Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
By the time I met with Johnny Sullivan, I was in the third month of my experiment, without a single second date to show for my efforts. When I staked out this new lifestyle, I thought I understood the sexual prerogative of men, and I was sure it was compatible with what I was looking for. But instead, I’d been dealt a losing hand of insincere strangers. Why were they so adamant about wanting a second date—and then so consistent with not following through? In my career, I was an expert at reading people, but in this world, my experience had failed me. I felt like a foreigner, with no understanding of the culture. I still believed men wanted sex with women, but I needed my luck to change quickly, before even that universal truth failed me.
It had been more than fifteen years since I had seen Johnny Sullivan, when his note appeared in my Nerve mailbox. We studied photography at the University of Washington at the same time. He was finishing up while I was entering, and we were never more than acquaintances. I was fairly certain he wouldn’t remember me, but there was no way not to remember Johnny Sullivan. He went on to international fame for his photographs that documented the rise of Seattle’s seminal grunge scene that captured fans around the world with the music of Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and Nirvana.
I was at my table when I saw him enter the bar—tall, lean, with a smooth shaved head. He wore a black form-fitting T-shirt, black jeans, and a man bag, which he had slung across his fit chest. “Yoga,” I remembered reading in his profile, and “learning to break dance.” It shows, I thought, admiring his cut biceps as he lifted the bag over his head and bent down for a cheek-kiss hello. That’s when I smelled him, a smoky cologne on his skin, just enough to pique the senses.
“So, you found the place OK?”
“Not a problem,” he said sitting down, “I was glad you suggested we meet here—I haven’t been in years—and I can see that it still looks the same.”
“Not only that, but did you see? Frank is still working the door! That’s twenty-five years—since the first year they opened.” Johnny looked over his shoulder, saw the silver haired maître d’ and smiled.
“Look at that! It’s like time froze here—in all the best ways.” I liked that, as well. Johnny Sullivan was no stranger to my favorite Pike Place restaurant, and he even remembered Frank. Everything was happening so quickly.
While the waiter took his order, I took inventory of my senses. I was aware of the flush of blood between my legs, and I did my best to resist the sensation. I uncrossed my legs under the table, and re-crossed them again. Nothing had even happened between us, but in less than two minutes, I was reminded of how my body could feel. This was much more than a change of luck. I was excited.
“I’m gonna fuck a yo-o-gi! I’m gonna fuck a yo-o-gi!” I sang out loud to myself as I danced down Post Alley two hours later, high on gin and the sweet promise of a meaningful connection. To hell with those other guys! Fuck them all! This was the real deal—this was exactly what I’d set out to find! First, there was that energy: that unmistakable, inexplicable force of nature we call attraction. That would have been enough for my little experiment, but with Johnny Sullivan there was more. We connected on every level that mattered. We were both in our forties, both committed to physical fitness, and both humble enough to take on new dance skills. We were both adventure travelers, captivated by new experiences, and both fans of glamour and grit in our destinations. We were connoisseurs and critics of art, design, and fashion, and we couldn’t stop talking about Paris, New York, and Bangkok: the legendary cities we both adored and could never get enough of.
I was turned on by his success in business, where he had a client roster that included Timberland boots and Grey Goose Vodka. His personal art projects took him to the back roads of Vietnam and the b-boy street scenes of American cities. He was a creative and dynamic man, and if I hadn’t been attracted to him, I would have welcomed him into my world as a friend and colleague.
When he told me that he understood my decision not to pursue a conventional relationship, I was certain I’d finally found a man I could play with.
“I have an idea!” I told him, before we said good night. “I adore the backdrop of a classy hotel bar in New York or Paris— and it’s been too long. Let’s meet at a four-star bar downtown— and pretend we’re in some other fabulous city for the night!” I loved the idea. I missed how I had dressed up with Toni, and we had made the world our stage.
We parted way too early for my taste. He was meeting a best girlfriend, who had sent out an SOS for sympathy because of a recent breakup. I was disappointed our time was over, but Johnny Sullivan impressed me again by stepping up for a girlfriend-in-need. Something significant was in play. I had felt it all evening. Finally, I’d been dealt a new hand, and this time, in the nick of time, I was betting on a win.
TOMORROW: Chapter 15
Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.