I was at work in Greenwich Connecticut, outdoors, talking on my cell when a co-worker emerged from the office. “We just lost the power and it’s Friday afternoon anyway, so we’re all going home.” I shouted back okay, and turned back to my phone, “We’re leaving work early. Keep me company on my ride home.”
“Yes, darling, of course. Of course!”
I retrieved my briefcase from my darkened office, said goodbye to my scurrying co-workers and walked to my car. I pulled my Volvo into the snarled traffic of I-95, picked up my phone and called May. “Well, we have plenty of time to talk. I’m barely moving. I guess everyone is leaving work early.”
“Oh darling, wonderful, we have so much to talk about. I can’t believe I’m finally seeing you tomorrow. It’s been so long!”
I had moved out of our home on Independence Day, a little over a month prior, moving into an apartment my father-in-law owned in Manhattan. I fully expected to be returning to our home in Yonkers eventually, once Lucy got over a rage that was now in its fourth month. She was calling for a divorce over a business trip I had made. I was confused, angry, bruised. Fifteen years, three kids and all that we had shared, and she was ready to jettison it all to win a fight.
If she was saying we were “finished,” as she so often had before, this time I would go. But this time, I resolved, I was going to have sex. Fifteen years of sexless monogamy capped by months of anger and the silent treatment had, I felt, given me permission. One day, when we were back together, I would’ve had some time in my life she wouldn’t know about, a secret: when you told me we were “finished,” I believed you. I was free to do whatever I wanted. So I got laid, finally. And now I have those memories as I masturbate, alone and secretively.
Only thing was: how?
My friend William was supportive. He’d call me from Toronto to encourage me to go out, go dancing, hit a bar, meet someone. Faced with the reality of pursuing his suggestions, my resolve usually dissipated. No one was going to want me. I had no idea where to start. “You should call May,” he suggested. “She thinks you’re hot.”
“May? From college? What makes you think she thinks I’m hot? She hasn’t seen me since Reagan was president.”
“Trust me, I know. I talk to her every weekend.”
“You do? How’s that?”
“Phone sex. Every Saturday morning, while my wife walks the dog, we talk. Our favorite fantasy is a threesome with you.”
William and I had been friends for a long time. There was a time he was in love with me. But, he was straight and scared to do anything sexual. Instead, he crashed my first dates with Lucy to watch and masturbate as we fucked. This went on until Lucy put a stop to it, thinking it creepy. Apparently the idea still appealed to him, if only in fantasy.
“So what’s your idea? I’ll call her and she’ll want to screw me?”
“Sure. Or you know what? Use Friendster. We’re both on it.”
I’d never heard of Friendster. William explained that people could sign up, meet people; it was an online thing. I demurred, saying I didn’t want to pay for a dating site. William explained that it was free and made me write down the URL.
That night, I was drinking alone, again, watching television. I decided to look up the website. I fired up my iMac, dialed into AOL, pouring a drink as the computer farted and belched. I had mail. I typed in the URL and looked around the site. It was free, it looked easy. I started a profile. This took time as I filled out titles of my favorite films, books, music, losing myself in the pleasure of listing things that pleased me. I wasn’t sure how to add a photo. I hit send and stared at my inbox for a while before deciding to watch Letterman.
The next morning, I had a note from May. “Meow. William says you boys were talking about me. Can you talk? Call me.” She gave me her number. I replied with mine. I was just out of shower when my phone rang. A voice was laughing.
“Jefferson, oh my God, I haven’t seen you in years. Are you still in New York?”
“Yeah! I hear you’re still in DC and working at the museum?”
“Yes, it’s boring but I love the people I work with.” She paused. “I hear you and Lucy split up. I’m sorry.”
“Well, thanks. I’m not sure what’s going on, but . . . yeah. Thanks.”
“What are you doing now?”
“Oh, I’m working at a museum in Connecticut. It’s nice. Boring, like you said. I’d rather work in the city, but those jobs are, like, filled for life.”
“No, I mean, what are you doing right now?”
“Oh, you mean at this minute? Getting ready for work. I just got out of the shower.”
She laughed. “Please tell me you’re naked.”
I laughed. “Well, as a matter of fact, yes, I am.”
“William says he told you we talk about you.” She laughed again. “He’s so funny. He always cums when I tell him I’m sucking your dick.”
I sat down. Lucy hadn’t sucked my dick in fifteen years. May was so direct, like this was easy. Her voice was pretty, soft, melodic.
“Yes, I’m here.”
“When do you leave for work?”
I looked at the clock. “Usually about now. It’s like a two-hour commute.”
She laughed. “You’re cute, you really are, baby. Will you cum for me before you go?”
I realized I was already stroking myself. “You mean, while you listen?”
“Yes, I’ll listen. I’ll talk too, if you like.” Without waiting for an answer, she began to tell me what she wanted to do with me. This had nothing to do with William, she told me. She wanted me.
She moaned as I came. My heart raced. “May, my God, that was hot. Wow.”
“Hmmm, so hot baby. Can you do it again?”
I wasn’t sure I’d ever had two simultaneous orgasms. When Lucy and I fucked—which was rare—I never came. I’d get her off and she’d stop. My orgasms were private and perfunctory, in the shower as she dressed for work.
I laughed nervously. “I doubt it, May.”
She purred. “Would you try? It gets me off to hear you cum. And my kitty is so wet for you right now.”
I came a second time. A third. I stood shaking, the phone to my ear, my spent cock in my hand. “May . . . “
“Thank you, darling. Now, you should probably take another shower.” She laughed. “Me too. I’m going to be late for work! What time are you home?”
“About seven, seven thirty.”
“Call me then. Got to run. I love you!”
“I love you,” I replied, instinctively, and she was gone.
I called her that night at seven thirty. We talked until two. The next morning, when I signed on to AOL, a text message popped up. “Meow.”
Within days, we had a date. I had said, longingly, late one night, my cum during on my belly, that it was a shame she was so far away. “Darling, I have a car. I’ll see you Saturday.”
Just a few days prior, I had no prospects. Now, in a few days, I had a date with someone who truly desired me. Who said she loved me. And a beautiful girl; at least, she had been fifteen years before, an Asian girl with big tits, long colorful extensions in her hair, always with a camera, photographing bands. I hadn’t known her well then, but apparently, she had noticed me, too.
What if, in nineteen-eighty-eight, we’d acted? What if I’d married her instead of Lucy? My head was awash.
I told William about our date, thanking him. “You’re so lucky,” he whined. “God, you’re so lucky.”
Now, with our date set for the following morning, she kept me company as I sweated in traffic. Traffic was always bad, but this was unusual. I saw a guy in a suit, hitchhiking. “Baby, something’s going on. I’m turning on the radio. Hang on.”
“Baby, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I just want traffic report or something.”
NPR reported that the entire Eastern seaboard was without power, with no cause yet determined. I explained this to May. She gasped, then said, “If I can get to you tomorrow, I will. Don’t worry about that.”
Actually, my first thought was terrorism, but I appreciated the assurance.
Traffic signals were down on the Sawmill Parkway. I decided I should probably sit out the traffic at the house in Yonkers, or maybe even stay over. Lucy and the kids were camping, so I’d have the place to myself. I’d have plenty of time to get to my apartment Saturday before May arrived.
I pulled onto our street to find a block party underway. The neighborhood kids were chasing each other over the lawns. Jim saw my car and waved me down. “Thank God you’re here. We have to drink all this beer before it gets warm!” He handed me his sweating Carona as I parked.
My neighbors had assembled in his backyard, as he had the biggest grill. Refrigerators and freezers had been emptied into a spontaneous party as kids marveled at their orders to eat as much ice cream as they could stomach.
I took off my tie and settled in with friends, thinking about the weekend ahead. I had been so unhappy with the separation. Now, for this time, I could feel so much love and potential.
“Daddy!” My girl Lillie ran through the kids. “Daddy, why are you here?” She jumped into my arms.
“I’m here to eat ice cream! What do you think?” I kissed her. “Why are you here, little Lil? I thought you were camping.” Her brothers came up behind her, beaming. Lucy was behind, her face contorted.
Lucy took Lillie my arms. “Go play, sweetie,” she said, her voice quaking with sparse control. She turned to me and hissed, “Why are you here?”
“The blackout. There were no lights and traffic was awful . . . “
“I just drove in. There’s no traffic now. You should go. No one wants you here.”
Lucy’s rage was building. I needed to avoid a scene. I put down my beer, thanked Jim and the neighbors, kissed my kids and walked to my car. I cranked it, rolled down the window, left.
The drive into the city was quiet.
There were no lights in any buildings, just the occasional candle in a window. Now and then, I passed stoops and parks with revelers, acting as though we’d all been given the night off to party.
I parked near my apartment, took my briefcase, locked the doors. I jotted the car’s location in my parking diary so I could remember where I’d left it.
My building’s lobby was full of elderly residents. Some social workers were there, dispensing water and juice. One told me cots were on the way. I offered to help, but they had the situation under control.
I instinctively pushed the elevator button, waiting a few moments before realizing the futility.
I used my cell phone to light the stair as I walked up.
The apartment was bathed in moonlight. I called May, relating what had happened with Lucy. She offered sympathy saying she’d make it all better tomorrow.
When my cell phone died, I used the old rotary in the kitchen to call her. I sat on the counter, listening, talking until we decided to get rest. We had a big day ahead.
The next day, I had the best sex I’d had in my life.