He told me his story one cold Friday night at my favourite oasis, 'Charlie's Hangout.' I had noticed him a few times, but you could nowhere say he was a regular. I had noticed him because he always looked a bit gloomy, and the few times I had seen him he had finished his last beer at about quarter to twelve, and then he left.
This Friday night he was there when I entered at about half past nine. Sitting at his table with his beerglass almost empty. As I passed him on my way to the bar I said: "See you're running dry. Can I bring you another?"
"Yeah, thank you."
At the bar I dealt my usual nods and 'hello's, got my two Carlsberg draughts and returned to his table.
"There you are. I'm Peter, by the way. May I sit down?"
"Sure. I'm Alfred."
"I've seen you a few times, but you're not a regular."
"No. I only come here about once a month."
"Yes, that figures. You don't seem to have much fun, though."
"Can't say that I do. I don't come here to have fun, only to pass the evening and to get a little drunk."
"Oh, is that so? How come?"
"Aaww, that's a long and strange story, it wouldn't interest you."
"On the contrary. Long and strange stories interest me very much, especially if it's a story which explains why a guy, who looks to have made it, is so gloomy."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you're a pretty handsome man, your clothes, your watch, your language and your behaviour don't tell of a looser."
"You could say that. I'm not a looser, and then, I am in a way. That's the strange story."
"If you want to tell it, I'm very interested. I'm a good listener, and I love long and strange stories."
"I don't know why I trust you to keep it a secret, but I do, and I have to say that I'd like to get it off my chest."
"You can trust me in that department. I'd never tell your secret to anyone."
"OK, then. Let me get us a refill, before I start."
He got up, and returned from the bar with two pints of draught.
"You see, it started way back, in college. I had only ten months left before I'd qualify as an electronic engineer. Then I met my fate at a party. Her name was Carla."
He lifted his glass and saluted me. We took a sip, and he continued:
"I was infatuated from minute one. My attention was drawn to her at first because of her extraordinary beauty, but I quickly found out that she was very bright, sensitive, had a lot of humour, and she was an excellent dancer. Contrary to my expectations, but very much in line with my hopes, we ended up in bed at my place. Neither of us was a virgin, and we really went to town. At four o'clock in the morning we had finally reached a level of exhaustion where we simply had to go to sleep, only to wake up seven hours later to continue where we left. She was not only beautiful, she was a randy, uninhibited and wicked lover. Sunday at brunch we talked about where to go in the afternoon. I had had my mind set on an opera matinee, and when her first proposal was that we went to an opera matinee, if I in any way could stand opera, I was lost."
His face had lost a lot of its gloom while he recounted this first meeting. We took another sip of our beers, and Alfred continued:
"Over the next two months my infatuation gradually changed into a deep and sincere love. A little worm kept nagging me: Why had this wonderful woman not yet been spoken for? On the other hand, I was free on the market too, so what? Our graduation was getting closer. Carla had studied French and American literature. Graduation usually meant getting a job, wherever one was to be found, and the possibility of us being separated was very close to my mind. When we had known each other for seven months I felt absolutely sure, that if ever I was to get married, Carla was to be the woman. I started dropping little hints in that direction, and at first she seemed not to notice. Two months before graduation I brought up the subject again, getting as close to a proposal as possible, without crossing the line. This made her look at me with love in her eyes, but also with a sudden sadness, I couldn't understand. "Oh, oh," she said, "here we go."
At this point Alfred stopped. He grabbed his glass and drained it, and then he looked at me: "I think I'll need another beer before I can go on with this." So I drained my glass too, and went to the bar for another two pints.
"Carla had this love and sadness in her eyes when she told me, that she had never loved anybody as much as she loved me, but it was impossible for her to marry me. It was none of my fault, she said, it was all hers. Of course I wanted to know why, but she said she wasn't so sure I'd like to know. And of course I pressed her, and at last she said: "All right, Alfred, let's get it out. Open a bottle of wine, and let's sit down. This is going to take some time." And then she started telling me a long story, much in the same way I'm telling you mine right now."
Alfred looked up at me and raised his glass. "Cheerio, mate. And brace yourself." We sipped our beer in silence for a little while, and then he started talking again.
"She told me she had this 'kink', 'quirk', 'perversion', or whatever I'd like to call it. "And don't you think I haven't tried to fight it." She had seen a shrink for over two years, she'd tried to withdraw, but she said that much like men who have to dress up in women's clothes sometimes, you can only fight it for so long, and then you just have to give in, no matter the consequences. She told me she tried to withdraw again about four months ago, when she had realised that she was falling seriously in love with me, but it didn't help. She certainly had my attention at that point. I mean, I knew about most of the human perversions, and a lot of them I could live with easily. What the hell was so terrible that she couldn't marry me?"
"She was very reluctant, but finally she blurted out: "All right, Alfred, there's only one way to tell you: The hard and honest way. I get this intolerable craving about once a month: I have to go and get myself fucked silly by two or three black guys who use and abuse me. There, now it's out." I tell you, I was stunned, and I was silent for several minutes, trying to digest this, one way or another. My first inclination was to get up and kick her out and never to see her again. What do you think? How would you have handled it?"
He looked up at me again, but this time his eyes did not reveal much.
"I really don't know, Alfred. I just don't know. You see, perhaps I'm not the right person to ask that question. The last five years before my wife died, we had a 'kink' of a similar kind: I enjoyed sharing my wife now and then, with a complete stranger. But then, I had known her for many years, and I knew it would not endanger our marriage, and I was the one who took the initiative."
"Well, at least you can understand me, kind of. You see, when the first waves of despair had died down, I was left with two strong emotions: I was terribly sad, I was devastated, that I was going to lose her, but in a strange way it excited me,... the thought of a woman in that situation. But I knew it would be a chest of explosives to use for foundation of a marriage. I know it wasn't the most masculine thing to do, but I couldn't prevent my tears from rolling down my cheeks. And that's what we did for a while, we held each other and we cried a lot."
"Before you tell me more, let me go and get us another couple of beers. I need one, and so must you." Alfred grinned at me and nodded, and when I returned to our table he only looked halfway as gloomy.
"Phew, it was good to get half of it off my chest," he smiled at me, "but the worst parts are yet to come. But anyway, thanks. This is the first time half of my waiting time has passed so fast." He lifted his glass, and we saluted each other. "What happened more, that evening?" I asked.
"Well, I had experienced a couple of times before, that it's often easier to talk and tell the truth, when one is driving through the night, so I suggested that we got into my car and took a long drive down the coast. And in a way it helped at lot, at least it did clarify a lot of things. But on the other hand I have often wished, that I'd kicked her out that evening. At least my life wouldn't have become this roller coaster ride from despair to excitement, from love to contempt."
"Well, as I drove the car through the dark night, at first our crying died down, and then, of course, I wanted to know why. But she couldn't tell, because she didn't know. "It has absolutely nothing to do with you, like you being inadequate, or something," she said, "on the contrary, you're the best lover ever. It's all inside myself." She said I was the first man she'd ever wanted to spend her life with, and that was why she was so sad. She had learned to accept herself and her perversion, and that was the only benefit she had had out of psychoanalysis, even if she'd spent a fortune on shrinks. But she also knew, that she was unable to promise me that she'd stop, and that it was such a horrendous demand to put to any man. We didn't reach any conclusions that night, but at least, when the sun rose over the Atlantic on our way back, we had decided not to end our relationship there and then, and that I'd need to digest what I'd just learned. But she did convince me, though, that she had no greater wish than to become my wife, and that the decision was up to me."
At this point in his narrative Alfred got up and said: "I must take a leak. It's all that beer." I got up too, and we went and got our relief. On the way back I ordered two malts at the bar. Felt like I needed one, and if Alfred was not into whiskey I could easily drink both. No trouble there, though, as he joined me at the bar and we finished them off, and he ordered two more to take to our table.
"This is the first time for a long while that I feel like getting myself pissed," he said. "And it's not to drown the sadness, on the contrary. It's more like, to Hell with it, let's have it."
"It dawns upon me, that you must have married her anyway, and that you're here while she's somewhere else."
"You're bloody right, mate. I did marry her, and yes, she's out getting herself fucked silly. And for the first time I'm ok with it." He raised our second malt: "Here's mud in your eyes, mate, and thank's for that."
"Must have been a hard decision."
"It sure was. Took me a couple of months to reach it, but in the end I had to admit to myself, that I couldn't live without her, although I knew it would be difficult to live with her. For the first two weeks we met a few times and talked, and then I couldn't keep my hands off her. And for the whole weekend we fucked and cried, fucked and slept, fucked and ate, slept... on and on till Sunday afternoon. And gradually our relationship slipped into what it had been before the night when she told me. And I had realised, that all the time I had known her, she must have had her monthly bouts, but they had only made a difference to me after I knew about them. So what happened was this: On the night of our graduation we both had a celebration with our families and friends, and we had agreed that when our parties were over we'd meet and have one of our own. It was on that occasion I told her, that I couldn't live without her, no matter what, and would she marry me. She cried a lot again, and said yes, yes, yes, and that she'd write Montreal and call off the job she'd been offered there, and that she'd stay here and wait for another job to turn up."
I looked at him. "I can see, it was the last moment, Alfred."
"Well, my friend, it's close to midnight now. Time for you to go home, if you're going to do the usual thing."
"Oh, Hell. Let her stew a while when she gets home and doesn't find me there as usual. I want to tell you about our wedding before I go, I think you'd even enjoy that."
"OK. Was it that unusual?"
"You bet. I'm sure you never heard anything like it."
"You got me there. Tell."
"OK. We decided to get married as soon as possible, and it became some perverted thing. She said she didn't want a church wedding, because she'd only make the promise, if she could do so with her panties wet and full of sperm, so she knew we didn't promise anything we couldn't live up to. After the first chock I accepted. Hell, she was going to get them wet anyway, so why not. But then her parents raised Hell. They are very wealthy, very proper, very conservative, and THEY demanded a church wedding. And we couldn't very well find an excuse to avoid it. So our wedding was like something out of a film by Fellini, the only difference was that only Carla and I knew. There she was, walking up the aisle by her father's arm, looking all innocent and pretty in her white wedding dress, while I knew that she had had herself fucked half an hour earlier at a friend's house, and that another man's sperm was seeping down into her panties. And after all those holy words about God and 'till death... ' and all, I leaned in to kiss the bride, and she smelled like a whorehouse, and I thought I could smell somebody else's cock on her breath. That was some wedding, I tell you."
"Wow, Alfred, you're absolutely right. Never heard anything like it."
"There was this big reception at her parents' mansion, and as soon as we arrived there she whispered to me: "I'm so happy, Alfred, I never thought this would happen to me, and I love you so incredibly much. I'm going upstairs now to clean myself and get a fresh pair of panties. And I'll always do that. Promise." Then she kissed me again, and off she was. When I saw her next she was all smiles, and she smelled of lilies and roses."
"I've got this question, Alfred, and you don't have to answer, if you don't want to. Have you never been afraid of social diseases?"
"I was, until I asked her. She goes to this club, only ten miles from where we live today. They are a bunch of rich women who have the same inclination as Carla. They have acquired kind of a stable of married black guys, and they are very, very careful to obtain certificates of medical examinations about once a month from everyone, plus these guys have been sworn to have no other relationships than their wives and these women. In some ways they are a bunch of cool witches, even if they crave to wallow in the dirt sometimes."
"Wow. They sure are cool. And is that true, that she cleans herself before she goes home to you?"
"Yeah. She almost smells of baby soap when she gets home. And she never talks about it. And even if you've seen me here, being gloomy and all, I really have no regrets. You know, for the rest of the month I've got the horniest wife of them all, and any guy would envy me. She's always willing, she's always wet, she's kinky, she's fun and she's beautiful, and she's the easiest woman to live with you can imagine. One little hitch, though."
"And of course you don't want me to ask you what that is, do you?"
"Yes, of course I do. And I wouldn't tell you if you hadn't told me about you and your wife, earlier. Because I know you'll understand."
"OK, bring it out, even if it's the last thing you do tonight."
"Well. I have to admit, that the thought of her fucking another guy has made me plenty horny at times. But I've never had the benefit. She keeps this 'kink' to herself. I think I'd really love to watch her with someone else, and then fuck her afterwards."
"I can only say, that with my wife I found it terribly exciting, and some of our best fucks were those when she was freshly fucked, or when we talked about it in bed."
"Yeah. Would excite me too. I couldn't ask you a favour, could I?"
"You can try."
"OK. And if it doesn't work I can find another café where to spend my monthly waiting hours. Carla will be at home by now. Could I persuade you to come home with me, so we can both fuck her tonight?"
"Hey, mate. That's a heavy question. Are you sure she'd want to? After all I must be about 20 years older than she is."
"No, I'm not sure she will. But I've thought about this a lot. And if she says no I'll tie her up on our bed, and we'll have our will with her."
"Well, up to a certain degree I'm with you. No hard stuff, though, can you agree to that?"
"Sure, I wouldn't want to do that myself. Come on, let's go. I live only two blocks away."
This evening surely had taken an unexpected turn. We didn't talk much for the 7 or 8 minutes it took us to reach Alfred's apartment.
"Ah, she's still up," Alfred said. "The light is on, up there on the second floor."
As we entered his apartment Alfred didn't say anything, and soon we heard her voice from the living room: "Alfred, is that you? Alfred?"
"Yeah, it's me," he said, as he entered the room.
"But where have you been?" she asked.
"Where I've always been on these nights, only this time I've done a lot of talking with Peter. Meet Peter." He showed me into the room.
A stunningly beautiful woman got up from the sofa and came towards us. "Hello, Peter. And hello, Alfred." She reached out her hand towards me, and we shook hands, whereupon she went to Alfred and kissed him.
"A little late for guests, isn't it? But it's all right. What can I bring you? Coffee? A glass of wine? A cold beer?"
"We've had beer all evening, so we'd better stick to that, dear."
She flashed him a pretty smile and a little later she returned with three cold beers and three glasses. "And what makes you bring Peter 'round at this time of night?" Her question looks harder in print than it sounded when she voiced it.
"Well, Peter and I had a long, long talk tonight, and I told him a lot about us."
"You didn't, did you?" I thought I saw a glimpse of surprise in her eyes, but it was quickly replaced by what I interpreted as love. "Well, if you trust Peter to keep our secret I think it may be very, very good for you to have a friend to confide in."
"I trust him, all right. And it's been a very good evening for me. And I've come to realise a few things about myself."
"Then tell me, love. You know how I feel that this is pretty unfair to you, and anything that might help you is ok with me."
"Among a lot of other things I found out, that I have a strong wish to fuck you together with another guy. And that's why we're here. And if you want to protest, I'll tie you up on our bed and do it anyway."
"But I don't want to protest, Alfred, love. If that is what you wish you don't need to tie me up. Only your timing is not the best."
"Please, explain yourself."
"Well, first of all it's late, and if you'll pardon the expression I'm really fucked out. If we do this, I'd want it to be a wonderful experience for you. Couldn't we make a date for tomorrow? I'd love to cook a nice meal, and then we'd have all evening to ourselves. What do you say? And what do you say, Peter?"
I could see why Alfred was so much in love with her. These most unusual sentences were delivered with a loving smile to her husband, and I had no reason whatsoever to doubt her sincerity. Alfred looked at me.
"For my part I can only say it's fine. I have no appointments for tomorrow, and in fact I think I'd feel better about it."
"To be honest, I think I would too," Alfred said.
"So we have a date then?" She smiled to us. "Shall we say at 7?"
"Sure," I said, and Alfred nodded.
We took about ten minutes to finish our beers, and there was a lot of nice and cosy small-talk, as if this was any ordinary evening. At last I got up and said goodnight to this most unusual couple. Alfred and Carla both hugged me in the doorway, and my last remark was: "Give me a call if you change your minds, eh? If I hear nothing I'll be here at 7."
My head was spinning as I walked back through the dark and silent streets. My own flat was one block away on the other side of 'Charlie's Hangout', but even if I really could do with a shot of malt and a beer to calm down, I didn't want to face the regulars there. So I dropped in at a small bar, a little before I reached 'Charlie's'. It had been quite some evening, and I needed some time to contemplate, partly what Alfred had told me, and partly the part I was going to play Saturday evening. I couldn't in all fairness say, that my contemplation brought me any clarity, so in the end I just walked home, dropped into my bed and fell asleep a few minutes later.
I didn't wake up until noon on Saturday. A couple of cups of coffee brought me back to this world, and of course I couldn't avoid thinking a lot about what happened last night. The talk with Alfred had been highly interesting, but my mediocre attempts to analyse his situation didn't help me much. In a way I felt a bit sorry for the guy, but on the other hand I didn't. I'd got the impression, that for 29 days of the month he had a beautiful, devoted and horny wife. I don't know many married guys who wouldn't settle for that ! So she had this kink. And so what? He knew about it when he married her, and apparently it changed nothing in her love for him. Maybe he was just a bit envious, and maybe that was why he had invited me to fuck his wife.
I got nowhere near a reasonable explanation, but I remembered how terribly exciting it had been to fuck my wife and to watch another guy do it first. Having come so far I decided to go there at 7 as we had agreed. I turned on my answering machine in case they would call it off, and then I went for a long walk in the nearby park. When I returned at about four I went to bed and had a nice two-hour sleep, showered and shaved, dressed nicely but casual, and at 7 I rang the bell at Alfred's and Carla's.
It was Carla who opened the door, and my God did she look like something out of heaven. Very dark, brown, wavy hair hanging below her shoulders, beautifully curved eyebrows and a wonderful straight, narrow nose. Her eyes were shining as she welcomed me and received the bottle of Portuguese vino verde I had brought along. She guided me into the living room and made an excuse for Alfred. "He's still in the shower, but I guess he'll be here in a minute or two. I have to admit that I delayed him somewhat."
God, this woman was something. I looked her over without being too obvious, and I couldn't have found a better sight. She was dressed in a slinky, shiny white dress, which showed off her slim body to its best, and also revealed that she was wearing nothing under it.
"Make yourself comfortable, Peter. I'll be in the kitchen for ten more minutes, and by then Alfred will be ready for dinner."
"Anything I can do to help?"
"Not really. Oh, yes. I can feel you have chilled this wine. If you will open the bottle we can have it as a welcome drink. I like vino verde very much, but I've only tasted it a couple of times. It's slightly bubbly and tastes very fresh, as far as I remember."
"You're right there." She handed me a bottle-opener, and showed me the cupboard with glasses, so I took the opened bottle and three glasses into the living-room.
Alfred entered the room, looking freshly scrubbed, and with a big smile on his face. "Hi, Peter. Carla delayed me a little, hope you don't mind." He didn't look at all as if he minded.