Hold on to Your Nerves


I think it’s good to be nervous sometimes. Not the kind of nervousness and anxiety that comes with going to work every day, but rather the sense of nervousness that can be interpreted as exhilaration. If everything in life is blah, but you can still get some weak-kneed excitement, I think you should hold on to that.

I had a first date with this girl. Girl might be the wrong word, she was practically a generation older than me. A hearty Midwestern gal, she loved her job and seemed really interesting. I sat in the office and jotted some topics down on a crib sheet so I would always have a direction to take our conversation that night, should it ever go quiet. An elderly customer decided to steal a few minutes of my life and strongly suggest we get a cash only express lane, so he doesn’t have to wait behind immigrants and impoverished minorities using free money his tax dollars pay for and they don’t speak English, but as I nodded along I kept glancing down into my hand.

Hometown in Michigan… Guitar lessons… travel to Europe… exciting job she loves…

“Yes sir I’ll pass along your suggestion to the owner himself. I understand your concern. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

Could have been worse, he could have made my cashier cry again over expired coupons. The hardest part of customer service in a supermarket is remembering rule number one, you can’t tell someone to go fuck themselves.

I sat in the car across from the pub I was going to meet her at, listening to the radio recount details of a suicide bomber attack somewhere, or a car bombing, or both. I think they said Iraq. And as I edited the crib sheet in my hand I realized I was writing terrorist attacks and stopped myself. My mother called and I sent it to voicemail, and I cinched my necktie back up and combed my hair and dug a few shards of Viagra out of my pocket before heading in.

We had a perfectly nice time talking and drinking, and just like a midwestern girl, she was ready to drink me under the table. After a few drinks, the crib sheet itself became the topic of conversation and she was incredibly flattered for the effort I was making, and told me I didn’t need to be nervous. After dinner we went to another bar before she took me back to her place to make out and she had me roll us a joint. I held it in my mouth while she unbuttoned and unzipped me. I pulled my whole package over top of my boxers as she got down off the couch. She straddled my leg and put her hair back.

“When did you first think about sucking my cock?” I asked She paused. “About five minutes into our date.” “I was afraid I was boring you,” I said. “You weren’t.” “I’m always worried I’m boring,” I said, sighing and leaning my head back to stare at the ceiling. She wrapped her fingers around the base of my shaft. “Haven’t you fucked enough women to know you’re not?” she asked, right before kissing my balls. She was slow and sweet, pampering me but still enjoying it herself. And as she had my cock stuffed in her mouth I said: “No. I am perpetually insecure. Infinitely doubtful. I’m doomed to be totally lacking in confidence. No matter how many first dates end in bed, every morning I wake as a scrub.” It sounded rehearsed but it came to me at that moment, drawn out with sexual groans and grunts.

She took me to bed and halfway through a good pounding she started wheezing so bad I thought she was going to die from an asthma attack. The panic came over me and I was in my ex-girlfriend’s bed, holding her in my arms in the predawn darkness as she had a seizure, certain that the gurgling was her choking to death, certain that this was my last moment with her, the woman I loved with no look in her eyes, her face illuminated only by the sign of the 24 hour diner across the street. I had never dealt with this before and the 911 operator asked if I needed an ambulance and I thought of course I need a fucking ambulance and she begged me not to have paramedics take her away and kept asking me if I had the cookies, baby get the cookies, and she made with her hand like she was using a key and I asked the paramedics if this was normal and the guy stood there, with some smartphone or something in his hand and he’s just like, “you mean after a neurological episode?” and it was like DUH, and I pushed an empty wheelchair down the street behind a stretcher, and in the ER all I could focus on were these doctors discussing how they could possibly remove a half-inch thick steel cock ring from around this guy’s shaft and balls which weren’t quite turning black yet, and the young female doctor with a very sexy voice asked why they couldn’t just use a bunch of lube and the young nurse touched my arm and said my girlfriend would be ok and I thought, you’re way too cute don’t touch me please, and I called out from work that day and my girlfriend was consumed with embarrassment, and that was understandable but ultimately pointless.

But that was a year ago. She was fine now as long as she could afford her meds. And my date was ok too.  After I lay next to her she asked if I used a condom and I said yes and she said thank you and I wondered what she would’ve said if I hadn’t used a condom and I thought about terrorism in the middle east and I thought about her client’s client who was just sentenced to twenty-two years for murder in a domestic violence case, and it was probably self-defense, and I thought about how I never called my mother back, and I thought about the old racist bigots at work, and I thought about work, and after leftover nachos alone at home I found out Alan Rickman had died, and I sat there naked, fully erect, and no longer nervous, smelling like sex and queso, and saying to myself long live the new flesh.


The Interview

brazil_flag_mapI’ve been waiting to get this job. Two months now. Two interviews, waiting on a third. I’m starting to have a bad feeling. I think dating has prepared me for this – I know when they don’t want me, I can feel it when they become vacated of interest. It’s palpable.  Like when I said to Amanda that I would never want kids, that I hated kids, that having kids would be the worst possible thing I could do to my life, I could smell the silence, I could hear the light go out in her eyes. But we still had a good time. We still finished dinner. We still got gelato. We still made out in my car and I still felt her up. She had a nice body too. But she really wanted a baby in it at some point. So we would not have a second date. And I would not lie about what I want just to try sleeping with her.

Two interviews doesn’t mean anything either. I had two dates with Gabriela and I thought it was going well. She was a gorgeous six-foot-one Brazilian woman with thick, cascading red hair. She was into feminism and social justice and greasy food. We had similar appetites and she complained how she gained a hundred pounds since coming to the states. Sugar is in everything. And she can just see me as a fat American kid eating chicken nuggets and ketchup and I laughed it off but thought her choice of words was rather rude. We talked about how racist America is but still not as racist as Brazil. Apparently, if you’re anything other than black, you’re white. Asians, Mexicans, they’re all white so long as they’re not black. We talked about how when she was 13 she was in an abusive relationship with a 19 year old boy and how her dad would drive drunk with a bottle of whisky between his legs because that’s fairly standard down there.

Since she was new in town I drove her around some of the more beautiful parts of the city – the river, the statues, the park. Such beautiful expanses, still held within the city limits. She wore a charming blue and white Greek inspired dress and I tried rubbing her leg a bit throughout the drive even though I still had no idea what I was doing. When we got back I gave her a six pack of her favorite, illusive beer and she took me upstairs. I didn’t know what to expect. I was still struggling with confidence issues before taking pills. And a three flight walk up doesn’t exactly put me on my game. But we split a beer and made out and all I could think was this amazing woman could have any guy up here with her, and she’s chosen to have me, and I creeped my hand up her thigh until I realized she wasn’t wearing panties and I fingered her, and sucked her pierced nipples, and pulled her hair and choked her, and she told me harder, don’t be afraid, and I strummed her clit and she grabbed my wrist and said she’s not a banjo, and I really wanted a blowjob but I didn’t know what to do, and I said her sucking on my finger makes me think about putting my cock in her mouth, and she whimpered, asked to please put my cock in her mouth and it clicked and I just told her to suck it, and she got down on her knees and I was afraid I wouldn’t be ready but she worked it and held on to my thighs as I held on to her amazing fiery red mane and fucked her mouth until I asked if she wanted my cum and she squealed with delight and I shot down her throat and she said thank you and we kissed and I asked if she liked how it tastes and she said it tastes like victory, it’s her reward for the effort, and I really wanted to see her again and eat her pussy and fuck her but that would be our last date because she’s looking for love and she didn’t see a future for us. There was that familiar paranoid silence between texts which gave me a bad feeling.

But I kept thinking about how much she enjoyed giving me head. Is it possible she just blew me for selfish reasons? Instead of me giving it to her, did she take it from me? Did she already know there was no future for us and decided to play me just to suck a dick? Would I have been more powerful to deny her? Fuck no, I wanted that blowjob. I craved that blowjob like steel craves a stone. My edge will grow dull without it, but getting sharper means I will lose a small amount of myself in the end.

But I’m not always right. After all, I got the job.