Numb

Andy wants more friction. This morning he said he can't feel anything when I give him a blow job. Heidi says he's lying. "Does he come?" she asks, "People don't come without feeling something." But even though he comes, I'm still dreading getting into bed with him. "Do you use your hand?" she asks, "You have to use your hand."

I look at her.

"Look," she says, "as far as I'm concerned, blow jobs are messy. You have to get everything wet. Lick your hand a lot, that keeps the whole thing going smoothly. He's not going to stop loving you just because he thinks he could give a better blow job than you can."

She drives me to the jazz bar where I'm meeting Andy.

She stays because she thinks I'm a wreck.

"Andy's always late for you," she says, "Why don't you hit on someone while you're waiting? Get in some practice blow jobs."

"I feel too fat to have sex tonight," I say. "I ate cookies all morning. How can he like it when I'm this fat?"

"You eat less than anyone I know. Good sex requires good stamina. Why don't you eat some carbohydrate nachos while we wait?"

"I'm serious. Heidi, don't you ever feel too fat to get undressed?"

"No, I don't, because no man I've ever been with has felt that way in his whole life, so why should I? Would you eat something for god's sake?"

"I just want you to admit that men get more excited about fucking a woman with a perfect body."

"Two minutes ago you thought the key to good sex was a good blow job. Look, I really have to go. Tell Andy I say Hi."

I wish Heidi would stay all night. I still haven't done all the whining I want. I reach over the bar and swipe a lime out of the garnishing dish. Then I take some orange slices and olives, and soon I'm wolfing stuff down.

Andy catches me as he approaches the bar. "Cherry?" I say, mouth full of maraschinos. He kisses me hello and gets maraschino all over his tongue.

"Couldn't you find any food at home?" he asks.

"I'm having a bad food day," I tell him. "I haven't eaten all day and I feel really fat and I know I'm not fat I just can't help feeling that way and I feel like you won't love me if I'm fat and I feel like you won't love me if I'm moody and I feel like you won't love me if I have a zillion problems and I hate that you're always late for me. It's not showing me any respect."

"I'm really sorry I was late," Andy says. "I know it bugs you. It's something I'm working on. I'm sorry you're having such a bad day." Andy puts his arm around me and pulls my torso closer to his bar stool. I want to be mad at him and hate him, but it's too hard now because I like the hug.

The band comes on. I hate them, and it feels good to have an object for my hate. Andy asks if I hate them.

I nod.

We ride home in his car. I tell him I hate his car: a testosterone car with a German name that he pronounces with Nazi diction. He suggests that I might be being racist against Germans. I tell him I'm not racist against Germans; I'm racist against men.

Andy is quiet the rest of the drive.

By the time we get home, two men have complimented his car, and one man has complimented his chick.




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