I have this picture of Lisa I like to look at. We shot a lot of footage, but this one picture of her on all fours in this teddy stands out. She’s looking back at me with her hands pressed against the wall. I spotted her well, the light highlighting her fingertips and each crease of her slender and delicate fingers. Those palms pressed against the hard, exposed brick.

This really isn’t about that photo, but I edge to it a lot. Edging is when you masturbate to the point of ejaculation but you never actually go. You stop yourself and sometimes you get blue balls, but other times you get nice full balls that you can unload when you’re ready.

Edging is a lot like dating for those of us with no plans for marriage. You tend to get sick of that after eight months.

I recently decided to toss the semen-soaked sheets in the wash and pick my life back up.

Then I met Sophia.

Sophia was vanilla for people who think custard is exotic. She was a special kind of boring, but she told me she gave good head. One of those one-word reply kinds of girl who can’t hold a conversation over text with celery. I decided we should meet because she’s attractive and I convinced myself someone was in there.

I stupidly asked her to visit me at home. There was no one there. I reasoned that at a bar, I’d have to deal with other morons and loud music. I was relaxed in my element. Guitar in my lap and bowl at my side. It smelled faintly of musk, but the good kind. I had the window open and a space heater going.

I’d really thought of everything. I hadn’t vacuumed. I should have done that. But I’d really thought of everything else.

She looked like her pictures, just wearing a more interesting outfit. I poured us some drinks and she kept thumbing the case for the phone she rested on her thigh. I told her jokes and she eased up a little over an hour. She started telling me about her job and she smiled. She looked pretty. I told her she had nice teeth. She chuckled and said thank you.

I wonder why I told her that.

She kept talking and I tuned her out. She wasn’t boring, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off her hands. They danced before her, fingertips flayed out wildly while she wove her stories to me. I heard something about a coworker. I think she mentioned a threesome, but I may have been hearing what I wanted to hear. She told me this coworker wasn’t trustworthy.

Her hands clenched while she said it. She was manicured well and wore no polish.

I nodded and told her that her coworker was a twat. She laughed and lit a cigarette. She said that I made her feel relaxed as her phone slid between her legs. She let her knees fall and I saw she wore purple under her skirt. She smiled at me and I could tell I had her, but I wanted it to go on for a while longer.

We kept making alcohol-fueled conversation and she tried some of my stash. That went on for hours. My roommates came and one went to sleep. Arthur put on music. It was loud, but he was in his own world. He poked his head in for a quick meet and greet.

Sophia sidled up next to me to take the piece into her mouth and she locked eyes with me as she sucked it in. Then she widened her eyes, inhaled a bit more, and exhaled slowly. It smelled of pine and peaches.

She kissed me and ran her fingers across my hardness. I twitched at her touch and pressed myself against the chair. She was drunk and looking to flatten my growing erection with her full body weight. I pressed my hands on her to guide her to my lap or the floor and she bit me. She told me she wanted me and scraped my chest. I saw red marks where her nails had been and I slapped her; hard enough to get her attention but not to hurt her.

We argued about that.

She sat on me and pressed her breasts into my face to smother me. I wrestled for air and she was screaming and hitting my head with balled-up fists. I grabbed her by the stomach and threw her from me onto my bed and she kicked me in the chest.

What the fuck: she was on me and scratching me all over my chest across my shirt. A button popped off and my pocket ripped.

Cunt. I hit her in the belly and she started coughing. I’m sorry for a second and I was trying to explain that it wasn’t my full strength. She sat down on the bed and told me she had never done that before.

I said it was fine if she was fine. She said she was.

We had a drink. It was quiet.

I told her I hated that word. Cunt.

She laughed and told me to fuck off. Then she unzipped me and tried to take me into her mouth.

She sucked me and she was good at it but I couldn’t get hard. I watched her hands stroke me and her nails dig into my thighs.

She gave me a show. She unbuttoned her blouse and pressed her breasts against my balls, balancing my shaft between them. She flashed me schoolgirl eyes and licked me on my tip, but it just wasn’t happening.

She sat on me and kissed my neck and rocked her hips. She said it’s okay, baby.

I know.

Why don’t you just touch me, she said. I touched her hips and her thighs. She was soft in the right places, but fit and skinnier than I’d like. I traced my hands to her fingers and entwined them with my own.

You’re one of those boys?

I hated her voice. I’m not one of anything.

I wanted her to leave, but she kept rocking me and my dick finally got hard which she took as an invitation. The blowjob was exceptional. She sucked with the enthusiasm of a paid woman and gymnastics of an Olympian. She shook her tits and moaned for me and flung her hair around and put everything she had into it and I just couldn’t finish.

We went hard for minutes. She gagged and spit and by all male standards, it was beautiful. And I failed at it for so long it became my obsession. It was impossible for me to see it as anything but a failure and I wanted to tell her but she was so into it and for a moment I was outside myself enjoying the show. I felt myself throb in her mouth and she took me as deep as she could go before she pulled it out and sat before me, looking at it.

She told me that her brother was hooked on heroin and he was probably dead in the gutter or sucking someone off for a fix. She said she found him sucking off her high school cousin for $20 and threw him out. Her father left three years ago when her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

She wrapped her hands around me and I watched her cry quietly to herself.

She stroked me and fondled my balls while she told me that she tried to kill herself last year but she was too stupid to cut the right vein. She showed me a scar on her leg; it was next to her exposed pussy.

I told her yeah, that’s pretty stupid.

I went soft in her hands, a droopy little worm across those pristine hands. I told her you have the hands of a duchess and she started crying. It was a loud and horrible sound that echoed through the house.

I tried to shut her up but she was drunk and could not be controlled. She threw my door open and left a sizeable dent where the knob hit the drywall.


I followed this girl into my kitchen and she was just opening and closing my cabinets. I still don’t know what she was looking for and she was too stupid with grief to figure it out. My roommate came out and it was at that moment I realized we were both naked.

Lisa knew about a few of the times I photographed her. Certainly my favorite time, but she let me do it whenever I wanted. She caught me once shooting her as she got out of the shower. Her candidness turned me on. An idea that I could never fully convey to her.

After that shower, I had carte blanche.

I’m sure that she wished she had never given that to me.

Arthur was yelling at us both to shut the fuck up and it was three in the morning, so I definitely understood his viewpoint, but I wasn’t really interested in hearing about it. I took the first thing my hand found and I struck him across the face with it. He dropped.

I saw this handle stuck in his head. A knife?


She was looking at me without a clear understanding before I was on her. Her head went right through the glass table face in our communal dining room, and I hoped sincerely everyone was too out of it to hear.

She laid there on the floor and I had to hoist Arthur into my truck before I could fit her in, and I was still fucking naked, of all the stupid problems to have.

She was still on the floor but moving, so I wasn’t completely worried yet. He was definitely dead and that was fine. Not ideal timing, though.

I had found some pants and a hoodie off the floor. I meant to do laundry, and even now, this doesn’t really feel like the time to get into that.

She yelped when I picked her up, but she was tense and I can tell she wouldn’t do it again. I threw her into the truck bed and she laid there next to Arthur’s bloody face and I shut the truck bed up before she could scream about it. I heard her kicking around and anyone standing outside at 3am was probably onto me, but it’s way too late to care about that.

Lisa and I took this drive six months ago.

I’d found the spot a few weeks before, but I wanted to share it with someone special. An outcrop off the 101 where the beach is accessible if you take a small private road with no homes on it. It leads to other hilly neighborhoods with executives and who knows what other kinds of heathens.

She loved it. I loved it. I told her I wanted to die there, right then and there. That life was as perfect as it was ever going to be and she just said okay.

I didn’t really understand it then. But she just threw herself off the cliff. I stood there on the outcrop for a few minutes and I looked down at her. I wanted to do it and I kept running stupidly toward the edge, making this dumb yelling noise like they do in the movies. I probably looked like a fool. Willing it to happen like that.

The way the water washed through the rocks and thrashed her body, I assumed she was dead pretty instantly. She wasn’t fighting it but it was too loud to hear anyway.

I couldn’t leave her there, so I went and climbed to the water’s edge and fished her out. I sat with her and felt her grow colder, or maybe it was the water. Then I took her hands and photographed them next to her. I climbed back to the car.

I tell all of this to Sophia. I even tell her about Lisa’s now darkened and leathery fingertips and she starts saying something but her voice is muffled. The waters are cold. They wash up across her ankles and up her thighs across that purple pair of panties.

I don’t have to will this time. I feel alive as I claim my newest prize in frozen waters that usher Sophia’s body from me, as if on cue.

I bury Arthur under rocks and drive north along the route until I find a place to stop for gas.

Back on the outcrop, my overhead light is on and I’m palming my half-chub. I’ve got the heater on and the parking brake off. The photograph of Lisa lays across Sophia’s opened hands.

A few more minutes to push myself over the edge. I think I’m done.

Dating is bullshit anyway.