question to ask, you gotta know.” She sat up on the bed, swung her legs over the side, and wordlessly stepped from her bedroom into her kitchen. I followed her with my eyes, and I could watch from my position on the bed as she opened the fridge and took out a bottle of clear liquid. She poured a bit of the clear liquid into a glass and then coupled it with the best part of a can of RC Cola.
“Hey could you make me one too?” She looked back through the doorway at me on the bed and flashed me a grin. As she poured my drink, I called Harvest Time and told Guadeloupe I wouldn’t make it to work that day. As I hung up the phone and slid it back into my pocket. Sonia walked back into the room and handed me a glass of black liquid.
“Calling in sick?”
“Yeah,” I said, pausing as I sipped my very strong drink. It only took a second for the drink to give me the courage I needed to dig deeper into my inquiries. “So what’s up with you and your parents?”
“I don’t know, fuck, they’re dead.” After she spoke, Sonia pulled deeply from her own glass, gulping as she did. After she pulled the glass until it was empty, then lifted it from her lips and placed it on the kitchen table. She stood leaning against the table with both her palms, then looked at me and changed the subject. “So you wanna fuck again, or not?”
I was shocked, as I thought I’d been at least annoying her, and may have been insulting her, but before I even realized what she asked I responded: “Sure I do.”
Though perhaps not as entrancing as the first, the second time I fucked Sonia was at least as rapturous as the first. Twice in one day? I was amazed by my own sexual prowess, and after a time both of us drifted back to sleep.