This week's suggestion comes in from Todd:
I quickly crossed to the shoe rental desk and asked for a pair of size ten before remembering that I wasn’t in America. The woman behind the desk gave a small sigh, but she recognized my accent and found the European counterpart, handing the pair over to me in exchange for the euros I had acquired earlier that morning. I thanked her in French and she rolled her eyes, presumably at my quiet butchering her native language. Clearly, I wasn’t going to find love here.
“Phil! Come on over here!” Dr. Aaron Schwartz called out across the alleys. He was waving at me as though we were in the crowd at the Macy’s Day parade. I waved back to let him know that I saw him and strolled in his direction. Aaron is an excellent doctor, but rather socially awkward. He speaks too loudly, gestured emphatically, and makes awful jokes in an attempt to ingratiate himself with the rest of the group. The group, of course, was my core circle of colleagues and we were all here together in Paris for SkinCon, the world-famous dermatological convention. Aaron, in his clumsy way, had suggested that we do something non-skin related after a day of panels and his brilliant and keen mind came up with bowling. So here I was, on a Saturday night in Paris, bowling with a bunch of skin doctors.
“What kept you, man? I was so nervous you wouldn’t show up, I was jumping out of my skin!” He let out an embarrassingly loud guffaw at his own joke and several patrons in the next alley turned to look, their surprise becoming annoyance.
“Ha, ha, good one,” I told him. No matter how awful his jokes, he always meant well and he was a loyal friend.
“I was just about to grab a ball. You wanna join me?” he invited.
“Um, sure, Aaron.” I put my shoes on the seat in our section and followed him to the rows of multicolored bowling balls waiting for their human partners to ask for a dance. Aaron, being somewhat smaller than I, headed for the lighter balls, but I attend the gym regularly and have developed what some would call a rather muscular physique, so I drifted toward the weightier side. I lifted an emerald green globe, holding it to my chest and sliding my hands over the smooth surface. She was a beauty, but I wasn’t sure. I put her back on the shelf and removed a ball of deep violet. Her surface was so dark, it approached the black of night just before moonrise. There were secrets hidden in her depths.
“That’s a beaut!” Aaron said, approaching me. He was carrying a ball of dirty yellow hue.
“I don’t know. I was also looking at this one.” Cradling Violet in one hand, I slid my fingers into Emerald’s holes and brought her out. “They’re of equal weight, but something just doesn’t feel right.”
“Well, there are lots more where those two came from,” said Aaron. “If you want to score, you gotta have the right ball.” He honked his bizarre laugh once more, then let out a low whistle. “Oh, speaking of scoring, check out the red-head in lane twenty-two.”
I looked in the direction he indicated and I saw her. It was a bright scarlet not to be found in nature and it couldn’t help but catch the eye. She was sitting with quiet dignity that set her apart from all of those around her. It was as if the color had gone out of the world and there was only her. I knew, in that moment, what I had to do.
“Let’s go talk to her,” I suggested.
“Are you crazy? No way!” Aaron was aghast at the mere idea of it, but I had no choice.
Balls in hand, I walked up to lane twenty-two and I spoke in a soft voice, asking the woman politely if she would be interested in something different. The woman’s eyes raked my figure and I had the sense that she was eating me alive. I held my ground, knowing I could withstand any test she devised. She stood and placed her hand upon my bicep, sliding it along my bare skin. I shivered with anticipation. She continued down my forearm and ran her fingertip over the balls themselves, dipping a finger in each of the holes. Finally, she slid all three fingers into Violet and took her from my hands with no visible strain, putting the ball down and picking up her own ball. She handed the latter to me.
Elated, I returned to my lane with prize in hand.
“Very pretty!” Joshua commented.
“Where did you find her?” Mike asked.
Aaron just stared at me in complete shock, then babbled out, “You must have a good pick up line!” Another raucous laugh. I ignored at their crude behavior; I was in love.
I couldn’t wait. Surreptitiously, I explored her, her skin not as unblemished as first appeared. There were wrinkles and grooves to slide my hands through. She was no virgin. She was experienced, used. I closed my eyes and held her tight against me, letting her fill my arms.
And then, I was inside her. She made no sound at my penetration. I slid under her, over her, flinging her around as though she weighed nothing, then letting her set upon me with all of her body, her weight a reassuring pressure on my thighs. I stood up and she was with me. No matter the position, she was comfortable. We moved together; our rhythm natural, easy, fluid. Her curves were beautiful and I couldn’t help but scream in pleasure every time she hit certain spots. I could hear the cries of disgust and jealousy from my colleagues, but I didn’t care. Over and over and over, we built to a climaxing clamor only to reset and do it again.
That night was the first of many. We’ve been together for over twenty years now and no matter what is happening in my life, Saturdays belong to just the two of us. She’s gotten older over the years and there are more wrinkles now. Her color has faded a little; the scarlet has turned to auburn. Things aren’t as tight as they used to be and it’s harder for me to pick her up in my arms the way I used to, but the pleasure when we score is undiminished.
Aaron comments on it. There are nights where he and his wife join us. He marvels at my monogamy as he picks out a ball for his own. “I can’t believe you still use that red ball from Paris,” he says.
The Paris ball is in my arms and I slide a hand over her skin. “She’s perfect.”