Her name was Sloane. Her hair was deep brown. Her legs were a mile and half long. She leaned her head back against the doorway of her small kitchen and extended her arms toward him.
“Take your coat off,” she said, “and fuck me.” Her voice was whisper quiet.
A sudden, pleasurable, pre-coital flush of anticipation rushed through him. A perceptible swelling in the back of his throat. Heat warmed his chest. He went to her, sinking into her enveloping arms. She pressed herself against him and he followed her into the dimly-lit bedroom. The only light in the room came from the lights of the marina along Oyster Bay. The only sound, came from her breath in his ear.
They floated together as one, rising and falling, in a cadence of swells and troughs as if in a dinghy moored in its place on the bay far below them.
There was more to him, though, than the mere physicality of being with her. More than the sensual quiet of the room. More than the endlessness of the hours. It was more than the elusive transcendent ecstatic freedom he felt, and yet, simultaneously, in some ways, it was less.
They had no prior history. He knew nearly nothing about her. No past hurts or flattering lies. No thought of consequences. No withholding. Nothing to hide. No image of a past lover superseding the present moment. This was only the moment. He was not phoning it in. No intrusive thoughts of bills to pay. No need to feign an early morning dentist appointment. No words of love.
“Kiss my breasts again the way you did before,” she said. And he did and he again feathered the soft slender downward slope of her narrow waist and up the rise of her hips. She exhaled softly and he held her breath in his parted lips.
At some point he must have dozed off, though he could not recall when, and for a moment all he could think of was the mindless comfort of the last moment before he was swallowed by sleep.
And then he heard her speaking. She had spoken his name. She was in another room. That is what drew him back into wakefulness. He sat up, pulled on his clothes and carried his shoes into the kitchen. She was dressed. Her back was toward him. She hung up the phone and turned to him.
“I think you better leave,” she said. “I’m sorry,” she said.
The phone had not rung once in the several hours he had been with her in her bed and then she gets a call at three in the morning. Strange?
Not at all strange, he thought as he drove down the hill from the apartment she rented above the harbor. Not once she’d told him she had a lover, a man, a doctor she worked with who, as she put it, was stuck in a weird and loveless marriage, and who, that very day, she had told she would not see again until he dealt with his marriage problem, and who then called her at three because he said he could not live without her and could he see her once more and would do anything she asked him to. Anything.
When he left her apartment with the view of Oyster Bay and the lights of the sailboats and the stars, he knew that she would soon be pulling the other man to her and lean her hips into his and fall half-naked into her warm and rumpled bed. And he was oddly pleased by that thought and, truth be told, that he might, on some random Saturday night, would once again get to feel the way he had felt tonight.
“So… Mason,” says Mona, who made him a cup of tea, “how do you know this Sloane woman?
“What Sloane woman, Mona?”
“Don’t give me ‘what Sloane woman’, Mona’?”
She holds up his phone.
“Mona, it’s just a story I’m working on.”
“A story? Since when do you write such stories? And on your phone yet? And what kind of a name is Sloane anyway? And what possessed you to leave your phone sitting in plain view on the dining room table while you go to the bathroom, for anyone like me or one of your numerous grandchildren who might come to visit one day and pick it up and read it? And since when are you the Grand Poohbah of Sex? ‘Do I know this man?’ I ask myself. Who is this man who writes ‘fuck me’ stories? Is this the Mason I married and who I love? My husband, who writes ‘fuck me’ stories or is this the Mason who understands the world and wants to make it better? Which Mason is that? That same Mason?
“It’s a story, Mona. Nothing more.”
“Story, schmory. You don’t just make things up like that. Who am I to think this Sloane woman is supposed to be? And, what will people think when they read this half-baked crap? This poor woman in your dreams with legs a mile-and-a-half long? And what does that mean anyway? Have you thought about that? This poor woman who needs to read a few letters to Dear Abby and get some clarity about her situation and the choices she has made in her life and needs to make about how she has let herself get into a relationship that has nowhere to go and which keeps her dependent upon the whims and desires of some self-centered schmuck who only wants to schtup her at three o’clock in the morning when he should be home with his wife being straight with her and stop screwing her over too, in a very different and hateful way. Or another random guy who is content, knowing her situation, to prey upon her again if she would let him? And this is what you write about?
“What am I to think, Mason, when I read this story which, by the way, is not very good and which needs a lot of work because it’s a piece of pandering self-serving, uncritical, thoughtless crap?
“Think about it, Mason. You’re only perpetuating the same thoughtless objectification of women that has been at the heart of the male-privileged, male-fantasy-satisfying, leering, misogynistic, porn-fried world we live in.”
“Don’t ‘Mona me’ and please, Mason, don’t publish this totally dime store pulp fiction drivel.”
5 thoughts on “Her Name Was Sloane”
Very interesting relationships in this story and the writing about sex is terrific. Mona tells him off and this is satisfying but one wonders, what is left of their marriage for Mona after she has read his story? And what is left for him?
Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your thoughts about the story and all of the possible paths that lead to and from it. As you know yourself, at some point the story began to write itself. For that reason, I keep thinking about all of them.
Hello Joe: I read this when it arrived, and then again today. It’s a beautiful read. It captures what can happen between individuals who find emotions and intimacy, and then can step away. Yes, Mona is troubled by the story, but she too has undoubtedly had moments of loneliness and unfulfillness too. You’ve captured much that is unspoken. Well done.
Your buddy, Joseph N. Muzio