Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Urban Spinster

Ellen isn't the type to take on just any man. Nope, she'd had her first love, her great  love, even what she thought was her last love but after a few gin and tonics, a boring night in and RSVP ads sitting in her side bar, she takes the plunge and builds an online profile; Tall, brown-eyed, fulsome figure. The bubble forms "No wait; better be honest here, a little overweight."  Interests; arts/theatre, food, travel. Easy.  What she wants in a man; considerate, good humoured, financially independent, no short men.  Ha! What she really wanted was a tall, hairless German, tanned and capable of making love like a thrashing machine. Shit, it's worth a go.

Headline: "Spirited, attractive, looking for companionship, travel and an ongoing relationship."  She ticks the right boxes slaps up a headshot just big enough to display some teasing cleavage and it's done.

Emails pour in. Fat men with beards, nerds with ROFLCOPTER T-Shirts, the bald with big egos, even women wearing sensible shoes. Far too many hearts and smiley emoticons. Sex in the subtext and urgency in their pants. She's looking for someone to have dinner with, a movie partner, someone to show her how to use the manual settings on a digital  SLR.  A man who knows his way around a kitchen and doesn't regard a vacuum cleaner as an alien instrument of torture.

Her choice for the virgin liaison is a well-lit beach cafe. She's emailed Henry and conversation flowed. Nice enough. Has dogs, grown children. Divorced. His photograph is pleasant. Perfect, until he walks through the door as overwhelming nerves and the instant urge to flee rise like bile in her throat. Her flight response overcome only by good manners.

"Ah, Henry I presume?"  The lame attempt at the Livingstone/Stanley greeting she immediately regrets. His face looks like his profile. His height is right but he looks a little older. The protrusion of a slight beer belly beneath a casual collared shirt tucked neatly into his well-pressed camel pants, made a little more obvious by seam-pressed, belted trousers. A thought bubble announces, "How come men just put on a little weight and  I have to contend with cellulite and the onset of cankles." Bubble bursts.

He wears polished brogues,  odd given that it's 38 degrees. Hair is greying and wildly coiffed.  His skin denied sunshine is white and smooth with slightly ruddied cheeks. His brow oozing perspiration. He's nervous and in a rush. He's been to the library she assumes, an ancient volume of Webster's tucked tightly beneath his wing. Left arm defensively positioned across his chest, massaging the closed pages with his thumb. She empathises with his anxiety.

If he'd had a volume of Nietzsche she'd have thought him intellectual. Lonely Dove, a butch romantic. The Lonely Planet Guide perhaps a potential travel companion. Even a copy of Discworld and she'd have at least thought him mildly interesting but a dictionary?  Laid lovingly on the table during their preamble, his fingers dally on the luxury of its recesses, massaging its cover as if it was a prone cat purring. Brushing each embossed letter with a tenderness that was frankly, disturbing.

Compounding her own anxiety is Henry's lisp. She is after all judgmental and considers it a flaw. Ordering a '. . .thide order of wegeth and thweet chili thauce with thour cream" was just too much. She surpresses giggles then the yawns as he waxes lyrical about his love of the written word. "Well, an etymologitht thtudies the derivation, or hithtory, of wordth. A linguitht thtudieth how language is formed, tho it could be thaid that a linguitht thtudieth how wordth are uthed,"

She mocks him, "Hmm cunning linguists?"  That one leads the conversation into an entirely new direction as the timid beige man confesses that he swings both ways. The bubble announces "Shit, didn't see that coming!" She loses sensitivity, leaves $50 on the table heads for the door. Should have ticked the 'straight' box.

Lisp:. Lisp \Lisp\ (l[i^]sp), intransitive verb [imperfect & past participle. Lisped(l[i^]spt); Lisping.]
n. word used to describe an entire group of male homosexuals, such as a herd of cattle or a school of fish.
The other day I was walking through the mall, when I was blindsided by a lisp of gays. I followed them to Pottery Barn though and got some great decorating tips.

By the time Paul's on the horizon, the cool of winter has descended. They meet for fun at the Ice Bar wrapped in fur and sipping vodka from frigid glasses. The union is pleasant and so it's on to dinner. He's slim, medium height, face glows with summer tan. "Perhaps he holidays abroad or on the north coast," the bubble ponders before the revelation that he's a marine biologist who field trips way up north.  He's sporadically in town consulting at the Aquarium. A man who drops in and out has enormous appeal and she envisages weekends and disappearances into the sunset. No socks left on the floor. No shavings in the sink. No toilet seat left up.  Well lubricated by Cockfighter's Ghost she's cajoled back to his room. Once through the door he presses her hard against the wall and kisses her with such force she begins to question judgement. His cephalopodic tongue seems intent in exploration as tentacle fingers rush clumsily with voracity and urgency. "This is gonna be over before it begins" the bubble notes. Foreplay is feverish.  "Whoa, whoa, take your time!" she objects and withdraws a forearm from beneath her skirt. He apologises and explains it's been a while and he's out of practice. He thought he'd lost his mojo and his opportunity. He's in luck. She's feeling horny and not wasting the intensifying pleasure she's feeling between her legs. Just wants to slow it down.

"I guess we're both a little out of practice but this isn't the way it's done," she whispers. Slightly perplexed, the octopus is turned back against the wall. She pins his wrists to his side and begins the kiss. First small, gentle teases, taking his top lip in hers. Then with slightly parted lips she turns her head.  Noses press gently as she explores his mouth and tongue. Breasts against his chest, nipples erect, inviting.  She pushes slightly forward. Tongues collide without their former force. All is going well as they unbutton and unzip. Moving clenched from hallway to bedroom, sinking upon the bed, she withdraws the kiss and peruses the human landscape with whom she is entwined. The man has the smallest penis she's ever seen. A stub, a snub and it's not going to work for her in any way shape or form. The sex is terrible. His hands like retarded tentacles are everywhere and anywhere. Efforts to guide fingers into pleasure zones are fruitless. She barely feels the penetration when it happens but notices the premature ejaculation when it does.  Next time she'd consult an octopus before fucking one.

Octopus \Oc"to*pus\, noun. [New Latin expression. See Octopod.].
Foreteller, fortune-teller, predictor, forecaster. From the octopus called Paul, who correctly predicted eight games, including seven Germany games, during the World Cup 2010 season. You need not be an octopus to forecast tomorrow's weather
Max is a rigger at the refinery. Now here's a manly man. Strong arms, stocky build, good height. Hair is a plus. She imagines him in a hard hat, blue singleted and glistening with crude.  All muscle and testosterone.  He's polite enough if a little inexperienced. A home boy at heart. No epicurean but enjoys a well done steak. Attractive in a leathery, five o'clock  shadowy way. She likes his arms all tanned and sinewy and enough bulk for a firm hug.
Unencumbered apart from an ex who'd ripped him off, (the bitterness still surfacing like the head on his beer) she likes Max. Salt of the earth, she likes earthy. His conversations honest and straight down the line. She likes straight down the line. Particularly the line from his collar bone to the buckle of his belt. Pecks designed for touching and belly hard as steel. 

They have drinks on the verandah to mellow the mood. He gently strokes her arm moving from shoulder to elbow and wrist before hands wonder along her inner thigh. Eyes close, she swoons as  fingers connect with that often disappointed, yearning spot. He presses lips on hers. Awesome kisses for one so rough. She takes it all and comes, standing, steadying herself. Left arm outstretched against the cool bricks. His breath still on her neck, he guides her to the bedroom, and fumbles for the light. The brightness forces open closed eyes and she surveys the scene.  A bed shaped like a Space Shuttle, Toy Story wallpaper and matching continental quilt, made more ridiculous by the plethora of stuffed animals hanging precariously on a teddy chain. "Is this your kid's room?"
"No mine, why?"  The bubble screams !!"*(.?**!!! before it bursts and she begins to laugh.

There's no surpressing giggles. As his trousers hit the floor, she straightens her dress. It's all so fucking hilarious. She is now consumed by, knicker-wetting, laughter. He's confused as she blurts out, "Max, I'm sorry! I just can't do this with all those teddy's eyeing from the corner and Woody on the bed!" Further amused by the pun, she wipes a slightly running nose and smears jovial tears with the back of her hand in a futile effort to gain control of her hysterics. She leaves. He sits on the edge of the bed and cries tears she doesn't see. Plucks a Panda from the teddy chain and rests it comfortingly in his unsatisfied crotch.

sex·tant  (skstnt) n. A person who prefers sex with stuffed animals or blow up dolls rather than a person.
"A man was having sex with a blow up doll"
"Man, He's a sextant

She doesn't consider herself a racist but when Marlon's email arrives, she almost forgoes reply. Swarthy skin and a slightly flattened nose gave his aboriginal heritage away despite piercing blue eyes. She'd never met an aboriginal, let alone dated one. "What the Hell" chastises the bubble.  "Can't dance, can't sing, can't paint" the bubble's out of control.  He's shorter than she thought. Skinny calves protruding beneath cargo shorts, two sizes too big. His T shirt's black with a cliched aboriginal flag emblazoned on the back. Shocks of salt and pepper shiny curls mass upon his head. He looks younger in the flesh which pleases her no end and smiles like Ernie Dingo as he saunters into the pub. She's driving so he plies her with lemon lime and bitters in the shady beer garden. He is passionate and animated, intelligent and interesting. It strikes her as incongruous that a city man has such a yearning for country. They click, they definitely click.  Life is good. Lunch is long. This one could be a keeper.

It isn't until she walks him to his car that she realises he's not made a single inquiry about her.   All he knows she's volunteered. The mirror cracks. Smoke dissipates and a facade is revealed. He turns, "Here comes the date question" bubble postulates. Or perhaps to plant a farewell kiss but no. He hands her a pamphlet and asks for a 'donation'. The foundation he represents  is 'networking' via dating sites to increase public awareness. Desperates like her typically have disposable income and he's found them generous in the past. She is Jesus betrayed and he her black Judas. She's left twiddling metaphorical thumbs.
"Go make some fuckin' beads!" she spits, turns, leaves.

Turtle: noun, plural -tles, ( especially collectively ) -tle, verb, -tled, -tling.
Well known saying for when you make an idiot of yourself. Clasped hands with thumbs twiddling. 
Sadly the hand gesture you make for this  Turtle, is actually the American sign language sign for 'platypus' 
"That's not a turtle you moron, that's a platypus"

And so it ends. She, content in solitude, no cunning linguists, Chelonya Midas, Cephlapods or nautical navigational tools. The site is unsubscribed, events put down to experience. She clicks on Urban Dictionary just for shits and giggles:

Spinster \Spin"ster\, noun. [Spin -ster.].
1. A first name, as in cougar who likes to eyeball younger men.
2. Anyone with the name "Audrey"
3. A woman whose ovaries are becoming dehydrated and may soon fall out.
"That woman's on the prowl again...Can you say desperate?  Dude, was she one of those Spinsters??

This is  an entry  for Websters p983 on The Tenth Daughter of Memory


  1. Wow. Men don't usually see this story from a woman's point of view. It's rather ironic that men, who always feel put off by women, don't know that women want and need just as much as they do.

    I wonder if God giggles over this shit.

    Anyway. I love this piece. Well done.


    Thrashing machine? Vodka? You do realize this is a new Muse, no?

  3. My word verification was "Gonomog."

    Which, to me, sounds strangely Aussie.


    That time it was "deake!"

  5. oh boy, girl-you are a hoot and a half. Brilliantly done. wonder what my w.v. will be?
    ah, foresso...boringgggg

  6. Come on, Baino, you know thrashing (threshing?) machines don't "make love." They... well, you know what they do.

    I like this a lot. It's a very clever take on the muse.

  7. Baino - it's a winner and too true to form I'm sure. what is it with men anyway

    love the guy with the teddy bear

  8. This is AWESOME! I loved how you used the elements of the muse!

    The scenarios... however... seem like something out of my recent dating history. Lovely internet dating sites.

  9. Well done in your 'bravo' !!! style. -J

    (ps. -The second meeting has a bit of Teraoka to it... do you know of the Japanese art obsession of doing it with octopus?)