Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Readers' Queries

It’s always good to hear from readers. This note was especially moving—the sort of thing that keeps a smutmonger at the keyboard.

Thanks for writing.

Hello Jefferson,

I've been reading your blog (Do all of your emails start out like this? Because I so hate being the cliche') for a while now and finally, today, I found the time to email you.

I live in a remote village in Alaska, cut off from the world, except for high speed Internet and satellite television. I have a beautiful husband, and a strong marriage. We just passed our thirteenth anniversary.

My husband was wild in his single days; in fact, reading your stories reminds me of all of his. Why he chose to settle down and become monogamous really baffles the mind. Recently, he was diagnosed with an ailment that can cause . . . ahem . . . impotence. It crushes me to see him want to make love to me and not be able to. I do what I can on my end to keep myself satisfied, which brings me to the point of this email.

It's merely a "thank you.” While your stories can be mirrored on many other sex blogs, you show an emotional side, a human element that (forgive the term) really keeps it all grounded. I can tell just by the sharing of your heart that this is not just another story full of wild embellishment. I see little or no objectification of your sex partners (unless of course, it's part of the role-play, which is hot) and that keeps me reading.

My husband and I were able to make love last night for the first time in months, after he and I both sat down to read your latest post. He thanks you as well. I worked him over pretty good—easy to do when you're sex-starved. He did the same to me. It might be another few months before he will be able to do it again, but I know that he, too, is grateful that I have an outlet to keep myself satisfied until he can get over the mountain.

Sincerely,
Laura





Monday, August 28, 2006

Fleshbot, Porn and Toys

This week at Fleshbot, my Sex Blog Roundup focuses on one-hit wonders: the one-night stands and odd-jobbers that leave us wondering if once is ever enough—or was it one time too many?

Figleaf and Meg were each in town this weekend, which was all the excuse that our doyenne Viviane needed to convene the Perverts' Saloon. Our little community of New York-based sex bloggers continues to grow—so much so that when I looked around the room, I realized I had been naked with only about a third of the assembled perverts.

Of course, we don’t get naked at the Saloon. We keep it above board, socializing while eating scones and finger sandwiches over the most delicious teas. If you are a tea afficianado, drop a line to Selina. I don’t know where she gets this stuff, but it makes you understand why nations used to go to war over leaves.

Dacia talked with me about the summer film shoot that will result in her debut as a porn director. Mind you, we're not talking about Dacia’s debut as a porn actor. That was Psychocandy Volume Four, the film she showed us last week.

I know, it’s hard to keep up.

Here she is on set, at left, directing her talent.



Dacia’s new film, The Bi Apple, concerns a group of bisexuals who convene at a New York apartment for orgies and other shenanigans (yeah, like that ever happens). I suspect I’ll be burning up the rewind and play buttons for the scene with Trixie and Tucker, a loving, sexy couple who know how to use their toys.

The Bi Apple is due out later this year from Adam & Eve.

And speaking of toys, I’ve added goodies to my collection courtesy of some very fine folks.

The Rabbit Lady has sent me a Rabbit of my very own. It’s a real beaut—and can I mention, it’s waterproof!

My friends at Intimate Gifts have also contributed a number of items to the house toy chest, and their contributions are ongoing. See that pretty button at the top of my blog roll? Over there at the left? The one that reads "Adult Toys?"

Every time you use that button to buy an item—toys, books, videos, condoms, you name it—Intimate Gifts kicks back a little sum’n sum’n to your pal Jefferson. So when you get off, you can take extra pleasure in knowing that you are helping to keep me in bourbon and bacon.

As for my new toys, I’ll be reviewing them in upcoming posts. Any volunteers to be my guinea pigs?






Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lagniappe

The other night, I had a date with Zora.

At the appointed hour, I poured a bourbon and sat at my computer.

Jefferson: Systems are go.

Zora: Ah, there you are. Let me invite you to my cam.


Zora popped up, wearing glasses and a dark pajama top. It looked like a silk robe, tied with a sash. I smiled, dressed in a dark t-shirt, the ancient souvenir of a visit to an art center.

She sipped wine. I raised my glass of bourbon.

Jefferson: Cheers.

Zora: Cheers! The usuals, I see.

Jefferson: Funny, just like our first date. Wine for you, bourbon for me. We are nothing if not consistent.

Zora: Consistency is a good thing, I hear.

Jefferson: It has its benefits.

Zora: No question. I was really glad to read your account of that first time with the cameras. Do you realize that was a year ago now?

Jefferson: Yes. Happy anniversary, Zora.

Zora: Cheers.
Zora: But I’m wondering: why are you writing about us now? It’s been a long time.

Jefferson: Maybe the “why” will make sense as you read the upcoming posts on the blog. Our relationship revisits a leitmotif of longing—well, longing and distance—in what I want to write.

Zora: Ah.

Jefferson: When I say that to you, it feels a little like an author telling a character what will happen next in the narrative. We may wake up in a Pirandello play.

Zora: I don’t mind. I like seeing myself written into your story.

Jefferson: I like writing us. And thanks for letting me use the photos of you as a secretary. I’m sure you are now inspiring others to masturbate, as you have inspired me.

Zora: I hadn’t quite thought of that. I’ve never been a sex symbol before.

Jefferson: It happens to the best of us. Just think of the torrential wanking if I posted your lagniappe.

Zora: Just think! But I’m not sure I can let you do that. That picture is too loaded with associations. I originally made it for the boy.


Right. The boy.

When Zora and I had our first online date last summer, she was about a year into her separation. In that year, she had pulled her life together in many ways, with new work, a new apartment, and the reclamation of her maiden name. But she had gone without dating, and subsequently without sex, since the demise of her marriage.

Our date was the first of her single life.

She subsequently met a man who wasn’t reduced to a pixelated fleshy image on her laptop.

Pretty soon, Zora got laid.

I heard all about it.

I was very happy she was feeling confident about herself again. She liked her new beau, and the sex really hit the spot.

She kept him coming back for more.

Zora gave me some credit for this, saying that our online dates had sparked her confidence. I demurred, saying that a beautiful brainiac doesn’t need my help to attract suitable suitors.

But I knew what she meant.

My separation had floored me too. When the exalted vow “until death do us part” proves as enduring to your spouse as that morning’s bowel movement, even someone like Zora was susceptible to feeling disposable.

Having me as her online lover had helped to remind Zora that she was, in fact, a desirable woman. My longing for her was a reminder that sex, love and romance were hardly null and void at age thirty-one.

But I knew when I had served my role. When she began to date her new fellow, it was time for me to let go a bit.

We spent less time in instant messages, less time naked on cameras. Still, we stayed in touch, of course, because only a fool lets go of good people.

One day, she sent me a new photograph. It showed her nude, an arm draped over her torso. Attached was a note:

“A little lagniappe for you. Zora.”

She knew how to get to me. A nude photograph that offered an excuse to whip out my dictionary.

la·gniappe (noun) 'lan-"yap, lan-' Etymology: American French, from American Spanish la ñapa the lagniappe, from la + ñapa, yapa, from Quechua yapa, something added: a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; broadly: something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.

The photograph was a gift. A taste. An act of faith.

She wanted me to have the photograph as a promise of what might come, a memento of what had been.

Still, she had made the photograph for another man, the man who now shared her life and her bed. He was going away for a brief trip, and she wanted him to have a part of her in his wallet, a lagniappe for his lonely moments.

Sharing the lagniappe with me was her private gift.

I pulled up Zora’s photographs as I began to write and reflect on our year as long-distance friends and—is there yet a word for this?—lovers who have never touched.

I asked about images I might include in telling this story to you.

She agreed to share any image I wanted, withholding only her lagniappe.

Jefferson: I’m glad these posts of our early dates-not-dates appeal to you.

Zora: They do. I can remember every moment you describe.

Jefferson: I have to say, I get hot writing about us.

Zora: I get hot reading about us.


I pulled off my shirt.

Zora unfastened her pajama top.

The cameras were rolling.








Saturday, August 26, 2006

Brooklyn

I hit “send” and rubbed my eyes.

I checked the clock. I had met my deadline, though I missed lunch. I had a little under an hour before I had to pick up the kids.

Time enough to make a sandwich and jerk off.

As I mixed chicken salad, I had a thought. I returned to my computer.

Jefferson: Busy?

Zora: Hang on.

Jefferson: Okay.


I added capers to the chicken salad and spread it on wheat bread.

Zora: Looking for me?

Jefferson: I was.

Zora: You have me.

Jefferson: Now.

Zora: Now?

Jefferson: Now. I can do it now. Can you?

Zora: Oh! Well, uh, yes. Yes, I can. Let me get my cam.

Jefferson: Take your time. Are you done?


I bit into my sandwich and waited. Realizing I would want lube, I took another bite of my sandwich and chewed as I walked to my bedroom to fetch a pump bottle of Liquid Silk.

Zora: Okay, yes, I’m done.

Jefferson: Naked?

Zora: Don’t you know?


I clicked over and saw her screen. There she was, naked at her laptop, perched on the arm of her sofa. She was nicely lit by the daylight from her window.

I swallowed chicken salad and invited her to my cam.

Jefferson: Hello, naked lady.

Zora: Hello, yourself. Don’t you have to get your kids?

Jefferson: I do. But first I have to take care of this, and I have a little time. I mean, I’d be doing it anyway, so why not honor your request?

Zora: Thanks. Such a gentleman. I appreciate it.


I pushed away from my desk, leaning back in my chair, nude and stroking my cock, my eyes on Zora.

Her eyes were on me as she fingered her pussy and cupped a breast.

From my open window, I heard only the sound of moving traffic.

Zora: Can I see you—I mean, all of you?

Jefferson: Yes, of course.


I stood in front of the camera, allowing it to focus on my cock, my hand, and part of my torso.

I turned to offer a better angle.

Unsatisfied with the perspective, I took the camera from its perch on my computer and placed it on my desk.

Zora: Everything okay?

Jefferson: Just trying to get a better composition.


I leaned back in my chair. Now she could see me from the knees up. I stroked myself, checking the results on my monitor. I remembered to look into the camera, so it would seem that I was looking at Zora.

Zora: Oh, that’s what I wanted.

Jefferson: You look incredible.


I reached to my mouse, clicking my window and dragging it next to hers. Our bodies were side by side on my computer.

I checked the time. We had about twenty minutes to masturbate together. I could finish my sandwich as I walked to the kids’ school.

I pumped two squirts of lube into my left palm and rubbed it to warmth, smearing it across my hand. My fist glided up and down my shaft.

I watched the monitor.

She was so intent on her perch, her fingers a blur between her legs as she looked at her laptop.

I looked to my image. Was that a shadow I noticed, or was I getting a gut?

I rested a hand on my lower belly. I straightened my legs and stretched back.

The shadow was gone. Good. Okay, I thought, I look fine. She’s obviously enjoying the view.

I looked at my cock, throbbing in my hand. I slowed my jerking, teasing myself.

I caressed my pubic hair with my right hand, and looked into the camera. This is for you, Zora, I thought.

I glimpsed up at her, then back to me, then to the camera.

My position was good for her show, but there was no chance that I would cum in this reclining position.

Jefferson: You look so hot, Zora.

Zora: Thanks. I’m enjoying the sight of you like this. Wait, where are you going?

Jefferson: Sorry, I’d prefer to stand. One sec.


When I was married and never getting laid, I perfected the skill of jerking off during showers. I could stand in the running water and go from start to finish in no time at all, thereby escaping my wife’s possible detection of my secret erotic life.

Even now, I am most likely to cum from masturbation while standing.

I adjusted the camera, trying to get my whole body into the frame.

Zora: You’re so fidgety.

Jefferson: Sorry. Here we go.


I stood back. There she was on her armrest, her body splendid and in perfect view. There I was, truncated and masturbating.

God, are my legs really that skinny?

I was growing limp in my hand. I remembered that old joke: I’m so ugly, even my hand turns me down.

I checked the time. Ten minutes. I needed to focus on the naked woman and not on my own image.

I stepped out of the camera’s view.

Zora: Where did you go?

Jefferson: I’m here. I just want to look at you for a while. Do you mind?

Zora: Well . . . hurry back.


I took two more pumps of lube and gazed at Zora.

Her pale skin, her slender waist, her spread legs . . . I would turn her on her armrest. I would stand between her legs and tease her labia with the head of my cock . . . I would take her chin in my hands and pull her into a kiss, then push my hip forward, entering her . . . we would stop kissing and look down, watching my cock move in and out of her body . . .

Jefferson: I’m sorry, this isn’t working for me.

Zora: Are you okay?

Jefferson: Yeah, I think I’m just worried about heading out to get the kids.

Zora: Of course. But you are okay?

Jefferson: I’m fine, just a little frustrated. Sorry to leave you hanging.

Zora: Oh, I’m not at all disappointed. I liked the show.

Jefferson: Good! Okay, I’m out. We’ll talk later.

Zora: Okay. Thanks for thinking of me.

Jefferson: Always. I’m out.


I signed out. I took the lube to my bedroom and jerked off effortlessly.

As I walked across the park towards my children, I ate my sandwich and chewed over the situation with the webcam.

For this to work, I would have to get used to seeing myself naked online. I could close the window showing myself, of course, but I wanted to monitor the view I was offering her.

Or maybe this whole webcam thing just wasn’t that hot to me. I had to admit, I much preferred flesh-on-flesh sex.

But of course, I thought, swallowing the last bit of chicken salad. That’s it.

A couple of days later, I messaged Zora.

Jefferson: Can I have you and your cam at twelve thirty, Eastern Standard?

Zora: Sure. Want another go?

Jefferson: Yes, of a sort. Just wear underwear this time, please.

Zora: Um, okay.


At twelve thirty, Zora invited me to her cam. I saw here sitting on her armrest, wearing matching panties and bra.

I invited her to my cam. She saw me smiling in a shirt. Behind me appeared the word “Brooklyn.”

Zora: Are you broadcasting from another borough?

Jefferson: No. That’s Joe. He’s wearing a replica Dodgers jersey. He’s here to blow me as you watch.

Zora: Oh! Well, hi Joe.

Jefferson: Joe says hello. He says you are welcome to be nude and masturbate as you watch, but that is up to you.

Zora: Well, thanks Joe. And thank you, Jefferson.

Jefferson: We aim to please. One sec.


“Joe, let’s undress,” I said, standing.

“Yeah, okay.” He began to unbutton his jersey. “She’s really hot, man. I’m glad she wants to watch this.”

“Me too,” I said, tossing my shirt to one side. “She likes a good show.”

When I found our webcam circle jerk frustrating, it hit me that Zora had enjoyed watching me give Todd a handjob. So, I reasoned, why not offer her a nice boy-on-boy show? She would enjoy that, I would enjoy that, and—here was the genius part—I was sure that somewhere in New York City, there was a boy who fantasized about just such an opportunity.

I posted an ad on Craig’s List:

She Likes to Watch

I have a girlfriend who lives far away. She and I like to get naked on our webcams and masturbate for one another.

It’s pretty hot.

She knows I am bi and she has never seen two guys go at it. So I figured, why not offer her a live webcam sex show?

You should be willing to be watched. She may or may not be nude and masturbating as she watches. You will never get her contact information.

If this appeals, drop a line.


There were many applicants, but Joe’s response rose to the top. He described himself as a straight guy, twenty-two years old, who lived and worked in Brooklyn. He had only touched a man once, during a threesome with a couple. The man had blown him, and he thought it was very hot to get blown by a man as a woman watched.

So now, Joe wanted to give his first blowjob.

His photo showed a masculine jock with short hair, glasses and a nose ring.

He made the team.

I invited him over during his lunch break.

When Joe and I were nude, I stood him in front of the camera.

Jefferson: You like?

Zora: I like. Where did you find Joe?

Jefferson: It’s a big city. So Joe is a straight boy, and you are about to witness him giving his first blowjob.

Zora: Oh! A momentous occasion. I should’ve chilled champagne.

Jefferson: Indeed. And clearly, Joe’s excited.

Zora: He seems to like having you hold his cock.

Jefferson: Yes, evidently, judging by the response.


I sat back in my chair and tossed a pillow at my feet. “Okay, Joe, let’s show her what you are made of.”

“Okay.” He exhaled and inhaled deeply, shaking out his arms. “Okay. Okay, I’m ready to do this.”

“Relax and focus,” I said. “You’ll knock it out of the park.”

“Okay.” Joe kneeled before me and took my cock in his meaty fist. He looked up at the computer screen. “Can she see me?”

“Yes, look.” I leaned over to click the mouse, revealing the screen we were broadcasting. “That’s her view. Here, wait.” I took down the camera and held it over my belly, pointing to his face. “See? Now, that’s even better.”

“Yeah,” he said, looking at the screen to see himself holding my cock. “Damn, that’s hot.”

“And so true to life,” I said. I nodded to my cock. “Whenever you’re ready, champ.”

“Okay. Right.”

Joe lowered his eyes, as if to avoid contact with mine. He looked down to my cock and gingerly brought his lower lip to rest against the head.

His tongue ventured forward for a taste.

He swirled his tongue slightly. The gentle wetness of his touch brought an involuntary sigh from my chest.

“You like that, huh?” he smiled, not looking up.

“Very much, Joe.” I stroked his hair, careful lest that touch be too tender for a straight boy. I didn’t want him to shy.

I glanced at the computer screen. Zora was nude.

I held the camera steady.

Suddenly, Joe took my cock deep into his mouth. He closed his lips around the shaft and began to bob his head furiously.

I clenched my toes and flinched.

“Fuck, man,” I gasped. “Leave some skin on that thing,”

“Sowwy,” he replied, my cock still in him.

“No, it’s good, it’s good,” I said, sitting back. “Just . . . unexpected. You sure this is your first?”

“Mmmm mmmm,” he murmured as he sucked.

“Damn boy, you’ve got natural talent.”

He chuckled in his throat.

Zora: This is very hot, Jefferson.

I leaned over to peck with one finger.

Jefferson: cant type now ok/

Zora: Of course, didn’t mean to interrupt. Just hold the camera steady.


“She’s enjoying the show, Joe. Look, she’s touching herself.”

Joe looked up, briefly, and then returned to my cock.

I recognized his hungry look. He was in “the zone.” His world was telescoped, reduced to his mouth and the cock in it.

I turned the camera and smiled at Zora. I turned it back to Joe and settled into my chair.

He could have my cock for as long as he wanted.

In time, he pulled back, gasping for air. A string of spittle connected his lip to my cock.

He reached between his legs and tugged on his cock. He pulled furiously on mine, clenching it in his fist.

“I want you to cum on me,” he breathed.

“Okay, easy, easy.” I needed to tell him that I would never cum if he was jerking me so fast and furious, much less without lube, as that is just not my speed.

But I was very aroused by his intensity.

He stared at my cock like it was a pinata about to explode candy in his hand.

My legs began to stiffen. My free hand clutched the chair arm.

I held the camera steady.

“Holy fuck, God dammit, Joe!”

“Cum on me, cum on me,” he repeated. He brought his face close to my cock, opening his mouth and lowering his tongue to receive my load.

“Close your mouth, Joe, I want to cum on your face,” I panted. “Better . . . show . . .”

I shot. Joe rubbed his face in the air, humming as cum rained down on him.

I took my cock from his fierce grip. I couldn’t stand it a second more.

I tugged and twisted, convulsing through an orgasm that outlasted my ejaculation.

I stole a glance at Zora. She was working herself very hard.

“Awesome, man,” Joe grinned, cum dripping down his cheeks.

“Yeah,” I panted. “You fucking rock.”

He began to stand. “You want to do me now?”

I looked up at him. What I wanted to do was collapse on the floor.

“Sure, sure, one sec.” I returned the camera to the top of my computer.

Jefferson: Having fun?

Zora: My God.

Jefferson: We’re not done yet.


I pulled Joe’s hips into the camera frame. I stroked his cock near my face as Zora watched.

I took him into my mouth, whole.

“Shit! Shit!” Joe nearly shouted.

I put a hand on his hip, pulling and pushing his body. Fuck my God damned mouth, I thought to him. Fuck it like you fucking mean it.

“Fuck, I’m going to shoot!” That time, he shouted.

I pulled back.

He shot on my chest, pouring out a deep torrent.

“Get it all out,” I whispered.

Zora was spellbound.

Jefferson: I need to clean up this boy. Later.

Zora: Later? Uh, okay . . . I’ll be here.

Jefferson: Joe says thanks and bye.

Zora: Um, nice to meet you Joe.


I took Joe to the bathroom. I gave him a washcloth. He washed up at the sink as I showered.

We talked about how incredible that was. We kept laughing as we talked.

We were high.

I dried him with a towel, venturing a kiss to his neck.

He dressed and we shook hands at the door.

“See you next time,” I said.

“Yeah man, next time. Tell your friend she’s hot.”

“Always.” I closed and locked the door, and returned to the computer.

Jefferson: Joe says you’re hot.

Zora: Joe’s not so bad himself.

Jefferson: I’ll say. For a straight boy, that kid sucks a mean cock.

Zora: I’m speechless.


We talked for a bit more, then we each got back to work. I sent a pleasant email thanking Joe.

He thanked me in kind.

A few days later, he wrote again.

BrooklynJoe: Do you think she would like to watch you fuck my ass? Tell her I’m a virgin.










Friday, August 25, 2006

Reciprocity

Once we became naked correspondents, there was no turning back.

Now and then, Zora would send me photographs of herself in poses based on our conversations. Our goof on secretary role play was a recurring favorite.



At some point in our regular exchanges of instant messages, either Zora or I would suggest that we might just as well be chatting with our cams on and our clothes off.

I wasn’t always able to be nude. But as Zora lived alone and frequently worked from home, she was often available to do so.

At times, she did her work and I did mine, with no distracting chatter between us—just regular glimpses at the nude body working silently on alternate screens, at opposite ends of the continent.

I watched her pace in her living room, talking on the telephone.

I saw her put on glasses to type at her laptop.

She watched me type, catching glimpses of my ass as I refilled my water glass.

Of course, we took occasional breaks to send messages back and forth.

As we chatted, I often caught Zora fingering herself.

I soon became very accustomed to the sight of Zora masturbating.

One day, she pointed out that there was a certain reciprocity lacking in our viewing of one another.

Zora: I’m glad you don’t object to watching me masturbate as we chat.

Jefferson: Not at all.

Zora: It might be nice to see you do it now and then.

Jefferson: You know, that’s right—you’ve never actually seen me jerk off.

Zora: I’ve noticed.

Jefferson: It’s not all that, really.

Zora: I think I might like it.

Jefferson: Well, you see, we have a slight problem.

Zora: Oh?

Jefferson: Yes. When we work nude on our cams, we are kind of focused on our duties, so we don’t make time to masturbate.

Zora: Right.

Jefferson: And when we talk at night, my kids are asleep. I don’t mind being nude as we chat, but I’m not keen on them inadvertendly walking in on Dad jerking off to a naked lady on his computer.

Zora: That’s very responsible. But what about the nights you don’t have the kids?

Jefferson: Well, on those nights, I’m usually having sex.

Zora: Oh, right.

Jefferson: So, you see, I actually don’t masturbate as much as I should. And never at my computer.

Zora: You realize you are missing out on the best use of available technology.

Jefferson: I do. But it’s hard to justify forgoing a night of sex in order to masturbate on my web cam.

Zora: I can understand that. I might understand it even more if I were actually having sex.

Jefferson: That’s the rub. I can’t help you there, much as I’d like to do so.


We found ourselves at something of an impasse. We aroused each other tremendously, but culmination of that arousal was elusive.

I began to get fidgety about flying west.

One hot summer evening, I was lounging at home with Shelby.

Shelby and I weren’t able to have sex at the time, as she recovered from a medical procedure. We were used to fucking as the mood struck us—which was so often as to be all but continuous—but we adjusted and waited a few weeks until we would be able to resume.

Still, we never stopped being nude together.

We were indoor nudists by inclination, and sex or no sex, we liked having our bodies near one another.

Besides, it was just too muggy for clothes.

That particular night, Todd stopped over. He often visited on the nights Shelby stayed at my place—so much so that it felt at times as though he were dating my jailbait girlfriend right under my very nose.

When Todd phoned up from the lobby, I put on boxers and Shelby slipped on panties. It didn’t seem proper to receive a guest in the altogether, even if it was someone with whom we had sex now and then.

Todd arrived dressed in his usual black jeans and black t-shirt. Seeing us reduced to boxers and panties, he began to strip down, never pausing in his conversation.

That’s how it is at my place. My friends assume that nudity is standard for hanging out.

But shared nudity did not necessarily mean shared sex. Since Shelby’s procedure had put intercourse off limits, she had pretty much put her libido on hiatus.

Todd didn’t quite get that, accustomed as he was to group sex at my apartment.

As he stood talking in his underwear, he took out his cock to show us a new cock ring.

“It’s a snug fit, but flexible enough,” he said, flopping his dick in his palm. It began to grow hard. He looked at it a little forlorn. “I tell you, man, it’s been too long since I’ve had a woman’s touch. It’s been a very slow couple of weeks.”

“Yeah, it sucks, no sex,” Shelby frowned. “I hate it.”

“I’m going to have to get something soon, man, or I’ll go fucking nuts,” Todd said, stroking himself and looking at her small bare breasts. “A blowjob would even fix me.”

“You can try him,” she said, pointing at me. “Sorry, I’m out of commission.”

Todd looked at me. I smiled.

“Thanks, but . . . well, you know,” he said, tucking his cock back into his underwear. “I’m really in a mood for a girl. No offense, Jefferson.”

“None taken.”

With no sex to be had, Shelby and Todd decided to smoke pot. They were soon deep in a discussion of anime.

I listened, growing bored. I decided to check my email. Signing on, I immediately had an instant message from Zora. In a few moments, our cams were up and running.

“Hey,” Shelby said over my shoulder, “There’s a naked lady on your computer!”

Zora: Uh, did you know there is a naked woman on your couch?

Jefferson: Yes, that’s Shelby. Todd’s here too.

Zora: Oh, is this a good time?

Jefferson: It’s fine.


Shelby came over for a closer look. She smiled to see Zora sitting at her laptop.

Shelby’s youthful face beamed next to mine on the monitor.

Zora: Wow, Shelby’s cute!

Shelby reached for the keyboard.

Jefferson: Hey, this is Shelby. You’re cute too! : )

Zora: Thanks. I’ve heard a lot about you.


Shelby sat in my lap, obscuring my view as she typed rapidly.

“Who’s she?” Todd asked, standing behind my chair and peering over Shelby’s head.

“That’s Zora,” I said. “She’s a correspondent of mine.”

“She’s very attractive,” Todd said, touching his underwear. “Ask her to come over.”

“Would that I could, pal. She’s on the west coast.”

“Too bad,” he said, leaning forward. “Geez, look at those tits.”

Zora: Is that Todd?

Jefferson: Yeah, Todd the stoned, Todd the horny. : P

Zora: I can identify with the latter, at least.


“Hey, let me say hello,” Todd said, reaching for the keyboard.

“Just hello, I’m talking to her,” Shelby said, leaning back into my arms.

Jefferson: Hello, this is Todd.

Zora: I’m Zora, nice to meet you.

Jefferson: Pleasure’s mine. You are very attractive.

Zora: Thanks, Todd. You are very handsome.


As he reached over my shoulder, I could see that Todd was growing hard. I reached up and lowered his waistband, taking out his cock.

Zora: Well! There’s an unexpected sight.

Jefferson: Yeah, Jefferson’s playing with me. Can you see my new cock ring?


“This is my turn, man,” Shelby nudged, taking back the keyboard.

“Man, that girl is hot,” Todd said, his hands on his hips as I stroked his cock. I was sure to keep my handjob in Zora’s view. “How did you find her?”

“She read my blog and we started trading emails. Then we started using the cam.”

“That’s cool. I’ve never used a webcam.”

“Really? You should,” I said, looking up at him. “You look great on it.”

He grimaced. “No, I hate the way I look in pictures.”

“Zora thinks you look good,” Shelby said, her eyes on the monitor. “She likes looking at Jefferson stroke your dick.”

“Yeah?” Todd said, leaning forward. “Hey, come on, give me a turn.”

“Come on,” I said, squirming under Shelby. “Let’s give the novices some time online.”

“Fine.” Shelby stood, taking my hand as she stood.

Todd sat quickly in the vacated chair and began to type.

I lit some candles on the terrace. Shelby and I sat outside, feeling the summer air on our nude flesh.

After few moments, she leaned forward to look in a window. “Look at that,” she smiled, pointing.

I leaned forward for a look.

Todd stood beating off over my keyboard.

“I think he got the hang of cyber,” I said.

“He better not get splooge on your keyboard, man,” Shelby said.

The next day, I sent a message to Zora.

Jefferson: So that was fun. You met Shelby and finally saw a man masturbate on cam.

Zora: That was very nice. But you aren’t getting out of this one.

Jefferson: No?

Zora: No. I’d still like to see you do it.

Jefferson: Fine. I’ll try to make that happen.


Now I was obliged to masturbate for Zora, if only to keep things reciprocal.








Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cyber Divorcee

She liked the sex, she wrote. But that wasn’t her sole motivation for writing.

Zora’s first note to me was succinct. She was just dropping a line to say that she was glad to find my blog. She enjoyed reading about the sex, especially as she wasn’t having any. But more, she was drawn into the descriptions of my divorce, as she was also going through one.

The divorce was unexpected, and it left her feeling cast off into the wilderness.

She had parted ways with her husband of nine years and moved into a new apartment. She was switching jobs. At the moment, she was wrangling with lawyers to reclaim her maiden name.

As disruptive as all that could be, she wrote, applying for your own name was the worst. It could really wrek havoc with one’s identity.

But anyway, she concluded, she enjoyed the blog. And um, yeah, the sex was great.

I sipped my bourbon and reread the note.

Zora and I seemed to have some things in common. We were each in the raw early stages of our respective divorces. We each found our lives upturned by the rash acts of our former spouses.

She had raised the subject of sex and here too, I heard a familiar tone. True, her separation had left her parched for sex, whereas mine had plunged me headlong into the churning deep end. But we were each faced with the challenge of finding our sexuality after marriage.

We also shared affection for complete sentences.

And so we began a correspondence. We checked in on one another, sharing updates and making jokes about the mundane realities of righting the upheavals of our new lives.

Along the way, she discussed her hesitations about dating.

Zora had not dated in the year or so since her marriage ended. It had been so long, she wrote, that she lacked confidence that she could do it at all.

Well, I proposed, why not ask me on a date?

She pointed out that I live in New York, and she lived on the west coast. Was I proposing to fly out?

Sadly, that was not an option, I replied. But we both have web cams. So why not meet online? We had never seen one other prior to this, not even trading photos, so a cam date would be a novel advance on our instant messaging.

She had never done that before, but she liked the idea.

Just to add a sexual edge, I proposed that we meet nude.

She had never done that before, but she liked the idea.

The truth is, I did not have much experience with cyberdating, either. I was committed to my weekly online dates with Madeline. But beyond acting as an instrument to that relationship, my camera generally sat unused atop my computer.

Much as I liked my correspondence with Zora, I had some reservations about revving up the cams.

Frankly, I felt one online girlfriend was enough. I loved Madeline, and relaxed in our time together online, but it was often plenty frustrating to be so involved with someone so geographically distant.

On the night of my first face-to-face date with Zora, I put the kids to bed and combed my hair. At the appointed hour, I poured a bourbon, cranked up the camera and loosened my clothes.

My instant message pinged.

Zora: Are you there?

Jefferson: Yes. Happy first date.

Zora: And to you. Okay, let me see if I can get this camera up.

Jefferson: Okay, I’ll work my magic as well.


I switched on my camera. My face appeared washed out against my black t-shirt, so I pulled the shirt off and tossed it aside.

Zora’s camera popped up. I saw the sun setting over a body of water.

Jefferson: Am I looking at a postcard?

Zora: No, you are looking at the view from my window. Beyond that church spire is a park. Beyond that, the Pacific.

Jefferson: Beyond that, Asia, if my New Yorker’s map of the world is accurate.


For a while, we chatted as I watched the sunset from her window. She finished a glass of wine and went for another.

She was nervous about our date.

That was fine. I could talk to her sunset for as long as she liked.

In time, she turned the cam in her direction. Zora sat behind a laptop, her bare shoulders appearing above the monitor. She was pale, with dark hair and eyes behind dark-framed glasses.

Just as I thought. She was very cute. Funny what you can tell about a person from some well-crafted sentences.

Jefferson: You have nice posture—which I suppose I might have surmised from your writing.

Zora: Hah, it only looks that way because of the angle. It’s nice to meet you. Or something. You're blonder than I thought.

Jefferson: I'm pretty damn blonde.

Zora: That always seems unnatural, somehow. Not meaning any offense, of course.

Jefferson: Unnatural? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

Zora: That reminds me of my involuntary response to a college boyfriend: "You really ARE a redhead!!" For some reason, I was surprised. Just for a second.

Jefferson: By the red headedness of the redhead?

Zora: Well, yeah. Usually pubic hair is at least somewhat darker or less bright. Or so I thought! Oh ho, the innocence of youth!
Zora: Funny the things you find yourself thinking after a sexual drought of over a year.

Jefferson: Oh yes, sexual deprivation does wonders for the research of one’s memory.

Zora: Hey, you takes what you can gets.


Zora finished her wine and found a beer in the refrigerator. She opened a window and turned up the ambient music of Sigur Ros on her stereo.

I freshened my drink.

When we settled in again, she was topless. Her breasts were full, with a pale hint of nipples barely visible on camera.

Jefferson: Hi, naked lady.

Zora: Do you prefer the scenic view of the outdoors?

Jefferson: I enjoy the scenic view of you, thanks.

Zora: I'm trying so hard not to make the obvious joke about purple mountains majesty.
Zora: Though I guess I just did.

Jefferson: Go ahead, give in. I’ll respond with something risqué about Old Faithful, something about spelunking

Zora: Fair enough.

Jefferson: Show me your nude body, naked woman.

Zora: l love the thoughtful look on your face. Are you going to reciprocate?

Jefferson: I missed the last question?

Zora: Coy. I said, are you going to reciprocate?

Jefferson: Oh, you want me to stand and shimmy?

Zora: Yes, please. I'll show you mine, etc., etc.

Jefferson: All right, for you.


I lowered my boxers and stood for a moment, bringing my body partially into the frame.

Zora: Now, wait a second.

Jefferson: Did you garner a peek?

Zora: Not a peek at all! Such a tease.

Jefferson: You want more?

Zora: I didn't get anything. Two frames—I may ask for my money back!


I gave her a longer view. I threw in a slow dance.

Zora: Very nice. Much better! The dance especially.

Jefferson: This white boy has rhythm.

Zora: I'll have to take your word for it. Couldn't quite pick up on the rhythm. Here’s one last view of the sunset before the blinds go down . . .

Jefferson: Thanks. Such a lovely sunset . . . Did you lower your blinds because you were about to lower your drawers for me?

Zora: Mostly because I tend not to be naked this near open windows after dark. I try to keep at least five feet away. After that, I figure anyone trying that hard deserves it. Half shameless, half prudish, that's me.


Zora stood away from the camera. Slowly, she lowered her dark panties. She turned to give me views of her pussy and her ass, dancing slightly.

She sat at the laptop.

My cock banged on the bottom of my desk.

Jefferson: Wow, you are easy on the eyes all the way down. I even saw rhythm when you danced.

Zora: You may have a better connection than I have.

Jefferson: Or you may have better rhythm than I have.

Zora: The truth is, now that I'm single again, I'm thinking about how much more confident I used to be about my looks, back when I didn't even need the confidence.

Jefferson: I know what you mean. After my break up, I had to discover that I am actually damn hot.

Zora: I didn't give two thoughts to it, back when I was hotter, because I lack the gene to interpret come-ons.
Zora: I did, however, just realize that I'm making a bit of a puddle on the seat. You can take credit for that.

Jefferson: I’ll take full credit, thank you—and more where that came from.

Zora: It's certainly welcome.

Jefferson: Now: don't you just feel the continent between us?

Zora: I do. I've never had a nude chat date before. I've gotta take my firsts where I can get them!

Jefferson: I’m glad to be your first.

Zora: I'm enjoying sharing the first with you.

Jefferson: Well, if we were on the same side of the continent, we'd knock out the firsts, but quick.

Zora: I've got a few firsts still unplumbed, surely. Not as many as some, but more than others. I have a feeling I'd like your style in general. I've never approached anyone before prompted by purely sexual urges first and foremost, that's something.
Zora: My only multiple encounter was not quite as. . . thorough as yours are.
Zora: Though I was the one that the other four were seducing, which was pretty nice on the ego.

Jefferson: Four? Mercy!

Zora: I'm still not sure if it was a woman’s head or a man's head between my legs. They both had the same haircut.
Zora: Four, but just rolling around, primarily. I was the only one they managed to get naked.
Zora: But yes, you're the first person I've approached prompted primarily by sexual urges.

Jefferson: I am honored—and safely distant. But my God, you may be bi and not know.

Zora: Yes, a bit of distance helps ease things a bit.
Zora: I am bi, just not very lucky with the ladies. I don't tend to make the first move, which usually by default means I end up with men.
Zora: I've actually been wondering if the bisexuality I was once so sure of is still lurking in here. After being monogamous with a man for nine years, it’s easy to forget about all of that.
Zora: Then there's the phobic view of bisexuality as a college fling, etc., etc.
Zora: I just sort of thought of myself as "him-sexual" after I got married.
Zora: And since, as I said, I never had much luck with the ladies . . .

Jefferson: And you a cute gal with glasses in the Northwest, land o'lezzies.

Zora: I know! I shouldn't have much trouble!
Zora: But you know, I'm as skeptical of "bi-curious" as the next girl. And I feel like I haven't qualified to pick up on the butch dykes.
Zora: A nice thought, though.

Jefferson: Well, you are mighty femme. They can pick you up.

Zora: I'm femmer than I used to be, true.
Zora: My favorite prior characterization of me from a roommate was “pixie-butch auto mechanic.” Not quite as much of any of those any more.

Jefferson: No, not so many—though that type fared well during World War II.
Jefferson: Oh, you altered the lighting. That is much more dramatic!

Zora: Hmmm. A tad bit more atmospheric.

Jefferson: Yep, nice touch. It brings out your clavicles.

Zora: And more highlights for the tits!

Jefferson: Yes! Such lovely pink nipples. Are they hard from arousal, or is that the natural state of things?

Zora: Why, thank you. A little of both. They're pale, but they're all I've got. They're usually rather pokey. They don't fit a standard clamp when they're fully erect.

Jefferson: Clamp? Did you say “clamp?”

Zora: Yes, though clothespins work better I find.
Zora: Also something I haven't done in quite a while.

Jefferson: Clothespins are reliable, yes.

Zora: And there's always more of them! You can't lose all of your clothespins. I gather you're a fan? I know you're fond of ropes.

Jefferson: Yes ma'am. These days, I can't look at a clothesline without getting aroused.

Zora: I prefer being practical about these things, after all.
Zora: You know, it's terrible, but I recently saw a poster for Amnesty International , a big close-up of someone's hands tied behind his back. It's a symbol of human rights violations and all that. So I can't help but feel a bit guilty when it arouses me.
Zora: I feel shallow when I think "Gosh, that jute rope would be just awful! Why didn't they tie him with something nice and soft?"

Jefferson: It's true, abusers of human rights care so little about erotic bondage.

Zora: I guess that's for the best. I mean, there has to be a way to draw the line.
Zora: So here's a question for you—are you as democratic as you seem, regarding your sluttiness? Do you turn anyone down? I mean that in the most respectful way, of course. Mostly just curious.

Jefferson: Well, I do try to be as big a slut as I can. I suppose I am selective without being snobbish.
Jefferson: Because I like sex and touch, and I like making people feel good.

Zora: Nice. Admirable, yet sensible.

Jefferson: Yup.
Jefferson: I guess I should hit the hay soon.
Jefferson: So go ahead and ask.

Zora: It is late over there. Three times zones are a lot.
Zora: Ask what?

Jefferson: You were going to ask if I would mind watching you masturbate.

Zora: Oh, is that what I was going to ask? I forgot!

Jefferson: I know, it seemed to slip your mind.

Zora: What're you offering as incentive?
Zora: And how do you know I haven't been all along?
Zora: Maybe I type really well with one hand.

Jefferson: Oh my word, you haven't, have you?

Zora: No.

Jefferson: I thought not.

Zora: I don't type really well with one hand.

Jefferson: All things with practice. But you are mighty aroused.

Zora: You seem a bit more fidgety than you were before, yourself.

Jefferson: Perhaps I am . . . Now, I see you are fondling your breasts. And if I know human sexual response, that is arousing.

Zora: It's not all I'm doing.

Jefferson: Egad, are you masturbating?

Zora: Slowly. I can still carry on a conversation. Just like they say about aerobic exercise.

Jefferson: It's all in the breathing?

Zora: I was thinking more along the lines of the goal of being able to carry on conversation at the same time.

Jefferson: Your nipples can take abuse better than mine, it seems.

Zora: Aw, that's a shame. perhaps we should work on toughening them up.
Zora: I love how the angle of the lens makes my tits look huge with a little pencil neck on top.

Jefferson: Nice how you fondle your ass as you touch yourself.
Jefferson: Do you often stand to jerk off?

Zora: No, rarely. And actually, I was holding on to the chair. Not that I have anything against some ass fondling. The standing is really for your benefit.
Zora: Would you like to see my new vibrator?

Jefferson: Yes, I think I would.

Zora: I'm rather proud of it.

Jefferson: It looks chic and practical.

Zora: I threw away my magic wand because it was, err, giving out. Plus I had some emotional attachments.
Zora: Your writing has helped me break this new one in.
Zora: The writing overall gets me in a very sexy way.
Zora: I think the way you convey your passion. I can really feel the hunger between you and your partners.

Jefferson: Yeah, we do get worked up . . . It's real, you know. I try to write it as I think we each feel it.

Zora: That's probably the biggest turn on for me. I can go for any sort of style, as long as I can feel the passion in the other person. So, it's a huge turn-on to know I'm making someone else hot.

Jefferson: I know the feeling. And you are making me hot.

Zora: Which may be why I like your descriptions of fucking someone's face. I've been thinking about that one rather frequently.

Jefferson: You've had me turned on for some time tonight.

Zora: I'm glad to hear it's mutual.
Zora: Damn, I think I need new batteries! Forty-five bucks and it takes triple A's.

Jefferson: Where are your eyes? What are you looking at?

Zora: I'm looking at you.

Jefferson: And I am watching you.

Zora: Are you just sitting there?

Jefferson: I am more than just sitting here.
Jefferson: Are you thinking of me fucking your face?

Zora: Actually, I'm having a bit of trouble transcending the actuality.
Zora: If you were to fuck my face, how would you like to do it? Me kneeling in front of you? Or lying back on the bed with you standing over me?

Jefferson: You are so right about the actuality. That thing of us, here and now, looking at one another, doing this. But let’s think about what we can’t do now.
Jefferson: Let's try it with you kneeling.
Jefferson: I get better leverage.
Jefferson: I’d let you suck me, getting used to it.
Jefferson: Let yourself taste me, see how deep feels comfortable.
Jefferson: I’d soon hold you close, mouth full of cock, for a time, to see if you can take it.
Jefferson: And when you were gasping, and drooling, I would know you were there, and ready.
Jefferson: I’d take your cheeks in my palms.
Jefferson: My fingers firm on your jaw line.
Jefferson: And I’d take your mouth.
Jefferson: My thought would be to pump your skull until I was ready to cum on your lovely tits.
Jefferson: But the way you are fingering your clit, now, as I watch,
Jefferson: I might pull out and toss you over my bed,
Jefferson: To use your pussy,
Jefferson: My fingers jammed into your mouth, like a place marker,
Jefferson: My free fist holding your hair,
Jefferson: Rocking you, imaging your spine moving as I direct your body.

Zora: That . . . would do nicely.

Jefferson: You would give yourself to me?

Zora: I would. I would demand that. The idea of your hands on my face is a huge turn-on for some reason.

Jefferson: Good.
Jefferson: I would keep your face smothered at times,
Jefferson: Play with your breath,
Jefferson: Cover your eyes,
Jefferson: Kiss your lips,
Jefferson: Let your face know me.

Zora: Lots of kissing, please.

Jefferson: I love kissing.
Jefferson: Walk with me, I’ll kiss you everywhere.

Zora: I know. Me, too.
Zora: I have an unfair advantage. I already have an idea of what you like.

Jefferson: This is true—but not such a bad thing.

Zora: Though I suppose you're getting an idea of what I like as well.

Jefferson: I am, and learning so much on our first visual date.

Zora: A long one, though. Three hours! I hadn't realized how late it had gotten.

Jefferson: I just did. Mercy.

Zora: You're very cute with your thoughtful face on.

Jefferson: Thanks. Y'all gonna make me blush.

Zora: Gee whiz. So I can masturbate in front of you, but telling you that you're cute makes you blush.

Jefferson: Look at you. You have me figured out so quick.
Jefferson: Now, I think I am going to take my hard cock and my visual memory to bed, where I will punish my pillows and fuck you all by myself.

Zora: So perhaps that means it is time to say good night.

Jefferson: Yes, I think so. Think of this as you enjoy the rest of your evening.

Zora: I will. In fact, I'm going to bed myself.
Zora: So we'll both be thinking of it at the same time.

Jefferson: Our first mutual masturbation.

Zora: Nice. Only the thousands of miles to separate us.
Zora: Which is not so much if the minds are in the same place.

Jefferson: True, though I am a big fan of flesh in proximity.

Zora: It's tomorrow where you are. Go to bed.

Jefferson: Okay. Good night, naked lady.

Zora: You too. Sleep tight.


That night, I went to bed and jerked off, nice and slow, never minding the time. My eyes were filled with the images of this woman I liked before I had seen her, now nude and masturbating in my memory.

I put it out of my mind the distance between us, and the thought that we would likely never meet in person.

Zora and I continued to trade notes and instant messages, teasing one another about our new intimacy as cybersex partners. We joshed our way through a hackneyed secretary fantasy, enhanced by her references to Gregg’s shorthand.

It was fun and games with someone I really liked. I tried to keep that in perspective—it was just fun and games.

Still, my heart jumped with I opened an email that Zora had titled “dictation?” and found her self-portrait inside.












Monday, August 21, 2006

Fleshbot and New Friends

This week, my Sex Blog Roundup at Fleshbot finds my fancy tickled by those who infuse their smut with humor.

Really, who doesn’t enjoy a little funny with their funny business?

Speaking of fun:

In her tireless effort to bring together sex bloggers of all stripes, Viviane invited Dacia and me to dinner this weekend to meet her guest of honor, Plum, who was visiting from the other coast.

I’ve been corresponding with Plum for a while now, so I don’t know if our meeting qualifies as love at first sight. But it must be something like that.

Viviane served shrimp and couscous. And wine. And champagne.

Dacia served porn.

That’s right: Dacia brought along her porn debut, Psychocandy Volume Four, in which she teams up with Benny Profane.

Dacia had yet to view the film, so we all got to see it for the first time together. Viviane brought me a bourbon. I cuddled up next to Plum and watched as my friend fucked the profanity out of Profane.

Viviane slapped Dacia’s knees at all the juiciest parts. Dacia laughed at the sight of her tits jiggling on the television.

I’ve been watching Dacia have sex for years. It’s nice that her own special brand of awesome fuckology can now be shared with others.

We all cheered the money shot.

Now, this may seem a small measure of fame compared to a porn debut, but Viviane was pleased to point out that Viviane’s Sex Carnival was listed as a fine resource by Violet Blue’s new book, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn.

“That’s so great!” I said. “Look how venerable you are!”

“Oh, that’s nothing,” Viviane said, flipping back a few pages. “Read this part about sex blogs.”

I read as the author described the sorts of things a smart girl might hope to find in the blogosphere.

“Holy smokes!” I exclaimed, then read aloud about “bisexuals floridly, graphically describing their sexual adventures at sex parties, on Craigslist.com . . .”

Now, Violet Blue doesn’t name names, and there may be other bisexuals floridly describing such goings on, but I just bet she is talking about yours floral truly.

And if all that weren’t cheery enough, a reader wrote in to say that he enjoyed the blog and wanted to send a token of appreciation for all the hard ons it inspired. Shortly after, there were bottles of Maker’s Mark at my door.

Ain’t that sweet?

Tell you what, if any other readers have a hankering to send goodies my way, please feel free to do so. As we gear up for the next season of sex parties, I could use a few yards of Astroturf, lawn furniture, bed linens, frequent flyer miles and a truckload of condoms.

Remember, people, sex this good takes a community effort.

One last note: in a couple of weeks, Viviane is hauling my ass south to Dark Odyssey for a spell among the pagan-minded perverts who like to take their sex to the wooded glens.

Drop a line if you plan to attend.

I, for one, took heart that revelers are required to cover their genitals at meal times.









Thursday, August 17, 2006

Drunk Girl

I opened my eyes and pulled my lips from Charlie’s.

“You seem a little drunk,” I said, descending from the balls of my feet, having elevated myself for our kiss. I rested my hand on the bone jutting from her bare hip. “Do you want to sit down?”

“No, I’m not drunk,” she slurred, shaking her shoulder-length blonde hair. She opened her eyes and glanced at my nude body. She looked away. “I think I need to find Deidre.”

I looked over my shoulder. “How about I find Deidre and have her join you on the couch?” I offered. “You can sit right here. On the couch. See?”

“Sure, thanks.” Charlie closed her eyes and leaned back against the corner where I had discovered her.

“Charlie?”

“Huh?”

“Can I escort you to the couch?”

She shook her head. “I’m not drunk.”

“I know, I believe you. But if you sit, then I can find Deidre.”

She looked around. “Yeah, I want Deidre—she is so fucking hot, isn’t she?”

“She is, she certainly is.” I took Charlie by the elbow. “Come on, let’s sit you down and I’ll find Deidre.”

Charlie looked at my hand on her arm, then suddenly lurched forward. I instinctively braced myself to catch her, but she caught her step. She seemed to forget my presence as we crossed the room. She fell into the couch, finding herself seated next to “Bad” Erik.

“Hey,” she gushed.

“Hiya, Charlie,” Erik said, putting an arm around her shoulder.

Our brief encounter against the wall had been one of the few times I had seen Charlie upright that evening. I had been tripping over her, literally, as she had spent so much of the night on the floor making out with her Deidre.

Charlie had been nervous about attending her first sex party with her ex-boyfriend, and current fuck buddy, Eric. She had quickly bonded with Deidre—like her, a lithe blonde, a total knock-out—who had arrived with Charlie, Eric and Eric’s best friend, Erik.

Deidre was new to the three of them, and new to our group, but no stranger to sex parties. She made herself at home, commandeering her nouveau clique at the party. Her new friends were taken by her beauty and confidence.

Charlie had quickly decided that Deidre would be her role model and, as she drank, her new best friend.

When Deidre undressed, Charlie followed suit.

When Deidre and Erik started fucking, Charlie climbed on top of Eric.

Deidre poured a mix of crème de cocoa, half and half and rum. Charlie sucked them down like milkshakes.

Charlie relaxed to the sweet buzz in her head. By the time I discovered her leaning against the wall, she had lost all inhibitions about being nude in a room of strangers. She welcomed the attentions of the blonde guy who lived there, before I realized she was a little too tipsy to even notice my fingers on her bare flesh.

There’s little joy in touching beautiful women who barely register your presence.

Of course, before she got tanked, I had done my part to make Charlie feel at ease.

I had checked in with the foursome in the kitchen shortly after everyone was nude. I joined in their flirtatious conversation. Charlie was clearly already enamored of Deidre. I joked that we should pretend Deidre was not really all that.

“Are you kidding?” Charlie asked, apparently missing my facetious tone. She leaned forward to Deidre’s face. “You are so fucking hot. I fucking have to kiss you.”

Deidre looked up from her bartending. “Why don’t you, then?”

Charlie kissed Deidre.

“You two are killing me,” Bad Erik smiled.

“Death, that’s what it is,” I agreed. “Hot sexy death.”

Charlie looked over at me, her eyes wondering what the hell I was talking about. She only pondered it for a moment before closing her eyes to focus on Deidre’s tongue in her mouth.

Deidre pulled Charlie down. They lay back on the kitchen floor, their legs wrapped around one another.

“Well . . . shit,” Good Eric grinned.

Bad Erik looked into his glass. “What’s in this drink, anyway?”

I looked at Eric and Erik, suddenly struck by the timing of their Hope and Crosby exchanges. I joined them for a moment in watching the Road to Blonde Lesbians before excusing myself to check in on my charge for the evening.

I had recently cleaned up some computer files and updated my email notification system for the sex parties. In the process, I had caught up with some people I had not spoken to in a while.

Tammy was among that group.

Tammy proved to be an interesting person to have met in the context of orgies. Jake brought her to her first sex party at my place about a year before. He had met her on Craig’s List or someplace.

As we talked at that party, Tammy had spoken of growing up in a famous family, a situation that had her spending most of her childhood abroad. She was matter-of-fact about her rather unusual life, even as she was nervous about this new turn that brought her to an orgy of strangers.

“Maybe I’ll just watch tonight,” she had said. “I really think I should lose twenty pounds or so before I undress in front of people.”

“Whatever you like,” I had replied. “Just let me know what I can do.”

It turned out that what I could do was take turns with Jake as we fucked her breathless.

“Wow, you are so loud when you orgasm,” I remarked.

“And you cum a lot,” Jake added.

“Yeah,” she gasped. “Lots of singers in the family. Strong lungs.”

Now, she was back to the party, still nervous but eager to break a long stretch without sex.

“You are my charge tonight,” I told her. “If you need anything, I’m your man.”

“Oh thanks!” she replied. “I suppose I’ll just watch, though.”

“Of course.” I kissed her cheek, whispering, “Like last time.”

She giggled.

Mitzi also had a special responsibility that night. Her friend Lauren had called to say it was over with her boyfriend. She was blue about it, and stuck at work until late. Mitzi wanted to be a good friend and offer to listen over drinks, but she was already at the orgy.

“Hey, wait, you are in the neighborhood,” Mitzi said. “Come over here. We can talk at the party.”

“You want me to come to an orgy?” Lauren hedged. “Thanks, but . . .”

“No, just come for shits and giggles. You can watch the naked people, and we can talk on the terrace.”

Lauren sighed. “Shits and giggles?”

“The shittiest giggles ever,” Mitzi laughed.

“Fine,” Lauren said. “But I’m not so much as removing my coat.”

I was in the kitchen freshening my bourbon when Lauren arrived. “Jefferson, you remember Lauren,” Mitzi said.

Mitzi had pulled on a black dress.

“Nice to meet you,” I said, bussing Lauren’s cheek.

“Well, we’ve met before,” Lauren replied. “But you were wearing clothes that time.”

I looked down. “Oh yeah, I remember wearing clothes. That was you I met that time I was dressed, huh?”

Mitzi offered her friend a drink as we chatted.

Lauren was bemused by the incongruity of meeting her friend at an orgy. True to her word, she remained firmly buttoned in her coat.

She looked stylish, actually, with her short reddish hair, trim coat and glimpses of the business clothes underneath.

Mitzi handed a drink to Lauren. “Come on,” she smiled. “Let’s go talk on the terrace. You want to join us, Jefferson?”

“No, thanks. Y’all enjoy your girl talk. I’m around if you need me.”

They made their way to the terrace.

I stepped over Charlie and Deidre carpet-diving on the rug. “How are you holding out, Tammy?” I asked.

She looked up from a conversation with someone on the couch. “Oh, I’m great, thanks. Don’t worry about me.”

“All right, then,” I nodded. “I hear a spanking in the bedroom. Mind if I go watch that? You can join me if you want.”

Tammy smiled. “I’m fine, thanks.”

In the bedroom, I found Jeremy and Bianca, friends of Dacia’s who were joining us for the first time.

Jeremy sat in a chair, facing his lover, Bianca, and holding her in embrace. She leaned over his shoulders as Bugs worked her over with a cane.

I stood close to examine Bugs’s handiwork.

“You really do give the best canings,” I admired.

“Practice, that’s all,” she said, caressing Bianca’s striped buttocks. “Step back, please.”

I sat on the bed to watch as Bugs delivered a blow. Bianca jolted slightly into Jeremy’s neck.

He whispered words only she could hear.

The room was quiet and still but for the landing of strikes, Bianca’s whimpers and Jeremy’s whispers, and the faint murmur of traffic below.

I sipped my bourbon slowly.

The still was broken by a sudden bang against the hallway wall, followed by a fleshy crescendo on the floor.

Charlie and Deidre giggled. Their laughter rose uproariously upward.

Bugs looked up at the noise just outside our door.

Deidre caught her breath before issuing an “ow.” This sent the two of them into more convulsions.

“I don’t know where that fucking doorknob came from,” Deidre laughed.

“Me either,” Charlie panted.

“I don’t have so many fucking doorknobs at my loft,” Deidre said, hitting the wall. “Maybe that’s better for orgies.”

Charlie drew quick breaths. “Dude!” she said, sitting up and lifting her voice in excitement. “You should so have parties like this! You are way hotter than anyone here. I mean, what’s up with that fat chick?”

Bugs looked at me, her cane resting on a shoulder.

“Nice,” I said, standing. “Would you excuse me?”

“Do what you’ve got to do,” Bugs nodded.

She lowered her cane to Bianca with a sound thwack.

I stepped into the hallway. Deidre and Charlie were tangled in one another limbs, kissing against one corner of the floor.

I kneeled beside them. “Hey, excuse me. Excuse me. Charlie?”

Charlie looked up and focused on my face. “Oh hey, it’s you.”

“Yeah, it’s me. Are you two okay? I heard a pretty loud bang.”

Deidre rubbed her hip. “Yeah, we’re fine. But your fucking doorknobs are vicious bitches.”

“I keep meaning to tame them,” I smiled. “But hey, would you two mind keeping your voices low? I hate to bother the neighbors.”

“Oh,” Charlie whispered. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” I said, rubbing her hair. “Just keep kissing and you should be fine.”

“Gotcha,” Deidre said. She took Charlie back to her lips.

I rubbed her shoulders, then stood and headed to the living room. I’d have more to say to Charlie later, I thought, but there was no point when she was drunk, naked and kissing a girl on my floor.

I found Tammy gathering her things at the door.

“Are you heading out?” I asked, touching her arm.

“Yeah,” she shrugged. “It’s getting late.”

“Did you enjoy yourself?”

“To a point.” She looked to the living room. “I liked meeting Bianca and Jeremy. And Mitzi was very nice.”

“Yeah, Mitzi rocks. And Bianca and Jeremy seem very nice.” I looked down. “Sorry about Charlie. She’s just, you know, excited and drunk.”

“I know, no big deal.” She kissed my cheek. “Don’t worry about it. It’s late anyway. I was just going.”

“Let’s talk tomorrow.”

“Okay.” She opened the door. “All right, see you.”

“’Night, Tammy. Thanks again for coming.” I closed the door after her.

I heard Charlie and Deidre giggling.

I headed to the terrace.

“Hello, Jefferson,” Mitzi said, blowing smoke toward the street. “We’ve just been chatting with Bad Erik.”

I nodded to Erik and Lauren. “Ah, glad to see everyone getting acquainted.”

“Uh huh, it’s very chummy,” Lauren nodded.

“I was just telling them about this place in the islands,” Erik said, gesturing with his glass. He was wearing boxers.

Erik continued his story, speaking directly to Lauren. She listened, her face frozen. She crossed her legs, adjusting her coat underneath her.

I looked at Mitzi. She nodded.

Erik was making moves on Lauren.

I smiled to Mitzi. We knew that was a dead end. But as long as it amused them, it was harmless enough.

Erik finished his story. Lauren nodded and turned to Mitzi. “Can I take one of your cigarettes?” she asked. “I don’t smoke, but I’m craving one.”

“Oh, I don’t smoke either,” Mitzi said, offering the pack. “Feel free.”

Lauren lit her cigarette and asked Mitzi about someone they knew in common. I took this for a clear signal that she preferred talking alone with her friend.

Erik looked on, smiling toward Lauren.

I leaned to Erik. “So, I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s getting pretty late and Charlie . . . well, she’s pretty looped.”

“Yeah? I noticed she was knocking ‘em back.”

“Yeah, guess so. Anyway, she’s on the floor in the hallway, if you’re looking for her, making out with Deidre.”

“Hmm, maybe I’ll go check on them.”

“Thanks.”

Erik went back inside. I stayed a moment with Lauren and Mitzi before leaving them to their own conversation.

I found Eric and Erik dressed and collecting Charlie’s things.

“You heading out?” I asked Eric.

“Yeah, I think we’re going out for breakfast in Deidre’s neighborhood.”

“Ah, good. Is everything . . . well?”

“Yeah, it’s all good.” Eric looked under the couch, in search of something. “Hey, sorry if Charlie got too wrecked.”

“It happens to the best of us. As long as everyone’s okay.”

“Yeah, we’ll see.”

It took some time, but soon Eric, Deidre and Charlie were dressed. Charlie was once more propped in her corner.

Erik had returned to the terrace.

“Hey, Lauren, we’re going out for breakfast,” he said. “You want to join us?”

“No thanks, I’m staying here with Mitzi.” Lauren left her face perfectly impassive. Mitzi smiled at Erik, who seemed not to notice.

“Aw, come out with us,” Erik smiled. “We’ll probably wind up at Deidre’s afterwards. She’s got an awesome loft.”

“I’m sure, but I’m fine here, thanks.”

“You sure?” Erik persisted. “We’re taking a cab, so we’ll be there before you know it.”

“Thanks,” Lauren said, taking a cigarette from Mitzi. “But I’m fine.”

“Bye, Erik,” Mitzi smiled.

“Okay, I guess we’ll see you at the next party then, Lauren,” Erik said, still smiling.

“I doubt it, but okay,” Lauren replied, lighting her smoke.

“All right,” Erik said, stepping inside. “Well, Jefferson’s got our number if you want to ring me.”

“Thanks.”

“Bye, Erik,” Mitzi smiled.

“Okay,” Erik waved. “Bye.”

“Bye,” Lauren waved.

Erik joined Eric and me at the entry. I was shushing Charlie as she talked to Deidre outside my door.

I said goodbye and closed my door, hoping they made it into the elevator without waking my neighbors. I joined Mitzi and Lauren at the terrace.

“Your friend Erik is certainly . . . persistent,” Lauren said.

“I don’t get that,” Mitzi said. “I mean, he was here with two women . . . “

“Two very pretty women who were naked in the next room . . . ,” I amended.

“Right!” Mitzi added. “So why hit on a woman who is fully dressed and clearly not interested?”

“Men,” Lauren nodded.

“The grass is always greener,” I nodded.

“Stupid,” Mitzi nodded.

As we talked, I pondered how I would address Charlie’s indiscretion. I liked her and wanted her to come back, but she had to be careful not to inadvertently insult others.

But, then again, maybe it was a one-time aberration. Maybe she was just drunk and turned on by her hot new friend.

I didn’t know Charlie well enough to know.

I would have to bring this up with her.

Before I could do so, fate intervened.

Charlie and Eric renewed their dating relationship. Charlie wasn’t keen on returning to sex parties.

Of course, that was after they spent that early dawn fucking Deidre and Bad Erik at Deidre’s loft.






Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Half Million, Fifteen

One Life, Take Two crossed a milestone during the past week when it was visited by reader number five hundred thousand.

Over half a million hits.

Why, that is larger than the populations of Atlanta, New Orleans or Miami—never mind Albuquerque. That’s a lot of perverts.

Speaking of milestones, yesterday would have been the fifteenth anniversary of my marriage. I scarcely noticed until Madeline called to see how I was feeling about that.

Better than last year, I reckon.

Thanks for reading.




Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Key

“Jefferson? Jefferson, may I speak with you a moment?”

I was crossing the lobby when my elderly neighbor Mr. Lansky called me into the mail room.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Lansky, what’s up?” I asked, my voice tempered with neighborly bonhomie.

“Just a moment, please,” he replied. He took an envelope from his mailbox and glanced at the return address. He carefully placed it on the shelf below his mailbox. He then reached in to take another envelope.

“Bills. Junk.” he said, looking at the return address. He tore the envelope in half, placing it next to its intact twin on the shelf.

“Yes,” I responded. “Mail.”

Mr. Lansky looked at me, his face expressionless. He then reached again into his mailbox. He looked at an envelope and placed it with the first one he had fished out.

Another was retrieved. He looked at the front, and then the back. He began to tear it in half.

The tearing proved to require more effort than he thought. He took his other hand from the mailbox key and, with both hands, tried to rip the mailing.

I shifted my weight, waiting.

Mr. Lansky focused his strength on the recalcitrant envelope. He decided to tear it from the opposite side.

The envelope refused to give.

Mr. Lansky looked again at the envelope. The bright yellow color gave it away as a mass circular of coupons. We all received these mailings every month or so.

A nearby wastebasket was full of them.

I jingled my keys in my pocket.

Unable to tear through the stack of coupons, Mr. Lansky added the yellow envelope to his pile of saved mail. His hand reached back into his mailbox.

He found it empty.

He looked into the mailbox, confirming that there was nothing left.

He took up his mail, and closed the mailbox. He locked it, returning the keys to his right pants pocket. With his hand free of the keys, he took up the ripped envelope and walked to the wastebasket.

He dropped the torn envelopes into the trash.

I stood smiling placidly, as though I had nowhere else to be.

“Jefferson, please, I want to speak with you.” He gestured toward the elevator.

I allowed a measure of concern to enter my voice. “Yes, Mr. Lansky, what’s on your mind?”

I walked slowly beside him, matching my pace to his.

“I think you know, Jefferson.” He stopped and looked at me. “It’s about your door.”

“Yes . . .”

“We have spoken before about your door,” he said, his voice rising to a well-modulated pitch. “You made a promise to me.”

I nodded, stepping back to his side. “Yes, we spoke about the door.”

Mr. Lansky stood still. “I don’t take promises lightly,” he said, training his eyes on mine. “I can’t afford to. I’m not a young man.”

“ None of us is getting any younger,” I offered.

What the hell are we talking about, I wondered.

Mr. Lansky has been growing increasingly more eccentric.

When he hears me coming or going, he opens his door to greet me, or to glare. I never know what he will say, if anything, when his door swings open.

I always wave and smile.

He recently took me aside to express his concern that my ten-year-old son Collie was “too close” to our three-year-old neighbor Holly. He felt that it wasn’t natural for a boy his age to play with a girl her age. He feared the possibility of sexual molestation.

I said I would keep my eyes open.

He told me he doesn’t like to talk, but he sees things.

I noted that discretion is the better part of valor.

Mr. Lansky may be eccentric, but I suppose he earned the right. He survived the Holocaust by repairing clocks and watches in a series of concentration camps. Most of his family wasn’t so lucky.

He often offers to repair any clocks I may find running slow.

As we stepped into the elevator, Mr. Lansky returned to discussion of my front door.

One afternoon last October, I had noticed that Collie and Lillie were being suspiciously quiet. I investigated and found them with Holly at our door.

“Look, Dad,” Collie smiled. “We’re getting ready for Halloween!”

“Yeah, now kids will know to trick or treat here!” Lillie added.

The door was covered with stickers.

SpongeBob and Patrick cavorted across the door in orange and black costumes.

Holly smiled at me as she added a pumpkin to the group.

“Hang on, kids, hang on,” I winced. “Maybe we should be sure those stickers come off, okay?”

“Oh, they do, Dad. Look.” Collie peeled away a sticker of SpongeBob dressed as a ghost in a sheet. “I tested it, don’t worry.”

“Okay,” I said, warily. I tried another sticker and it came off without effort. “All right, go ahead—let’s make it look good and spooky.”

“Yay!” Lillie shouted.

Holly’s mother joined us. She shook her head. “You are an indulgent father, Jefferson,” she smiled.

“I know, I just can’t help myself. Say, you want some stickers? Your door looks pretty drab.”

“No thanks,” she laughed.

As the kids and I ate dinner, there was a knock at my door.

“Yes, Mr. Lansky?”

He frowned. “I see you have your door decorated.”

“Yes, the kids put up some stickers for Halloween.”

“Well, I don’t grudge the children. You know this. But these need to come down after Halloween. I am putting my apartment on the market. I can’t show the apartment when there are stickers on your door.”

I leaned on the doorframe. “Oh sure, you can show your place, Mr. Lansky . . .”

He held up a hand. “Please. I appreciate your advice. But you will take off the stickers?”

“Yes, of course, after Halloween”

“So, November first.”

“Well yeah, after Halloween.”

“Good. November first. We have an understanding.” He turned to his door. “Enjoy your dinner. Your children are a blessing.”

“Thanks, Mr. Lansky.”

He closed his door. I closed mine.

Just after Halloween, Mr. Lansky reminded me of my pledge to remove the stickers. One day after school, I delegated the job to Collie.

“Hey Dad,” he called to me. “Come here, okay?”

“Okay, just a second.” I put aside the dishes I was washing and dried my hands. “How’s it going?”

“Look, the stickers are really stuck.” Collie held fragments in his hand. He had managed to remove a few stickers—taking layers of paint with them.

“Oh, no! Wait, wait, don’t take off any more. We need to use some kind of solvent or something. Those things are really stuck.”

“Is it bad?” he asked.

“No, it will work. We just have to get the right stuff to help us.”

Mr. Lansky asked me about my progress a few days later.

“Oh right,” I said. “I need to get some solvent. Thanks for reminding me.”

The next week, he mentioned it again as I headed out to work.

“Right, I need to get on that. Thanks.”

Thanksgiving came and went.

I bought a solution at the hardware store. It didn’t work.

Christmas had passed by the time he pulled me aside in the mail room.

“Now really, Jefferson, I have been very patient. As you know, I am waiting on you before I can show my apartment to sell. I am not a young man.”

I apologized, adding, “But really, my door doesn’t affect the selling of your apartment.”

“Your advice is taken,” he said, cutting me off. “But I know better.”

I nodded. Mr. Lansky would indeed know better than me. He puts his apartment on the market every six months or so, always asking far more than its value. Perhaps he could sell it one day and make a killing. That is, if my door was presentable.

Finally, one day in January, Bridget and I found a trick that worked. Following advice I found online, we painted vegetable oil on the stickers. After soaking for a few hours, they slipped off like wet paper.

“Thank God,” I sighed. “Our long nightmare is ended. Mr. Lansky can now cash in his million-dollar property and rest easy.”

“Maybe the new neighbors will like Hello Kitty,” Bridget said. “Because I’ve got the coolest stickers to give to Lillie . . .”

“Not funny,” I laughed.

I later passed Mr. Lansky in the lobby.

“Thank you, Jefferson, seventy-five percent.”

“Come again?”

“Thank you for removing the stickers. But you still need to repaint the door.”

“Well, it needs some touch up . . .”

“You can hire a painter. I know a good one in the building.”

I looked at him. “Okay, well, I’ve got to pick up the kids now. I’ll see about the paint.”

“I’ll leave the painter’s number under your door.”

Now, I’ll confess, I forgot about this. I have three kids, lots of work and a very active social life. I did not make a priority of dabbing a few strokes of paint on my door.

Mr. Lansky did not forget. I had made a promise. We had an understanding.

I’m sure he looked at my door every day, fretting about its effect on the value of his property.

One afternoon, I arrived home with the kids. I was hot and tired. I had been up much too late with the previous night’s orgy, and then woke early to work before walking to get the kids.

I unlocked the door. When I pulled the key back, it refused to budge.

“Shit,” I muttered, wiggling the key.

“Dad!” Collie admonished.

“Sorry, sorry,” I said, pulling the door back and forth with my key, to no avail. “The key is jammed.”

I oiled the lock. Nothing.

I had no patience for this.

I left the key in place and closed the door, bolting the three other locks. This could wait.

I helped the kids with their homework. I made dinner and did the dishes as the children bathed. By ten, they were in bed. I was exhausted.

I poured a bourbon and took my book to the couch. I expected to be dead asleep within an hour.

Just then, I heard voices in the hall. It was Mr. Lansky and a woman I couldn’t place.

They reached my door. I heard bits of their conversation.

“. . . this key in the lock . . .”

“Not safe . . .”

Mr. Lansky rang the bell.

Jesus, I thought. Can’t I get a moment’s peace? I know about the key. I don’t want a conversation about the paint job. I don’t want to spend any time trapped by Mr. Lansky.

And so, in a time-honored New York tradition, I ignored the bell. I would pretend to be otherwise engaged until the two of them gave up.

Mr. Lansky rang again. He knocked.

“ . . . father with three children . . .”

“Not safe . . . robbery . . .”

Mr. Lansky tried the key.

Please don’t fucking toy with my door, I thought. Just go away.

Mr. Lansky tried the doorknob.

It’s locked, I thought. Thank God, since apparently you wouldn’t hesitate to barge in.

Mr. Lansky and his companion continued to worry my door for ten minutes. Then fifteen.

Twenty minutes passed.

Now I felt stuck: would they ever stop without me telling them that I know about the key, and my other locks are secure? What would they think if I opened the door now, after all the ringing and knocking and scraping, to reveal that I was home the entire time?

My phone rang.

I answered in the bedroom.

“Jefferson?”

“Yes?”

“This is Jim Friedman, we’ve met before. I’m president of the co-op board. I hope I’m not disturbing you?”

“What can I do for you, Jim?”

“Well, I just got a call from one of your neighbors. Apparently your key is stuck in your door.”

“Yes, I know. It’s stuck. I plan to get a locksmith tomorrow. For now, my other locks are secure.”

“Oh. He was worried because he had knocked several times.”

“I guess I missed it,” I yawned. “I turned in early.”

“Oh, well, then sorry to bother you. I’ll let him know everything is fine.”

“Thanks Jim. Good night.”

“Good night, Jefferson.”

The next morning, I tried the key again. It slipped out with no resistance.

Of course, I thought.

I ran into Mr. Lansky that afternoon. He was stepping into an elevator as I was stepping out.

“Jefferson,” he began slowly, holding the elevator door open. “I tried your door last night. The key was stuck . . .”

“Yes,” I interrupted, hoping to curtail prolonged conversation by speaking rapidly. “The key was stuck but it is fixed now. How about that, huh? First the stickers are stuck, and then the key is stuck. It’s like, one thing and then another, right?”

“I’ll tell you what’s 'one thing and another,'” he said, raising a finger to me. “Seven concentration camps.” He pointed a finger to his chest. “Remind me, I’ll tell you sometime.”

I nodded. “Well, yes, I will.”

“Think about it,” he said as the elevator door shut. “Seven camps.”

“I hear you.”

Mr. Lansky quietly took his apartment off the market two weeks later.