I was driving Del to Long John Silver’s. Del’s old. Del can’t drive. Del can hardly walk, and he loves Long John Silver’s.
Del’s old and frail, the kind of old and frail that makes people assume he’s nothing anymore but a sweet, old man. The kind of old and frail that makes people treat and talk to him like a baby. The kind of old and frail that somehow brings to mind Normal Rockwell paintings, I suppose. And shit like Leave it to Beaver and Lucille Ball and Joe DiMaggio.
I don’t know how that might change if people knew Del’s preferred topic of conversation is sex. Sex and Long John Silver’s are always at the forefront of Del’s mind. Sometimes horror movies too. But they always play third fiddle to sex and Long John Silver’s.
I was driving us to Long John Silver’s. This puny, old man was curled up in the passenger’s seat, begging me to turn up the heat. I blasted the heat. It didn’t take long for frail, old Del to get comfortable, then start in with the sex stuff.
First it was about having sex with two women at once. He always asks me if I ever had sex with two woman at once. He seems to always forget he’s already asked.
I always say, “no.” But this time I was prepared. I added, “I don’t think I’d want to. I don’t really know what to do with one woman, let alone two.”
“Really?” he asked.
“Yeah. For me it’s always been a guessing game of licking, blowing, poking, pushing, pulling. I think I got it right a few times. But a lot of the time I just felt silly. And that sorta ruins the mood, being so self-conscious. Being so self-aware.”
Then I realized in a threesome there might be less pressure. The split goes three ways instead of 50/50. If your ineptitudes’ discovered, it’s only a 33 on the scale of 100 at being inept. Better than 50. Close enough to half of 50. Of course, that assumes a rating of the experience as a whole. Not rating participates individually, separate from the whole. That would be a good ruse. That would be the way I’d play it, conflating individual performance to the experience as a whole. Like an overall decent movie with one terrible acting performance. I’d sure as shit downplay the dud performance to the overall quality of the movie.
Before I could bring up the mathematics of it, Del said, “Anybody that says they been with two women at once, I always tell them to prove it. See, I got the proof.”
I already knew he had the proof. Something about taping it onto VHS. He might have even transferred it to DVD. That much I couldn’t remember. And I never bothered to ask, since I don’t want to know, if he still watches it at 80 years old. And I pray he never asks me if I want a copy.
I’m never completely comfortable with all the blunt sex talk. But I’m also not a prude and I don’t wanna come off as a prude. So I tried injecting a little humor to lighten the otherwise creepy tone.
“So neither of those women tried poking your butthole with their finger, did they? I’ve heard that sometimes happens in the heat of passion.”
Del looked at me sternly.
“They never tried giving you an oil check?”
“Good. See, that might scare me. You never know in a situation like that what can happen,” I said. “The other person is a wildcard. Add a third person and it might devolve into complete lawlessness. Besides, my luck was never good enough for two women at once anyway.”
“Well, sex for me has always sorta been like finding a four leaf clover,” I said. “Finding one’s lucky. Finding two at the same time’s impossible.”
“Well, I found it,” Del said. “I had to pay for it, but I found it. And I got the proof at home. And I can tell you, it was great.”
I drove a bit further, wishing to erase the idea of Del’s video of himself fucking two women at the same time.
Del said, “You know, I always treated my women good. But they never wanted that. All they ever did was treat me like dirt.”
“That’s a shame,” I said. “Some women are like that.”
“Yeah. My wife had to be drunk to have sex with me. She wouldn’t do it any other way or any other time.”
“Then you should have kept her drunk,” I said.
“And my other wife and all my girlfriends….I’m a cuddler. I like affection. But they didn’t care. They treated me like dirt. They made me beg and even then I hardly got anything.”
I didn’t know what to say.
“But the prostitutes, they were good,” Del added. “I got so I really liked them.”
Del had never said too much about his experiences with prostitutes. It felt gross before he even talked about it, but I was also thoroughly intrigued since it’s something far beyond my naïve experiences with women, even humanity.
“Fewer expectations from them,” I surmised.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re not supposed to make things better with them,” I said, speaking from pure speculation.
“Well, I had one,” Del reminisced. “She was the best fuck I ever had. Her and her husband came over. It was ecstasy. It was so nice.”
“The husband didn’t get involved, did he?”
“He just watched,” Del said.
“Good,” I said.
I couldn’t imagine anyone, let alone a husband, watching. I’m such a harsh critic of myself, I can’t imagine somebody else being there with nothing else to do but watch and judge. But I know people are completely different animals when it comes to certain things. Especially things like sex. Or shitting in public. Some are outraged when there’s no door on the stall. Others don’t care at all.
“Then this other time this girl showed up to my door,” Del added. “She was black. Named Victoria. I went to the door and she said, ‘Let’s party.'” I’ll never forget it. ‘Let’s party,’ is what she said.”
“Did you party?”
“I told her, ‘Go to my refrigerator. Look in my cupboards. There ain’t nothing there so there ain’t gonna be much of a party.'”
“Shoot,” I said.
“So she left. I thought that was it. Then she came back with twenty bucks. So I went to the store and bought bacon and eggs and milk. We fucked all night and that morning I got up and made her breakfast. I’ll never forget it. She was so happy. She said, ‘Nobody’s ever done anything like this for me.'”
It was a tender but bittersweet story. Tender about the breakfast and Victoria being happy to be treated to bacon and eggs in the morning. Sweet and tender that Victoria returned with some money when she could have left Del all alone with his bare cupboards. But, she was also a prostitute and Del would have gladly paid her the few bucks to get him off if he’d had it. There’s always that element of exploitation to the whole thing that just seems shamefully wrong.
I was tired and still a bit squeamish about all the sex talk, so I changed course by asking Del, “How many pieces of fish you going to eat today?”
“How many we buying?”
“We’re gonna split the family meal. That’ll be four pieces for you and four for me. Plus the hush puppies and coleslaw.”
“Then I’m gonna eat four.”
“All of it while we’re there?”
“Yeah,” Del said. “I ain’t taking none of it home.”