Facinating read, awakening an old not-pleasant memory 40 years old. I suppose it could qualify as an outlier of the type you discuss. Edited from a memoir:

Never, never, no matter what else you do in your whole life, never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own.

--Nelson Algren

She was sitting with another woman and a man at one of those small round tables by the crowded dance floor. She had a high forehead beneath an impressive red mane, and a bold nose centering a wide mobile face whose changing expressions reflected imperial disdain for dancers jerking and twisting in a swirl of colored lights. She called to mind Ernest Hemingway's description of Gertrude Stein as a woman who resembled a Roman emperor. Which was all right, Hemingway said, if you liked your women to resemble Roman emperors. Not what you'd call an attractive first impression...

It was payday. My clerical staff of three was in the bar, payday-festive with tequila shooters. In their delight at accidental meeting, they insisted on buying my drinks...The fiery shots went down quickly after the first jolt, and spread loosening warmth. I noticed, and then forgot, the imperial redhead. Took avuncular enjoyment from my girls' dancing and flirting with all comers. It pleased me how secure they were in my discretion. They knew I knew the rules: what happens on girls' night out stays on girls' night out.

Time gets fluid in loud bars with twirling colored lights interspersed with strobe effects. Tequila shooters enhance the effect. I lost track of its passage. Had fun watching them shed work persona in dirty dancing and surreptitious gropes. Finally humored them and danced with a woman at the next table, giddy and giggly as they were. She asked if the girls were my daughters. I was polite but didn't dance with her again. My ego already was bruised from a rough work week ... I didn't need reminders life was running through my fingers and youth already had fled...

When I leaned back, the chunky woman with the profile was walking rapidly toward me, transfigured. Smiling, bouncy, laughing as she came. Under dance-floor lighting the sequins on her black party dress twinkled nicely...Chameleon-like, she now resembled wicked big city ladies who visited the matriarch of my clan when I was a small boy...Throaty smoker's voice like a Hollywood femme fatale on the Late Show."My friends are leaving now," she told me. "Since I'm driving, I'm going too." She turned a chair from the next table and sat, leaning forward cozily...

"I really do have to go," she said. "I know you know I was looking at you. But we have to leave and there's no time!" Her breath was rich with Scotch...

The dance ended. My girls disentangled themselves and homed in, reading her body language suspiciously. She gauged them in one of those female-on-female silent clashes.

"They look very protective of you, don't they, darling?" she said. "Are you sleeping with any of them? All of them?"

"A woman earlier asked me if they were my daughters."

"That bimbo you danced with!" The imperial sneer was back. "She's a moron. If you're not sleeping with any of them, you could be. They all are crazy about you." She stated this with complete certitude...leaned closer and slipped a fleshy perfumed arm around my neck with complete familiarity. Our heads almost touched.

"Tell them our grandmothers knew each other," she breathed, "so they won't know I'm a cheap hussy trying to pick you up in a bar." Her choice of words was uncanny, as if she really knew the matriarch and all her warnings to me against hussies..."The party continues at Capitol Grill," she said. "There's a jazz pianist I want you to hear. Just finish your drink with the girls. There'll be a drink on the table when you get there..."

When I got to the Capitol Grill my face was numb, my reflexes suspect. To say nothing of my judgment. The drink on the table was bourbon rocks. Surprised me because I'd been drinking tequila shooters...

“Satisfactory?” the redhead said, flipping her mane at the drink.

“My preference actually. How did you know?”

Crooked grin. “Your secretary told me. We're pals now...”

I meant to have one drink before driving home. My girls fixed that with all those shooters—I wasn't about to risk fifty miles in my condition, and was thinking lucky I had my camper, I could sleep it off. Then my new companions invited me to their apartment complex to continue the birthday party. The redhead was downstairs neighbor to the couple. She made some crack about “that enormous RV thing” when I followed her red Camaro home.

We convened in her place. Out came the rolling papers and marijuana...I declined...They set up some kind of board game on the kitchen table, played and smoked and giggled. Not Monopoly or Scrabble, so I sat out...It was pushing three a.m. In four more hours I would have been awake twenty-four...

His blonde went upstairs, came back in a floor-length black silk negligee. Translucent panels here and there confirmed she had a nice body. Her boyfriend snuggled her with approving sounds...The redhead woke me. I'd dozed off. Didn't like my sense of vulnerability, but my brain was sluggish.

“Honey, why don't you go on to bed? I'll just finish this game and send the kids home. They're getting too touchy-feely to concentrate!”

When was it decided I was sleeping here? I said I really should go. “You're in no shape to drive that big old RV thing.” She was right. “C'mon, I'll show you.” Standing, the room did a ground-swell shimmy. Her steadying hand was welcome. And here was a room full of feminine boudoir scents, wide soft bed covered in frilly lacy pillows. I collapsed gratefully.

Woke up with her untying my shoes. “Take your clothes off and go to bed right.” My god, maybe our grandmothers did know each other. I couldn't count the number of times the matriarch told me that..

Next thing I remember is the bed shifting as she joined me under the covers. The apartment was quiet—no more stereo music, no laughter from the kitchen. She reached for my crotch, chuckled. “I cannot believe you. Why are you still wearing boxers in my bed?”

Tequila numbness had left my face. The room no longer rocked as if offshore. But my brain was slowed to somnolence. If I could peel my boxers off, maybe she'd let me go back to sleep...Hah. Clearly my judgment still was impaired.

As she commenced her arts of seduction on my body, it was as if I looked down upon us from a corner of the room...drunk men are poor performers as a rule. Limp under this redhead's ministrations, John Thomas was proving the rule—a first for me...

John Thomas finally awoke, more or less. Wobbled when he erected, like I wobbled walking into this room. I should be embarrassed, but felt too far away to apologize. This was between her and him. She climbed aboard and inserted him competently. Began to move her hips. There was dampness down there, heat, friction—the usual array. Her green eyes darkened with intense concentration as she moved. Her soft heavy white belly spilled against mine, completely obscuring the connection. It was the most non-participatory fuck of my life. I was completely surprised by ejaculation and so was she.

She lifted up enough to verify what happened, and laughed fondly.“Oh you little dickens, you came first.” She fitted the little dickens—little dickens?--back in place and began to grind. Said just keep it there. Like that, like that...Now I was like effete Englishmen in Lady Chatterley's Lover, holding my softening dick in place after premature ejaculation so she could attain what D.H. Lawrence called a woman's “crisis.” Which she soon did, and seemed completely satisfied. She dismounted and pulled the covers up. “Now we can sleep,” she murmured. I was almost under before she finished the words. Slept like the dead until a repetitive sound penetrated my brain and woke me.

Strange room, strange bed, stranger beside me in the dark...snoring like a lumberjack. Never heard a woman snore like that—I was almost in awe. It went on and on. I got up to pee, feeling wide awake. My watch told me in the bathroom I'd slept four hours.

She still was sawing logs. I so did not need to try to sleep with that racket. When my wife snored—nothing like this—I could pet her awake enough to shift and be quiet. She did the same for me. No way I'd do that for this stranger. I took my clothes, dressed in the living room and left. Last thing I heard when I closed the door was snores.

If I thought that was the end of it, I was wrong.


Professional writer, Pacific Northwest. 20 Books: “Sleeping Planet” 1964 to “Venus Mons Iliad” 2018–19. Most on Amazon for sale. Il faut d’abord durer.

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Bill Burkett

Bill Burkett

Professional writer, Pacific Northwest. 20 Books: “Sleeping Planet” 1964 to “Venus Mons Iliad” 2018–19. Most on Amazon for sale. Il faut d’abord durer.