Monday, November 28, 2005

He says, she says - clearing our archive

One of the best things about the holidays is meeting up with old friends that you haven't seen in a while. That's why I'm so glad the Monkey Man is back from his hiatus and blogging again. Be sure and pay him a visit! We missed you, you sick bastard!


And now, please enjoy some of the questions and answers I've been squirreling away for a day just like this one...

Q: Why is it when I’m having sex blood comes out of my vagina?

Ari says:

Because there is something wrong with your vagina. Whether it happens frequently or not, whether it is period-like or merely a spot, if it happens enough for you to wonder about you need to take your broken little vagina to a doctor immediately. This isn’t a fingernail we’re talking about – you may want a healthy baby to drop out of there one day – take care of yourself and I wish you well.

Steve says:

Are we talking a drip here, like a leaky faucet, or enough to power a hydroelectic plant? I've seen girls bleed down there before, but it's always been a fairly subtle little ooze after a good hard fucking. At any rate, this could be an indication of a serious problem, and it sounds like something you should talk to your doctor about.

Q: When do you know if it is the right moment to have sex?

Ari says:

A general rule of thumb? When in doubt, do without. If you are really wondering then it isn’t the right moment. But moments are irrelevant – it is the person you are having sex with who matters. Ask yourself this, in a worst case scenario, do you think you could weather a sex-related crisis with this person? I can’t tell if you are male or female but let’s say you’re a girl, if you got pregnant – could you talk to this person about it? If you discovered you tested positive for an std – could you picture having a conversation about it? But if you literally mean the right “moment” well then… I’d say as long as you have as long as you …ahem… need, you should be all set.

Steve says:

When she's breathing.

Actually, if you are into heavy petting mode, and you think she might be ready, but you're not sure, one thing you could do is ask her, "Are you ok?" Hopefully she'll say yes, but if she doesn't, then you obviously should stop and talk about what's bothering her. If she does say yes, you should follow up with, "Do you want to stop?" Now, if she does give you the red light, your little ugly-bumping party will come to a crashing halt. But it's better than her filing charges.

Q: Disappointing fuck-

My guy and I just had sex for the first time last week. We've been dating steadily for a month now, and I was REALLY looking forward to finally "sealing the deal". Well, the sex was bad. He has a small penis (not his fault), and he was nervous and quiet. Even his orgasm was quiet! I, on the other hand, wanted to be loud and confident, but I was focusing so hard on trying to please him, that it felt more like work than a pleasurable first time. We are both 26, healthy and in good shape. I am really attracted to him! How do I get him to relax and enjoy himself? Why is he so scared? Any advice? I so want our sex to improve, but the poor thing is terrified.

Sincerely, Meg the Master

Ari says:

Oh Meg. your guy is most likely terrified to fuck because of his tiny penis. And it was sweet of you to add that it wasn't his fault (I'm sure it was not, but note to Steve; this is karmic comeuppance, men with filthy sex lives breed boys with no dicks - heh, don't you hope I'm wrong? I'm not). Anyway.

I'm not sure what to tell you about a guy with a minute cock. Well, I guess the first piece of advice I'd give you is try not to giggle when referring to it as a "cock" like I just did. My second piece of advice is this; get him to fuck you doggy. That is the only way you're going to feel shit. Even the smallest little thing seems bigger from behind. Maybe it could work with you both facing each other and your legs over his. but I sorta doubt it.

Don't stifle yourself during sex (an excellent general rule) - your exuberance will feed his. If your guy believes that you are enjoying yourself, he too will loosen up. I'm guessing that his tiny dick has instilled some serious insecurities in him and therefore sex is awkward, if you want it to be good you have to reassure and encourage him.

And if those don't work, get rid of the cockless wonder and declare it as a charitable deduction on your taxes.

Steve says:

I am hoping for Tiny's sake that "the sex was bad" because he was too uptight, and not because of his microscopic member. Was he big enough (and/or wide enough) to please you? If so, you just need to make him feel more comfortable in the bedroom.

There is no magic bullet to make him suddenly loosen up and enjoy himself. It sounds like this poor bastard was terrified, and the only way he's going to feel better is with lots of encouragement and affection from you.

It sounds like you really like him. Tell him! Tell him that you enjoy your time spent together, that he makes you really happy, that you think about him all day long when he's not with you (some girls prefer to write this stuff down in a letter rather than say it, so feel free). And tell him that nothing would make you happier than to give him the most amazing sex of his life, to please him totally.

Also, be sure to encourage him DURING sex. For God's sake, don't hold back! If it feels really good, feel free to moan, scream, or drop your Pottery Barn catalog. And then, just be patient. It might take a while, but when he starts to loosen up, you better watch out - it sounds like this dude has a lot of pent-up horniness that he needs to let out.

If it is a size issue, there isn't a lot you can do except to experiment with every possible position and angle you can think of. They say doggie works best for poorly-hung men, so be sure to try that.

Please let us know how you do!

Q: I've noticed that I only form relationships with girls after hanging out with them as friends for a while(like 2 to 3 months) most of the time I don't even realise it because I'm not actually looking to form a relationship. anyway these relationship usually go well (because I know the girl well enough now do anything I want) or stay in friend mode (where I can't do anything). My question is how do I actively seek out and start a relationship quickly without the friend stuff? do I compliment her more? ask for a relationship and look desparate?
thanks junior

Ari says:

I have bad news. It isn't that these ladies find you to be such a good friend that they truly fear losing that if they enter into a relationship with you - it's that they aren't interested in more.

I'll tell you a well known secret - having a romantic relationship with someone you adore as a friend is a BONUS. Not a detractor. It's gravy kiddo. That's what nearly every woman wants - to fall in love with her best guy friend. If things aren't progressing with you and your "girl friends" it is because they don't want it to. I doubt you are doing anything wrong other than misreading signs dropped along the way that "they just aren't that into you".

Steve says:

If you want to seek out a relationship quickly, remember the main things girls are attracted to: confidence, a sense of humor, and an ability to make her feel attractive in some way. Notice I didn't say, "physical attractiveness"; yeah, females like a good-looking guy, but it's not as high on the list as you might think.

It sounds like you are a "safe" guy as far as girls are concerned: A nice person who won't try to get down their pants. Trust me, Junior: Let someone else be that guy. If you like her, pay attention to her. Talk to her. Take a chance! Ask her out, to someplace specific, on a specific day. She's not going to walk into the room and sit on your dick; you're going to have to do a little work here, my friend.

And most of all, feel good about yourself. Have confidence. If she says no, so what? Go find another one. Keep trying, and all of a sudden, you'll find yourself on top of some girl who you thought was WAY too hot to be interested in you.

And when you do, send pictures (of her, not you).


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Speaking of doggie, did anyone remember the doggie bag?"

Friday, October 21, continued

This restaurant is a pleasant, relaxing place to be. The floors are covered with soft, warm-colored carpets; glass-doored cabinets displaying fancy gold knickknacks or old-looking books adorn most every wall.

But who the hell wants to eat, or enjoy the ambience, when there is a sure-thing threesome planned for later tonight?

Time slows down. The dishes and glasses expand to Alice-in-Wonderland hugeness. It's going to take hours for us to drink, and eat, and meander our way through the endless conversations, while all three of us think of what's going to happen when dinner is over.

No one could be thinking about it more than me. How will we... get started? Who will make the first move? I've never had a threesome before, not a real one anyway, and I'm obsessing over details. I'm not complaining, but it's even more awkward with me not knowing Keisha very well. It's like being a virgin all over again.

I down a glass of wine (the good wine) and order a vodka-tonic. I'm going to force myself to relax and enjoy this dinner if it kills me.

Keisha can't be any more than 21. She's in college, and she works catering jobs for Tim to get "going-out money", as she says.

She's hot for Tim. On two separate occasions, I see her rubbing the top of her foot against Tim's leg, and she touches Tim's hand longingly while saying, "Exactly!" or "I know!"

We get along well, the three of us, and overall it's a very pleasant evening, but the most interesting thing we discuss all night is the wine.

Time passes, grudgingly at first, then more quickly. I look at my watch and it's after 8:00. "Heyyy, how's it going, folks?" Jim says, jauntily, appearing at our table. His pudgy face is coated with sweat, the hair under his white hat plastered to his forehead.

This guy is going to be lucky to live past 35.

"Everything was great, Jim!" I say, gesturing at the tableful of empty plates. And it really was. "I think the prime rib was probably the best I have ever tasted."

I'm glad I forced myself to forget about later; it would have been a shame to waste such great food and atmosphere.

"This one's on me, guys," he says, happily, as if giving us $250 worth of food was the most fun he's had all day. "Anything for my girl Tim." He rubs her back absently.

In your dreams, tubby.

"You're a sweetheart," Tim says, popping out of her seat and kissing his cheek. "Anytime you need catering, you better call me. And your money's no good with me, ever!"

"Absolutely!" he says, smiling, and I actually start to think Jim is an OK guy. He seems to genuinely enjoy our company.

I have three 20's rolled up in my pocket; I rise from my seat and surreptitiously reach for them, holding them out to Jim. "Hey. I really appreciate your hospitality," I say.

He shakes his head no, waving a hand weakly at me. "Just come back and see us again sometime. OK?"

"You got it."


On the way home, I decide that fucking two girls can't be that different than fucking one. I'd treat the two of them just like any girl who was coming over, and I would just let nature take its course.

The two of them pull into the driveway behind me, and we walk in together. "Wow! Nice house!" Keisha says.

"Wanna watch 'Grey's Anatomy'?" Tim says, grabbing the remote. They plop down on the couch, side by side, while I grab drinks.

The show is 3/4 over, and nothing at all has happened. "Let's watch the rest of this later," I hear myself say, as I sit down next to Tim, draping my arm around her shoulders. I'm surprised at my directness.

"Why?" she coos, seductively.

"You know why," I say, kissing her, and right away I am hard.

I glance over and see that Keisha has taken Tim's hand in hers, and she gazes at it lovingly as she turns it this way and that.

"Mmmmm," Tim says, as her tongue slides into my mouth. Her arm rises up a little; I look to my left, and Keisha is rubbing Tim's hand slowly across her boobs. I get even harder as I see Tim's fingers clench softly around Keisha's tit.

"Don't be greedy," Keisha says, her face next to mine. I open my eyes and pull away, and then they are kissing, passionately, their tongues flickering together briefly before disappearing again into one another's mouths.

I like the idea of watching Tim make out with a girl. She looks every bit as hot as I thought she would, and I have the extra added bonus of knowing that I am not threatened in any way by the person she's kissing.

At some point, Keisha has unzippered Tim, and her dress is sagging in the front, exposing her black satin bra. I wish Keisha would get unzippered, I think, then realize that, at this particular moment, I don't have a whole lot else to do. I unzip her.

Her tits are even bigger than they looked. They are ridiculously big, Dolly Parton big. I really want to see what they look like; I unhook her bra and they tumble out, big, heavy and ripe.

"Mmmmm," Keisha says as Tim kneads and squeezes her with her strong hands.

I walk to the other side of the couch to unhook Tim. Keisha has already done it. Tim's breasts pop out, big and firm in their own right, but compared to Keisha, Tim looks like she should be in a training bra.

"Kiss her," Tim says, sliding back in her seat, wiping her mouth. I do.

Keisha is a good kisser; her lips are thick and wet, and she's not overly aggressive with her tongue. I grope for her breasts, my eyes closed. Why open my eyes? It would be tough to miss those things!

"Come on," Tim says, walking to the bedroom. She stops next to the bed, shaking her dress down to the floor, then slipping her panties off. My belt isn't even off when Keisha walks around me, stark naked, kissing Tim again, pulling her slowly to the bed on top of her.

"You are so beautiful," I hear Keisha say.

Yep, major hottie all right. Kinda makes you wish you had a dick, doesn't she?

Like I said, Keisha is no one I'd usually be interested in, but it's getting me off watching her grind her pussy against Tim's firm thigh. "Ughhhhh," she says, and it suddenly seems she's close to coming.

"I wanna see you suck his cock," Tim says. Another good move. Keisha was starting to forget there was someone else in the room. And it's so much hotter when I'm not asking.

I lay down and watch as Keisha slowly lowers her head down onto my shaft. She doesn't go terribly far down, maybe two inches or so, but the warmth of her cheeks and tongue, the way she closes her lips tightly around me, makes me insane. Her thumb strokes me slowly up and down, and I have all I can do not to come.

"Don't be greedy," Tim says, smiling, and now I am in her mouth, and looking deeply into her eyes as she devours my trembling cock.

Keisha pulls Tim's knees apart and dives into Tim's pussy, licking and sucking. "Pretty little pussy," she whispers, almost inaudibly.

Tim sits up. "I want to watch you fuck him," she says, not looking down at Keisha.

My heart races as I slide a condom on. Keisha rolls onto her back and opens her legs to me, and as I enter her I am struck by the stark contrast between her very dark complexion and my very fair one.

She is wet. I slip slowly, easily into her, then pull slowly back, almost all the way, then slowly back in again. The long, slow strokes grow faster until I can hear the slapping of our flesh together, and I very nearly blow my load when I look over and see tim cupping her breast with one hand and fingering herself with the other.

"Gimme that dick!" Keisha says. It's the loudest I've heard her speak all night. "GIMME that dick! GIMME that dick! GIMME that dick!" she shouts, in perfect rhythm with our fucking, her huge tits flopping and bouncing. Her pussy is amazing, perfectly hot and juicy. If I don't stop fucking right now, I'm going to come.

I pull out of her. "You gonna turn over for me?" I ask, and she does. I enter her from behind and grab her buxom ass in my hands. It's not fat, but much wider than I am used to. Honestly, I don't dislike watching it jiggle and shake as my hips slam up against it.

"I'm next," Tim says, grabbing my cock and pulling it out from between Keisha's legs. She pulls me on top of her, and then we are fucking and kissing, our hot breath covering each other's faces.

Tim rolls over on top of me, and Keisha is on her instantly, sucking her tits, licking her hard nipples. Minutes pass.

Tim stops abruptly, then starts again, then stops. "Ugggghhhhhhhh," she moans, her eyes gently closed.

I think about going back for seconds with Keisha, but the prospect of holding back any longer is too much for me. I push Tim back down on the bed and watch as I slip fully in and out of her, then pull off the condom and explode in orgasm, rubbing myself slowly as I blast her with cum.

We collapse on the bed, the three of us. "You guys are craaa-zy," Keisha says, finally.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Any chance we could get this one to go?

A good time to ask your significant other for something outrageous is in mid-booty knock. Logic and reasoning take a back seat whenever penile penetration is involved. And, if you get laughed out of the room, you can always blame it on the lack of cranial blood flow.

I wasn't planning on asking Tim for a threesome. But the way her flat stomach breathtakingly gives rise to her huge round breasts robs me of my inhibitions, filling me with euphoric invincibility, the kind that drives drug addicts to jump out the window, thinking they can fly.

I was fucking her, and just as the action reached its sweaty climax, I said it.

"Do you wanna see me fuck someone else in front of you?"

"Mm-hmm," she says, nodding weakly.

Sure, she said yes. But for this kind of request, you need an enthusiastic yes, a HELL yes. The yes she gave me was the kind I get when I ask if she is done with the ketchup.

I know better than to push it. I took my shot, and she obviously wasn't interested. You certainly can't blame a guy for trying, right?

"Were you serious about that?" she asks me later, peeking over the top of a Maxim magazine. Yeah, she reads that. Is this girl wife material or not?

"About what?"

"About what you asked me?"

"About what?" I know, of course, but this is no place for a misunderstanding. Plus, hearing her say it is going to be a turnon in itself, a hardly-believable acquiescence to my perverted fantasies.

"A threesome."

I go instantly hard, even though I just orgasmed a few minutes ago. I have to be careful not to seem too eager, though: She is probably going to be pretty self-conscious about it, and making a big deal about it might sour her on the idea. Or maybe it won't, but when in doubt, aloofness rules.

Now it is my turn to be blase. "Yeah, of course!" I say, quietly.

"OK," she says, disappearing back behind her magazine.

Wait. That's it? Don't you want to hear my list of physical requirements for a threesome partner? I'm not going to be fussy, but on the other hand, if you walk in with some scrawny, tattoo-blanketed chick with an infected lip ring, Mr. Happy might just go limp in protest.

Better still, could I see a group of candidates? Perhaps a blowjob contest is in order to thin the field a bit! Or how about a reality show: 'Who wants to fuck a sex addict?' or, 'Steve's Threes', in which we feature a different guest booty every week?

Friday, October 21, 2005, 6:30pm
Baton Rouge Bistro restaurant

Tim's been bugging me to try this place for weeks. Her friend Jim from culinary school is the sous chef, and supposedly, even his teachers were in awe of his cooking skills.

"He'll probably hook us up," she says, "but if not, it's my treat."

I'm sitting on an easy chair (yes, an actual easy chair) waiting for Tim, when I see the door swing open. In she walks, In a tight, shimmering blue dress, her thick, shiny blonde hair cascading down her back. There's a girl following her, so closely behind that it almost seems like they're together. But Tim didn't say anything about bringing a friend.

I stand up to meet her. "Hi sweetie!" Tim says, hugging me and kissing my cheek. The girl stops behind her, watching us, smiling.

"Steve, this is my friend Keisha. She helps me out sometimes with my catering jobs. Keisha, this is my boyfriend Steve."

Keisha is attractive, but no one I'd normally be interested in. Her skin is a dark brown, the color of a Hershey bar, and her chestnut-colored hair is pulled tightly into a bun, held into place with what looks like a chopstick. Her wraparound dress stretches all the way to her heels, adorned from top to bottom with Chinese symbols.

She's got deep dimples, and perfect teeth, straight and white. Her eyes, while a bit narrow, are a nice dark shade, which contrasts nicely with her skin.

Her tits are huge, absolutely massive. They pop out from her chest impossibly far, like a diving board, and my eyes can't help but be drawn to them. She's short, smaller than Tim, and with her girlish waist, one wonders how she can even stand upright. I guess her rap video-ready booty provides a useful counterweight.

"I've heard so much about you," she says, fakely, hugging me so that our cheeks touch. Her skin is soft, and she's wearing just a touch of blush.

We're following the hostess to our table when it suddenly occurs to me that this might be the girl Tim has recruited for the threesome. I make eye contact with Tim as we sit, and she gives me a big, seductive smile.

Yep, this is the threesome chick, all right.

Tim is a genius. She's giving me every man's fantasy, a threesome, but she's doing it with someone who, while not ugly, is certainly not on her level attractiveness-wise. She has found another girl for me to fuck in front of her, a sexual accessory, but an accessory that could not possibly work on its own. She's showing me how much she wants to please me by giving me a very memorable gift, but she's doing it in such a way that she isn't threatened. It's perfect!

Keisha is nervous. She keeps folding and unfolding her arms and shifting positions in her chair, and shooting glances at me before turning quickly back to Tim.

Jim, the sous chef, comes over to say hello, shaking Tim's hand briskly with his two massive, meaty paws. He's a huge guy, 350 pounds easy, and the walk across the floor has winded him. He breathes heavily throughout the whole conversation. "Taste the wine," he says, uncorking a bottle for us.

I really hate the pretentious, snooty-ass way people sniff and slurp wine. I don't drink it very much, and I usually don't order it when eating out, because I feel silly when they bring it over to you and stare as you swirl it around in your glass and take dainty little sips.

Tim knows that I hate the whole ritual, but she keeps begging me to do it, because she says I will really learn to love wine if I do. So partly to indulge her, and partly not to insult Jim, who is giving us a free meal, I sample the bouquet as expertly as Dr. Frasier Crane himself, then sip it gingerly.

It's horrible. For a moment, it actually seems as if something is wrong with the wine; my lips instinctively pucker with the foul bitterness, like when I get shampoo on my tongue. Now, how do I explain this to Jim?

I look up at him, and open my mouth to speak. "No good, huh?" he says.

"Was it that obvious?"

"Bitter, right?"

"Yeah! How did you-"

"You don't drink coffee, do you?" he smiles.

"No, not really. How did you know?"

"Coffee dulls the taste buds. People who don't drink coffee find that wine bitter. I could tell by the face you made that you didn't like it."

Tim and Keisha laugh.

"I'll have another bottle brought out to you folks right away. You'll like this one much better. Enjoy your meal!"

To be continued...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

...but 'Ted Bundy' would be a bit warmer...

Saturday, October 15, 2005, 11:30am
Steve's house

I'm sitting on the couch in my family room, watching TV, as Dad's Mercury pulls into my driveway. Dad and Chris step out of the car and stride purposefully up my brick walk.

Something bad is going to happen. The two of them rarely come over here, let alone together. Either someone died, or is ill, or they are going to... confront me about something.

It must be a confrontation. If someone were sick, or dead, they probably would have called. Although, if it were Greg...

No, I am sure it's a confrontation. I fucked my first cousin a month and a half ago, and my younger brother is not speaking to me, and no one has said word one to me about it. Seems like Dad and Chris have been biding their time, preparing themselves for this moment, girding themselves for the Hellfire that they know I am going to unleash on them when they tell me how fucked up I am.

My palms start to sweat. If I am right, if this is what they are here for, this is going to be a visit they won't soon forget.

I don't want to deal with them. I've got to find a way to get them out of here. Although, they're just going to keep coming back until I let them talk to me.

The front door opens. "Twinkie!" calls Chris.

"What!" I yell back.

I position myself at the kitchen table, my checkbook and a few bills in front of me. Dad and Chris walk in and sit down. So much for them taking a hint.

"How you doing, Steve?" Dad says, with a shaky sigh.

I place my pen down on the table and look at them both in turn, my mouth closed tightly. "What can I do for you guys?" I ask.

Dad looks over at Chris, then back at me, then back at Chris again.

"Spit it out, Dad," I say.

"Steve, we want you to get help."

"I don't need any help. Is there anything else? I'm very busy."

"Steve, we heard about what happened with Jennifer."

"Really? I wonder who you heard that from!"

"Your brother Greg is a little emotional. But that's not the only reason we're here, Steve. It's fairly obvious by now that you've got some... challenges that you need to deal with."

I sit upright. "Challenges? CHALLENGES, Dad? Where did you get that word, 'challenges'? In all my 35 years of life, I don't think I've ever heard you use that word, ever. Who told you to use that word? Did you go to some website or something?"

"Steve-" says Chris.

"Did you use Google, Dad? What did you put in? 'My son is a fucked-up pervert'?"


"Did you go see someone? Some shrink, to get advice on how to to talk to me?"

"Steve, calm down."

"Challenges. I like that one. Because, if you said, 'You have issues' or, 'You have problems', that would sound too confrontational. Right? Those might make me mad."

Dad's eyes fix on me, as if the proper response were written in tiny print somewhere on my face, and all he had to do was find it.

I look back at him. His face is maybe three feet from mine. He's not a bad-looking guy, Dad, though he's getting close to what one might call an "elderly" age; his dark brown skin shows no significant wrinkles, and his hair is as thick and deeply black as it was in his high school yearbook picture. Though he's chubby, more than one of my girlfriends has commented on how handsome he is.

Dad's a nice guy, too. I don't know anyone who doesn't like him. He can make you crack up with stories about his work, or with his imitations of people he doesn't like; just as easily, he can convince you of his point of view on deficit reduction, even if you thought there was no changing your mind.

I feel bad for him. He's not trying to be an asshole. He's not trying to give me a hard time. But he is.

"Steve, I knew this was going to make you mad," Chris says. "I didn't want to come here because I knew it was going to be hard. You know me. I wouldn't be here unless I really thought it was important. Right?"

I look at him. Fair point, I guess.

"It's more than the Jenny thing. That was a little... strange, but I know it takes two, and obviously she was willing, so it wasn't just you. You two have a history, I know. If it was just that, Steve, we wouldn't be here."

Silence. I decide to listen to him, until he puts his foot in his mouth. But this is Chris, so that probably won't happen.

"That whole thing with Holly, Steve. I mean, you had to know she was underage. And even Lila was very young when you met her."

"What are you saying, Chris?"

"It's a sick world we live in, Steve. All it takes is one psycho father to come looking for you with a gun..."

"Or a psycho brother and a psycho father coming after me."

"I'm not coming after you, Steve. Look. I know our house wasn't the best place to grow up. We've all got issues. Yeah, ISSUES. We've all gone and gotten help. That includes me, Dad and Greg. We all needed someone to talk to."


"Will you let me help you find someone to talk to, Steve?"

Chris really is good at this sort of thing. He has somehow managed to keep my anger in check, while convincing me that seeing a shrink would be the most normal, uneventful thing in the world. Am I actually considering this?

"Chris, I appreciate it. But you haven't made your case."

"What case?"

"That I have a problem. I slept with my cousin, who I've been flirting with for 23 years? I like them young? That's it?"

"Steve, your relationships-"

"So now I need a shrink because I haven't found a wife yet?"


"Did you know it's legal in 43 states to marry your first cousin?"

They look at me.

"Did you know it's legal in this state to have sex with a 17-year-old?"

"That doesn't make it a good idea, Steve," Chris says.

"Do you guys think I'm stupid? Do you think I am a total moron? Look around this house. Look at the nice car in my garage. I earned everything, and I didn't earn it by being an idiot. Holly? Yeah, stupid mistake. Other than that, what have I done wrong?"

"You've done nothing illegal. Or, almost nothing. But you've done some things that were inadvisable."

"That's the beauty of being an adult, isn't it? Being able to make up your own mind about this stuff? Without interference?"

"Can I be honest?" Chris asks.

"Go ahead."

"It just seems like you are ... incapable of a committed relationship. You were with Lila, everything seemed fine, then all of a sudden you were broken up. Stephanie, same thing. It almost seems like, as soon as things start to settle down, you leave."

"Right!" Dad says. I had almost forgotten he was here.

"I didn't leave Stephanie."

"She left because you hurt her."

"So what, you are talking to her now?"

"She called me after you broke up. She asked me to get you help, and I told her she was crazy. I think I should have listened."

No shrink is ever going to help me. I don't like other people telling me my business, even if they happen to be right. I don't truly learn anything unless I discover it for myself.

I wake up happy every single day. I love my life, I love my house, my car, and my job. I'm even having a good time with Tim, and I feel like I could stay with her for a long time. There's no way I am going back to therapy.

"If I need help, I'll go find it. I know how to use a phone book."

"We want you to get help, before anyone else gets hurt," Dad says.

"I'm not Jeffrey Dahmer, Dad."

"No one said you were."

"Guys, are we done? I'm awfully busy here," I say, dismissively.

"I'll call you," says Chris.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I suppose one more bang for old time's sake is out of the question?

October 5, 2005, 10:00am
Human Resources Department
Mary's office

"Steve, I have Lynda from corporate HR on the phone."

"Good morning, Lynda."

"Hi, Steve."

"Lynda, did you bring me back a pineapple?"

"I'm sorry?"

"You went on your honeymoon. To Hawaii. Didn't you?"

"Yes. I wasn't aware you wanted a pineapple," she intones.

"I was kidding."

"Had I known you wanted one..."

What the fuck is wrong with this chick? Oh, and so much for starting off a difficult call on a happy note.

"Lynda! I was just kidding!"

"I see."

"So what can I do for you ladies?"

"Steve, what is this plan you have with Lila?" Lynda says through the speaker, her voice scolding and impatient, as if she were a librarian and I had an overdue book.

The impulse is to defend oneself against an obvious attack like that one, or to start off with an "um" or a "well". I don't do it. She asked a question, and I'm going to answer it just as quickly as she asked, and that's all I'm going to do.

"I want to hire her back for underwriting."

"She's not eligible for rehire, Steve."

"What do you mean, she's not eligible?"

Mary is strictly an accessory at this point, whipping her head back and forth between me and the speaker phone as each party speaks. Yes, I know exactly what Lynda means. But I have no intention of making this easy.

"She walked out on her job, Steve. Our policy is very clear on this. Any employee who abandons their job is not eligible for rehire!"

"Lynda, I have spoken to Lila personally and I am satisfied that she has addressed the issues that led to the .... incident you're speaking of."

"That doesn't matter."

"It does matter if we have an employee that would do an exceptional job of underwriting for us, and for a slightly lower-than-usual salary, and we throw the opportunity away."

"She walked off the job. With no notice. She left us in the lurch! She-"

"I am satisfied that's not going to happen again! Do you really think I'd be wasting my time on this if there were ANY chance it wouldn't work out?"

"So you can guarantee there won't be a problem?"

"I can't guarantee something like that. I can't guarantee that you won't run off and join al Qaeda tomorrow. I can't guarantee the building won't get hit by lightning. But I can tell you for sure that Lila is no more likely to walk out than any other employee."

Pause. "If we're going to make an exception to this policy, we're going to need approvals."

"Send it over, I'll sign it."

"What did you mean by, 'a lower-than-usual salary'?"

"In a case like this, there's nothing wrong with being extra careful. So I've told Lila that I would offer her $32,000 as a starting salary, and that I would give her a 90-day review, and if there were no issues whatsoever, I would agree to an increase of up to 20% at that time."

"That would put her at-"

"Thirty-eight six," I finish. "Still well below normal underwriter pay. And trust me, she'll work harder than most of the people over there."

"Why the extra conditions? You said she's going to be fine, Steve. Didn't you?"

"Yes I did."

"So why the stipulations?"

"Why do people sign prenuptial agreements? They sign them just in case. If something goes wrong, and we're within the 90-day window, we terminate her immediately. She's well aware of the conditions. I basically told her this is sudden-death overtime."

"The conditions do help. But this position calls for one to three years' underwriting experience. Does Lila have one to three years' underwriting experience?" Lynda asks. She knows the answer too; evidently she has about as much interest as I do in making this easy.

"She can do the job."

"So she doesn't have the experience!"

"I'll make a deal with you. I don't tell you about human resources, and you don't tell me about underwriting. Fair enough?"

Heavy sigh. Yes, she disagrees, but she also realizes she has no valid counter-point. This is looking good.

"What about Kevin, the underwriting manager? Does he approve of this?"

Definitely! I believe his exact words were, "Lila? You mean the hot one with the nice ass? Oh HELL yeah!"

"One hundred percent."

"I don't like the precedent this sets, Steve. What kind of message does this send to the other employees?"

"Everyone LOVED Lila around here. Dom and I took a lot of heat for the whole deal. Everybody blames US, not her. They'd welcome her back with open arms."

"I'm going to document that we advised you strongly against it."

"Fair enough. I'm planning on bringing her in for an interview. Should I have Mary set that up?"

"Sure," says Lynda.


Steve's office

"This is Steve."

"Steve, Steve, Steve."

"Dan, how are you?"

"What have you learned today, my friend?"

"The toast always lands on the carpet butter side down."

"Ha! Pessimistic, are we? That's unlike you!"

"It was the first thing that came to mind."

"All that means is you were being honest."


"Steve, what's this I hear about you rehiring your assistant?"

"I'm bringing her back as an underwriter."

"HR is very nervous about this, you know."

"Of course they're nervous. They're professional ass-coverers. If they're not sounding the death knell about something, they're not doing their job, and then THEY'RE expendable."

"Professional ass-coverers!" he repeats. "Yes, yes. If there were an ass-covering olympics, HR people would win all the gold medals. But it doesn't mean they don't make a good point at times."

"I'm absolutely convinced that she's going to do a great job for us. I wouldn't be sticking my neck out otherwise."

"You aren't still sleeping with her, are you, Steve?"

"No sir."

"Good. I heard about how she left last time. This girl is too young and immature for you. And if she's going to come back and work for you, that's even more reason to stay away."

"I agree. I've already had this discussion with her. She knows the ground rules. And I'm seeing someone else, anyway."

"I'm going to trust you on this, Steve."

"I'm sure she can do the work. She-"

"I don't need to hear the details. If you vouch for her, that's all I need to know. This company is built on strong people, and we need strong managers to find those people. Strong MANAGERS, Steve, not strong HR people. HR is the filter that gets the worst people out. It's your job to pick the gold out from the iron pyrite."

"Iron Pyrite. You mean Fools' Gold?"

"EXACTLY, Fools' Gold! The old west and all that. I like that you are taking a strong stand on this. I like that you are fighting for what you want."

"Thank you."

"I just better not hear about any problems, Steve. I mean it. I better not hear of this again. Is that understood?"


"Carry on."


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Welcome to Steve's Job Emporium! Take a number, please...

October 3, continued

I can't help but think that Lila was hoping for me to offer her a job, or at least help her find one. Part of me thinks that's why she called. But whether that's true or not, her call did come at an opportune time.

"What idea does that give you, Steve?"

"You remember how I used to have you do those new policy reports?"

"For Christine in underwriting?"

"Yeah. I would have you pull the reports-"

"And put them in three piles: Yes, No, and Maybe."

"Exactly! Wow, you remember, Lila!"

"Mm-hmmmm," she says, proudly. "So you are thinking I could come back and work for you running those reports again?"


"Oh," she says, dejectedly.

"Heidi would run the reports for you. You would do Christine's job."

"But Christine is an underwriter!"


"So, don't they make like, 40 thousand a year?"

"The good ones make more."


"I can't do that job, Steve! I'm not trained for it!"

"Lila, I taught you to put those reports in those piles for a reason. I wanted you to learn the rules of how we accept or decline new policies. I wanted to see how good you were at making those evaluations. I used to ask Christine how you were doing."

"And what did she say?"

"She said after a while, she didn't even bother checking them because she knew they were right. You were basically doing the work of an underwriter. You already know the job!"

"Oh my God! So you're going to hire me?"

"I want to. I really need an underwriter. But I don't know if it's going to be possible. You walked out on your job, you know."

"I know, I know."

"Here's what I need you to do. Start thinking about what you'll say to HR when they bring you in. I should be able to convince them to give you another shot, but you're going to have to put on a good show. They're going to ask why they should rehire you. Think about your answer. Practice it, write it down if you have to. Don't be defensive."

"K," she says, softly.

"Talk about rehab, talk about pressures at home, and so on. And whatever you do, don't mention you and me."


"And make sure you tell them about your underwriting training, and how you loved the work very much, and how you'd really love to come back. Be very positive and a little reserved. Ok?"

"Like when I used to get in trouble at school."


"So do you think you'll convince them to hire me?"

"I'll convince them to interview you. YOU'LL convince them to hire you."

"What if they say no? Can you just tell them to do it because you're the boss?"

"I should be able to convince them. I don't want to throw my weight around too much, or they'll get suspicious that something is going on. And if we can't make it happen here, I'll refer you to another company in the area. I'll give you a reference."

"Steve, thank you SO much," she says, a little weep in her voice. "You are soo sweet sometimes."

"You're welcome."

"Before we do this, you and I need to have a talk, Lila."

"About what?"

"About us. If you come back, there has to be zero drama."

"I promise, Steve."



"Are you ok with being just friends?"

"Yes. I like being your friend, Steve!"

"Me too! It's less complicated, isn't it?"

"So, are you still with that chick with the man's name? Isn't her name like, Ralph or something?"

"Very funny."

"George? Pete?"


"THAT'S it!"

"Yes, I'm still with her."


Uncomfortable silence.

"Is that her real name?"


"So why do they call her that?"

"When she was little, she was very shy. She hardly ever talked. They used to call her 'Tiny Tim', after the kid in A Christmas Carol, and the name just stuck."

"What's her real name?"

"I gotta go. Let me get started on this and I'll call you back. And work on your answers!"

"OK, Steve!"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thank you for waiting.... your post is ready.

Monday, October 3, 2005 11:05am
Steve's office

My phone rings. "Watch that be Lila," I say.

I was thinking about her an hour ago. I haven't spoken to her in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering how she's been doing. We don't keep in touch that often since she's gotten out of rehab; she's a lot less of a psycho since she got off drugs.

"This is Steve."

"Hi, Steve, it's Lila."

"Hey! I was just thinking about you!"

"How are you?"

"Great, you?"

"OK." Her voice sounds heavy.

"Just ok?"

"Do you have a minute? I need to talk to someone."

"Sure, Lila."

She sighs. "Remember Mark? The orthodontist I was working for?"

"Yeah. You're his office manager, right?"



"I started... we started dating, and he got weird."

"You started dating him?"


"Oh, man!"

"What? I dated you!"

"Yeah, and it ended badly."


"What do you mean, he got weird?"

Another sigh. "He started making me... discipline him. Like, he wanted me to yell at him and punish him like a little kid."

"What do you mean, punish him?"

"Just, like, yell at him for being bad, make him stand in the corner, spank him, send him to his room. Then he would sit there and pout just like a little boy."

"And you did it?"

"It was kinda cool for a little while. Then it just got too weird. So, I tried to break up with him."

"Why did he want you to do all that weird shit?"

"It got him off."

"So he would do all that little kid stuff, and then he would want to-"

"He'd come back in and say, 'I'm really sorry, will you forgive me?' "

"And then he would want to get busy?"

"He wanted to cuddle first."

I actually find myself getting hard, remembering what it felt like to have her big tits pressed up against my chest.

"So what did he do when you broke up with him?"

"First he got really pouty, didn't say anything at all. So I said, 'Ok, I'm just gonna go.' And he hit me."

"He HIT you?"

"He punched me in the face."

"You're shitting me!"


"I hope you called the cops!"

"Wait! So, I just went home, and the next day I got this huge black eye. And then Trey came over-"

"I thought he was in jail."

"He was found guilty but he's appealing and they let him out while it's going through."


"So he came over to get high, but I am on the wagon so I didn't have anything. But then he saw my eye, and he freaked. I've never seen him mad, I swear, but he was so pissed."

"What did he do?"

"I told him what Mark did, and he ran out to his car and took off. I was yelling at him to come back but he didn't listen."

"Then what?"

"So he drove to Mark's office and he rammed his car."

"What do you mean, rammed?"

"I mean he backed right into the passenger-side door, totally smashed it."

"What kind of car?"

"Brand-new Audi."

"Oh, no."

"Someone got Trey's license plate number as he was taking off, so the cops came and got him."

"So he's back in jail?"

"Yep, one to three years. Plus whatever he gets for this."

"So I assume the cops asked him why he did it. And I suppose he told them."


"And I suppose they came and questioned you."


"And did you tell them everything?"

"Yes. They asked me to cooperate in the investigation and I said yes."

"I'm so proud of you, Lila!"

"I just don't know if I can do it."

"You have to! There are young kids going to that orthodontist! He needs to be shut down!"

"He will be. He told me if I do this, he's going to lose everything. He made me feel very guilty."

"He contacted you?!"

"Yes. I told him to go to hell. But he apologized and he told me he would go to therapy if I didn't press charges, or whatever. So now I don't know."

"Screw him. So he goes to therapy, and it takes him a year or so to get better, and in the meantime he is still seeing a couple dozen kids a day. Plus, he shouldn't even be contacting you! You're the victim!"

"I know, I know. The judge told him not to contact me or come near me, but that was after he called."

"Well, I think you should do it. Just tell them what happened, and let the courts decide what to do."

"But what about me? I went to rehab for drugs and I got better! What if they just threw me in jail instead?"

"Then all the lesbian inmates would have been fighting over you."


"Lila. Doing drugs is a victimless crime. Hitting people is not. If you think he needs therapy instead of jail or probation then you can tell the judge."

"But he'll lose everything! He'll lose his business!"

"He should have thought of that before. He brought this on himself. Maybe losing his business is just the kick in the ass he needs to get right."

"I'll think about it."

"Hey! That reminds me."


"What are you doing for work now?"


"Well in that case, I have an idea..."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jealousy, with a side order of guilt

Friday, September 30, 2005, 9:15pm
Steve's house

"Hey, Tim! Tim, you awake?"


"I'm going down to the store to get some milk. I'll be right back."


"Do you need anything?'


"If the cashier is cute, can I bring her home and nail her in front of you?"

"Don't be a smart ass."

I drive to the store and arrive back, milk in hand, at 9:30. Tim is sitting up on the couch, fully awake now, her eyes set so that they somehow show anger and concern at the same time.

"Who the hell is Holly?" she demands.

"Holly who?"

"You're telling me you don't know a Holly?"

"Holly WHO?!"

Why do I suddenly feel like Dr. Seuss?

"The one on your answering machine!"

I hit the play button. A cute, young-girl voice streams from the tinny speaker:

"Hey Steve, it's Holly. I was just thinkin' about you, actually thinkin' about you all day long. I was just wondering if you wanted to get together later. I miss you! Call me! Bye!"

It was Nancy's sister, the one I nailed at dad's house about a year ago. Of course, she turned out to be underage, and I took major shit for it, too, which is why I've steered clear of her since then. She still calls me from time to time, and I either rush her off the phone, or don't answer at all. She was a good screw, but not good enough for all the drama.

I look at Tim; she stares back at me.

"That's Greg's sister-in-law," I say, after a long pause.

"How long have you been seeing her?"

"I'm not! We agreed that we weren't seeing anyone else!"

She stares harder, studying my face for any hint of untruthfulness. "If you're not ready for a relationship, Steve-"

She's pushing me. She wants to give me every opportunity in the world to bow out gracefully, if that's what I want. For the record, I think this is a good way of handling it. Girls tend to be too gentle with issues like this; unless they are a bit confrontational, they make it easy to lie to them.

"I TOLD you I was ready. Right?"


"What about you? Are you ready?"


"Because you can get pretty flirty at times. Like at JB's that day?"

One day earlier this summer, Tim and I were at JB's, where Tim buys catering supplies. She was a sight: pink spaghetti strap top with no bra, miniskirt, sandals, and sunglasses resting on top of her head, as if she had just walked in off the beach. As usual, conversations quieted as every male pair of eyes between the ages of 13 and 80 slowly turned and locked on her, their female counterparts sneering bitterly.

A young guy (who obviously won some type of dice game to earn the right) waited on us, blatantly staring at the sides of her shirt, hoping, no doubt, for some type of clothing mishap. She flirted openly with him, calling him by name, smiling widely, flipping her long hair and giggling at his stupid jokes.

Normally, I'd have no problem with a girl using her looks to her advantage. Why not? But in this case, it made me very uneasy, not because this nine-dollar-an-hour kid was going to steal my girlfriend, but because Tim put herself out there that way, so that she was hit on constantly.

And she is hit on constantly, too: It reminds me of when I used to date Lila, and guys would approach her all the time, right in front of me, making crude, and sometimes suave, passes at her. It's the same with Tim. She really does care about me, I know. But am I the absolute best guy in the world for her? Isn't there one, or ten, or a thousand, men out there better suited for her? And isn't it likely that at least one of them will approach her, successfully? Do I have any chance at all of staying with her long-term?

"What, you never flirt with anyone?"

"Not like that!"

"Oh come on, Steve! It wasn't that bad!"

"Tim, you were giving him fuck-me eyes!"

"Steve, it was nothing. What, do you think I LIKED that guy? They give me great deals in there when I do that! You know that!"


"And you are really bad with waitresses, and they never give you discounts! YOU'RE really flirting."

"No I'm not."

"Yeah, you are, and I hate it!"

I have been playing the game for so long that it's sometimes hard for me to realize that I might be hurting someone. I have been eager to get the upper hand on Tim, and finally, it's dawning on me that it bothers her. Maybe now it's time for both of us to stop trying to get the advantage, and to start working together. Although, it does make me feel great to know that she is jealous; it's like peering directly into her heart and seeing what's inside.

"Ok, well, then, I won't do it anymore," I say, softly.

"Thank you," she whispers, peering up at me. "And I won't flirt at JB's anymore."

"Even if you have to pay more?"

"Even if I have to pay more. So are you ready to trust me, Steve?"

"Yeah. Are you ready to trust me?"


"I was with Holly about a year ago, and she calls from time to time. She turned out to be underage, so I never saw her again. OK?"

"How underage? Wait, don't tell me."

"OK. I've kind of been avoiding her, but I'll call her and tell her I'm with someone now."


On the news, they are talking about a girl who was raped. They show her, but only her silouetted profile, behind a white screen. "He gave me alcohol. And drugs," the girl says, in halting tones.

"Do you want me to change this?" I ask.

"What? Why?"

"Well, I mean, doesn't it bother you to see stuff like this?"

Her jaw sets firmly. I just can't win with her today, can I?

"Have you ever been in a car wreck, Steve?" she says, angrily.


"So when they show a car wreck on TV, do you change the channel?"

"No, but I don't speak for you."

"I swear to God. People always accuse girls of being too sensitive, but guys are ten times worse. This is why I don't tell anyone; because people always think they have to walk on eggshells around me! I'm FINE! I don't need you to BABY me, Steve! Why can't you just get OVER it!?"

Her voice has gotten extremely loud, contrasting sharply with the silence that fills the room when she stops yelling. She leaps off the couch and stomps to the bathroom. I jump when she slams the door.

I stare idly at the TV, trying to focus on the news, or the Febreze commercial, anything but my own guilt. Why didn't I just drop it? How could I have been so stupid?

She walks slowly out of the bathroom and stops at the couch next to me, avoiding eye contact.

"So are you mad at me now?" she asks quietly.

"Of COURSE I'm not mad at you, Tim." I hug her. "I promise I won't bring it up anymore. Just tell me if you want to talk about anything, ok?"

She nods. "I'm sorry I snapped at you."