We had a fight. We
were both on each other's neck for having been with someone
else.So I guess you could say it was a fair fight. Each of us had
plenty of ammunition. I had to go to work soon, so there was a
certain sense of urgency to the matter.That didn't help.I was
pissed because I'd caught her red- handed.I suspected she'd had
more than that one idiot from the circus in her tent so to
speak.She, on the other hand, hadn't caught me in flagrante
delicto. Instead, she'd found my journal, which I'd been keeping
for my English class.It was written for my eyes only, so it was
damning evidence for sure.I never kept much from myself in my
journal.Not as much as I kept from her.After this episode I
promised myself I'd hide it better next time.But right now I was
busy defending myself.
"You know you're
the only one for me," I said, "the only one who really
She was sitting on
the edge of the bed.I was standing near the brass post at the
end.Tears were welling up in her eyes.They weren't in mine, but
only because I thought I was a man. It was her turn in the
"I couldn't help
myself," she sobbed, "I just couldn't."
Tears of heavy
weight came tumbling down.
The thing here is
we knew we had hurt each other with our indiscretions, and hadn't
meant to.Because any way you cut it, we cared about each other.
And it wasn't as if either one of us was ready to claim the moral
high ground with a scream of "victory" either. We were both
equally guilty. Both of us were perpetrators, both of us victims
of each other's lust.
The clock hand was
approaching three.I'd have to be in La Jolla soon.It was time to
"Maybe we can
finish this later," I said, "I gotta go."
She'd grabbed my
hand a minute before, so it was clasped between hers.I pulled it
"I'll give you a
call when I get off."
So when I got off
at ten I did.There was no answer.I went over anyway.
Racing down the
freeway a few thoughts crossed my mind.
"She shouldn't be like that.Women I know aren't like
I searched for the
name of a woman I knew and came up with one.It was Laura,
beautiful blond Laura.
"Laura liked Pasha,
and why not?Every woman has to have a first love.Butwhen she made
it with evil Victor Komarovsky it was only because he was in a
position of power over her.In reality she hated him.That's why
she shot him at the Christmas Ball in Moscow.Slimy Rod Steiger
anyway.And when she balled Dr. Shivago, it was only because they
were so isolated, and because he had such drippy eyes, because of
the revolution, because it was so cold and all."
somewhere on the freeway, I thought I heard Somewhere my
Love playing on balalaikas.
"That's how a
proper girl should act," I concluded, "how a proper girl should
be.Why can't she be more like that, more like Julie Christie?
This sexual adventuring stuff should be left up to us men.We're
the ones who can handle such matters."
I pulled off the
freeway, and turned on to Brooks avenue in Hillcrest.It was late
on a hot summer night.I ran up the stairs.I should explain that I
had trouble sleeping on hot summer nights.I'd turn the pillow
over and over, trying in vain to find the cool side.What I needed
was a distraction. What every man needs on a hot summer night is
a cool woman to distract him. I was no different from the rest.So
she wasn't home.Maybe she didn't want to continue the argument.
Maybe she'd already made up her mind what to do.I turned and went
down about seven steps when I heard the click of the door. It was
a lucky seven.I looked up and saw it had opened a crack.It was
time to take a chance.I was feeling lucky.So I did.
The lights were
off.She'd already gone to bed.So why did she open the door?It
didn't open by itself.I entered in silence.I couldn't see
much.Outside, cumulus clouds were racing across the face of the
moon.Sometimes you'd get a glimpse of the room from the moonlight
coming in the large open window.Mostly you didn't. But there was
one thing I glimpsed when I had a chance.Strands of her blond
Julie Christie hair were making S curves that shined like silver
threads against the black-coal of her bed's satin sheets. That
was good enough for me.If I couldn't see, then I'd feel my way to
her.I was pretty good at feeling my way in the dark. So the
lights were off… but the game?The game was on.
I took off my
clothes without a sound and piled them on a chair nearby.When I
sat on the corner of the bed nearest me the mattress springs made
a creaking sound.I started to say something, but was stopped
immediately when she pressed two fingers to my lips, setting the
rules.So this was how it was going to be.She was taking charge.I
would have to trust her if I was to have my way with her.Almost
as soon as she touched my lips with her fingers she drew them
away and retreated.The clouds covered the moon completely just
then, plunging the room into total darkness. I drew up a bit,
then pressed my knee into the mattress, inching forward to begin
my search.Another creak was heard.It would be the first of
I decided to
reconnoiter.My weapons were to be my kisses.I figured that it
really didn't matter which end of her I found first.I could work
my way up from her bottom as easily as I could work my way down
from her top.I always ended up in the same place anyway.But, my
beloved enemy had plans of her own.That's how women are.Their
strength lies in the fact they make you think you're the one in
control.In reality, I was the one out of my depth, and she, being
a surfer girl, was the ultimate swimmer.
About the time I
thought I might find some flesh with my fingertips I noticed some
warm breath near my
ear.There's nothing as nice as warm woman-breath near your ear.
Then there was the scent of perfume and the tickle of hair across
my neck.That was nice too. She'd snuck up and taken me from
behind.So, man or no man, I gave up.I surrendered big time.There
were a few more strategic creaks, then
more tactical creaks, followed by several creaks in rapid
succession.This was followed by the only word she uttered that
night.I obeyed, so then it was several long slow creaks, or
rather I should say creakings, with some squeaks thrown in for
good luck.When we concluded, we panted with the breaths of
No couple sails
blissfully the whole distance do they?Nobody I know.That's what
sailing is all about; making adjustments, picking the proper
tack, being a sailor, surviving the storm. As the Beach Boy's
sing in their song Sail on, Sailor, you've got to, "Sail
through the sorrows of life's marauders." You do what you gotta
do.That's why your lover is called your mate. That's why it's
good if at least one of you can swim.Life is sometimes a rough
'Cause truth be
told, I can't swim.I've always been afraid of the water.The next
day, when I left in the morning I was heading down the stairs
when she told me,
I stopped.She ran
back into the room, grabbed an article off the counter, then
reaching down, pressed something into my hand, closing my fingers
over it.It was like Michelangelo's God passing the spark of life
into Adam's hand on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.It was a
"Don't open it
'till you're driving away," she instructed me.The woman was good
at instructing me.
It was hard to
drive with it in my hand while grabbing the steering wheel, but I
did.About a block away I opened my hand.To be candid, I already
knew what it was by the feel, but seeing it was even
It was the key to
her place.I guess she'd made up her mind.
Oh, I almost
forgot, the word she said that night?It's on this story, but not
in this story.I guess it was her intent all along to drown me in
herself. It worked.