It started with a journey. A drive ‘cross country. A man living freely. A man afraid of losing his freedom. The man ended up alone at a hotel in some run-down, forgotten piece of Hell, stench of the nearby slaughterhouse, somehow, oddly welcoming. This is the precursor. It really started with me getting something to eat.
The waitress was a frumpy, tired looking thing with large, droopy breasts. Her hair was the color of a dried, sun-bleached turd, and her chubby face was marked with craters and acne. She smiled and I could see that she was missing two teeth near the front on either side. The tag over her fat breast said her name was Donna. I ordered a cheeseburger with a side of salad. Donna jotted it down, asked me what to drink. Vodka and Coke, and she was off, large thighs swishing back and forth. She glanced back at me and smiled.
I ordered another drink when she brought me the first one. When she brought the second, I’d finished the first and ordered a third. She got into the groove of things quick enough. Not as dumb as I’d given her credit for.
She brought me a hamburger—no cheese—and fries with my fifth drink, asked if I wanted gravy with the fries.
“No, thanks. This’ll be fine.”
I ate the food, and Donna handed me the check, telling me that she was off in an hour. She stepped backward from the table as she said it, moving slow, giving me that smile of hers, showing the spaces in her teeth. I gave her not-so-subtle proposition some thought, figuring, eventually, that she was a lonely hag in a lonely town who was only looking for some company. Hell, I even figured I’d be doing her a favor. We all need companionship, even for but an hour.
I decided, then. What the hell, not like I’m a prize, myself.
I put my money down and jotted my room number on the back of the slip of paper that charged me an extra dollar for gravy, went back to my room and waited. I started pacing. After that, I sat on the edge of the bed. The hour passed slowly. I stared at the wall in front of me, looked up at the ceiling, and down at the floor. I saw my feet. There was a hole in my sock. I took it off, and never one to make a brazen fashion statement, I removed the sock from my other foot. How long since last I was with a woman? A year? Shit. That long? Longer? My toenails needed to be clipped, I saw. I stood to go grab my clippers from my bag and felt a pinch in my belly. I sat back down. There was pressure, deep in my guts. Something was brewing. Maybe the burger hadn’t been cooked properly.
There was a knock at the door: Thum, thum! My stomach groaned when I got up to open it. Donna came in and moved to the bed. She smelled like grease and sweat; a walking deep-fryer. She turned to me after looking over the narrow mattress; the covers pulled up and tucked in at the sides.
“Wanna watch some TV first?”
I said, “No.”
I moved toward her. She stepped back until her meaty thighs collided with the edge of the bed. She was glancing around like she was looking for a convenient means of escape. Had I somehow misinterpreted the situation?
“Huh?” she said. “Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. Fine. Sure.” She smiled and I wished she hadn’t.
She was in my arms, then. I hesitated only for an instant, trying not to think about that ghastly smile. I kissed her. Her tongue immediately forced itself between my lips and down my throat. She tasted like ... what was it? Calamari? Shrimp? Something fishy. I wasn’t prepared for her intruding tongue to be so vigorous. I gagged, felt my belly twist inside. She didn’t seem to notice.
We began removing our clothes while still locked in the kiss. Her slimy, fishy tongue rolled around inside my mouth and I swear I felt scales. I wanted to get this over with so I pushed her back on the bed and climbed on, pulling down on my boxer shorts.
I hesitated for the second time. “Don’t suppose you have a condom handy?”
She said, “S’okay, sweetie. I’m on the pill.”
My stomach groaned. It was feeling all loose and squishy inside. Unpleasant. My erection was pathetic. Hardly an erection at all. I rubbed it on her, up and down, managed to gain some firmness, and pushed into her. There was no resistance. I practically fell inside.
She moaned as I began a steady back and forth. My hands roamed over her fleshy torso, finding the big, heavy satchels hanging from her wide chest, squeezing them, thumbing the puffy nipples. My guts seized up and my asshole clenched, feeling hot around the rim, that cool-burn feel. I tried to ignore it, tried to think of her big, floppy tits. I sucked one of them into my mouth and suckled the nipple. My stomach kept up with its chorus, sounding like a dying animal too tired to put up much of a fuss. Possibly a seal or an otter, something cute like that. I’ve never heard the sounds either of those animals makes in death, but I imagine they would both make the same noise as my indigestion.
I quickened the pace, pumping in and out, trying to work myself to completion. The only build-up was in my bowels. The pressure forced its way out.
“Oh,” she said.
I kept going, slamming myself in and out of her. Fuck rhythm. This was chaos. I was feeling short of breath but I kept at her. My guts rumbled and a silent poof of gas leaked out of my clenched butt. I felt my erection withering inside of her. She felt it too. Then both of our noses crinkled at an acrid, wafting odor.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, bashfully. As though I could make it up to her, I sped up the pace until I felt like dying. My dick didn’t regain any of its prior firmness, but there was enough that she started moaning again and digging her stumpy fingernails into my shoulders. Come on, come on, come on, I tried willing myself. No good. The pressure in my belly weighed heavily on my loins. I was nowhere close to climax. Something was churning within, expanding, pushing. Oh God ...
“Are you ... uh ... okay?” She had gotten this look on her face like my head had just swelled up to four or five times its normal size.
I didn’t know this woman. I owed her nothing. This was her idea, not mine. Who gives a shit what she thinks? I thought to myself. But I felt, despite my belligerent claims, that it was necessary to show her my appreciation. I did feel like I owed her something. But an orgasm didn’t seem likely. What a good compliment that would have been. It would have shown her that, yes, she was attractive enough to get an old fart like me off.
Suddenly, there was a stirring. I felt it tingling beneath my scrotum. Well, well. It seemed I’d be finishing up, after all, and not a moment—
The urge to shit grew stronger. It swallowed up that momentary sensation in my balls. My innards went into turmoil. A fart whistled from my ass like a dying whale bemoaning its final song. Donna grunted beneath me, her face scrunched. She’d gone dry. My hurried rhythm was chafing us both.
“Uh, ow. You, ah, ow, sure you’re okay? ... Ouch!”
“Almost there.” For a minute, it almost felt like the charade was coming to an end. I thrust and pumped, quick, short charges.
And then disaster.
My stomach made a long gurgling sound, liquidly, bubbly. A new sensation sat its fat ass down on my bladder. My dick was aching. All I wanted was to salvage whatever decency I could. Donna was gnashing her teeth as I plowed through her defenses. My nuts felt like watermelons. They slapped against her with every furtive attempt I made, making me wince. She couldn’t take it anymore and started shouting, whining.
“Ow, ow, ow, OW! Ow, ow ...” My labored grunts and the squeaky bedsprings added to the symphony.
I made the mistake, then, of relaxing my sphincter for but an instant as I started to unsheathe myself from her sandpapery insides. There was a hot/cold spasm, followed by a more insistent burn around my anus, and everything inside turned to liquid heat and spilled out of me. A sickly, rancid juice that felt like acid poured down the insides of my thighs and over my scrotum, running along the underside of my weakened shaft to her scathing crevasse, providing a hot, muddied lubrication. It flowed freely and consistently with my slowing thrusts, spraying the mattress between our legs in spastic toots and fizzled farts.
The stench, too, was immediate.
My body went completely rigid and I could only hover over top of her while she looked up at me with complete and utter horror reshaping her face. There was no way to stop it. It had to run its course, and neither of us knew enough about what to do to do anything at all, so we stayed how we were until it was over.
“Oh,” Donna said when the storm drizzled to an end. “My God.”
She lay beneath me with her legs open around my hips; a frightened puppy or a shell-shocked child.
My flaccid slug fell out of her, which marked her release. She wiggled up the bed on her back, being careful not to disturb the pond beneath. Being very careful. What could I say to make this easier for her? Nothing came to mind so I just hovered over my mess.
Donna grabbed up her clothes and rushed out of the room before she even finished dressing. Five minutes passed before I crawled out of the slop, moving with a stealth-like grace, trying to avoid any more contact with my own sludge.
In the shower, I scrubbed my skin until it was red, washed my hair. I stood beneath the hot spray for about twenty minutes, staring down at my limp penis. I gently slapped at it, not feeling aroused but just bored. And, maybe, a little mad. Mad at my dick. When it failed to get hard, I turned off the water and stepped out of the tub. I wiped the steam from the mirror over the sink and stared at myself, looking myself over, seeing a man a few years shy of fifty who was losing his hair and growing more wrinkles by the day. I saw a man who needed a shave. I saw a man with a thin vertical line of upraised scar-tissue in the center of his chest, surrounded by sporadic tufts of chest hair, and the makings of a doughnut above his hips. I saw a man who hasn’t done anything worthwhile or important in his entire life. I saw a man I hate.
I toweled off and pulled the sheets from the bed, opened the window and dumped them out. I did what I could with the mattress, but all I had were paper towels and Kleenex. I flipped the mattress, and then I had another shower.
I toweled off again and flopped down naked on the flipped mattress, wondering for a time if I could still smell shit. To get my mind off of the disgrace, I turned on the TV and flipped through channels for about an hour. Tiring of that, I looked around the room for something else to do. A crossword puzzle or a deck of cards. Anything to keep my mind from straying back to the events of the evening. I opened the drawer on the bedside table. The complementary Gideon’s Bible was the first thing in sight. I grabbed it and flipped open to a random page, closed my eyes and pressed my finger against the text. I looked to see where my finger pointed and I read the verse it was closest to:
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER 2:13
... suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you ...
Suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. I’d never done any wrong. Not on purpose, anyway. Not to no one who didn’t deserve it. I supposed then, and I still do, that I had done wrong unto myself, but I probably deserved it. Maybe this was why I was suffering. But don’t you agree that without suffering, life would not be as interesting? It’s entertainment value. Why censor it like some horror film? Why not embrace it? All of it. The pain, the guilt, the remorse. Should I tip-toe around these awkward moments? Should I disregard the violence I’ve left behind, and that which I have yet to lay out in words?
No. I think not.
Stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you. Was I a stain? A blemish on society? Is that why I attracted these small town women with their feelings of emptiness and desperation? Always willing to make themselves available to the first strange man who arrives in their little piece of the shit? Is that why people look at me funny? Nervous looks, like they don’t know that I’m just like them. Normal.
I thought about this for a while and would like to have given it more thought, but exhaustion always takes precedence, doesn’t it?