(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)



[Tsaurah Litzky is a poet and writer of fiction, non fiction and erotica. We call her America's queen of erotic literature. Susie Bright, editor of the yearly Best American Erotica books, calls her "Miss Dirty Stories." Tsaurah's work has appeared in Best American Erotica 95, 97, 99, 2001 and will be included in BAE 2002. She has also been published in Penthouse, LONGSHOT, The Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Appearances, Downtown Poets, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Pink Pages, Beet and many other books and periodicals. Her poetry books include Kamikaze Lover (Appearances 1999) and the recently published Good Bye Beautiful Mother (Low Tech Press 2001). Formerly a columnist for the now defunct New York arts weekly Downtown, she now teaches erotic writing and literature at the New School University. ]

I was lying in bed but I couldn't sleep. The red numbers on the clock on the bedside table said 2:27AM.  I was not exactly alone in bed. I was surrounded by my sex toys, all three of them: the eight-inch Dynamite Dong, made out of hard, red rubber with a white rubber tassel on the end; the spongy, textured, flesh colored Miracle Man, complete with two perfect round peach balls, which is supposed to be an exact replica of the phallus of David Duchovney, and last but not least, the battery operated MiniMassager that looks like a large white lipstick and is the best friend my clit ever had.

I was also in the company of my old blue teddy bear Fluffy. I was clutching him with both arms to my chest. He has been with me since I was seven. He no longer has his teddy bear fluff, but he has never abandoned me. Threadbare and shiny though he is, he is true blue, he has never strayed from my bed.

"Oh Fluffy," I mumbled into his worn, little head. "If only you were a smart, sensitive, six-foot-one, 170-pound man who was truly in love with me."

Wisely, Fluffy didn't answer.  

I had just used every one of my toys; I even used the Dynamite Dong twice. In the process I had almost completely used up my tube of Goddess Gush Ultra Deluxe Lube imported from Berlin that cost 30 dollars a tube.  With all my efforts and despite two tepid climaxes, I was still itchy and unsatisfied. Usually I have a fine time at my little private parties. Tonight, I must be still too bummed out by that awful encounter I had at Mariah's opening earlier in the evening.

Mariah's opening was at a gallery on the newly hip Smith Street. I liked it much better down there when it was all bodegas and mattress stores. Lately, I don't even like to go down there Friday nights. Instead of the neighborhood people and occasional serious arty types that I used to find in the few bars and restaurants, I now find more bars and more restaurants. all packed with young people who look like extras from When Harry met Sally. Still, it was Mariah's first solo show and she had begged me to come.

 "Please,? she said, "Get dressed up in a fancy suit, wear your big horn-rimmed glasses, walk around and tell everyone you're an art critic and think the show is fabulous."

 "I refuse to play into your insecurities," I told her, "but I will come and lend moral support, maybe I'll even meet an art critic."

I get there at nine and the Nexus, Sexus, Plexus Gallery is mobbed. The mob is in a jolly mood, evidence that the wine and beer had been flowing freely.  Mariah's paintings of the Red Hook waterfront are gorgeous. There were so many people congratulating her that I had trouble catching her eye. Finally, she saw me and I gave her the high five. The walls of the gallery were painted a shade of violent, pissy yellow so glaring that even the eyeballs of the great Henry Miller would have been shocked. I felt like I was stuck in a crowd of people stuck inside a giant putrefying egg yolk.

It occurred to me that this jaundiced vision might well be the result of alcohol deprivation, so I made my way through the crowd to the drink table. I had just poured myself a full plastic cup of blood red Merlot---red wine is best for strengthening the heart---when my arm was jostled and I turned to find myself facing a man of medium height wearing a sleeveless black leather vest and jeans. He had a craggy Charles Bronson kind of face that I found attractive. He was wearing a silky, red and pink rose-patterned scarf tied loosely around his neck, an incongruous touch, but maybe he was trying to appear sensitive. Or maybe he was an art critic.

 "Did any one ever tell you," he said to me suddenly in a deep smoker's voice, 'that you have a beautiful neck? "

"Er, well, no," I said. This was a novel come-on.

"And a pretty face too," he added, "extending his hand. "I'm Roy Smith."

Obviously, I thought, he is a person of real discernment. I told him my name as I put my hand in his big mitt.

"I'm an accordion player," he said,.

No wonder his hands and arms were so huge.

"Are you named for Smith Street or is Smith Street named for you?? I asked.

He laughed.

"Named for me, of course," he said. We were off to a good start.

Roy Smith poured himself a glass of the red and we moved away from the table to the front of the gallery where there was more space. We found a wall to lean against between two paintings and continued our conversation. We really hit it off. He said he had read a couple of my stories, although he could not remember which ones or where he had read them. I was telling him how much I loved the accordion, and just as he said, "Well, why don't you come up to my place? I live two blocks away on Degraw. I'll give you a private concert," there was a commotion in the crowd.

Suddenly the strains of Amazing Grace played on a harmonica, could be heard above the din of conversation. The music got louder, and then the crowd parted to reveal a very old man with silver, grizzled hair wearing tattered clothes. He was holding the harmonica to his mouth with one hand. The other hand was out in front of him grasping a grimy, "I Love NY? paper cup. His odors preceded him. Several people drew back as he passed. I felt only compassion. I rummaged though my purse and pulled out a dollar bill. As I stepped forward to put it in the paper cup, Roy Smith suddenly grabbed my arm,

 "Don't give that vermin anything," he yelled. "Dirty, homeless, scum, they shouldn't let him in a place like this, with educated people. Get ouuta here, you filthy Spic," he bellowed in the poor man's face.

I felt like I suddenly found myself in a terrible dream. . I pulled my arm out of Roy Smith's grasp. I stepped in front of him, managed to put the dollar in the cup an instant before the harmonica man, with a terrified look on his face, turned and ran out of the gallery.

Two, tall guys, in white tee shirts and beige chinos, materialized beside Roy Smith.

"What's going on, what was that noise all about? " One of them said.

Probably, they were the gallery owners. Immediately, Ray Smith, was only charm and grace.

"Nothing, nothing at all, gentlemen," he said, putting on an ingratiating smile, "I just got a little loud, sorry??

The bitter wine I had downed had turned to bile in my stomach. I felt sick. I had to get out of there. Leaving Roy Smith still in conversation with the two men, I made my way towards the door and out into the clear, summer night.

Now lying in my messy bed, my body damp and redolent with my juices and lube and sweat, I still felt sick. Just my luck, I finally meet a guy I think is hot and he turns out to be psychotic. Maybe I'm just a nut magnet. Wondering if I would ever find true love, I decided to try to calm myself with my toys, perhaps an intense orgasm could save me.    My best chance of success would be a pas de deux, a double-header. I would slide that dynamite dong deep, deep inside me making sure that the sexy wick was high-up enough to tickle my cervix. While moving that in and out with one hand, I'd take my miraculous MiniMassager in the other hand, turn it on, and then caress my clit with the expertise of a thousand Casanovas. Just thinking about such a wonderful double-header lifted my spirits and made my love juices flow. Maybe I would not have to use the dregs of the Goddess Gush lube.

I jumped up from the rumpled bed and threw the top sheet, the quilt and the pillows on the rocking chair. I put Fluffy and the Miracle Man on the bedside table.  Then I commenced to straighten the bottom sheet, pulling the corners tight until the fine blue cotton was smooth and inviting as a

She liked
how lifting her breasts
pulled her nipples high and tight

mountain lake on a hot August day. I put one of the pillows back at the foot of the bed and placed the two lucky toys upon it. Earlier, I had been frantically working in the darkness, but I went and got the pink candle for romance in the heart-shaped candleholder, from the shelf. I lit it and put it on the bedside table so the bed would be bathed in a golden glow.

Then I put Marvin Gaye on the CD player and lay flat on my back on the bed. I stretched, pulling my arms straight back over my head, reaching far back into the night, my fingers searching for the golden apples of paradise. I liked how lifting my breasts pulled my nipples high and tight. I started to lick the palm of my hand slowly all over with my hot tongue. I pretended the palm of my hand was that small, smooth place between a man's balls and the puckered pink flower between the two globes of his ass. I closed my eyes and imagined a pair of fat, heavy balls the color of eggplant. I stroked those balls with my fingers, the firm smooth skin like velvet to my touch. My palm was now very wet and I put it down between my legs. I found my own perineum, then I moved front and began dipping my fingers in and out of my open, ready cunt. I reached around with my other hand until I found the Miracle Man. My fingers got a good grip around the base and".the phone rang! 

No way I was getting up to answer it. One, two, three rings, I didn't want to break the fine rhythm my fingers were beating inside me, I had a good thing going. My innocuous voice greeting floated out into the room. I heard the three beeps signaling to my caller that now was the time to leave a message. Then I heard loud weeping, a woman, wailing and shrieking. After a minute, I could make out the words, "Colette, Colette, are you there, help me, help me, please, please," a long litany of pleases, and then the weeping began again.

My libido dried up completely; someone was in trouble, someone that knew my name. I released the Miracle Man and jumped up to get the phone.

 "Who is it, who is it??  I cried into the receiver,

A tiny voice, almost a whisper, said, "Ma.MaMa- Ma-Ma rii "

I realized it was Mariah, "Oh God, Mariah, what's the matter, what happened? " I asked.

"Colette, Colette, could you come over?? She started sobbing again,

"But what happened," I wanted to know, "Are you hurt??

"N-n-no, no, I don't think so, I don't know," she stammered"..

"Listen to me, Mariah, may be you should call the police."

"No, no police, no police, please come over. I need you,? she said.

"Ok," I told her. I looked at the clock, It was 3:30 in the morning, but that didn't matter. "Don't worry, hold on, I'm coming. I'll get dressed and be right over." I hung up the phone.

I pulled on jeans, a sweatshirt, sneakers. I blew out the pink candles. My romance would have to wait for another time, Mariah needed me. I grabbed the same red brocade evening bag I had been carrying earlier. My wallet, drivers license, money, Tylenol, and the tube of Astroglide I carried with me everywhere, were still inside. I locked the door to my apartment and ran down the four flights to the street.

My second hand Toyota was parked five blocks away. When I first moved here under the Brooklyn Bridge, the neighborhood was always deserted at night. I could park anywhere. Now it is all condos and co-ops and tourist buses and overpriced restaurants. In the old days I felt like a pioneer on the waterfront, now I feel like a survivor from a vanished world.

I walked to my car, got in, and headed up old Fulton to Court Street. Mariah lived in a three- room apartment on Pacific Street close to the corner of Smith. There were no parking spots on her block either. I had to park up by Sackett St. Walking down Smith, I passed five new restaurants on one block, sigh!

I rang the bell and Mariah buzzed me right in. I walked the two flights to her apartment and knocked. I heard her steps come slowly down the hall and then she opened the door.

She was wearing a long, shocking pink chenille robe and her face was all puffy and so pink from weeping that it was practically the same color. Her lipstick was smeared all over her lower face and her eye make-up ran in black spider legs down her cheeks. Her neck was all chafed and red as if she powdered it with blusher, Her long, blonde hair which had been done up in an elegant French knot for the opening was undone and snarled up like a birds nest. She was a wreck. Even though she looked all roughed up, I didn't see any blood and she was standing. The back of her robe was wet and the underarms were stained with sweat. We hugged each other and then, "I'm so glad you're here,? she said.

 "What happened, what happened," I asked as we went into the living room and sat down together on the orange Fifties couch she had got at the Salvation Army. "You look like a horror but you don't seem really hurt. "

 "I'm don't think I'm injured, more scared and shook up? she said.

'so, what happened, tell me already," I said.

She started to cry a little bit then, "It's just that I feel like an idiot, I asked this guy up here," she said.

 ?You think, I haven't done stuff like that," I said, "even if I did see Waiting for Mr. Goodbar twice."

. Mariah relaxed a bit, then she combed her hair back from her face with her fingers, and went on.

 "It started at the gallery," she said. 'the opening was winding down, people were leaving. I looked around for you, but didn't see you. I thought maybe you got lucky. Anyhow, this guy came up to me, he was wearing a black leather vest, sleeveless, and he had these kind of sexy, muscled arms. He was kind of cute in a rough lumberjack kind of way,?

Oh, no, I thought, my stomach started to heave like it does when I get frightened.

"He was wearing this fancy scarf with flowers around his neck," she paused as if remembering.

"Go on with the story," I said, trying to appear calm.

"Anyhow," he told me how much he liked the show, said he'd grown up around here and some of the paintings were of places he was familiar with, and then he said I was very pretty and I had just the most beautiful neck."

It was a good thing I hadn't eaten anything because if I had I would have thrown it all up over both of us.

'then," Mariah went on, "he asked me if I'd like to go over to Angry Charlie's and have a cocktail, I said, "Yes, why not?? After all I deserve a little fun. When we got there, we both had Margaritas; the Margaritas there are so strong they make you hallucinate. He told me his name was Roy Smith and Smith Street was named for him."

"Very funny," I cut in. "And then he said he was a saxophone player in a jazz group. You know I've always had a thing for horn players, anyhow we had a few more drinks and I invited him up here, Usually I never do that right away, but he seemed so cute and I had my opening to celebrate."

"I understand perfectly, " I interjected.

"He was just so flattering, he said my neck was as delicate as the stalk of a flower." Mariah paused and shuddered, "Oh how could I have been so stupid to ask him back."

I gave her a little hug.  'stop blaming yourself, after all you were in a super excitable state," I said.                        

She nodded her head and continued, "As soon as we got upstairs, we started to make out right

Mariah was so hot
the juice between her legs
was bubbling

here on the couch. He was sucking my tits, very passionate, maybe too rough but? here she paused again, 'sometimes I kind of like it like that?

 'that's nothing to be ashamed of Mariah," I told her, 'sometimes I like it like that, too."

She started to giggle and I knew that whatever had happened to her, she was going to be all right.

"We soon," she went on," had all our clothes off, except he was still wearing that leather vest, and oh yeah, that flowery scarf around his neck. I was on my back, and with my knees drawn up. I was so hot; the juice between my legs was bubbling. I wanted him to taste the steaming stew in my little lava pot, but when I asked him to eat me, he put his hand over my mouth, like to shut me up. Then he raised his hips and plunged his fat cock hard into me instead.  As he moved it in and out, I looked down, it was very white, like he had scrubbed it clean. Otherwise he kind of had olive skin except for his balls. They were so huge, they were a yellow color like grapefruits and they were just as big.

 "Oh, come on, Mariah," I interrupted, "It was those Margaritas, you must have been hallucinating."

She shook her head, "No, I swear, he had a cock like a horse and those big yellow balls. I was super excited. That vest he was wearing wasn't cured very well. It had that funky leather smell. I smelled pretty funky too. He was sweating a lot, his skin kind of smelled like nutmeg. I closed eyes so I would not be distracted by visuals. I just wanted to smell those smells and feel that big tool drilling into me. All of a sudden I felt something across my throat. I opened my eys. He had that scarf off and had somehow slipped it around my neck. He had the end crossed as if he was going to tie it.

 "?Wait, wait, what are you doing?? I yelled at him.

 "'this will make it so much better for you," he said, he was breathing hard, panting. "You'll really enjoy this." He was smiling down at me with this ugly smile like Jack Nicholson when he was the joker in Batman. "You should have asked me first,? I cried. I tried to pull my body back, push him out of me, but he just rammed himself deeper in. He was no longer smiling. 'shut up,? he said, his voice rising, then yelling, 'shut up, you'll like it, you?ll like it." He was starting to tighten the scarf around my neck. I remembered that weird Japanese film we saw at the Film Forum years ago, you know, where the couple got into strangling each other. I wasn't going to let him strangle me, 'stop, stop," I was screaming, but he leaned over me holding me down with one of his big Arnold Schwartzenegger arms.

"He was hurting me bad, he was really hurting me, then I don't know how I did it, Colette, but I knew I had to stop him. I just pulled my pelvis back from him so he was outside me and I kneed him as hard as I could in the groin. He screamed so loud, I thought the ceiling would fall down, and then he just rolled right off the couch onto the floor. I found myself standing above, kicking him and kicking him. "Get out, get out," I screamed. I thought he would get up, push me back, but he just lay there whimpering as I kicked him some more. I grabbed his jeans from where they had fallen on the floor and threw them on top of him."

 "Boy, you were brave," I interjected.

"I was out of my head," Mariah answered. "I grabbed the phone off the coffee table, "I'm calling the police," I yelled at him, "Get the fuck out of here!" He sat up, he said nothing but he was shaking and his eyes were kind of rolling around in his head. Then he just stood up, pulled on his jeans, grabbed his sandals and ran out of the door.  He left the scarf though, there? ,?

She gestured, and I looked down. It was beside me on the couch.

"I couldn't believe, he was gone," Mariah said. "I double locked the door, and then I just collapsed, My whole body was sore like I was the one who had been kicked and kicked all over, I got hysterical, crying, and then I thought to call you."

 "I'm glad you did, but you know, Mariah," I said, "you should go to the police, the next woman this guy tries that on might not be able to fight back. You know, I met him too, earlier, at the gallery, only he told me he was an accordion player."

And then I told her about how Roy Smith had tried the beautiful neck, pretty face line on me and what had happened when the harmonica man came into the gallery.

 'that's really something," said Mariah, "Him going around saying he's a musician and then abusing the old musician, but Colette, Why should the police even believe me??

"Looks like you're going to have some red bruises on your neck," I said, "and besides, I'll go with you. I'll tell the cops about what happened, how he behaved so crazy in the gallery. We can go first thing in the morning."

 "Ok," said Mariah, "I'm so wrecked, what time is it anyway??

"It feels like it's almost morning," I said.

Mariah glanced down at her wrist, "I can't believe I?m still wearing my watch. Five thirty in the morning, can you believe?  I have to take a shower; his stink is all over me," she said. 'thanks so much for coming here. You'll sleep, over, right?? she asked.

 "We've been friends forever, Mariah, after all," I said, "and, yeah, sure, I'll sleep over. We can go to the police station when we wake up." I realized how totally exhausted I was. "I'm wiped out, I'll just go lie out in your bed," I told her.

"Oh yeah," said Mariah, "it's queen sized, we should be comfortable there." Mariah went into the bathroom and I went into her bedroom.  

I strip down to my underwear and collapse on the big bed underneath the solitary window. I watch the sky lighten behind the trees and telephone wires that I can see outside the window. I became conscious of the shy singing of the early birds as counterpoint to the sound of the water running in the shower.  I think about how sometimes the world seems like such a sad, forlorn place, filled with so many lonely creatures wandering round who get desperate and crazy, me included. When Mariah comes to lie down beside me, she smells of Dr. Bircher-Bonners Peppermint Soap. We hold each other, but we do not sleep, as the morning grows bright around us.   ##



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