Crossfader

Crossfader

by McCutcheon
ooh...ooh...come on...come on...

I'm sitting at my computer. Staring at a picture I got off the web. It's of Heather Graham.

ooh...baby...come on come on Heather...

My pants are open. I have my erect penis out. My fingers are wrapped around the base of my stiff cock.

...ooh...ooh...

My hand is moving up and down. Up and down. Up and down. I control the speed of the motion. Up and down. Up and down.

...ooh...yeah...

My eyes bulge straight ahead at the computer screen. I'm using Heather as visual stimulation. I don't need much coaxing. I'm almost there. Up and down. Up and down.

ooh...ooh...come on come on...

I notice every curve every fine line. Up and down.

ooh... fuck it...ooh...

I would give anything to make this real. All my records.

ooh...ooh...

Heather Heather Heather. Up. Down. Up.

My arm is about to give out. All my muscles tighten. Tension.

Up. Down. Up. Explode!

Warm fuzzy lost in heaven.

Ughhh. Yeah! Yes.

Oh my god. That felt so good.

Talk about shooting a load. Impressive.

I stare at the come over my hand. It oozes over my knuckles like a wad of liquid paste. It's not exactly white. More the color of marble.

I start to go soft. A last bit of ejaculate sits on the head of my penis like a dew drop. My cock no longer stands up on it's own. It bends to the right. I think it's slightly curved that way. I wonder if it's because I'm right handed. Have I been literally jerking it right all these years? Shit. Who do I ask about this?

"Hey Johnny! Johnny!"

I hear Tommy calling from down the hallway. Heading for my room. The door isn't locked. He won't knock. He never fucking knocks. There is no fucking privacy in this house.

Tommy is a roommate. An official one. Four people are supposed to pay rent. About nine people sleep here on any given night.

No one likes Tommy. He's always in a bad mood. The house is big. I'm the unlucky bastard who got the room next to his.

I button up my jeans in a hurry. Wipe the come on the inside of my shirt. It sticks to my stomach. Swims in my belly button.

Tommy enters. I hear him swing the door open. I sit facing the computer. My back to him.

"Phone's for you. Why don't you ever answer the fucking phone."

"I never hear it," I say over my shoulder.

Tommy throws the phone on my bed. Leaves without saying anything else. I stand up. Tuck in my shirt so the wet patch isn't showing. Pick up the phone.

"Hello? Natalie baby, what's up? I was just thinking about you."

I give her my best 70's hipster swoon. I wish I was young back then. When making love was riding the lustful wave of personal expression. Feeling good was in vogue.

In the 70's everybody was stoned and having sex. Snorting lines off bare breasts. Getting blow jobs while dancing to disco. And no one cared. There was no war on drugs. Sex didn't kill. Even the cops looked like pimps with their big ass shades and long leather coats.

Natalie sounds like she is in one of her moods again. I have to pamper her with little sweet nothings. I turn away from the picture of Heather to concentrate.

"What's wrong sugar pie? I don't know. You sound weird. I don't know just weird. Where are you baby? Okay I'll be right there."

I hang up the phone. Slip on my Adidas. Turn the picture of Heather into my PC wallpaper.

I jog down the hall. Give Tommy's closed door the finger. Jump down the steps two at a time. Walk through the living room. Billy and Claire are scrunched up on the couch.

Billy is a real roommate. He is on the lease. And sometimes even pays rent. Claire is a party girl who hangs out. She sleeps in Billy's room when there is nowhere else to go. Acts like his girlfriend if she wants something. Usually free drugs.

Right now Billy seems to be the one taking. He is lost in deep arousal. Licking Claire's neck with as much saliva as he can spit out. A hand down her shirt. Fondling breasts.

Claire seems to hardly notice. If only slightly irritated. Her head is cocked to one side so she can see the television. Anything to relieve the boredom.

Then in one exaggerated gesture Claire reclines her head back. Pulls a fistful of Billy's hair. Drops the TV remote in exchange for the stereo one. Hits the play button. Punches up the volume. Psychedelic house funk blares from the speakers.

"Now I feel it. Now I fucking feel it," Claire sings. She grinds her hips into Billy.

"Turn that shit down!" Tommy yells from the top of the stairs. His door slams. Tommy is always telling us to turn it down.

Billy and Claire notice me. Ignore Tommy's plea. They have big smiley faces. Dilated pupils like full eclipses. The beats keep thundering.

"You guys took the ecstasy, didn't you?" I understand the situation.

Billy and Claire reply with mischievous grins.

"Hey Johnny," Billy greets me with warm bugged out affection.

"Maybe just a little one," Claire teases. The pills are all the same size. She is feeling good. Acting goofy.

"I thought we were saving it for the weekend," I state. Jealous I'm not high.

"No time like the present," Billy says. You can't argue with his logic.

"What about the party?" I ask.

"I don't like taking it at parties," Billy explains. "It makes me shit. And there is always a line for the bathrooms. Besides we can always get more."

"You get more feeling in isolated one on one situations," Claire says. "You want to join us?"

"Yeah man," Billy agrees. "We got five."

"Natalie just called. I'm meeting her at the café."

"Bring her back here," Claire purrs like a pussy cat getting petted in the right spot. "Natalie is super cute. We can have an afternoon of ecstasy, toe sucking and back rubs."

"Yeah man!" says Billy over-enthusiastically. Being high with Natalie would give him a reason to touch her.

Sounds like a good idea. Natalie is super cute. Not like Heather Graham but who is. I like Natalie, more than any girl I've ever been with. Not love. I'm much too young to be tied down. It doesn't matter. An afternoon cuddling in her arms on ecstasy would be the perfect pastime.

"I'll be right back," I say. "I don't have my keys. You'll be here?"

"Johnny we aren't going anywhere," Claire says. She turns to Billy's neck and orally fixates in with vampire lust.

All right. I make a mental note. We'll need orange juice. Water. Some beer for the come down. A pack of cigarettes. I can get that later. Most important I need Natalie.

I hurry down the sidewalk. Come to a crosswalk. A young couple are holding hands. The guy is whispering something in his girl's ear. She is smiling and giggling.

They make me feel light and happy. The whole world seems to be in love. There are some days when I don't even get out of bed. This is not one of them. A tingle of anticipation runs down my spine.

The guy notices me looking at them. I smile. He smiles back. Love can do that. No animosity. Or tough guy persona.

"It's a great day," I say.

"Yeah man. Just lovely," he agrees.

The light turns. I have the walk sign. I cross the street. The couple remains on the corner kissing. The sun is shining. Flowers are in bloom. Girls are wearing short skirts. Spring is in the air. The best weather we've had all year.

I pass a techno store stocked with DJ equipment. Mixers are pressed against the display window. I need a new one. My cross fader is permanently going out. I keep trying to save money. But I always spend it on pills.

I see some vinyl on the wall. It's been a while since I've gotten any new records. A DJ has to keep up. I'm only as good as the last track I spin. After today I'll start saving money.

I do a little shuffle on the street. Make bass noises with my mouth. Flow my hands over imaginary decks. Spin air records.

"Boom Boom Shi Boom! Boom Boom Shi Shi Boom!"

It's time to meet my girl. I turn to head down the sidewalk. I run into a brick wall of scruffy beard and anciently bad breath. A homeless person is blocking my path to passion. His bloodshot eyes burn into me. I try to go around him but he grabs my arm.

"Hey man, let go," I pull away. The bum keeps his grip.

"Life's too short to go crazy!" he spits out loudly despite the fact I'm clutched right in front of him. "If they catch you and put you in a straight jacket you will miss Jerry Springer! Love is a sober pursuit. Never eat cheese before bed."

"Yeah, whatever," I break loose. Hurry down the street.

"Now you know kid. You can run but you can't hide!" the street preacher calls after me. "You have been warned my friend. You have been warned!"

There are more and more crazies on the streets. Madness is running rampant. Not just local eccentrics but people operating with blown minds. Maybe some nut house just went out of business. Too many people are flying over the cuckoo's nest when they belong in the loony bin.

I wonder about the borders between sanity and oblivion. When I ingest my psychedelics it's a thin fragile line. I don't think too hard about it. When I really try to concentrate on life it builds anxiety. Clarity just confuses me. I prefer the blur to a focused state. It's better to let chemical medications take you to where they wanna go.

I see Natalie through the front window of the café. She is walking back to a table with coffee. Her movements are gentle. So delicate and refined. The definition of cute. Claire was right about that.

Natalie has a petite voluptuous figure. Like a miniature Cindy Crawford. Even has a sexy birth mark above her lip. Her light brown hair is pulled back into a bun.

She is wearing a tight clingy top. Like a second skin. It ends just before her pierced navel. She has my favorite pants on. Hip hugging blue jeans that caress the crevice of her ass.

She sits down. Opens one of the thick books she is always carrying around. Sips her coffee.

I enter the café. Aroused and pleased by her appearance. No longer shaken by my run-in with the crazy man. I'm still grooving to the music in my head. I can't wait to be with her. To be inside of her.

I sneak up from behind. I surprise her and cover her eyes.

"Guess who?"

"What the fuck?" she says annoyed. "Stop it Johnny."

"Hey Nat we have to go back to my place. I have a gift for you. Come on baby," I clap my hands together. "It's urgent so chop chop. Boom Boom Boom."

"John sit down," Natalie gives me a hard stare. "I want to talk."

"No baby let's go let's go. Boom Boom Shi Boom. We can talk on the way."

"I want to break up."

"What?" I slump into the chair next to her. All my energetic enthusiasm is deflated. The needle skips off the record in my head. The music turns to one long hiss. I don't want to believe my ears.

"I don't want to be your girlfriend," Natalie says.

I'm distraught. Natalie seems to repress a little smirk of revenge. Almost like she is happy in my discomfort. Glad to have taken me from my high peak to this low valley.

I try to catch my breath. My mind is racing. Did I do something she found out about? I didn't forget her birthday. There has been no infidelity that I can remember. I've even stopped obsessing about Boogie Nights in her presence.

"Why?"

"Because."

"Because why? I didn't cheat on you."

"That's not the only reason people break up you know."

"But I love you," I plead. And I do. I know it now. I love Natalie. She is a real obtainable beautiful smart young women. Everything else is fantasy. I have to hang on.

"You don't do anything," Natalie snorts. "And when we're together we don't do anything."

"I do things."

"Like what?"

"I don't know. Things."

"What were you doing when I called you?"

"Uh," I pull my eyes from her gaze. Look down at the heavy book between us. "Reading. Smart people read you know."

"Yeah I know. What where you reading? Dostoevsky?"

"What?"

"Never mind. Listen, you're fucked up Johnny. I'm sorry."

"What?"

"You do way too many drugs. You don't live in reality."

"Yes I do."

"No you don't."

"Yes I do!" My voice starts to rise.

"No you don't!" Her voice rises above mine.

"Yes I do!!" I shout.

"Shhhhhhh!" She hisses. She hates public outbursts.

"I could quit. You could help me," I whisper.

"No. I don't want to. I just want out. I'm sick of being your drug slut. Being involved in all your pseudo orgies. I'm not bisexual when I'm not on e."

"You're not?"

Natalie looks at me. Contempt in her eyes. Not even a sparkle of affection. She shakes her head in ennui.

"Listen," she says. "What was the present?"

"What?"

"You said you had a gift for me. What was it?"

"Um, nothing. Forget it."

"No what was it?"

"I thought we were having great sex," I blurt out.

"You thought that you asshole?"

"The last time. You were making all that noise."

"I was in PAIN you fuck!" she yells. "Shit John, I'm as kinky as the next girl, but you almost took my nipple off!"

Her description of our violent sex is timed perfectly with the espresso machine finishing. Natalie's voice yelling 'nipple' being the only thing filling the brief moment of silence.

There is an awkward pause. No one else seems to be making a sound. A few heads turn towards us. Natalie gets embarrassed. This pisses her off. She stands up. Grabs her book.

"Can I call you?" I'm losing hope fast.

"No. Breaking up means not seeing each other. Not talking to each other."

"That seems so sad."

"Yeah it is," she admits.

"Then let's stay together."

"No. That would be sad and pathetic."

"I'm DJing this weekend. Don't you want to carry my records?"

"Carry your own stupid records."

She turns to leave.

"Wait..." I plead.

"I almost forgot. Here," she drops a note on the table. Turns and walks out.

I open the letter. Start to read.

Dear John...

I don't read anymore. Drop the paper on the table. I look out the window to catch a last glimpse of Natalie. She is not there. The crazy old bum is standing on the sidewalk. I think he is smiling at me.
Back to Short Story Menu