“Take good notes, he says, “You may want to use this in your writing class someday.”
“I’ll never want to use this,” I tell him. “Not in a million years would I ever want to use this.”
“But still, “he says. “it’s something special. You never know.”
We’re both naked, sitting cross legged on the bed with only a dim bed stand lamp on, and music on the radio. Like a couple of sloppy college kids, the way we were a long time ago with different people. We found each other so late in life, middle aged and things starting to make little breakdowns. Like the really nasty one the doctor found last Friday.
Next to my knee is a thick paper bucket, like a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket but with a picture of a huge pink phallus on the side that says “Build Your Own Dildo” in big happy circus poster letters. I’ve heard these kits are popular. I think women are the ones who buy them. I think the women who buy these are miserable like me and are buying them because like me, the real thing is in some kind of trouble. I did some googling. It seems like soldier’s wives buy these kits so they can feel like they’re still fucking their own man when he’s been sent off to war. Women are like that. After a while, your man’s dick becomes familiar. You get to know it, how it looks both turned on and off, how it feels inside. Sometimes it’s just comforting to see your man’s cock when he’s drying off after a shower, or at night maybe reach over in the dark and stick your hand in there and feel around – hello Jim’s cock. There you are, found you. When the alarm rings, you feel his morning wood pressed up against your ass, and it just feels like you’re right where you belong. Like you’ve arrived at last in that place you’re meant to be, with the crack of your ass pressed up against his wood. You love to wiggle up against it, make it harder. I used to go to sleep sometimes holding his warm smooth skinned dick in my hand, because it made me happy. My pet dick.
I mash my finger in the pinkish plaster goop inside, like the stuff dentists use to make an impression of your tooth bite. My finger tip goes in easy and the impression stays. Ready. So soon.
“I feel like I’m making a death mask,” I say. It was a mistake to say it out loud, the bitterness, because now I feel it in my throat and my eyes. Now it’s all leaking out of me like poisonous radiation everywhere.
He reaches over to the nightstand, takes the kitchen timer and sets it for ten minutes. He has to keep himself revved up inside that cold goop for ten minutes or so, to make the mold set around it right. So I’ll have to be his cheerful fluffer girl and keep him inspired with my wifely skills. He has a beautiful phallus when it’s ready for loving. Thick at the base with a sweet little curve like a plantain. A fat plum of a knob that pokes its head out like a one eyed turtle. Uncircumcised, so I get that little extra turtleneck of pressure on the sweet spot inside me when we get it going good. I saw a lot of penises before he came along, but I always told him this was the only one worth keeping. Now I don’t even get to keep this one.
I put the Kentucky Fried Pecker bucket next to the pillow and push him back until he’s laying there for me like a pinup boy. A bit chubby now, a little going to seed from too much TV and contentment. Gray hairs mixed with the black down there. I can see he’s not inspired either. We’re doing this all wrong, I can feel it. There’s a funeral pall over everything. It isn’t love making, it’s a wake.
I have to think. I don’t want to think. Thinking eats me alive. I reach into the night stand and take out the astro lube and squeeze a gob into my hands and rub it around. “Come on, baby. Let’s wake up Little Jim.” I fist both hands around his shaft and grease it up good, squeezing, and start twisting my fists around his cock is opposite directions. This usually drives him up the wall until he begs for it and promises me a new car or a new house or throws me on my back and comes at me like an animal. But not tonight. Nothing’s happening. He closes his eyes while I work him over. I take his tip in my lips and twist and lick and twist and lick but nothing’s happening. Its starting to hurt him, he’s gritting his teeth. This two handed job starts to hurt if his dick doesn’t spring up stiff right away, and now he’s looking at the ceiling and now at the wall, and its laying there like a jellyfish in my fists and he looks miserable. Now I’m thinking too much and I can’t help it. I let go of him and kneel there between his thighs looking down at his flag of defeat. Is this how it will always be, after tomorrow 10:00 AM sharp, North Memorial 3rd floor oncology, forever? Is this what defines us from now?
I look over at the bucket and I feel stupid. Just stupid and pathetic. I guess any idea seems stupid when it doesn’t work. I rest my head down on his lap, his nether hair brushing my chin and the tears start shaking me. His limp lubed up dick is just a few inches away from my lips and it might as well be on the moon. His hand is on my head, stroking me. It all just starts falling apart and I’m crying for myself and I can’t help it.
“I can’t do this! I hate this. I hate that this is happening.” Crying, my face, falling apart, losing everything that’s left to lose. I wanted so bad, so much, to be the good strong wife. I’m not. Maybe I never was.
He looks at the paper bucket. “There’s still time. Let’s try it again. Let’s go.”
“I’m done, I’m not doing it. You do it. Jerk off or something without me, you do it, I can’t. Oh God! Why does this shit always happen to us? What did we do wrong?”
“Fiona, we didn’t do anything.”
“It’s not fair.” I lower my head and put my lips over his shiny lubed up dick and try to tongue it back into life, but its not happening. He’s trying to be strong for me too, not to burden me with his feelings, but his limp little dick is telling me all about him. He’s as scared and unhappy as me. “We were so good together,” I say talking to his cock, giving it a little peck. “You were good to me. You don’t deserve this.”
“You make it sound like this over,” he says, and I can hear the anger starting to build in him. “Pull yourself together. You make it sound like it’s a done deal. Deserve’s got nothing to do with any of this. There’s plenty of shit out there for everybody, and we’re just getting our share. We’ll get through this. We’re going to be together for a long time. Prostate cancer’s nothing. You can do anything if you have faith in yourself and don’t give up.”
“Oh where did you hear that bullshit, in a fucking Disney movie?” I raise up on my elbows and look at him. “I’m not a little kid, Jim, but I’ll die without you.”
“Nobody’s going to die here,” he says, trying to pull me back down, but I feel myself fighting him, fighting his words, fighting his maddening calm.
“It’s just life, the way it is,” he says calmly, so fucking calmly I can’t stand his voice. “I’m getting old. DNA breaks down. Dr. Howard, my dick doc said that statistically men over forty –“
“Shut the fuck up!” I can’t make myself stop. “Stop explaining shit to me. You’re always explaining shit to me. Will you please, please, please, please stop explaining shit to me.” Tears are dripping off my chin onto his dick. Drip drip drip.
He moves his hands, cautiously. His hands touch my back and press my face into his chest and I breathe the scent, the sweat of him and he holds me while I shake against him. It’s all I want. It’s all I want forever. He presses me tight and his hands move over me. I bury my nose in his raw smelling armpit and breathe him in and if he lets go of me I’ll drift away and disappear.
“You’re trying too hard,” he whispers into my hair. “You love too much.”
I close my eyes and inhale him and dig my fingers into his back. I hold him in all my senses at once.
“You know,” he says, “there’re other ways.”
I lean away so I can look at him. “Like what?”
“Sometimes when this happens, you know. A woman can take on a lover, a young man. Just for physical relief. Just to make love. If you wanted to take a lover, to take care of that part of your life, I’d give you my blessing. I really would. As long as you still loved me, I wouldn’t mind. I want you to be happy, I want you to have what you need.”
My fist. My palm. I look at his face. Take aim. Slap him so hard his head spins sideways and his cheek turns red.
“Asshole,” I whisper. “How can you say that to me?”
“Fiona – “
“How can you even think that?” I had been a bad girl most of my life, and then a bold girl. Now I feel like a little girl. Like a lost, busted up, angry little girl. “Where does it stop? What if it were me, not you, me? What if I had cancer of the pussy and they cut off my pussy? Huh? What if I get breast cancer someday and they cut off both my boobs? What? ‘It’s okay, Jim, just go ahead and find yourself a nice girl you can bang as long as you still love me?”
“No, I’d never do that to you.”
“So why would I do that to you?”
“I’m just saying.”
His cheek is still red and I press my face against its hot swell. “God, I’m going crazy.”
“It’s okay,” he whispers.
“I’m sick,” I whisper back. “I’m sick with love. I didn’t know anything could hurt this bad.”
He presses me back down against his chest and I suddenly feel it down there, poking against my belly, warm and hard. Little Jim is waking up. Where did that come from? There’s so much about him I still don’t know.
I lay back, spread myself out so wide on our queen size bed that I have one foot sticking out over each edge of the mattress holding out the bucket to him. I’m ready to surrender to whatever happens. He sees me, my openness. He takes the bucket from my hand and tosses it in a corner. He rolls over onto me, and I revel in the fleshy weight of him, wallow up against him tight, tight. I feel him going in, slick and true.
“It's not about happy ever after,” he says and caresses my face with his rough hands. “It's just about ever after.”
And we begin again.