stands at the bottom of the stairwell wanting to know if he can come up.
I'm wearing jeans ripped in the ass and a tee shirt. My bare feet curl
over the threshold to my apartment. The arches sweat. The nails are red.
This is the house I inherited from my parents. Entire first floor is mine: lots of space and wood floors, vaulted ceiling, plants, windows, the fireplace and throw rugs, candles, no doors. I rent out the rest of the house. There are three mail slots: Tab Kidman, Carrie Willis, and Mica Elton. Carrie is the middle, although she would never refer to herself as that, and Mica rents "the cellar." Dark carpets and small spaces suit him.
I nod for him to come up. He has green eyes behind wire glasses, a childish face he doesn't always shave. He's thin. Light skinned. Wears dark clothes that hang off him. He jogs up the steps, bringing with him a scent of an ashtray overflowing with cigarettes and hours spent contemplating his narrative. At night, I sit at the computer with writer’s block then suddenly smell Mica coming in through the windows, up through the vents and I covet his energy, pilfer his youthful exuberance and begin to type. I end up with a poem that I’ll slide into a manila envelope and try to guess which shoebox the editor’s response will end up in? The one with a modest pile of acceptance letters or the rejection box, which spills over with paper vomit?
Mica comes upstairs to brag. Exactly the way it was the first time. Two months ago, that night, Mica called up from the bottom of the stairwell. "Miss Kidman? You up?" It was one a.m. I was beating worthless poetry into the keyboard and drinking a whiskey sour.
I opened the door, figured the dark, light slip of a young man down the stairs for a hallucination. I didn’t recognize one of my tenants at first.
Then he spoke again. "You busy?"
"You mean have I got company?” A smile curled my lips. “Carrie’s not here." My other tenant who called Mica a pretentious brat; my smile widened.
Mica held up a manuscript that glowed from the light inside the house. "I have to read this to you."
His head pumped up and down.
"Yours, I suppose?"
"Come on then. Hurry up."
Mica settled into one of my armchairs and began to read his narrative-borderline self-indulgent, but edgy-and then he gazed at me through his glasses, looking painfully younger than twenty-six. "You like it?"
I sat across from him, fascinated by the vein twitching at the base of his neck. "It’s a solid start," I replied. Mica smiled like he knew it but didn't. I wanted to pat his head. I gave him a scotch. Eventually, he confessed he would have let Allen Ginsberg fuck him up the ass.
"You like having sex with men?"
"I let a guy suck my cock once." A naughty smile.
"You wanted him to give you head?"
Another naughty smile, what a boy. Shrug.
"Usually I have sex with girls."
Someone once told me that bisexuals are confused. I would say Mica, like many of us, crossed boundaries, blurred lines, and became consumed by his own passions. When writers write, we're all knowing, all doing and it spills over sometimes. We find that we like what we’ve imagined.
* * *
Tonight, the night I stand at the door in bare feet, Mica jogs up the stairs and then makes it clear: he wants to talk about his cock. I'd attribute that to his age, but then I'd have to attribute wanting to hear about it to mine. On a good day, I'm thirty; on a bad day, thirty-nine. What’s the difference? Fuck if I know. Women's magazines swear I'm in the prime of my life: when I can give the most, and take the most, too.
Mica draws me a picture. The cock is huge.
So I ask about that.
Mica grins like a bashful, prideful child. "People who know call me Magnum."
"Is that so?”
"Yeah." He adds to his sketch.
I pour us both a drink. Sheets of my poetry are strewn all over the room. The shoebox vomited again this morning. Enough to make me desperate. What I need is a distraction.
Mica raises his glass, grinning goofy but cute, and we toast.
I look at the sketch, "I’m not sure I’m perfectly clear. Show it to me."
"My cock?" Mica looks as if he won the Pulitzer Prize.
Mica's eyes are feverish behind his glasses. He jerks down his zipper, smirking. I take in phallus flesh. Pointing straight at me. Magnum, indeed.
cock, Mica." My mouth waters; my cunt aches from emptiness. This baby could
fill me up.
Mica fumbles with the fly of my jeans. We're both heaving for breath. He goes for a condom already. I tell him, “First things first, right?” and I spread my legs and lay his hand on my naked cunt. He plunges a finger in; I'm wet and open. Another finger falls in, my own, and I writhe, grabbing Mica’s head and shoving it down there so he's fucking and sucking in unison. I feel blood rushing to my center. My cunt gives. I kick him off me. Mica gasps, and I see him double over, fist around Magnum, semen dripping off his hand down his wrist.
I doze momentarily, sated, satisfied, and when I open my eyes Mica is hard again. That’s what I like. Maybe. But I got mine. Then the excited glaze in his eyes, his trembling mouth and the way he stutters, “G-gotta fuck you n-now,” gets me hot again, thumping. Mica struggles with the condom, gets it on and I tell him, “Sit. I’ll take the top.”
I manage to get situated with little trouble and rock on top of him as he sits in the chair. I use my legs to move my cunt up and down this cock, pulling the skin, rubbing my walls, and hitting my clit just right. Mica bites down on his lip. He’s rising to the top, boiling into the condom’s reservoir, flooding. Mica shudders and groans, “Oh shit.”
I hold his head, feeling thick, sticky-soft hair, some kind of oil that shines my fingers.
* * *
Mica and I, who are nocturnal, Carrie writes at night, not usually up before
two p.m., but when she rises it's epic. She wakes me, bumping around below,
talking to herself, or her cat. She then puts on Courtney Love's band,
Hole, contrary to her sunshiny way of rising, but complimentary to her
dark, moody prose. Death was a common theme. I’m not sure how many times
she has killed her father.
She came up later with a picnic basket. "Tab. You screamed at me, swore."
"Because you’re a loud riser. Drive me fucking crazy.” Meanwhile, I poked around the picnic basket, seduced by the scent of chicken and pumpkin pie. I liked keeping her around for a few reasons, and this was one of them.
sweet and seething, happy to curl up to me, bring me presents, cook, read
my poetry and say it’s wonderful, but she could turn pissy, like when she
discovered Mica’s manuscripts on my desk. She read through it and then
slapped it down with a snort. “Load of self-serving crap!”
Carrie’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not fucking that dweeb?”
At that point I wasn’t. So I said no. Carrie snuggled in close like a twenty-four year old child. "Tab, I’m in love with you.”
She probably believed she was in love with me. Sometimes I thought I loved her, too.
Carrie ran her hands down my hair to my neck, fingering the nape, the pulse. She kissed me there, lips blowing, and then her hands smoothed over my shoulders, across my breasts. I closed my eyes, let her take me. She pressed her palm on my shirt before dragging her nails over my nipples that stood up against my cotton shirt. Then Carrie licked my erections, the nipples through the shirt while below another erection blossomed beat, and burned.
We fell to the floor, entangled. I was naked, she was naked, too, and we slid together like marble giving way. I dug her foal-like long limbs, knobby knees, slender hips. Her breasts swayed above me and the nipples grazed my lips. I caught one, sucking. Carrie moaned. Her hair fell forward, hiding her face, covering mine, and then sliding over the pulse in my neck.
"Do you love me, Tab?"
held her hair back from her face, large eyes. Carrie had a wide mouth,
sharp, crooked teeth like mine.
“You’re both interesting.” And I reached for a strand of her hair.
Carrie pulled away. “Only want you, Tab. Just. You.”
I spoke to her softly, smiling, trying to get her stoked up, rising and horny again. "I’m flattered, baby. Let’s take it a day at a time and see what happens?” I kissed her.
Carrie moaned against my mouth, caved in.
* * *
Later that night, I try to write. It comes slowly, near forced. I hear something outside and go to the window. Mica and Carrie stand in the alley. Mica drops a bag of trash. His glasses slide down his nose, catching shards of moonlight. Carrie crept up on him. Her hair is full of electricity. She has the lid of a trashcan in her hand like a weapon.
"Shit!" I snap out loud and start to go outside. Then I stop, sigh, shit. Too old for this, Tab. In over your head. I return to the computer, easing into the chair, and suddenly I type, aware of my glow like fireflies sparring in the alley below.
* * *
Carrie wants me to come to her reading. She's presenting her portfolio to a group of graduate students and professors. I loved teaching, but in academia, a professor is either published or perished. Constant aggravation and paper work, politics, community services, and lip service often hemorrhaged my writing efforts. I needed a vacation in two years; I mean a long vacation and got one. Things became quiet, solitary, too. I spent day after day at the computer. Then what was wrong with me? My routine got monotonous, dry. I came up with a bright idea to rent out parts of the house. Before long, two little rat writers showed up: excitement, energy, worship.
Carrie begins to read to the group. Her words are engrossing, disturbing, and I can tell her peers are jealous. Toward the end of her presentation, Carrie turns sentimental. I'm caught off guard while she reads right at me, words gushing like sugar from the bag all over the podium. I manage to stay and clap for her.
Afterwards, Carrie is juiced up: electricity in the hair again, fire in the eyes and she wants to go. She drags me off campus, going nowhere. She stops and bumps against me. We embrace like girls, giggling. She pushes me against a tree and the bark scrapes my back through my shirt. She lifts the hem, licking around my navel, my ribs, and then to my breasts, no bra. I hold her head, stroke her hair, which I love, touch her face. I'm turned on, rising, my clit.
drops to her knees, buries her face in my crotch. She makes love to my
cunt with her mouth through my jeans. She uses her teeth. I keep her hair
in my hands, pulling. She rips off my pants. My cunt grins at the moon.
Her tongue moves, fucks me, and then nurses on my clit, trying to get to
the thump. I imagine not caring, giving in. I open myself, resting a thigh
over her shoulder, pressing against the tree for balance and ignoring the
bark. "Good, baby. Good. I'm close…" I bleed come on her tongue.
shove my hand under Carrie’s skirt, feel her sweating cunt, hot oil that
is musk and almond, copper penny smells on my fingers when I suck on them,
push them into her mouth to share.
I bite her just right so her orgasm is there in seconds. Foal legs wrapped around me like a wrestler's. Then, "Tab. I won't let you go.” She cries.
I’m crying, too.
* * *
is cooking. It's after ten p.m. I've been writing since noon: poems dripping
out the end of my fingers onto the keyboard until it glows from the effort,
my genius. There is less paper vomit on the floor lately, a little bit
less. I think I have a publisher for my second book of poems.
I hear Mica at the bottom of the stairwell, wanting to know if he can come up.
Carrie's clatter ceases. "He's not invited."
I sigh, pick up my drink and drain it.
"Tab? You there?" Mica yells. Pretty soon, he stomps up the steps and lets himself in. I pour a whiskey for me and then Carrie, and then one for him, too. Mica looks from me to Carrie to himself. And then he looks back at me. Carrie eyes Mica warily.
"A toast," I say.
“Got one,” Mica is quick. He lifts his glass at me. "Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson." Mica chuckles, pleased with himself, blushing.
Carrie thinks it’s funny, too. She actually smiles. Mica's glass chimes with mine. Carrie's glass chimes with mine. Then their arms drop and they eyeball each other. I wait until both of their glasses rise in front of me, clinking. Mica looks adorable in dark pants, a tee shirt, and a knit cap. Of course, Carrie is irresistible in her lingerie and apron. I kiss her. She kisses me back. I kiss Mica. He thrusts his tongue inside my mouth. Not to be outdone, Carrie kisses me again. When she lets me go, I run my tongue over my teeth, feel the pang in my gut, my cunt. I play with Carrie's hair, the silk, and Mica's hair, curling sticky-soft. I take a whiff of what bubbles below the surface of their skins, pumping.
"Good babies," I whisper. Do they see my bared, crooked teeth?
I tell them, “Kiss each other,” and they hesitate long enough that I think it’s not going to happen. Then they kiss, dry and clumsy at first before Mica grabs Carrie’s hair in his hands; he tongues her mouth. God, I’m turned on. Then I see it, a flash of things to come: they’ll leave me and go with each other. I can live with it. Right now, it’s all for me.
© 2002 Lana Gail Taylor. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post.
About The Author:
Lana Gail Taylor is a
pseudonym for Alana Noël Voth, a single mom and MFA student at the
University of Oregon. Her erotic fiction has appeared in Bedroom Eyes:
Lesbians in the
About The Story:
I wrote the first draft of “Rise to the Top” three years ago for a worldwide “call for submissions” for an anthology of bisexual fiction. The editor raved to me about the story; but she also worried that the amount of drinking the characters-- three writers-- did in the story incensed an age old stereotype: the “tortured artist.” I removed a few highballs from their hands, but not all of them. The story is tongue-in-cheek; it’s also “balls-to-the-wall” realistic. Ultimately, the publishing house deemed the writers in the story “too pretentious” for publication. But pretentious and drunk and competitive and oversexed they remained. I stand beside my characters. Besides, a lot of lascivious action occurs in this story; and the characters enthrall me, make me laugh, piss me off, but fascinate me all the same-- maybe because they were inspired by an actual love triangle never consummated. Not really.
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