Story of a one-night stand in the late twentieth century. The “Iliad” is available at AMAZON BOOKS

— The Free Dictionary

Chapter 37: Fall from Grace

She sat in her large luxurious champagne-colored van in the hotel parking lot, eye-level with me standing outside. An unlikelier ride I could not have imagined. I had expected her fastback Mustang. Glossy copper hair in a short bob, her glistening blue-green eyes brimming with emotion. Goodbyes always are difficult.
I was nearly three thousand miles from home, three years into unemployment, and my fall from the grace of monogamy complete…

Suddenly she seized my arm from the windowsill and planted my hand on her breast, holding it there with both hers like a pledge. she said tremulously. Her New Jersey accent momentarily subsumed by her bedroom voice. Then, “

She was one of two women who engaged me in private conversations my first day on the internet. I was doing freelance research for a video-production company. The video being produced was I had no budget for focus groups or telephone polling, and discovered something called America Online “chat rooms” that gave me instant access to people all over the country. I skipped from chat room to chat room, typing out questions — who’d taken piano lessons, why did they quit, would a video like this interest them in trying again? Men ignored me. Some women recounted childhood lessons they hated. But others assumed my questions were code to initiate flirting, and started in on me. I guess my bewilderment showed.

A “private message” box appeared on-screen in which she expressed sympathy for my frustration. She was not interested in piano lessons, but in how I would write about them. All writing interested her. Though we exchanged only a few sentences, she made an impression. She possessed three doctorates. One was in literature — she actually taught a college course. I said I used to be a writer and was trying to be one again. I must have made an impression too, because next time I signed onto AOL she hailed me, having entered my screen-name in her “buddy list…”

Depressed, isolated in my remote home with almost no social contact, I began to look forward to our typed conversations…She seemed to take me seriously as a writer. Something that hadn’t happened in years. My new internet friend expressed frustration her encouragement about my writing could not lift my self-doubt…insisted I “…”

But depression had me by the throat. Can there be a more useless man than one fired from civil service, unable to find a real job in over three years? My lost chance at retirement and erosion of my deferred-comp just made it worse.

Lit classes, law practice — I think her third doctorate was some kind of business thing; she mentioned corporate boards of which she was a member — she was indeed one busy lady. But determined to cheer me up. she said. she added, She cited her husband’s jealousy of men she worked with in her law practice.

Being literal-minded to a fault, the first time I called her was from a pay phone. She heard voices from the restaurant in the background and asked where I was. Expressed amusement at my obtuseness. She wanted to flirt. I said I was home alone all day.

She introduced me to “phone sex.” Well past fifty, almost halfway to sixty years old, and once more flummoxed by a Venusian. First time I heard her erotic bedroom voice: “

Perhaps due to depression and recurring erectile dysfunction, I had allowed other women online to initiate me in “cybersex,” where I could pretend. I supposed phone sex was a variation on a theme. “Well,” I said. “You mention a graveyard. I knew a guy once who told stories about a woman who liked to screw on tombs at night…”

“Not really. My father always said get a room. But since you set the scene, I would slip my hand under your skirt. I’ve found women love being pleasured by my fingers…” And so we began.

Steamy phone calls left her short of breath as if in orgasm. Another woman had told me she got off to my typed words. I wasn’t sure I believed that, either. Sad ol’ John Thomas did not rise to telephone sex any more than cyber. But I talked as good a game as I typed. Soon it was
Unemployed, with life savings running out, that seemed impossible.

But Fate, which had seemed out to get me, changed tacks. My old friend Hollis had followed a career path ever higher as mine crashed and burned…he visited me from Manhattan. Said print out any novel I had ready. He would take it to New York and find an agent. I did, and he did. The agent lined up a publisher. Could I get to New York to meet him? Thoughts of my father’s decline, the same in store for me — and memory sex with other women eased depression in my forties — decided me. On my way to try for a book contract I would end my decade of fidelity, and find out if my triple-doc could cure erectile dysfunction…

Sadly, no. But that was the only sadness. The redhead drove me to my hotel and sat, elegant and composed, as I checked in. I had a well-appointed room, big bed, nice couch, even — low comedy — a crib. “Oh no,” she laughed. “I’m done with babies!” We sat on the couch and resumed kissing. I tucked up her skirt, removed her panties and knelt to apply thirty years of cunnilingus practice carefully and assiduously. She was fresh and sweet as a field of clover. Drenched clover. At one point, as she came down from orgasm, I held her gaze and slowly sucked her juices off my fingers. Without touching her, she groaned — that wonderful familiar groan of old — and spasmed again.

Despite ED, what possible drug could suffuse my brain with such pure pleasure? LSD? Unlikely. I had rediscovered my drug of choice.

We eventually undressed and moved to bed. John Thomas staged a halfhearted revival, weak shadow of his former Priapic majesty. She was so sensitized she came when he tentatively nuzzled in. His marginal adequacy conjured D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley before her gamekeeper: effete Englishmen, softening after premature ejaculation, staying in her while she squeezed and writhed to attain her “crisis…”

But my oral lovemaking so primed Constance she needed little extra stimulation. Her husky bedroom voice was sexy. Had she really ever sounded like New Jersey? Resting after a series of galvanic eruptions, she treated ol’ John like a favorite pet, so kind to him with lips and fingers she coaxed a feeble emission that from inside felt a lot stronger.

Finally she could go no more. She was limp, a contented rag doll. “I have never in my whole life had so many orgasms,” she murmured, sprawled on her stomach.

Then she slept. I faced a dilemma: I had never discussed sleep apnea. Needed my CPAP. Go without — or risk disturbing her to unpack and plug it in? Would the sound wake her? I risked it. Soon as I had my mask on, I was gone. It had been a long, long day since departing SeaTac. She woke me in the wee hours, kissing me under the mask. I was disoriented. Who was this lovely naked stranger gazing at me so fondly? Oh. Yeah. Her lips curved with humor. God, it felt good to laugh so hard. We dressed while I told her about sleep apnea.

We ate at an all-night restaurant. I picked up my rental car. Back in the room she petted the couch. she said. Shit, sentimental too? This woman had many endearing qualities. Our lovemaking was drowsy and newly familiar. With the wake-up call, she said sleeping with me she felt safe and loved, best sleep in ages. Even the machine noise reassured her — like “white-noise” tapes she used to fight her insomnia.

After breakfast — the eastern waitress never heard of salsa — she took me back to bed. We were both due to leave. she said, Man! Court is serious business. Old bureaucratic habit gave me a guilty twinge, suppressed at once. Soon she was on hands and knees bucking against my hand, fingers spread, two in her cunt and two in her ass, making her crazy. she gasped. Nothing more about court.

For an intense hour we added to her store of orgasms. Indulged in too-short afterglow. “

All too soon she was in her van, pressing my hand over her heart, vowing to always be my lover. But she wasn’t….




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.

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