Warm Love.


Jack believed that he lived alone at the age of 27 because all of his friends started settling down on him, and because three was a crowd, and because it was a smidge less pathetic than finding some sap on the Internet with an available room and a penchant for taking in hard-luck strangers to fill their dreary, bleak lives with some semblance of socialization and human contact, even if it WAS just the daily 'hey' on the way out of the house or the 'what's up' on the way back to their closed-door bedroom. And because he really wanted to live alone. Preferred to live alone. That freedom to live like a slob - or, in his case, as an anal-retentive neat-czar - to answer to no one, to masturbate at a moment's notice anytime, anywhere. Past roommates only hindered his stag lifestyle, forcing him to share space, decorating rights, bathroom time, television privileges. He didn't need anyone to split the rent with; he made more than enough money and he didn't have any hobbies (girlfriends) or any travel aspirations or ... or any aspirations.

Whenever Jack got bored, he'd drink. This practice was usually saved for Friday nights; he'd pick up three or four bottles of wine, maybe a case of beer, maybe a fifth of whiskey or maybe a combination of the three. He never considered himself depressed, but anyone could see his lack of a social life (girlfriend) made a weekly blackout priority number one. Consequently, number two on that list was fucking the dirty-homely-needy neighbor down the hall.

No prize pig himself, Jack felt nothing but contempt for Dana, his dirty-homely-needy neighbor down the hall. Any other sober time of the week, he shunned her, averted eye contact, mumbled only when spoken to; so aggressive was his aversion to her very existence - her slovenly appearance, the lack of overall hygiene, the unkempt manner in which her apartment constantly resided, the smell emanating: created by a combination of B.O., animal O., garbage O., and multiple mystery O's he'd yet to pin down - that he wouldn't even allow her to acknowledge the fact that they'd been fucking for the regular and weekly part of two years. Always at her apartment (she'd need to be cleaned with a blowtorch before he'd let her inside HIS home) and always when he'd drank enough alcohol to lose the capacity for rational judgment (or a discriminating sense of smell for that matter).

Dana had made the mistake once - early on in their affair - of asking Jack if he'd be stopping by later that night. Her mother was in town visiting and she would have liked to know around what time her mother should be returned to her hotel room. Even though this was an innocent question, a valid question, and one of which nobody else was within earshot, he irately - and with a full face of red - blathered like a high schooler in front of his obnoxious buddies,

Why in the holy fuck would I stop by your apartment?

And even though he commenced with his weekly drinking fetish, something in his pride prevented him from making the usual walk down the hall to her apartment, where he would have seen her sobbing and her mother consoling, wondering why (who). The following week, though, he knocked on her door like nothing happened. From then on, she understood the parameters of their association (relationship).

Certainly Dana had that look of someone ill fit to even purchase a beauty magazine, let alone be on a cover. This had been the determining factor her entire life when it came to the heterosexual sex, the determining factor for her current state of utter disrepair in the realm of cleanliness (godliness) and human contact. Why make the effort if your toil won't be rewarded no matter how sparkling your teeth or personality?

Besides, cats never judge.

Therefore, she lived with it. She put up with Jack and his demeaning words and his cold shoulder antics and his rancid wine breath upon fertile nostrils. Because he served a purpose. They served each other's purpose. All week, they slogged through their lives alone and bent, determined to get by without any help or comfort from anyone. Then, for that one night, they got humanity out of their systems; for a few hours, they were together intimately. Sure, he needed blinding booze to make this realization. But, they got their jollies shot and went back to being the independent creatures of disposal.

Besides, no one else paid her any attention.


This time, Jack felt a wine binge were in order, were in order wery wery much with the lights dim and the candles flickering and the music on, the music on ever-so-quietly, pulsating jazz piano twinkling with the innocence of estranged longing and,

Man I'm fucked up.

Jack tipped his eye toward his cup,

That bitch is half full.

and he twisted his neck towards the table to the two empty bottles and the three lolling corks, kissed maroon on one end and his gaze rose to the clock,

Eleven thirteen. Eleven thirteen and twenty ... eight, nine, thirty, one ...

and the look that always spilled over his face, with the racing of the heart and the unquenched salival glands in overtime and the symphony orchestra kicking in and he felt himself, rubbed himself, took it out and stroked himself and he fastened his fly and he tucked it away and he put on his socks and he laced up his shoes and he filled up his glass to the brim and he plucked his keys and he,

If I don't piss now, I won't be able for ...

and he sat around, sat on, leaned forward, crossing his legs, forcing the blood from his erection, thinking about hairy man-thighs, thinking about a 6-4-3 double play, thinking about the impending misshapen, disappointing tits he'd soon face-to-face, thinking of,

Fuck it! Jesus Christ!

leaving his apartment. Knocking on hers. Needing this semen taken from his body. Needing this glass of wine in his hand more than the keys he'd forgotten inside of his locked apartment, more than going back in time and accepting the offer Dana had given him one time early on when she said she'd hold an extra set of keys just in case, more than the rude awakening in the morning when he'd go up to his door, reach all around all pockets, patting down the suspect, frantically looking back the way he'd come, remembering vaguely how he'd set them down when he tried to will his hardness away,

What the fuck? Where is she?

He knocked again. A long pause followed by no answer. No shuffling. No groggy, late-night recognition of just what day this was and just what time this was and just who was she to keep him waiting with his pants bulging and his glass emptying and his,

Come on open up! Lemme in!

This time he pounded, fist balled. This time he kicked, then realized this might be a disturbance he was causing. This might draw attention. Neighbors - who he knew not and wished to know even less - might get it in their dim little minds that he actually wished to call upon her for a social visit. That they might actually be friends or, heavens forbid, lovers.

He fell to the ground in a slouch. He wanted to be the first thing she saw upon her arrival home. Pouting, pissed, he gulped the last half of that glass like it was a whiskey shot, passed out, peed his pants twenty minutes later, and indeed was the first thing she saw upon her arrival home.

From a date.

She nudged him with her shoe, as he was blocking her clear path to her door. Confused, he slobbered,

Wherer you?

"I went out."

Where? Wherer you?

"I was ... I met a ... I had a drink."

You stupid? Where?

"I met a guy on the Internet, we had a drink in the city, now I'm going to bed."


He let his head fall back to the floor. Out.

She couldn't help feeling sorry for him. She couldn't help feeling giddy for the first time in years. She couldn't help feeling that this might turn her whole life around. A reason to live beyond the cats and the once-a-week angryfuck. She felt the impulse to drag him into her apartment, take care of him, make sure he didn't die. But, she wanted to move on with her life even more. That meant turning her back to this, this drunken wretch.

She stepped over him and locked the door.

In the morning, he knocked, reluctant, ashamed - at his carelessness just as much as the fact that it was her. Had to be her. Didn't require explaining the giant piss stain at 5:30 in the morning while he was clearly still drunk.

I need yer phone to call a 'smith.

In the evening, drunk again, hornier still, he went over to her apartment. While in a state slightly less bombastic, she laid it all out for him.

Wait, hang on, let me see if I unnerstand you right. No more sex?

She nodded.

But why?

"I told you, because I met someone else."

But, what's that gottado wi' me?

"Go home."



The point had finally been reached in the relationship (association) of Dana and Art that she felt comfortable inviting him to her apartment (her as-of-recently habitable apartment, since she spent a fortune of hours spick and spaning it from ceiling to floor) for drinks and a movie and maybe more - whatever amount of time feels appropriate for two consenting adults to consent to sex: a week, a month, an arbitrary date within or without that span, on their wedding night only without the wedding part or the rings part or the kneeling, feeling, sealing part. He's there. It's Friday.

Jack knocked on her door with an open and half-empty bottle of bubbling champagne in his hand. It'd been the entire while since their final conversation that he'd approached her; his urges wouldn't be denied.

Let's screw.

"I can't. I have company."

Oh yeah? Get rid of him! I wanna fuck now!

"No, I told you. No more."

Fine! Let him fuck you in your squalor.

He liked that word, that squalor. Had been thinking of that word all night as he got drunker and his dick got harder. In his more introspective moments, he wondered if the fact she was so dirty and ugly and making-him-want-to-vomit turned him on because he was drunk, or was it simply the drunkenness that turned him on to anything? In other words, was his natural sexual predilection skewed towards the squalid and his intoxication brought that out when under his normal, rigid, uptight, reserved prejudice, he'd have nothing to do with thoughts (people) so base?

After his dismissal, all he could focus in on was how,

I wanna fuck!

He drove through bubbly bottle number two as he retired to the Internet to see about ordering himself a call girl.

Thiss'll be easy.

But, it wasn't. He failed. He failed for 45 consecutive minutes. Something was wrong.

Why won't the fuck? Internet won't work!

He popped the top of bottle number three and spilled a third of it down the front of his t-shirt as he chugged it gone. Then, he got up (with sufficient liquid courage) and returned to her apartment where he would've seen - had he possessed the power of x-ray vision - her making out with Art on the couch, just about to head into the bedroom. He knocked; she huffed over to the door ablaze.


I want you.

He said so in a meeker, humbler tone.

"I told you! Leave!"

Lemme talk at this guy. Lemme see him an' kickis ass.

He leaned over her shoulder, trying to see around a hallway that wouldn't give. She put her hands to his chest, forcing him back into the hall.

"Maybe I should go," Art said, sliding into his jacket and heading their way.

"No! You, go! You,"

she turned to Art.

"Please don't leave yet."

"Look, you figure this out and I'll call you sometime," Art said, kissing her cheek.

You picked this guy over me?

"Shut up! Just ... I'm sorry, I told him that it was over and he ..."

"It's all right. I can see you guys haven't resolved everything yet, so," Art maneuvered around the two, out of the apartment.

"I've resolved! I'm resolved! I have! He hasn't!"

"Look, this just isn't going to work out," Art said. "Take care."

That's right! I woulda kicked your ass too! I would've,

he smiled down to her.

"Shut up."

Dejected, she halfheartedly pushed him away again, ready to break down, ready to lose it all, ready to admit defeat.

I'm just sayin'. Why him when I'm, I mean, I'm no hear'throb, but I'm better'n him.

With a sigh and a whimper, she grabbed a chunk of his shirt and pulled him inside. This time, the angryfucking was all on her end. She woke up content, almost overjoyed, comfortable, snug under his arm, feeling it lifted from around her stomach, the covers flung up and towards her, the mashing of legs into pants, the snatching of keys, the wordless goodbye. The slam of the front door.



Dana had a week's worth of sick leave to use; facing reality was not an option after Art refused to accept her calls, to only change his phone number as the messages piled up. She didn't bathe, didn't leave the apartment, didn't leave her bedroom except to pick up food at the door and dispose of it in the toilet. That Friday, she heard the familiar knock. She let him sit. Let him wait. Until he passed out pissing himself again. This time, she lugged him through the door, into her hallway, taking his keys, sneaking away to his apartment.


Seven days later, Jack downed beer 15 and opened his door to the entirely naked Dana standing on his welcome mat, arms at her sides, hair back to its usual greasy, tangled pre-Art mess, disappointing tits pointing in two different directions, bushy mane: untamed wilderness. She grabbed him through the crotch of his jeans - not to pain, simply to command - and guided him backward.

This time, they'd fuck on his bed. In his apartment.


Dana searched through his drawers until she found what she was looking for: a key that identically matched the one that unlocked his apartment. She pocketed it, used it later to make a copy, put the original spare back in its proper place the next time he passed out on her, used the copy to sneak into his apartment while he was at work, used vacation days to further her fake illness, drugged his food and drink so he'd be intoxicated and horny every day (not just Friday), took a leave of absence from work, started saying 'I love you' as he fucked her from behind.


There were no children living in their building, but a few highly disturbed neighbors averted their eyes to her sagging, ultrapale rear end. She never deviated from her stance: back straight, facing the door, feet shoulder-length apart. For an hour she waited, knowing his urges prompted him within a broad scope of time.

He didn't object to their fucking on his bed as much as she'd thought. It was her nudity (startling) and her promptness (refreshing) and the proximity in time to his impending orgasm that convinced him that this was a good idea.


Once they'd started fucking on a nearly everyday basis and exclusively at his apartment, she decided they'd reached a level where her feelings could be expressed on a mature, adult, sober level. Therefore, she drugged him extra hard and tied him up to the bed. Thirteen hours later, she roused him.

"Jack, wake up sweetie."

Groggy, reluctant to the light, he squinted, thought he saw her with a knife, blinked a bunch of times, thought he saw her nude with a knife, tried to rub the sleep out of his eyes, realized he'd been restrained, realized she was in fact nude with a knife and he was hard and inside her and she had a knife and was fucking him and held the knife in such a way that made her very menacing and made him lose his erection.

"Oh Jack, you got soft on me. Guess it wouldn't be the first time."

What the fuck? Let me go you crazy bitch!

"No-no! I'm not letting you go until we have a little chat, Jackie."

Chat? You've got a knife!

"Look Jack. I realize you don't love me."

Love! I'm repulsed!

"Well Jack, you better get used to this face, because you're going to see it for the rest of your life."

She leaned down and kissed him on the lips. He mulled his options.