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Sunday, December 12, 2004

A FOND REMEMBRANCE OF SUMMER ROMANCE

I’ve been in a somewhat down mood lately and when I find myself in such a state of mind I let my thoughts run back over whatever situation qualifies as my most recent “fling.” Looking back on my admittedly checkered romantic past can either depress me even further or cheer me up mightily, but mulling over my summer romance has not only filled me with pleasing, lusty flashbacks, but also served to point out the real-life unintentional humor that often goes with how torrid encounters work when not found in hot books or big screen contrivances.

The co-player in my summer fling was a woman whom I first met about thirteen years ago when she was fresh out of college and I was working in the Marvel Comics bullpen. Marvel was just as short on females as one would expect from a company that caters to the arrested development of pathetic losers who still live in the parents’ basement and haven’t seen any part of pussy since they first slid out of one, and the presence of this vivacious young thing who gave off blatant “I’m horny, care to take a ride?” pheromones did not go unnoticed. Cute in an R. Crumbish way, with long hair, an earthy sensuality and a curvy figure that promised epic, sweaty pleasures, this ribald vision was around the bullpen for far too short a time for me to get a taste of her charms but we kept in touch over the years and periodically ran into each other at parties and barbecues. She eventually tied the knot with some unassuming nebbish and the last time I saw her prior to the story that I’m about to regale you with was about three years ago when she was pregnant with her son.

Fast forward to July of 2004: I was on my way into Manhattan to see two friends of mine when I heard my answering machine come to life and the slightly lispy voice of the vision from the bullpen filled the air. She left a message explaining that she was once again living in the city — she and her husband had moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut near Black Rock Turnpike — had walked out on her husband, and was looking to hook up with her remaining city-dwelling pals. She left her number and said that she’d be out that evening drowning her sorrows at a dive bar on the Lower East Side if I should care to join her and hear her tale of marital discord. I kept this info in mind, visited my friends and when our visit was over I hightailed it over to the dive bar with nothing on my mind other than seeing an old friend again.

I arrived at Otto’s Shrunken Head, a decaying latter-day tiki-themed watering hole that would be right at home as the location for an album cover photo shoot by the Cramps, and searched its dank confines for my friend. And there she was, huddled into the round, red leather confines of a corner booth, working her way through a very stiff rum concoction. She looked much as she always did, only with a bit of yet-to-be-shed post-baby weight further rounding out her already cuddly contours and her face was a picture of broken-hearted and fed-up misery. During her time at Marvel, she had gone by several names, but her nickname of choice is now “Sukihoshi,” bastardized Japanese for “porn star,” and that is how she will be identified from here on.

We shot the shit and caught up on the past three years in each other's histories, and I found out the reasons for her walking out on her husband, reasons that are not mine to relate so tough titty to you, but I also found out that her husband had not given her a proper seeing-to since the night that they conceived their son, so after I did the math I realized that this force of female nature had been lying fallow for nearly three years.

Now, those who know me will tell you that I am a very sweet guy, the very antithesis of stereotypical macho behavior when it comes to interacting with and pursuing women, and in many ways that sweetness is what prohibits me from absolutely rampaging on the battlefield of cocksmanship. However on this particular night I channeled my inner macho shithead, and emboldened by a relatively minor amount of liquid courage I looked at Sukihoshi and actually uttered the following words: “Honey, we’re both lonely and could use a little lovin’, so put down that drink, come back to my apartment, and I’ll remind you of why you’re a woman.” As those ludicrous words spewed forth, I heard a little voice in my head say, “Did you actually just say that?” She looked at me like I had just walked out the Mothership clad in silver and Bootsy Collins-style platform thigh boots, cocked her head in thought for a moment and said “C’mere and let me see something…” She then reached over, pulled my face to hers and kissed me long and deep. She pulled away, thought for another moment and said, “Let’s go.” You could have heard a sonic boom thanks to the speed with which we fled Otto’s Shrunken Head.

Much has been made of courtship rituals and the coy brinksmanship witnessed during the attempts of two people who are trying to connect, but when one looks at all of it from an objective standpoint it’s all pretty goofy to observe. When Sukihoshi and I hopped into a Brooklyn-bound yellow cab we engaged in a refreshingly adolescent arabesque of groping, sloppy kisses and hands questing into jeans the like of which I hadn’t experienced since my early, clandestine fumblings with girls during the nascent 1980’s. The driver kept his eyes more on our crazed weasel-like foreplay than on the road, and after a couple of near head-on collisions with streetlamps we finally made it back to Park Slope in Brooklyn.

As we neared my street I remembered that it had been a while since I had enjoyed the pleasures of female flesh and as a result I had no condoms back at my apartment, so we disembarked at a convenience store one block and an avenue away from my home. We must have looked quite the picture of the about-to-happen beast-with-two-backs since we were unable to keep our hands off of each other and the saucy banter that spiced our conversation left little to the imagination, to say nothing of my request for a box of Trojans serving as a guaranteed attention-getter. I actually felt awkward asking for the condoms, a first since my misspent youth, and I guess that was an issue due to the girl whom I was about to befoul being not only present but also flagrantly consumed with the need to have her knees pinned behind her ears.

As the indifferent counterman handed me the prophylactics, my lady friend and I caught the attention of one of the neighborhood winos. This erudite citizen did a double take at the sight of me, a six-foot light-skinned black guy, and a voluptuous five-foot four-inch strawberry blonde and announced, “OH, SHIT! SOMEBODY’S GETTING’ FUCKED TUH-NIGHT! I’M TALKIN’ ‘BOUT DA PUSS-SEH!!!” He then somehow managed to stagger outside and when Sukihoshi and I walked out we saw him supporting himself with one arm while he voided the toxic contents of his abused bladder onto the front of the bodega. With that mood-setting tableau to inspire us, we retired to my apartment for an evening of some of the most bed frame-destroying, noisy, sweaty, lewd and downright porno-movie-style sex I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.

This went on for a few more weeks and ended amicably once Sukihoshi and I realized that us as a couple wouldn’t work for a few very good reasons, but I treasure the time we spent together and am thankful to her for restoring my belief in the fact that sex can still be a hell of a lot of fun. I really wish that things for both of us could be somewhat different, but I will always remember her fondly as one of the very brightest moments in my book of delectible, all-senses-involved blazing osh-osh.

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