Thursday, September 30, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 13


March 2000

I'm still having phone sex with Patrick just about every week. I feel depressed every time, but I just can't stop myself. Even worse, he's clearly treating it as an obligation, but the fact that he won't stop makes it impossible for me to quit calling him.
Then one Saturday afternoon, Mike tells me over the phone that he and Patrick are coming into the city to shop for club clothes, and he asks me to join them for lunch.
"Are you sure it's ok?" I ask. I haven't seen Patrick in person since the breakup.
"Yeah, why not?" Mike says, as if nothing had happened. As if Patrick hadn't broken my heart. As if I weren't still hoping we'd get back together, even now.
I take the bus to Queenstown and meet them at a taco place. Patrick looks the same. It kills me how much the same he looks, even when everything is different.
After a few minutes of awkwardness, though, all three of us relax and go back to joking around like normal. We eat lunch then go to a leather store where Patrick buys a pair of pants. As he's trying them on, I can't help flirting with him. His ass looks amazing in those tight leather pants.
I try on a pair myself, and they feel great, but there's no way I can afford them. I let them go reluctantly, but at least I got Patrick noticing me again in that way.
Patrick pays for his pants while I get changed. When I come out of the dressing room, I discover that Mike has left already. Only Patrick is there waiting for me by the door. He asks if I want to go for a ride on his motorcycle, and I say yes, grinning like an idiot.
We ride all around town, then eventually he takes me back to my house, pulling up in the parking spot in back next to my car. I hop off the back, my legs feeling stiff and bowed. We both yank off the heavy helmets, sweating slightly. The afternoon is unusually sunny and warm.
"So, um, do you want to come inside for a minute?" I ask. Patrick doesn't say anything, but just follows me up the steps.
The second we get inside, we're all over each other. I've barely shut the door before Patrick is pulling my shirt off.
"You looked so hot in those leather pants," he breathes heavily in my ear. I can hardly believe that what I wanted so much is actually happening.
Rather than the bed, he pulls me down onto the floor.
"The shades are open," I protest as he yanks open my jeans.
"You don't care," he declares roughly. For a moment, I'm surprised--he never talked to me that way when we were dating. I glance regretfully at the double windows, thinking of the Peeping Tom when Bob the amputee was visiting. But it's daytime, and with the sun shining in and the lights off inside, and us on the floor, I figure it's impossible for anyone walking by in the alley to see us. Because he said I don't care, I force myself not to care. We do it right there on the floor, our clothes only half off.
By the time we've finished, the Persian carpet is pushed up in a diagonal lump and I have rug burn on my back. Within seconds, Patrick has his clothes back on and is out the door, before I can even sit up. The door clicks shut behind him, and I start to cry.

It doesn't really hit home to me that the sex meant nothing to him until the next week. I'm perusing the personal ads in the Raser City Weekly as usual, scouring each one in hopes that a disabled guy will turn up. It never happens. Usually I read through M for F first, then F for F just in case someone sounds interesting, then Bi Seeking, then because putting the paper away would mean acknowledging defeat, I read through M for M just for entertainment purposes.
Anyway I'm reading M for F when I see the following ad:

Looking for the real thing. Me: Blond hair, blue eyes, gymnast body, and I'm a firefighter. Likes motorcycles and getting down at Lollygag. You: serious, ready to commit. Slightly kinky a plus.

I stare at it, feeling all the blood draining from my face. There's no question that it's Patrick. What the fuck? I want to shout, I'm ready to commit, dumbass! I know he was into me. We were so perfect together. Why is he doing this? What does he even mean by "slightly kinky"? Am I too extremely kinky for him? Is that it?
I read the ad over and over, torturing myself with it. I realize that by "gymnast body" he means "Don't be turned off by how short I am but at least I'm still totally ripped." I take some malicious pleasure in that bit of insecurity on his part.

I force myself not to call Patrick that week, but instead turn my attention back to Dev Girls, the awful site I helped create with a woman named Cindy whom I barely know. She adds a few more photos, but since I've already seen most of them on Hotlanta Dev's site, I don't look at them that closely. I tell her that I think reposting stolen photos is a bad idea, but she doesn't write back about that. She's totally focused on starting up a listserv through E-Groups. Once she's created the group, she links to it on the site with flashing letters, and spams the link around other dev listservs. Still, we only get about 10 members in the first few days, all guys. Of course, none of those guys live anywhere near me.
Inspired by Patrick's ad, I post my own in the Raser City Weekly. I haven't forgotten what happened last time with the con artist, so I don't mention anything about disability. But I figure there are enough guys out there looking to try out the kinky scene to make it worth a shot. My ad looks something like this:

Betty Page style cutie 27 seeks sub boy 25-35 for kinky fun times. Let me tie you up and give you the punishment you deserve.

It works--within a week I have 20 voice messages in my inbox. I call back the ones who are reasonably within the age range I specify and who don't sound too deranged. I go on a dozen first dates and zero second dates.
"That's how personal ads are," Tovia says when I complain to him.
I meet each guy at the same café down the street from my house. It's big and busy enough that I figure the baristas won't know what I am up to. And even if they do, I don't care. I know I'm not the only one screening potential dates there. Anyway to keep things safe, I don't give any of the guys my phone number. I call them but my number is caller ID blocked.
I try to keep each meeting under 45 minutes, since it's usually obvious from the first 30 seconds that there is no attraction. One guy, a fairly handsome chef, keeps me chatting for over an hour, asking me all kinds of questions about my kinks and bragging about his career. I keep my answers vague and don't mention anything about being a devotee. I can't put my finger on it, but something about him feels off. He reminds me of Angelo the con artist, something about the way he keeps flattering me while digging for personal information and bragging about himself. Eventually I escape the coffee shop and don't call him again, thankful he doesn't have my phone number.
I'm starting to get seriously discouraged when a guy named Doug leaves a message. Out of all the calls I got, he's the only one who sounds sincere, like a real person and not a con artist or poseur. Our coffee shop date goes great. He's short and wiry, like Patrick, although not nearly as handsome. He has light brown hair and dark brown eyes, very deep-set. He's just a little, well, weasely looking, but if I squint it's not too bad.
Anyway he's really nice. He's the first guy who doesn't ask me a million prying questions about my kinks. We just chat about normal things, like movies and TV shows. He's a big nerd like me, into Star Wars and The Simpsons and anime.  Like Johnny, Doug was in the Army Reserves, but he just finished up his seven years.
"I'm so fucking glad to be out, you have no idea," he says. "I took the discharge letter and stuck it on my fridge."
He never saw any combat, but I don't press him for the details of why he hated it so much. From what I gather, it was mostly being around assholes all the time.
Things go so well with Doug that we meet again for dinner the next day. Already I feel totally relaxed around him. It's obvious that he likes me. Even when I'm clowning around at the table and accidentally spit water all over the place, he's still into me. Even when I do it a second time.
After dinner, we wander around the neighborhood near the restaurant. The weather is mild and I'm having too much fun to leave, but I'm not ready to invite him home with me yet. We haven't even talked about sex or the kinky stuff yet. It's like a real date, and I feel like taking things slow.
About half a mile from the restaurant we come to a cemetery. It's surrounded by a wrought iron fence and inside we can see trees and monuments, a few big sculptures. In the dark warm night under the street lights, it's eerie and gorgeous. The iron gate is locked, but I jump up and swing on it, rocking back and forth a few inches, as much as the chain will allow. It's the best fun I've had in ages. I feel like when I was a goth girl in college, going on long walks at night through the park with K. Even though we were still in the city, the park was huge and creepy and exhilarating. It was where K and I had our first kiss.
But I don't kiss Doug. Not yet, anyway.
For our third date, on a Friday night, we go to see a movie. By the time it's over, it's late and most of the restaurants are closed, but we're still really hungry. So we get some fast food burgers and take them back to my house.
I feel a little awkward inviting Doug over so soon, but he seems pretty relaxed about it. Actually, he's a big time stoner, so he's relaxed about pretty much everything. So there we are in my tiny apartment with the bed just opposite the front door and no sofa. I put our burgers on the kitchen table, which is squeezed into a corner with just one chair.  I pull out the folding chair for Doug and set it as close to the table as possible.
The last person who sat in that chair was Patrick. I try not to think about it. Doug and I joke around and eat our burgers, but about halfway through mine, I start to feel really strange--burning up hot, like I'm suddenly running a high fever.
I put down my burger and try to ignore it, but the feeling gets worse.
"What's wrong?" Doug asks.
"I don't know. It's just, suddenly I feel really sick."
"You think you're coming down with something?"
"Maybe, I don't know. Normally I can tell when I'm starting to get sick, but this just hit me all of a sudden."
Doug looks at me with concern. "You look kind of pale." He wads up the burger wrappers. "I should go and let you get your rest."
"I'm sorry." I feel really bad. I know he was hoping to get lucky tonight, and I feel like I'm just blowing him off. But I honestly feel sick.
Doug puts a hand to my forehead. "Yeah, you're burning up," he says, still looking concerned. "Look, don't worry about me. We'll take a rain check, ok? You just rest and get better."
I walk him to the door, still apologizing and promising to see him again soon.
"Just get better," he says, giving me a kiss on the forehead. "Let me know if you need anything."
I can hardly believe how nice Doug is being to me. K had this theory that everyone gets sick for a reason. If you come down with something, like a cold or the flu, it's because you're avoiding something you don't want to do. The last few months K and I were together, he got really sick with the flu for a long time. I accused him of pushing me away on purpose. He got mad. It wasn't one of our finer moments.
After Doug goes home, I get in bed early, hoping to shake off whatever this is, but I wake up feeling a thousand times worse. By Sunday, I've got a cough that comes from deep in my chest. I take the day off work on Monday to go to the doctor, and she confirms what I already know--it's bronchitis.
I had a bad case of bronchitis when I was living in Seoul, so I know what I'm in for. Sure enough, I spend the whole week coughing convulsively until I throw up. The coughing keeps me from sleeping, even from carrying on a normal conversation. My back is killing me, but still the coughing won't stop.
I end up taking the entire week off work. Doug calls every day to see how I'm doing, and brings me canned soup, crackers and cough drops. I can hardly believe how nice he's being, when we hardly know each other. When I was sick in Seoul, Bjørn and I had been dating for almost a year, but he didn't take care of me at all. He hardly even came to visit.
"I can't talk to you when you're coughing like this," he said over the phone. "Call my when you're feeling better."
By the middle of the second week, Sharon's starting to lose patience with how much work I've missed. She calls to tell me that all my vacation days are used up, and if I don't come back soon, she'll start docking my pay.
"I'll be back tomorrow," I promise. But the next morning I wake up feeling even worse. My whole head feels swollen up, and I've completely lost my voice.
"I'm really sorry," I whisper to her over the phone.
"Look, this can't go on forever," she snaps at me. "If you're not back by next week, I'm going to have to find a replacement."
I can't believe she's doing this to me. Aren't we friends?
I drag my sorry ass back to the doctor, who diagnoses me with a secondary sinus infection and loads me up with antibiotics.
"When am I going to get better?" I moan.
"Probably another week or so," she says, filling out the prescription form.
"I can't wait that long!" I wail in my horrible congested voice. "I've already missed too much work and if I don't go back next week I'm going to be f-f-fired!" I dissolved into panicked, hiccupy tears.
The doctor looks alarmed. "What! How dare they! Tell me who you work for and I'll write a letter for you."
I'm not ready to take that step yet but it's nice to know at least someone is on my side. I thank her and tell her I'll be in touch if it comes to that.
Later that day, Doug brings me more canned soup and stays while I vent about my so-called friend and my shitty-ass job. Even though I still feel like crap, I'm starting to go stir crazy. It's so nice to have someone to talk to. Doug ends up staying over night.
"I'm still to sick to have sex," I warn him, but he says he doesn't mind. We sleep cuddled together like puppies.

April 2000

While I'm home sick, when I'm not passed out from the drugs or in the bathroom hacking my lungs out, I spend most of my time online. More people joined the Dev Girls E-Group, so now there are actual conversations going on. I log in one morning to find the following message:
"Hello there! DAE amputee man here, age 36. I live outside Raser City. Looking to meet any devotee ladies."
Fuck! It's Bob! In case there was any doubt, he posted a photo of himself in the files section. He's lying in a cheesecake pose on a bed with his prosthetics off. What the hell? After he acted like it was a huge violation that I saw him that way, now he's spamming this photo around like a teenage girl showing off a cleavage shot. I close the window in disgust. Sometimes the internet is just too small, you know?

By the Monday of the third week, I'm finally recovered enough to drag my carcass in to work. Sharon doesn't fire me. Actually in the end she doesn't even dock my pay, although I have to endure a lecture on how she can't treat me differently than any other employee or it will undermine her authority. Even though like half the people in that office are friends of hers to some degree. Whatever. I feel like I've seen her true self now.
Eventually life gets back to normal. Doug keeps coming around, and we finally have sex, in the normal, vanilla way. I'm still not up to being the Mistress yet, and he doesn't have any experience with SM so we keep it simple to start. He's easy to please.
I make it clear to him though that he's not my boyfriend. As soon as I'm well enough, I'm going out to the clubs again. And of course there's still Patrick.
One sunny afternoon, Patrick calls to say he's coming into Raser City to run some errands. I invite him over, and he shows up on his motorcycle. He grins like he's genuinely happy to see me. God, he's so handsome--those straight white teeth and mismatched eyes get me every time.
"Hey, feeling better?" he asks.
"Yeah, finally. How're you?"
"Ok," he shrugs.
Because I'm a bitch and can't help needling him, I say, "So I saw your ad. 'Gymnast body'--that was you, right?" He turns red but doesn't say anything. "It was! I knew it," I laugh. "So how many calls did you get?"
He turns even redder. "None." I laugh even more.
"I saw your ad too," he shoots back. "'Betty Page style cutie'? Seriously?"
"At least I got responses."
"Can't have been that great if you still invited me over," he says.
Now I'm the one with nothing to say. I try starting over. "Look, I don't want to fight with you. We're friends, right?"
"Yeah, sorry. So how have you been? I mean, apart from the bronchitis."
"Good, actually. Guess what--I got into the graduate program at Lester State."
"What? I thought you already got your degree?"
I roll my eyes at him. "Duh, this is a different one. A whole different department."
"Well, um, congratulations?" he offers uncertainly. "Hey, I got news too--I'm moving to Florida."
I'm shocked. "But why Florida, of all places?"
He gives me a crooked grin. "I looked on a map and it was the furthest away place I could find from here. Too much bullshit. I gotta get away."
"Yeah. Well that and my aunt and uncle and cousins are there."
"So when are you leaving?"
"I dunno, I still gotta find a job there. But my uncle is helping me. Probably in a month or two."
My heart sinks. I know from talking to Mike that Patrick wants to get away from Candy, his mom, all his old friends here caught up in that stupid drama, but probably he means me too as part of all that bullshit.
We have sex again anyway. Again with the curtains open. Again on the floor next to the bed. Just as he's finishing, I start to cry.
"I don't think we should do this any more," he says as he's pulling his clothes back on.
I try to stop but the tears keep spilling down my face. "It's not you. It's just, I don't know. Everything's been so shitty. You know, Sharon threatened to fire me because I was sick. And I try to go out and have fun but I still feel like shit. Even going to Lollygag, it's not the same."
He stands over me and sneers, "Yeah, well if you lie down with garbage, you're going to stink." Then he leaves.
What the fuck? I lie there on the floor, really crying hard now. I'm deeply shocked that he would say something like that. Not just the cruelty of it. But what does he mean by "garbage"? Does he mean kinky people who practice SM? Is that what this is all about? He ditched me because of a complex over the kinky stuff?
The next day, I have lunch with Cyril and pour out my heart to him. He listens sympathetically and together we hatch a plot for a bit of petty revenge. Patrick's ad is still running in the Raser City Weekly, so Cyril calls it and, disguising his voice, leaves a long, filthy message about all the things he'd like to do to that hot little gymnast body. The phrase "ass pounding" comes up a lot.
I feel slightly guilty about inducing homo panic but hey, Cyril is bi. He talks about sex with dudes all the time, not in an "ew gross" way but in a "check out that fine ass" way. He won't even watch Xena: Warrior Princess with me and Rachel (we're big fans) because he thinks it's bullshit that Xena can be (implied) gay with Gabrielle but Hercules can't be gay with Iolaus. I figure if Cyril is ok with our prank call then it's not homophobic. And man it feels so good, if only for a minute. Whatever it takes to get me to stop calling Patrick, I guess.

The next week, Ewan has a party at his house and I bring Doug along, the first time I'm introducing him to my friends. I warn him in advance about their fancy dress and eccentric ways, and he rises to the occasion by wearing a kilt to the party. This goes over very well, because Ewan is very attached to his Scottish ancestry and wears a kilt whenever he can.
It's a warm evening, and we're hanging out in Ewan's large, overgrown backyard. Doug seems to get along just fine, and I'm having a great time. But then as I drift to one side of the yard and Doug drifts to the other, Ewan takes me aside.
"I dig the kilt and all," he says, "But what the hell are you doing with that loser?" He shakes his head in disbelief.
"Hey, he's a nice guy!" I say, more surprised than hurt.
Rachel rolls her eyes. "He's a big pothead," she says. Ewan nods understandingly, as if that explains everything.
"What do you mean by that?" I demand.
"Look, I know you're still broken up about Patrick," Rachel says soothingly. "But come on--that guy? He's got no personality. There's nothing to him."
"Yeah, you deserve someone who can keep up with you," Ewan advises.
I want to ask them what they mean, but just then Doug wanders back over and that ends the conversation.
Whatever. Ewan has no idea what I want. Doug is nice. Ok, so he is a little boring and he does smoke pot pretty much every day. And since he got out of the Army, he hasn't been able to find a job. But he is always around. I can call him whenever, and he shows up.
After the party, we go back to my place and have sex. I tell Doug that I'm tired of this vanilla BS; it's time for something kinkier. He seems happy to go along with whatever I want.
I take out a bunch of the cling gauze rolls that Patrick gave me and use them to bind up Doug's arms and legs as he lies on the bed. As we start going at it, the bandages loosen a bit but I order him not to move, not to put his arms around me no matter how much he wants to. I straddle him, kissing him all over, and as we have sex with me on top, I imagine him as a quad amputee. It's fucking hot. But I don't tell him that's what I'm thinking.

It Starts So Quietly (Part Two)

“Okay, you’re all set to get back to the resort today. Are you excited?” A girl who was much too chipper was standing by Jared’s bed. He raised an eyebrow, looking down the long length of the huge and heavy cast covering his leg.  He thought he’d rather prefer staying here for the rest of his vacation. He couldn’t imagine how he was going to manage outside the hospital for the next six weeks with this cast.

At least they did let him use a wheelchair to get to the car that Courtney had waiting. They probably realized it would take him about five hours to make it out of the hospital on crutches. So far he was finding crutches to be the biggest pain in the ass ever. The wheelchair was nothing fancy, but it had an extended leg rest with a pad on it so his forced-straight leg could stay elevated. The chair had a squashed pillow on the seat that looked like it had seen more than one ass today already.

A nurse pushed Jared in the chair, narrowly avoiding hitting his exposed toes into doorways and other patients. Jared cringed with each turn like when you’re in the passenger seat of a car and it feels like the driver is way, way too close to the edge.

Relief washed over him as they went through the automatic doors at the front of the hospital and he saw Courtney waiting, leaning against the side of a rented car.

Courtney grinned when she spotted him and opened the passenger side door. The nurse pushed Jared right up to it. He used his arms to shift himself to the front of the chair and lowered his leg onto the pavement beside the car. He gripped the top of the door with one hand and clumsily swung himself into the seat of the car. He half fell in and bumped his head on the door frame, but he was in.

Courtney leaned over him and he eyed her cleavage tucked into her pale pink bra while she pulled the lever to move the seat all the way back. Between the two of them, they got his casted leg into the car, elevated up on the dashboard with his toes touching the cold inside of the windshield.

On the ride back to the ski resort, Courtney chattered nonstop about shopping and plans and what the other people at the resort had been up to. Jared usually found it cute, although today it was giving him a headache. He wished Courtney would concentrate on driving. Every little bounce and twist knocked Jared in uncomfortable ways.

Courtney braked suddenly and the force of Jared’s cast surged forward right into his exposed toes. He howled in pain then was flung back hard against the seat.

“Jesus Christ, Courtney!”

“Oh, sorry, babe. I’ll be more careful!” Courtney tried to reach over with one hand while still steering with the other.

Jared slapped the hand away. “Focus on what you’re doing, would you? Try not to kill me before we get back.”

At least they drove the rest of the way in silence. Jared could see his toes getting red and puffy from the trauma. Please don’t let them be broken, he thought. No way did he want to turn around and go back to the hospital.

At the front of the resort there was an audience for Jared trying to get out of the car. He wished he could do this in private. His ineptitude with the crutches was humiliating. Courtney had gotten the crutches out of the back seat and Jared shifted his broken leg out of the car. Blood throbbed through the leg and pushed against the cast. His toes pulsed with pain.

He held the crutches in the middle and used them as leverage to heave himself up.  He took his time walking on them, trying not to fall and look like even more of a fool. The people parted for him to pass through, even as he inched along, dragging the heavy leg behind him.

“What do you want to do, sweetie?” Courtney buzzed around him. “Do you want to sit by the fire? Or we could go to the restaurant for some lunch?”

“I just want to get to our room,” Jared bit out through clenched teeth.

Courtney flounced with a sigh and said, “All right, be that way.”

Thank God there was an elevator. Jared got in, his arms aching already, and slumped against the side while it took him up to his floor.

Courtney got him arranged on the bed with a pile of pillows under his leg and then she left for something. Shopping or lunch or something else. Jared wasn’t listening. He was already exhausted and fell asleep as soon as the door closed behind Courtney.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It Starts So Quietly (Part Three)

Content Warning: This section involves rape. These characters are not real people and are not meant to represent real people, so please remember that as you read.

The next morning the last thing Jared wanted to do was get up, but he had to pee. He looked at the distance between himself and the bathroom. It really wasn’t that far. Still, with Courtney asleep beside him, it was tempting to try to find a cup or something within reach to use. A quick survey of the bedside table and no such luck.

Jared used his arms to push himself up to sitting and leaned over his plastered leg to ease it slowly off the pillows and onto the floor. The blood rushed back down the limb and into his toes, sending off sparks of uncomfortable tingles. Jared cringed and gripped the side of the bed, trying not to make noise and wake his girlfriend.

In such a small space as the hotel room, Jared left the crutches against the wall. He pushed himself up from the bed and steadied himself against the headboard. Then he shuffled awkwardly towards the bathroom, gripping whatever furniture he could to help him balance and drag the heavy weight of his broken leg behind him.

His toes kept bumping against things like the wall and the side of a chair. He tried not to cry out when it happened so he wouldn’t wake Courtney. She was sleeping like the dead, anyway.

Jared made it to the bathroom and pulled himself through the doorway, but found he couldn’t get his whole body into the tiny room, so he ended up shifting himself around to mostly be facing the toilet and pulling his dick from his boxer shorts with the door still open.

He hung onto the towel rack with one hand and his penis with the other. He almost buckled with relief as he let out a stream of urine.  When it was finally finished, he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes for a moment. He wasn’t looking forward to trying to get back to bed.

Already his toes were pulsing with the blood rushing down into them, pushing against the cast.

He tried to figure out how to turn around, but the space was far too narrow. Jared sighed and started backing his way out, sliding his immobile leg along the ground behind him. He was using muscles now that hadn’t gotten a work out…well, maybe ever.

Inch by inch, rug burn itching across his exposed toes, Jared hobbled his way back to the bed. He collapsed back onto it with a sigh and his head hit Courtney’s back. She looked groggily at him and swatted at his face.

Jared was only part way to his goal, though. Both his legs were still on the ground beside the bed. He gripped the edge and pulled himself back up to sitting, then shifted his body around until he was facing the right way and heaved his heavy plaster-covered leg back up onto its pillows.

The ends of his toes were bright red from rug burn and blood pooling. They itched, but he couldn’t quite reach them. He wiggled them anxiously, hoping it would alleviate the itch, but it didn’t do much.

“Courtney,” he hissed.

“Mrmph,” she said without opening her eyes.

“Will you scratch my toes for me?”

She lifted her head and raised an eyebrow. “Gross,” she said.

“Look, I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t have to,” Jared said. “They’re killing me.”

She sighed. “Fine.” She sat up, her boobs falling forward against the thin silk of her top and Jared could clearly see the outline of her nipples as she leaned over him.

She covered her fingers in a corner of the bed sheets and rubbed them over his toes. Jared fell back, his head arching and a groan escaping his lips. It felt so good he thought he might burst.  “Please don’t stop, baby,” he groaned.

His dick was actually getting hard from this. It hadn’t escaped Courtney’s notice.

She smiled a lazy morning smile and inched her way up to his boxers. She sprung loose his dick from the flap of cloth and lowered her mouth over it. Jared began to shake and the muscles tightening in pleasure all over his body caused pain in his injured leg.

He cried out and he wasn’t even sure himself if it was more from bliss or from pain. Each moment of delicious moist mouth against his skin brought with it spasms of pain, not just in his leg but all over where he had been bruised and battered by his encounter with the tree.

As good as a morning blow job was, Jared just couldn’t take it. He grabbed Courtney’s hair in his hands and gasped, “Stop, please.”

But she only moved faster straining against his fingers tangled in her curls.

“Oh God,” Jared cried. “Stop, stop, please.” He begged louder and louder as she moved faster and faster, his penis solid as granite in her soft wet mouth.

He itched and shifted but he could barely move at all. Every muscle in his body seemed to be screaming in pain.

That’s when he came, hard and fast, right into her mouth. It felt like a volcano erupting out of him. He went limp as a ragdoll and whimpered while Courtney jumped up and started getting dressed for the day.

When she was dressed to go, Courtney said, “Want to come downstairs and hang out in the lounge while I ski?”

“No, I’m good,” Jared managed. There was no way he was going to move for the next seven or eight hours.

“Suit yourself,” Courtney said and bounded out the door.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 14

Goodbye, Patrick

May 2000

Ever since Patrick insulted me by saying kinky people are garbage, I've finally been able to quit calling him. I can't believe I let him lose respect for me so thoroughly. I'm the Mistress, dammit! I shouldn't be hanging around begging for phone sex or guilting him into actual sex that is always unsatisfying.
To distract myself, I turn my attention to Doug, who is always up for whatever. We met because he responded to my personal ad looking for a sub boy, so I tell him it's time to break out the whips and chains. He agrees readily but has some trouble getting in the swing of things.
"Down on your knees, boy!" I order as he sits on my bed.
"Ok," he says, kneeling on the bed.
"Not 'ok.' 'Yes, Mistress!'" I bark at him.
"Um, ok Mistress," he says halfheartedly. He's sort of grinning and clearly not hating it, but he doesn't have that gleam in his eye like Patrick did. Patrick had the look of a true submissive, someone who gets truly, unbearably turned on by being ordered around. Doug's just doing this to please me, which is different.
I stifle my sense of disappointment and order Doug to pull down his pants, displaying his bare ass to me. I know most people do not have Patrick's superhuman pain tolerance, so I just sort of tap Doug gently with the flogger. I have a new one, a small latex cat o'nine tails that's easy to handle and delivers a reliable sting.
Doug doesn't respond, so I whack him a little harder. Just a little harder, nothing too extreme.
"Ow!" he wails. "What the fuck!" He rolls over and pulls his pants back up, glaring at me accusingly.
So that's it for that day. As I discover, Doug is not up for more than a little rough sex and some light bondage. I try not to be too judgmental. People like what they like--you can't force someone to enjoy pain. Despite what vanilla people think, it's only fun for me if the sub guy getting off on it too. The light bondage with Doug is fun, especially when he lets me blindfold him. But every so often I get carried away and give him a nip on the ear or something and he lets out a yelp and gives me an angry look, which kills the mood.

Meanwhile, my personal ad is still running and I'm still going out to the clubs whenever I can. After the first few weeks, I don't get so many replies to my ad, but I still check the voicemail about once a week and it yields a few more dates.
I meet a guy in his early twenties named AJ who works for the Raser City Weekly. I think that's got to be the coolest job ever, and he looks the part--full sleeve tattoos on his pale white skin, blond hair dyed black. He's hot. We spend an afternoon on the pebbly beach by the bay, talking soulfully about what we'd like to do with our lives, or rather, he mostly talks and I listen. But after we have sex at my place (vanilla, ugh) I never hear from him again.
Same with the rockabilly dude with the horrible acne scars all over his back.
I start to wonder why I'm wasting all this time on conversation when the guys just want to fuck then leave. I might as well just use them for sex before they have a chance to use me.
Back in high school, when I was still a virgin and scared of sex, my friends and I debated the merits of the one-night stand. We all agreed that we could never do that--we'd just feel too dirty afterward. Yeah, we thought we were all liberated but now I realize that was nothing but internalized sex negativity and slut shaming. If I want to sleep around like a guy, what's wrong with that? I haven't met anyone worth committing to. I thought I did with Patrick but I was wrong. Since we've broken up I've met lots of guys who are attracted to me but no one who actually wants to date anyway. So why not just take what I can get?
I meet another guy at a club, not Lollygag, but a more mainstream one I go to with Cyril and some of his friends. After seeing this same guy there for several weeks running, chatting him up a little and grinding on the dance floor, I let him take me home and invite him in. He's young and reasonably attractive, so I'm mildly surprised when he says he's a used car salesman. Ugh, already he seems a little slimier.
At the club he had said he wanted to try SM, so I give him a little spanking, but I can tell right away he's not into it, even less than Doug. We switch back to vanilla mode, but after nothing more than a little kissing, it's clear that neither of us is in the mood anymore. I had told him a bit about my recent adventures, and while on the dance floor he seemed excited by my tales, now lying in my bed he's clearly having second thoughts.
"You're a sexy, uninhibited woman," he intones woodenly. "Having multiple sex partners like a man. Awesome." He sounds like he's psyching himself up.
"You know what, never mind," I say. "It's late. I think I just need to go to bed." He doesn't seem that disappointed when I kick him out. I don't see him again.

A few days later, the rockabilly dude who I thought had disappeared forever calls me at 1 am.
"Wanna come over?" he asks.
I think it over. Yes, it's late, and I'm not really a spur of the moment kind of person. On the other hand, he is kinda hot, despite the acne scars on his back. And I'm feeling pretty horny.
"Sure, why not?" Feeling like a sexier, more daring version of myself, I drive over to his place. We have vanilla sex, but it's still pretty good. I debate sleeping over because it's so late, but he starts snoring really loudly and his bed is really uncomfortable, so I leave.
"I can't believe I did that," I say to Cyril the next day over the phone. He's pretty much the only person I could tell about this kind of thing. Except maybe Tovia, but I haven't seen him in ages.
Cyril makes the "boom chicka wow wow" porn noises at his end of the phone. "Good for you!" he crows.
"Are you sure?" I ask. "I dunno, it seems kinda sketchy to go over to a guy's house late at night like that, without even telling anyone where I was."
"Eh, whatever. You went over intending to have sex with him, right?"
"So you were fine. It's when he wants to have sex and you don't that there's a problem."
"I guess so."
"You enjoyed it, right? Stop over-thinking everything," he says, already sounding bored with the conversation.
But the more I think about it, the more I think maybe Cyril isn't giving me the best advice. Going to see Rockabilly Dude was a bad idea, not because it was slutty, but because it was dangerous. Just as one example, he wanted to have butt sex and I said no. What if he didn't take no for an answer? I feel like I dodged a bullet. A sweaty, throbbing bullet.
Having a lot of sex is one thing, but I decide, no more late night booty calls. A week later, Rockabilly Dude calls again at 1 am. He sounds drunk. I tell him no. When he whines and begs, I hang up the phone.
For the rest of the month, it's the same thing--dude calling in the middle of the night, hoping to get lucky again. I turn off the ringer and stop answering. Eventually he gets the message.

June 2000

Patrick calls to tell me that he landed a job in Florida and he's leaving in a week. I've finally broken the habit of calling him for phone sex, and I haven't even seen him since that one time a few months back. But Mike and I are still friends, and I've sort of kept in touch through him. Anyway it's nice of Patrick to contact me before he goes.
Patrick and I meet up downtown for one last time at a nice restaurant right on the water. It's a warm sunny day, so we sit on the back balcony, overlooking the bay.
"So what's the job?" I ask.
"It's with A*** Services, as an EMT."
"What?" I haven't forgotten all the horror stories he told me about private ambulance companies, that one in particular. I can't believe he'd give up fire fighting to go work for those corrupt assholes. "Seriously?" I prod him.
He just shrugs. "It's a job."
I give him a disbelieving look, and he looks away. I can't believe he's abandoning his career like that, but whatever, it's his decision.
There's some more awkward small talk as we catch up on each other's lives.
"You seeing anyone?" he asks me.
"No, not really," I say, not wanting to share any of the sordid details with him. "So how about you?" I ask. "Did you ever get any replies to your personal ad?"
He gives me a funny look. "Just one. And man, it was dirty! You would not believe the things this guy said he wanted to do to me!"
"So it was from a dude?"
"Yeah! And he just went on and on. Filthy like you wouldn't believe."
I stare down at my bowtie pasta with chicken and concentrate on picking out the sundried tomatoes, trying not to give anything away on my face.
"Wow, that's terrible," I mutter, trying to look at him surreptitiously. He's kind of half laughing, half disgusted. I can't gauge his response. Has he figured out it was me? Did he shake it off as a joke? Was he traumatized? I really can't tell. As a form of revenge, my prank seems fairly ineffectual. I feel deflated and petty for even trying.
After lunch, Patrick takes me on a motorcycle ride around the city. He winds far to the south then gets back on the freeway that skirts the edge of downtown. As we round the bend, all the skyscrapers slide into view with the bay behind them and green hills far in the distance. Shining in the afternoon sunlight, the city looks so beautiful. How could anyone leave this?
We ride around for over an hour, but eventually we pull up at the back of my house. He gets off the bike and takes off his helmet to give me a proper goodbye. I hug him tightly and give him a kiss on the cheek.
"I'm really sorry about all this," he says sadly, searching my face with his mismatched eyes.
"I know." I hug him again. "You're right, it's better this way. Go, get a fresh start. We'll both be ok."
I hug him one last time, and then I let him go.

June 2000

For my 28th birthday, I decide to get a tattoo. I know, it's hardly original of me; in fact it's pretty clichéd. But there's a big part of me that wants to show I can be tough. After all the crap I've gone through lately, I want to do something meaningful, take some positive action. Besides, I think it'll look cool.
The more I talk about it with Doug, the more he encourages me to get one. He even offers to go with me. There's a shop down the street, just a few blocks from my house, and it looks nice--well-lit and sanitary, not creepy. Feeling very much like a poseur, I walk in to make an appointment. The guy behind the counter is super nice, not at all condescending. I tell him what I want and he makes a sketch, a good one, just what I had in mind.
When I come back a few days later for the appointment, I bring Doug with me for moral support. As I'm getting set up, one of the other guys working there asks Doug if he has any tattoos, so he pulls up his sleeve and shows them the small Chinese character on his bicep.
"It means 'strong'" Doug says, showing it off.
The tattoo guys shoot each other a meaningful look. The guy who asked the question is Asian.
"Uh, I hate to tell you this, bro, but that's not what it says," he tells him.
"Oh yeah? So what does it say?" Doug doesn't seem that concerned.
The Asian guy squints at Doug's tattoo. "It doesn't really say anything the way it's written but it's kind of similar to the character for 'old.' Maybe it was meant to be 'good' but there's a stroke missing."
"Whatever, man."
The Asian dude is insistent though. "Look, I could fix it for you. It would be easy to change to 'good.' Or I could probably even cover it with something else and give you the character for 'strong' under it."
Doug pulls his sleeve down. "Nah, I got it with my buddies in the Army. There were ten of us who all got the same tattoo. I can't change it now, then it wouldn't be the same."
We all sort of goggle at him, trying not to laugh. The idea of ten guys going around with the same wrong tattoo is just funny.
"Well, even if you don't want to change it, at least let me touch it up for you. I can sharpen up the edges, make it look like a real character."
"Yeah, why not get it touched up?" I say.
Doug glances at me, then at his blobby, misshapen tattoo. "Um, sure. Ok."
So we both end up going under the needle at the same time. Mine takes longer though; when he's done, Doug comes over to watch.
"How does it look?" I ask.
I get a small butterfly on my left shoulder blade. Yeah, I know, totally clichéd. Getting it done hurts like hell but I don't complain, not even when the vibrations of the needle make my teeth rattle. But it's beautiful and I love it.

Rachel and Ewan help me organize a birthday party barbeque in the park. We reserve one of the pits and invite everyone we know. I invite Doug too, even though every time I mention his name, Ewan just shakes his head in disbelief and tells me I could do better. But Doug just got a job in a print shop after months of looking, and he can't get off work even though it's a Saturday. So in the end he doesn't come.
It's a beautiful afternoon, and I have a great time joking around with my friends and eating good food. Late in the afternoon, as the party is winding down, I cross the picnic area to toss a bag of trash in the bin and on my way back I see someone I know at one of the other barbeque pits. It's Anastasia, one of the former housemates of my blind boyfriend K.
Even though K and I dated for two years, we never lived together. The whole time we were both living in big, run down rental houses with a bunch of other people. It was pretty much the way everyone lived in College Town. I also worked with Anastasia in the book store, so I had gotten to know her pretty well. She always seemed so much cooler than me, with her long black hair and no-nonsense attitude.
But after the whole blowout with K, I didn't keep in touch with anyone from college, except Kara and Nam. I was just too ashamed.
Anastasia and I greet each other with surprise.
"I had no idea you were living in Raser City!" I exclaim.
"I'm not," she says. "I'm just visiting some friends for the week. It's one friend's birthday, so we're having a little party."
"No way! It's my birthday too! Too strange," I marvel.
"So you moved here for grad school, right?" she asks me.
"Yeah, actually I'm going back to Lester State again this fall for a different degree."
"Oh, cool."
There's an awkward silence, then finally she asks if I've been in touch with K.
"Uh, not really," I say. "Have you?"
"Yeah, he got fired from his job at the Y." I actually did sort of know that. When I first moved to Raser City, I lived with this girl Julie, and her best friend's sister worked at the YMCA as a massage therapist with K. That was an even weirder small-world coincidence. Anyway I heard through them that K was having trouble getting to work on time. But that wasn't his fault. Because he had to rely on the crappy little taxi service in College Town, he was always late for everything. We spent so many nights sitting around my house waiting for the taxi to come pick him up, an hour-plus wait for a ten minute ride. It sucked, and it seems unfair he would be fired from his first massage gig just because of that.
"Well, it wasn't really his fault, with the taxis and everything," I mumble. It feels weird to be taking his side, especially against Anastasia. I thought for sure she would defend him, but instead she goes on a tear.
"No, he got fired because he's a goddamn flake," she rants.
"So what's he doing for work?" I ask, because I can't help myself. K struggled so hard just to find that job. "Eh, he's still living at the apartment his mom owns. She's paying him to act as building manager."
"Jeez!" I start to come around to Anastasia's point of view. "He swore he would never do that, like it was giving up. I can't believe he gave in like that."
"You know M dumped his ass too?" Anastasia asks with an evil grin. Now that I didn't know. It does feel kinda good to hear the bitch he dumped me for dumped him back. "That was a while ago," Anastasia continues. "Yeah, she finally realized she was too good for him. Just like every other woman he's been with. Like you did."
I did nothing of the kind, but I just smile and nod emphatically. We gossip a little more about some other mutual friends from College Town, until Rachel comes over to tell me everyone is waiting for me. I give Anastasia a hug and say goodbye.
The whole way home, I can't stop thinking about K. Vivid memories of him bubble up in my mind, as if they just happened yesterday. When we met, he was 27 and a college dropout. I was 20, just starting my senior year. The age difference didn't seem like that big a deal; after all, Kara and Nam were in the same situation. None of us knew what we wanted to do with our lives; we were all just drifting.
But it was especially hard for K because he was blind. He was really smart and could have gone to an Ivy League school, but he stayed in College Town where he had grown up because he was nervous about being in a new place on his own. He majored in computer science for a while, but he found it boring and it was hard getting all his class materials, so eventually he just stopped going. When we met, he was starting to feel anxious about having no direction in life, so I pushed him to get certified as a massage therapist. Thinking back, it was probably more my dev fantasy of the proper career for a blind man that made me suggest it. But K went along with it anyway, embraced it, even.
On the other hand, he had nothing but contempt for my decision to go to grad school. "You're just doing it to please your parents," he said. Of all the nasty, undermining things he said to me as we were breaking up, that one stuck with me the longest. For years, I questioned myself. Even now that I've made the decision to go back to grad school, I still question myself. Is it for me or my parents? Am I doing the right thing?
K always seemed so much older and wiser than I was. Mainly because he was always telling me so.
"You'll understand when you're my age," he would say. "When you get to be my age, you figure out how to have a more mature relationship with your parents," he advised me after a particularly bad argument with my own parents.
Now that I've just turned 28, I can see this for the condescending bullshit that it was. I don't feel that much older and wiser. I still feel like a kid. And we're all still just drifting along in our jobs, no real career in sight.
I keep coming back to what Anastasia said about all K's exes realizing they were too good for him. Nothing could have been further from my mind. As far as I was concerned, he was perfect, the most handsome, brilliant, clever, talented, kind and sexy man I had ever met. Even now, no one has even come close. But hearing Anastasia's contempt for him makes me reevaluate what was actually going on.
The truth is, K always had a monumental ego, and he never pretended otherwise. It was how he dealt with his disability, so I just accepted it as part of the package. But maybe I shouldn't have. How dare he tell me that I was just going to grad school to please my parents? He's the one who's still basically living at home, doing the job his mother gave to him. Even after he swore he needed to get away. He could have gone away, gone to Raser City with me. But no, he stayed home like a coward and dumped me for some chick who wasn't even that into him. Maybe that crack about my parents was him projecting his own issues with his mom.
For the first time, I start to think that maybe K wasn't my perfect fairy tale prince. Maybe, even if all the other crap hadn't happened, we might not have lived happily ever after.
But then, late at night as I'm lying in bed, I can see his face, with his beautiful, horrible opaque eyes, an impossible shade of blue. I can hear his voice, recall the way he moved, the way he touched me. The way his eyes twitched and rolled all the time. The way he cocked an ear and tilted his head when he was listening intently to something. The feel of his hand in the crook of my arm as I guided him. It was like flying a kite. Our first date, when we went to lunch at a vegetarian restaurant, how he laughed when I grabbed the front of his parka to pull him out of the way of the other customers. The look on his face when he said he wanted to see me again, his eyes all bloodshot and searching, but his voice full of love and desire.
Even though I can't stop thinking about him, even though it would be so easy to look up his phone number and call him, I don't. I promised myself ten years of silence, no contact. He broke up with me in 1995, so I'm only halfway there. It seems like forever, but I don't look him up. I don't even try.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 15

Rollerboy, part 1

July 2000

While I'm wasting my time with these boring AB assholes, I'm still looking at devotee websites online a lot. I have lots of new ideas for the Dev Girls website, like book and movie reviews and media alerts. I email Cindy about it but she doesn't write back. I wait  a while and write again, but still nothing. The listserv is filling up with spam because she's not moderating it. Eventually I realize she has disappeared on me.
Now I realize more than ever the downside of working with a virtual stranger online. She has all the passwords and I have nothing. I had thought of the website and listserv as partly my work, but now I can't access any of it. Ugh, this sucks. How can people be so flaky?
I avoid posting or even reading the Dev Girls listserv because it's too spammy, and also because Bob is there. Instead I go back to reading the same old listserv where I first met Cindy. It's full of male dev assholes and trolls but at least the moderator keeps a lid on the spam. And it's pretty big and active. I used to post there a lot, but lately I've been pretty quiet. I decide to try using it like a personals site.
"28 year old female dev in Raser City," I write. "Looking to meet guys nearby, close to my age. Any disability ok."
Immediately my inbox starts filling up. "I'm a little older (50ish) but I'd love to meet you," one choice specimen reads. "Are you one of those special ladies who can't feel her toes?"
Oh my fucking god, what is wrong with these idiots? Bad enough that he thinks a thirty year age gap is no big deal, but how could he read a two line message that starts "female dev" and think "female paraplegic"? I don't even bother to answer, but just delete the message as fast as I can. Just reading it makes me want to take a shower. No wonder so many people hate devotees.
Just as I'm starting to despair of ever meeting anyone, I get a short message from someone with the email address
"Hey, you seem like one of the few normal people in this group. I'm a c7 quad, 29, and I live pretty close to Raser City."
It's not much but it seems like the most normal response so far.
"What does c7 quad mean?" I write back. I have gradually realized from hanging around this group, which is supposedly for every kind of disability, that the vast majority of guys here have spinal cord injuries. I have always thought wheelchairs are sexy, along with crutches, prostheses and everything else, but I know almost nothing about it. I only just figured out that SCI means spinal cord injury. I've seen lots of guys introduce themselves with these letters and numbers but I don't know what they mean.
"It means I'm technically a quadriplegic but I have most of the function of a paraplegic," bspusher explains. He breaks it down for me: the letters are the sections of the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) and the number indicates which vertebra was broken. "So c7 means I can move my arms but not my hands," he writes. "And I use a manual wheelchair. You can tell that from my email."
That's news to me too. Actually I found his email address kind of obnoxious--bspusher? Come on, that's gross.
"Sorry, I don't get it," I write back. "Please explain."
"BS is because I live in Bessemer. Pusher because I push a manual chair," he explains.
Oh great, another guy in fucking Bessemer. That's where Buttboy lived. Used to live. A few years ago he moved away to get an MA in English at the University of Buttfuck Nowhere, and took that bitch he dumped me for with him. God, I don't want to go back to Bessemer.
Just as I'm starting to lose interest in bspusher, he sends me a photo. It's tiny and blurry, a snapshot that's been scanned at low resolution. He's sitting in a kitchen, doing a wheelie in front of the cabinets. His blond hair is dyed black at the ends, and even in the tiny photo I can see his blue eyes, flashing in a kind of bad boy defiance. I definitely have a type, and he is it. I'm smitten.

Another week goes by, and I'm still really pissed at Cindy for disappearing. Hanging out on that crappy male dev listserv is making me realize all over again why we need something better. But even though I think about the website all the time, it's not the kind of thing I can talk about with my friends. I'm out to them about being a devotee, but they have no idea how much time I spend online looking at pictures and chatting with random people. They wouldn't get why one ugly website matters so much to me.
Among the few devs I correspond with from that troll-ridden listserv is a guy named Lee. He seems more reasonable than the rest of them, maybe because he's into disabled guys too. I complain to him about how Cindy flaked out on me.
"That was you behind Dev Girls?" he asks me over email. "Man, that's a shitty site."
"Yeah, I know," I write back. "And now that she's vanished I can't make it better. But there has to be a site for those of us who are devotees of disabled guys. Just the other day some jerk on the listserv was going on about how he doesn't believe female devotees really exist. And ever since Hotlanta Dev shut down, there's no site for the gay guys either."
I keep going on in this vein over multiple emails until Lee finally admits that he knows how to program HTML a little.
"We should totally make a new website together," I write to him.
"I'll think about it," he replies.

BSPusher keeps emailing me, even though he still hasn't seen a picture of me because I don't have access to a digital camera or scanner. I really don't want to use the scanner at work, because then I'd have to explain what I'm using it for. No one else needs to know yet that I'm emailing with a quad guy in Bessemer who broke his neck when he was 18, drunk driving in a stolen car.
Oh yes, that is what happened. Actually even before he sent me a photo of himself, he sent me a scan of the newspaper clipping reporting his accident. It seems like a weird, personal thing to share, but ok. The article is very matter-of-fact, with a blurry photo of a car lying upside down in a ditch. I open the file over and over to stare at the article, not sure what to make of it. Then I click over to the snapshot of him doing a wheelie, and feel guilty for being turned on.
He asks me a lot of questions about being a devotee: What caused it? (I don't know, it's just the way I am) Have I dated disabled guys before? (Yes) Would I go for any gross old guy, as long as he was in a wheelchair? (No, and stop asking! Jeez!)
"So that photo I sent you of me doing a wheelie, that's like porn for you?" he asks in an email.
"Yeah, you're a porn star," I write back. "What's your porn star name?"
"Rollerboy," he says. "Like Rollergirl in Boogie Nights. Heather Graham is hot. So what's your porn name?"
"I don't know, haha. I'm not a porn star. I'm just a big nerd. Nerd Girl."
"Nerd Girl is sexy. Do you have those sexy librarian glasses?"
"You know I do."
That one little exchange gives me a fluttery warm glow for nearly a week. For a minute there I was starting to worry. I'm pretty much the opposite of Heather Graham. If a pale blond waifish WASP is his type, he's in for a big disappointment with a dark-haired Jew like me. But if he likes the Nerd Girl look, maybe I am his type after all.
Rollerboy is not the only SCI guy who responds to my personal ad post. Aside from the obvious creepers who get immediately deleted, there are a handful who seem nice enough, but they don't really live nearby. And for some reason, the emails with those other guys don't go beyond a few introductory lines. There's just no spark like with Rollerboy.
There is one young guy who writes to me from the UK, so that's a non-starter, but I correspond a little with him anyway because he seems nice. He tells me he's a c4 quad, and I'm proud of myself for now knowing what that means. When I ask how he was injured, he says it was from botched surgery to remove a tumor when he was four years old. I stare at his email, the horror of it like a gutpunch.
"My arms are only there to keep my watch from falling on the floor," he jokes. It seems somehow worse to get an SCI from failed surgery than in a car accident, and at such a young age. I know he doesn't want my pity but it's hard not to feel it.
Ugh, this is one of the many awkward things about being a devotee. So I think disabilities are sexy. But not all disabilities.
"Couldn't you just go for some guy with, like, a limp?" Kara asked me once, when I complained about how hard it is to find the right guy. No, Kara, I could not. A limp is nothing. Even missing one leg is not that exciting, especially if he uses a prosthesis. Both legs, or a paraplegic, now that is hot. A little scary but also exciting. For me, there's always a bit of shock mixed in with the excitement. Like the way K's eyes looked, all scarred over and blue. But, and this is the awkward part, there is a line beyond which it's just scary and not exciting anymore. For me, that line is a high level quad, a guy who can't move his arms at all, or who needs a ventilator. It's like, too much.
But I don't want to tell him any of that because it would be mean. Our sexual desires are selfish and unequal. There is no political correctness in lust. We all want things that are narrowly defined, unfair, and cruel when spelled out, especially to someone who doesn't have those traits. Being a devotee doesn't make me more understanding or open-minded. My desires are just as sharply defined as anyone else's; the lines are just different.

So I'm writing to several guys online, but Rollerboy is the one, not just because he lives the closest. He's hot, and we seem to have a connection. The emails increase to daily, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day if work is slow. Gradually, I stop writing to those other guys. Even going out to the clubs is not so exciting any more. I spend more time just hanging out with Rachel and Ewan, and less time with Doug. A lot less.
Part of the reason is that suddenly life is super busy. I'm starting graduate school next month, and trying to get ready for classes. I gave Sharon notice, and I'm quitting my job at the end of the month. Things haven't been the same since she threatened to fire me when I got sick. But still, I feel obliged to her, so I'm racing to tie things up at work before I go.
And, this is the worst part, but I'm being evicted. All over Raser City, rents are going up and people are being kicked out. My landlord was an awesome, crusty old dude who charged us way under market price. But then he decided to retire and sold the house. The new landlords wasted no time getting everyone kicked out. This is a beautiful old house, even if it is divided into apartments. It kills me to think of those yuppie wannabes razing it to put in some cinderblock monstrosity so they can charge thousands of dollars for shoebox apartments. Every time I pass by my garden at the side of the house, it makes me want to cry.
So anyway I have to find a new place, which is no easy feat with the prices rising so high. I spend most of my free time touring what Nam calls luxury slums, that is, tiny crap holes with prices that would make your head spin. And since I'm trying to find something close to the university, at every showing there are at least a hundred students. Sometimes it's so crowded I can barely see the apartment.
With all of this going on, and recalling my terrible experience with Bob, I decide to take things slow with Rollerboy. We agree to put off meeting until next month, once I have moved and all the dust has settled. But in the meantime, the emails fly back and forth.

One glorious, hot summer day I go to the Raser City Highland Games with Rachel, Ewan, Sharon, Cyril and Ewan's friend Rick. I still feel a little awkward around Sharon, but I try not to make a big deal of it. It's even more awkward because she and Cyril are on the outs. They keep saying they won't break up, but instead they just fight a lot and publicly flirt with other people. The drama between me and Sharon pales by comparison.
We all dress up, of course, Ewan in his clan tartan, and Cyril like a foppish 18th century Englishman. When jerks in kilts and t-shirts hassle him, he shouts, "Who do you think won the war, you peasants!"
Even though they are not officially registered as participants, Ewan and Cyril engage in a bit of sparring near the vendor tents and pass out fliers for the Rapier Academy, until one of the Highland Games organizers tells them to knock it off or they'll be kicked out.
I pretend not to know them, and wander around the tents. I'm wearing Ren Faire lite outfit with the plaid skirt, the same thing I wore when I met Patrick. Hey, at least this is the right place to wear it. Maybe it's the skirt, or maybe just because I'm there, but half a dozen vendors offer to trace my family history.
"Everyone's a little Scottish," one guy insists, when I decline.
"I'm Jewish," I say flatly. He stares at me like I said I'm from outer space. Now I love Scottish culture--the music, folklore, arts, all of it. I could listen to bagpipes all day.  But wandering alone around all these white people aggressively asserting their heritage starts to make me feel slightly uncomfortable. For some of them, there seems to be a thin line between ethnic pride and white power. I circle back to meet up with my friends again.
We all regroup to watch the games. I was really hoping to see the caber tossing, but apparently that's tomorrow. There are some chubby guys throwing what looks like a shot put. No one's really paying attention. The women sitting next to us in the bleachers are all over Ewan's friend Rick. Rick is stunningly handsome in a square-jawed, golden tanned kind of way. He's dressed up in one of Dylan's costumes, leather breeches with a flowing white shirt and fencing gorget. With his long, curling black hair and shirt half open, Rick looks like he stepped out of the cover of a bodice-ripper.
The women try to chat him up, while Rachel, Sharon and I laugh to ourselves. What they don't know is that Rick is a paranoid schizophrenic who has been sporadically going off his meds for the past few months. Every time one of the women says something, Rick responds with a winning, white-toothed grin but what comes out of his mouth is what psychiatrists call word salad. Still the women are undeterred, leaning in closer as if they merely misheard him and smilingly blankly.
Over on the other side of our group, Sharon starts up her own flirtation with the guy sitting next to her on the bleachers. He's also the square-jawed, golden-tanned type, but even taller and more muscular than Rick. His head is shaved on the sides like a Mohawk, with his long hair braided and hanging down his back. He's wearing nothing but a loincloth and a bunch of beads around his neck. He tells us his name is Mars. As if he is too magnificent for Sharon alone, he generously increases the radius of his attentions to include me and Rachel.
Sharon draws Mars into a lively discussion of the merits of the macrobiotic diet and the spiritual effects of eating meat. This continues even after the shot put winner is declared and the crowds disperse. We walk towards the parking lot, Mars still trailing after us. Seeing that we are about to leave, Mars declares he knows of an excellent swimming hole just down the road--it's so hot and dusty, don't we want to swim?
Sharon reacts like this is the best idea she has ever heard in her life. "Yes! Swimming!" she declares, jumping around slightly. "Let's go!" She grabs Rachel and me by the arms.
"Uh, I don't know," I say, edging away slightly. I look over at the guys. Cyril is burdened down with all their swords in a giant golf bag. Ewan has been drinking steadily from his hip flask all afternoon, and now looks like he can barely stand up. Rick is not far behind him, and looking wild-eyed. "What do you think?" I ask Cyril, expecting him to put a stop to this swimming nonsense.
Instead he just shrugs, looking irritated. "Whatever. I'm tired. I'm going to take these guys home. You three can go swimming if you want."
Before I realize what's happened, I have been volunteered to drive us out to the swimming hole in my car, while Cyril drives off with Ewan and Rick. We set off down an unpaved gravel road, with Mars leaning over my shoulder from the back seat to give directions.
"Wow, you're a really nervous driver," he opines. "You need to, like, breath more deeply and clear out your chakras."
"Shut up," I tell him. "My chakras are plenty clear."
The swimming hole turns out to be a section of state park at the edge of a small lake ringed by a muddy bank with a three foot drop to the water. Mars guides us to the edge of the bank, right beside a large sign that say NO SWIMMING.
Mars and Sharon immediately strip off their clothes and leap in, while Rachel and I sit on a log and watch them. Every so often, Mars climbs back out of the water and struts around naked in front of me and Rachel, so we can admire him the way Sharon has been all afternoon. He offers to kiss each of us in turn. Sharon is the only one who takes him up on the offer. And maybe something more in the water. We try not to look.
"What an ass," Rachel mutters. "You shut him right down, though," she giggles. "He looked like no one had ever refused him before."
"Ugh, I know, right?" I exclaim. I find it hilarious that this guy, this perfect physical specimen of manhood, is completely convinced that he is irresistible to all women just because of his toned muscles. 
Well, he is wrong. I could not be less interested in his boring, ordinary perfection. There's a quadriplegic guy in Bessemer with my name on his flat ass. Sharon can have Mars. I want Rollerboy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 16

Rollerboy, part 2

August 2000

Everything is different now. I'm being forced to move to a new apartment, because my beloved old house is being torn down. I've quit my easy but boring, dead-end job to go back to grad school.
But it's not just me. My friends are changing too. Sharon and Cyril finally broke up, with less drama than we had all expected. Sharon just announced one day that she was moving to Hawaii to go live on an organic farm, or maybe a cult. Whatever, I've had it with her super critical food obsessions and snide little comments. I haven't forgotten how she threatened to fire me when I was sick. Ironically, she was angry at me for quitting, then turned around and announced she was leaving herself, putting her former assistant in charge. Whatever, I am so done with that office.
I sort of had a falling out with Cyril myself, about the Renaissance singing group. I did a few performances with them, not just the Christmas caroling, but when I suggested we polish up our musical skills, Cyril accused me of being too bossy. True, it is his group, not mine, but why doesn't he want to improve? He made it clear that the Rapier Academy is his priority, but I stopped attending that months ago. So no more fencing or singing.
Tovia moved back east to our hometown with his paraplegic girlfriend Elisa. I'm pretty sure they're going to get married soon, but I'm not invited to the wedding. Actually Tovia and I fell out of touch immediately after he moved. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I accused him of being a devotee, or maybe because we started bickering too much. I admit I was bitchy to him a few times. Or maybe it's just that our lives are moving in different directions, and I'm really bad at keeping in touch.
And I broke up with Doug. Or whatever, told him our friends with benefits arrangement is over. I'm starting to feel like I'm just using him, and it's not fair to keep him hanging around when it's clear he likes me more than I like him. Actually the more time we spend together, the less I like him. He got fired from his copy shop job after only two months, and the way he tried to blow it off like it was no big deal while clearly repressing a huge amount of anger and resentment seems like a waving red flag. He never told me exactly why he got fired, but from the hints he dropped, it seems like he screwed up somehow. Ewan was right, Doug has issues. I'm not going to be the one to save him.
So in the end the only ones who help me move are Rachel and Ewan. With great effort, I pack up everything from my wonderful, awesome, beautiful apartment into a truck and they help me drive across town to my crappy, cramped, lousy new place.
I selected the new apartment mainly because it's in a building constructed in the 1920s with a fake Spanish façade, and because it's the only place near to the university that I could afford. The only redeeming features are the old-fashioned black and white tile flooring in the kitchen and really pretty blue-green tile in the bathroom.
The downside, however, is that it's a studio, even smaller than my old place, and poorly laid out, so it feels even smaller than it is. It's designed shotgun style, with the main room in front, then the kitchen, then the bathroom at the end of a long, narrow hall. And it's on the ground floor, facing the road. A very busy road. Just after I sign the lease, as I'm feeling triumphant at actually securing something semi-affordable that isn't in a crackhouse, a random stranger passing by glances at the lease in my hand and the landlord taking down the "For Rent" sign and mutters ominously in my direction, "You know, this street is really fucking loud."
I realize what he means the first night I try to sleep there. It's not just that there is a ton of traffic. Something about the way the street is paved with concrete slabs rather than asphalt makes the cars even noisier than normal, with the tires thumping in uneven rhythms as they go over the gaps between the slabs. I make a mental note to buy ear plugs.
Another downside is that my off-street parking is a narrow gravel pit along the side of the house, at the top of an insanely steep driveway. I have to gun the engine for like 20 seconds to get up it, then immediately stop and maneuver the car off the concrete and into the gravel without hitting the side of the building. The first time I try it, it takes me almost half an hour. Parking on the street is not an option because it's all a two hour zone.
And that's not even the worst. I realize with a sinking feeling, as Ewan helps me carry in the last of my Ikea furniture, that I have neglected to find a wheelchair accessible apartment. This place is about as far from accessible as you could get. It's on a very steep hill, and there are about 40 steps leading from the sidewalk up to the front door. Of course, I'm on the first floor, so once you get in the door, my place is directly on the left, but how to get to that point?
I'm not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, I'm really excited to meet Rollerboy, my internet crush who lives three hours away. On the other hand, it was almost impossible to get even this crappy place. Wheelchair accessible apartments are in very short supply, especially near the university because most buildings are so old. It seems like madness to look for an apartment to suit someone I haven't even met yet. We're still emailing a lot but it's not a sure thing until we meet.
The first week in the new apartment is rough. I try to be positive, but I don't like the new place. I miss my old house so much. Ewan and Rachel leave for a two month trip to Bali, and suddenly I feel like I have no friends. I decide to buy a cell phone for the very first time, but I barely have any numbers to program in. School hasn't started yet, and I feel unmoored from any familiar routine. So far it's like I upended my life for nothing. The only thing I have to look forward to is meeting Rollerboy.

The second week after the move, we finally set a date to meet. He volunteers to drive down to Raser City one afternoon, but I'm not sure where we should meet. I can't invite him over, obviously, but I don't want to do the standard 45 minute coffee shop date, especially since he's driving so far. I want it to be nice--someplace cool and relaxed where we can have a tasty lunch and get to know each other. Preferably walking distance from my new apartment, partly because I don't want to deal with parking my car, and partly to make it easier to keep hanging out together after lunch. But I don't know my new neighborhood that well. I spot a small restaurant that seems like a hipsterish kind of place and settle on that, even though I've never been there before.
I give Rollerboy the address of the restaurant and hope for the best. The morning before we meet, I change outfits at least ten times, trying to strike the right balance of sexy and casual. I'm not the kind of girl who wears makeup every day. I don't want to seem like I'm trying too hard. Eventually I settle on my most flattering jeans and a tight-fitting tank top that shows off my boobs. At the last minute, I throw a button-down shirt on over the tank top.
I walk over to the restaurant, only to discover that it's closed. Not just closed at that moment, but permanently out of business. How did I not notice that before I picked this place? God, I'm an idiot. This is not an auspicious start to our date.
I hang around the parking lot, which is full of cars from the office building next door, giving the illusion that the restaurant is hopping and not a desolate shell. After a few minutes, Rollerboy pulls up, right on time. I recognize the car by the blue handicapped tag hanging from the rear view mirror.
We wave to each other a little shyly through the window, then he flings open the car door. As I watch, he reclines his seat all the way back then pulls a rigid frame wheelchair from the passenger seat and tosses it on the ground next to him. It's missing one wheel. With the seat still reclined, he pulls the other wheel out and in a second pops it on, then with an arm around the steering wheel to give himself leverage, he pushes the seat back upright. Now is the actual transfer. He pulls out first one leg then the other, and using his feet as a fulcrum, slides his butt from the driver's seat onto the wheelchair. Then he pulls his legs up so his feet are resting on the footplate and bats his jeans smooth with a few careless slaps. The whole time I'm just watching curiously, standing far back and trying not to stare too obviously.
Once the transfer process is complete, I finally go over and introduce myself properly. He swings his arm up from the shoulder and I shake his hand. I'm kind of shocked at how his hand just rests limply in mine, not squeezing back. Yes, I know, he told me he's a c7 quad but I'm still not totally sure what that means exactly, and instead of explaining in detail, he just said he's basically like a para. I guess I thought that meant he could move his hands a little, or something.
In the brief moment we shake hands, he smiles and his whole face lights up. It's another shock, and it takes me a while to figure out why--he never smiled in any of the photos he sent me. He was always scowling. He actually looks even better in real life than in the photos, with his spiky yellow hair and pale blue eyes. He looks happy to see me too. So far so good. I take a deep breath.
"Um, I'm really sorry but it looks like this place is closed," I say.
"What!" The smile disappears, replaced with a sour glare. "Why didn't you tell me that before I dragged my ass out of the car? Now I gotta transfer again."
"Oh! I didn't think about that. I'm really sorry." I feel terrible. How could I have missed that? Part of my dev pride is being more sensitive to things like that than the average clueless able-bodied person, but so far I am striking out.
He wheels back to the car and yanks the door open then starts the whole process again in reverse, cursing under his breath. This time instead of the passenger seat, he flips his half disassembled chair into the back seat. Once he's finished, I get in.
"So where to?" he asks, gunning the engine.
"Uhhh..." I really have no Plan B. There are some shitty restaurants closer to campus but I'm not sure on the accessibility of all of them, and honestly I was hoping for something a little classier. Besides the parking situation sucks.
Rollerboy steers the car towards the maze of one-way streets around campus.
"That looks ok. Let's go there," he says, indicating a student bar with a green awning. He sees a rare free spot on the street and pulls in.
"But it's a 30 minute zone," I warn him. "If you're even a minute over it's a $300 ticket."
"Nah, I get unlimited time with this," he explains, batting the blue placard with the back of his hand. "Don't have to feed the meter either."
"Oh, that's cool."
Getting out again is another near disaster. The curb is high, so he can't swing the car door open far enough to get his chair in exactly the right spot to transfer. For a minute it seems like we might have to give up the spot and circle around some more, but after some scraping of metal on concrete, he finally manages to make it work. I apologize again, but he just nods curtly.
As he wheels into the restaurant I follow behind, checking out his chair. Low back, no armrests, no handles. Across the black nylon back is the word "Quickie." I remember a while ago seeing a post on the devotee listserv that said "Quickie is the sexiest of chairs." It had never occurred to me before that moment to look at the wheelchair itself and not the person in it, but I soon realized it was true. Old, clunky folding chairs with wheels straight up and down: not sexy. A low-slung sporty chair with wheels angled in at the top: sexy.
Luckily for us the restaurant is not crowded, as the students have not yet returned for the new semester. I pull a chair away from an empty table for him then sit down on the other side. I'm all set to go on a tirade if the waitress talks only to me and not to him, but she just smiles at him and asks what he'll have.
Rollerboy orders a burger and I get a club sandwich. I try to concentrate on the conversation, but I'm totally distracted watching him eat. To pick up the burger, he rests his hand on top, then works his thumb underneath until the burger is wedged between his thumb and forefinger. With the bottle of Coke, it's the same thing, resting his hand over the top until his fingers are wrapped around it. I still can't figure out if he can use his fingers or not. He seems to be moving them, so maybe?
Even if I wasn't so distracted, the conversation is heavy going. We really have nothing in common. I'm a super nerdy East Coast Jewish princess who likes classical music, yoga and organic artisanal foods. He is self-described white trash from Bessemer. Before his accident, he was set on going into construction like his father, now he's just getting by on SSI and going to community college part time even though he hates school. Over email, when I first asked what he did for a living, he told me he was a "day trader." Now I realize that means he occasionally trades stocks over the internet, but what it really means is "self-unemployed."
But he's cute and it's exciting to be out with a guy in a wheelchair. After lunch, I show him all around campus. It's still quiet and mostly deserted, and the big leafy plazas and walkways are easy to roll around.
I don't ask, but he tells me anyway about his accident and rehab, I guess because he thinks that's what I want to hear.
"They say it takes ten years to adjust to spinal cord injury," he says.
"So it's been just about ten years--are you adjusted?"
He shrugs. "I dunno. I guess, sorta. It was so weird how in rehab the PTs knew more about how my body worked that I did. It was like they had to teach me everything. But now I'm, like, an expert. I can MacGuyver my way out of just about anything." We laugh, and again I see that fleeting, charming grin. "People ask me if I know about Christopher Reeve, and I'm like, shut up--I've been a quad longer than he has."
"You must have to hear a lot of dumb shit, huh," I sympathize.
"Yeah. When I was first injured, lying in the hospital, my Mom said, 'Now you have to accept Jesus into your heart. It's all you have left,'" he recites in mocking tones, gesturing with his hands in between pushes to convey his utter contempt. "I was like, fuck that shit."
Then he backs up and tells me the whole story of how he got injured, drunk driving when he was eighteen. The car rolled into a ditch and landed on the roof, while he was thrown out the open window and crashed onto his shoulder on the grass.
"In the ambulance, I heard myself flatline twice," he says with a kind of morbid cheerfulness. At the base of his throat is the prominent trach scar. It moves up and down, in and out when he talks. When I walk behind him, I can see the scar at the back of his neck, almost an inch wide, going down into his collar and up into his hairline. "At least they never put a halo on me," he continues. "I should've had it but I dunno, they just didn't. At least I don't have scars from that. I see these quads who have huge dents on either side of their forehead--so gross." He slides his eyes over to me and gives me a sly grin. "But you probably like that."
"Don't all girls think scars are sexy?" I deflect.
"Yeah, it means you've been through some serious shit," he agrees.
But then, because I have to know for sure, I ask, "So are you ok with me being a devotee?"
"A what?"
I realize immediately that this is a pronunciation problem. He knows I'm a devotee and what that means; we've emailed about it often enough. But this is the first time I have said the word aloud to him. I'm pronouncing it in the fake French way, the way one might say "a devotée of the arts" or whatever: day-voh-TAY. I say it again.
"Oh, you mean devotee?" He says it like an English word: duh-VOH-dee. "Why are you saying it like that?"
I'm already painfully aware that he thinks I'm a snobby princess, so I don't want to give him a language lesson, even though I know I'm right. But I also think it's incredibly pretentious to insist on a fake French pronunciation of words that are nothing like real French, words like lingerie and connoisseur. So I'm not going to push for my pronunciation of devotee. On the other hand, the way he's saying it is just wrong. We trade the word back and forth for a minute, and eventually settle on a compromise: dee-voh-tee. But somehow he never quite answers my question.
By this point, we've been walking/wheeling for a while, so as we come to some benches, I sit down and take off my outer shirt, leaving only the tank top.
Rollerboy leans over and glances at my shoulder. "Nice tattoo."
"Thanks," I smile. "I just got it a few months ago."
"Can I take a closer look?" he asks. I nod, leaning forward. His limp fingers brush my skin lightly as he pulls the strap away to see the butterfly on my shoulder blade. I shiver a little bit at his touch. For the first time today, I let myself relax enough to get turned on. It only lasts a second, but the way he touches me feels so intimate.
"Nice," he says again, dropping his hand away. For a minute I wonder if things will go further, but instead there's just an awkward silence. Then he says, "I gotta use the bathroom."
I show him in to one of the accessible campus buildings nearby. When he's done, he says it's getting late and he should start heading back.
The conversation peters out again as we return to his car. He goes through the whole transfer routine while I wait outside, only hopping in once he's finished. I give him directions back to my apartment, and for once there's an empty spot right in front. He pulls in but doesn't shut off the engine. We stare at each other.
"Uh," he says.
"Um," I say. Neither of us moves.
Normally this is the point in the date where we would kiss. I look at him, weighing my possible moves. He's turned towards me in the driver's seat, but he's got his left arm raised above his head, his hand resting against the top of the window. It's a big two-door American car, like a boat, so he's really far away from me. The way he's plastered himself up against the window, it's like he's trying to get as far away from me as possible. He's giving me that sour look again.
So ok, no kiss then.
"Well, thanks for coming all this way. I had a really nice time," I say, trying to smile.
"Yeah, me too," he mumbles.
"Uh, ok then, I'll call you."
I get out, feeling defeated. After all that, he doesn't like me. I try not to think about it too hard.

The next evening, as I'm trying to get organized for the start of the semester, I get a phone call.
This has been going on almost every night since I moved here. Someone calls but doesn't say anything. Even though the caller ID number is blocked, I know it's not a telemarketer or a wrong number because whoever it is doesn't hang up. I can hear faint breathing at the other end of the line. The first few times it happens, I hang up right away. But as it goes on, I realize who it is.
He hangs up.
The next day, the same thing happens again, but this time when I say his name, he doesn't disconnect.
"Doug?" I ask again. No answer. "Look, I know it's you." Still no reply. "If you want to talk, then talk, but this silent calling is fucking annoying, ok?" I go on like this for like five minutes, and eventually he gives in.
"What do you want me to say?"
Ha! I knew it was him.
"Why are you doing this? Is something wrong?"
"No, I'm fine," he says tightly. Obviously something is wrong. I try to draw him out, but every time I ask a personal question, he snaps, "Don't pry!" The only bits of information I can glean are that he got a new job finally and that he's still hung up on me. He keeps steering the conversation in morbid directions, making cryptic comments about dead bodies and how he has to see them too much lately.
"What are you talking about? Are you working in a morgue?" I ask.
"Don't pry!" he snaps for like the tenth time.
The conversation goes on like this for over an hour. I would have hung up sooner but I stick around long enough to make sure this isn't some bizarre suicide attempt. Despite the creepy way he's talking, he doesn't threaten to hurt himself. Eventually I've had enough.
"Ok, it's getting late. I have to go."
"No! I need you!"
"I'm sorry, but no. You don't need me."
"You're just like all the others," he whines. "Everyone always lets me down."
"Ok, good night!" I chirp and hang up quickly before he can say anything more.
What the hell was that? Once again I realize my friends were right about Doug. I should never have gone out with him. I'm a little worried he might call again or even come to the apartment, but he doesn't.

I feel bad for Doug, but the truth is after that horrible phone call is over, I hardly think about him at all. I can't stop thinking about Rollerboy. Ok, so we don't have much in common and he lives far away. But he is really cute, and I like his no-nonsense attitude. After all the angsty emotions with Patrick and Doug, it's kind of refreshing to be with someone who isn't so caught up in his feelings all the time.
But mostly I think about what it would be like to lie next to him in bed. I lie in my own bed, in my shitty, noisy apartment, imagining him beside me. What would it feel like to have sex with him? I have to find out.
I wait a week after our first date then call him. He sounds really surprised to hear from me, but in a good way.
"I thought for sure you would never call," he says. "I thought you hated me."
"What? I thought you hated me!"
"Nah, you're cute."
I feel a little warm glow. "I think you're cute." My voice goes lower as I say it. Then I take a deep breath, my heart pounding as I ask, "So do you want to come down to Raser City again next weekend?"