Erotic Interlude #1: Especially When
By Hapax Legomenon

99 Erotic Notions Index
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Lisa telephoned me the next evening.

"Listen, I don't feel comfortable with reading your fantasies," she said. "It seems too private, too weird, even a little creepy."

I half-chuckled. "So overnight I turned into a creep?"

"It's not my job to feed anyone's obsessions. It's unhealthy. One of my exes would send long notes talking about his feelings and how often he thinks about me. A real nut job. I am so over him."

I listened politely, thinking about her words. "Talking about his feelings?" "Saying how often he thinks about her?" Many would be happy if a boyfriend acted like that. How interesting that a girl would regard the same behavior as "wonderful" coming from a current beau but "scary" coming from anyone else.

"I don't want you to get the wrong idea," she continued. "I like you – as a friend – , but I'm not your psychologist or even your sex therapist. I don't even want to go there."

I paused. "It's only a few stories, each a few pages, nothing to get worked up about. Do you really think I'm such a pervert?"

"No, but remember that you should think of me only as a friend. Don't get the impression that I'm reading a story because I'm 'interested'."

"Obviously," I said. "Look, do you want me to send you these fantasy stories or not?"

"I want you first to promise that you don't have feelings for me and aren't showing these stories as a pretext for anything else."

"Lisa, don't be silly. If that unlikely event were to occur, do you realize what it would mean? The death of the friendship, that's what. More importantly, it would mean that I could no longer share these fantasy stories with you."

"Good," she said. "Next agenda item: you cannot cross certain borders. If you send me some sick sadistic garbage, I not only will refuse to read anything more; I'll also stop being your friend."

"You have nothing to worry about."

"Do you promise?"

"I promise."

"Fine, I look forward to reading your first story, " she said, hanging up.

The bluntness of that conversation surprised me. This stuff really worried her, while I regarded it as just a titillating game. I also had to admit that I desired Lisa very much. Quite frankly, I was turned on by the fact that she consented to follow my stories (however reluctantly) and looked forward to some kind of dialogue. Yes, in a way I wanted this game to lead to physical contact and ultimately to love, although I had already resigned myself to its impossiblity. In order to participate in this game, you need to forswear sexual interest in a person. Sounds like a rotten deal for the guy, but it was better than nothing, I suppose.

The foundation for this game was based on a lie. Still, Lisa had (apparently) given me her trust, and I could do nothing to violate that trust. It was a delicate balance. Perhaps I trusted myself less than Lisa did; truthfully, I worried whether my desire to describe fantasies would cause me to take things too far (or at least too far for her liking). We humans are stupid at guessing people's tolerance levels; our only saving grace is an infinite capability for forgiveness.

Lisa, a man who takes refuge in fantasy also ends up lying to himself and those he cares about. Especially when he tries to tell the truth.

Written January, 2004.


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We humans are stupid at guessing people's tolerance levels; our only saving grace is an infinite capability for forgiveness.
William Merritt Chase, Back of a Nude, 1888
William Merritt Chase, Back of a Nude, 1888
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