Excerpt from Book Three, available at Amazon Books

I’m saying all the things that I know you’ll like
Making good conversation…
We know each other mentally
You gotta know that you’re bringin’ out
The animal in me…
Let’s get physical, physical…
Let me hear your body talk

— Olivia Newton-John singing Physical (Kipner and Shaddick)

A Bit Of The Strange

It was sheer coincidence I stopped to eat at the old roadhouse on the state highway north of town; it was a family-run motel with a lounge and twenty-four-hour restaurant, run-down but clean. The food was inexpensive and good. I told people at work it must be the last surviving ghost from the fifties after the freeway killed other roadhouses.

The young office manager I hunted and fished with said it was more than a ghost. It was a favorite hangout of scores of female clerk-typists, supply clerks and secretaries who labored in warren-like state office buildings downtown. In the hermetic society of the capital, senior bureaucrats were the ruling class. Female clerks were treated as backstairs help, subject to censure if they misbehaved. The roadhouse was far enough from downtown to feel safe for girls’ nights out.

He said the lounge had a bandstand and large dance floor. Unknown bands, largely country-western, cycled through. Merchant mariners, dock hands from the port, forklift operators and other working men showed up to dance and get lucky.

Downtown was the venue for lobbyists and senior bureaucrats to wine, dine, and hook up important politicians with eye-candy and compliant hookers. The roadhouse was working-class. My young friend said married state workers left their cars in the roadhouse parking lot if they got lucky, and slipped up the hill to one of the rooms so screened behind shrubbery the motel was almost invisible. A wandering wife could slip back down and innocently exit the restaurant, simple but effective deterrent to spousal surveillance.

“You can’t go there and not get laid,” he asserted.

“You don’t know my track record,” I said sadly.

“You gotta try it. If for no other reason than to see the place in action.”

This was in those dear dead halcyon days post-Pill, pre- HIV. The sixties sexual revolution had trickled into accepted everyday life in the eighties. MTV lit home TV screens with Physical by Olivia Newton-John, a mega-hit that pulled no punches, almost an anthem for that lost sexual Camelot. Faithful most of my married life, I had missed the fun of recreational sex…

My young friend’s description of the proletarian sex machine roused my curiosity. Drinks were cheap enough not to strain my mad-money stash. I re-visited the roadhouse to observe mating rituals. One thing different from my youth was how assertively women took the initiative. If a partner proved satisfactory, they closed in for the kill. All a guy had to do was be there, ready to leave when she beckoned. Subtlety was out. No perceptive radar needed to receive her signal. It made me lament my lost youth when I missed signals all the time.

Back at work I congratulated my friend on his accuracy. He shrugged it off and asked how many times I got laid. I said none. Well, how many women asked me to dance? “None,” I repeated.

“That can’t be right. None?”

“Not one. I stopped by three different times.”

He frowned a minute. Then, “Wait, tell me you didn’t go in dressed like that, wearing a suit and tie.”

“But it’s what I wear.”

“You look like a bureaucrat. A boss. Lose the suit.”

My wardrobe was mostly business attire. I owned pairs of jeans for vacations and yard work. Two pairs of wool pants for hunting season. I did have a sweat suit for gym weightlifting, my one concession to medical worry about my heart. So I tried it once, just to see, and felt very self-conscious wearing sweats into a bar…

I was barely in the roadhouse when a tall rawboned girl with short carroty curls and freckles, in hip-hugging jeans and a loose top, grabbed me. She led me to the dance floor, which was packed. I am not much of a dancer but didn’t notice anybody you could mistake for Fred Astaire.

The soulful Western numbers were a signal to clench and sway, and guard against accidental elbows or getting stepped on. She liked it that I was tall. At five-eleven she still had to look up. It was easy to nuzzle my neck under my beard while squeezing my leg between two long, strong thighs. Why hadn’t she seen me here before? Evidently business suits were a cloak of invisibility.

My beard made her ask if I rode a Harley. Between dances she introduced me to her girlfriend and frankly told me they left their husbands home to prowl. Her girlfriend was flirting with a young guy, crowding him at a small table under a weak orange sconce while he scribbled on a notepad. He almost seemed to hide behind the notepad as she touched him here and there, and murmured things.

“What’s he writing?” I asked my new friend.

“Poetry,” she said. “He read us a few lines. Not bad.”

I had one of those frissons of déjà vu. That could have been me in my long-lost previous life, with grandiose dreams of being a famous writer. Afraid of women and hiding behind my notebook. My older depressed and debauched self wanted to tell him lose the damn pad and accept what so clearly was on offer. “He could get lucky with your friend,” I said instead.

“He won’t,” she said. “She’s wasting the night on him. He’s not going to make a move. She’ll scare him out of here if she’s not careful. She’s too horny to play it cool.”

“How about you?” I said before I thought.

“I haven’t got all night. Why do you think I grabbed you?” And she kissed me, right there on the dance floor. My soft sweat pants did not conceal my instant and unambiguous reaction. She giggled. “Let’s blow this joint.” I had become the kind of man women picked up in bars.

The British have a term for everything. A bit of the strange is one I heard in Nassau as a young man, which summons a host of sexual innuendo about straying eyes and hands and other body parts; and implies a jaded wink about it all. I recalled the phrase parked by the downtown lake, people out walking their dogs or just walking. Parked, darkened cars, their occupants probably doing what I was doing.

Two hours from the time this woman picked me up at the old roadhouse I was exploring the topography of her long, lean form. Certainly this qualified under the British rubric of a bit of the strange. Strange new lips to kiss and learn their method of kissing; strange new small pert breasts for my fingers to read like erotic Braille, nipples already hard as knots before I touched them.

Touching elicited the low, needy moan heard before from throats of aroused females: surrender and demand all in one. Well, she had been candid about how horny she was. She whispered her need and pushed my left hand lower. When had she unzipped her jeans? I certainly hadn’t. I inserted fingers beneath the silken slipperiness of her panties, blindly seeking her Mons through her curly thatch. Wondered if her pubic hair matched the color on her curly carroty head.

The thatch was moist. Her panties against my knuckles were moist. My fingers found her wet hot core and sank into her. She gasped and lifted her hips. I had a momentary gladness my left arm was stronger than my right, though I did most things right-handed. Left-handed from the driver’s seat in an American car permits angled face-to-face contact as you twist from the hips, and frees your right arm to embrace her as she bucks. And this one did buck.

Big as I am and tall as she was, I remembered my father’s admonition to me as a teen to always get a room. But time was short. She told her husband she’d be home by three. Sand was pouring through the hourglass. I stroked deep in her warm wetness and found her clitoris with my circling thumb. She shuddered as her first orgasm ripped through her, just like that. She clung to my encircling right arm with spastic strength. I paused to let the spasm subside, then began again as she relaxed.

“Oh!” she said, and that was all. Then she was gone again, grinding her hips into my hand, quick to orgasm. This time I kept going. Her third came on the heels of her second. Now her whole lanky frame was rigid and shuddering.

A famous sixties writer with a cult-like flower-child following called a woman’s body a concert piano designed for her lover’s finest composition. A wonderfully poetic description for total absorption in her very private pleasure as my fingers stroked the G sharps and flats of her desire. I felt like a concert pianist who sat down to coax a sonata from a honky-tonk keyboard, surprised it was in perfect tune.

I played on, engrossed, through each following spasm until the instrument itself signaled completion. One final crescendo, thighs clenched around my hand, her hands now gripping my wrist. Then cessation, thighs loosening, hips giving the lightest series of closing twitches like a diminuendo, the music fading…She grabbed my beard in both hands and kissed me hard and deep. “You have no idea how badly I needed that.”

Finer applause than a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall. I smiled against her face, a trifle smug, as her pulse slowed. Then she pulled back slightly. Her strong fingers dug under my waistband to free my erection. “What about you? I got it all. You didn’t get anything.”

“Oh yes I did. More than I can describe.”

But she was a pragmatic girl. “I can’t screw you in the car. We’re too big. A man needs his relief.”

The words resonated strangely. It had been over twenty years since a woman I loved told me her domineering husband said that every night, demanding a blow job. A woman who nevertheless went back and remarried him — and then traveled over 1200 miles to see me. A memory lane I was not prepared to walk during this after-all trivial encounter.

“Just keep stroking like that,” I said.

“Really? My husband doesn’t like me doing that.”

“Then let’s not tell him.”

She broke out in gales of laughter and tightened her grip. “You crack me up,” she said. “Really, you’re okay with this? It’s just like high school.”

“Not for me,” I said. “I never got a hand job in high school. I never even got kissed.” Nothing but the truth.

“Suuure.” She stroked harder.

My breath caught. “I’m going to make a mess,” I said. And did. Her hand, the steering wheel, her chin, the damned roof of the car; I was really charged up. She was giggling. My legs shook. I dug out my pocket handkerchief and she wiped everything dry, her hands, face, the steering wheel, the roof, me.

“Sorry,” I said.

“Don’t be sorry. It’s only protein, right?”

“I suppose so.”

“My husband won’t let me taste him.” Well that was certainly different than the husband of the woman I refused to think about. “You think you’d be willing if we get together again?”

“Keep talking like that and you can taste me in twenty minutes.”

She was giggling again. “I wish we had the time. But I have to get home. Will you call me tomorrow at work?”

I dropped her a block from her home. Her high school comment had reminded me of all I missed in youthful fear of females. Sexual escapades were no more the life I envisioned than my detested job or increasingly arid marriage. In this decade of my maturity I had allowed depression to push me out of marital fidelity. Now this: a juvenile encounter in a parking lot. I should have felt degraded. But I was smiling. An itch for a bit of the strange had returned me to high school to repair an omission of my youth.

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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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