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Monthly Archives: May 2012

“There you go, that’s the right spot!”

I mumble something in response.  Or, rather, I would, if my face weren’t fully buried between Pretty Grad Student’s legs.  Instead, I produce a sound that I hope she interprets as equal parts affirmation and arousal.  I put a deep, throaty sound in there for good measure, as I’ve come to understand that such sounds, like growling or groaning, produce vibrations up the throat, through the mouth, and across the more sensitive parts of a woman’s lower anatomy.  It seems to work, because she jumps slightly and laughs, then purrs approvingly.

I grab her legs and pull them onto my shoulders, then take hold of her hips to pull her forward to the very edge of the couch, where I sit, kneeling, on the floor.  I sit a bit taller, angling her pelvis upward and giving me better access to her.   My right arm circles around her thigh, my hand on her pelvic mound, applying gentle pressure below her navel, as I run my tongue in counterclockwise circles around her clit.  I position my left hand to cradle her ass, using the tip of my left thumb to tease her inner labia, fully exposed and swollen after half an hour of cunnilingus.  I occasionally slip my thumb past her labia, barely penetrating her, each time eliciting a shiver and a groan of pleasure.

“Quit teasing me…”  She says it plaintively, as though she isn’t enjoying the attention.  But I know better.  I’ve got her patterns figured out, and can read her like a book.  I know counterclockwise tongue movements get her worked up but won’t take her all the way.  I know the pelvic shakes are the first step toward a body-rattling orgasm, but it won’t happen unless I press just right on her pelvis.  I know that fully penetrating her with my finger, while applying that pressure and moving my tongue clockwise, will upgrade her pleasure from body-rattling to back-arching, hair-pulling, and full-on squealing.  It makes no sense to me, but it’s what works for her.

I pull my head back just enough to speak.  “But I’m having fun here.”  I draw out the vowels and speak in hushed tones that I know produce more warm breath across her exposed labia.

She whines and squirms on the couch.  “Please, sweetheart, don’t make me beg…”

“You’re already begging.”  I rest my cheek against her inner thigh, flick my tongue across her clit.  She squirms again.

“I wasn’t… I just…”  Another whine, and she bucks her hips up.  “Please just make me cum…”

I glide my thumb across her labia, softly caressing the shape of her.  “You’re sure?”

Her hips move in a little circle, trying to draw my finger in.  “Uh-huh…”

I sigh, feigning frustration.  “Fine.”  I turn my head and resume my attentions to her clit, but work my tongue in slow, lazy clockwise circles.  I press down against her pelvis, below her navel.  I slip my thumb into her, pressing upward against her inner wall, and not moving it otherwise.  Instantly, her behavior changes.  She gasps and throws her head back into the couch, between the back cushions, to mute the squeal of delight that escapes her throat.  Her back arches, pressing small, lovely, firm breasts into the air.  Her fingers lace into my hair and pull my face against her, tugging my hair almost painfully.  I feel her muscles contract around my thumb, then loosen, then tighten again, rhythmically squeezing me as her orgasm spreads through her.  And I continue the motion, slow clockwise circles, tracing the shape of her clit but never fully covering it, helping her forward and through the pleasure, until she squeals a second time and pushes my head away.  She begins to laugh maniacally, running her hands up her stomach to her breasts, squeezing them and tugging on her nipples.

“Goddamn,” she says between heavy breaths, “you must’ve gotten your master’s in pussy.”

“I’m more of a self-educated amateur,” I say with a grin.  I wipe my lips and chin with the fingers of my left hand, savoring the smell that lingers on them.  I then rise and move to the kitchen sink, where I wash them and my face.

“What, no time for me to help you out?”  Her voice is plaintive again.

“Not tonight,” I answer politely as I dry my hands and chin.  “I really just wanted to eat you out.”

“Well, any fucking time, baby.”  Pretty Grad Student grins and walks toward me in her short athletic socks, lithe and lean and tanned and muscled, and kisses me.  I return the gesture, and she presses her hips against mine.  My cock throbs, begging for release, but I bite back the groan, stifling it behind her tongue as it darts past my lips.

I smile at her and sigh.  “Night sweetheart.”  I stroke her cheek lightly, then slap her bare ass.  She squeals again.

I show myself out and return to my car.  A few minutes later, I step into the foyer of my house.  Ashley smiles.  “Hi honey.  Late night?”

“Busy as always,” I answer.  “Got another five pages of the manuscript finished, though.”

“Of course you did,” she says brightly.  “You work harder than anyone I’ve ever known.”  She hugs me around the neck.

“You have no idea,” I answer, and I kiss her.  She gasps, then sighs against my lips, and slips her tongue into my mouth.

I remember where my tongue was ten minutes ago.  A pang of guilt stabs at my chest as a shiver of approval runs up my spine.

When I got up this morning, after a long night of debauchery, I stumbled downstairs and checked my phone.  Through bleary eyes, I saw a message from Marian.  And another.  And another.  And another.

Hey, are you doing anything today?  I thought we could grab lunch.

Are you there?

Are you mad at me?

You don’t have to ignore me.

Real mature, asshole.

Umm.  Okay.

A few seconds later, I tapped out the following response:

Sorry, was out late with a colleague. Got up late, didn’t mean to miss your messages. But you just crossed the fine line between concerned and crazy bitch. So, we’re done. Don’t bother contacting me again.

I know it was one time, but really, one time is all it takes.  I feel like I narrowly avoided a really bad situation here.  Like I was bending backward Matrix-style while bullets of crazy whizzed past me at a speed of batshit bonkers.  I’m The One, people.

Me:  “So what, you’re saying I can dodge bitches?”
Morpheus:  “No, Bi.  I’m saying, when you’re ready… you won’t have to.”

I don’t know why I find that so very amusing.  I think it’s the residual bits of exhaustion.  I haven’t had quite enough coffee this morning.

Fuck, is it even morning anymore?

That’s it.  Yoga.

Pretty Grad Student:  “Enjoy your weekend.  Got any good plans?”

Me:  “Dick all, that’s what.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “That sounds fun.”

Me:  “Except for the chafing.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “Inappropriate workplace humor is a good way to end the week.”

Me:  “It’s only inappropriate if you make it so.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “I guess so.  Well, I have something for the chafing, if you need.”

Me:  “I’m always interested in new weapons in the war on chafing.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “How about industrial strength lube?”

Me:  “I was thinking lotion.  Get your mind out of the gutter, minion.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “But lotion isn’t as much fun.”

Me:  “It is for me.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “But I prefer the lube.  I think you will too.”

Me:  “That might be the most poorly delivered invitation I’ve ever heard.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “But it’s an invitation all the same.  My place?”

Me:  “Nine o’clock.”

Pretty Grad Student:  “Bring the booze.  I’ll take care of the rest.”

I can’t make this shit up, people.

I sit on one of the two couches in the communal living area, relishing the deep cushions and plush fabrics.  I have a thing for old furniture.  It’s softer, more pliable, because of its lived-in character, and this couch is exceptionally old.  It feels lovely under my intoxicated fingers.

Beside me, a young woman chatters away about her dream of becoming an “alternative fashion designer”.  Before the six-pack and ninth shot kicked in, I’d asked her what that meant, and she’d described a number of designs she had in mind based on insect anatomy.  I recall being vaguely horrified by the idea of a woman made up to resemble a praying mantis, given that the females of the species are sexually cannibalistic following copulation, and that my only real interest is in her sexual qualities makes it particularly concerning.  But she’s attractive enough that I’m willing to risk having my skull eaten.  She’s tall  with little curvature, save for one of the more amazing racks I’ve ever seen–perky, round, at least a large C, made all the larger by her slender frame, barely covered by a skin-tight black tanktop.  She wears nothing under the tank or her baggy green cargo pants, based on the view she’d inadvertently given me bending over earlier.  She sports a nose ring and multiple earrings, and a colorful tattoo creeps up her back, along her neck, onto her buzzed scalp.  I have no idea what her name is, but I’ve never fucked a girl with a shaved head, and damn if her decidedly punk appearance isn’t driving me crazy.

Or rather, it would be, if the ethanol hadn’t suddenly kicked in with full force.  It’s making me much more interested in the upholstery than I should be.  But I do my best to nod and appear interested as she describes, in more detail than one would imagine possible, her idea to recreate a moth’s wing patterning using black embroidery on a grey dress.

“That’s cool,” I say absently.  “Though I’m not sure there’s much of a market for that kind of thing here in the South.  Maybe Chicago or Detroit, someplace with a larger punk subculture?”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking!”  She starts to say something else, but a noise behind her distracts her.  A noise best described as slobbery.

We both look over her shoulder, to the other couch in the living area, where Hank and a European girl are making out.  Intensely so.  She’s laying on top of him, her shirt tossed across the room, her jeans open and half down around her hips.  His lips smack loudly against her tongue, producing the slobbery sound.  It’s not as pleasant as one might imagine.  (Or, perhaps, precisely as pleasant.)

“How did I miss that,” I mumble to myself.  I glance at the punk girl.  “I suddenly feel decidedly left out.”

“Yeah, me too.”  She shrugs.  “Wanna make out?”

I blink.  “Umm… yes?”

In one swift, sudden movement, she straddles me and wraps her arms around my shoulders.  She kisses me deeply, immediately moaning, as though this were something she’d been considering and desperately wanting for hours.  It catches me off guard, and I laugh against her lips.

She responds by biting my lower lip and muttering through clenched teeth, “Shut up,” grabbing my hands, and placing them firmly on her breasts.  They’re every bit as firm as I had imagined, yet pliant, moving under my touch in the way only natural flesh can.  The laughter is replaced by a groan in the back of my throat, and I grind my hips up against hers, kneading flesh and smelling gin and tasting stale cigarettes on her tongue.

She abruptly pulls back and looks at me, panting, her chest rising and falling heavily.  Her eyes are wide with what my inebriated brain interprets as desire.  “Bathroom,” she says simply.  “Now.”  I’m too drunk to argue (not that I would, mind you).

She leaps to her feet, pulls me to mine, and leads me down the hall, into the bathroom.  She slams the door shut behind her and pulls her shirt off in one deft motion.  Her cargo pants are so baggy that all she does is unbutton them, and they fall to the floor, leaving her in nothing but a pair of combat boots.  Her body is long, lean, completely smooth and without a single hair.  She drops to her knees in front of me, releasing my jeans with practiced ease.  Perhaps a bit too practiced.  But my concerns evaporate as she pulls my semi-turgid length into her mouth.  She helps me out of my jeans, and I pull my shirt over my head, allowing her to do as she pleases.  My head falls back and I close my eyes, sighing contentedly as I listen to the wet, slippery noises she produces.

I can still hear Hank slobbering on the European girl.  It makes me giggle.

Without warning, she jumps to her feet and moves around me to the bathroom sink.  She hops up onto it, sitting precariously on the edge, while pulling me toward her.  “Now, fuck me.”

“Who am I to tell a pretty girl no,” I answer, my best inebriated attempt at wit.

She reaches up and puts her hand over my mouth, her voice breathy.  “No, don’t talk.  Just fuck me.”

Well.  Yes ma’am.

I close what little distance remains between us and press my length against her.  She’s incredibly moist, so much so that I imagine her cargo pants must be soaked.  One easy thrust buries me inside of her, and she cries out softly, quietly.  She wraps one leg around my hips, the heel of her boot against my lower back, and plants her other foot on the long bathroom counter, spreading herself wide, taking me in as deeply as she can.  She places her hands squarely on my ass, holding me against her as she rocks her hips, guiding my movements precisely the way she wants them.  There is very little thrusting–it’s more a gyration, my shaft rotation clockwise inside of her, her smooth groin gliding against mine.

It’s almost like I’m a sex toy.  I like it.

I relax and let her show me precisely what she wants.  She presses her breasts against my chest and hides her face in my neck, whimpering with each movement, whispering words of encouragement and complimenting my size and skill between moans of approval.  I let my hands explore her back, tracing her spine, her shoulder blades.  I kiss her ear, her temple, smell the alcohol in her skin, feel her loins tighten, the muscles contracting rhythmically, pulling at me, as she gasps against my throat, almost growling through her orgasm.  I hear her whispering, “You too… you too… cum for me…”   And I grind harder against her, at her prompting.  I gasp once, grunt… and she pushes me back, dropping to her knees and grabbing my length, stroking hard, fast, furious.  My breath catches in my throat, my eyes close, and I release, her hand moving expertly along my shaft, guiding me through my own orgasm, coaxing every bit of life out of me that she can.

As I come to, I open my eyes and look down at her.  I expect to see her chest or face covered in my cum, but I am surprised–hell, more than surprised–to see that she actually jerked me off onto her head.  The thick white ropes cling to her shortly buzzed hair, pooling in some places, stretching out in others, drawing lines and amorphous shapes across her scalp and forehead.  It looks remarkably like a two-tone abstract painting.  I can’t help but laugh.

“Now that’s a hell of a sight,” I say contentedly.  She grins and sucks the last remaining bit from the head of my cock, making a little *pop* in the process.

“Most guys like that,” she says, standing and stretching languidly before me.  “It’s unexpected.”  She runs her hands over her head in a most unladylike fashion, scraping as much off as she can before washing her hands.  I step behind her and press my slowly relaxing length against her ass.  She growls playfully and pushes back against me.

“Next time, maybe I’ll consider eating it for you,” she casually remarks as she dresses.  I start to respond, but she covers my mouth again, kisses my cheek, and whispers into my ear,  “You’re a damn good fuck, honey.  Don’t spoil it by talking now.”  She steps back and gives my cock a playful squeeze.  “I’ll see you again real soon.”

And she exits the bathroom, leaving me standing naked in the bathroom.

I look down at my clothes, then at myself.  I grin.  “Well.  That was fun.”

Another weekend camping trip (this time with colleagues from the university).  Two manuscripts submitted for publication.  Two new projects in the works.  Four years of movement data cleaned up and analyzed.  Buuuuuuuuuuusy busy busy.

Amidst the sea of responsibilities, and for the first time in about a week, I somehow remembered to check my e-mail account associated with this blog.  Seems my last couple of posts have struck a chord with several of my readers, as well as a few passersby, because the inbox was chock full of messages from people.  Some of them expressed support and anticipation for what’s to come.  Others were concerned that I might be putting myself at too much risk with Marian the Librarian.  (Who is not, actually, a librarian.)  But, as per the usual, most accused me of manipulating and using her to my own selfish ends.

Seriously, do my fellow bloggers in this sexy little circle not get the outpouring of nasty hate mail I receive?  If not, I wonder what it is about my blog that inspires so much venom.  I could certainly point to the fact that I’m describing my many marital indiscretions, but I know of other male-authored blogs doing the same thing, and I’ve never heard them comment on angry e-mails.  And the women, well… guys like promiscuous women, so I can’t see them getting the same response that I do.

So what is it about my particular blog that gets so many people riled up?  I’d love to hear what you think, readers.  Perhaps I can deemphasize those elements and reduce the hate mail.  (Or, more likely, I can focus on them and really piss off the populace.   I think that’s a little more my style.)

In the meantime, I figure it’s time, once again, for a public e-mail and rejected comment response.  If the influx of comments continues, I may have to make this a regular installment.  It might even get its own category.  Once again, names are omitted to protect the author’s identities.

Comment:  This Marian situation seems like trouble.  I’m worried about you, Bi.

Please don’t be.  I recognize, at all times, that my behavior is more than a little risky.  Regardless of whatever steps I may take to prevent being discovered, there’s always that chance.  Granted, Marian is… I dunno how to say it.  She’s uncertain about our developing relationship.  And that uncertainty may lead her to do something drastic if she feels unfulfilled or guilty.  It’s possible.  But I accept that as a possible outcome of the solution I’ve chosen to resolve the lack of marital intimacy.

To those of you who expressed your concern, I thank you wholeheartedly, and I truly appreciate that you care enough to worry about my well-being.  But don’t lose any sleep over it.  Come what may, I will survive.  I always do.

Comment:  How can you say that being happy in marriage is a bad thing?  I’m blissfully happy with my spouse, and it’s wonderful.  You’re obviously not happy, otherwise you wouldn’t say that.

You’re only partially right.  I’m not unhappy with my marriage.  I’m just bored, and a few disagreements now and again would go a long way toward making things more interesting.  It’s the lack of sex with Ashley that I’m unhappy with, and that alone isn’t enough to make me dissatisfied with the marriage as a whole.  It is, however, enough to make my genitals long for new and exotic locales.

Comment:  Marian sounds just like me: a little insecure, lonely, and looking for someone to care about her.  The fact that you’re using her loneliness to get laid is absolutely despicable, and that you’re married on top of it makes you the lowest form of life.

Wow.

I’m not using Marian.  At least, I don’t think so.  I’ve been honest with her from the get-go.  She knows who and what I am, and that we don’t have any long-term romantic prospects.  Even if I were to leave Ashley, I wouldn’t pursue something long-term with Marian because of the way we began our interaction.  She knows this, because I’ve told her as much.  And she seems to have accepted that.

Based on my interactions with Marian, she’s nothing like you describe.  She’s quite strong-willed, independent, and comfortable in her lifestyle.  She doesn’t like being attracted to me, but she is, and she’s decided to let herself go and see what happens with us.  If that means I’m using her, then, well… I suppose I’m using her, which would indeed make me a despicable person.  But I don’t interpret our interaction that way.  I’m sorry that you do.

By the way, have you ever considered going to therapy?  Pseudo-scientific quackery if you ask me, but your self-image is so negative that seeking help might be beneficial.  Just sayin’.

Comment:  Real men don’t cheat.

On the contrary.  Real men cheat all the time.  Men who don’t cheat, according to recent surveys, are surprisingly rare, and seem to be most abundant in Meg Ryan movies.

Comment:  “Cumming on a girl’s shaved head looks like a Pollock painting.”  You’re disgusting.

But it’s true!!

Comment:  You hardly ever write erotica anymore.  I want to hear the juicy details!!

Yeah, sorry about that.  I’m rather self-conscious about my writing as it is, and I think that my attempts at describing sex are crude and ham-fisted.  I lack Gillian’s and Hyacinth’s sexual vocabulary and linguistic creativity.  (They’re sort of my heroes.)  But maybe I’ll write something more stimulating soon.

That’s all for now, dear readers.  Got to get back to the pile of data sitting on my desk.  Those GPS collars aren’t gonna upload themselves.

If you haven’t read Part 3 of Artifice and Honesty yet, skip down to the next entry.  Or just start at the beginning.

This is also the first time, I confess, that I took a few liberties with the story.  The final text she sent me wasn’t quite as succinct as I describe it.  But, this had a more clever feel to it, thus, I used it.

———————————————————————-

I walk through my side door, stinking and covered in a week’s worth of filth and grime.  I drop my backpack in the mudroom and sit on the old papasan chair beside the door, sinking into the soft cushion, relishing the sensation of worn fabric and padding.  As much as I enjoyed my backpacking trip, and as badly as I needed the time to myself… nothing really compares to coming home.

I don’t know how long I sleep, but when I come to, the sun has started to set.  I rouse myself from the chair and walk to my office.  I remove my phone from the charger and check the messages.  One text notification blinks at me.

I tap the screen a few times, and read.

Thanks for being a gentleman. –Marian

I grin and respond.

Sorry, I went on an impromptu backpacking trip.  Just got your message.  And you’re quite welcome.

I set my phone aside and go upstairs to the shower.  I wash the layer of sweat and dirt from my body, and take a bit of extra time to groom and exfoliate where appropriate.  An hour or so later, I finally come back downstairs, to my phone.  It blinks.

Oh good, thought you were angry at me.  Want to have dinner and you can show me the pictures?

I tap out a response:  Thought you said I was dangerous?

A few moments later, I smile as I read her answer:

Maybe I could use a little danger.

You can’t always have a dramatic climax.  This was one of those times.

——————————————————————————

I pass Marian a fresh cup of coffee.  “Here, I’ll let you doctor this one to your liking.”

“So considerate,” she says, with a touch more sarcasm than one might like.  I watch her pour half a gallon of creamer and a pound of sugar into the cup.  Stir and taste, frown, add another half a pound of sugar.

“I’ll be amazed if you don’t fall into a diabetic coma right here,” I say offhand.  Marian shoots me a half-hearted glare over her cup.

We resume our slow meander along the sidewalk.  Marian has grown quiet, taking more frequent sips of her coffee, leaving me to carry most of the conversation.  I tell her about my work, why I do what I do, stories of student entitlement and mishaps in the field, of being chased on a bum ankle by an angry bull elk, of coming face to tentacle with a jelly fish, of being treed by a mama pig.  She chimes in occasionally, prompting me for more detail or asking questions about various aspects of the story, but for the most part, she just listens.  I talk enough that I drink my coffee more to soothe my throat than for the flavor, even after it grows as cold as the night air around us.  But finally I run out of stories to tell (no small feat, I assure you), and we adjourn to my car.

Marian offers concise turn-by-turn directions to her home.  It’s a small house just off one of the less heavily trafficked city roads, with a gravel driveway leading through a wooden fence to a circular parking area that simplifies exiting the drive.  Flower beds and potted plants adorn the porch and front facade with cheery splashes of red, pink, and yellow.  There are even white window shutters.  It has a distinct Little Stepford House on the Prairie feel to it.  I park and quickly exit the vehicle, moving to the passenger side and opening the door for her.

“Precisely the sort of place I’d imagined,” I remark.  “Cute, comfortable, and inviting.”

“Thanks,” she answers as she takes my hand, exiting the car.  “I put a lot of effort into my flowers.”

I walk alongside her toward her porch, escorting her to her door.  As we approach, she suddenly says, “You know you’re not coming in, right?”

I blink at the back of her head as she mounts the step.  “I thought I’d already established that I held no presumptions about how the evening would end.  I’m merely escorting you to your door.”  She turns and looks at me, and I smile.  “It’s the gentlemanly thing to do, especially after having so thoroughly disappointed you tonight.”

Marian stares at me, her face expressionless.  I merely continue to smile, my hands in my jacket pockets.  After a moment, she says, “Nothing really gets to you, does it?”

I furrow my brow.  “Depends on what you mean.”

“I mean, you’ve been calm, cool, and collected the entire night,” she elaborates.  “Even when you told me…”  She nods her head a little, and opens her hands as though to say, You know what I’m talking about.  “…even then, you were just so cool and confident.  You never lost your charm.”

“I would take that as a compliment if I didn’t suspect there were an underlying ‘but’ somewhere in there.”

She nods.  “It’s a little scary, actually.  Anyone who can keep piling on the charm under those circumstances, to me, must be a sociopath.”

“That’s a hell of a ‘but’.”

She squints slightly, as though assessing me.  “But you’re so honest, and polite, and so fucking charming.”  She punctuates that word with a small stomp of her foot.  She’s frowning intently now, and she looks down at her feet.  “It’s not fair.”

Marian folds her arms across her chest and continues to divert her eyes downward.  I purse my lips and sigh through my nose.  I step forward slightly and lightly touch her forearm while maintaining a bit of distance between us.  She glances up at me, and I offer a half smile as I retract my hand.

“I’m sorry for misleading you,” I tell her.  “Old habits die hard, I suppose.  But you should know it wasn’t my intention to hurt you, or to lie to you.  I asked you out because I was genuinely interested in getting to know you.  I still am.  If you’re not, though, I get it.”  I shove my hands back in my pockets.  “If you want to talk to me again, you’re welcome to text me.  But I’ll put the ball in your court.”

She sighs and nods.  “Don’t expect too much.  You’re a little too dangerous for my liking.”

I smile and return the nod.  “Fair enough.”  I offer my hand, and she grasps it lightly.  I hold hers in both of mine briefly.  “If we never speak again, it was truly a pleasure meeting you, Madam Librarian.”

I release her hands, turn on my heel, and walk to my car.  In a few short seconds, I’m slowly circling around her drive, heading back toward her street.  I glance into my mirror and see Marian still on her porch, watching me go.  I feel a slight pang of guilt, but I shake it off as I pull onto the street and drive away.

So yeah, like I said, this is a long story.  I’ve actually omitted quite a bit of dialogue between Marian and me.  She really grilled me about my marriage, why I do things, what I was hoping to accomplish, etc.  It was one hell of an interrogation.  But this is the meat and potatoes of it.  And the thrilling conclusion will be up as soon as I have time to write it.

————————————————————————————

Marian laughs brightly.  “Yeah, that would be a hell of a downside.”

I stay silent, sipping my coffee.  I can feel her smile fading.  “…you’re kidding, right?”

I shake my head.  “Nope.”

She stops cold.  I’m certain there’s a look of shock on her face, but I refuse to look back.  If this is going to work out, I have to keep going.  So I continue strolling down the sidewalk, maintaining an air of confidence and comfort.

Sure enough, a moment later, I hear her footsteps quicken as she powerwalks to my side.  “Wait, you’re married?”

“Indeed I am.”  I maintain my forward-facing stroll.  I can see Marian out of the corner of my eye, looking quite intently at my face.  Likely searching for some hint that I’m joking, or perhaps for guilt.  My expression is an unreadable half-smile, a relationship poker face.  She won’t see anything I don’t want her to see.

After a moment, she speaks again, and her voice has lost its mirth.  “Then why did we have dinner together?  Why have you been flirting with me?”

“Because you’re clever, and good company, and quite attractive,” I answer matter-of-factly.  Marian waits as though she’s expecting me to continue, but instead, I take a sip of my coffee, then wrinkle my nose.  “My coffee’s gotten cold.  Want to go get another?”

“Are you serious?”  I can hear the first hint of anger creep into her voice.  To be expected.  “You want to keep this up?”

“Why not?  It’s not as though we’re doing anything inappropriate.  We’re two people having a cup of coffee and spending time together, and having a good time of it.  I fail to see the problem.”

“The problem is you’re married,” she says, stressing the final word, putting a little venom in it.  “You have a wife.”

“A fact which, until now, has not stopped us from thoroughly enjoying each other’s company.”  I hook my thumb back and say, “I’m going to go back to the coffee stand and get another of these.  You’re welcome to join me if you’d like.  I’ll answer your questions honestly up until the point you begin to shriek and accuse me of horrible, if not entirely unwarranted, things.  Keep it civil, and you can ask me anything.  Otherwise, we can part ways.”

“I–”  Marian starts to say something, but I’ve already turned around.  “C’mon,” I say, and wave her over.

I walk alone.  Then footsteps, and Marian appears alongside me.  “How can you be so callous about this?”

“There’s a difference between being callous and objective,” I answer.  “I have no desire to be cruel or insensitive.”

“The implication being that a married man taking a woman on a date isn’t inherently cruel?” she asks.

“That’s why I told you in the first place.”

Marian holds her right bicep with her left hand, a protective posture.  She grows silent again as we walk, looking down toward the concrete.  It’s not awkward for me, as I’d been expecting this from the moment I considered telling her, but I imagine she feels decidedly uncomfortable.

“I know you’ve got a question,” I prompt after a moment.

She looks over at me, frowning slightly.  She takes a deep breath.  “Why did you ask me out?”

“I told you, because you’re clever and attractive.  Those qualities don’t often pair up in people.”

“No, I mean…”  She hesitates.  “If you’re married, why did you ask me out?”

“There it is,” I say.  I toss my coffee cup into a nearby trash can.  “The honest answer is, I don’t know.  I could speculate for hours, and believe me, I have.  I want to say it’s because I’m unhappy, but that’s not entirely true, because my wife is my best friend.”  I shove my hands into my jacket pockets to keep from fidgiting.  “But sometimes that’s not enough.”

“But that doesn’t give you the right to cheat on her.”

“Nothing does.”

Marian continues to look at me.  “So you acknowledge it.”

“Of course I do,” I answer.

“And that doesn’t strike you as callous?”

I start to respond, but stop when no words come to me.  I can’t help but smile a little.  “You got me there,” I admit, and I chuckle as I glance toward her.  “Like I said, you’re clever.”

I detect the feint hint of a smile at the corners of her lips, but she suppresses it.  After another moment of silence, she asks, “So were you just planning on trying to get me in bed or something?”

I laugh again, more out of surprise than amusement.  “Well, that was blunt.”

“You said I could ask anything as long as I was civil,” she reminds me.

“That I did.”  My fingers fidgit like crazy in my pockets.  “The answer is, mostly, no.”

“Mostly?”  There’s a sense of incredulity in her tone.

“Mostly,” I repeat.  “I honestly just wanted to get to know you.  We had an interesting encounter in the store, and I wanted to see where it went.  I had no intention of trying to bed you.”  I consider this for a moment, then add, “However, if things had gone that direction, I can’t say I wouldn’t have followed through with it.  But it wasn’t my primary goal.”

“It’s still a little sleazy.”

“Only when you think about it.”  I shrug.  “I try not to do that.”

The smile plays at Marian’s mouth again as we approach the coffee stand.  I turn and face her, and she looks up at me.  We make eye contact for the first time since my admission.  “Look, I’m not going to deny that my behavior has been less than stellar.  If you want to go, that’s fine.  I’ll give you a ride, or money for a cab if you’d prefer.  But I’d rather you stay and have another cup of coffee with me.  Even if this doesn’t go anywhere, you’re better company than I’ve had in ages, and I’d still like to get to know you, propriety be damned.”  I gesture to the coffee stand.  “So, I’m going to have another cup of coffee.  If you’d like one, I’m still buying.”

Marian looks at me for several long moments.  “You know you’re not getting me in bed.”

“I hadn’t presumed otherwise.”  I gesture toward the coffee stand again.

She sighs and shrugs.  “Fuck it.  Not like I have anything else to do.”

I’ve had a number of people ask me what happened with Marian, the lovely woman from the grocery store.  It’s a lengthy story, so it’ll be at least two parts.  Here’s the beginning.  Enjoy.

—————————————————-

“That’ll be $7.64.”  The kid behind the counter slides two cups of coffee across the granite slab.

“Thank you kindly,” I respond as I hand him a ten.  “Keep the change.”  I move to a nearby table and prepare the two cups with generous helpings of cream and sugar, then pass one off to my companion, Candice, a.k.a. Marian the Librarian.

“Such a gentleman,” she says as she accepts the cup, passing it from hand to hand as it cools.  “What did you say this is called again?”

“A hammerhead.  An Americano with two shots of espresso.”  I gingerly take a sip of the scalding beverage.  “Think of it like drinking Red Bull with a No Doze kicker.”

Marian carefully drinks the coffee, then looks thoughtfully upward, making a show of smacking her lips as she considers it.  Then she shudders.  “Sweet Moses, that’s foul.”

We both laugh, and she proceeds to further dull the espresso flavor with additional cream.  “I’ll never understand the urge to cover the flavor of coffee with other things,” I remark as she pours several tablespoons of sugar into her cup.

“I wouldn’t if you ordered better drinks,” she says with a wry grin.  I hold my hands up in a gesture of concession.

A few minutes later, Marian and I are strolling side by side down the sidewalk.  The night air is crisp and cool, and the breeze carries the scent of coming rain, as clean an aroma as I can imagine.  I inhale deeply through my nose and sigh as I exhale.  “Damn do I love that smell.”

“Oh me too,” Marian answers.  She looks up at the sky, at the muted streetlight reflecting back from the clouds onto the city below.  “Though I’ll be a bit annoyed with Mother Nature if she decides to open up on me when I’m not carrying an umbrella.”

“Think of it as a scene from a romantic comedy,” I suggest, “or maybe an old-school musical.  Singing In The Rain did quite a number with that premise.”

“Yes, but you’re no Gene Kelly,” Marian points out.

I look at her, wide-eyed, mouth agape, putting on my best expression of shock and horror.  “Hey now, just because some of us aren’t built to be decidedly macho doesn’t mean we don’t bring something to the table,” I say, affecting offense.  “Donald O’Connor did a wonderful job in that movie, after all.”

“Yes, but you’re no Donald O’Connor,” she says, and the grin spreads across her face again.

“Don’t make me bust into an impromptu rendition of Make ‘Em Laugh,” I warn her, and she laughs again, a warm, rich sound.  She nudges me with her shoulder.

We walk in silence for a moment before she says, “You don’t seem the type to watch musicals.”

“You’d be surprised how often I hear things like that.”

“Probably not, actually.”  She glances over at me as she raises her no-longer-coffee to her lips.  “I get the distinct impression that I’m not the first woman you’ve wooed.”

I take a sip of my own coffee as I consider my response.  “Well… no, I suppose you’re not, though you’re one of very few who actually knew a thing or two about musicals.”  Something clicks in my mind, and I smile over at her.  “Wait, does that mean I’m effectively wooing you?”

Marian shrugs and answers, noncommittally, “Maybe.  I’m still trying to figure you out.”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning,” she continues, “you seem…”  She ponders, choosing her words carefully.  “…too good to be true.”

I chuckle into my coffee cup.  “Care to elaborate?”

She smiles.  “Not particularly.”

“I bought you foul coffee,” I remind her.

“That you did.”  She toasts me before taking another drink.  Another moment to consider her words.  “I mean… It’s like you’re not a real person.  You’re like an amalgamation of all the good and interesting parts of a guy.  It’s like going on a date with Frankenstein’s monster version two-point-oh.”

I frown.  “De Niro’s Frankenstein, not Boris Karloff.  Dude was a lot taller than me.”

“See, right there!”  Marian laughs and pushes me playfully.  “Who the hell actually knows who Boris Karloff was anymore?”

“People who like old movies?”

“Yeah, see, that’s my point,” she says.  “No one likes old movies anymore.  You’re literate.  You’re a scientist.  You’re charismatic.  You know musicals.  You know pop culture.  You obviously work out.”  She glares at me.  “People like you aren’t supposed to exist outside a Katherine Heigl movie.”

“Only guy I can remember starring alongside her is Gerard Butler.  I’d kill to be that rugged.”

Marian rolls her eyes and pushes me again.  “Whatever.  Point is, you’re too put together.  It’s almost artificial.  I’m just waiting for the downside.”

I pause and glance toward her.  It’s obvious she’s into me.  If she weren’t, that bit of dialogue would never have happened, not to mention the way she’s smiling into her coffee cup.  She’s having a wonderful time with a guy who’s just as into her.

A guy she thinks is single.

I sigh silently and lift my coffee cup to my lips.  “I’m married.”

Well, hello again, dear readers.  Did you miss me?

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent for a while (although I’m sure no one was saying to themselves, “You know, I haven’t seen any new postings on that amazing blog, Only Partly Erotic.  I wonder what’s happened to ol’ Bimodal?”).  I purposely violated my solemn oath to update at least twice per week, and for that, I offer my most sincere apology.  I just needed a little time off.

Not from this blog necessarily, though I confess a certain degree of satisfaction at not having to worry about what I’m going to write about.  No, I needed a break from… well, pretty much everything.  Work.  Research.  Publications.  Friends.  Family.  Everything.  So, I packed my shit and went hiking.

There is a major national park near the university at which I conduct my research.  I shan’t say which, so as to maintain my anonymity and an air of mystique (wouldn’t want to drop too many hints, now would we?), but given that I’m new to the region, I’d never visited the park.  As my frustration with my marriage and work responsibilities piled higher and deeper, I finally reached a caving point, and I just had to go.  So I spoke to Ashley, told her that I needed some time alone to think, and took off the next day for the park.

I spent the next five days in complete isolation.  And good lord was it glorious.  Purple mountain majesties indeed.

I wish I had more to say about it, but it was hiking.  I could recount spending hours beside a waterfall, watching wildlife pass by while cooking dinner, reading The Iliad beside the campfire… but really, how interested could anyone be such things?  They’re not exciting.  I can’t even fit a narrative to them.  It’s just what I did.  Besides, those aren’t things I want to share.

It’s odd.  I’ll tell you all about every woman I fuck, every bit of personal indiscretion I commit, but time spent in the wilderness, apart from my research activities, is mine and mine alone.

Anyhow, I have returned from self-imposed exile to a small mountain of manuscript revisions and proposal deadlines, a wife grateful to have me home, and a blog for which I should be able to write with ease but with which I continually struggle.  Regular updates will resume next week, once I’ve had a little time to catch up on my writing, and to follow up with the charming Ms. Marian the Librarian.

See you soon, dear readers.