(Copyright 2003 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.]

An unexpected package arrives in the mailbox, a small, padded mailing envelope I find next to the Yoga Journal in my mailbox. On the cover of the Yoga Journal, a man with a long, silver ponytail is standing on his head. His ponytail stretches along the bottom of the cover and above it, the words:

Life without Sex. It can lead to Greater Vitality, but are you ready for it?

Ready or not, life without sex is currently the story of my life, but I still do not have the vitality to bound up the four flights of stairs to my apartment. Dragging my ass behind me I ascend as my fingers palpate the mysterious envelope. I try to guess the contents. It could be a small wad of cloth, perhaps a pair of panties forgotten on some long ago bed of love. The return address on the envelope is John Smith and a box number at the Stuyvesant Square station.

Once inside my apartment, I sit my woeful ass down on my chair at the kitchen table and rip open the package. A small, woolen tube, about seven inches long, knit in red, white and blue stripes spills out on the table. It could be a hat for a doll with a pointed head or a doll's stocking cap. Suddenly I realize what it is, a cock sock, a gag item I used to see in the sex-shops on Forty-Second Street in the lusty bygone days when there were sex shops on Forty-Second Street.

Why would anyone send this to me? Everyone who knows me knows I don't have a cock. Perhaps I sent it to myself in some kind of trance hoping that once I had the cock sock, I'd get a boyfriend to fill it.

This sounds like the real explanation. The absence of the good old in-and-out from my life is making me weird and deranged and when I'm driven by need and desperation I can do anything.  Not all that long ago, I paid a homeless guy two dollars at three A.M. in the morning to give me a leg up the fire escape of the boyfriend who had just ditched me.

The light was on in his fifth floor window. I was sure he was up there with the harlot who replaced me. I had to check her out. When I peered through his half-open curtain there was no beauteous babe in sight. My former swain was masturbating on a filthy futon, surrounded by empty beer bottles, take-out food containers and piles of clothes. His face was red with his exertion just as it got when we fucked.

His long, pink plunger looked elastic under his fingers like a wad of taffy or a piece of chewing gum. I was always turned on by the black thicket of hair that surrounded it and the equally dark pelt over his upper body, arms and legs. Now, supine in his forest of trash, he looked like some primeval, mythical creature, half beast, half man.

The sight of his round, pink cock tip moving in and out of his pale, waxy, hand excited me. I felt that old sweet sugar start to boil up between my legs but I did not want him any more. I was lucky I was able to climb back down the fire escape without falling and breaking my neck.

Maybe he sent me the cock sock. It's been only a year since we split. He said he was a liberal when we met, but I found out later he was a closet Republican and actually had worked on the Bush and Bloomberg campaigns. Maybe the cock sock was his way of ribbing me over the Republican takeover of congress. But then, he didn't have the wit to think of such a thing.

If I did send it to myself, I should interpret it as a positive sign, a healthy manifestation of my psyche, blindly, courageously reaching out to the universe, a red, white and blue all-American invitation to love. I tenderly put the cock sock away in my underwear drawer next to my new padded, leopard-print push-up bra.   

I spend the afternoon correcting student papers. At least my students love me. They must sense my confusion is as deep as their own. When I finish at seven, I don't have the energy to call one of my girlfriends and I don't feel like prowling around on my own. I opt for vicarious thrill. I decide to rent a movie and have myself a sugar orgy for dinner: a pint of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

Among the new releases at the video store, I find a film, The Piano Teacher. I read in a review that it was edgy and hot.  About a piano teacher who gets involved with a student. This is just the ticket! I stop in at the deli and get the ice cream. I'm set.

Once home, I put the Cherry Garcia into my favorite white porcelain bowl, the one with a sumo wrestler on it. I add a big dollop of honey for an extra sugar pow. Wow! Then I pop the tape into the TV, which is conveniently in front of my bed. I climb on top of the covers and make myself comfortable. I'm hoping the movie will be very juicy. I don't need a lover man. I know how to wet-up my own coochie.

The movie that unfolds is not sweet at all. A beautiful, spinster piano teacher lives with her demanding mother. Their relationship is so convoluted they sleep in the same bed. The beautiful teacher likes to watch porn in sex shops, snoop on couples making it in parked cars. While the mother prepares their dinner, the piano teacher sits in the bathroom cutting her pussy with a razor blade. The Cherry Garcia remains on the bedside table untouched as I watch a blond, sexy piano student enter the plot.

The teacher falls for him and he's hot for her. He walks like he's got a set of balls the size of boxing gloves but she keeps pushing him away, playing a carrot and stick game. Finally he breaks into her apartment, locks the mother away in a closet and brutally rapes the piano teacher on the floor.

She lies inert, her face a frozen mask of pain. We, the audience, know her pussy is a mass of cuts and scabs. My eyes are glued to the screen while I am watching this terrible scene. I cannot turn away. I feel pain stabbing in my lower back and my belly as if I am the one being nailed to the floor. I watch until the final denouement, when the piano teacher stabs herself with a kitchen knife the day after the rape.

The tape rewinds in the VCR as a heavy dirge fills my head, a lament for lost dreams of love---mine and everyone else's. I find myself crying as my frustrations pour out of me. I don't want to sit in my lonely room. I need a drink or two or three to pull me out of this state of mourning. I put on my shoes and jacket, grab my purse. I'm out the door on the way to Pedro's.

Pedro's is the only decent bar in my recently gentrified neighborhood. It's the hangout for creative types who have lived here a long time. It's on the edge of the neighborhood, close to the projects and to the legions of trust fund artist kids who have moved in and have not yet discovered it.  

When Pedro was a teenager in the Dominican Republic, he played baseball. Pictures of him a hundred pounds lighter in baseball garb hang behind the bar along with the "most- wanted? mug shots from the nearby Eighty-Fourth precinct. Strings of plastic chili peppers and faded crepe paper streamers festoon the ceiling. An old Los Lobos tape is playing as I enter.

"Olla, everyone, la poeta is here," Pedro calls out from behind the bar.

Since he learned I am a poet, I get special treatment. He says he loves poetry because he is the love child of Pedro Neruda. I once asked him when Pedro Neruda was in the Dominican Republic, he answered that the ways of love are strange.

The bar is nearly empty, a few men occupy the seats at the front and I move past them to take the first available seat

Pedro moves like Margot Fonteyn despite his 46-inch waist. He is already standing in front of me as I sit down.

"Margarita, poeta" "he asks.  

"Why not?? I say, "make it strong."

The man to my right reaches a hand towards a pack of Drum Tobacco in front of him at the bar. He shakes out a paper, folds it, shakes tobacco into the fold and begins to roll, His fingers and

They talk about
a film called
'The Piano Teacher'

the arm inside his Carhardt jacket are skeletal. Slim pickins, I think. I take a big gulp of the margarita Pedro has just put before me.  

"How are you doing tonight?? says the man while his long fingers trim the tobacco from the edges of a cigarette. He has some kind of an accent, European. I think.

"Actually,? I answer, "I'm freaked. I just saw The Piano Teacher. Did you see it??

I turn towards him and see the back of his head is sharp and blunted like an axe. His neck is too long, and like the rest of him, too thin. Then he turns his face towards me and I see his eyes, dark, luminous as water under the moon. His plump, firm red lips look like they were made to be chewed on like a strawberry toffee. This is a mouth that says Sugartown.

"Oh, I did," he answers me, "I understand why you are feeling shaky. A very sad movie but provocative and challenging. You should read the book. It's even better. Then I ask him where he is from and he tells me he's from Germany and the author of the book is Austrian and very popular in his country. He has read all her books. I'm impressed, a man with a Sugartown mouth who reads books. A moment ago I was shaking, shivering in my shoes, now I'm feeling like Aphrodite emerging from the sea, wide?eyed, open to the new possibilities around me.

I smile up at him, raising my chin in the way that erases the lines in my neck and I ask him his name. He says he is Bertholt but I can call him Bert. He says he's a portrait painter from Berlin.  

I watch him fold the drum pack up and light his cigarette from a Bic lighter that he produces from his shirt pocket. His fingers are sinewy, flexible as if he plays the piano. When I ask him if he does, he says no, he plays the accordion. I think of him playing me like an accordion, his fingers running up and down my spine. He offers to buy me another drink as I have polished mine off. I accept and ask him what he is working on. He says he admires the idiosyncratic American Hero, particularly exemplars of courage like Davy Crocket, Amelia Earhart, Evil Kenieval, Bill Gates, and he says he is doing a series of portraits. We talk about the neighborhood and I tell him how when I first moved here it was like a waterfront ghost town.

"Weren't you frightened to go out at night, "he asks.

"Not at all," I tell him, "and I'm not frightened now, even with the packs of kids who have started to come from the project at night to break into the fancy cars of the newly arrived yuppies."

"I also taught karate in Berlin, I could give you a few pointers." Bert says.

I tell him I'll just smile at my would-be attackers and then I give Bert a sample of one of my very best. Totally shameless, I even bat my eyelashes at him. Happily, he grins right back. He pulls a pencil out of the lighter pocket then says:

"Give me your phone number and maybe we can get together. Have you seen the Richard Avedon portrait show at the Met??

I tell him no, I'd love to go as he writes my number down on the drum packet and then writes his number down on a cocktail napkin for me.

I watch his fingers rolling another cigarette and think I am definitely not ready for a life without sex. I want to put a finger into his mouth and have him suck it like he is sucking on that cigarette. I want to put my tit in his mouth and have him suck it like that too. I realize I'm drunk and had better get home before I start slobbering all over him.

When I tell him I'm going he says, 'so glad to have met you, stay for one more drink??

"No, no, thanks," I tell him, "I've reached my limit."

As I totter off the barstool and put on my jacket, h says:

"Please, It's quite late now, let me see you home."

"No, no," I repeat, fidgeting as I feel the sudden urge to grab the accordion between his legs.

"Well, o.k." he says, "I'll call you soon."

I go out into the chill night. I decide to walk down Water Street past the park. I like to watch the river to my left as I walk. There are no stars in the sky but I'm feeling full of light, I wonder when Bert will call me. He seemed really interested, but maybe it was the Chivas he was drinking or maybe he wants to hook up with an American woman he can marry for a green card.

I don't like these bitter thoughts sneaking into my mind.  Why do I so easily loose faith in my own powers of attraction? I am reminded of the piano teacher sneaking up on people doing it in cars or in lovers? lanes. I glance into the back seat of the car I am walking past and see a naked woman, white as snow. I look closer and realize she is no more than a couple of pillows.

I hear steps behind me and I turn my head to see who is there. Before I can even get a look, I am surrounded on either side by two huge men, big as behemoths. My stomach starts doing cartwheels and my heart is pounding like a pile-driver in my chest.

The man on my right says, "Yo, little mama, can we walk with you??

I get a look at my new companions. Despite their size they can't be more than fourteen or fifteen. Their cheeks are smooth with no trace of beard. One wears a black do-rag on his head and a tiny diamond set within the curve of an eyebrow. Beneath the curve of that eye are tattooed two perfect apache tears. His friend sports a great forest of dreads atop his head like a big bowler hat. They are both so glassy-eyed. They must be high as Mount McKinley.

'she don't say nothing," Dreads says, 'that means she say yes."

I am grabbed by my arms, lifted, my feet off the ground. They are running with me   between them as easy as if I am a ten-pound bag of sugar. I am kicking, writhing around in terror.

"Isn't she cute," says do-rag, "like a mousie in a trap."

We are fast approaching the overgrown lot on the corner of Adams Street. . With ancient alianthus trees and tall weeds, it looks like the forest of Arden curtains the back of the lot from the street.  

I am in mortal peril, but it is not my life that flashes before my eyes. It is a vision of my brother going through my things, finding my collection of come-in-the face photos, my assorted dildi and the twelve-inch black strap-on that I keep in a Betty Boop satchel under my bed.

We're heading into the lot now. Dreads puts the arm that is not holding me out to part the high weeds in front of us. Then an earsplitting yell---AAA-eeee! Aah-eee!---echoes through the still

She asks
him up
for a drink

night surrounding us. Next I hear a big thud as Dreads hits the ground, releasing my arm. . He has been jumped from behind and my hero is sitting on his back pounding him about the head and neck with furious fists. I recognize the thin, hatchet shaped head. It is Bert.

Do-rag doesn't jump on Bert and try to pull him off his friend. He drops my other arm and turns to runs away up Adams Street. Bert is still pummeling Dreads who is now whimpering and mumbling, 'stop, stop, stop!"

"You think you are such a big man, scaring little women,? Bert yells, pounding him harder. Then he stops, gets up, kicks Dreads a couple of times.

"Now run home to your mother, big man." The big man stands up, crying like a baby and dashes away in the same direction as his friend.

Bert bends down, puts his arm under my shoulder.

"Are you all right?? he asks. "Can you sit up??

He looks different, transformed. Now he is heavy, substantial, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Hulk Hogan.

Holding on to my protector, I gingerly rise.

"I had to follow you," he says, "It was too late and you seemed kind of looped."  

"Oh," I gasped. 'thank you, thank you, they could be battering me now."

I shuddered at the thought.

"You will let me walk you home now," Bert insists.

I can't argue with him. He keeps his arm around me as we continue down Water Street. Our breath makes little cotton candy poufs in the air ahead of us as we walk silently along. I like it that he didn't reproach me for choosing to walk the isolated strip along the river.

At my door, he says, "Well, at least, I know you are home safe.

"Please," I say, feeling shy, "Come up for a drink."

'thanks," he answers, "I will, and you should have some tea too. You may have caught a chill. 

I love a protective man. My apartment is not too much of a shambles. I manage to kick the pair of pink lace panties that was on the floor near the stove behind the refrigerator as I go to the closet to hang up our coats 

"All I have is vodka," I say.

"Fine with me," he says, "but, do make yourself some tea. I would also like a cup."

I put the kettle on and then pour us each a stiff shot of in my Coca-Cola glasses. I put the glasses on the table and go sit across from him in the other chair.

We look at each other. Inside his eyes I see the reflections of pine forests, spring lakes.  I don't know what he sees in my eyes. Maybe he sees how frightened I am of this situation, the possibility of intimacy with a very interesting man who has probably just saved my life. There is a saying that if someone saves your life, they own your life. Why would anyone want my life, with its sugar binges and ice cream jags, its alternating fits of narcissism and self-loathing? What's more, I don't want to be hurt again. I want to get up and turn out the light so we both vanish into the darkness. Bert must sense my fears because he takes my hand and cradles it in his long fingers.

"Let me read your palm," he says, "I see a long life marked with early pain and sorrow, but then a later flowering and dream come true."

 "You know how to read palms?? I ask him.

"No," he says, "I'm pretending because that is what I wish, for you. You know you re very striking. You look like Lotte Lenya. What a brave woman you are, going out in the night like that, but you should let me teach you some karate."

I realize I have to stop pretending I am such a tough guy.

"Yes, I will, teach me anything you want, Bert," I say.

Then he leans over and covers my lips with that sugar mouth. His lips are so sweet they pull me out my chair and on to his lap. He rocks me like a baby and I find I am gobbling him up, sucking his mouth down into my heart. My pussy juices up, puckers up and reaches out to him as I drink the liquor out of his mouth, swallowing him drop by drop.

His fingers move up and down my body. His hands grab my ass and squeeze it. A more potent, liquor, older than time, seeps out of the cask between my legs. This is happening so fast, I feel scared. He seems to sense that I am frightened and whispers in my ear, "Don't worry."

His hand slides into the back of my jeans under my panties and I relax. Although he has not touched them, I feel my nipples harden like jellybeans. I let Bert save my life again as his fingers stroke down my ass crack, across my silky perineum and enter my oh-so- ready cunt. I want to draw his fingers, his hand, his whole arm deep into me.  I want to go on riding him, riding into tomorrow. He picks me up, his fingers still inside me and carries to my bed in the next room.

He lays me down on my bed just like that and uses his other hand to unzip my jeans. He takes that hand out but snakes a wet wily finger up into my back hole. Somehow he pulls off my jeans and panties, but he still doesn't take that finger out. He strokes my kundalini spot, his finger worships it. He bends his head and we kiss again. Now he tastes like marzipan and licorice. I hear him kick off his boots. Then I hear the snap and zip as he opens his jeans.

Still kissing him, I can look down at his slim white hips. I see a generous nest of dark hair between his legs and a great big cherry red cock, a sock-it- to-me cock that I want deep inside me. I open my legs take him in, I swing my legs up and lock my feet behind his head, the harder he pushes it into me the harder my body sucks. I drain all his syrupy, milk right into me. We melt into each other, moaning and sighing. We nest happy into the long winter night. As I drift off to sleep I remember the cock sock resting in my dresser drawer. He is certainly the hero for it, maybe when we wake up he will let me put it on him.  ##



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