If once, then always

So, lucky you.  I’ve decided to try out some of the more difficult (read: juicy) bits of work my memoir writing has generated here in this safe, unread, anonymous forum.  So.  Without further ado, I present the time I became Justin Timberlake’s eskimo half-brother. Oh also if you’ve ever wondered what those phone chat singles hotline things are actually like, read on:

HERE WE GO!

I was in my old room above the garage at my parents’ house, visiting them on a rare break from my life in New York; Mary had stayed home to work. Or whatever.  Things were rough with us, and I relished the solitude of my old space, set back from the rest of the house, self-contained and self-sufficient with my own television, stereo, bathroom, couch and separate phone line.

I slipped into my old pattern of staying awake late into the night, flipping through channels in my boxers and a t-shirt, mechanically searching for something interesting–usually a phone sex commercial or a warped music video show.  Internet was still dialup slow and I didn’t have a computer with me in any case, so I was looking for a turn-on.  In high school I used to be able to just about get there if a trio of phone sex ads hit just right, but it was a stretch for sure.

Later on in college, desperate for something to jerk off to, I’d dabbled in actually calling the now toll-free phone sex numbers and getting off to the prerecorded messages encouraging me to press some keys or enter my credit card information.  Something about the earnest and obvious desire to get anonymous callers off managed to tweak the bone just enough to do the trick.  This night I was hoping to see one of those, because just randomly trying to spell out 7-letter dirty words and phrases to punch in after 800, 888, and 877, was a lot of work.    800 FUCK XXX, 877 BIG TITS, 888 GET LAID, you get the idea.

A promising commercial came on.  “Lava Life, meet and connect with hot sexy singles in your area.”  I’d seen this before and not really thought about it.  I’m not super interested in talking to real people.  That would be cheating, and also I hate talking to people.  But this time they were offering 10 free minutes to guys (ladies were always free) to try the service out.  I figured at worst nothing would happen, at best maybe I could get off to the sound of a sexy prerecorded message.  No big deal.  Seemed like a scam anyway.  I dialed the number, my heart racing from a sudden thought that I’d have to talk to a real person right away.

Get yer dick ready, bub

Instead a sexy, female prerecorded voice came on.
“Helloooo and welcome to Lava Life,” and something about it being a sexy place to meet sexy people ready for a sexy time.  Whatever.  “If you’re a man looking for a woman, press 1”

Beep.  I pressed it and the line clicked around, shunting me to my appropriate area in the (sexy) telephoniverse.  Sexy female then came on to inform me I would be allowed to navigate and listen to ladies’ ads all night, but only allowed to chat live for a total of 10 minutes.  Fine.  Then,

“After the beep” still sultry “say your name.” Crisis point.  I need a name.  Luckily I have a default fake name that I use on petitions and at security checkpoints.

Beep. “Jason.”

“Now, record a short greeting to tell us a little bit about yourself,” Oh no.  What to say?

“Hey, I’m a tall white guy home from college,” I’m not sure why I thought that was important.  Did I suddenly want to make sure I didn’t attract the wrong type of girl? The riff-raff? I’m playing a game here, but feel the need to stay true to who I am (educated)? “I’m just messing around on this thing. Holla back.”

Yeah, holla back.  I’m educated but down with the street.  A couple of my friends had been using “holla” ironically and not, so saying it felt like I was putting on a friendly mask.  Sue me.

I hit the key indicating I was happy with my recording and was shunted into a telephonic waiting room, to thumb through the audio equivalent of a binder full of (real? unpaid?) women on the line.

Sexy recording told me what numbers to press to skip to the next girl and how to indicate interest (the equivalent of a “poke” or a “wink” depending on your internet experience) and how to initiate an actual conversation.

I would definitely not be doing that, as this was as far out as I wanted to stick my neck.  It was exciting enough hearing these women, and one obvious tranny, talk about themselves.  I was surprised at how many users were on the line.  I figured by now internet chat would have rendered systems like this obsolete.

“What up fellas, this Shirl.  I’m a caramel complected curvy chick lookin’ for a good time tonight.”

“Hi guys, I’m Stacey.  I’m bored tonight.  Tell me a story.”

“This is Deedee–”
“and Lakeesha”
“We lookin’ for a couple of well hung gentlemen to treat us right tonight.”

And then a chime interrupted my lady surfing.  Boong. Sexy prerecorded voice told me that “Lashawn” was interested in talking.  It played a message to me from Lashawn, who I’d already determined was a man feminizing his voice.  An aural transexual. Phone tranny.

“Hey I like tall white guys. I can make you feel real good. Hit me back.”

No. For a split second I felt exposed, like somehow I might accidentally have to suck some tranny’s dick through the phone, or maybe a charge would appear on the phone bill with “telephonically took it up the ass” in it.

This was entertaining, but it was getting a little too real.  Real as in, it feels like even your voice is enough to expose you when you realize that a bunch of weirdos can hear it.  I half-heartedly punched through a few more recordings, bored with how normal they sounded and worried that all the lurking dudes looking to blow straight guys were preparing to pounce, when another chime announced “Chelsea,” a normal sounding girl, wanted to chat.  A surge of adrenaline, sweet anxiety and nerves.  That changes everything! Might as well answer, right?  It’s totally anonymous and free.  The alternative was to hang up and go to sleep un-whacked.  I should have.

“Hello? This is–Jason.” I was fairly sure that was the name I’d made up.

“Hey how’s it going, ahm Chelsea.”

Chelsea had a heavy accent and used words like “ain’t” and “y’all” and seemed to LOVE chewing gum.  The sheer transgression of it all turned me on.  Even her smacking in my ear sent a current of pleasurable tingles over the back of my head.  This was exciting.  We made stilted small talk, which is harder than I’d anticipated when you don’t want to reveal any personal, true information about yourself.  I told her I was home visiting from college and would be in town for a couple of days only.  She said she had just moved here from California with her mom.  Her thick twang argued otherwise.

“We usetah have a lotta money, but I had ta sell mah Ferrari when we moved.”

“You had a Ferrari?” Suddenly this girl wasn’t even close to normal. In fact, she was bananas.  But my head still tingled.  Maybe even more now that this convo had gone off the rails so abruptly.

“Yeah, we usetah be bigshots in Cali before mah mom split up with her boyfriend.  But he beat her and threatened to kill us if we told so we had to get outta there in a hurry.”

“Really.”

“Yeah.” She shifted tone.  “You know, you sound like mah ex.” She made ex take two syllables. Eyex.

“I do?” I couldn’t wait to see where this was going.  Also, I get that a lot.

“Yeah, ah dated Jay Tee for awhile.”

“JT? As in… you mean Timberlake?”  For a minute I thought I was part of a practical joke, but her sincerity was genuine.  I believed she expected and needed me to believe her.

“Yeah, he bought me a Lamborghini but ah told him ah wanted a Ferrari instead.  So he took it back.  He’s a real sweet guy.  Takes care of his lady.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, he was sad when ah hadtuh leave.  I left the car in Cali.  He was bummed out.  And real good in bed.  He got a huge dick.” Heyoooh!

“I bet.” I have a rule: always play along when conversations get crazy.  Don’t point out the flaws.  It’s way more fun that way, and I need the practice.

“Ah miss him a lot, but we changed our names an’ stuff when we moved, so ah don’t talk to him no more.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Not for you it ain’t.  You can show me your dick if you want.  Ah bet it’s big like Jay Tee’s.”

And that’s when my brain shut off.  I ended up taking my mom’s car to an apartment complex about forty minutes outside of town.   It was about 3AM.  Reality started to seep slowly in, filtered through a haze of horniness and fatigue, sounding alarms I mentally subverted.  I passed a few 7-11’s and thought about condoms but didn’t stop.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with anything physical, so in my twisted state I decided having condoms was like premeditating murder.  No condoms, no sex = no gun, no murder.  When I parked I worried that the license plate of the car was visible to the windows of her building (who knows what a crazy girl is capable of?), so I walked over to a different car and approached from there.  After leaving my wallet in the glove box.

She met me at the door, “Ooooh,” she cooed. “You’re as tall as Justin,”  and yanked me in by my waistband; my body responded instantly and we tumbled into an unmade bed right off the front entryway.

My no-condom plan actually worked.  But only because the sheer fucked-up-wrongness-in-a-good-way of the situation and Chelsea’s vigorously hungry animal passion finished me off long before she started asking for sex.

“You’re as good as JT at that.” She said later, indicating my oral efforts, which I was hoping could substitute for lack of sex and get me the hell out of there.  I was shaking with fatigue (which she mistook for passion) and completely spent.  The magnitude of my actions was beginning to dawn on me.  So I hunkered down like a good soldier and got her off.

Mission accomplished I slunk out of there, full of anxiety that she’d write down my license plate number, or start calling me (I’d called her from my cell when my free minutes ran out, to get her address).  I never heard from her again, but I like to think that maybe she WAS Timberlake’s ex, and he and I are nearly eskimo brothers.  And equally good at cunnilingus.

Back in NY I buried all the implications of this infidelity deep, where they took their time to fester and grow.  It was easy because no one in the world would ever know about it, and it had happened completely anonymously, in a lusty surreal late-night haze half a country away with a serious nut-case.  I tucked the experience into my vault and resolved to live as if it hadn’t happened.  And other than a few frightening moments when I found myself suddenly on the verge of relating to Mary how some crazy girl had once compared my oral skills to Justin Timberlake’s, I succeeded.

By the time our relationship disintegrated, sparked by a hot kiss in a bar and a discovered email about it, I’d completely removed that event from the guilt and shame areas of my consciousness.  It was so warped, so random and strange that I refused to give it the dignity of being labelled as infidelity.   But it was, and it should be given its place as the first of the few times I ever cheated.  If I’d had condoms it probably would have been much worse.  What do I mean by “worse”?

Think a white trash version of this:

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