Thursday, May 12, 2005

A short story

Edward's mouth was covered in the chalky patina left from vomiting. He told his class his sweatiness and tired eyes was from food poisoning, but the odor of whiskey that emanated from his pores proved otherwise. For the first third of the day, Edward was still drunk, but he was too beloved for this to be much of a problem, and the nicotine his body reeked of mostly covered the smell, while he was pleased to think no one had commented on the fact that he was wearing the same clothes as the day before.

Spending lunchtime, as he usually did, on the roof of his classroom, he almost wished he had a parasol, as the sunlight further enforced his discomfort. He was on his fourth Camel of the class day, having snuck upstairs twice during classes, and once during the short break between second and third period. The roof used to have a pile of cigarette butts piled in a corner near a storm drain, but either someone trying to be helpful, or - more likely - an annoyed janitor installed an ashtray near his nook.

On his sixth, with minutes to spare before sixth period, Leslie came and joined him. He taught photography and ran the yearbook, she science. Joining him, she wordlessly picked up his pack, and took a cigarette, lighting it with her own zippo, a gift from a college roommate. Leslie had the benefit of perfume, and the fact that she met him at eleven the night before, whereas Edward had started around eight. When they left around midnight, Edward was functionally coherent, but Leslie insisted that she drive.

Neither expected to run into each other last night, or for their evening to conclude as it did: their classrooms were on different sides of the building on different floors and their interaction was severely limited even after two years working together. He never really invested in much school spirit, and was rarely asked to be a part of the numerous afterschool activities. Some credited this to his father, who was the Principal of a crosstown school, which gave Edward the aura of being favored by nepotism. She was in charge of girl's tennis, and sometimes helped the drama department out. Edward was her junior by a good five years, and both had yet to marry. She was nearing thirty five, and still led a life not too dissimilar from her college days. The first year of her tenure at Adams, she was cagey about her bad habits: she'd only smoke after work, she'd only get drunk on Fridays and Saturdays, she'd only get high once a month. But as time wore her down, she found her addictions encroaching on her forced discipline. Trying to appease karma, she invested herself more in the school programs as once a month turned into whenever she felt like it.

Edward just never gave a damn, but both felt as though they had to maintain the facade of authority - the night before their conversation quickly fell into a discussion of the things they felt they couldn't do simply because they were teachers. He mentioned going to an all day concert, she mentioned her hair, and both quickly disclosed their predilection for getting stoned. That was the cover suggestion for their heading back to her place, but when they got there, it crumbled shortly after she poured him the drink he really didn't need and threw on some Nina Simone. After roughly four minutes of settling in, hungry hands began making their way around previously foreign territories. He knew when she touched his hand and offered to drive what it was, and she knew two minutes after she walked in the bar that she would be taking him home. Both only had a vague knowledge of each other beforehand, brief meetings through the last two years, but sitting down and talking made something click. She was on her way back from the latest school production, this year it was a rather poor adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, and felt she needed to stop and have a drink and a smoke before she went home, wanting desperately to be surrounded by adults. He had been hanging with Curtis, an old friend who'd recently gotten married, and was quickly working his way out of Edward's life. Their kisses had the tang of tobacco and whiskey, but there was an obvious electricity in spite of the odor.

By the time the two began taking off their clothes, Edward was rather drunk, but the feeling of a warm mouth on and around his penis revived him sufficiently. She had him on her sofa, and while he gamely played with her nipples he realized he hadn't been fellated in a very long time. At Curtis's wedding, all of two weeks earlier, he was struck for the first time in a while that he was lonely. He had been single for two years, with only a handful of flings in the interim. He was a creature of habit, and going out to meet women wasn't often one of them. These days his weekends were spent biking, and usually camping. He'd pack himself a pint, some dinner and breakfast, a tent and light sleeping bag and two bowls worth of marijuana, and often wouldn't come back until late Sunday to his usually grousing dog Milo, an adopted pet from an ex-girlfriend.

As Leslie lightly massaged his testicles with her tongue and lips, she realized that she missed performing fellatio, but the activity of doing so was getting her so stimulated that she didn't realize that she was literally dripping with excitement. For her too, it had been a while, and the last one made her feel old, as the relationship had the dynamics of a teenaged fling. The sex itself was like many of their students: unformed but with possibilities. Edward was fighting for control of his body, and was mostly winning, but his rhythms were off, which lead to Leslie getting on top of him and doing most of the work. Even so, his light thrustings weren't all that spectacular, and at one point, he went limp while trying to take her from behind. Leslie dutifully felated him back into spirits. As an initial attempt, it had potential, but neither knew if there would be a return engagement, and both held back some of their predilections in case of offense. Leslie said she was on the pill, and both were too tired and horny to worry about diseases, so after a while Edward finished, and as Edward pulled out, Leslie quickly cupped her hand under her vagina hoping to keep from staining the sheets. She then waddled to the bathroom, feeling his seed trickle down her leg, but had to keep her other hand free to open the bathroom door, and she didn't want to coat the doorknob in semen. Upon entering the bathroom, she closed the door but didn't lock it, and entered the shower. Leslie felt good, the night felt like something, and after quickly looking to see if Edward was coming in, she licked her hand. She thought that maybe next time she'd actually have an orgasm, but that this was a good warm up.

Edward lay there for a brief dazed minute when Leslie made her way to the bathroom, and after she entered he made his way to the living room, unaware of the semen and female ejaculant that dripped off his now flaccid member onto her hardwood floors. Leslie had her own house; it was modest, but it was something. No pets, either. He stumbled, and awkwardly grabbed a Camel and his untouched drink. Standing in the middle of her living room, he lit up, and - still in a state of half sexual stupor, half drunken stupor - finished the drink. It was a death blow, and after his cigarette, he went back to the bed to lay down, while he heard Leslie taking a shower.

It took two minutes for Edward to know that he had no choice about the vomiting. Next day wasn't looking pretty regardless, but there was nothing he could do, and he only knew of the one bathroom. He stood up, and made a quick move to it. Leslie was happy to see him, but he could barely eke out an apology before hanging his head above the toilet. It took a couple of dry heaves before anything came out, but then came that warm spray of sick. His body convulsed and Leslie quickly turned off the shower and left the room. After the final purge, Edward swabbed his tongue around his mouth and spit whatever was left out. He flushed, and stared at the concoction that looked brownish and seemed more bile than food as it swirled and disappeared. He stood up, wiped away the tears, and looked for a glass. He couldn't find one, so he cupped his hand and awkwardly got enough water in his mouth to slosh around. He then spit into the toilet a second time and flushed again. He looked around and saw a window he could crack, which he did, and sprayed the cinnamon scented Glade above the toilet, and then examined the bowl, grabbed some toilet paper and wiped away the last evidence of his sickness. When he flushed the toilet for the third time, Leslie re-entered the bathroom, and gave him a glass of water, while Edward mumbled profuse apologies, and then they both collapsed into her bed.

When they woke up at 6:45, it was decided Edward would have to get his car after work, and the two quickly dressed, and though Edward would have to wear the same pants and dress shirt from the day before, she had an old T-shirt from an ex-boyfriend he could wear. Their communications were awkward, and neither had time for breakfast. Edward dawdled in the bathroom, still out of it, and so he only had time for a glass of tomato juice. He was so tired and confused he shampooed twice, and when out of the shower, found himself flicking through her medicine cabinet. He found her pear-tasting lip balm and dabbed a finger in it, putting some on. Throughout the day he found himself dragging his thumb against his lips in a faint memory of the night before. He also worried that his vomiting might have stained their relationship beyond repair, and that the Tomato juice made him a bit gassy on the drive in. He hoped their smoking would sufficiently cover the odor.

As they stood on the roof and smoked, nothing was said, but with five minutes left, Edward grabbed her hand and held it for a minute. The two looked at each other conspiratorially, and left it at that. Both knew what they'd be doing for the weekend.