“Which one?” he asks. “That one?”
He’s pointing to the waitress, a woman of about forty who’s trying to shave fifteen years off her appearance by wearing about five pounds of hair extensions, and nearly as much makeup. She’s got on a flimsy camisole top and skimpy short shorts. As a forty-year-old in normal clothing, she’d probably look fairly attractive. Dressed up like an extra in a Katy Perry video, it’s comic that anyone would think so.
I watch the waitress balance two large plates of mussels on her forearms, while her hands clutch a pair of lobster rolls. These aren’t the cheap-ass kind of lobster rolls they serve in lesser dives, with mayonnaise. No, the lobster’s steeped in melted butter, here, and are served with little bowls with even more butter, ready to be slopped on. I didn’t know a thing about lobster rolls until I moved to this state. It’s all the locals talk about, sometimes—and I’d gotten an extensive talk about them from the tattooed and muscled bartender, on an earlier visit. The Landscaper is watching me watch her get her payload to the table of rowdy, beer-drinking locals. “You like her?”
I roll my eyes. Get serious, the look says.
“Which one, then?”
He and I are sitting side by side at the bar, our backs against the railing. He’s got a gin and tonic in his hand. I’ve been nursing a beer for a while. I don’t like beer, but he’d ordered it for me when he’d seen me walk in. It’s the same bar where we’ve met a couple of times before. I think he gets off on the idea of being seen in public with me; he probably goes home and masturbates furiously at the notion of being out in public with a pussyhound like me. On one level it’s ridiculous. The Landscaper is a handsome man on his own merits—far better-looking than I am. If he were so inclined, he could attract just about any woman he wanted.
At the same time, I know that the reality of the situation isn’t so much what matters here. It’s the story he’s told himself, over and over again, in his fantasies. He’s told himself that I’m some big-time player, a straight guy fallen on slightly hard times who’s allowing the Landscaper the smallest of sexual favors in exchange for cash. He’s told himself I only do that stuff because I really need the dough. He’s made himself believe that he’s lucky that I’m willing to hang out with him once in a while.
And you know, it’s odd, but when I hang out with the Landscaper at this dive, this little restaurant/bar that skulks on the Saugatuck river beneath the shadow of an I-95 overpass, I really kind of am a pussy magnet. While I ponder his question, one of the married women sitting at a nearby table pauses to talk to me as she stumbles on her way to the restroom. She’s blond and pretty, though her skin is coarse from the sun. “I just wanted to tell you,” she said, leaning in to be heard over the noise of the crowd and the loud music coming from the bar’s far end, “I love your singing.”
“What?” I ask. I could hear her perfectly, but I cocked my head as if I couldn’t.
The woman moves in closer, as I thought she would. She touches me on the shoulder with her right hand. Her other hand drops; her fingertips touch the top of my leg three inches above the knee. She’s standing between my god-damned legs, a detail that’s not lost on the Landscaper. “I love your singing,” she said. “I love Duran Duran.”
I always sing Duran Duran on karaoke nights at this place. It reduces all the cougars to their fifteen-year-old selves. I touch her on the arm. “Thanks!” I say. And that’s all I’ve got to say. She wavers for a minute, undocks from the port between my thighs, and sails away, a little unsteadily.
“Fuck,” says the Landscaper as he watches her go. “You could’ve had her. She was hot for you!”
I shrug. I don’t point out that she was also extremely inebriated and smelled like a distillery.
“You could’ve been all up in that. You want to finger her? You want to lick her out?” He’s actually pretty loud, but he can’t be heard over the singing and the noise by anyone but me. Maybe by the bartender standing nearby, but he’s probably heard it all at this point. “You could get that killer dick of yours up in her, man. She’d ride you like a fucking bitch. Fuck. I bet some nights you go home smelling like strange pussy.”
I shrug again, and smile, and act like I’m flattered and not in disagreement with him. And I think to myself, is this really the way straight guys talk to each other?
We sit there for a while. “That one?” he’ll ask, every time a pretty woman comes into the bar.
“Eh,” I’ll say. Every time I’ll have an excuse. Too old. The tits are too big. The tits aren’t big enough. Too nasty. Too uptight. Sometimes he provides the answer for me: Too skanky. Too damned skinny. Too fucking fat.
He likes this routine of sitting in this bar and checking out the chicks, before we do anything together. It gives him a sense of security. We’d been there about an hour when he’s had enough gin and tonics to ask, “How about me?”
“What about you,” I grunt back. My eyes are half-closed.
“How about me?” he asks again. “You want me?”
I snort. “You’re a guy.”
“Come out to the van,” he says. “Did I tell you how much I like your short hair? It looks amazing.” I look at my second beer, appearing embarrassed to be given a compliment by a dude. “Come out to the van.” This time it’s a plea. There’s a note of neediness in his voice.
I sit there, and say nothing. I sit there, and let him wonder if I heard him. I sit there, and I look at the waitress, who’s cleaning up all the mussel shells and a huge amount of wadded-up paper napkins covered in dried butter, and I let him wait for the answer.
Then I stand up, adjust the hang of my jeans, and walk out of the place. He’s only two steps behind me.
He’s parked in the commuter lot of the train station, in a dark corner. There are other cars around, but they’re all there for the Westport nightlife, such as it is. We don’t even bother to pretend to get in through the front doors; he unlocks the back and we crawl onto the carpet.
He’s grabbing for the button on my jeans even before I’m settled against the back of the seats. “Whoa, whoa!” I tell him, sounding alarmed. “What the fuck?”
“Sorry!” he says, raising his hands. “Sorry, man. Just got a little excited.” When I’m with the Landscaper, I’m good at looking disgusted at the notion some dude would put his hands on another dude. Exploitative sure. But you know what? It’s what he wants from me. I give him what he wants in a way no one else has. That’s why he keeps seeing me.
“I know, I know,” he says. He’s trying to placate me in the dramatic, overacted way that the inebriated assume. “Ssshhh. Besides, we should take care of this, right?”
He reaches into his back pocket. He’s already got some fifties ready for me. Six of them, rolled up and squashed into a long rectangle from having been sat on. I count them out, nod, and stick them into my shirt pocket. “All right,” I say.
“Can I take them off?” he asks, crouching over me. His fingers want to go back to my jeans button.
This is the concession I’ve made for him in the last couple of months; I let him take off my pants. “Shoes first,” I order.
Lovingly, he removes my sneakers. He places them side by side at the van’s edge. Then my ankle-high socks. Those he folds and puts into the mouths of my shoes. Grudgingly I lift my hips up as he undoes the jeans and pulls them off. I’m deliberately not wearing shorts. He’s staring at my erect dick as he folds my jeans leg over leg, then in half, then in quarters, and lays them atop my shoes.
I pause for a moment. I like to let him think there’s a doubt. Then I spread my legs so that he can position himself between them.
He lies on his belly. I can feel his breath on my nuts as I begin to stroke. He wants to do more. He’s asked to do more. He’s offered me double my going rate just to suck me off, the last couple of times. Each time he’s proposed the deal, I’ve let him see me wrestle with the offer. I think he can tell the money’s attractive—and six hundred bucks just to get head? Fuck yes it is. But part of me—the sadistic part of me—enjoys fucking with him more than I’d enjoy the flow.
On some level, I know he’d respect me less if I’d accepted right away. That’s why we haven’t gone there.
This part of the transaction is pretty straightforward. I stroke myself, putting on a show for him while I make a big pretense of him not being present. I jerk with both hands, I tug at my nuts. I double-fist the shaft so that the head and a good two inches are sticking out at the top. I play with the precum, though I don’t eat it, the way I might in my own private masturbation sessions.
He’s going crazy the entire time. “Yeah,” he’s whispering. “You’re thinking about pile-drivin’ that pussy, aren’t you. Getting that big dick all up inside that whore and fucking her until she’s got a pussyful of seed. Banging the shit out of her, man.” Crap like that.
He thinks it’s exciting me to think about fucking some housewife out on a Monday-night spree, and doesn’t realize I’m getting my pleasure from dragging him down into the depths of his own private world. He’s showing me the parts of himself that his wife and kiddy never glimpse, the parts that none of his bluff and hearty buddies ever guess, the parts that he might not even want to admit to himself. That’s the payload for me.
And for him, the payload’s when I shoot. He always gets his mouth on my nuts right before I come—I allow that, and pretend it’s not happening, though the hot and wet slide of his tongue over my smooth sac is what really gets me off in the end. Then there’s cum jetting out of my slit, and down the shaft.
My eyes are totally closed as I let him clean it up. My hands are around my meat, protecting it from the man’s touch, but he licks it off my fingers, off my wrist where it’s flown. He’d fucking lick it off the van carpet if I shot it there.
Some day I might.
When he’s stopped and it’s safe for me to open my eyes without seeing some dude on my seed, I do so. “Gotta jet,” I say, reaching for my pants.
He watches me dress again. I look like a mess, but my car’s not too far away. “Gonna fuck the wife?” he asks. He sounds hopeful. “Gonna give it to her?”
I shrug. “Later, dude,” I tell him.
“Gonna give her what she needs? I bet you give her what she really needs,” he says, as he opens the van doors. There’s a distinct and pronounced bulge in his pants that I’m sure he’ll be taking care of, the moment he’s alone. “I bet you do. I bet you always give all your fucks what they need, huh?”
I smile. That’s a bet he should know he’d definitely win.