Friday, September 23, 2011

The Bart Stories: 1 of 2

On a bed of pine needles

B. is 37, married, and good-looking.
Two of these things I knew from his online profile.
The third is a pleasant surprise.

We are meeting for coffee. Seems urbane, the proper thing to do for two young professionals toying with the notion of cheating on their significant others. A casual daylight place unlike a bar, more discreet than a hotel room.

I knew he liked opera. And Ute Lemper, a German cabaret singer. We both like to put it that way, "cabaret singer," because it makes us sound cultured, although I only read the phrase applied to her in a magazine article and don't really know what it means.
Here's a key difference between B. and me: He likes Ute's theatrical stylings, and that she's German, so she seems to have a certain coldness, an austerity to her sexuality. As for me, I like her version of "Little Water Song," about a woman drowned by her lover, a metaphor for being slayed by love, in which her voice is so heartbreaking, so heartbroken.
"It's my favorite song in the world," I effuse. "You must hear it."
"I'll put it on my wish list," he says coolly. So devastatingly urbane. His crisp cotton shirt is tucked into his khakis. His brown leather shoes look expensive. Short dark brown hair that's spiky through the bangs. Evidence of testosterone in his big hands that have some hair on them. His eyes are small and dark and bright, his grin is satanic.

In the cafe, we are sitting in pretentious armchairs. The place is one of a chain of identical cafes, four in this city alone, but meant to look bohemian, one-off. B. is drinking black coffee --"no sugar." A personality profile in a drink. I'm sipping frozen mocha coffee with whipped cream on top. It looks like a kid's drink.
He likes that I'm ten years his junior.
It's not much, but it excites him.
"Oh, you innocent young thing," he laughs when I don't seem to understand what he's talking about.
And what he's talking about is almost always sex.

This started online. He liked the pictures of me in strappy black high-heeled Mary Janes.
"I love the ankle straps," he typed to me then. "So submissive."
He had asked me if I was into BDSM. I told him B, D, and M. I told him I'm no sadist.
"Perfect," he typed. Picture the wolf from "Little Red Riding Hood," licking his sharp chops. That's what I thought of.

From perfunctory talk about our favorite books (I recommended the new Amy Hempel one), to movies (he wants to see me in garter belt and thigh-high stockings, "a la Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour," he typed, so cultured, even the French bit at the beginning), to sex.
"When you masturbate, do you touch your clit?" he typed to me.
I had coyly withheld my response.
And I'm withholding it again now. He's telling me about an ex-lover who had a strict Christian upbringing and almost became a nun. She's living in San Francisco now, an artist. He rims his oversized coffee mug with his pinky finger. So worldly, so many stories to tell. Like the one about the orgy in Vienna. And the girl he pissed on, who got off on being humiliated.
"I have a sadistic streak in my make-up, but I am aware of it and keep it carefully controlled," he says.
"That's good," I respond. So trite, so predictable. I have no heroic tales of my own. I am shy and inexperienced.
He loves this about me.
When I told him that online, he typed, "There's something very erotic about you being so libidinous but never having been fucked. I wonder if your hymen is still intact..."
I have no clue, and let him wonder.

Now he's talking about the onetime aspiring nun again, about how her ultimate fantasy was to be raped, but consensually.
Say what?
"She spent the better part of an hour telling me that, for her, it was about transferring the guilt to someone else--'It wasn't my fault; he did it; I didn't do anything wrong,'" B. explains. "She wanted me to break into her apartment--she was going to leave tools outside the window--and force her, and she was going to pretend to resist."
"Was there a safeword?" I ask, proud of my knowledge of this scrap of BDSM lingo.
He looks at me for a moment, then laughs.

I try to picture this scene, and am not entirely sure I believe him. The girl, what did she look like? When she told him about this awful fantasy, were they sitting on a bed in a motel room? At a café like this? And the night he was coming to her apartment--what was going on in her mind, lying there in her bed? Was she excited, apprehensive? What was going on in his?
"For me, it's about the arousal of the woman--or women--and not so much merely having someone submit to my whims," he says.
Soon he cuts to the chase.
"When you masturbate, and you picture yourself somewhere, and you're submitting to someone... where do you see yourself? A hotel room, bar bathroom, parking garage?"
I tell him all three sound good to me.
"Or I could kidnap you..." B. says.
"Yeah..." I think about this. A scene appears in my mind. "I'm walking at night, like I like to do. Somewhere secluded, woodsy... maybe the bike trail by where my parents live, near Mount Vernon." I make sure to drop in an actual landmark, tantalizing him, making him think he can find me. "You pull up in a dark-colored car. It's summer, so I'm wearing a little cotton skirt and T-shirt. And those red brocade Mary Janes I bought in Chinatown." I like to personalize my smut with little details like that.
He's liking this, the storytelling.
"Go on," he says. His dark eyes flash and I think of fire and brimstone.

I look out the window and ignore him. It's easier to picture the scene this way. A nondescript car--Toyota Corolla? Honda Accord? what do I know?--glides by slowly along the curb. A few facts I know about B.: he works in public affairs, and drives a used Mercedes. He knows about cars.
Now the scene in my mind is one from a real story you'd read in a book, not a smut story. "You get out and put a knife to my throat and tell me not to scream."
He lowers his head, as if sinking chin-deep into a reverie. I continue.
I tell him what he wants to hear.
"You bind my hands with rope, or twine." Twine? Would that even be strong enough? Whatever. "You push me into the car, and drive me to an even more secluded area, and park the car. You pull me out and march me into the woods."
I'm still seeing it like something in a book or a movie. The ground is dirty, dry dusty kind of dirt, with pine needles strewn around, so there's that Christmas-tree smell. This area of the country has mostly deciduous trees and not coniferous, but in my mind there are pine needles everywhere.

His voice nudges me partway back into the reality of the cafe, the reality of him sitting there in the pretentious armchair, hands laced together under his chin like a cartoon villain, waiting to hear me tell him what he wants to hear.
"You push me up against a tree..." Now I know it's time to make the story dirty. It's what he expects.
"And you walk up to me from behind, and you put your hand inside my panties and put your finger in me."
He closes his eyes, and his eyeballs flutter under the lids. It looks like some slithering underwater creature, a manta ray skimming the ocean floor at night. He likes this.
"Then you push me to the ground. I get some dirt and scratches on my knees, maybe a bruise." I add that bit for him, because he likes to inflict pain, like the welts he gave the aspiring nun, using a riding crop, her hands on the cold radiator, her skirt up. I bring myself back to the fantasy at hand.

My voice is low and its tone is strangely conversational; someone eavesdropping and not hearing distinct words would have no clue. No one is sitting near us. The barista is wiping the countertop with a wet rag, no customers in line.
B. asked for this. He likes dirty things in public places. He'd typed, "I once fingered a girl for an hour on the Orange Line of the Metro." Gotta love that he specified which line it was on.
I go on.
"You yank up my skirt and pull down my panties, and you fuck my pussy from behind."
Whoa, two triple-X words in the same sentence all of a sudden. He laughs. He's looking at me, his head cocked approvingly.

Online, after our first typed conversations "intrigued" him, he told me that he fantasized about taking a younger, inexperienced girl and being her teacher, instructing her in all sorts of dirty, kinky acts. "Like in Les Liaisons Dangereuse," he said, using the French title. I've only heard of the title, never read the book or seen the movie, but I acted as if I had.

"I have a rather large hunting knife that would be perfect for holding at your throat or cutting your panties off and stuffing them in your mouth while I tie you up, little slut."This was in an e-mail from B.

Why am I here?
I'll tell you.
I'm here because I force myself to keep my eyes open when I accidentally flip to an operation on the medical channel.
I'm here because when I go walking at night, I dare myself to take the darkest, scariest route, the one through the woods, the one down that road with no houses or lights.
I'm here because I fell in love once, and when it ended I could no longer think about sex unless I made it impersonal, hard-edged, kinky, anonymous.

B. shifts in his seat. "I'm getting so hard," he says. B. doesn't intend to leave his wife, and I don't intend to leave my boyfriend. He places his well-shod foot on the opposite knee. He leans back and gazes at me. He says, "And then what?"

I look at B. He's holding his coffee mug, his thumb fondling the inside of the C-shaped handle. An unidentified car passes by outside.

I will tell you that I'm wearing the turquoise earrings that I bought in Albuquerque, because I like to personalize my smut with little details like that.

I take a deep breath. "And then you stand up, you zip up your pants, you button the top button, you turn toward your car, and you leave."

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