Chloe’s Two Night Standby Hannah Sward
Chloe was thinking about what her sex life would look like on paper, if she were to die tomorrow.
Born: June 23, 1984
High school. He didn’t know it was her first time because she was too embarrassed to tell him. In the middle of the night, he’d ride his bike over to see her. Sex was pretty good, but after three months he dumped her.
First year living on her own. Met a guy with a skinny dick who put all his energy into his yoga practice. They rarely had sex because he was into mastering his desires.
Older man. Twenty-two year age gap. Her attraction to him was strong, but he only liked sex once a week. He also kept pushing for threesomes with her girlfriends. Once, she gave into his wish. After a year, she left him.
Died: March 4, 2002
* * *
Chloe admired women who didn’t wait by the phone for some guy to call them. Women like her mom, who could manage seeing more than one man at a time.
It was two in the afternoon when Chloe met Ed. She was hostessing at a poolside bar on Sunset. Ed was licking the salt off his third margarita and eyeing her through his tinted shades as she cleaned the menus. He had filled up one ashtray of olive pits. Chloe sauntered over to empty it. They exchanged numbers. When she got home from work that night he had already left six messages. His impatience turned her off.
Ed didn’t try calling again.
Nine days later Chloe was rummaging through the kitchen trash for his number. The August heat made her restless. In her underwear, she paced the sticky linoleum floor and called Ed.
A woman answered on the first ring.
“I know, looking for Ed,” she coughed into the phone before Chloe could say a word. The lady hollered for Ed before cranking on the garbage disposal.
He picked up. “Hold on a sec.”
A door slammed.
Chloe checked out her bikini wax as she listened to a long stream of water on Ed’s end.
“What up?” Ed flushed the toilet.
He answered slowly. “Fine-ass Chloe.”
“What’re you wearing right now?” he asked.
Chloe was lying next to the fridge in her plain panties. The overhead fan rotated slowly. She had a few ice-cubes melting on her pale stomach.
“Hey, baby,” he whispered.
“Why don’t you give me a call just a bit later,” he said. “You gonna be home?”
She sat up, the melting cube felt cool as it trickled down her leg. “Let’s just hook up another night.”
“You know the Burger King on Highland?” he asked.
“I already ate.”
“Me too,” he said. “My crib’s two houses down.”
“Cool, I’ll just hop in the shower.”
“A shower? I’ll leave the door open. Don’t knock,” he said. “Hey, leave now, okay?”
Chloe pulled up in her old mustard colored Datsun. A few guys were playing basketball on the dark, treeless street. They stopped dribbling the ball as Chloe walked by. Stepping over a pizza box with a few dry crusts in it, she headed up the concrete blocks to Ed’s house. She cracked open the torn screen door. In the stuffy hallway, a gold-framed picture of a black Jesus stared back at her. It was tilted to the left. Ed appeared wearing a white visor and baggy jeans that were belted precariously below his narrow waist, revealing his checkered boxers.
Ed moved right in for a wet kiss. “Hey, baby,” he said, edging her against the doorway.
His place was as humid as hers. He tasted of spearmint and beer.
Chloe pulled back a bit. “Why’s it so dark in here?”
“Setting a mood,” he said, closing the door behind her. “I got a DVD we can watch.”
“I can’t make it a late night.”
Cocking his head to one side, he looked her up and down. Without averting his eyes, he began to pace, rubbing his hands together. Chloe liked the curve in his lower back and the way his butt popped out.
“So how’s it going?” she asked.
“It’s going good.”
Ed walked into the kitchen and flipped on the fluorescent. He glanced at himself in an oval mirror that hung on the peeling flowered wallpaper.
“Something to drink?” he asked, opening the fridge door.
“Water would be good.”
“Milk, rum, grape drink?”
Chloe leaned on the kitchen counter. “Any vodka?”
“The clean stuff, huh?” He shook his head.
“Just water then,” she said, peering down the dimly lit hallway.
Apparently, there were three rooms. Each door was closed. A ‘do not disturb’ sign and a blue bandana hung on one of the knobs. Ed opened every cupboard looking for a clean glass. He grabbed an “I Love N.Y.”coffee cup, filled it up with tap water and handed it to Chloe. Then he emptied the juice out of another mug, took a half-empty bottle of rum and shuffled into the living room.
A fat orange cat was scratching the leg of a tattered browncouch. A metal spring stuck out where there was a missing pillow.
“Beat it,” Ed said, whacking the cat with his hand.
He plopped down in the middle of the couch, sittingwith his legs spread apart. Then he wiped a few crumbs off a cushion next to him. Chloe sat down, crossing her long legs with her knees tight together. The only light was from the one street lamp outside. Each time a car roared by quick shadows were cast on the bare walls and across their faces. Ed went to the window and stuck his head through the dingy, beige curtains.
“Stay here,” Ed said, walking to the living room door. He shut it behind him, leaving her alone.
Outside, the guys were still playing ball. Chloe leaned forward to turn the portable fan on. Broken. She wiped the sweat off her upper lip with the back of her hand and took a sip of water. The cat climbed up on top of the coffee table and sniffed at an empty jar of peanuts. Underneath the jar was a disconnection notice for the phone with Ed’s name circled in red on it. Auto Week and Playboy magazines were scattered on the shaggy green carpet. Other than the few pieces of furniture and a big screen t.v. the room was bare.
Muffled sounds from another television set came from the hallway. Ed was leaning against the door with one arm.
“Baby.” His thick leather belt buckle was undone.
“Come here.” He walked towards her. With both hands he squeezed her ass. “You got a black girl’s booty.”
“I know,” she said, pressing up against him.
“Where’d you get that from?”
“My mom.” She rested her hands on the small of his bare back. His skin was slippery and hot.
He slid one hand up her thin cotton dress. “You think I’m pretty cute, huh? Ever been with a black guy?”
“I thought you were mulatto.”
“Black on both sides,” Ed answered, running his tongue across his lips. Raising her arms he pulled her sundress up over her head. “Oh, man,” he said, stepping back.
Outside a car slowly passed, blasting its music. The room vibrated. Chloe stood there, naked.
“Look at those titties,” Ed said. “Perfect Ten . . . you know that magazine?” He cupped them in his sweaty palms. “These babies here should be in it.”
Chloe placed her hands on his hairless chest. They kissed. She glided her fingers down under his boxers.He maneuvered her onto all fours, her elbows resting on the coffee table. It smelled like peanut butter and kitty litter.
They had sex. It was quick. Chloe wasn’t surprised.In the same position, she turned to see Ed’s jeans to his ankles; his white visor turned the other way. His eyelids were heavy. He reached out to stroke her blonde head of curls.
“I gotta go,” Chloe said, zipping up her dress.At the doorway she turned to him. “How about if we do this one more time, and then that’s it?”
“Whatever.” Ed answered from the couch, clicking on the remote.