WARNING: This is a story for adults. If you are under 18, please stop reading immediately.
This story may be archived on free web sites but is not to be distributed without the name of the author, changed in any way, or sold. Please do not re-post without consulting the author. Copyright 1998 by Jane Urquhart.
NOTE: If you haven't read "Phone Sex," by Taria, you probably should.
I was stretched out on the bed in this nice room in the Park Plaza that had cost me a fortune gently stroking the cheek of a friend of mine when the damn phone rang. And rang, and rang, and rang.
"Get up and answer it, doofus," Taria said.
"Why?" I said. "Nobody knows we're here." It kept on ringing.
"Because it'll keep ringing until you answer it," she answered.
I really hate people who are right, especially when it means I have to get out of bed buck naked and barefooted and walk across a rug eighty-four thousand other people have already walked on to get to a phone that's got somebody on the other end who doesn't even want to sell me anything. So I got up and answered the phone.
Now, this may seem an odd state of affairs if you have read any of my stories, or Taria's, in the past. You're probably thinking, "How the hell did Janey get into bed with Taria? What are they doing there? Does this mean what I think it does?"
Well, yeah, I guess it does. Maybe I'd better explain.
A few months ago I got a little strange and started doing some things that were, well, strange. Then I decided to write them up and put them on the Internet. Some people liked the stories and I got several "Great job, Janey!" notes that I liked a lot, and a good review that really astonished and delighted me. Some of the notes were a little more than just congratulations, though, and I made some new friends. Of course they may not be who they say they are, but somehow you get to know them anyhow.
For a prim suburban matron who's a part-time vocational counselor with messy hair and no tits, I was having a ball. Just chatting with these people was a terrific new thing for me.
But then something happened that was not just strange, it was downright shocking.
I fell in love.
Well, that's what it feels like to me, whatever you think. And it didn't happen overnight.
One of the people who sent a message hadn't read the first two stories, but she wrote me the sweetest note when she read the one I wrote for Malinov's castaway island party. Among other things, she gave me a lecture:
"You need to ditch this inferiority thing," she wrote, "because you are High Octane and don't need to apologize to anybody. As for your lack of massive cleavage, I for one want to say that when I've thought about women in any erotic way (and only in fantasy even then -- the fictitious "me" is MUCH more daring than the real only-ever-been-with-two-men-in-my-life Me) I've always thought that small breasts were extremely erotic."
Well, what could I do? I wrote back and lied. I said it was all a fake and really I was terribly self-assured and not a bit jealous of women who actually have tits.
Next you thing know another letter, and she tells me she located the first two stories, read them, and immediately wound up her husband for three or four nights of red hot sex. Now that is a compliment. What's more, she described all this action in some detail. Now I was the one getting turned on, but owing to my natural modesty, I'm not even considering telling you what I did about it.
I was getting to know this woman, and I liked her. She's a little younger than I am, and going through the kind of little-kid horrors I suppose everybody has to go through to get big, delightful kids like mine. I could relate. We shared a lot of stuff, from laundry problems to work problems to how tired we get all the time to the way we felt about the stories we read. We talked about our husbands, who are delightful, but, being male, have these weird ways of thinking. She's got a real job, not a part-time dead-ender like mine, and she has to work a lot harder than I do, but she still wrote these wonderful letters.
One day she wrote this:
"I finally bought myself a bike and I ride it to school every day. Then I have to change my clothes in the office. Now I've gotten into the habit of parading around the office in my bra and panties while I cool off. Wonder what would happen if some horny young student knocked on the door while I'm dressed like that?"
If I did the same thing, what would happen would be I'd have a heart attack. But I admired her. She's just the kind of crazy I never am.
I had this odd thought. How nice it would be to hide out in her file cabinet and watch! Then I started fantasizing about jumping out and turning her upside down and-- well, I stopped thinking right then, because this was getting strange. I don't do women! I'm probably the hardest core heterosexual in the whole United States. And Canada. So I obviously wasn't having the thoughts I kept having. That's logic.
I agonized about doing it (would she just stop writing to me?), but I finally got up the nerve to mention to her that I had this thought. About the file cabinet, I mean. She didn't seem at all upset. Thought it was pretty funny, I guess because she knew from my stories that I'm five feet ten and slightly overweight. Kind of large to fit in your average file cabinet. Even so, I figured I'd better just cool it.
Of course I knew she wrote stories, too, and I had read a few of them. They were really good.
One day I was just wandering around the Net, waiting for a late client, and I decided to check out her web page. Nice page, nothing earth-shaking, but it had links to all her stories and I was surprised at how many she'd written. Still no client, and by that time it was obvious he wasn't coming, so I thought I might as well read one. More or less at random, I clicked on a title--Power and the Word.
This isn't just a story, it's a masterpiece. Go read it. I was simply bowled over.
That night I wrote her a note, telling her that if she's black, she could tone down the sex a little and sell that story tomorrow. If she's white, the story was the greatest piece of empathy I'd ever seen.
This woman--obviously it was Taria--didn't just send back "Aw, shucks, twarn't nothin'" like some people might. She told me how she came to write it, and what it did to her. She told me she couldn't write things like that very often, because they made her hard to get along with, overbearing. It sounded as if she were maybe a little afraid of her talent. After all, she's a scholar, not a story teller.
My whole attitude toward her changed. She'd been somebody to shoot the bull with, just another ASSM fuckbunny like me. All of a sudden I was in awe of her. Wow! She traded jokes with me! This great writer told me my stuff was good! I felt like a Little Leaguer playing catch with Cal Ripken.
But she made that go away. I got a story on Celeste's goody list--Celeste is a famous reviewer--and she immediately made it a point to tell me that she'd never gotten one as high on the list as mine was. She talked about what she was learning about writing by reading other people's stuff; she really likes Bronwen's work. She went on then like nothing had happened, like she was just an ordinary person, and joked about showing off for me when I was in the file cabinet. I think then was when I began to fall. Our correspondence continued, and kind of got back to normal.
I asked her to tell me more about herself. After all, she knew all about me because I told the whole world in those stories. Talk about vanilla! She described herself:
"I'm thirty, I'm five feet five, I'm a kind of medium build, medium waist, medium breasts, medium hips, medium brown hair, medium everything. I wear glasses, gold- rimmed, but round, not the icky narrow ones--because I'm near-sighted. My nose peels every summer."
Well, I already knew she didn't have a medium mind.
And my feelings about her were not medium, either.
She told me she had looked me up in the Hotmail directory and it didn't have anything but my name and town. Well, now. Obviously I was not the only one with some kind of weird feeling.
The next night I was feeling really low. I had a writing problem that I thought was big and important, not just about something I couldn't handle in a story, and I didn't know what to do about it, so I just dumped it all on her. On top of that, I'd just read a nauseating story that I had to comment on, and I was sad, and I dumped that on her, too. I told her she was essential to me. And I got physical, really physical, for the first time. I told her I wanted to hold her and to suck on her wonderful "medium" breasts. Me! I really did that! Was I out of my mind? Obviously. Surely she'd go screaming to the Hotmail complaint desk.
She didn't. She told me she loved me. She said she nearly cried when I called her "essential."
But she's as straight as I am, and she was all mixed up about how could she be physical with me when she loved her husband and kids and was always faithful? Then she told me about some English ladies long ago who had written highly erotic letters to each other, and talked about their love, but, as far as she knew, had never done anything physical about it. Maybe we could be like that. But that wasn't what she wanted, either.
The next day she sent me--an apology!
"I've made a fool of myself. Will you ever forgive me? Will you please not take my name off your address list? I'll be good from now on and won't even MENTION any such things."
Well, hell. I just wrote back and said that was the most wonderful letter I ever got in my whole life, and, no, I thought I'd leave her on my list. And would she please mention those things a lot.
We wrote back and forth the most awful gooey, gushy drivel you ever read. I loved it. She told me vaguely she'd like to write a little story about us, and then she wrote a disgraceful thing about a perfectly innocent telephone conversation we had and told me she was going to post "something" one day before it went up. And didn't send me a copy. First I heard about it was a note posted by Kim, one of our fellow authors, on ASSD, which is a discussion newsgroup for sex-story writers. The story didn't come up on my server. I tore apart the DejaNews archive and couldn't find it. I begged Kim to send me a copy and she did. Oh, my.
I just sat there with this fat, dumb smile on my face.
A few days later Taria told me she was coming to Boston to give a paper at some kind of history convention. She teaches history at some little college a long way from here. Being a little cautious, she didn't mention where or when--just said she was coming to Boston. Still, she knew my husband is a history professor, so she must have guessed I could find out pretty easily which meeting she was talking about. I've been to those things with Bob, and they're awful for an innocent bystander. But I thought maybe I'd just look in at this one.
As the day she was coming got closer, I got more and more absent-minded. The washer ate more socks than usual. I almost placed one of my vocational counseling clients who has some striking artistic talents in a job at a boiler factory. I forgot to put ice cream in the freezer so it melted all over the kitchen counter. I was, to be frank, a mess. Even more than usual. I reserved Room 607 at the Park Plaza. Because I was going to that meeting, and I was going to find her.
They made me work the morning the meeting was to start because busy season in the vocational counseling office was beginning. I managed to carry it off all right, because of my usual steel nerves. That is to say, I was a basket case. But I managed.
Then I got on the streetcar, rode it down into the bowels of the earth, got off at the Copley stop, and walked the two blocks to the Park Plaza in a dreary sort of mist that was not quite rain. I got the key to the room and went up, checked it out, and took a shower. All o.k. Then down to the Lafayette ballroom, where the morning proceedings were just breaking up. I had seen the program; I knew that was where she'd be.
People were milling around, carrying papers and notebooks and wearing plastic name badges. I moseyed in and started looking around for the most medium woman in the room. Big ones, little ones, pretty ones, strange looking ones, all kinds. Some mediums, but they didn't look quite right somehow. Then I got up close to the rostrum. A couple of tall guys and three women were clustered around someone, talking away. I sidled up and got a look. At the center of the group was a woman. Just a woman. A "medium" woman. She was handing out what looked like copies of a paper.
Oh, yeah, it was Taria. I was sure. Gold-rimmed glasses and all. She was wearing a light grey suit with a beige shell, knee-length skirt, and black flat shoes. Light pink lipstick, but not much makeup. Medium-sized gold earrings. Her brown hair fell almost to her shoulders. I didn't faint. My heart didn't go pitty pat or anything wimpy like that; it went, "Ka-BOOM! Ka-BOOM!" I just stood there.
Taria started stuffing papers into a big briefcase, still talking to those people. She glanced in my direction and went past. Whoops! She looked back. Right at me. A little furrow appeared in her brow. She looked back at her companions and said, cool as she could be, "I'm sorry, I have to go now. My lunch date has just come." She smiled. They all shook hands. Took seven hours and fourteen minutes.
Then she walked over, looked up at me.
"Janey?" The little furrow was back.
I opened my arms and she just walked in, put her free arm around me. I hugged her. We let go.
"Uh huh," I said, cementing my reputation for witty repartee.
Taria just shook her head and laughed. I laughed.
"Come on," she said, "let's go to that Japanese restaurant down the street. The hotel places will be too crowded." She grabbed her raincoat and we left.
It was still misty and overcast, but I felt like the sun was shining. In the restaurant, we hung up our coats and sat at a little black table. I was shy. Taria was shy.
"I came to find you," I said.
"I knew you would," she answered. "That's the real reason I'm here. It doesn't hurt to read a paper, but it won't make me a full professor anytime soon. I came to see you."
I took her hand.
"What do we do now?" I asked. "Talk like civilized people? Or what?"
"Well," she said. "That's not a problem. For instance, I could say I really do love you, and seeing you hasn't changed that one little bit. I could even say I love your holding my hand. Or I could ask you what you think about the Red Sox."
"I think while we're eating we better talk about the Red Sox," I said.