Octopus Man

She texts him to ask if he is free on a tuesday in two weeks. “Ah, sure, I mean, weekends are better.” She has already scheduled two dates for the weekend, one on Friday and one on Sunday. She doesn’t like to cram too many people in a row. She feels guilty though.

She recalls how he had wished her a happy new year. She had thanked him, for thinking of her; and he had thanked her, for her appreciation. He followed with consistent bids for her attention weeks before she had even gotten in the car to drive from Seattle to NYC. She responded by sending him pictures of herself with her dog in the background from Hot Springs off the 395, overlooking the Grand Canyon, and on red rock canyons in the vortexes of Sedona. He especially liked the one of her and her husky shepherd mix atop the red rocks. He had remarked that he’d love to be there. She was happy she was traveling alone. She snuggled into her new found love of solitude like it was her beloved sustainable wool duvet. It was a soothing warmth that she wrapped around own herself. Sending the pictures was about as much of the trip as she was willing to share. For the first time in her life, she reveled in being alone, this- she was proud of, even as it made her cringe at the thought of companionship.

Now that she had booked those dates with people who hadn’t spent a fraction of the time courting her, she felt she owed him. So she decides to squeeze him into that coming Saturday. She doesn’t expect much.

His initial OKCupid message was sweet, of appropriate length, but not terribly specific. It was another one of those… “I read your whole profile and couldn’t believe how much we have in common.” He informed her he’d watched “I Heart Huckabees” with his friends. It was her favorite movie. She had mentioned it several times in her profile. That was a decent investment, she thought. He claimed his profile didn’t really express how similar they are. She asked what he thought they had in common. He likes traveling and psytrance festivals. She wonders if psytrance is the new rave scene. She enjoys traveling, in fact she loves traveling, but social work is more important to her. What does he know about oppression? He said he doesn’t trust the machine and the system. She accepted this level of understanding, at least for the time being. He had wanted to skype right away. He felt he could do better live chatting than over text.  She appreciated this courageous gesture. It was more in line with her values of being wholehearted and bravely human. She had just been thinking about switching to phoning more than texting. He was unwittingly calling her out on this. She was overcome with shyness, and surprised at this not so terribly common feeling. She declined.

Saturday afternoon he decides to call her. Her interest is peaked by this display of gallantry and forthrightness. He suggests meeting at a bar in Bay Ridge. “You can get there alright?” His voice is deep and accented and sexy. He sounds like a sports man. She doesn’t expect much. “Well, I just figured my way from Seattle to NY, I think I can manage my way to the neighborhood over.” He thinks she is independent and appreciates her adventurous spirit. He is quietly intrigued by her. Most people are. It’s not that she is so very different than what most people are, she is just willing to be who she is out loud. She is bold. Sometimes this makes her feel foreign underneath her soft armor of comfortability.

She decides on an outfit that is sorta sporty, sort of hip hop raver girl because she thinks this may be at least vaguely in line with the psytrance scene he seems to be mixed up with: patterned stretch pants cut with fishnet above the knee, a tight skirt, tank top, a zip up sporty vest, and her signature mismatched knee highs- one black and white striped, one grey and pink striped, and pink converse. She has a mohawk mullet haircut, she wears opals in her bridge piercing and a 10 gage solid steel ring in her septum. Her arm exposes an unfinished honeysuckle vine tattoo sleeve, with the Lorax perched at the bottom. She is 5’1 and a half inch. Try as she may to match what she perceives is possibly his lifestyle, she doesn’t think they will have much in common. She thinks its another one of those, “I’m going to be his magical fairy adventure.” She doesn’t get her hopes up.

As she surfaces from the subway and regains cellphone reception she’s informed he has switched the venue. She walks alone, her first week back in NYC after over a decade of living in the NW, 10 blocks. She is simultaneously not impressed by his lack of chivalry (having her walk so far in the dark alone) while being bolstered by the fact that he must think she is badass enough to walk this far on her own. Furthermore, she isn’t sure she wants to get caught on the streets with a stranger she met off the internet, perhaps she is safer alone- and then meeting him in a crowded club with witnesses. She clutches the leathermen knife attached to her keychain in her pocket because her mother watched a lot of lifetime and it is unclear whether these concrete streets and their inhabitants pose a problem. She dresses herself in a strut that claims the street as her own. Trouble is enticed by the not so sure- she prides herself on being a local wherever her feet take stance. With head held high, back straight, and shoulders back, she takes up space in a way that makes her an outsider- seldom. She takes in her surroundings, her reintroduction to the city. Bay Ridge is right on the water and she is overcome by the beauty of the Verrazano Bridge over the Hudson River. She notices, Bay Ridge has grown quite the club scene. She passes lots of thick NYC Italian accents. Have the Italians moved here or have they always been here?

She arrives. He smiles, a bright, kind smile. She sits down and watches the long dark haired Italian women pass by in their high heels and black outfits and she feels oddly out of place. She never fits in with the lipsticks. She shrugs it off- she’s not a lipstick, she’s a magical fairy. She orders a Red Sangria and begins to internally fuss over the idea that her mullet isn’t parted right. She hasn’t eaten, she gets tipsy quickly.

He is very normal looking, but traditionally handsome. Tall, dark, and handsome. He’s wearing a hiking man’s long sleeve black shirt and gray pants. She doesn’t think that he and she match, but in this moment she finds some comfort in it. Sometimes it is fun to be someone’s magical fairy, at least for a short while. He is about a foot taller than her, he has a wide chest, and long arms. And a giant head. It didn’t take long for her to lean in and plop a kiss on his cheek. She couldn’t help it. There wasn’t much to risk and his head was so large; there was so much face space. He smiles. A very large smile, then slowly tilts his head back and giggles and flutters his eyelids. It is adorable. He is taken aback by her sweetness. He inches closer to her. He has a very large mouth. The largest mouth, making the largest smile, she has ever seen. She wonders if she could fit her head in his mouth. She is sure at least one of her fists would. He puts his hand on her leg. His hand is very large. She imagines how it will feel inside her, around her breast, at the small of her back, around her neck, cupping her face. Her clit quivers, she unnoticeably flexes her cunt muscles then takes a sip of Sangria.

A couple drinks later and some dancing- including a boner inducing bump and grind- they decide to go grab a bite to eat in a quieter venue where they could talk. She walks to the bar to pay for the drinks but he has already paid the bill. She doesn’t know what to do. Does he expect her to give him cash? She appreciates being taken out, in fact she prefers being treated, especially on the first date, but two and half years of dating and she still can’t figure out the formalities of it. Her instability around this deed makes him question her feminist politics and if he has misstepped. It was with pure intention. He was raised with noble-minded values. Awkwardly, she stutters… “Well then, I guess I’ll just say thank you” and smiles. What a gentlemen.

Across the street is a 24 hour diner. He sits next to her, keeps his hand on her leg. There is a deep and silent warmth to his presence. She takes in a little bit of his scent. Typical man aftershave scent, none of that organic essential oil smell she prefers, but she still finds it arousing. More unnoticeable pussy squeezing. He says that he appreciates that she is affectionate like he is. “Oh yeah?” She asks and takes a bite of unmemorable food. He pats her knee and informs her that he is a cuddle monster. Historically, she has been a fan of closeness.

She practices her spanish with him and the waiter. She sits beside him- to his right- close- touching, but ever so slightly back from him so that his shoulder is slightly in front of her. His head is turned about 20 degrees away to the left- gazing into the distance across the diner- when he casually asks her if she wants to go home with him. She didn’t expect that from this quiet seeming fellow. She does like to fuck. “Yes, but perhaps that is…slutty?” She imagines being wrapped inside his arms, clutched at his chest. “We don’t need to live by other people’s ideas of what is right or wrong. You are invited to come over, it is up to you.” She appreciates his mature and progressive response and vaguely recalls him mentioning sex positive culture. “I’ll think about it.” She is randy, she is in her early thirties and always randy. Her cunt begins to ache, the ache rides up to her lungs and slightly shallows her breath- are her nipples getting hard? She wants to know how he fucks. He pays the bill, again. “Alright, I’ll come home with you.” He gets them a cab.

After they fuck he places his left arm under her neck and around her and uses his right arm to pull her as close to him as possible. She is smushed against his chest. She notices many pock marked scars on it. She inquires. They are keloids. He used to have many piercings on his chest, through and around his collarbone, but they wouldn’t heal. Now he has many scars in their place. “hmm,” she exhales. Not so normal after all she thinks, he’s a quiet freak. He lays on his side and attaches the half of his body that is resting on the bed to her and then drapes the other half of his body, including his long heavy leg, over her, and uses it to pull her even closer. He has gradually made his way through the cracks of her solitude and wrapped his whole self around her like a blanket. Is he is trying to fuse their bodies together? She starts to feel relieved that this octopus of a man doesn’t have anymore tentacles. She wonders if he is going to open his large mouth and stick her head inside it. She figures if she needs to, she can always tap out.



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