a love song
by cimorene

I haven't been able to write since I walked away, but I've been doing it anyway, furiously. Furiously like a rainstorm. I'm angry without direction. I feel hot all the time, but constantly losing myself to the chill around. I'm suspended inside myself. I'm trapped. There are so many little bits of me still wrapped up in you that I trip over you every day. None of this is real.

On the good side I've never been able to sing this well before. Singing, screaming... .

My God, baby doll, I hate you.

Sometimes lately when I'm alone in the house with Fucker, the swimming pool whispers to me. If I walk by the patio doors it peeps up at me from under the edges of the cover when I look out the corner of my eye. When I go over there and check it, the cover is fastened down all around. It's just a mirage, the sunlight hitting the plastic or something, but it talks to me.

Fucker follows me everywhere silently, just my heels and his toenails on the floor. But sometimes when I stay still and listen to it he whimpers at me. And he barks at every little sound. He knows that something is wrong.

I can hear it from in the kitchen telling me stories. You were warm in the sun and you were lying by the edge of me in a pool chair, it says. I was warm, and it was all sunshiny. You were laughing so hard you got clumsy and knocked over a whole bottle of rum and it spilled on the tiles. Then you had a swim in the rum. You jumped in the pool and you let Christina wrestle you down and pull off your bikini top. You let her keep hers, just pushed your hands inside it and squeezed her breasts. You meant to be rough, but you found out when you started--you didn't want it that way….

She pinched your nipples with her fingernails and made fun of your flat chest. She said, "You have a mannish chest," but she didn't mean it. She was fascinated. You'd never noticed it before, but you saw it that day, didn't you, Alecia, the way she stared at you?

Oh God, I did. But you never could look away, could you? Even now that you hate me. Even before when I was so afraid of you, Chris.

I never talk to myself anymore, only to you. I walk into my bedroom at five a.m. and even though you've never even sat on this damn bed I don't want to sleep in it. I kick the bed with spike heels on, grab the blankets and jerk them off on the floor, pummel the mattress with my fists and I feel like tearing the pillows apart with my teeth.

Fucker thinks it's a game and jumps on the bed, standing on the blanket so I can't pull it off, yipping his loudest and staring at me with happy eyes, a little bit wild. I've never torn a pillow apart with my teeth and I wonder if he could do it. I wonder if feathers would go floating all around the room. I'll sleep on the floor today--instead of the sofa or the guest bedroom. As soon as I stand still again he sits down right on my feet, the little bastard. Poor dog; he thinks he's helping.

I don't think I can blame you for this--but I'm pissed at you anyway. You'd better be glad I can't reach you now because I haven't bit my fingernails for weeks, they're long and they're really mine. I could draw blood. And you know I would. You'd just better be glad you're not here or I'm not there.

Of course I know you are glad, even though you wouldn't be scared of my fucking fingernails.

And you're so far from reality you'd probably think I owe you an apology just for seeing your face when I smash tin cans and beetles. You're wrapped up in your little world, your custom clothes and your sycophants and your whores and your fake smiles--sometimes I'm surprised you don't have those brainless beef-guys carry you down the street on their shoulders, dress them in matching outfits.

Don't worry, baby doll, that's not the only time I see your face. I can't fucking get away.

Did you know that the first time you brought her here she was as nervous as you were, the swimming pool croons through the window and I stop in my tracks in the kitchen. I just stand there staring out the window at it and I get lost thinking about it.

It's true, Chris, you were. I didn't really know it then. Somehow I saw it without understanding. You were standing right there, hugging your arms tight around your stomach--which was bare in one of those ridiculous little shirts you wear, pink and fluffy as if the whole thing was made out of some kind of fur, cut off under your tits. That's where your arms were, pressing them together and up into even more cleavage than your push-up bra made.

I was looking at you and thinking how goddamn pretty you are, Miss White America. You tried to make yourself ugly with those fake tans, wearing that ass-long hair teased into those Bride of Frankenstein dos. You just couldn't stand to be as normal as you thought that tiny waist, those perky little tits, the blond hair and blue eyes made you, baby doll. It was When My Daddy Was In Argentina and I'm Learning Spanish this and Where's The Vodka and Fuck That Shit that. But it never worked, did it?

You're so goddamned insecure. Always the defensive. Always, What do you need? and not What's up? You were never ordinary from the beginning. I think you still don't know it.

She never stopped being scared, not even when she let you fuck her, the swimming pool says. What it doesn't say is how you weren't just scared, because being scared makes you angry. You can't sit still when you get an idea. You don't have control of yourself that way so you drink yourself to sleep and you kill yourself slowly with all that fronting, trying to protect you from everything but yourself. You're pathetic.

Alecia, the swimming pool says sadly. It sounds like my grandma. Alecia, Alecia, Alecia, you know you were never careful enough with her.

But fuck that shit, I'm telling you right now--because I refuse to talk to my goddamned swimming pool--that I was as careful as I could be and I was just a silly little girl, I didn't even know what careful was, I didn't know what I was doing wrong and I didn't know how sick-twisted you were and I went and fell for you. I let you pick me up in your pretty little hands and play with me and break me. I wish I coulda stopped it, I do, baby doll.

I catch myself losing the anger. This happens sometimes. I lose my way. I don't know up from down. All I can think about is your face all the times you thought I wasn't looking. The way you laughed. The ugly fury that twisted you up when we fought like wildcats that last time in the studio and Kim practically had to carry you away in a body-bag, yeah? I don't know if I want to laugh at that or hate it.

So you'd just walked into my house the first time and you were wearing this stupid pink fluff shirt and red jeans and your hair was blonde and everywhere. You said you felt like a cosmopolitan because you'd never had one before and neither of us could remember how to make it. I poured brandy without looking in the glass, just stared at you and the shadow in the neck of your shirt where your breasts pushed up, soft and ripe, and met your eyes and looked down your little waist and the creases where the crimson denim hugged your thighs. And when I looked back up I could see your nipples through your shirt and bra, like hard little beads. But when I gave you the brandy you stared straight in my eyes and smiled, slow and sure, and you knew exactly what you were doing.

I thought I could give you the grand tour, and then maybe corner you behind the couch. But you put the brandy down and said--

The swimming pool whispers breathily, in just fuckin' exactly your confident gorgeous voice, "Let's do it." I tried to step right up in your face--but I had to look down at you and somewhere I stopped breathing and even though you were in control by then, you made me kiss you. You leaned on the counter and spread your thighs apart until that button strained, the jeans stretched taut over your crotch.

When I straddled one leg and pressed up against you you bent your back, elbows on the counter, and looked up at me like a mischievous little kid with way too much eyeliner and, holy fuck, rubbed against my thigh and purred, "Ah, yeah. Mmmm." I put my hand between your legs and watched you buck and push up against me. I was pressing the center seam into you with my thumb, moving it in slow little circles and you were spreading your legs for me, grinding down on my hand, almost silent except every now and then these little gasps, but I could feel how tense you were--your thighs were rock-hard.

It was, my God, the hottest thing I'd ever seen but I was such a sad little fuck I couldn't get past the fact that you were you and I was me, trying so damn hard to be cool, just to impress you, while I had you going to putty in my hands. And I was creaming my panties for you, hot and opening like a flower and I could feel every pulse of blood swelling my lips down there. I tried to rub myself on your thigh, I think, but I couldn't get anything from that.

"I'm not wearing anything under here," you told me all smoky after you came, and I undid your pants. They were so goddamn tight I couldn't even get my whole hand inside, but they were so low your pubes'd have been hanging all over if you'd had any. I could feel your pulse. You don't know what that did to me.

I was staring down at your face, red cheeks and big eyes, working my hand inside your pants, scraping my knuckles on the two-millimeter zipper, until I could crook my finger and get into your cunt. It was soft and loose. Two fingers went easy and I could feel you tighten slick around my fingers. I must've made a hella lot of noise shoving you back against the counter all at once, clamping my legs around your leg. You laughed and made a fist in my hair, and lifted your thigh to rub against me while I almost broke my wrist twisting to shove my fingers roughly inside you.

You scratched me with your fake nails and left red lines down my back like tire tracks, and grabbed my ass. I shivered so hard my throat hurt and my scalp twitched, and when I curled my hips again I finally came in my pants. And you came again and went "A--aaaah--" like you couldn't remember how to talk. Which for a while you couldn't. There we were, in the kitchen, still dressed. My legs were weak and burning. You looked like some kind of sex goddess.

But we almost didn't know each other then, baby doll. One pitiful attempt at girl talk. A coupla phone calls, a little necking in the back room of a club--and bam. I bet that's how you always act, with anything you want. You reach out and it's yours.

The swimming pool insists, She was scared. She went in the living room like nervous pacing, not to get you on the couch. Alecia, she didn't know what she was going to do when she walked in the kitchen--she made up her mind then, when you got up in her face, because she can't turn down a challenge and you were staring at her. You weren't the only one trying to impress. You were both like little kids.

God, it makes me sick to think that. And she wasn't. She was jaded long before I met her. She thought I was just another toy.

She was innocent too, it says, and I'm listening in spite of myself. She was. She was interested, but she moved in because you were too. And she wasn't just taking. She was giving. After you got her undressed, she set out on purpose to make you scream…

Shit. Fucker's barking and jumping around my feet, patting my knees with his paw and yelling for attention like the horsemen of the apocalypse are pissing on his favorite bush right outside the door. My hand falls open, nerveless.

I've been standing like an idiot in the kitchen for long enough for the ice I was carrying to melt into a cold puddle around my feet. What I dropped on the floor were no more than sad little slivers that broke when they hit.

I've never written a love song that didn't end in tears. The shit I'm writing right now would piss you off so bad, Chris, but I'm afraid it would make you pity me and that's why I'm not going to record it. I might read it to Linda over the phone.

Besides which like I said I can sing, but I sure as hell still can't write. What is this, trying to rhyme "didn't know what you were missin" with "kissin"? I know it's cheesier than Precious Moments, but I'm still trying to work out the line, something about how you want to fuck but you turn your face away when I try to kiss you. "I watch you dyin', baby/ You're lying in a pool of blood/ But the knife is in your hand/ You look at me so accusingly"… something about the knife, something about how you didn't want to understand.

Fucker's pissed on the floor. I kept him locked all night in my room last night. It's probably my fault, but I scream at him a little anyway. Then I open the sliding doors from the living room and shove him outside with the side of my foot. The swimming pool cover is down on all the edges. It just looks like blue plastic--no mirages like the water's showing this time. I'm making sure to look at it straight on.

It's just a swimming pool. Maybe I have nothing to remember today. I think I'm numb.

The posse starts trickling in with Freddy, Mario and Angie. The new bodyguard, Dave, lets them and they invite him in the kitchen for a drink. I'm sitting there in a designer t-shirt that came with rips in it over a satin nightdress, the kind I bought because you liked. I'm sitting on the floor on top of the fur coat I put on to open the door for Fucker. I'm barefoot.

"Smirnoff?" says Mario.

"Moet et Chandon," I reply dully.

"Your roots are showing," says Angie. They laugh at me. "With orange juice," she adds as Mario pours hers. Dave refuses a drink but he plays cards with them with the deck Ang always carries around. I don't have the attention span for that.

"Someone bring me a mirror," I complain and wander into the bathroom to look myself when no one does. I pass the living room and Fucker stands yipping in the cold with his neck fur standing up. I open the door; the sunlight makes the swimming pool cover wink, a cool drop of white winter sun dripped into my fenced backyard. I hug the coat around me without putting my arms in and Fucker runs right between my feet, chilling my ankles. I've actually been keeping it like a sauna in here so I'm not surprised.

My roots are showing pretty bad. When Bear and Hughie show up I make them pick out some jeans and a sweatshirt for me and bring them in the bathroom while I'm taking a shower. Then I make them come to the salon with me.

Dave wants to drive but I tell him I haven't even finished my wine and am definitely fine. I put on someone's huge ass leather jacket that's lying on the back of my couch--it's a pretty nice one, beaten-up and brown, a bomber jacket. It looks a little dusty and leaves a smear on the back of the couch, which amuses me. We all pile in the Jeep; I drive with the windows and top down, looking straight over the hills into the sun without my sunglasses, and think about you.

Linda calls me "Pink" when we talk, because, she said, it suits me. It makes her laugh. You switched between that and Alecia like it didn't matter. Like it was your privilege to call me whatever you wanted.

But you prefer Alecia, I think. When I read what you say about me, and hear it on MTV sometimes, I can hear the ironic little pause before you say "Pink." That little pause isn't for anyone but me, baby doll, and you do it just to drive me up the wall. You talk like we might barely know each other but that pause means, We both know better, don't we?

"My mama always told me to be careful of boys," you laughed once when you'd managed to catch me by surprise and trip me up so I landed in your lap, sideways and squirming like a fish. You tickled me and I squealed like a stuck pig, and we were both laughing like girls at a slumber party. But considering a second after that you were putting my hand down your pants, maybe it was more like boys at a slumber party.

"What, so you don't have to be careful of me," I said, trying to sound scoffing and superior, but I was interested in the idea. I wanted you to talk about it a lot more.

Your eyes got wider and your mouth softened until it was drooping a little. You said seriously, "Well, I just wasn't very careful with Jorge, was I?" You weren't. Fuck if I knew then though. "And she can't say 'I-told-you-so' again because she didn't." That's how you always think.

And then you were throwing your head back and rubbing your cheek and the side of your neck on my face, and I bit under the edge of your jaw and rubbed that spot with my thumb while I petted you and you squeezed my breasts, or what there was of them.

"What color?" Says the stylist, thinking he's really funny, "blue?"

I don't want to have some personal colorist, though. I'd rather put up with lame jokes every time than have to either call ahead or sweep in like a queen with her train and shove in front of everyone in the waiting room. For that matter you probably never go out to a salon anymore, do you, Chris?

"Red," I say. The guy laughs.

Fucker barks and squirms in Bear's arms even though I've still got the end of the leash. I give it to Bear. I can't really blame Fucker because the guy's a total dickwad, but I sit in the chair and say "No really, red. Between hot pink and red."

"Oh fuchsia," he says, like he wished I'd just told him I was going to speak a foreign language. And I close my eyes and he messes around at the table.

"Come on Fucker," says Hughie, "Let's sing for Mommy."

"Yeah, Fucker," I say. "Sing Mommy's favorite."

Fucker whines and barks, probably more at Bear and Hughie's singing than cause I asked, but I laugh anyway.

I call Linda from the salon to ask for your new phone number while the dude is snipping bits and pieces off my hair. He's got a whole row of bottles of mousse and styling gel out on the counter.

I'm sure you've gotten a new phone recently. I'm sure you don't want me to have the number. But with friends like Linda, huh? I don't know how much you told her but we've talked about almost all of it. I tell her I'm just going to text you.

She says "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm" and then reads it off. "Don't be too nasty, Pink," she adds. "You know how you get, and you know she won't listen to that."

"I don't care," I say. But I really probably do.

"Well," says Linda, "I guess she might."

Fucker's chasing a squirrel and Dave and Freddy are playing Go Fish in the open doorway to the living room when the phone beeps the next morning (or actually I guess it's afternoon. I don't sleep at normal times).

It's a text from you.

Where Did You Get This Number it says.

The thing is this isn't the first time I've hit Linda up for your number and texted you or called you (your voicemail that is), but it is the first time you've answered in any way. I guess I finally totally pissed you off. I sit on the lawn chair in sweatpants and the fur coat without a shirt or bra underneath and laugh.

It's actually warmed up since this morning when I went to bed. I let the front of the coat gap open a little over my stomach. The white fur is cool against my skin; inside it I'm toasty. My feet are cold, though.

What do you think I'm going to say? What do I think I'm going to say? And what kind of answer is that to what I said to you--which was Youre Such A Damn Coward.?

"Deal me in," I say to Freddy. "What's the stakes?"

"Shots for me. Jokes for him."

"Well fuck," I say. "Shots for me too, I guess. Fucker, what are you doing? Come here! Fucker!"

He's got in some kind of something in the bush, probably dog poo, hopefully not a dead bird or anything. He comes when I call and sits anxiously by my feet, or at least, he more or less sits. He's constantly twitching and looking back into the bushes. "You look good," says Freddy.

"You look like you slept all night," says Dave.

"I didn't," I say, laughing a little. I've still got my cell clutched in my hand, gloating. I wasn't this happy to get a Valentine from my first boyfriend.

Dave says, "I know."

They deal me in. Fucker whines but he finally gives up and curls up behind my feet with his chin on his paws, ears perked up. And I don't put down the phone through the whole game.

Baby doll, you were the prettiest thing I'd ever seen--the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen--before I'd ever even seen you. You never had that not-really-legal vibe like Miz Spears. It was more of an I'll-probably-see-you-in-the-club-tonight vibe from the beginning, even in your first video unzipping your Daisy Mae shorts and rubbing yourself in the sand.

Anyway, I already thought you were a knockout which is I guess why it was so easy for you to knock me out. I've thought about it a lot since then. You were pretty, but it doesn't make sense otherwise. No one's that pretty, you know what I'm saying?

You've never been just pretty. You're you. You're five foot four in heels, like a tall person shrunk down, with that damn determined little face, that snobby nose, that whole princess air. Even when you had to play sweet for the record label I bet you were a pain in the ass at a photo shoot if your coffee wasn't exactly right that morning. And I bet you made everyone else feel like it was their fault, too. I bet you barely realized it because you thought they deserved it that way.

And you weren't a pain in my ass of course. Hell, I'm ready to be a bitch if I have to. Or if I don't. But even I'm not going to make a fuss if everything's going my way. Not even in my worse moods. You were quiet and strangely shy at first. I found out later that was rebounditis from Santos. At first it didn't seem much like breakup blues because you weren't sulking. I think I only realized it gradually.

But you still wrapped me around your finger and tossed me around with your platinum hair, even without pitching a fit about my coffee, or having me thrown out of a club, or hanging up on me in the middle of a conversation. It was like you were sweet, and sad, like a kicked puppy. You make people want to please you--to feel like they've got to please you, or they're a shithead and a failure to the human race.

You know when you first get famous, you feel like you have to do what everyone says or else they might take it all away?

Well, I thought I was finished feeling that way a long time ago, but it was just like that. You were so jaded, and hell, I thought I was jaded before we started talkin', but you shook that right up. And I'm ashamed to say that even though I had a few hit singles under my belt, even though I was songwriting with Linda Perry at the time, I felt like a small-time star next to you. I could no more get in your face and say "What the fuck was that?" than I could spit in Madonna's drink at my first VMA's party.

And maybe I didn't want to.

Because I wanted you, and as soon as I thought maybe it would--well--happen I just--. Boom. I started bending and giving and not asking questions and putting on my Pink face every morning in case I got a call. I started fronting basically. But not only to you; to me too.

You know, I'm always angry at something or other and I'm okay with that, and I believe in just saying whatever the fuck I think, and I think that's healthy, and damn straight I'm a role model. But if I was totally okay with myself and self-satisfied deep down then I wouldn't have anything to get upset about in the first place. I wasn't happy. I wasn't sure. I was ready to slap my own self if I acted uncool in front of you, it was just like fucking junior high school again.

I can't believe I let you do that to me.

And I still don't even know if you did it on purpose.

But I want to find out.

So I tell myself that's why I messaged you, later. I'm painting my toes in one of the extra living rooms. That's the fucking thing about this house, a "great room" and an "entertaining area" and a "living area" and a "small living area." Bear wants this room to be called the music room, but I fucked that up by moving the piano out in the main one last year sometime. This room is littler and I hardly ever go in here and for some reason, it feels safe. Fucker didn't follow me for once. He was running in his sleep and catching birds or something when I left him on the bed.

I do want to find out. You're sick and you fascinate me. And of course I can't get you out of my head, baby doll, no matter how much I hate you, I guess it's the leftovers of whatever else you did to me. I know you love me. I know you did and you still do.

People say you're picking a scab when you go over and over stuff, living in the past. Well, that's not it. Sure I'm living in the past, but not always. I like to think of it like… if you're walking by a construction site, and a giant piece of metal falls down out of the sky and lands and mostly cuts off your toe, and your toe's sorta healed and they sew it back on but you can't feel it anymore, and it just flops on the end of your foot, and then it starts turning weird colors and rotting and stuff--of course you're going to poke at it, you can't look away, because you've never seen a toe that doesn't move like that and you're probably never going to have a part of your body rotting off again. And it's going to make you want to puke probably, but you're going to play with it anyway. You just are.

You're sick and this is crazy and you make me sick. And you fucked me up, and now here I am, more fucked-up than I would be without you, although also, at least, not afraid of big stars, not even Madonna.

There was something there that you killed--something of mine, and something of yours. I don't even really know what it was, Chris. I hope it wasn't something I needed too bad. But I feel like I'm trying to wake up from a dream or something still. This whole thing isn't finished because I would know if it was.

I would wake up.

It's gonna happen sooner or later. And I can't find out what the fuck was going through your fucked-up little brain if we never talk. Which is why I have to answer your message.

Fuck You.

You really did let me fuck you once. The vibrator I've had since some ex-girl-buddies from PA thought I needed to de-stress had just stopped working even when you jiggled the batteries in it and I figured, what the fuck, I'm filthy rich. So I ordered a big wavy one with ridges all up and down it, black plastic which is ironic because I understand when we walked away from each other you started hunting for big black cock.

"What were you doing all day?" You said.

"Just ordering a vibrator," I said lazily and stretched my feet down your couch into your lap. You put your hands on them like automatically and started rubbing the soles, sweet and smooth and almost as good as orgasm if your feet hurt.

You turned around from the TV, which was showing Ren & Stimpy I think, and said "Shut the fuck up."

"No seriously," I said, "A big black one with these ridges around up and down," and I made a dick-jerking motion and a wavy motion to illustrate it. "It cost three hundred bucks."

Your hands were on my ankles then, feathery touches, tiny little rubbing moves with your fingertips. There was a do-rag tied on your head and the only makeup you were wearing was mascara and lipstick. "Seriously."


You thought for a second, then said "Is a huge one better? I mean is it more like dick?"

And I said we should find out. I always have stuff overnight shipped just because I figure I can finally be an impatient little fucker now I have the money. That meant it was at my place. And we'd only barely made out a little, mostly watched cartoons and horror movies and eaten chocolate. I hadn't even had a drink.

We drove in your little convertible across LA--well, more like on the outside of it, really--and it took more than an hour. We got to my place past midnight. I didn't even have a bodyguard with me. Of course there was one of yours following in another car. There was an unmarked brown package on the step sure enough, off to the side, almost in the bush which was covered with roses because it was June and I've always loved roses. It smelled like flowers everywhere when we walked up to the door.

"You got a TV in there?" you said. Actually I had that and a sleeper sofa because I hadn't felt like picking out a bed.

I locked the door and pointed at the TV but you were looking at the sofa, which was spread out in a bed with my blankets and pillows all over it. I like to keep the air conditioning on high so I don't get hot under my comforter at night. "Don't worry, the mattress's soft. This damn sofa cost as much as my first car."

You laughed, "Mine too, I bet. Or more." You bounced on the edge, and said, Sounds good.

It wasn't like we were just planning to fuck. I unwrapped it with you looking over my shoulder. You picked it up and put the batteries in and turned it on the first setting. We watched it hum and twitch in your hand and after a second we both giggled.

"The rings really do make it look more like a dick," you said.

"A deformed one."

"Do you wanna try it first?"

I shrugged. "Nah." Imagine being polite about that.

You shrugged too, kicked off your sneakers and scooted up to sit against the back of the couch. Then you bent and writhed out of your skirt. You were wearing a low-cut red and pink flowered lace v-string, I remember, because you sat with your knees up and your thighs apart like you were giving birth and touched the crotch, the lace. You were looking down with hair falling around the sides of your bandanna and your built-in-bra tank top on, stroking up and down an inch or so with your first and middle fingers.

I couldn't look away from you and my nipples were pinching tight under my shirt. You were so matter-of-fact.

And you lifted up your hand to show me, and say, "I'm getting wet," and I could see the light on the tips of your fingers: they were shiny. I was starting to get wet too. You smirked at me, looking up from under your eyelashes. Then you lifted one hip and pulled your panties off, one leg at a time.

With your legs apart, the red wrinkly folds were pulled open by your widespread thighs, darker in the center like one of those elaborate giant paintings. You picked the vibrator up, turned it off, brought it between your legs and--hesitated. I felt like I was watching a porno as you put your other hand down, stroking the whole length of the lips and circling around the opening. You even slid the tip of your forefinger in. Then you moved your hand like a guy cupping the jewels and slowly and so carefully used two fingers to spread the lips apart.

Your fingernails were bright red. For a second I thought I knew how guys feel when they see, well, something like that, a girl hot and naked with her legs spread apart, because you can't look at a cunt like that and not know it's made for thrusting into. It makes you want to possess.

So you brought the vibrator back around. I could see you were having a little difficulty positioning it with one hand and you kept looking up at me through your eyelashes. You licked your lips. "You looking, Pink?" I remember you called me Pink. I had scooted up the bed and I had one hand on one of your feet, the other one rubbing myself through my shorts.


"Okay." And you pushed the end in, slowly at first. You took about an inch and stopped and said "Ahhh." And relaxed all over--I could see it then, even though you hadn't looked tense before. "It's big." You had a good grip on the end, and your chin lifted and your eyes closed while you pushed it further in. I could see you slowly melting against the back of the couch until you were leaning back, spread apart, pressing that vibrator slowly into you to the base.

"What's it like?"

"Good." Your eyes flickered open, and you gave me that seductive smile. You turned it on. Your hand was covering the end, more or less, but it was so silent in the room I could hear the whirr of the motor. There was a second of non-reaction; then you went "Ah" and "Oh" and "Uhuuuum."

"Shit," was all I could say. I knelt up and stripped out of my top and shorts and underwear, which were sticking to my shorts with cream.

Your eyes were open lazily and you said, "It really doesn't feel more like dick. Well, except it's about the size of a good big cock. Not the same…." Your eyes flicked over me and you bit your lip. "Oh." You wrapped your hand around it and I could see you pull it out and thrust it back in a little and curl your hips up involuntarily.

I reached between my own legs. My cunt felt just-fucked, slimy and easy and open. I flicked my thumbnail over my clit and spread my knees wider on the bed and pushed three fingers in at once while I watched you thumb the button--turning the setting up, I guess.

You said, "Do that again."

"This?" I curled my hand against my pubic bone. Wet and smooth-elastic inside, every little move hurt from too little. I could feel it tingling in the sweet spot a little ways away.

"Out," you instructed, purry, "then in--yeah." I started fucking myself with my hand without looking--I was looking at you--and you were looking at me. "Again," you said, "Again," so I did--slow because that was what you said.

It only took that long and I was almost finished. I bit the tip of my tongue and slid my knees further apart and shoved the three fingers harder in.

But you were all, "No--not yet--" breathing hard. "Let me turn this off." You did--and slid it halfway out, and set it down so the base lay on the sheets and between two of the black plastic ridges it disappeared between your white thighs. "Now," you said, "Come here."

I crawled closer to you. You gave a little squirm, a circling wiggle, and I could see the plastic cock pressing against you on the inside the way you stiffened--could almost feel it myself.

"Now do it again," you said, and put both your hands around my waist. "Slow."

I slowly opened myself this time, to put on a show for you--my face felt like fire. I pressed my clit, but I didn't want that, and I couldn't wait. I put all three fingers in at once and they went easier than before, and deeper too. I curled my hand and found the spot and gasped, mouth open, leaning forward for better angle and rubbing hard, frantically, at that spot inside again, again, three times and I felt myself hit the edge, like my skin drew tight all over. "Aah that's--"

The first contraction inside was slow and heavy and I kept pumping my fingers against the spot, and looking up at you. You'd let your hands drop away from me and were clenching them against your thighs, your hips moving minutely, mouth wide open, bitten and red. "Alecia," you breathed as I finished myself off, still flexing my fingers deep in my cunt. "Come help me with this now."

And I crawled forward to kneel with your knees bracketing my hips, my thighs feeling like jelly. I took the end of the vibrator from the bed, wrapped my hand slowly around to get the feel of it, and slid it slowly out of you. I could feel the resistance as the ripply rings popped out at last. It was glistening.

You were watching, heavy-lidded.

"Slide down for me."

A slow wriggling slide like part of a dance, and you never took your eyes from my face.

I leaned down to whisper against your mouth, "Hard or soft?"

You kissed me hard and your fingernails dug into my arm. I had my eyes open and you had yours closed. And I flicked the switch and felt it turn on in my hand, and found your cunt again without looking and pushed it about halfway in fast, and pulled it back, and pushed it in again, and out, and in, hard and fast but not deep.

"Fuck you!" You moaned, and bit my lip. You slid down, sweaty, and lifted your ass.

So I laughed and slowly gave it all to you, carefully so you'd feel every inch. The vibrator was weird in my palm but I was getting used to it. And I liked the look on your face, the way your legs closed around me and you arched your back to rub your breasts against me. "Is that good?"

All you could say was "Mmmmmore."

More, more, more. I was gentle until you begged, and then I flicked the switch to the highest setting.

"Oh God, oh my God, oh my God," you muttered.

I was past laughing then. I was having a religious experience too. You reached down and grabbed my hand and tried to press it at a different angle, but I was a lot stronger, cause baby, these muscles ain't just for show.

I let you show what you wanted and then shook your hand off and slowly eased the vibrator out and back in at the new angle, and then twice more and you almost shouted, "Aa! Pink, harder, damn you, ahhhh…!" You were bucking your hips up frantically, and I put my other hand down there and rubbed your clit with my thumb and you came, screaming with your mouth open and no sound coming out, your hips rocking rhythmically against my fist and your thighs squeezing around my hips.

"Oh my God," you said when you could talk again. "Oh my. God."

I leaned into your neck and muttered "Oh my God" too. I'd never been fucked as good as I was then, and I hadn't even got fucked. Right then I knew you owned me, baby doll. And I didn't like it, even then.

After I told you you were pathetic, which was from your view the final straw; and kicked and broke shit and clawed and screamed and tried to punch you out, and we ripped our clothes off and did it on the floor and I went to kiss you and you pushed my face away and turned your head and spit on the rug, which was from my view the final straw…

After that I think we were both dead for a little while. At least I didn't come out of my house for more than a week and I didn't hear anything about you for a long while. But you weren't the only one who went looking for Big Black Cock, aka Whatever Is The Least Like That Fucking Bitch, after. I guess I was just more subtle or else people didn't care, because nothing I did hit the tabloids.

But then if it made the tabloids whenever I say something crude in public they'd get bored of me fast. And then again, I guess they're getting bored of you now, it just took longer.

Well, I've never had anything against big black cocks, and big ones of any color I've liked for a while and it's not something you really get tired of. I'm just not out hunting as much anymore because you've gotta slow down. Prowling around the clubs and sending out your friends to pick guys up for you has to get old. At least for me it does; I think you're so frozen in your glitz-and-glamour fake routine that you don't even notice you're older than two-month-old takeout from the back of the fridge.

So Dave likes me and I like Dave. I'm usually friendly with my bodyguards, and I try to get ones who are friendly. Freddy and Ang really like him too, though, this time, even if Bear says he has strong B.O., and I think I can get some of that empty, meaningless sex out of him if I play it right or, considering that he's a man, maybe even if I just straight up ask him.

However, I like the wine-drinking stage of a seduction for its own sake and not just for the big black cock that comes at the end, so I have Dave sit at the table and sip his Coke while I'm drinking burgundy and rambling about how you should be honest and about how I like to cuss. Which in my mind are connected, since telling what I think usually involves a good "fuck" or two.

Dave takes a sip and moves a checker on the checkerboard. I'm sitting across from him but he keeps taking my turn for me. "I think people like that though," says Dave with his sort of accent. He's from Alabama originally, he's told me.

"People have to respect it," I correct him and drain my whole glass of wine at once. I can hear laughing in the living room where Bear and Fred and a buncha girls I don't know the names of are watching Liar Liar.

"No, but I mean that I think they like it," Dave insists. "Because they have to recognize that you're honest and everybody likes that."

"Have some wiiiiiiiiiiiiiine?" I whine, dangling the glass in front of Dave's face.

He shakes his head.

"You sure? Better be, I'm finishing the bottle."

Dave moves three more checkers in a row and shakes his head. "You go right ahead then."

And I say, pouring the last of the red wine into my glass, "Not everyone likes it."

"Likes honesty? They might act like it. And they might not always want it, if you sayin' something they don't wanna hear. But it's like they always know where you comin' from. That's why they like it. If I'm talking to you I always know what you think."

"Mmm-hmm," I say.

"Don't sell yourself short is all I'm saying," Dave says and I think he shoulda been a Baptist preacher instead of a bodyguard. He moves once more and beats himself. Or rather he beats me.

"Did you ever consider being a preacher, Dave?" I drawl drowsily, sipping at my drink.

He laughs at me. "You know I used to wanna be? My Daddy was a preacher. I wrote sermons. I used to carry a briefcase instead of a backpack to school."

I crack up. "For real?"

He nods and shakes the checkers off in the box.

"What happened?"

He shrugs. "I got to likin' girls, and drivin' real fast--" he laughs "--and weed and gin, and I decided maybe I wasn't ready to settle down and be an example just yet."

It's true Dave is a sterling example of the kind of man likely to have a Big Black Cock. He's naturally about nine feet tall, or that's what it seems like when you look up at him, and that broad across the shoulders. He's muscled but not like he works out every day--like a real guy. There's a little flab on his belly. He keeps his head shaved, and right now it's stubbling almost blue. He has big hands with square, short fingernails and rough, dry knuckles. His lips are as full as fruit.

He's the kind of man that you imagine the first Spanish slavers met naked on the beaches of Africa and realized they had to bring home with them, because he was warm and alive and more valuable than gold. A guy like Dave would be faithful to his wife even though after a couple of decades he might quit wanting to be. When he started to go gray he would look strong and handsome and imposing, not old. He wears glasses, little elongated glass ones with rectangle lenses and black metal frames.

Anyway my point is that making Dave a preacher would be a loss to the world. Because then he wouldn't drink, and he would wear suits instead of the tight black t-shirts that are I think somewhere in the Dress Code for Rock Star Bodyguards.

I've put my wineglass down and I'm stirring the wine with my finger and lifting it to my mouth, licking the drops off it. "So what brings you to LA then?" I ask. "What are you doing bein' my bodyguard instead of doing weed, and gin, and girls back in Alabama?"

Dave shrugs, "There's more girls in LA is all. And if you watch a lot of music videos you get to thinkin' more of them are naked, you know what I'm sayin'?"

I laugh and laugh and I'm pretty far gone. I make Dave give me a high five and I say I do know what he's saying. We talk about the nakedness of girls in LA in the summertime. People practically walk around in their swimsuits all day.

I remember having the same conversation with you once. We both liked dressing like that and we both liked being stared at. Which is how I feel now. Dave can stare at me all he wants. He's pretty to look at, not beautiful like you but a totally different way of course, like a statue. You know what I'm talking about. No bodyguard gets around you who's not as pretty as Dave or prettier.

Through the glass doors and the kitchen window into the living room I think I hear the swimming pool trying to talk to me like there's something it really wants to say, but thank God the bozos in front of the TV are drowning it out. I take another long drink of wine.

I set my goblet down and look Dave straight in the eye and say "Are you sure no drink?"

Dave puts his elbows on the table and folds his hands together and smiles at me a little nervously. "Yes, I'm sure."

So I say, "Then do you wanna fuck?"

Dave blinks. "Now?"

I wave my arm. "Sure now. We'll go in my bedroom and lock the door. Or I do have that hot tub in the big bathroom. You can guard me just fine."

He bursts out laughing. "You are something else, Pink. Something else."

I shrug. "Come on!" I'm actually starting to get wet thinking about it.

Dave's just a fairly nice guy who I think would get on my nerves after a few months but he'll probably transfer by then anyway, but I am about eighty percent sure his cock is huge, and I could really use that now, relaxed from the wine. Now I've mentioned my hot tub I'm thinking about getting out of the water all tingly and hot, splashing bubbles on the floor, collapsing forward on the edge giggling and loose-limbed from all the wine, feeling dizzy and light-headed while he holds up my hips from behind and carefully carefully puts it in.


Dave says, "I think you should go to bed. Alone."

I sigh. "So that's a no, huh?"

He shakes his head at me again.

"You one of those not-on-the-job guys?"

"You are so drunk," he returns and tips his head into his hand, elbow on the table, like he just can't take anymore.

I giggle too. "Fuck you," I say, friendly, and get out of my chair and pat him on the shoulder on my way out. "I'm going to bed."

The phone's blinking when I fish it out from under the edge of the bed the next morning. What The Fuck You Texted Me. What The Fuck Do You Want, you say.

I've been sleeping naked. I put on a giant sweatshirt and pad bare-assed and bare-foot into the kitchen. Fucker jumps sleepily down from bed, still blinking , and follows me. I look in the refrigerator. People have drunk up all my orange juice so I pour myself a glass of Mountain Dew instead. I feel like dumping the rest of the bottle over my head. Maybe I need a shower.

I let him out the back door. No one's in the pool yard. Yesterday morning I found Ang and Mario sleeping together in one lounge chair--not mine, the one other people usually sit in. Fucker trots around and does his business and then slithers belly-down under a bush.

I mutter "Oh Jesus, Fucker, no," but I don't call him out. I guess dogs have to have their fun too.

I sit down on the closest chair, jerking the sweatshirt over my ass. My thighs are popping up in gooseflesh and the plastic strips are freezing. Of course it's pathetic compared to a Philly winter but I really should probably get out of the habit of going outside like this.

The other bodyguard who takes the regular's time off walks by and peers out and see me. His name is Alex and he's pretty nice but I never have been able to get him to really talk much. I lift my hand to him and he waves back and walks on. He likes to pace around the whole house in circles.

I stare straight at the swimming pool cover, but my mind's still a blank. The only sound is Fucker rattling under the bush, probably digging up dead flowers. No memories jump up to strangle me, no voices. The swimming pool cover is attached firmly. I go to kneel by the edge and peel it up a little. I dip my fingers into the water. It's fucking freezing.

"Well, shit," I mutter to myself.

I'm feeling the urge to swim, but instead I go back inside, through the bedroom and the bathroom and leave the doors open, and throw my sweatshirt on the floor. I turn the hot water and the jets on and wait for the tub to fill. I can hear Fucker's toenails skittering on the kitchen floor. I don't think he noticed me go in and now he's upset I left without him. He probably thinks I'm going to drown myself because he never has followed me around like this when I'm not feeling really messed-up.

"Mommy's in the bathroom," I call, and he follows the sound of my voice. He pokes his head around the door, but when he sees the tub filling up with water his eyes go wide and he backs off into the bedroom again.

When I step in--this isn't really a hot tub or a normal tub, it's got hot tub jets but it's only big enough for two people and it's not square, but it's more than waist-deep--the water inches up my leg. I don't feel it at first, but then my toes start to tingle. For a second I'm on fire. Then I start getting used to it. I sit down on the ledge inside and let the water cover up to my neck. I haven't really washed my hair in two days and it stinks like a mother.

Fucker's lying curled up in front of the bathroom door staring at me. I don't know how he thinks I might get out if he's not watching, the bathroom doesn't have another door. I close my eyes and sink under.

I let my hair float around my head like a mermaid (only of course, it's too short--spiked red mermaid hair) and think about how much I hate you. I hate your round little mouth, your perfect white teeth, your stage wigs, that white leather costume for the goddamned "Come On Over Baby" video.

I hate the noise you make when you come. I hate how you can call me whatever you want. I hate the way you spit on the carpet after I touched your mouth and the way you said "Well you can fuck off and go laugh with your little friends about something else now because this is over. You're not using me anymore."

I hate the way you seem to actually think I'm a total fake, and you have no idea how fake you are yourself, how you're so wrong, so shit-headed, so retarded, how you're little, you're nothing, and I'm so much better than you but you don't realize it with even the smallest corner of your tiny brain, in your mind I'm the worm, and you're too good to step on me with your zillion dollar size five shoes.

I blow bubbles out my nose and come out of the steaming water. The sound of the jets has worked up to a good rumble now. I sit in front of one and let it pummel my lower back until my eyes can't stay open anymore. By the time I get out of the tub I feel like a noodle, soggy and without any bones. I stumble and my foot slips getting out. I wrap up in two towels and dry myself carefully and pick up the phone.

I answer back, You. Are. A. Big. Coward. You Always Were You Always Will Be. Youre Even Scrd To Hear It You Fucked Off Just In Time. You Didnt Want To Know Th Truth..

Then I throw the phone across the room and it hits the wall and bounces off. The noise makes Fucker jump and yap and tip-toe around behind me with his tail between his legs. I stand naked in front of my closet looking at my clothes and his little cold, wet nose paints lines around my ankles.

I really got Fucker because of this dog, Shaney, that I had when I was a kid. She was already old when I was little but I remember she was really smart. She would go outside with me when I was little and make sure I didn't eat dirt and stuff, and she would pick up a pencil if you dropped it on the floor. I mostly remember lying with my face in her fur holding on tight when I was real little. In retrospect it probably hurt like fuck but she was really good about that. She was some kind of mix and in pictures she's ugly but she was beautiful to me. Her fur was long and smelly and kind of stiff, and thick. She was a mix, a mutt.

Fucker wouldn't deal very well with having his fur pulled, but then he's a different kinda dog. Shaney would carry you if she could and Fucker is the kind of dog that's meant to be carried around. Sometimes I stuff him in my purse if it's big enough.

You'll probably buy a teacup poodle if you ever get one, carry it in your pocket, make it wear bows on its ears. Or else something big and dark and ugly with short fur. Like a mastiff, something that'll bite anyone who comes too close to you… I bet you'd buy two at once. And give them matching names.

Even though I wouldn't do that I entertain myself for a while thinking of names. Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Rum and Coke, Bitch and Bastard, Knife and Gun, Lion and Lamb.

Fucker wouldn't like having his fur pulled and he really doesn't like to be stepped on, as I found out again this morning. I stepped out of bed and right on him and he screamed like a little girl and shot halfway across the room and stood there moaning like his best friend had just stabbed him in the back. "Stupid fucking motherfucker dog, that wouldn't happen if you slept in the bed," I said.

Now he's forgiven me. I'm lying on my belly on the floor with my neck at a weird angle and my nose and mouth in the soft short fur on Fucker's belly. He needs a bath; he smells like dog.

"Think I can talk Dave into it, Fucker?" I say, stroking between his eyes down his nose with one finger.

Fucker makes a quiet, happy little groan.

"Mm," I respond. "I think he might. And it's not like he'd really be that upset, I mean, he's still on the job, I'm not asking him to sleep in the bed or anything. And frankly I'm a very good fuck. Just ask Christina."

Fucker's eyes are closed. I can tell he's still awake though. A see Alex's silhouette outside the window, on the job. You'd think he was the night guard at a museum. Whatever. It's been a week since I've gotten a text from you and Dave turned me down. He settled right down once he saw I wasn't mad at him and I haven't said anything since them but I guess he's noticed I've been watching him.

"Do you think he wanted to?"

One of his little hind legs twitches out. I lay my hand against it; it's thin, bones and tendons like long ridges under the skin. It's barely bigger around than my finger.

"Yeah," I murmur. We're both silent for a while. I prop my chin on the carpet and my open eyes stare over the mound of Fucker's ribs. I listen to him breathe. He listens to me breathe. Times like this, he's the perfect man. Except most of the time he acts more like a baby.

Fucker sighs and stretches, then relaxes again.

"Don't worry," I whisper to him, "Mommy's not getting up. You're a good boy. You'd bite that nasty Chris for her, wouldn't you?" (Actually, he probably wouldn't unless you tried to set him on fire or something.) "Don't worry. I won't ask you to." He liked you. He'd follow you around and when you sat down he was always sniffing your crotch while you laughed and finally pushed him away.

"Nrrmmmm," says Fucker.

"I think maybe I should leave Dave alone though. What do you think? He was going to be a preacher."


"That's true," I say, "I can always get cock someplace else."

I turn my head to the side. I can still feel Fucker's ribs heaving against the top of my head.

Dusk's fallen when I wake. No one's turned the lights on. Fucker's not there anymore. I feel stiff. I sit up, rubbing the back of my neck with my elbow in the air… I look around. "Dave?"

I hear the heavy, not-too-fast treads of his feet from the kitchen.

"Where's everybody?"

"Hugh and Freddy and Mario are around. And some people named, um, Mike and Cassie and Peach?" I nod. "Angie went to the store. She'll be back in a while."

I pop my neck and wince, "Fuck, remind me not to sleep on the floor anymore. Help me up?"

"Sure thing." He gives me his hand and pulls me up. (Fucker opens his eyes. He's sleeping on the couch. When I don't go anywhere he closes his eyes again.)

The last time I tried a no-strings fuck with one of my bodyguards was this guy named Steve who turned into a total fuckwad about it. I guess I probably hurt his feelings. I mean it wasn't really my fault because I'm totally upfront about everything, but Steve couldn't help it either; I still feel bad. Maybe it's not a good idea to pick your quick fucks out of a guy who spends every day with you. "Dave, my man, you'll be glad to know Pink's decided not to seduce you," I say, pressing the heel of my hand in the small of my back and bending a little, trying to loosen up.

Sometimes I think you feel about me the way I feel about Steve. Most of the time I know you just pretend to yourself that you do.

Dave crosses his arms over his chest. "It's all up to you, huh?"

I laugh and he raises his eyebrow appraisingly. He's making up his mind about me. I wave my hand sweepingly and look to the side. The window's turning gray; the top of the pool cover is white and the tops of the bushes--

"It's snowing," Dave says unnecessarily.

"No shit." It never snows in LA. It's probably the record of the fucking century. I walk down the hall, still cursing under my breath as my muscles give little twinges. I poke my head in the door of the no-music-room and say to everyone in there, "How about hitting the town tonight?"

So it's not really that hard to get a hold of big cock at a club. The guy I pick is white, though, and he looks All-American by the blue eyes and blond hair (not your blond, more yellow). He might be German or something from the clothes. He's got a tiny bit of yellow stubble and his hair is chin-length. His body is a biker's, long and lean. But I can see his cock through the pants that hang loosely on slim hips. He'd make a dancer for sure, and he sure can dance.

He's about a foot taller than me and his feet are enormous. We dance face to face, his back to my front and I palm him and chuckle against his shoulder blade when he whips his head around to look over his shoulder at me. Then we dance with his front to my back. His hands hold my hips in place against his and he follows every wave of my body, every sway, his knees in the backs of mine. A little space has cleared around us. I'm leaning back along him like a hammock, my eyes closed, hands to the sides like wings and his arms are up under mine. The stink of sweat is almost too strong.

"Let's take this somewhere, baby," I say and I feel him nod against my shoulder and neck. I don't move my head away when he gets me alone in the back and moves in. I let him kiss me and he's actually a pretty good kisser, but then I let my neck go limp and bend my head backwards while he undresses me behind the locked door. The smell is good there, just strong enough, all that sweat from dancing but the smell of mine stronger than the smell of his.

I keep condoms in my coat pocket. There's no table or anything; the floor is dirty. I hitch my skirt up and listen to the sound of him putting the condom on and lean my forehead on my arms folded on the wall.

This guy--his name is B, he said--leans forward and puts his mouth on my spine, shoving my top up, and takes my breasts in his hands and rolls the nipples between thumb and forefinger. I was ready to go before I left the house; I've been waiting for a week, but I don't mind the tease, feeling his cock nudge at my leg while he pulls hard on my nipples, making them hurt, cups one breast in the palm of each hand and squeezes with all his fingers. His mouth on my back is hot and it trails down my spine and my ass. He licks my cunt once, probes for my clit and reminds me all at once that the tongue is a muscle when it moves my clit in a little circle. It's rough and hot. "Shit," I say, thinking about you, when it feels nothing like.

"Ready?" He mumbles. I almost can't hear him because his face is buried between my legs. Then I feel his fingertip--no, two fingers--find the slippery hole, testing.

"Yeah. Fuck, please," I say.

And finally he does. He straightens up. I close my eyes; I can't feel any hands on my body until I feel the tip. It always feels really big at first, until it starts to get inside, at which point your muscles inside stretch to take whatever and the bigger the better. Well, "B" is big, bigger than you showed me Jorge with your hands. He shoves deep all at once, which feels good, even though I find out as he goes that he's actually bigger than I've had for a while, because that fast makes it hurt. I'm still a little too tight. It burns. He shouts, "Yes!"

I moan. He puts his hands on my hips at first to hold me still so he can do it better. Obviously this guy is a big fan of hard and fast. It's one deep rough thrust after another. It's sore for maybe thirty seconds but it still feels fantastic, just what I wanted. When I feel myself loosen up finally around one thrust I arch my back and lean back against him.

There's the sound of him swallowing. Then there's his hands in the dark, kneading my tits frantically under my shirt, not to make me feel good anymore obviously but just for him while he shoves it in with a shudder, panting, and happens to hit the spot and I come all at once. I'm shouting and coming and rippling around his huge cock and he's leaving nail marks on my tits and really going at it, pumping. It actually takes a while, I think a whole coupla minutes before he comes. I'm really wet, hot and sweating and rocking back against him to take every thrust until he's done.

I go out of the club stinking and sweaty. Dave gives me a hand towel. I rub it over my face and through my hair and wear it draped around my neck. As soon as I get in the Jeep I collapse in the back seat.

I get my phone out of my purse to turn the ringer on and it's flashing. There's a text from you, Youre Still Faking It And Youre Still Tryin It On Me. You Disgust Me. Youre Such A User.

I start laughing. Then Why Are You Still Talking To Me… And I'm The Fake?.

The phone back in my purse, I curl up against the side of the Jeep wrapped in my fur coat. Freddy drives me home. The streetlights fall on mud on the sidewalks and streets, but there are remnants of unmelted snow piled on corner mailboxes and roofs.

As we get out where the house is there's less light and the outside of the windows is just a blur of black and some gray and white. I fall asleep.

I wake up to the ringing of the phone.

Angie has brought this girl Peach back again for, she says, girl stuff. This is funny as Ang and I are even less for girl stuff than you and I were.

And Ang and I always have been very boyish, except, I guess, for a bad time when we were fourteen or sixteen and would sometimes have uneasy heart-to-hearts, sort of feeling we should. And she bought me a best friends necklace, which the kids from school would always ask about because they'd never seen her and they knew that none of my actual best friends (it changed from week to week)--Pete, Ben, Robert, D'Andre, Julio--would be caught dead in a best friends necklace. She told me later she solved the problem by not actually wearing the damn thing to school. I still have mine somewhere.

This is, maybe, as good as a day gets. I'm standing outside in Freddy's hiking boots, unlaced, because they were just inside the door; they fit me. Freddy is actually the same size as me. He came to a Halloween party as me last year dressed in my clothes. There's no way to hide those sooty eyelashes but he actually had his eyebrows waxed. We all laughed our asses off.

So I'm standing in the front yard between two snow-sprinkled rose bushes, drinking orange juice out of a fancy glass goblet, watching Ang and Peach try to teach Fucker to fetch. He's barking excitedly and yipping, running back and forth between the pathetic half-melted patches of snow. He will pick the stick up when they wave it in front of him but he has no idea what to do with it. I'm laughing. Dave has his arms crossed over his chest. I look up and his eyes are wide and young-seeming and now I think of it I guess it never snows in Alabama either.

I am pretty sure you're in LA and I wonder what you're doing, what you think of the snow. You're probably making a little fastidious face, going from the house to the car without touching the ground outside so your shoes won't get wet.

There's hot chocolate waiting for us inside. Mario says we're wimps for coming inside so soon when it's not even cold enough to keep the snow from melting, so I challenge him to wrestle in shorts and t-shirts in the snow. He backs off fast, and we both chuckle. He couldn't fit in mine anyway so we'd have to send someone to K-Mart.

My hands are cold; the hot chocolate is warm, and not stirred completely. Someone got it on the way over, those dinky little packs of wax paper-sealed Swiss Miss with polka-dots of mini marshmallows that float on it until they turn into anemic white foam. I drain the mug to the bottom and stick my tongue down, trying to get out the chocolatey sludge.

"Someone give me a fuckin spoon!" I say. Peach holds one out to me and then snatches it away when I reach for it, three times in a row. She doesn't give in till I break down laughing and say "Fuck you!"

"She said the magic words," says Ang, and Peach gives it over, giggling.

Fucker's wet with melting snow. I rub him off with a dish towel from the drawer by the stove and his little black eyes sparkle up at me adoringly.

I finally give up on getting the rest of the chocolate out of the cup. I make one with two packets of cocoa and drink it on the couch, and then I switch over to a Latour. Dave stays in the kitchen doing security guard stuff while we play cards on the couch. I wonder about that. Dave has a stronger sense of bodyguard manners than most of the other ones I've had. Usually they don't mind giving piggyback rides, picking out underwear for me at Neiman Marcus while I wait in the changing room, mixing drinks and dressing me when I'm silly and too limp to stand up right. And, hey, Steve is probably not the only one who would have said yeah to a fuck.

The three times you were here, it was Steve who was staying outside in the garden and pretending not to know what was going on. Even though we didn't try to keep it secret at all, actually.

"Hey Dave," I yell. The wine bottle's empty. Yesterday he picked my glass off the floor, so I figure he doesn't like the mess. I hand him my goblet and he rolls his eyes. "Not if you don't want to," I say. "You know, though, if you don't want it on the floor. Are you really sure?"

Dave ruffles my hair and says "I am really sure." And goes back in the kitchen.

I turn back to the card game, sighing. He knows I wasn't really serious anyway. I knew he would say no. "Maybe the agency can send somebody else!" I yell after him.

Ang pokes me with her toe.

Freddy says, "What was that?"

I examine the cards in my hand, throw them down. "Dave doesn't want to fuck me. …I'm out."

Freddy snorts and Ang says, "Who would? Me too."

When I finally grew up and realized you weren't going to start talking or telling the truth yourself I laid it all out. I told you to stop fronting. I tried to explain by saying I never knew what you were thinking.

You said furiously, coldly, "I don't have to tell you everything, Alecia. When do you think I ever promised you anything?"

I said, "I bust my ass trying to please you!"

I shouted.

You screamed and hissed.

I said, "What do you want? What am I supposed to do?" and "I need--" but I didn't know how to finish the sentence; I wasn't dumb enough to say "I love you" again. I thought, Someday I'll write a wonderful song about this. I was desperate, but I didn't realize it was over.

What finally happened to push me over the edge was when you said "I don't need this shit," because, like--this shit? Since when were you putting up with shit? It's all about what you're putting up with for you though, baby doll.

"You're pathetic," I snapped. And I said "Stop hating yourself!" And "You know, it's not, Christina, she's such a bitch, it's like a train wreck--they want to help you sometimes, but usually just to get the fuck away because you're so fucked, you're all about you, you don't give anything, not an inch."

You told me to leave you alone, and shut up if I didn't know what the fuck I was talking about. I don't think I've ever been so angry. In an agony of contempt I hissed, "Everyone thinks so. Your bodyguard, that dude who you fired! He was telling Steve about how sad you are! Ang asks me what the fuck I'm doing! My friends all say you're a piece of work, not worth it, and they're right!"

I remember how you were stuck on that "My friends." You insisted no promises, you owed me nothing, but you kept saying over and over, "You had no right" and "What did you tell them," your voice rising to a hysterical shriek.

That's when the biting and scratching started, and then you tore off my pants and I tore off your shirt and we rolled around on the floor, half fighting, half loving, with you panting in my hair and actually crying--you'll never admit it but I could feel the tears. I had scabs from your fingernails; I got cramps in my feet and my thighs rubbing against you. We humped each other's legs and almost came from that. You finger-fucked me, scratching; I squeezed your breasts, harder than I'd ever dared. Because you'd just started to put on that weight finally then they were full and firm and round, ripe in my hands, giving to my fingers. I bit down on your nipples until you screamed, ripped your panties off and rubbed you fast and hard with the fabric of your skirt until you came and after.

You were lying limp and panting on the floor, clenching your thighs around my hand to prevent me from taking it away. My mouth was open on your collarbone so every breath misted along your skin and blew back, warm and damp, into my face. I lifted my head and tried to kiss you, open-mouthed.

And our lips just brushed--my teeth scraped your lower lip--and your whole body jerked, your head turning to the side. You seized my wrist as hard as you could in one hand and met my eyes and turned your head and spit on the rug, and wiped your mouth on your hand, glaring at me challengingly. "You stupid fuck," you said low, and quiet, "see what they say about that, but don't come back to tell me about it. You don't know anything."

But you didn't know anything. If you'd let me kiss you then--I think I could have fixed everything.

I stood up, chest heaving, staring hard at you. It was the first time you'd--I knew exactly what that meant though. I walked away and you screamed after me, "Get out."

Fucker's at home without me and I'm driving through the dim, gray, empty sky. It's stayed chilly and frosty since the snow, which has melted slowly, but there was frost on the windshield of Dave's car in the driveway when I drove away.

I pull up to the studio you named, the back lot like you said. It's Sunday, noon, and the parking lot is more than three-quarters empty. Your little convertible is there and the top is up. I pull up two spaces over, facing, and I can see you through the window. You look up. Our eyes meet through the windows.

The sky is the color of rain clouds, a solid canvas of choking pale dust. The light is barely enough to see by though it's the middle of the day. I wish it would snow. You're out of the car, the door closed behind you, by the time I get out. You're wearing a puffy white quilted jacket with fur around the hood and sweatpants and flip-flops. I've got the fur coat on and I'm hugging it close, not having bothered to zip it.

You walk up to me without meeting my eyes. Then you look straight at me. There are puffy circles under smudged mascara, pink spots on your nose and cheeks, your face pale under a fading orange tan. Your new black hair is scraped back.

You look much more beautiful than I remember. The black suits you, even oily. Your hands are tiny. The coat dwarfs you. "Hi," you say warily.

I have to squint against the wind. "What do you want?" I say, "This isn't the best place today." The wind puffs harder against my face and brings tears to my eyes, which is annoying although I'm pretty sure you won't think I'm crying.

You gesture to the Jeep. "Is it unlocked?"

I reach in my pocket and push the button. The sound of all four doors clicking unlocked at once is like a distant grumble of thunder. You open the back door and crawl in and stare at me until I get in after you.

The seats are cold already, though I had the heat on driving over. You lean back and cross your arms and I lean forward over the seat, and hit my head on the roof, turning the key in the ignition. The car comes on, the heat hissing from the vents loud enough to cover all the sounds of our breathing. I punch the stereo off--it was just turned low.

Then when I turn around to ask what you want, you've shed your coat and a blue velvet sweat jacket underneath. Your breasts are heavy, unbound, pushing against the silk of one of those slip-shirts. The cold in the car has teased them to stiff hard peaks, and you're not looking at me, just lifting your hips to shove sweatpants and panties down in one movement.

It's been longer than I can count, more than two years, since I've seen you like this. Your eyelashes lift, black and thick with mascara, and you meet my eyes seriously. Your mouth is small and tight and unhappy. I have to remember to breathe. "Okay," I say on the first breath I let out. "Okay. Okay…" and I reach out and hold your hips. Even if what you want is a whore. I can be that.

Oh, baby. You push your face under my ear and lick with a wide hot swipe, and bite and suck the edge of my jaw, desperate. I can feel it. You're naked from the waist down kneeling up in my lap, your knee smashed in the back of the driver's seat, but you reach down and grab my hand. "Here," you say, and put it on your breast outside your shirt. I let it settle in my palm, the resilient softness and the silk in between. Then I get under the hem of the shirt and reach up for the tit skin-to-skin.

We forget about your shirt; you pull my jeans off roughly so the denim almost burns my skin, but you back up to the far corner of the seat and pull them all the way off my feet and leave them and my panties lying where your coat stands like a shed skin. You press your palm flat on my stomach and kneel between my legs. I draw my knees up and you put your face next to your hand, pinch bits of skin on my belly between your teeth in a little line leading down to my pubic bone.

You press your cold nose against me and lick delicately with just the tip of your tongue--it's so much smaller than that guy's, and you're careful and very deliberate, almost too slow. You lick with slow careful swipes until I'm breathing hard and my hips are twitching up against you. Then you slide the slick tip of your tongue into my cunt. "Shit!" I hiss and curve my hips up. You laugh throatily and start tonguing my clit in little sharp licks. I'm so hot for you I feel red all over with blood but you don't make me come.

But you shove my shirt up out of the way and rub the palms of your hands on my nipples. Then you bite my nipples and curl your hands around my waist and stroke my hipbones with your thumbs. You're looking for all your favorite places--the backs of my thighs, my ankles, the sides of my neck, my mannish breasts, the muscles on my shoulders.

I can feel my body thrumming all over with each beat of my heart. I try to rub myself on the seat, but the angle's all wrong, and besides the leather is too smooth and slippery.

When you move up to suck my nipple you have to lie almost full-length on me. I wrap my arms around you and put my face in your hair--all I can reach is the top of your head. I hold still, letting the heat and shocks of pleasure take me over, but I clutch at you, press you against me, follow your smooth spine down to your little waist and knead the curves of your ass.

Finally you sit up, breathing through your mouth with your face red. You lift one knee and take my hand and move it between your legs. I press you back against your coat and my jeans and shirt in the corner of the car until you're lying down, and I lean over you and tangle our legs and watch your face while I push my fingers deep into your cunt, and rub your clit to bring you off with my thumb.

You close your eyes to make it easier for me to watch you, I think. Your face is relaxed. You look like a porcelain doll layered with old, shitty paint. You grab my wrist and push my hand harder, pumping down, when you come. I sit back, awkwardly cross-legged between your knees, and curl my spine like a cat. But before I can do it you push my knees out of the way and I almost fall over. You look ridiculous sliding off the seat to reach me, but your mouth is exquisite. You know I love it.

"Oh Chris," I say before I can turn it into a cough, but you look up at once and meet my eyes. Yours are expressionless. You push your thumb in and wiggle it gently and blow across my clit, then take it in your mouth and suck.

Oh, that's it. I collapse against the seat and you crawl on top of me, knocking out what little breath I have, your breasts crushing richly against my chest. I stare at them. Your nipples are flushed dark purple, swollen.

But you are just reaching over me for my fur coat. You pull it up and drag it over me, even though we're both sweating, sticking to the seats.

We get keep staring at each other as we get dressed. I didn't even try to kiss you this time.

My eyes are closed when I hear the click of the door latch and cold air seeps in on my bare feet. You're leaning over me and crawl across to get out, flip-flops in one hand. It's like you're going to speak for a second but then you press your lips tightly together, and I recognize that look of deep, painful anger on your face. "Stop it," you say, "stop calling. I'm going to change the number."

You leave the door open, so I climb out and then back in the front seat and sit behind the steering wheel numbly tying my shoelaces.

Through the window I can see you. You're sitting motionless behind the wheel, not starting the car, brushing your fingers against your lips.

"Pink," you said once, "How did you pick that?"

I just shrugged because I never answered that question, really.

"Does it fade really fast?"

"What--the hair? Oh, yeah. But it doesn't take long to dye." I brushed my hand across it. It was spiky and short.

You smiled the shy smile that you've stopped making now. "I like it," you decided, and leaned forward and put one hand on my thigh and ran the other through my hair, fast but gentle.

"Cut it out," I said, ducking half-heartedly, and you laughed and looked down at me with expensive recessed lighting falling over your hair like a crazy halo, shadows pooling under your eyes. I couldn't believe us flirting like stupid girls, but then I decided it was okay because we were stupid girls. We were in the VIP section, but no one was going to tell either one of us she couldn't flirt with who she wanted regardless.

You met my eyes and sat back and plucked the cherry out of your drink, took it in your mouth and matter-of-factly sucked it off the stem. "It's snowing at my Mama's house right now," you said. "She called me this morning."

I watched you. I think you only bit the cherry once before you swallowed it. "Yeah," I said, "It's supposed to snow in Philly this week. Do you miss it?"

You squinted your face. "The snow? It's pretty. But I don't know."

I was startled into laughing. "You don't know?"

"It is pretty. I used to want to play in it, but then you get all cold and wet and even if you have a great time, when you come inside you're all--you know what I mean? It's messy," and when you said messy you wrinkled your nose again.

So I reached out to smooth my finger down the bridge of your nose, thinking, "'Messy'?", because not only do I love messy, but it's pretty hard to go anywhere whatsoever or do anything without running into mess. But you glanced to the side quickly and reached up and grabbed my hand and opened your mouth and kissed me.

"Oh!" I murmured against your mouth and you kept kissing.

And then you changed your mind and said it too: "Oh." Pause. "Oh."

Ideas and even some phrases taken from, in approximate order of importance: Pink - Hooker; Christina Aguilera - Walk Away and Christina Aguilera - Fighter; Pink - Oh My God and Christina Aguilera - Get Mine, Get Yours; Pink - Love Song; Pink - Just Like A Pill. Title from Pink - Love Song.

Muchas gracias to Blythe for beta and to l'Elfie for beating the idea into shape and getting me all pumped up to write it.