At the luncheon on Friday Judy was seated at a table across the room from me. She was wearing the same soft clinging summer dress she had worn the night I’d first met her. When she crossed her legs I stared at the tanned glossy underside of her thigh. When the luncheon ended, she cornered me near the doorway and put her lips next to my ear.
“Let’s go on a date since your wife’s out of town,” she whispered.
“A date’?” I wasn’t sure what she meant.
“I’ll come over after my husband leaves for the weekend.”
I got caught up in a tide of exiting people and waved to Judy as I was shunted from the building into the steamy mid-day glare. Judy came over in the early evening. I answered the door naked.
“When I talked to you this afternoon,” Judy told me, “I wanted to knock you down on the floor and take you by force.”
“That’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all day.”
“What’s a lover for?,” she laughed. We walked arm in arm into the livingroom. Then we stood facing each other, my hands on her shoulders, her hands on my waist.
“Your spouse berates you,” she went on, “your associates hassle you, your friends annoy you. A lover provides strokes and validation.” I smiled at her and playfully pulled up her dress. She was naked underneath. She moved away from me and headed for the bedroom.
I followed and when I got there lifted her dress over her head, and she struggled out of it. We fell into an embrace on the bed. I jerked away from her suddenly and sat on my knees, holding my breath and signaling with my palms for silence.
“What the hell was that?” I croaked. Judy sat up.
“What was what?”
“I heard someone knocking at the front door,” I whispered.
“Really?” Judy whispered too.
“I think so.”
I was paralyzed with fear.
I strained to hear evidence of someone on the porch, but I couldn’t even sort out stray background noises from the whirring of my imagination. Night had just fallen, and the silence and the blank darkness seemed to be all one thing. After a minute of breathlessness, I whispered to Judy, “We can’t know if the person at the door has left yet.”
“I’m not sure there was even anyone there.”
“If there was and we didn’t answer, we have to lay low.”
I sat up.
“If we’re caught now, we’ll never be able to explain ourselves.” My heart was pounding. My sweat chilled my skin. Judy put her arms around me and pulled me down on top of her.
Judy left my house at noon the next day. I was putting clean sheets on the bed when the phone rang. It was Barbra.
“Barbra! God, I’m so glad it’s you. I’m always worried when I answer the phone that it’ll be some nuisance. But it’s nice to hear from you.”
“Silly Phillyboo, how are you?”
“Uh, swell. I guess.”
“What are you doing?”
“Just hanging out here. What about you?”
“Listen, Phil, I just arranged for you and me and Judy to meet here at my apartment and then go out to eat. Is that all right?”
“Why don’t you guys ride your bikes over, and then we’ll walk to the restaurant.”
“Uh.” She paused.
“I already talked to Judy, so I don’t know how to do this, but I’d like to spend some time just seeing you alone. And then we could just be in that space by ourselves for a while.”
“I’d like that a lot.”
“But as it turns out Judy called me up! and I can’t really uninvite her now.”
“Well, no, I guess not.”
“Phil, when we first met I thought we had this special thing for each other, an infatuation. But then you introduced me to the other people who already shared your life, and I just sort of became a part of all that. There was,” she drew a breath, “an unfulfilled promise in that early situation.”
“Yes, I know,” I said. “I missed that, too.”
“Anyhow, what do you want to do this evening besides dinner?”
“What do you have in mind?”
“I feel like fucking.”
Less than ten minutes later, I was bicycling to Barbra’s.
After I’d gone less than two blocks, I saw Judy ahead of me pumping her little fat bicycle. Because I wanted to arrive first, I took a different route, pumping as fast as I could, and when I got to Barbra’s house burst sweating and panting into Barbra’s arms.
“You’re so beautiful,” I told her.
“It’s so good to put my body against yours,” she said as we hung cleaving to each other inside her doorway.
Judy arrived. She knocked briefly and let herself in.
“Hi, Judy,” Barbra said.
“That was good timing.”
“Yeah, I just got here a minute ago,” I said. We all went into Barbra’s bedroom and smoked a joint while we discussed restaurants and our own appetites.
The three of us lay on Barbra’s bed. “I like doing a touchy feely thing with you. Isn’t his ass nice, Judy? It’s the best part. I like a nice ass. I like this one especially.”
Both women handled my ass while I lay on my stomach. Judy was petting me affectionately, possessively.
“Yes, he has a marvelous body,” she said. “It’s so young.”
“And his face is so handsome,” Barbra said. “I really like it. I mean even separate from his personality. But I guess it’s all one thing really.”
“This is very gratifying,” I said.
“But his body is the best part,” Judy went on. Finally we made all the necessary plans and the three of us walked downtown to eat at a restaurant, where the two women turned down the first table offered us. They complained that it was in the middle of the room and was too “exposed.” They asked for a booth. I sat on the outside next to Barbra. Judy sat opposite us, took off her sandals, and played footsy with me.
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