Photo by Luiza Braun on Unsplash

Impaired Judgment

Chapter 18, Venus Mons Iliad III

When I got to the Capitol Grill the drink on the table the imperial redhead had promised was bourbon rocks. Surprised me because I’d been drinking tequila shooters with my three office girls at the other bar. Six or eight of them in a relatively short time. They’d been way ahead of me when I ran across them, and kept plying me. My face was numb, my reflexes suspect. To say nothing of my judgment.

“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.”

Well that was interesting. The bourbon tasted clean and familiar after the tequila. Her blonde friend asked if my girls hooked up with anybody. Not that I knew of. My receptionist passed out on a toilet in the women’s restroom. My secretary came and got me. She and our clerk typist stood guard while I extricated her. Then I carried her to their car.

“Listen to you,” the redhead said. “Muscle-man!”

“Well she hardly weighs over a hundred pounds.”

“I remember those days,” she said wistfully. The blonde and the karate kid laughed. I sipped bourbon. I wasn’t drunk enough to laugh at a woman lamenting weight gain. Conversation moved to the blonde’s birthday, and the jazz being played, while I wondered what I was doing there.

I drove my pickup camper to work anticipating an evening with the preacher’s daughter. When she couldn’t get away, 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. She owlishly informed me a toke or ten would prevent hangover. I declined, said I don’t do hangovers. Still true back then. She had chips and snacks anticipating Maryjane munchies, so I didn’t go hungry. 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 and drank instant coffee instead of more liquor, which made them laugh.

It was pushing three a.m. In four more hours I would have been awake twenty-four. I sat in a comfortable chair in the living room, smoked my pipe and enjoyed their boisterous game. The kid said his dad was closing out inventory on a store that sold pipes and he’d get me a couple free.

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 good-naturedly complained their minds were no longer on the game. The blonde said well it is my birthday…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.” Then she left. My god, maybe our grandmothers did know each other. I couldn’t count the number of times the matriarch told me that.

I must have undressed. 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. I thought I’d understood the Hugh Hefner story about being his own voyeur. This time I lived it.

My groggy brain filled with odd thoughts. My autumn-haired store manager said drunk men are poor performers as a rule. Limp under this redhead’s ministrations, John Thomas was proving the rule — a first for me. An unkind thought: Hefner would never be caught dead in bed with a woman this chubby. Maybe the blonde upstairs, now…

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. A stranger 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.

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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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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.