Readiness Is All

Elrod Everlode fought down his guilt, pulled his belly back over and behind his belt (while hiding it under the bar) and ordered a bag of Doritos. The peanuts were free, but he loved Doritos and peanuts gave him gas. Enough things gave him gas unexpectedly these days that he did not want to add to the list with known gassifiers.

“El…,” said Hargood Hosenwinder as he set his scotch back on the bar. The two of them sat there as they did most days now in their blue blazers with brass buttons and grey slacks. It was the universal cover for men in their age and class. Lately Elrod had wondered if he were a display on loan to the city from Brooks Brothers.

“El…” Harmon said. He was now staring at one of his fingers which he held in front of his face. It made his eyes cross. He shook his head. Then Har turned to his friend Elrod with the deep sincerity that only comes from people who are regularly drunk. “Elrod, my friend, I want you to take this to the bank and smoke it. Think about long and hard, because long and hard is what we all want to be. They are just as horny as we are.”

“They are?” Elrod said this as he started demolishing the little bag of Doritos.

Harmon looked on with disapproval saying, “Cholesterol, El, cholesterol,” with portentous gloom in his voice. Then he knocked off his last three fingers of scotch and signaled for another drink. It came.

“Yup, they get hot in the heinie just like us only it doesn’t go to their brains the same way. It stays down there in their crotches. It gets up to their nipples, but not to their brains. Their nipples divert the energy so their brains clear faster. That’s why their tits are bigger than ours.” Years of riding bars had given Harmon a pretty good set of tits himself.

Elrod could see that his pal was smashed. It was not hard to recognize since he saw it so often. However, he had a point of some sort in the middle of his boozy fog. Elrod slurped the watery dregs of his martini and discovered the Doritos were gone already. He wanted more, but then he belched and decided to go home instead even though it was only lunchtime. Harmon was talking to a coaster when he left.

Elrod shifted to vodka after having dinner alone with his wife, Clorette. She had been on her wireless phone from the entrée to desert. She never ate much in any case. She had spent the appetizer telling him why he needed to buy new suits to hide his encroaching fat. Then her phone gave out a passage from Mahler and she ascended to the airwaves.

“Yes, Elrod’s here,” she said to her friend as though he were dead in an urn or cast in bronze. “He’s going to sit in front of the TV after dinner as usual. Boys and their toys you know. (giggle giggle) He has a new flat screen monster in the study.” And she was right, he did.

That night Elrod sat in front of the TV when the back of a woman’s trim knees came on. The camera climbed slowly up her shapely thighs until the screen was filled by two perfect buttocks in a high cut fuscia leotard. Most of her bottom was naked in fact which seemed a very good idea. Elrod leaned forward to study the screen.

A voice from the box said, “You can have these results in ten days, Friends, with the Buttmaster 2000!”

Female hands appeared near the bottom as he spoke and effortlessly started to paste little wires to various spots in matching positions on each cheek.

“The Buttmaster 2000 blasts your behind to toned perfection where exercise cannot. No time? Bomb that butt to beauty the Buttmaster way and its fun too! This high energy tension-creating muscle builder and fat reducer is guaranteed to bring bounce to your buns or we guarantee a full refund.”

A disembodied hand threw an impressive looking electrical switch and the bottom reappeared. Suddenly it seemed to leap, quiver and the muscles danced with involuntary contractions. Elrod wondered if that would work as a cure for gas. A moment later the twitching stopped and the camera allowed us to see the exhilarated face of the bottom’s owner who was blonde and chirpy. A smiling brunette woman appeared and removed the wiring deftly. Then she hugged the blonde while giving her air kisses. The blonde had clearly been a wise and brave girl.

The announcer now went into the pitch about how many payments and so on as the bottom’s owner turned shyly to the camera. Then it cut away in short bursts. As he rattled on, a perky Asian bottom, a rounded black bottom and a curvaceous Latina bottom all jumped with electronic eagerness to the Buttmaster’s tune. Each disappeared as swiftly as it had been tweaked. The camera cut back to the blonde who smiled a red-faced girlish smile of embarrassment and rubbed her seat with her head cocked to one side. She was working on adorable. Clearly the Buttmaster had effected her in some profound way. Whether it toned her fanny or not was unclear to Elrod.

The commercial changed to Taco Bell offering a one-pound burrito full of cheese product and tofu chili. A gas works in the making for sure Elrod thought. Suddenly the blonde’s dancing bottom reappeared in Elrod’s mind. A rivulet of tears ran down his cheek in sympathy for the poor little darling who had suffered so for a career in advertising. Elrod knew about such things from his own life as a copywriter. His sadness moved him to the kitchen where he kept the cheap vodka under the sink in a half gallon plastic jug. He poured a heavy slug and ignored the ice since the booze was not going to be in the glass long enough to chill.

Elrod sloshed in another refill and then looked out the window at the long expanse of Second Avenue. It loomed darkly away into the night down below him. It was like the chasm of his spirits. He had done his drinking in the past on their little balcony even in winter, but in the last few months he feared going out there. The railing seemed to thin against the night sky and eternity too close to the 28th Floor.

Most of all he hated Christmas up here. The people across the street who lived in exactly the same sort of building put lights on their balcony. They were the only ones on the block who did that this high up. It seemed so out of touch. He had tried putting a single electric candle out there, but it had been made in China and cracked in the cold December wind.

So he stayed inside. He rooted in the cabinet over the sink for an economy sized bag of cheese puffs that he had hidden for emergencies. He ate them while he watched a half hour of Nine and a Half Weeks. Then he belched quite loudly and went to bed with his secret sorrow in tact except for the orange cheese-like powder that covered his hands to the wrist. When he turned out the light in the bathroom, he muttered, “What will this little hand ne’er be clean?”

As the light went out, Clorette spoke from the darkness, “El, honey, could you wash your hands again if you think you might touch me?” The silence that followed was deeper than the night.

The next day Elrod had lunch with Harmon who was both hung-over and now slightly drunk having had part of a martini. Harmon’s heart was in a race with his liver and one of them was bound to win soon, but Harmon would not be cheering at the finish line. Meanwhile he went through constant weird mood shifts which were no help to Elrod who found himself going quickly insane even without the help of others.

“This business is for kids,” said Harmon.

“Yes, but we grown ups need incomes. There’s the rub,” said Elrod.

“What the fuck is all this Shakespeare, El?”

Elrod was not aware that the Bard’s thoughts had crept into his own, but there they were. They irritated the hell out of everyone else, but he found them comforting as though he were part of something bigger than his own decline. It was nice to think so anyway although it made him even sadder.

Elrod tried to remember something suitable for, “I’ve had enough” but nothing came to mind, so he just got up and walked out of the bar onto 34th St. Corrupted by cheap chain retail, midtown had become a down-market shopper’s paradise. While Elrod bought his suits here in Macy’s, he was careful never to admit it especially given the way they fit. His growing girth did not help.

It struck him that he was deeply, utterly tired so for the first time in his life, he sat down on the curb at the corner of 7th Avenue. From down here he could see through multitudes of legs to Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. He could look up the exhaust pipes of taxis. He nearly got run over by a bus that turned too sharply at the corner, but he did not get up. He was too damned tired.

Then he looked along 34th where a sea of shoppers ambled, loped, dawdled and gaggled in the early spring air. Most of them were women and all of the women to his sudden delight had legs. They were long, short, chubby, boney, sassy, shapely and god knows what else in pants, stockings, skirts, heels, flats, sneakers, jeans, and even miniskirts. He would have liked a vodka. Then he thought of the Buttmaster 2000 and what it would be like to see all these women give it a try. That seemed too kinky but he forgave himself on the grounds that it was just a fantasy prompted by a stupid advertisement. Who knew more about stupidity in advertising than he?

So Elrod just sat there in his 300 dollar suit (marked down on sale to 180) and looked at all those calves and feet that would of course lead to thighs and bottoms and waists and breasts and eyes and mouths. Mouths, oh such kissable mouths. All women suddenly seemed to him to have kissable mouths. He almost got up and kissed a couple but the gin was wearing off from the drink with Harmon.

The sun on the other hand started to turn warm for mid-March and so many of the women opened their coats. It was like a sea of flowers to the aching eyes of Elrod Everlode. He had not felt this way since the Dean’s spring tea of his freshman year at Durwood College. All the girls had come dressed in white (whether they deserved to or not) and it was like a stream of fragrant lilies when they all came flowing out onto the lawn from their audience with the college president.

Their voices trilled with youth as they laid a siege of beauty in their white gloves and stockings to the quadrangle. Then they perched their chaste little bottoms on tiny white chairs to nibble sandwiches and sip tea with the boys. Erections rose beneath grey flannel everywhere amid this sea of alabaster blossoms.

That night his entire dormitory opened their house windows and jerked off en masse into the moist, lilac-scented spring air until three in the morning. The girls — who watched them and listened to their sighs and groans from their darkened windows — felt they had scored a well-deserved victory. The gardener, who was a German rationalist, was perplexed the next morning by the odd stuff splattered all over the foundation plantings near the boys dorm.

Elrod’s life had not been without romance. He had spent dreamy summer evenings at the lake with his parents jerking off while lying on the little sandy beach and staring in the night stars. He was a big strong kid, but he did not like team sports, and preferred to hike alone with a book of poems and some pictures torn from his secret copy of Penthouse. He was always in love and never able to tell his lover. In time, however, he had come to know himself to some degree.

So now he sat there with his ass on the granite curbstone, as revelation struck him as deeply as a jolt from the sedulous Buttmaster. He was horny. He was not suicidal. He was not depressive. He was above all else not Hamlet, nor did he have a shred of Macbeth in him. He was a horndog. He needed a ride in the rough muff, a lap around the fluff, his ashes hauled, his shooting iron mauled. His soul in the way of all flesh had come to the point where even in his own reserved way, he knew he needed a piece of ass or he would surely die.

However, at 52 it was not that simple. First of all, he could not call his office and say he was taking the afternoon off again today to go somewhere and get laid. He took a cab home. Clorette might be home and in any case he was not sure how to bring up the subject with her although she seemed the logical person to see.

“Guess what? I need a good fuck,” seemed like a bad start. He loved Clorette. He always had, but he did not like her. He did not dislike her either. He knew nothing about her. They had always behaved at each other in their blue blazers and white gloves. He had no idea who she was except that her real name was Clarissa which he thought was pretty. Clorette was a nickname she acquired in her sorority because it was said she had penis-breath from giving too much head.

In fact he knew that she was a loner and had probably never given a blow job at all. He thought she was worried about halitosis which turned out to be the truth though unjustified. She nibbled the little mints fairly often when she was nervous.

Now she ate them constantly because she was in real estate and she had to be Manhattan thin. She ate them for lunch. When he got home he sat down in her chair for some reason and notice there was a box of eight rolls of the little mints inside. The sun was on his face as he took one out of the wrapper and let it melt on his tongue as he leaned his head back against the headrest.

Then he landed in the snow with a crash having fallen on his skis from a great height. His face furrowed into something dark and warm. When he pulled back he saw that it was a small firm ass protruding from the snow in woolen ski pants. Suddenly a head rose from the snow with a snarl. It was the beautiful Chinese Negro who had vowed to kill him when he had at last destroyed Smersh. She grabbed his shoulder and shook him saying, “What the hell are you doing here?” He woke up.

Clorette was looking at him with the expression of a person who has to deal with the meter reader from Con Edison when they are on the way out. She gave him a frozen smile.

“I came home to…do something…with you.”

“What? WITH me? No. You’ll have to do it yourself whatever it is. I have a closing in an hour.” Her eyes were looking desperate as she snatched two mints from her little box and chomped them between her large teeth.

“I want to go to bed.”

“Its two thirty, Elrod. Go to bed if you want, but I have things to do. Try a coma. Harmon seems to like them. What do you need me for anyway? I have a closing. It’s a studio in one of the Trump exclusives. It has a window, a half bath and a kitchen with a sink. It’s on the East Side, Elrod, the fucking East Side, Goddamnit. Nine hundred thousand, but I have to get the client in there before he comes to his senses. He’s from the Midwest for Christ’s sake.” She chewed two more mints furiously. White powder gathered on her lip.

Clorette was not very sensitive to the moment, but she was a world class whiz at real estate in NYC. She had a knack for making every dwelling seem like the last possible sanctuary from death and the elements. Better still, she could get people to spend money they had never dreamed of making. It only had to last through her commission and she worked strictly on that. She had a mind of her own and did not like bosses. She paid a flat fee to share an office and hired the cleaning help herself who she regularly cheated on benefits.

She made money hand over fist and had made their five room pied a terre on 65th St. off Second Ave. possible. It had a balcony and a separate dining room where they ate catered food every Thanksgiving with various clients for new deals. He would never have been able to pony up the dough on his salary. She left for the closing. He had no idea what he would have said if she had stayed. Then his dick twitched. It was still making demands.

Get a call girl? Call who? What if they didn’t get along and he couldn’t come? He would be like this forever. And then they would know where he lived. They might come back and rob him. Or rape him, Or do both? Worse still, his terrifying Irish doorman would know it was a call girl. Then all the maids would know. Then his maid would know and she would look at him oddly like he had a disease for the rest of his life. He would be a leper with a perpetual hard-on in his own home.

He took the Lex downtown to 42nd St and walked from Grand Central to the Marriot Marquis. Nobody from NYC stayed there. It was full of Japanese business men. They all had whores all the time, didn’t they? Harmon said they never stopped fucking and drinking.

He went to the desk in the multi-storied atrium. The hotel looked to him like the inside of a giant elevator shaft, but he was not an architecture buff.

“I’d like a room,” he said.

“Just for one night?” asked the bright young man with carefully messy hair and a maroon polyester blazer with Marriot on his tit.

“Just till about dinner time I guess.” It just slipped out that way. Elrod blushed. He had given away the game as though this particular game did not get played here every hour on the hour.

“Excellent, Sir. One night then.” He was helping Elrod save face. Obviously they did not do hot pillow deals. “Now then, cash or charge?”

“Charge,” said Elrod. “No cash!” He almost screeched it at the young man who smiled with knowing patience.

“Cash then, Mr. ?”

“Gandy. Indira Gandy.”

“Yes then that’s Mr. Indira Gandy. Thank you. Just sign here.” Elrod scrabbled some symbols on the little white card the guy now pushed toward him.

“Fine, Mr. Gandy. That will be nine hundred and eighty three dollars plus tax,” he paused there and smiled warmly.

“Nine hundred and … really?”

“Would you prefer a suite? They are a little pricey compared to the regular rooms, but they are roomier and there is a nice seating area for cocktails. We can send up champagne when Madam arrives.”


“Brut. It’s three hundred and twelve dollars plus tax. If you want glass flutes instead of plastic, its sixty dollars more. You can take one home as a souvenir if you like.”

Elrod was dizzy. He excused himself and wandered away from the desk to sit down in the lobby. A giant muscular security guard with an enormous bulge in his pants eyed him suspiciously. Elrod hoped it was a gun.

As a New Yorker, he never stayed in hotels much less in midtown. He had no idea that they now went nightly for what used to be the rent on a two bedroom apartment for a month. No wonder the Japs fucked themselves crazy. They had to get their money’s worth.

He left the hotel and made his way through a wall of tourists in Times Square who were all staring at each other except for those who were staring straight up. He got to the R train and took it to 23rd St. From there he walked to the six-lane divided thoroughfare that was Park Avenue South. Whereas the northern version above 42 St was lined with the dwellings of the rich and famous, the south end had marginal office buildings, dark sushi bars from the 80s, parking lots, insurance offices and unmarked massage parlors.

Harmon had speculated that hookers wandered the median of Park Avenue South in the mid 20s to pick up motorists and blow them. Elrod found they did. Here were a myriad of faux fur jackets topping miniskirts with glitter and slits to the anus. Platform shoes were high enough for a train to depart from them. Asses were wide and cleavage was high as it bulged with authority. Wigs of all colors complemented eye shadow that belonged in metal fleck on the ass of a 58 Impala. All races and sizes were represented as well as a lexicon of communicable diseases. The place scared him to death.

A tall black woman with very long legs and a rounder ass, invited him on a date. The invitation was for the next ten minutes inside a Chrysler mini-van with blacked out windows. It was parked next to her at the curb. The word Verizon was still visible through the new coat of paint which covered some of the wounds and scratches on the skin of the van. The woman was in much better shape and she was amazingly muscular. She put her arm around his waist and lifted him off the pavement. She set him inside the van. Then she climbed inside and sat down on the engine housing between the seats. An orange mattress covered with fuzz lay on the floor.

“Well, Sugah, should I sit on yo dick or sit on you face?” In some mysterious way, both ideas were profoundly appealing to him at that moment. He forked over a hundred bucks and started to take off his pants.

“You crazy? We in a truck here, Corny. Just lie down on the floor” Elrod did, and she stepped over him so that her crotch straddled his face from far above. It was magnificently dark at the top of her brown buttery smooth thighs. If she wore underwear it was not to be seen from this angle. All this happened so fast that he could not absorb what he was doing until a high voice from outside the van screeched, “Hey Lucy!”

“Damn,” she said.

“Is it the police?”

“Sort of. It’s the fuckin’ meter maid and I’m outta quarters.” Elrod wanted to oblige and started to fish in his pockets.

“Forget it, Baby, one hour limit in these spaces.” She jumped over the console into the driver’s seat and pulled away from the curb just in time to avoid the ticket.

“They jus’ raised the fuckin’ fines you know.”


“Yessir. They bout to put me out of business with this parkin’ shit.”

They drove around for another half hour but there was no space to be had. He offered to pay for a parking lot, but she said she would have to subsidize the attendant just so he would leave them alone. It would shear off her profit margin after expenses. Finally she stopped at 28th and Lex near the 6 train.

“Go home, Baby. This ain’t meant to be.” She waited until he had closed the panel door again and then sped away. It was near dusk. Elrod’s mind was mush. He was near to getting hiccoughs. His dick was as hard as a rock. Getting laid was not going well. He went home again.

The crowd on the six was as thick as a wall as the local lurched uptown. Bodies pressed against him. He watched one woman idly brush her back when she felt his erection pressing her. She must have thought it was an umbrella. She went on reading her Post. The front page had a fascinating photo of a chainsaw fight between two stockbrokers. Things were looking bearish again.

When he got home the apartment was empty. He flopped into his chair. For the first time since lunch his erection started to bend. Instead of feeling relieved he wondered if he in danger of dying. Was his body giving up from the head of his dick outward? He thought about the vodka under the sink and stayed in his chair.

Strange fantasies and sudden images brought his dick back to full attention. He found it comforting. He opened his fly and let it have its head. Preferring to let it stand freely there in the light breeze from the window, he did not massage it. Simple relief was not the point. His dick had made a request to get laid in the most soulful terms, and he wanted to honor that.

The sun was nearly gone when Clorette came home. He was asleep in his chair in the near dark. His jacket and shoes were tossed here and there on the floor. As her eyes adjusted to the gloom, she realized what was standing proudly in his lap. It was in an unfamiliar state. She had not seen it in a while, but still she recognized it.

A rush of disapproval mixed with fear in her. Was he nuts now on top of being weird and possibly a drunk? Was her world falling into tiny shards? Elrod did not sit in the living room like this in the afternoon especially with a hard-on. Why had he decided to do that today? He did not leave his clothes on the floor. Maybe she should throw his coat over his dick to prevent his being embarrassed. Then she decided that it was rather appealing standing there bravely. Looking at it cleared her mind of other thoughts. She started to relax. Then she needed to pee, but wondered if would be more polite to say hello. He was asleep. She went to the can.

Seated on the toilet with her newest, nicest, most expensive panties around her knees, she reflected on her situation as she peed in growing contentment. It had been an unsettling day, but she would outlast the males in her life. She did not want to outlast Elrod though. She wanted to be with him. She wanted a mint. She studied herself in the full length mirror across the room. To her surprise, even sitting on the toilet, she thought she looked very sophisticated and really quite pretty in the cream-colored cashmere wrap from Saks. Despite her age she felt sort of cute sitting there having a piddle. She flirted with herself a little and sighed.

The closing had gone badly. The Trump people had refused to fix the dripping faucet in the half bath (which was the only bath in the little dump) and so the client had demanded they take a hundred thousand off the price. He was from Cincinnati where he had sold a six bedroom house with a driving range for what he was paying for the studio. The Trump people laughed their icy laugh and sauntered out of the room. The banker pulled his finger out of his ear and inspected the wax that clung to it. She and the client sat for a minute listening to the banker’s stomach gurgle. When she left, the client was still trying to figure out what had happened. By the next day the studio would be back on the market and the price would go up.

She sat there feeling a little sorry for herself in a dainty way like Alice down the rabbit hole. She peed some more, but this time in a girlish tinkle. She was getting giddy from confusion. She carefully patted herself dry with a small wad of tissue and thought about Elrod’s dick. Then she took a wash cloth from the rod next to her and ran warm water over it. She pressed it to her cunt firmly finding the division and the more sensitive regions inside which she slowly rubbed. In her mind, her pussy turned a warm pink. She was right. It did.

She stood, flushed and washed her hands before massaging them with an olive cream. She took off the smooth caressing dress, hung it on a satin hanger and then wiggled her panties down far enough to kick them off. She liked her slip. Someone else could deal with her bra.

Then she went back to the livingroom where her snoring husband’s dick still stood tall in his saddle. She considered sucking it (him?) which would have been interesting to see his reaction, but somehow it seemed too adolescent. She caught her own smell then. She walked over and took Elrod’s hand as she stood next to his chair. She bent his fingers gently back and then slipped them between her legs like little diving boards. They were large and warm as they pressed upward against her pussy. She slowly moved them back and forth as her own moisture began to flow. It was very weird to her, but very sexy.

Elrod came cautiously out of his funk as he had again dreamed the Chinese Negro was trying to kill him. His dick bobbed back and forth slowly at first as though nodding approval. He could feel exquisite moist warmth enwrap his fingers. He could smell warm pussy near his face and knew the scent was Clarissa. It made his heart leap. He curled his fingers into the rough thatch of trimmed hair between his wife’s legs. He could smell her on the cooling evening air. She was so close.

Then he turned his head to one side and found himself gazing into the slightly crooked grin of his wife’s crotch. She moved her hips toward his face and he pressed his nose to the tiny division at its center. His dick began to twitch with the enthusiasm of the clacker on a firehouse bell.

Preliminaries were kept to a minimum as they were not much needed for this first go. Clarissa slipped in front of him with her back to his face. She bent very slowly forward from the waist and caught his eye from between her legs. She grinned and lifted her slip to display her bare bottom. It had gained a little ballast since their marriage, but it was still the same creamy expanse of rounded symmetry. The division was still the same shadowy enticement. Then she slowly sat on his cock and he began to grind her coffee with the methodical attention of a caffeine gourmet. Elrod was a romantic, and they may be naïve, but they make great fuckers.

He eased her arms out of the straps on her slip. It fell to her waist. Then he undid the eggshell lace bra that held her breasts. They bounced gently free. He moistened his finger tips and began to swirl them around her nipples. She offered a small squeal. He felt obliged to tickle her clit. She felt obliged to promise to “polish his weasel” in return. They both laughed.

They fucked slowly for some time in his recliner. He managed to kick it back part way so that she could get more leverage to move up and down. The sun disappeared. The evening traffic honked a little. A truck ran over some trash cans turning too sharply off 65th. The music of spring in New York played on. Finally, to their mutual surprise they came together.

It was not a decision. It just happened in a slow Bolero- like build of middle-aged puffing. They did not scream and claw. Both of them gave out a long, steady rising moan of released pleasure. Years of unnamed want seemed to float out of them both. He bit her shoulder like a bear holding his girlfriend still, but she didn’t mind. He had never felt so large to her either inside her or around her before. She drilled her bottom into his lap pressing the base of his dick hard against her pussy and let herself go.

Elrod was sure he had glanced at the clock when the orgasm started. When it was over, he had the impression that his had lasted for six and a half minutes. That seemed impossible, but there were many years of backlog in that orgasm.

“Elrod,” she said a few minutes after it was over. She allowed herself to gently collapse forward so that her cheek rested on his knee.

“Yes, Clarissa?”

“We have well and truly fucked each other.”

“I think you could say that. Yes,” and he fell back against the recliner cushion to admire her ass which was still spread wide open across his lap.

She looked back over her shoulder hoping he was studying her crotch. He was.

“I think we should do this again,” she said.

“I agree,” he said. Then he reached down a took her arm. He drew her up so that her head rested in the crook of his arm. The chair was pretty tight for two, but that seemed a good idea for now.

“After we have a little nap,” he said.

“A little nap, yes,” and they drifted off in each other’s arms without a single raveled sleeve of care between them.

© 2004 Cervo. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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