Frank and I were running a little short on money so we had to cancel our trip to Italy. Instead, we decided to spend a few days in NYC, not exactly an exotic place to go considering Frank is from Brooklyn, and I’m a transplanted New Yorker who worked for years in Manhattan until I met Frank and we moved upstate.
The change in plans was a pretty big disappointment, especially for Frank who has never been abroad. I was kind of neutral about the trip, having done my share of traveling in enough exotic places during my days as an unattached woman, sometimes work involved, sometimes not. My eyes were always open for the right man, Italian, French, Spanish. I fucked my way through Europe; that’s kind of the way I think of it although I would never be so crass as to say that to Frank, the man I have lived with for five years now. I did find a couple of foreign men I thought I could tolerate for a few months or so but that, and the lack of a common language, did not seem to bode well for a future together. Not that Frank is much of a talker himself, but I like that about him even if I have to put up with the occasional moodiness. I come from a family of chatterers, and Frank’s quiet periods are quite refreshing.
None of the relatives Frank likes still live in New York, his parents are in Boca Raton, so we got a fairly cheap hotel right near Penn Station, off 7th Ave, in the middle of a string of Korean restaurants. Okay, so the place had no room service, no mini-bar, no heat until a guy came up and fixed it, and the two of us couldn’t stand in the bathroom at the same time. And the toilet didn’t flush the second day but we got that fixed, too. Still, there was one of those little coffeepots, and after I left the maid a note to leave extra packets of caffeinated coffee, Frank and I had breakfast in bed each morning along with the bagels we bought each day.
The plan was to do cheap things. No Broadway shows, not even off-Broadway. Both of us are walkers so we decided we would walk all through Manhattan and use Metro Passes for the subway when we got really tired. We’ve done this before but would stop off for lunch at our favorite restaurant in Greenwich Village, Il Mulino, spending a hefty $150, or walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for lunch at The River Café. Frank had checked out all the $25 and under places Eric Asimov wrote about in the Times. We would not go hungry.
The weather was fairly decent for mid-March. We sat in Washington Square, watched a few drug deals, the free entertainment in the fountain, shared a soda and pretzel. We went to the Rose Center For Earth and Science, Frank ignoring the new name, still calling it the Hayden Planetarium, telling me about how he went there for every school trip, all the way through high school, and how he loved to stand on the scales to find out how much he would weigh if he were on other planets. The scales were gone, the show in the planetarium looked like a bad imitation of the current crop of computer produced sci-fi movies, with Tom Hanks as narrator. Frank was disgusted. He hates Tom Hanks.
The Butterfly Conservatory in the American Museum of Natural History was a real knock out, though. We entered the small, incredibly humid vivarium and just stood still as Blue Morphos, Monarchs, Malachite, Stinky Leafwing, and dozens of other butterflies feasted on fruit and sugar water. One landed on Frank’s hand, a spectacular Orange-bared Sulphur. Frank didn’t move for ten minutes, he was that thrilled. So I walked over to the young woman who was giving out information and making certain kids didn’t chase the butterflies, a homely girl with a bad case of acne, unfortunate to have to stand there in the midst of all that beauty, and asked her how long they live. One to two weeks, she told me. And when they die, she pointed to a case that contained eggs and pupa in different stages of metamorphosis, the staff just throws away the bodies and replaces them.
This was not information to impart to Frank who would only get depressed. When we were ready to leave, a guard checked us to make certain there were no butterflies attached to us. We both laughed at this, but only I knew the sad truth that they were already under a death sentence.
I wanted to go to the Frick Collection but Frank didn’t because the last time we were there, he stretched his arms out, which is what he does automatically when he yawns, and a guard came running over and told him that if he did that again he would have to leave. So Frank says he will never go back because he just might yawn again.
I wanted to go to the Morgan Library but Frank didn’t want to look at medieval
manuscripts in dimly lit glass cases because he said it would give him a migraine. Frank really does get migraines, bad ones. We always travel with his medication. He was really getting into a bad mood so I decided not to argue with him.
We ate at the 2nd Ave Deli, sampled hamantaschen at Moishe’s Bakery served to us by a girl with short blue hair, multiple facial piercings and a heavy Hebrew accent, ate at a Korean noodle shop across from the hotel, ate Persian food on 8th Ave., ate shish kebob from a vendor on Columbus Circle and topped it off with steaming hot honey almonds from another vendor.
By late Thursday afternoon the mild weather changed to rain. We had left our umbrellas back at the hotel so we quickly dashed into the first movie theater we saw, found a movie that was just starting, the new Julia Roberts movie, even though Frank doesn’t like her teeth, and within five minutes we were seated in the packed balcony just as the previews began.
As we walked back I noticed that police were blocking off parts of 5th Ave., and that bleachers had been set up. We couldn’t figure it out until a bunch of people, dressed entirely in green, singing drunkenly, passed us. Friday was the St. Patrick’s Day’s Day parade down 5th Ave.
I’m not crazy about parades and Frank hates them. “I hate a parade,” he sang to more drunken people who passed who had no idea that he was singing the Frank version of Judy Garland singing, “I love a parade.” Sometimes Frank is just a little too subtle for the general population.
By the time we got back to the hotel Frank was really low. He lay down on our double bed in our tiny room and pointed out that the frame around the door of the bathroom was not at right angles to the ceiling. Then he said that we could have been in Venice now and I told him that Venice really stinks, as in smells awful. He said we could have been seeing Tintorettos right now and I reminded him that we just did at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and he didn’t appear that thrilled.
I started to nibble at his neck. He ignored me. I unbuttoned his shirt. He stopped ignoring me. He really can’t resist me, we both know that, which is one of the reasons this relationship is working out. I’m not the moody person that Frank is. And the way to get him out of one of his bad moods is simple. A blow job will do the trick every time.
When I was done and he very nicely reciprocated, Frank came up with a plan for Friday. He would show me his Brooklyn. We’d go to Coney Island, walk along the boardwalk to Brighton Beach, go to the Aquarium, eat hot dogs at Nathan’s. “You haven’t had a real hot dog until you’ve had one at the original Nathan’s, not those shit chains.” He was happy with his plan. When I said that the weather didn’t look so good for tomorrow he said it didn’t matter. If Frank was happy then I was happy. So we fucked again, cuddled up in each other’s arms and went to sleep.
The next morning we looked out the window to see what the weather was like, but since we faced an alley and another huge building we couldn’t even tell if the sun was shining. Frank put on the T.V. Rain, turning to snow, said the announcer. “But, believe me, with the luck of the Irish, when the parade starts at 11:30, the sun will be out.”
I looked at Frank, waiting for him to say forget it, put the pillow over his head and go back to sleep for a couple of hours. But he had a smile on his face.
“Fuck it! Coney Island is better in the rain.”
That was fine with me. I wanted our last day to be a good one, leaving NY on a happy note. By Monday it would be back to work for both of us. I liked the idea of escaping to Brooklyn, getting away from the crowds. I told Frank and he gave me one of his bear squeezes. “You are not going to believe this aquarium.”
I had my doubts but I didn’t say anything. After all, I have been to aquariums all over. Fish, lots of fish. Seals, and maybe if you were lucky, an electric eel. Theme aquariums like the one in Monterrey. Big ones like the waterfront one in Boston, my home town. Too many to count.
We were out of the hotel by 8:00am, dressed in layers of sweaters, umbrellas in hand. It was freezing out, a thin drizzle that I knew would turn into sleet, and then snow. We decided to splurge and get coffee and hot muffins at a deli right around the corner from the hotel. I could have sat there all day, it was so nice and warm, the coffee was so good, but Frank was anxious to get to Brooklyn.
In the subway station we got our Metro Passes, slid them through the device on the turnstile that made me feel I was back home at Wegmans, shopping for groceries and paying with my credit card, and stood on the platform waiting for the D train that would take us to Coney Island.
It was a long ride which grew progressively more interesting as we got out of Manhattan. The subway riders themselves changed, the ones early on walked on as though they had a purpose, carrying books, newspapers, dressed for the weather. Later, the car we were in cleared out except for a man who plopped down, seemingly asleep except for every 30 seconds or so when he would open up bloodshot eyes, stare directly in front of him, realign his untied sneakers and close his eyes again, and a man with long unkempt hair who chewed gum in time to the clanging of the wheels on the track. Soon the subway became the el and Frank excitedly pointed out streets to me, through the dirty, scratched windows, where a certain uncle had lived, where he and a favorite cousin had gotten thrown out of a candy store for looking at dirty magazines except the candy store was no longer there, replaced by Nails For You.
It was too early to begin feasting at Nathan’s although it was open so we decided to start out at the Aquarium. Frank said he had to take a wicked piss, but when we got there we discovered the Aquarium wouldn’t be open for another hour. So we walked down the empty, wide boardwalk, the ocean strangely calm, the Cyclone in the distance, the concession stands all boarded up.
A few joggers passed us. Frank looked happy, the wind blowing his black hair off his forehead. It had begun to sleet which made him laugh. He told me about the man who operated the Cyclone when he was a kid, who lived in a little room that was attached to the roller coaster. He grabbed my hand and started running, pulling me with him, the hood of my sweatshirt flopping off my head. He kissed my nose which he informed me was bright red, and I licked the sleet off his cheeks.
We walked to Brighton Beach and got off the boardwalk at 8th, walked five blocks under the el where all the shops were, where Frank said his family used to live.
I felt like we had gone abroad after all. All the store signs were in Russian, the people walking on the street had purpose, carrying shopping bags, pausing at outdoor stands to select foods that looked foreign to me. Frank insisted on walking into several stores, huge places where everyone spoke Russian, noisily, yelling across the aisles, pointing out to me this and that delicacy, telling me a story from his childhood about each item he saw, the stuffed cabbage, the enormous loaves of bread, the loose bins of kasha that his mother would buy and make into kasha varnishkas.
We headed back to the boardwalk. The sleet had now turned to a light snow. Frank spotted a public men’s room but when we got closer I noticed that below the sign, someone had written in, “Blow Jobs This Way” with an arrow pointing to the door. The door was locked so we continued our run back to the Aquarium, Frank complaining all the way that his bladder was up to his neck.
I have to admit that the Aquarium, which looked tiny from the outside, was filled with interesting exhibits. Maybe I was just happy that Frank was happy. I had never known him to be so talkative. I held a horseshoe crab at the Touch Me! Exhibit, offered to me by a very young girl who told me this one doesn’t bite, only the ones at the beach do. I dropped it back into the water and picked up the starfish.
We saw the blue lobster. The otters performed just for us. We studied marine life in the Hudson. We saw the baby Beluga. After a while I lost Frank and went back inside to view some of the underwater tanks.
That’s when the most amazing thing happened. I was standing alone in front of the tank of Pacific walruses when the male, twice the size of the two females, came speeding toward me, crashing his whiskered head into the thick glass, making audible moaning noises, his brown eyes staring directly into my face. Then he pulled back and out of his lower belly, from some kind of enormous sized navel came a three foot penis, at least that was my estimate. Still looking at me, even though the female walruses swam right by him, he backed up again, and then rubbed his appendage with his huge back flippers for about ten seconds. When he was done, he swam away and came right back, staring at me even though several other people were now standing in front of the tank, repeated the entire thing, crashing into the glass, moaning and then masturbating.
Mothers pulled their children away. A couple of people laughed. Some took pictures. A crowd gathered, including Frank who arrived just in time to see the walrus’ cock emerge from that navel. Frank stared at the walrus as the walrus stared at me, backing up to rub himself with those flippers. He had eyes for no other woman, I told Frank, jokingly. But Frank wasn’t smiling.
Frank finally grabbed my arm to pull me away when I started to put my head against the glass to gaze back into the walrus’ eyes. I wanted to stay longer, to see how long I could hold his attention but Frank had had enough.
While Frank got the food at Nathan’s, I listened to two homeless people, absolutely filthy, sharing a bowl of clam chowder, while they discussed Mahler. Shoving the best, juiciest hot dogs and French fries I had ever eaten in my mouth I said to Frank, “Wanna get a pair of flippers and masturbate under water for me when we get back to the hotel?”
“Wally really turned you on, huh?”
“Who’s Wally?” I asked, wiping a fried onion off Frank’s chin.
“Wally, the walrus.”
“Oh, please, Frank. His name is definitely not Wally. That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. He is just a Pacific walrus at the Coney Island Aquarium who had the biggest dick I’ve ever seen.”
“Who wanted to fuck you.” I told him to stop being so ridiculous but secretly I was pleased. How many women can get a walrus sexually aroused?
We finished up, continued on to the Brooklyn Museum of Art . Frank seemed tired but I felt oddly exhilarated. Later that night we took the subway into the East Village to go to a cheap Thai restaurant Frank had read about. The food was terrific and plentiful. Since it was our last night we splurged on a bottle of overpriced wine.
The streets were packed with kids. Frank stopped in front of a store that had a display of dildos, lubricants for the “anally challenged,” devices whose purpose I couldn’t even begin to imagine, bins of phallic-shaped pasta. He wanted to go in but I felt squeamish.
“Looking for flippers? We could go into a sporting goods store for that.”
He got annoyed and we walked on. Eventually we got back on the subway to the hotel.
As I was getting undressed I told Frank what an incredible day it had been. I was packing up the extra sweaters and the dirty laundry into our suitcase because we had a 7:15 train to catch in the morning, and I am somewhat compulsive. As I was bending down a nude Frank wrapped his arms around me, and from behind pulled my sweater over my head, unzipped my pants, pulled off my panties, threw me down on the bed and fucked me so quickly that I didn’t have time to come.
When he was done, he lay on his back, sweat sliding off his forehead. He turned on his side and smiled at me. “Good, huh?”
I didn’t know what to say. I have never lied to Frank about orgasms, never even had to fake one because he is such a good lover that I always come. I was just about to tell him the truth when I sensed that he would stop smiling and turn back into moody Frank.
So I lied.
When we got home and made love again, everything started to change. A few times Frank asked me, trying very hard to make it seem like a joke, “Still thinking about Wally?”
Indignantly I said, “What is your problem, Frank? Are you jealous of a walrus?” But the truth was that sometimes when we made love, I did think about him, the way he moaned, his desperate masturbation, his beautiful brown eyes staring into mine. But of course it wasn’t sexual attraction for a walrus; it was fascination with animal sexual behavior. And that is precisely what I told Frank, getting tired of the whole flipper incident. Really. Enough was enough.
Frank became even more demanding. One Saturday night we went to the X-rated room of the video store, something we had never done before. I was to be the look-out person, warning Frank who would select the videos, if someone we knew was near by.
Saturday night is a very stupid time to do something like this. Each time Frank approached the room, we would run into someone we knew. He finally got in. Just as he disappeared, a colleague from work, holding the hands of her two little girls, gave me a big hello. “It’s so hard finding nice family movies that we can all watch together.” I agreed with her, grabbing a few videos off the shelf, praying that Frank was taking his time.
We ended up with the videos I had grabbed, “Mary Poppins,” and “The Sound of Music,” and the ones Frank had gotten, “Busy Little Beavers,” “Jane on Dick,” and “Pussy Does the Dog.”
We were both kind of nervous as Frank popped in “Busy Little Beavers.” We had both seen porn before but the ones he chosen made me feel uncomfortable. But “Busy Little Beavers” was not about men fucking animals; it just had the usual inane plot of a group of silicone enhanced women, one of whom, who looked like she was wearing a wig for pubic hair said, “I have a great idea, girls! Let’s use our luscious bodies and put on a show!” Frank fast-forwarded most of it and then popped in “Pussy Does the Dog,” which despite the title had to do with fucking doggy-style, Pussy being the generic name for each actress in a three minute segment of groaning. This one did not have any plot, thank God.
The best one, as far as being interesting, was a “documentary,” kind of an educational film, like when I was in school and one night was set aside for all mothers to take their daughters back to the school auditorium to watch a film on menstruation. Dick and Jane were just two people with really bad bodies, Dick was bald and Jane had breasts that looked as though a couple of kids had nibbled at them for a few years, who did all kinds of sexual stuff. The movie had talking heads from experts, the Anal Expert known as the Avatar of Ass – Johnny Seconds, who explained the delights of butt-fucking, to Millie Masters, PhD (in what? I asked Frank) who narrated the segment on erotic massage.
When it was over, Frank and I agreed that we didn’t need a movie to teach us about sex, although that night in bed I got, thanks to Millie Masters, PhD, the best massage of my life.
Everything was back to normal. Wally’s name hadn’t come up for two weeks. The incident was over. I have to admit that I still did think of him every once in a while but only in a detached way, fascination giving way to curiosity, always meaning to consult with a marine biologist, or get a book out of the library to find out if what Wally had done was what all male Pacific walruses do. But I never did.
Mainly I was just happy that Frank and I would not have to go for counseling. What would we say? We had been living together for five years, five terrific years of great sex. Then one day, my lover gets obsessed with the idea that I am sexually attracted to a walrus because he has a three foot long cock, and Frank feels sexually inadequate because he is merely a human male with a cock the proper number of inches it should be.
Sitting in my office at work one day, I received an e-mail from Frank, working at his computer in his office across town. We often send each other little messages, a little bit of gossip, a suggestion for plans for the evening, a joke someone had passed along. The subject of this one was Ha-Ha, our term for a joke, followed by Penis Tax Time.
“The only thing the IRS has not yet taxed is the penis.
This is due to the fact that :
40% of the time it is hanging unemployed.
30% of the time it is hard up.
20% of the time it is pissed off.
10% of the time it’s in the hole.
It has two dependents, but they’re nuts.
Effective January 1, 2000, penises will be taxed according to size…
The brackets are as follows;
10″-12″ Luxury Tax
8″-10″ Pole Tax
5″-8″ Privilege Tax
4″-5″ Nuisance Tax
Males exceeding 12″ must file under capital gains.
Anyone under 4″ is eligible for a refund.
PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR AN EXTENSION!
Issues still under consideration are as follows:
Are there penalties for early withdrawal?
Do multiple partners count as a corporation?
Are condoms deductible as work clothes?”
I hate getting e-mail jokes. Some go on forever and then I automatically delete them.
This was an unusually long one for Frank; his are two lines at the most, kind of like the way he talks. But this one made me laugh. Also, knowing Frank and his black moods, it was a clear indication that the Wally incident was now to be viewed as a joke, to be allocated to the archives of our relationship.
On impulse I stopped in at a sporting goods store on my way home from work and bought Frank a pair of flippers. If he could joke, so could I.
I got home first and shoved the bag in my closet. The next time we took a bath together, something we did fairly often, candles, bath oils, wine, the whole thing, I would give Frank the flippers.
That Saturday was the first really warm spring day we had had so far. On the front page of the Post-Standard last week was a picture of Susu, the baby elephant who had been born only 6 weeks before. She was the third baby elephant to be born at our zoo. Frank and I have seen each baby. Such goofy kids! Stomping in the mud, running to nurse from mom, seeking shelter with one of the “aunties,” generally finding delight in anything noticed, a stick, a ball, the straw on the ground. The article said that the first day the temperature was over 65 degrees, Susu would be on display outside.
Frank and I stood in the crowd of screaming toddlers, adults like us, laughing uproariously at all of Susu’s antics. A 300 pound adorable kid. One father holding a baby no older than six months kept up a steady stream of scientific information to his baby who did not appear at all interested in the elephant but was fascinated by the people around him, and gave gummy grins to everyone.
Frank, knowing I would watch Susu for quite a while, wandered off to see the new bat exhibit. Bats give me the creeps, and having lived in Austin, Texas, bat capital of the country, for a few years only increased my phobia.
The zoo had enlarged the elephant exhibit. Recently added was another spacious holding area. The last time I was at the zoo it was empty, but out of the corner of my eye I spotted something moving.
I eased my way out of the crowd and wandered over to the pen. A zoo volunteer in high rubber boots was cleaning up some debris outside the pen but no one else was there.
There stood the most magnificent elephant I had ever seen. His body was facing the pen where the females were and he was making a low frequency, muted sound, as if calling to them.
And then he spotted me. He walked in an aggressive stance, head held high, chin tucked in, ears waving, toward me, stopped only by the moat of water. Out of a sheath, his penis emerged, dropping down so low it was just inches from the ground. He bellowed at me.
“Tony’s in musth, you know. Ready and willing to…” and the volunteer mouthed fuck, smiling at me. “He’s looking for a female in estrous, poor guy. His testosterone level is surging. See how swollen the sides of his head are, that area that is wet? Those are his temporal glands. He’ll be nuts like this for a few months.”
As he stood there bellowing at me, waving his ears, a liquid dribbled out of his cock. Then it would stop, he would move to a new position, brown eyes still on me, and dribble some more. Sometimes it just gushed out, his inner legs black with wetness. At the same time, his temporal glands were secreting a copious, viscous fluid.
As I watched him, a small crowd had gathered. Some people were taking pictures. A bunch of teenage boys were in hysterics at the size of the drippy penis. An elderly woman turned to me and said, “I think Tony likes you.” Mothers rushed by covering their children’s eyes.
Frank appeared at my side. I didn’t know how long he had been standing there, so fascinated was I by the spectacle in front of me. In his hand he had a small bag. His face was neutral, revealing nothing, as he stared at the elephant. “His name is Tony,” I said to Frank. He looked at me, his dark brown eyes intense, nodded, and looked back at the elephant.
We left the elephant exhibit and wandered aimlessly for another 20 minutes, not talking. In the car he handed me the bag. Inside was a stuffed animal, a baby elephant.
“What a sweet thing to give me, Frank!” I have an enormous stuffed animal collection. Someone had handwritten “Susu” on the label.
We went out to our favorite Chinese restaurant. We made small talk. Frank and I are not small talkers.
At home I put my little elephant next to my much bigger gorilla, thinking automatically that gorillas have such teeny cocks. Not that I have ever seen one, but I read that somewhere. I told Frank that a long time ago, and we both laughed about it.
Frank came out of the shower and I jumped, wondering if he could read my thoughts. But he didn’t look at me. I showered. We both read for a while, then simultaneously turned off our reading lights, and said good night, each turning away from the other.
The following Monday I came home from work, carrying my briefcase in one hand, in the other the take-out fish fry from Doug’s that would be my dinner. Frank had e-mailed me earlier in the day to remind me that he had a staff meeting and would be home later in the evening.
Dumping everything down on the kitchen counter, I went into the bedroom. I took off my work clothes and went to the closet to hang them up, unhooking my bra and stepping out of my panties at the same time. There was the bag with the flippers. I took them out and put them on, and stared at myself in the mirror. And then I went to take a bath.