Here's our opening....
She deliberately, consciously, let her toes uncurl. She kept her eyes shut.
Now....who was this? The mumbled Spanish, the way he held on to her left breast like a doorknob, let her know this was Ramon. Good. She really wasn't feeling very talkative. Their relationship had moved to a very comfy place of non-verbal interaction. He looked up with the same puppy dog eyes which asked for some sign of sexual approval. Her downward unsmiling stare simply stated, "Off." As he withdrew and stood up chastened, her tilted head, slightly crinkled pixie-grin, and widely spread thighs denoted, "Thank You." This was as much as he would get, but he was pleased. Easily pleased. This was one of the reasons Wendy liked Ramon and called him far more often than any other man. He was about as subtle as a freight train, but he had the energy of one as well. About the moment of her own exhaustion, he was more than ready to keep going. It was at this point that she had to lose just enough control to make things... interesting.
As Ramon bounded off to the shower, Wendy pulled herself up and sat staring at the wet spot. Solitary post coital technical analysis had been a very good snuggling partner for Wendy her whole sexual life, but this time something wasn't right. It's not that Ramon had been perfect -- good god, no! -- but, really, what did she expect from someone so inexperienced in, well, everything? "Not Much," she caught herself saying aloud. Still, her sadness lingered in the room like the smell of the sheets. For a tiny second she pressed this analogy too far and hoped that a bit of fresh air (maybe a new man, someone much more skilled...) would clear things up. But she knew deep down, this wasn't true. Time was against her, and the "Married, filing jointly" option was just an admission of defeat, of capitulation, of total surrender. She knew herself so well that this would never even vaguely be a possibility.
Man, this chick was just fucking unbelievable! Well, at least unbelievable at fucking! Ramon laughed at his own joke in the shower, now regretting using her shampoo. Its delicate floral scent, which he really loved last night, would cause no end of teasing from his older brother Cristobal, and intense probing questions from his mother who would warn him for the 100th time to stay off of Bleecker Street. Still, he knew why she hung around with him; he knew that he wasn't like his brother and his cruel friends; he knew that she could see his inner gentleness, his love of art and flowers. All he needed was a chance, a bit more exposure to class and he knew that his love for her would grow, and like, her love for him as well. That's why he was grateful she got him the job delivering sandwiches to the Stock Exchange. Man, what a step up from that damn busboy job!
They fucked that first -- no wait, he caught himself, we made love that first night -- and women don't do that without... without...love? He was afraid to say it, but he knew it was true, because, man that's just how chicks are. Everything for them was about love and that's why he smugly knew he was better than nearly every man he'd ever met. He loved women; and he was happy that he found one that could see that, and that, with time, and care, she would love him too. Ramon recited these little speechments in the quiet of his room many times, but this was the first time he did it at her place, talking to the wash cloth, gesturing and pointing in the steam. The blood rushing to his groin indicated that he was gearing himself up for another round.
What was wrong? This ate at Wendy to the point that she was disturbed by her own obsessiveness. This itself was disturbing; she had never worried about her obsessiveness before. All her life she had saved up for this series of moments and now that they had come she just couldn't bring herself to believe it. How different life would have been, if six weeks ago, she had ordered the Woo Dip Har as she normally did, instead of what she had ordered.
Wendy didn't save every fortune cookie message, but each one she did save had to be tacked onto a little framed cork board in a particular order forming a kind of PostModern Book of Days, with the occasional touch of duck sauce or sweet-and-sour lending an organic verisimilitude to this life's work. These cork boards - now numbering 7 - would constantly be shuffled around the bedroom walls as if some kind of fractured English feng shui would produce inner peace, but dammit, it just wasn't working. Why she got the Egg Foo Young that night she honestly couldn't say; maybe the longing for a childhood comfort food? She ate it, but didn't really bond with it enough to check out the fortune. Just as she thought this, she dropped the cookie into the gravy making a sploosh of coagulated grease on the table, her clothes, her face. A burst of anger made her tear open the cookie and melodramatically read its contents: "Awareness of others will lead to an awareness of self." So many of her recent thoughts and problems resolved themselves so cleanly when she read it each word sounded like a bank vault tumbler clicking open.
She had been trolling her usual information nets; mailroom clerks, CEO's, financial consultants, the tired huddled masses of cubicle drones, the survivors of corporate downsizing, their employee numbers practically tattooed on their arms. Wendy knew what every good bartender knew; people ache to unburden themselves on you. If you seemed to be a light, a warm place, a comforter during a rainstorm, the amount of information they were eager to tell you was amazing. It was as if a small betrayal of confidence compensated for the removal of any form of life outside of work. Wendy had long ago honed her trust-building techniques -- quiche and latte for the ladies, whiskey and fellatio for the menfolk -- but if people honestly didn't know the truth they couldn't impart it in the leather and mahogany confessionals of Park Avenue. Gossip was the die that cut the truth into puzzle pieces, and intelligence is seeing the patterns of those pieces where others did not. Wendy hyper-concentrated on this baroque jumble of kooky glances, statistics, ennui, and thinly suppressed postalrage until she couldn't concentrate on anything else. Certainly she knew what to do when she had been in this position before; she needed to get laid. She had stopped for tortilla soup at a place near Washington Square. It was small, cramped, disgustingly dirty -- but it had the cutest wait staff. It was the way Ramon tried to conceal his obvious staring that she found attractive. He was easier to pick up than the check. By mid-afternoon of the next day, she had forgotten all about him. But then, 3 days later, he called! He whined about her not calling him the next day, he whined about her leaving while he was still asleep -- he really,really,really wanted to see her again, maybe get a sno-cone or a hot dog and walk through the park feeding the pigeons off the hot dog bun while he told her how important Freida Kahlo was to him as not just an artist, but a person. She bit her lip, each tear of laughter finding its way into the speaking part of the phone. She couldn't help but agree to the next date -- and the next. The reason it was great was that when she decided it was over there would be no reasons; one day she would not answer his calls anymore and that would be that.