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It was a hot night in August. You know—the kind of night that's so humid you can swim in it. And I was so hot. Jeez, was I hot. I kept playing The Beach Boys and checking my temperature. The thermometer read 98.6 degrees. I’d been walking around my apartment in the raw for two hours; doing headstands and my whole gymnastics number. Alex was away for two damn weeks, down there in the Caribbean, of all places. In August.
So anyway, I’m prowling around the apartment trying not to think about getting laid, and the only thing I can think about is getting laid. There is steam coming out of my pores. Then something happens. It is 11:00 and the telephone rings and a guy says, "Hi."
"Hi," I say, hoping it's an obscene phone call.
"I live across the street," he says. "I’ve been watching your body for the last three hours." There is a gentlemanly pause. "I hope you won't be offended, but, er, are you married?"
"Live with someone?"
"No." I say, foolishly, seeing my murdered body lying across the Daily News centerfold.
"I didn't think so," he says.
"I don't know, the way you walk..."
"How do I walk?"
"Oh, you uh, you walk hot."
Holy crap. I am getting to like this phone call.
"That's what I was calling about," he says. "I don't mean, you know, to be rude, but I’d like to come up there and screw you for a couple of hours."
Good grief, I think. He doesn't mean to be rude! Well, he’s a crazy person, and I’m talking to him. Now, I am not a crazy person. If anything, definitely uncrazy, middle class, a computer programmer. But what do I say? Do I say, "What do you think I am, crazy?" No.
"Just like that?" That is what I say.
"I don't want to talk too long," he says, "because when you drag it out you lose the heat. You know."
No, I don't know. What kind of nut job is on the phone I also don't know. Why am I talking to him? I know why. I am curious. And hot.
"Do you do this often?" I ask.
"Only when a body really hits me."
"How old are you?"
"I’m twenty-six," I say.
"That's good," he says, "very good." This kid, I reflect, has racked up a lot of composure for a mere twenty.
"How do I know you’re not a murderer?" I ask.
"Look," he says, "I better come over soon. I'm not a phone fucker, you know?"
"Right," I say. "But look, I can't just open the door. I mean, you know, I’m not crazy, man. Besides, I don't know what you look like."
"When you see me, it'll be alright."
"Look, I understand your position," he adds, getting very serious for such a hot night, "so I have some references. I mean, if you want to call them."
"Oh, right. Good. I’ll check them out and call you back."
"Don’t talk too much more," he says. "I’ll be ready. When you call, just say okay."
"Yeah, that's all." And he hangs up. Not, however, before he has given me the numbers of three ex-girlfriends. I call the first one (maybe she won’t be home). I hear "Hi," a very girlie voice.
"Hi," I say. How do I introduce myself? Hello there. I live across the street from some guy who wants to fuck me and he gave me your name as a reference... I decide I don't say that. I say, "I got this funny phone call from some man and I—"
"Oh God, Joey," she says. "Probably called you up to screw you, right?"
"Oh wow!" she says. This does not seem like sufficient information.
"Do you know him?"
"Oh wow, yeah," she says. "I mean, I knew him for a whole beautiful two weeks. He's beautiful, Joey."
"Does he have a profession"” Why do I ask this, why am I so crazy, uptight, unadventurous? Who the hell cares?
"He’s really into lights, you know, and glass boxes. He’s the artistic type"
"Oh." I pause. "Does he do anything with them, the lights and glass boxes?"
"Momma's got one," she says.
" 'Momma' His mother?"
"The Museum of Modern Art." A tone of slight disdain enters.
"Oh. They do? Really?"
"Yeah," she says, "In the permanent collection."
This changes everything. It’s certainly okay to screw somebody who's made it into the permanent collection. I thank number one and call two. She's out. But the third is at home. And very busy so she rushes me off the phone after confirming the MOMA exhibit is legit.
She hangs up. Somehow I feel like someone who has just hired a mother's helper for a summer in the Hamptons.
This is not the kind of decision you can call a friend about. If a friend called me, I'd tell her to take two aspirins or two anything, and hit the sack until the impulse passes. So I'm not calling any friends. I call Joey.
"Joey?" I say. "Okay."
"Okay," Joey says, and hangs up. In two minutes he is standing at my door. He is wearing dungarees, a bare chest, two gold chains, and no shoes.
"Why'd you get dressed?" he asks. "It’s only a robe," I say. Joey’s right. I love him. If you can love anyone in a minute. Joey is adorable, gorgeous. He could rack up beautifully in a singles bar. Why does he stay home doing all this window work?
"You can’t see somebody's body that well in clothes," Joey explains.
"Oh," I say. "Are you just totally into bodies?"
"The body is the temple of the soul."
"Maybe we shouldn't talk," I say. Suddenly, I am worried that Joey is stupid. I cannot fuck a stupid man.
"You think we shouldn't talk because I said temple of the soul."
"Okay," Joey says. "But we’ll need some music."
He goes through my record collection. I am leaving it all up to him. I don't know what the hell I’m doing, I decide. Suddenly I’m losing interest.
"I’ve lost interest," I say. "Maybe you should go home."
Joey is unruffled. "You’ll get it back," he says. "You need time. You like how I look, right?"
"Right," I say. Oh boy, do I is what I think. So why is everything off? And it is off. I can tell. The entire system, so hot before, has suddenly shut down.
"If you don’t, say it." Joey is earnest. "I mean, if I don’t look good to you, it's not right, man. You know."
"No, it’s right. You look good to me."
"Show me your bush," he says. Suddenly, I'm interested. I flash him. He looks very serious. Then he runs around adjusting the lighting. It looks better when he's done. It's soft in the house now. And hot. It’s too hot to make love, I tell him.
"We’ll wait until it cools off."
"I thought you said you had to come over here right away?"
"I had to get here right away. But these things take time, man," Joey says. "Stay loose." He settles back on my pillows and takes out some cold grapes, some white wine, and some sesame seeds from a blue duffel bag. He puts them out on the table in little dishes.
"You come with everything you need," I say, impressed. And disappointed. I had thought briefly the murder weapon might be in that duffel bag.
"Come over here." He pats the seat beside him. I go over, interested in the grapes. I sit next to him. Something begins to happen to my body. He is touching the back of my neck, and my spine. "This will feel good," he says.
"It would be better lying down."
"Get on the bed." I get on the bed, and we lie there for quite a while. One hour. Two. Eating grapes, listening to music. Joey tells me he just wants to get in tune. Sometimes he touches me. Things are going just fine.
After the initial shock, I am beginning to get warm again. "I thought we were going to have sex," I say.
"Too soon." Joey says. "Didn't work out. Want to go to sleep?" I am drowsy. It is getting cooler. I doze off.
Mid Morning Ecstasy
When I wake up, the clock reads 4:00 AM and Joey is kissing my toes. Each toe twenty times. Then he sucks them, then he moves up my ankles and my knees. He does such a job on the backs of my knees I almost can’t continue. He is naked and beautiful. He works his way up the inside of my thighs until he comes to the place where they meet. Wanting and waiting, I am getting hot again.
He starts with kisses on my clit, soft, almost nonexistent, until he spreads me and uses his fingers, as well. Suddenly, he is going to town on my clit and pussy as I writhe. The humidity of the early morning makes me sweaty, and as Joey plays with my nipples, I am thrown into ecstasy.
I pull him up to me. I can’t take another orgasm. I need him inside me now. He flips me over effortlessly and begins to roll his tongue along my back. The sides of my ribs and the top of my crack have me wiggling in an erotic fit. I feel how hard he is when he leans over me. My face down, I feel him along the back of my thigh. I turn over. I want him now, and he is taking his sweet time. He is a long, steady rocker, and he takes me on a long, long trip around the world and then some, uptown, downtown, and back home at last. We are on the bed, on the floor, against the wall. We are lying and standing and sixty-nining. It is really something, this sex with a stranger. I am covered with a light coating of sweat when it is over. I do not want him to go. He stays. At 7:00 AM, I roll towards him.
"One more time," I say. He obliges. This time just as good as the first in the early hours of the morning. We are both reaching climax with the sunrise. Screaming in ecstasy as the birds are waking from their restful night’s sleep. We fall back asleep. At 9:00 AM, we commence once more, more sleepily, but just as satisfying. At 11:00, he says, "Let’s get some breakfast."
As we munch toast I say, "So that's it, just bodies, completely bodies?" Even now I am startled by it. He seems too, well, passionate for just bodies.
"No," he says. No? Will he pledge eternal love to me? It occurs to me I do not want eternal love from Joey. I want something else. His body.
"If it’s not just bodies, then what is it?"
Joey shrugs. "It’s hotness."
Joey shrugs. "Hot is hot," he says, pushes his chair back, and stands up.
"Are you leaving?"
"How long have you lived across the street?" I ask (like a suspicious wife).
"Two days." He smiles. It turns me on when he smiles.
"Will you come back?" I feel stricken.
"On how you’re walking," he says. He is crazy. He is charming. I like him. I wonder if he knew I’d like him.
"The reason I got hot was not because of your body, uh not entirely," I tell him, "but because I liked you." There.
"Come here," he says. We muzzle.
"How can you be in the permanent collection at twenty? That’s impossible." He smiles.
"I’ve got serious steam."
"My boyfriend comes back in two weeks."
Joey looks at me. When he kisses me goodbye, he says, "Walk for me in the window tonight."
And that night, as soon as the sun is down, I begin my dance.
Then the phone rings. "Okay," I say.