The door to Trey’s studio apartment flops open and there in the middle sits a bed, worn around the edges; a postage stamp really. Trey was just an odd acquaintance in my life of many odd acquaintances like Melissa the trans-gendered handy-man/woman or Carl, the painter friend of mine who climaxes at the smell of fresh latex paint.
I liked Trey in high school well enough. We knew each other slightly, no romantic interest then, but we lost touch over time and now, here in the middle of my life I sought him out; like a scent, I hunted him. Over drinks and dinner we catch up. He changed but not much. Now standing at the doorway to a room that was square with rounded shadows for corners there was a hazy smoke wafting into the room like a Holy Ghost. We face the bed like newly-weds: all six foot four inches of me and five foot whatever of Trey. The sudden thought of a Chihuahua mating with a Great Dane pops into my head. I shudder at the idea of Mexi-danes being born. I step in.
“Kendra.” He likes the homoerotic feeling of calling me Kenny, but really I only let people close to me do that. I knew Trey as a “trisexual” as in “he would try anything” when it came to sex. Now, side by side, facing the bed in the middle of the room and feeling claustrophobic, an enveloping feeling grabs me. He touches me and it’s like a roller coaster as it climbs that first hill, the car angled steeply back and there is that clicking of the chain that pulls the cars up that fills you with suspense like a tea kettle. Just beyond a shadow, I could make out the figure of a taxidermied gray wolf in attack pose, teeth bared, hair up, rear legs poised to leap. Trey sees me notice the stuffed wolf and offers no explanation of it.
“Like him? His name is Bart the Alpha male.” The voices in my head start: “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
Then Trey: “Want to check on my collection of gray wolf scat?”
“You know wolves have been known to nurse and raise other species.”
“Want to try some she-wolf milk later?”
Inside me alarms are going off: “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
I swear that my lips are moving as I internalize this, but Trey doesn’t notice or maybe I only think I am moving my lips. I spy a small kitchen area with a pot of coffee on a burner. “Coffee?” I say, trying to smile but am only able to manage a crack across my face. “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
We talk some more and he seems pretty much as I remember him in high school: bookish, diminutive, nerdy but in a now-nerdy-is-hip sort of way. Once again, images of Mexi-danes dance through my head as I realize that sex in any position with Trey is going to be YouTube fodder for sure.
“It’s been a while, Kenny.”
“Kendra” I say and I now I am worried that I don’t know what he is referring to: sex for him? (Quite likely). Sex for me? (Uh, yeah.) Or just the time that has lapsed since we were in high school together? (An interminable infinity).
So the evening passes with the dull thud of city street noise outside: relentless and just below unbearable. Finally, he says to me: “So”… and he lets it hang right there like his laundry.
“I was sort of hoping…you know…” and now I find myself both drawn in and pushed away by the possibility of having sex with Trey. There is Bart and the wolf scat running loose like a toddler without parental supervision in my brain, but still I consent. Jesus Christ, what a girl has to do to get laid around here! And again like a Greek chorus: “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
I say yes to Trey, let’s – as though we were talking about painting the ceiling together. I slip into bed, into dingy sheets, a dinge I can see even in the dirty gray light tossed about like the clothing in the room. The darkness is not complete, it’s veil-like, not hiding exactly, but revealing. Trey, now naked save for his thick wooly socks, ambles over and gently lifts Bart and places him under his arm. He brings Bart over and now I too am naked, beneath the sheets, eyes wide, the spilled milk of my skin whitened by the mercury vapor street lights outside. Trey pets Bart gently. “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
Trey places Bart under the covers. For a brief moment I am a mountain climber losing my grip, suffering from altitude sickness. I can anticipate the fall. I can taste what is going to happen next. Bart’s fur brushes up against my legs and crotch, my skin now at a full gallop. Somehow, Trey gets on the other side of me and spoons me. Like a sliver he takes up no space at all and crushes against Bart’s dead fur, I feel Trey’s warm springy pubic hair. “Please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird, please don’t let this get weird.”
I settle back, breathe deeply through my nose when Trey - in what feels like slow motion - reaches over and with the gentleness of a loving mother, turns the top sheet of the bed back.
“So he can breathe,” he says to me.
So he can breathe?
I hear something snap. I mean I literally hear something snap or at least I think hear something snap but it seems so audible. I’ve watched Silence of the Lambs enough times to know it all. Hadn’t I yelled at Jody Foster during that basement scene when the killer donned the night vision goggles? When Jody is hunted and all breathless and desperate, didn’t I scream each time I watched: “Run Jody! Left - Lookout behind you!”
So I bolt tripping over everything and Trey’s head swivels like it is on a ball bearing. My body is fully extended now and I slam into a shelf I missed on my way in. I dress in the street and I don’t stop running until I am safe at home.
At home, I start to wonder what sex with Trey would have been like. Would he have mounted me from the rear, doggy style and bit my neck repeatedly leaving marks for everyone else to wonder about? Would he have howled – actually howled? But then the headlines of my mother find their way into my skull: “Woman Found Assaulted In Grizzly Murder” with detailed descriptions of my jugular vein ripped out and entrails found in the fridge of her old high school sweet heart who had this obsession with her.
“We were not high school sweet hearts,” I say out loud to no one but the headlines in my head that buzz around me like bees.