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What’s too Far?

January 12, 2013

When I pulled up outside the convenience store, he asked me for a smoke. He was cute, with a square jaw and wrinkled clothes, stubble, and blue eyes. I told him I’d give him one after I bought some.

When I came back out, he said his name was John, that he was staying at a nearby shelter. I was in one of those low-grade manias where everything seems predestined, and felt connected to him immediately. I had the day off and asked him if he wanted to hang out. He got in the car.

(Photo by contact-ts.)

He didn’t tell me about the shelter’s curfew, so when I offered him a ride back there and he told me he couldn’t go back so late, I let him stay at my apartment. He laughed easily. We got some beer. We wound up kissing, then having sex. He was rough in all the right ways — not kinky, but rough. I liked the way his hands felt on my body.

After he’d been with me for a couple days, we went to a massive bar in town called The Back Door, famous for their generous pours. Lots of the neighborhood drunks were there every night on the same barstools, and many more came to play pool and darts in the back. We got a booth, and we each got a drink. Since I was driving, I couldn’t have more than one. I saw the look in my friends’ faces when I introduced him. They were obviously unimpressed, and I could see that as far as they were concerned, I’d picked another loser.

Out in the parking lot, I was about to start the car when I noticed the people parked next to my side were smoking a joint. “God, I’d love some weed,” I said, and I waved at them with the intention of seeing if they’d sell me a little.

John was immediately enraged, and I didn’t understand why. “You can’t just ask people something like that,” he yelled. “I know a place where we can get some weed. Start the car and I’ll tell you how to get there.”

“I only have, like fifteen dollars,” I said. “Who’s going to sell me fifteen dollars’ worth?”

“It’s fine,” he said. “Just go out the back parking lot.”

I did as he said, though I was a little frightened by his tone and didn’t understand what the big deal was in asking people who were clearly already smoking weed if they might want to sell a little.

I followed his directions and we wound up in some projects that weren’t too far from my apartment. He got out of the car and I waited. He came back with a man who got in the passenger seat. John sat in the back, and the man with dark skin and a pompadour hairdo lit up a glass pipe. It smelled a little like burnt sugar.

“Oh, no,” I said. “I’m not having crack in my car. Get out.”

“It’s not crack,” said John. “It’s weed. Smoke some. You’ll like it.”

“What do you think? That I’m some kind of fucking idiot? Get the fuck out of the car.” The man handed the pipe back. John held the lighter to it and inhaled deeply, the planes of his face illuminated briefly with the flame. “John! John! Fucking cut it out! You can’t fucking smoke crack in my car.”

He ignored me and so did the man in the front seat and I started to cry in frustration. I got out of the car with the keys and hid behind some shrubbery in front of one of the identical housing units. I sobbed in the bushes, watching the spark of the lighter passing between them in the darkness. Then I watched as they got out of the car and John and the man started arguing. John pushed the man, then hit him, and the man fell down. He towered over the man in the street and yelled, “Kate, come on! We gotta go.”

I ran out from the bushes, got into the car and started it. It was clear to me that John had refused to pay the man, but he lied and said that the man had wanted me to have sex in exchange for the drugs. I was furious. My car was conspicuous, with spray-painted symbols all over it, and I didn’t live far from the projects. John hadn’t only put me in danger by smoking and running, but had made me and my car a target. The guy could have friends. The guy could impulsively take revenge for being ripped off and assaulted if he happened to see my car. This was my neighborhood and John had made me a moving target.

The ride back to my place was fueled by a crack panic. I felt culpable. I felt like we were escaping from a crime scene, that there might be people after us. He issued commands about how to get to my house, as if I didn’t know. We argued the whole way back. I concentrated on the road about 100 feet in front of me. I kept checking the speedometer, careful to stay within the limit. It was all I could do just to focus on driving while the empty nausea of fear pounded in my belly and I could feel my heart beating in my head. I decided to park behind my apartment complex, fearful that my car out front would be recognized.

I lived on the second floor. Someone had run into the wooden staircase behind the apartments with a car, and the back steps hung from the joints at the top. The bottom couple stairs were missing, and it was difficult to mount them. It was an unwarranted and delusional fear that prevented us from just going around to the front of the building. Instead, we threw ourselves up onto the dangling stairs that bucked with our weight and walked the long, unpainted wooden balcony to the front of the building where my apartment was.

We were arguing the whole way, and once we got inside, John grabbed my wrists and held my arms at my sides and kissed me. He pushed himself against me and reached under my skirt and pulled down my tights. He got on his knees in front of me and started to lick me. My fear started to evaporate in my warm arousal. When he pulled on my arms to get me down on the floor, I complied.

Then he got on top of me and started to push his cock inside of me. He wasn’t wearing a condom. “Stop it,” I yelled. “Hey, hey, hey! Stop it! You’re not wearing a rubber, god damn it. Stop.”

He didn’t stop and he’d made me wet so he’d slid in easily and was thrusting into me as I yelled. I grabbed his shoulders and pushed as hard as I could against him, but it didn’t slow him down at all. I started screaming and trying to get my feet under his legs to get enough leverage to get him off of me. “Fucking motherfucker! Get the fuck off of me. No! No! Stop!”

Nothing I said made any difference to him. He was a fucking machine, intent on getting his rocks off inside of me, and so I started to hit at him and kick at him from the side. I balled up my fist and punched him in the side of the head, but it was as if he could feel no pain and he just kept humping. The weight of his body was too much for me to lift.

I managed to get my knee under his abdomen and pushed with all my might. I pushed his cock out of me that way, and he rolled to the side and I stood. “How fucking dare you.”

He lay on the floor, his cock still hard, his pants down around his thighs. He looked up at me. His face in the light from the street-lamps outside looked lost and detached.

It was then that I heard my neighbor’s voice through the floor. “I’m calling the police,” he yelled. He’d heard the whole thing.

“It’s okay, George. I’m sorry,” I hollered back. “We’ll be quiet. There’s no need to call the cops.”

The idea of having cops in my house, of having to explain the whole crack situation, was too much. I’d stopped him before he came in me, and I told myself that what had just happened wasn’t that big a deal because I’d won.

“You sure?” he yelled back.

“Yes, George. Thanks. It’s okay.”

John wasn’t contrite until the next day. He stayed, and maybe we dozed, but early in the morning, I told him to leave. He started to apologize and I told him that I didn’t want to hear it.

A couple weeks later I was institutionalized again. One day after I got out, there was a knock on my back door on a Saturday morning. The sound startled me from sleep. The only person who ever knocked that door was the exterminator and he came on Fridays. I went to the door.

“Who is it?”


“Go away, John.”

“I just wanted to say I was sorry.”

“Good for you. Now go away.”

I never saw him again.


This post is the third of the Sex Writing Challenge. This challenge is more to myself than anyone else, but it’s also an invitation. Want to write about how sex goes in your own life? Comment on any post here with your own.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2013 1:56 pm

    Nice, minimalist sentences, concise and cutting, free of sentiment.

    Here’s my sex story:

  2. jay d permalink
    February 3, 2013 3:44 am

    I found this sad and terrifying.

  3. August 10, 2013 11:20 pm

    This tale’s got verve, pace and forward momentum like all good shorts should. Agree with Rick, love your lean sentences. And questions remain. Excellent.

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