Erin was bored to distraction.
The afternoon was wearing on. The week had barely begun and was already at a standstill.
She sat at her desk, bleary from a hangover.
Once more, she found herself struggling to keep the appropriate partitions of her brain focused on a stupefying routine task—organizing cards in alphabetical order in advance of refiling—so that the remains of her overactive mind could filter through other concerns.
Impending deadlines for graduate school application essays.
Foggy memories of the previous night at Hogs and Heffers.
Mixed feelings about going through with the night’s plans.
An instant message popped up on her screen.
Jefferson: Are you making the world safe for real estate agents?
Erin: Thank God. A sane voice.
Jefferson: That bad?
Erin: I can’t spend my life trying to remember the alphabet.
Jefferson: Once you master the basics, anything is possible. Now, about tonight . . .
Erin: You aren’t canceling on me.
Jefferson: No ma’am. It’s just that . . . well, Shelby is here, and she wants to join us. Do you object?
Erin: Are you kidding?! I’d love to meet her!
Jefferson: She’s eager to meet you as well. So . . . great! See you tonight. Are you bringing wine?
Erin: You need to ask? I don’t do anything sober.
Jefferson: Good. I like you best when you are pliable. See you about seven.
Erin: Shh, I’m thinking . . . De Salles . . . Delancey . .
Jefferson: I’ll leave you to your job, Brainiac.
I closed the message window and turned to Shelby.
“Okay, cute girl, you are officially invited to stay for this evening.”
Shelby looked up from the laptop balanced on her bare thighs and smiled. “Nice. Thanks hon.” She puckered and kissed the air before returning to her typing.
I leaned forward to kiss her nipple.
Shelby and I were nude and relaxed after our weekly sleepover. As the day had worn on, she regretted that she had to return home to be at work the next afternoon. She offered to stay another night and take an early train home the next morning, unless I objected.
It would be great to have you stay over, I kissed her. But I had a date with Erin.
Who’s Erin? Shelby asked.
I explained that Erin was a reader of my blog who kept me amused with funny notes about her dead-end job, prodigious drinking and reckless kisses, all of which conspired against her out-sized ambitions as an intellectual and aspiring comedy writer.
Uh huh, Shelby nodded. You sure like them complicated.
Nah, she’s salt of the earth, I replied. She’s interested in our parties, actually, though she doesn’t really have sex sober or with people she likes.
Shelby raised an eyebrow. I gave her the full background.
After months of trading notes, Erin had recently expressed an interest in pursuing our conversations in person. But she wanted to meet me in the company of her best friend—just in case I happened to be an ax murderer.
“Axes are passé,” I said, “But I’m always game for more victims. By all means, bring your friend along.”
“Okay, but two things. She’s hot, but she’s not going to want to fuck you. She only likes older men.”
“Isn’t she your age, like, twenty three or so? I think I qualify as an older man.”
“No dude, she likes her guys in their sixties.”
“Oh, well, that is older. I suppose she can hang on to my number for a few decades. Meanwhile, I understand that she is unlikely to fuck a kid like me. What else?”
“The other thing is, she doesn’t live in New York. It may be a while before she’s in town.”
“So we’ll wait,” I said. “With luck, I’ll qualify as an older man when we finally meet.”
Months passed. Eventually, Erin’s friend came to town. True to her word, Erin contacted me to arrange meeting for drinks.
Unfortunately, the only time I could offer during her friend's visit was a couple of hours just before an orgy.
“Let’s meet about six,” I suggested. “We can kill a bottle of Merlot before I have to have sex with other people.”
“Sounds perfect,” Erin agreed. “See you then.”
On the appointed evening, Erin came in the door talking. As she kicked off her shoes and removed her coat, I introduced myself to her friend.
“I’m Jefferson. So nice to meet you.” I kissed her cheek.
“Amanda. Nice to meet you. I’ve heard so much”
“May I take your coat?”
“Yes, please.” Amanda turned as I slipped her blue wool coat from her shoulders. Underneath, she wore a trim well-tailored jacket and pants.
“Hey, Jefferson, can you open this—like, now?” Erin pushed a bottle my way. “I totally need a drink.”
“Of course, Erin. Amanda, may I offer you wine? Or would you prefer something else?”
“Wine would be perfect, thank you, Jefferson,” Amanda smiled.
“Wonderful.” I extended a hand, indicating an entryway. “Please, take a seat in the living room. I’ll be right out.”
“Thank you.” Amanda crossed to sit on the couch, her legs primly to one side as her eyes drifted across books on the coffee table. Erin plopped next to her, tucking her legs under her body.
I decanted the wine in the kitchen. The two women appeared so different from one another, I thought, yet I knew them to be best friends.
Erin was much as I imagined. She was just as colorful and brash as her writing. Her straight hair was worn in a no-nonsense cut, hanging loose around a face devoid of makeup. Even in jeans, she had the air of someone who would rather be in sweats.
She seemed to have a lackadaisical confidence in her appearance, as if there was no need to do anything special about it.
Amanda, by contrast, appeared to be fresh from the salon. Her hair was neatly cut and full, with tasteful light streaks. Her skin was burnished to a soft hue. She was a head turner—the sort of lady who prefers to be well put together before she faces the world beyond her mirror.
I placed Amanda’s wine on the table before her.
“Thank you, Jefferson,” she smiled, reaching forward.
“Of course,” I nodded, offering a glass to Erin.
“Thanks.” Erin took her glass and swallowed a gulp. “So—if you plan to kill us, now’s the time.”
“How about a toast instead?” I sat and raised my glass. “To friends, old and new.”
Amanda smiled. She sipped her wine. She returned it to the table, a lipstick stain the only indication that the glass had been touched.
“So Jefferson, come on. Tell Amanda about how you fuck so many people.” Erin turned to Amanda. “Did you read that link to his blog I sent you?”
“Yes, a little,” Amanda began. “You certainly seem to have an . . . adventurous life, Jefferson.”
“Well, it’s not really so much as it seems . . . ,” I began.
“Not so much!” Erin laughed. “He’s got an orgy tonight. And who did you fuck today?”
“Well . . . , ” I hesitated, then shrugged to Amanda. “Okay, you got me. Dead to rights.”
“Come on, come on,” Erin said, reaching for her glass. “Tell her how you started the blog and all that.”
Erin had prepared me to be interviewed. And so I began to introduce Amanda to my life and writing. I would often skip past things Erin already knew, in the interest of brevity. Erin would interrupt to fill in the gaps.
Amanda watched the ebb and flow of conversation between Erin and me.
She sipped more wine. Her shoulders relaxed.
She could see that Erin and I are cut from similar cloth.
“Isn’t Amanda gorgeous?” Erin asked suddenly.
“Yes,” I nodded, nearly spilling the wine at my lips. “Amanda, you are as lovely as Erin said you would be.”
“Oh thanks,” Amanda looked away, not sure what to say. “You are very handsome too,” she managed.
“Yeah, but I already told him he’s too young for you,” Erin said, waving her hand dismissively. “So Jefferson, what’s wrong with me that I don’t want to fuck Amanda? We sleep together naked all the time, but, I’m sorry, I just don’t get it up for her.”
I looked to Amanda. She was clearly accustomed to Erin’s blunt talk.
“Well, Erin,” I ventured. “There’s always the sad possibility that you are straight.”
“No,” she shook her head violently. “No way. Please don’t say that. Anyway, lesbians love me. I am always getting hit on by lesbians. That must mean something.”
“But you don’t have sex with them . . . ,” Amanda began.
“Only because I’m too drunk by the time they get me home!” Erin laughed. “I wake up naked with girls, but, you know, never get to . . .”
“You never get any muff diving,” I finished. Like Amanda, I knew Erin’s tale of bisexual woe.
For all her drunken tumbles with wasted lesbians, Erin had never tasted girl.
And, like Amanda, I knew why Erin couldn’t consider her best friend as a contender for her premiere pussy licking.
Erin doesn’t have sex with people she likes.
She allowed her sex life to be guided by the choices she made after one too many.
Erin had a reputation among her friends as a kissing bandit. She would go out to bars with one boy only to wind up kissing another. She was unlikely to go home with either.
If she did get laid, she would pull herself together afterwards to get back to her own place, no matter the hour, no matter how trashed.
She was not one to endure the awkward moments of a morning after.
“It’s my heritage,” Erin sighed. “I’m half Jewish and half Catholic. I spend half my time expressing myself, and the other half atoning for it.”
After a few glasses of wine, I announced that the bottle was no more. “I could open another Merlot,” I offered. “But if I did, you would soon find an orgy taking shape around you . . . and I think that might be a bit much for our first date.”
“Yes, I think you are right, Jefferson.” Amanda stood. “It was really a pleasure to meet you.”
“I agree,” I said, taking her shoulders lightly and leaning to kiss her. “I’m so pleased we finally met.”
Amanda looked in my eyes, then turned to Erin. “You can be friends with Jefferson. I approve.”
“Oh good!” Erin jumped up and embraced me. I kissed her lightly on the mouth. Our tongues met for the first time.
I felt I had been given her hand.
Now—what to do with it?
My thoughts drifted to Erin throughout the orgy. I knew she would enjoy meeting my friends, as I had enjoyed meeting Amanda. My friends would get a kick out of Erin’s snap-sharp wit and comedic timing. She might even enjoy being a part of the gang that tangles in my bedroom.
But would the kissing bandit ever be at home in an orgy?
We had a long way to go before we addressed that question.
Now that our burgeoning friendship had passed muster with Amanda, Erin and I compared notes on how to proceed with sex.
Erin and I confessed to a mutual sexual attraction. Yet it wasn’t as simple as all that.
Erin liked me and wanted to keep me as a friend. Therefore, intercourse was out of the question. She refused to fuck anyone she liked.
Erin was interested in being schooled as a dominitrix. I liked the thought of beating submissives with her as my pupil. But it would be frustrating to do so if Erin and I were unresolved about being together in erotic situations.
I was at a loss on how to proceed.
Then one afternoon, as I walked through the park, it came to me. I raced home to instant message Erin.
Jefferson: Are you busy?
Erin: Saint Nicholas Avenue . . . Saint Nicholas Place . . . Saint Nicholas Terrace . . . Yeah, I’m kinda busy. What’s up?
Jefferson: I’ve got it.
Erin: Finally! What?
Jefferson: We can be jerk off buddies.
Erin: Come again?
Jefferson: We can masturbate together!
Erin: Oh, that’s a great idea!
Jefferson: I know! We can get naked and jerk off together. We can touch one another if you want . . .
Erin: Definitely, I want to touch.
Jefferson: . . . and kiss . . .
Jefferson: . . . and even cuddle. But no penetration. What do you think?
Erin: I think you are brilliant.
Jefferson: I am! So let’s do it next week. It can be a part of my birthday week of wall-to-wall sex.
Erin: Perfect. But wait—have you seen “Crash?”
Erin: Oh, you have to see it. Anyone who cares about pop culture and American society should see “Crash.”
Jefferson: I care about those things. Can you bring it to our date to masturbate?
Jefferson: Okay. I’ll pick up bourbon. We’ll get drunk, jerk off, and watch a movie about a car wreck.
Erin: Sounds about right.
It was a fine plan. And now, that plan included Shelby.
As I cleared this adjustment to the evening’s itinerary with Erin, I got an instant message from Emma.
Emma: How was your date with Shelby?
Jefferson: Lovely, very restful. She’s still here, actually.
Emma: I know, she just instant messaged me. You two have a date with another girl, Erin?
Jefferson: Yes. Doesn’t that sound nifty?
Emma: Yes, it does.
Jefferson: Yes, I think so too.
Jefferson: Well, what?
Emma: What time should I be there?
Jefferson: Hang on, let me invite you first.
Emma: Go ahead, mind your manners.
Jefferson: Would you care to come to my place and masturbate with us?
Emma: I’ll be there after seven.
Jefferson: Very good. I look forward to seeing you.
I looked up to see Shelby peering at me over her glasses.
“Baby, Emma wants to come over tonight too,” I said.
“I know,” she smirked. “She just told me.”
“Do you mind?” I rubbed a toe on her calf.
She leaned back on the couch cushion. “I don’t mind, man. Two girls? That’s frigging hot. But you know what?”
“What’s that, baby?” I smiled.
“I need to fuck you now.” She dropped a hand to caress my shin.
I closed my laptop and moved it aside. My cock jumped forward. “My sentiments exactly,” I nodded.