He stood in front of the revolving door, hesitating, feeling something he had not felt in years. He felt genuinely youthful, but not in a good way.
My hair is silver, he t hinks. That’s the name of the dating site after all, Silver Foxes. I got the silver part. I wonder if she’ll think I got the fox part.
Shit – I forgot her name! Again! That does not feel youthful. That feels like an old fart.
He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out the chip of paper –“Amanda”. Amanda. Amanda. Amanda. I look like my picture, can’t say I don’t. Can’t say I’m not honest. At my age, may as well be honest.
The face in the glass of the hotel’s revolving door was not honest. Reflections lie to you. The mind adjusts, shines, improves, shows you what you want to believe. In the glass he looked great. Interesting, nominally intelligent. A worthy man to know. But there was always the cell phone camera, that Dorian Gray truth teller. If he took a selfie the wrinkles, the doubt in the eye, it would all be there. He would see what oh, Amanda, Amanda, Amanda would see. Would she like what she saw? Did it matter since this was a blind date anyway? All bets were off.
Fuck it. Just fuck it. Let’s go do this.
He pushed the door open and went in. Regarding his breath, he took a pack of strong minty gum and popped one in his mouth. At least I still have my teeth, he thought. Most of them.
The hotel lobby had a thick red carpet with signs leading to “Antonies Italian Bistro” on the right. And the bar on the left. Would she be a bar girl or a bistro girl? A bar girl would be more direct, wouldn’t she? There was no one in the bar except a few young businessmen consulting their phones at the bar and a young couple at an empty table. The bar spoke of intimacy, the bistro pf activity. He turned away and went into the bistro, passing the salad bar, people at the tables nibbling at the dinner specials or the buffet.
She’s not here. There’s not even any old ladies at all. I’ve been stood up.
He felt disappointment, a sense of insult, which lasted maybe an entire three seconds. Then a sigh of relief. Well, he was off the hook. He had shown up at his place of duty like a proper man, if the woman wasn’t there, he couldn’t help that.
She’s a southern girl, he thought. Old school southern girls are fashionably late. They make you anticipate, doubt yourself, delight in knocking you back on your heels a little bit to see if they can shake you. Maybe that’s all. Yeah, that’s it.
He held up his hands, glanced at his watch. Maybe, maybe she’s just as scared of you as you are of her. Maybe? Maybe she has doubts about herself? Called it off? Without notice? He took out his cell phone checked out the black screen for any sign of a text message arriving. None. Shit. You’re over thinking this shit, old man. Whatever. Hell with her. I’ll be fine. I’ll go get a beer at the bar and if I don’t see her, well, fuck off.
The dinner buffet was a good twenty five bucks. If she didn’t show, he’d grab a burger and go back to swiping on Silver Foxes again. Next time, forget about a dame with brains and personality, he thought. They’re too complicated for me, I guess. Just go for big tits old man. It’s all a buffet anyway.
He turned and almost fell into into her chest. She had been standing behind him.
She grinned. “Gotcha,” she said. “Are you Edgar?”
“Hey there.” She held out her hand.
For a wild moment he wanted to lift it to his lips and kiss the back of it. Like Rhett Butler. Would that be too much? Or not enough? Too timid? Too squishy? Was that too much? What was she asking, what did she want from him? What?
Goddamn! I haven’t dated for years! I forgot how tangled this stuff gets in your head.
He took her fingers with their fresh cherry red fingernails and chastely shook her hand.
“Do they have sweet tea at the bar, do you think?” She let her fingers linger in his hand.
A real southern girl, he thought. And careful. Sober, non-committal sweet tea, not alcohol. She won’t be rushed. Or hustled into bed. She’s already thinking about a handshake kiss off and going home. She’s instantly bored with me. I wasn’t what she was hoping for. I shouldn’t have shaken her hand, should have really kissed it, just gone for the home run, of course that’s what she likes. She’s a red head. I was right the first time. I’m screwed already, I blew it in the first minute. It’s over. Well, chalk it up to practice, a dry run. But how would I even know what she wants? They say a woman decides right away if she’s going to have sex. Maybe she’s sized me up already, my aura, my vibration and I’m just not that guy. Nothing’s going to happen here, it’s all over. I’ve got nothing to lose here. Should I even buy her dinner or let it go?
She was about two inches shorter than him, and he was a short man. Her face was clear and smooth, her mop of red curls carefully casual. Her lipstick bright and her jewelry elegant. Her eyes cautious and accessing.
Oh yeah, he thought. Complicated, this one. I’ll be under the bus in ten minutes. I’m a big boy, I can take it. Nothing to lose here anyway.
They went to the bar and she chose the table, off in the corner where they could talk quietly. He came back with a sweet tea and a Sam Adams for himself.
“So Amanda, what do you think?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Trump. The meaning of life. Anything.”
“I think my son doesn’t call me often enough. I’m not sure how I feel about dating. I’m just a little tired of being alone. I want to get out. Have you been on Silver Foxes long?”
“No, you’re my first one. Am I your first?”
“No,” she said. She sipped her tea.
“Is this our first date?”
“No,” she said. “We’re just introducing.”
“How am I doing?”
“You’re doing okay so far.”
“Good,” he said. Okay. He sipped his beer. “What should we do on our first date? Dinner? Is there a movie you like?”
“Dinner,” she said. “When you have dinner you get to know someone. Nobody talks during movies. We should talk. There should be talking on a first date.”
“I agree,” he said. His eyes ran over her bright copper hair. Her neck. The up swell of her breasts under her white cashmere sweater. He imagined his hands on that sweater. His lips on the small of her neck. She knows I’m checking her out. Of course she knows. This woman knows men.
“You’re quiet all of a sudden,” she said. “Already thinking of the second date? Penny for your thoughts?”
Oh fuck it. I’m just going to go for it. He crossed his knees and leaned in. Nothing to lose. Here goes nothing.
“The second date.” He cleared his throat, took a long pull of Sam Adams. “All righty then, second date. On the second date we should have sex. We’ll make a date for the sole intention of human copulation. Not dinner or a movie, except as foreplay, to extend the anticipation. We will have sex to reinvent ourselves, to ourselves. The need for my penis to rise and stiffen on cue at the sight of your breasts, to see and be seen, for both to know we still have the magic to offer, to need beyond words to see that penis yet rise to your magic, to feel your spell go out and be cast and take hold, hard hold, and be answered by a man’s desire made visible.
“My place has a good bed. We can go there. I’ll clean the room and light scented candles. Arrange some throw pillows, one in particular, artfully chosen to fit under your ass when we commence. Or maybe you prefer the familiarity of your own bed, so that when I’ve zipped up and gone home, you may have the wet spot on the sheet to contemplate my audition, the scent of me on the pillow and sheets. Which may be the scent of your triumph over me, of your surrender, or perhaps of your humiliation, or more likely mine? Or a strange bed, in a room in a hotel – I’ll gladly pay – someplace where I can surprise you with flowers and a trail of rose petals pointing the way to strange flesh in a strange bed. A big public bed, which has hosted newlyweds and adulterers both, where someone has lost their virginity and someone else has lost their hope, much conquest and failure of conquest, thrill and dissolution of passion. And most of all when we stand at the foot of that bed, like Adam and Eve, we will know why we are there and what is coming.
“Or maybe you’ll say, wherever we have our second date, ‘I must take a shower first,’ and I’ll stare at the bathroom door and hear the water coming down behind it and a voice in my head will say ‘She is naked in there. At this very instant, on the other side of that door, a woman’s bare feet are standing in the shower tub, soap and water are running like a mountain stream over the hair between her thighs, the valley where your own thighs will soon be lying. Go to her, old man. Go to her. Show your manly possession of her. Be the caveman she craves. Pull the curtain aside and see her nude, get past it, show your phallus, take her, soap her, wash her and know the landscape, the terrain of her body and make a plan as the water runs down between her breasts. Let her know she is beautiful as she is.
“Or is it better to let you emerge according to the plans you have drawn while you dry off alone? Study the constellations in the ceiling, see what’s on the TV news, see what Trump has done now, check my email, while behind the door you powder yourself, spray some perfume, a little extra pointing the way to the places you hope to be kissed and licked. Arranging your hair through the steamed mirror. Some bright cherry lipstick that will leave red rings around my dick. A moment to lose confidence when you see your own imperfections and lumps. Knowing you’re not all that perfect either. First fearing, then defiantly spitting out the possibility of my judgement of your body. Of what time and child birth have done to you. Daring my eyebrows to frown – ‘I fucking dare you not to want me!’
“And of course, I’ll be thinking the same about myself.
“And I’ll wait for you by the bed. And when you come out of the bathroom, I’ll go up to you, meet you half way across the floor, stop. Wait for you to come the rest of the way to me. Like a tawny animal consenting to be tamed. And if you cross to me, I’ll know this dance is mine.
“I’ll undress, if there is disappointment in your eyes, I’ll refuse to see it. I’ll take you into my arms and embrace you and gently hug you to me, placing my hand on the back of your neck as a woman once taught me to do. If I press you just right, my penis will rise to your magic and stiffen and I will hold you firmly and gently until I’m sure you see my desire, the boner never lies, and the sight will erase your doubts and fill you with confidence in the power of your seduction. You’ll drop your robe and reveal your bounty to me.
“I’ll bid you lie on the bed, on your belly, not your back. Maybe for a moment you might be afraid I’ll suddenly put it in your ass, but instead you’ll feel my hands on your shoulders, light and authoritative, as I visualize my male energy flowing to your skin. Massage your shoulders. Massage your neck. Slowly, with infinite patience seduce you with my hands, until you’re half asleep, until your fears and insecurities have fallen silent, until your spirit is open and your body too, more and more. Then massage your back, in firm and loving swirls, so that each inch of your skin is anticipating my touch, waiting to be possessed. And down to the small of your back. Because I know your secret.
“The small of a woman’s back is always a little tired. If you have entered the room in high heels your back will certainly be tired. If your breasts turn out to be large, I know your back will be tired. And that is how I will get you. It’s there – not your vagina – not in your kisses which have barely begun – but there in the small of your back that I will seduce you and require your surrender. There I will begin my loving conquest, there in the small of your back, above the twin swells of your meaty and wonderful ass. I will kiss and worship your ass as my hands massage the small of your back and the tension and sore places which I will heal you of. I will serve you like a slave. I will conquer you with my loving care of you. I will have you. Not with promises. Not by trying to impress you with my job or my career success, I have none to offer anyway, but with my loving care of the small of your back, where time and age have been harsh on you, and where I will be kind to you. And then the back of your thighs, then your calves, and then one more conquest, which will make you helpless to resist the final caresses of my tongue.
“First the small of your back, which will open you to me. Then your feet, each foot, slowly. Each toe. And when you see how I love and accept this most humble and unlovable part of you, loving who you are just as you are, this part of you which daily touches the earth, when I spread your toes open and take each toe between my lips and demonstrate what my tongue can do between your thighs, you will know me. You will know that you have been waiting for me to appear. You will know what I can offer you, how far I will go for you, that there is nothing you can ask of me that I would not do for you, to serve your pleasure, that there is no part of you which is not beautiful to me, as inch by inch I take away all the pain and rejection of ages away from you. I won't stop at being your man - I will be your monkey.
“I will overpower you. Make no mistake. I will blot out the memory of any man who has had you before me. With my hands I will drive from you the demons of doubt and rejection and fear with my smoothing, moving, caressing, never ending hands and my lust for you. As you are. Anyone might fill you with pleasure. I am that man who will take away your pain.
“And if you let yourself fall in love with me, my body will take away even the memory of your pain. The bounty of your madness. The exposure and revelation of your secret chaos. Give them to me. I’ll take all you’ve got. I want all of it. It is your nakedness I desire most of all. Beginning, with the nakedness of your skin exposed, but no, not ending there. Much more, I want the desperate nakedness in your eyes. I want the naked intimacy of your breath gasping heat against my cheek. The nakedness of your teeth gripping my ear and naked sting of your nails at my moving back. I want the nakedness of your heart exposed in the raw recklessness of your orgasm. When I massage my way down, finally to your woman’s soul, I want your tears and sighs against my chest; your life time of woman’s wounds unpacked and shouted at the ceiling as I slip deep into the raw of you. I will relieve you of them with my body, I will give you release. I will be inside you and you will want to hold me inside of you and we will want to stay that way forever. “
The old woman blinked and sipped her coffee. “Oh. Really?”
“Yes.” He nodded. “Yes, really.”
“Whoa. Well. You’re a bit full of yourself. You think?”
“You don't think I can deliver that?”
“Personally, I’d like to go dancing first.”
She put her hand on top of his. “I’m not saying no. And you think you’re all that, stud?”
“Well, I just thought, I’m sorry if I - “
“You're going to need a pack of rubbers and some lube. I insist. And Haagen Daz. I always crave Haagen Daz after I come. Is that weird? Rum Raisin. ”
“Should I . . . Should I get the Haagen-Daz, now? And also the rest?”
“Let’s go some place where there’s dancing. Haagen-Daz after. Maybe. Depending how you dance.” She lifted his hand and put his thumb in her mouth, just up and did it. Her hot wet mouth, her soft, slippery, commanding tongue. At the next table, a young man lifted his cell phone and took a picture. “You know, I think maybe I’ll show you a thing or two, old gentleman. See if you can keep up.”
“Yes, ma’am. “