Zurich (now the words)
In the car, on the way to Decaying Midwestern City (aren’t they all?), I say, “It’s nice to get to know you better.” I have cancelled a business meeting that would require taking my own car for exactly that reason. He says, hand on the wheel, jeans, black t-shirt over the shape of his working arms, his chest that looks as though he makes his living in a way that muscles his chest (he does), “There are a lot of things I’m protective of.”
“There are banks in Zurich less protective than you,” I say, and smiling, move my hand above his knee.
Two years ago, we knew each other casually. He invited me to a private place at his work, kissed me, lay me down in a hot, dim space, pulled my soft shorts to one side and went down on me. He wasn’t dressed in a way I could return the favor. Later that night, I met him in his hotel room, breaking my not-in-my-hometown rule, the sex was fantastic, our manner to each other stiff, neither wanting to commit to the first “I like you” words, both wary of giving away too much to our new, meanly witty acquaintance.
What I remember: the room was a handicapped room. I had met Lover in the same room two weeks before, the vagaries of coincidence. Zurich fucked me for a long time, mish, cowgirl, from behind with his cock big enough that I cried out and pulled away, puzzling him when I asked for more. We sat in each other’s laps, face to face, inside and wrapped around each other, his favorite, intimate and apart at the same time.
Zurich sends me a Myspace survey, the e-equivalent of the note in sixth grade, Do you like me? Check YES or NO. I answer the questions, delighted that someone’s interested, filling in the cute, the silly, the sexy, the banal.
1) Your Name: Mandy
3) Single or Taken: N/A
4) Favorite Movie: Run Lola Run
6) Favorite Music: Crappy pop on the radio, stuff Power Girl plays in the car, Peggy Lee
7) What word or phrase would you say best describes you? Right now I'm really referencing "thou shalt not bind the mouths of the kine that tread the corn" a lot.
9) Rate yourself out of 10 as a person and explain why? 7. Smarter, prettier and more talented than average, but with a slight egotism, deceitfulness and selfishness problem.
11) Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you: Won fifth grade spelling bee. Has secret recipe for pork chops.
12) First impression of me? Asshole. But really attractive.
16) Would you feel comfortable sleeping next to me? You're a little warm, but overall, yes.
17) Would you let me bake you a pie? Strawberry-rhubarb, please.
19) If you had 1 day to spend with me before I died, what would you want to do? Practice [job-related skill] and fuck.
I Myspace him back. He answers as fast as I did.
1) Your Name: Zurich
3) Single or Taken: I am my own man
4) Favorite Movie: Robocop
6) What word or phrase would you say best describes you? Bitter acerbic wit
7) Tattoos and/or Piercings: none
8) Why did you add me? Trying to get my round 2 with Mandy
9) Rate yourself out of 10 as a person and explain why? I am a 6...I was much higher once...but I am not the man I used to be...
10) Tell me one memory we have shared together: Overly warm dark place... and I kissed you and gave you oral sex...and you said "thanks"... I thought that was cool.
12) First impression of me? In a hurry...trying to impress...think she might be attracted to me or very chatty...hard to tell.
14) If you didn't know me, & you saw me in the street - What would your first thought be?
Great smile.... even upsidedown
19) If you had 1 day to spend with me before I died, what would you want to do? Skip the [job-related skill] swim and fuck...
A few months ago, he catches me at a bad time. More recently, he stalks more cautiously, makes me feel wanted and not just demanded. We have a business reason to get together. Phone calls are brief and in company. I text him:
Sorry to be distracted, underslept. I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing you.
He texts back, me too possible naked time! and follows it up with that was supposed to be a question.
I watch him work. He is authoritative and solicitous, a good combination. We’re reserved, polite, professional.
Today, I turn up at his hotel, as invited. He greets me at the door in a shirt and towel. I step out of my shoes and his hands are on my back, his mouth on my mouth. A teen comedy plays on the TV, an idiot blonde drama queen wreaking havoc all around her while the men in her life scheme to calm her down. Zurich is on me, in me, around me, his cock as long as Lover’s and hard, hard, hard, widening at the base and leaving me sore inside and out. The feeling of mild pain as he presses into the back wall of my pussy is what pushes me over the edge. He comes silently, and immediately gets up, flushes the condom, puts on his pants – he hates being naked, I don’t know why, he’s beautiful. I do know why, he’s recently not fat anymore.
We drive. We talk, more in this 90 minute drive than ever in our cumulative time together. It’s not deep, just personal. Which, for him, is the Marinas Trench. Which, for me, lets me lower the wall of don’t-let-him-see-you-be-weak-he’ll-stab-you-and-laugh. Which is probably what he’s afraid of, too.
“I’m all go,” he tells me. He’s not the type to flirt, to take turns in the game, he’s the type to take you up on a mild offer, the casual bait for a long play snapped up and there’s Zurich in your boat, holding you in your own net. Quick like a bandaid, pain or pleasure and at least it’s done, at least you know.
The hotel at the other end of the trip is a marble-lobby throwback to the days when commercial travelers stayed here for weeks at a time. Our room is grandly called a suite, the air conditioner is a wall unit mounted at floor level and cools only the space between the bed and the window. It’s hot even by the open window. The fetish club is in the basement, at the bottom of a dizzyingly fast elevator ride. He has changed into another black shirt, this time with collar, black jeans, boots. I have agonized over the Suitcase of Potential I brought with me, finally deciding, you can never go wrong with schoolgirl.
In the club, the ceiling is barely above our reach, the dance floor lightly thronged with hot goth girls in outrageous outfits. I hadn’t known what to expect, it is the Midwest after all, and I’m surprised at the range of clothing choices – there are the goth girls, a large contingent of black trench coats, a medium-sized schoolgirl quotient (at least I guessed the dress code right), and a group of what look like older frat boys in shorts and t-shirts. I’m bemused that there’s apparently no dress code. When the DJ announces that the participants in the fetish show should go backstage, all the hot goth girls leave the dance floor, thus solving the disconnect.
We watch the fetish show. There’s a scene with anime girls frolicking and then being attacked by a giant scrotum monster (there’s a fuzzy grey suit and two guys with one penis-shaped arm each involved), at which point they reveal themselves as Sailor Moon and one girl scares off the monster with a metal-bikini grinder act (she uses a grinder to shoot sparks from her steel bra). There’s a threesome where the two guys hook up while drunk and carry off the girl to parts unknown, via the one foot of wing space at the side of the stage. There’s a fire-eater who blows fireballs under the scary low ceiling and does body lights off a “slave girl”. There’s some sort of whipping act that I turn away from. In between, the slave girl crawls across the stage floor with scene title cards in her teeth. It’s interesting, and parts of it are amusing and even entertaining, but it’s not sexy. It’s not just the legal distance between groins and mouths, or the lack of connection between the “slaves” and the “dominants,” it’s the disconnect between reality and play-acting.
When I turn away from the whipping scene, I see a couple leaning against a square concrete pillar under the low ceiling. One of them is a young man, college-age, stocky and gentle-faced. One of them is either a boyish young woman, or a girlish young man in drag. (S)he’s in a tank top, a knee-length cotton madras skirt, flat sandals. He’s in the ubiquitous black jeans and black t-shirt. Her back is against the pillar, he leans into her, kisses her hair, her ears, her neck. Her face is sweetly upturned, her eyes closed, and there is the look I know, I remember, the look that says, you like me. I like that you like me. I’m not a little girl anymore. It’s the sexiest thing I see all night.