by Sidney Durham
All the people were old. He did not belong in this place, he thought, although in truth he was not much younger than the others. And like everybody else in the big waiting room, he was there because he had a heart problem. He was certainly too young for that.
He looked down at his hands, which were slumped in his lap. They were becoming the hands of an older man. There was a web of wrinkles on them, a fine mesh of age-disclosing truth.
A soft electronically counterfeited bell announced the elevator and he turned to watch the doors inch open. Like all hospital elevators, this one seemed sluggish, as if age had overtaken it as well. A young woman emerged. Without hesitation she walked briskly to the center of the large waiting area, sweeping the room with her eyes. A wake of confidence and vitality seemed to trail out behind her like a scent that would linger when she left the room. She was dressed for business, almost colorless in a dark blue blazer and a gray skirt. Her jet-black hair hung straight to her shoulders.
He was beginning to wonder if she might be a physician when she turned and walked to the reception desk and signed the patient register. No, it couldn't be. She was too young to have a bad heart. She must have come to the wrong clinic by mistake.
She took a seat near him, smiling briefly as she caught him watching her. The smile was almost an affront. He was harmless, it said. She was the kind of woman who would often have to evade oafish advances from men, but this man was harmless. He was old.
Her lipstick appeared to be fresh. His ill-mannered imagination gave him an image of her lips stretched around his cock. He smiled back at her, a gesture that probably reassured her of his harmlessness. Not too many years before she might have taken his smile as a danger signal.
He glanced at her legs. They were hidden in heavy black hosiery, so it was difficult to imagine their shape. He wondered if they needed shaving. He wondered how they would feel clamped around his head.
She crossed her legs and began to swing her foot slowly, in a rhythm that seemed almost languid. He watched her, not caring if she noticed. After all, he was harmless. He was old. He had a heart problem.
In another time he would have focused intensely on this woman who bounced her foot. His objective would have been simple: her seduction. It would not have mattered much whether he succeeded. He had enjoyed failed seductions nearly as much as successful ones. He had loved catching the quick flash of comprehension that would come to women's eyes when they understood just how serious he was about wanting to fuck them. And he remembered the thrill he had always felt when he saw the first flicker of acquiescence.
But the best memories were the moments of penetration. He had always been attentive with women, heedful of their rhythms, their wants. He skillfully used his tongue and lips and hands to prepare the way, and by the time he held himself above a woman for the first time she was always ready for him, always eager for him. She might have already come, perhaps several times, and at that moment she belonged to him, she was under his dominion. Some women would even bridge up their hips toward him, urging him to hurry.
He would ease his rock-hard cock into the vestibule of her pussy, lodging the thick head between swollen lips and pausing. Some women would sigh at this point; others would hook him with their heels, urging him. Others would even come as his cock began its trip inside.
He had loved to watch the corners of their mouths turn up as he pressed deeper. Nearly all women reacted that way. And if their eyes were open he would hold their gaze as he pressed, and often he would see mischief in those eyes -- especially in the eyes of women who were with him illicitly. Those moments were the hallmarks of perfection in his life.
But his mind, with its brutal realism, reminded him again that the person he had once been no longer existed. He was old. He was harmless, ineffective. Smoking, or perhaps the drugs he took to manage his blood pressure, had made him impotent.
But that was a deception. He knew these were not the things that had ended his sexual profligacy. Something more fundamental had happened. He had fallen in love with a woman named Gracie, a woman who would not tolerate his recklessness, a woman who had left him after only one transgression. He had not recovered from that. She had been vindictive, and losing her had ultimately disabled him. Impotence had sunk long talons into his shoulder and had roosted there, arrogant and haunting.
He wondered if Gracie could be working at this clinic. Probably not, he decided; it was too small to suit her aspirations. Gracie had been different. Strong and self-reliant, she was a professional, a nurse. Unlike the other women he seduced, Gracie had career objectives and ambition.
He caught a hint of perfume from the woman seated by him, and suddenly longed for a cigarette. It had been nearly two months since he'd quit smoking. During that time he had successfully avoided smoking more than two thousand cigarettes, and he'd probably had ten times that many cravings for one.
His heart irregularity began only days after he stopped smoking. The doctors seemed to consider the problem minor, but wanted testing anyway. They dismissed his hopeful idea that he could simply start smoking again.
He heard laughter and looked around. An old man with thinning white hair and a reedy voice was flirting with one of the young women behind the reception counter. Some of the other men in the waiting area had also flirted this way, as if they knew they were considered harmless and were taking advantage of the idea. There seemed to be some sort of unwritten understanding about this. Old men could flirt; younger women didn't need to feel threatened.
He didn't want to be part of that. Flirting had always been a waste of time, unless it produced some tangible result. Fluttering eyelids were no substitute for pulsing labia.
There would be no result, no reason to flirt, no immersion into the folded warmth of a woman's body if his own body continued to fail him. He pressed his lips together in disgust. He had stopped smoking because he had learned it would cause impotence. The result? Still impotent and now a heart irregularity.
The woman in black hosiery re-crossed her legs and resumed her slow foot swinging. The top of her ankle was revealed to him and he wondered how it would feel under his fingertips. Moving up, his eyes fell on the thick swell of her calf, widened by the press against her other leg beneath it, flexing with her movements. He imagined gripping her leg there and lifting it.
Her movement stopped then and he knew she was watching him. Although he did not look up to meet her eyes, it was as if their blackness forced itself into his peripheral view, alerting him that his stare had caught her attention. He did not move his eyes from her calf. She would assume he was simply lost in an old man's stupor.
It worked. Her movements resumed, and he felt her eyes leave him. The thickness of her calf seemed to reach a chiseled perfection as he watched, and he longed to touch it.
In time he heard his name called. He stood and looked around, finally locating a young woman who held a file folder in her hand. As he walked toward her he looked back, hoping to meet the black eyes. She was not looking his direction. It didn't matter; nothing could have happened anyway.
He followed the girl with the file folder. She was certainly pretty. His eyes fixed on her buttocks, which rolled beguilingly as she walked, revealing exactly how she would look naked. Did she know how much she revealed? Did she care?
She stopped at an open doorway. "Have a seat in here," she said. "Somebody will be with you in just a few minutes."
He glanced at her breasts as he passed her, but her attention was elsewhere. She had already forgotten him.
The room was tiny, and the examining table was littered with devices he assumed were heart monitors: black boxes and tangles of wires. An involuntary grimace tightened his face as he realized how awkward the next twenty-four hours would be, burdened with one of those boxes and its wad of wires. He took a seat in a straight chair and waited.
The door burst open with a loud bang, as if it had been kicked. Then he heard, "Well! Look what the cat dragged in!"
It was Gracie. He knew her voice immediately, even before he looked up to her familiar face. "Hello," he said lamely. "I didn't know you worked here."
"Don't worry," she replied cheerfully. "I haven't kept track of you either."
Her voice had the same strong note he'd heard in it the day she left him five years ago. He had never understood what had happened to her. It was as if overnight she had found some new strength, and off she'd gone, never looking back.
"How've you been?" he asked, filling a silence.
"Better than you, it seems. Heart misbehaving?"
"A little. Among other things."
"Age will do that to you. Let's get you wired. Stand up. Unbutton your shirt."
He did, not liking it. His pectorals sagged, his stomach bulged. His once trim body was old and dumpy.
She didn't seem to notice, working quickly, impersonally. Reaching inside his shirt, she fastened wires to him, touching with the same hands that had touched him so intimately, so often, in the vanished past. He felt a longing for her and reached to pull her into his arms.
She turned away quickly. "Nothing doing," she said. "That was over long ago."
"You don't have any feelings for me?"
"I feel sorry that you're not well. That's all. You're still the same lying philandering asshole you always were."
He reached, managed to touch the back of her hand with his fingertips before she flinched it away. "Not even a little memory?" he asked.
Her eyes seemed to flicker a deeper shade of green. "Not even a little, Richard. You were a total complete prick. You used women. You used me, the way you did all women."
"Well, it won't be happening again," he said, unable to contain his bitterness.
"That too? You poor bastard. Get a Viagra prescription. I hear it works wonders. I'm sure your little chickadees won't mind waiting for it to go to work."
"Not even in your dreams. I don't know what motivates men like you, Richard, but you should all be hung up by the balls. All you ever cared about was getting laid."
"You're done. Just drop off the monitor tomorrow. We'll send a report to your doctor." With that she was out of the room.
He stopped at a convenience store on the way home and bought a pack of cigarettes. The woman behind the counter was attractive and he spoke with her for a moment, expertly assessing her willingness. She was distracted. Her eyes kept drifting to the wires coming from inside his shirt, and to the black box that was strapped to his waist.
In the car, he unbuttoned his shirt and ripped the wires off his chest before lighting a cigarette. He inhaled deeply.
Copyright © 2002-2003 Sidney
Durham. All Rights Reserved. May not be re-printed in any form without
express written consent of the author. Do not copy or post.
Sidney E. Durham is happiest when writing, and when he isn't writing, he isn't. Mr. Durham's work has appeared in Mind Caviar, Ophelia's Muse, the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, Dare Ezine, JaneZine, the Blowfish Update, Adult Story Corner, Blue Food and Peacock Blue. Renaissance eBooks has published several of his short erotic fiction anthologies, one of which was nominated for the Franklin eBook 2000 award. One of his stories was selected for Maxim Jakubowski's prestigious The Mammoth Book Of Best New Erotica anthology, published in 2001. Email Sidney Durham.
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