Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It fucking hurts. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these.
Sex writes the writer and the sex writes back:
You drive the new Holden into the garage. It’s not really new anymore, but you’re sure you can still smell the newness in it, or at least the memory of newness? Do noses have memories? You laugh, a sudden single shotgun-burst laugh, and startle yourself. You are home. But you stay in the car, in the silent space, remembering. The steering wheel is warm. You still hold it, gently, as though you’re still on the road. You are home. You must get out.
‘But what do you mean? Different?’
‘I mean…it’s…different. Different to the work I’ve done before.’
From behind her magazine, Nicole lets the cigarette smoke find its way out of her mouth. She sucks in some more.
‘For a start, it’s in the second person and…’
The writer looks down at his glass of sherry. He swishes it around and then takes a short drink. It’s bitter.
‘Why?’ she says again, her eyes on the page in front of her.
‘Because you’ve already written three books. You shouldn’t go screwing around with that.’ She still hasn’t looked up from her magazine. The writer reads the title upside down from the kitchen counter. SEVEN WAYS TO ACHIEVE MULTIPLE ORGASM. ‘You got that…award nomination, remember? Just stick to what you know. Don’t they say that? Write what you know?’
The writer finishes his sherry and walks away, down the hall.
‘Hey,’ Nicole’s voice follows him. ‘Have you ever measured your dick?’
You see Nikki on the lounge, with her back toward you, smoking a cigarette. She must have heard you come in, but she doesn’t say anything. She was always a quiet sort of girl. When you met her the first time, at that wedding, you hadn’t noticed her at first, but then, for no apparent reason, it was as if she filled the entire room. Ridiculous. You remember her like that, filling a room, and talking close to your ear about the pavlova or something and glancing down the front of her dress as if you were checking the time. Her nipples stood out. You pretended you couldn’t hear her so she’d shuffle closer.
She tells you that her feet hurt so you kneel down to rub them. Her feet are soft. You squeeze her toes with one hand as you work the ball with the other, because you know she likes that. She sighs and it sounds like something between pleasure and boredom.
‘Go wash it. It’s disgusting.’
In the partial dark the writer gropes around on the floor for the three-inch penis extension. It had been difficult to get on; Nicole had tried and failed and even he couldn’t get it to roll all the way down to the base of his cock no matter how hard he stretched the latex. And when he’d driven it in to her, the way he normally did, with her legs wide open and his hands braced on her thighs, she’d panicked and squeaked and thrashed her arms in the air, telling him to take it off, take it off, take it off. He’d enjoyed that. His cock had felt six feet long.
He runs warm water over it. Such a tiny thing, rubbery and soft. Its head is plain and circumcised, honest-looking—like his own—but thinner and softer. The writer squeezes it. Beneath the rubbery skin it feels like it’s stuffed with cotton wool, maybe cheap mattress foam?
After you’re done, Nikki tells you to clean her. She puts a thumb on either side of her labia and lifts herself open. The thick mixture of fluids spill out. You can smell what it’s going to taste like. You are kneeling between her legs, like an Egyptian peasant in the sand, and you turn your nose to one side and mouth her, your whole mouth inside her, not just your tongue; it’s the way she likes it, the reason she stretches her cunt open so far. It tastes what it smelt like; it’s thick, fruit-like and sweaty-sweet; not like a ripe peach at all.
The second time you met her you were in the city waiting for a bus. You’d hugged and kissed cheeks in that friend sort of way, but you’d felt her breasts against you, and she left lipstick on your cheek. She smiled and laughed and wiped it off with her middle finger. Why her middle finger? When the bus pulled up, the two of you decided to go see a movie instead (About Schmidt or maybe Pirates of the Caribbean?). You felt like a schoolboy. Silly. Nervous. When she bent in close to you while Jack Nicholson got felt up in the spa (it was About Schmidt!), you thought she wanted to kiss you, so you kissed back and missed. She was just checking her handbag. She laughed and kissed you, sucked on your tongue. You went back to her flat (she had a flat back then) and ordered pizza, watched TV, then started to fuck on the floor during Big Brother Uncut, until the pizza guy rang the bell. You thought he hadn’t seen, but he gave you a thumb-up sign as he left and the pizza was cold. He’d probably been looking through the window for ages. She’d laughed at that, laughed until she almost choked on pepperoni.
The writer isn’t sure if Nicole came or not. What’s the point in asking? Why should he care anyway? Why should I care anyway? he asks himself. Why? She brushes against him in her sleep; is she asleep? He listens to her breathing, that gentle smell of her sweat and her sex.
He falls asleep.
You’ve almost eaten it all, and Nikki is asleep, or half-asleep. She doesn’t like the cum dribbling out of her, messing up the sheets, waking her up, forcing her to the bathroom. It’s your mess—you clean it up! she would say.
And you don’t mind, not anymore. She has a point. You’ve started to consider it a tonic, a medicine, an absolution maybe? Lapping up the trickling stream of semen and cunt, letting it disappear in your mouth without even seeming to swallow, letting it flow back, letting it go…
It’s finished. There’s nothing left in her. She’s snoring now. You close her legs and turn your back on her. The room is quiet.
You fall asleep.
‘You’re such a pig sometimes.’
It’s morning. It’s cold. The milk’s off.
Nicole is angry with the writer but he doesn’t know why. ‘What did I…’
‘Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know, don’t you dare!’ She’s dangerous now, her face blank with anger. She’s wearing a dressing gown—no, a track suit, the kind with lines down the pants. ‘I know what’s going on inside your head. I know everything about you; all men are the same. But you know nothing about me, nothing.’
Nikki walks in from the bedroom, wearing a black negligée. She smiles at Nicole and they kiss each other.
The toast is burning.
‘Nikki…’ Nicole says. They kiss again, more deeply, and Nikki sucks her tongue the way she sucked yours. The way the writer wrote it. He watches her hands, their hands, run over, squeeze over, brush over…
The toast is burnt. It pops out of the slot full of smoke and anger.
How would I describe this, the writer wonders, if I was writing it in a story? How would I capture my feelings as a character in words? How could it be done? I would try using an image, like the burning toast maybe, and a simile, a simile like: burnt like the flaming walls of Troy, something to capture the smoke and the anger, the rape of it.
You walk into the kitchen and see Nikki and Nicole kissing. There’s a man behind the counter; it must be the writer. Nicole has told you about him. He creates places and people and scenes and feelings. He probably created you, she had said, and all three of you had laughed in the hotel bed. You could have laughed at anything at that moment. You could laugh right now.
Another man has walked into the kitchen and is laughing. He’s naked but somehow familiar.
‘I’ve been fucking them for months,’ Nicole tells you over Nikki’s bare shoulder. Perfect shoulder. The writer must write about that shoulder. ‘I wanted to do an Alexandra’s Project sort of thing, but the battery in the camcorder was dead. I told you to replace that ages ago.’
‘Sorry,’ the writer says, distracted by the familiar man. Or is it a man? For some reason, he suddenly isn’t sure.
‘I don’t mind what I am,’ you say, as if reading the writer’s thoughts.
‘It doesn’t matter now,’ Nicole whispers. ‘Why should you care anyway?’
The three of them tangle up into each other, they are all naked now, all laughing, or giggling, yes giggling is better, and they roll down together onto the polished floor of the kitchen. The writer is frozen to the spot, fascinated, horrified, the last of Priam’s sons watching from the battlements. Nicole has the familiar man’s cock in her mouth, she’s sucking you, running her tongue down along the underside of your cock, rubbing your balls with the palm of her hand, tracing her middle finger around your asshole. Better than Nikki does it. Shit, so much better. Ever since that day you met her in the library and she’d blown you in the Gents. You’d had to keep quiet when guys had come in to use the urinal. She’d told you she was out to find herself. Discover her inner core. Dissolve the boundaries. Challenge the conventions.
You think she’s the best cocksucker you’ve ever had.
The writer turns away and walks for the door.
‘Where are you going?’ Nicole screams, spitting out the familiar man’s cock. ‘Where do you think you’re going?’
The writer doesn’t know where he’s going, so he doesn’t answer. His feet had started to move without thinking, as if he was an automaton, as if he was a character in a story. She’s still yelling at him, but for some reason he can’t hear her anymore—not with his tired ears anyway.
‘You’re a fucking misogynist,’ Nicole screams, ‘I hate men.’
Thankfully, she shuts up and puts your cock back in her mouth. Another minute, you reckon, just one more non-stop minute and you’ll be filling the slut’s mouth up with cum.
The writer goes to the garage and drives his Holden out on to the street. It still feels kinda new.
The group sex with Nicole has been fantastic. The crowd of men all around her. They weren’t all men, were they? Were some of them taxi drivers? Now that you think back, it’s hard to tell. You look around in the memory, right now, turn your head from left to right in that framed space, and suddenly it’s like you’re in a room full of mirrors, surrounded by ‘yous’, and every you is the same, looking around at every other you, and you. You feel the clench at the base of your cock, that build up of warmth, heat, at that apex, and you grunt (it sounds like you’re doing a big shit), an animal right now, and you dump into her mouth, her hair in your hands, pushing it deeper, she’s squeezing your nuts in her hand, then, finished.
At the office—Saturday-empty—the writer pulls open the packet. A woman had served him at Club X, a tired-looking woman who’d offered him ‘lube’. He’d taken some. Now he has it in his hand, a jelly-like thing, a ‘MAGIC FLESH mini-slut!’ with a ‘Multi-Speed Egg!’; it’s a cylinder of plastic ‘Extra Fleshy Feel!’ jelly with a vaguely-cunt-like opening at one end. He doesn’t know what the egg is for, but the tired-looking woman had put a battery in it.
Once his slippery cock is gripped in it, tight, yielding, it feels just like the real thing, perhaps better. ‘Perhaps better,’ he whispers to the empty office. He pumps it thoughtfully and cums in a rush, the head of his cock almost stinging with pleasure.
He holds it in his hand afterwards, full of semen, dripping on the floor, pit pit pit, tears of joy.
He looks down at it in his hand, and he wonders: so this is it, this is what it is. All of it. This is it. This is it? The writer can’t believe it. Why all the fuss?
He washes it out with warm water, squeezes it gently clean, touch-dries it with a fresh hand towel, dabbing carefully in the folds. He almost kisses it—maybe he does. The silence of the empty office hums in his brain.
Then the phone rings.
You are home and you the ring the number. He answers.
‘Hi, it’s Nikki here. I got your number from…um…do you wanna go somewhere and…talk?’
‘Sure,’ the writer says. He sounds happy.
And the writer writes back: