VOL. 1  NO. 2  SEPTEMBER 1999



Better Than Ben & Jerry's

By S. Craig Zahler

(Second of a three part series)

Date Two.

We see a movie. Again she's late. Here the jeopardy is different because I won't go into a movie once it's started, a situation I really want to avoid because it makes me look like an anal-retentive freak. When we meet she sees that I am standing in line waiting to get admitted into the theater.

"Were you going to go in alone?" she asks, somewhat perturbed.
"No, I would've taken someone else."
She pseudo-laughs.

Neither of us likes the movie. We go out for a drink afterwards. She has a soda, I have some scotch. Again I am forced to be both the maestro and orchestra. At one point she asks me if I'm an actor and I realize exactly how little she's been listening to me. But this just might be how the beautiful people converse-- the same story is told over and over again and no one ever listens. They just sit and think about their pores and feet. I pull out some decent stories to fill the gaps-- about my heavy metal magazine, about being caught in a stampede while shooting a movie, about lighting things on fire as a child-- I babble and bubble like a carbonated idiot. She laughs and seems interested, but who really knows.

We move into the bar's sofa room, where I offer her mints from a box upon which hangs a used band-aid that had been covering a blister on my finger. It grosses her out. I awkwardly scramble to redirect the conversation, and ask her when she is available next.

"I already told you I'm busy on the weekend," she tells me with clear hostility.
"I know, I just want to know when you are free."
"Tuesday." Well, that's three Tuesdays in a row. I must be pretty special to her. A moment later we are kissing.

Imagine eating vanilla ice cream your entire life and then, one day, chocolate-chip cookie dough is added. You could eat this flavor like uni-textured vanilla, but that would be a waste. You could let the cream melt and glide through it to eat the still-frozen dough. Or you could let the dough melt too and crunch upon the chocolate chips. What I'm getting at is that the dough has added several luscious variables into the equation.

Her lips change kissing into an arena of poly-focused oral engagement. I nibbled outside and went in for the kill, my lips suspended in plasmic euphoria. I re-emerged and tenderly reacquainted myself with the bypassed lobes, in no hurry to dive in again. The dough, the chips, the cream... now think if I actually had an emotional connection with this woman! Obviously I'm quite passionate about kissing. I think it can be as erotic and intimate as actual sex and it is also mentally freer (no condoms, worries of pregnancy, STDs, finishing too soon, taking too long, etc.).

She pulls back from our connection, her eyes looking a little dopey in an adorable way.

"I usually don't kiss in public."
"We're practically alone here," I say, almost accurate.
We kiss some more.

We end the evening and I put her in a cab. "Do you want me to pay for the cab?" I ask her as I open the door. Now really, that might be the stoooopidest thing I've ever said on a date. Of course I should have either A) handed the driver money and paid her fare or B) said goodnight and shut the door. But I was working with very little blood flowing to my brain at this point, so bite me.

...to be continued next issue

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