A Short Story By M. J. Moore

Besides having that “last glass of Shiraz” that kept being refilled, they took turns with one of her water pipes.  He noticed she had a few set out in strategic locations.  They were also rolling up a handmade rug that protected some of her well-polished hardwood floor.  This was her idea; and it seemed to be a sudden whim.  She let him choose music.

“Nothing too fast, okay?  I’m like the Tin Man in terms of fitness.  And I haven’t danced in years.  But I saw this movie last month where a woman just moves and grooves and makes a little dance into a meditation, and I think it’s what the doctor ordered over here.”  She slipped off her sandals and Fred admired the dark burgundy color of her toenail polish.  It complemented her red hair, which was always lovely.

The sound of a crowd’s ovation filled the room.  And after a slow pounding downbeat from Sam Woodyard’s drums, the Duke Ellington Orchestra began to wail on the blues.  The tempo was right.  The brass was heavy and dripping.  The solo saxophone of alto-master Johnny Hodges took center stage and his sensual, soaring tone unleashed them.  They danced to the “Jeep’s Blues,” a long and deliciously melodious performance from the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.

The sound of Johnny Hodges was enough to wring tears from stone.  His teasing, long-winded and big-breath solo style on “Jeep’s Blues” (along with the pulsating and make-your-body-come-alive percussion of Sam Woodyard, who drummed at this tempo like a man making love to every skin on every head of each drum within his reach), it inspired them to let go of the usual punishment known as self-consciousness; that bizarre species of self-torture that made them as vulnerable as anyone to self-censorship.  Now they allowed themselves not just to hear the song or to dance to the music: instead, they became the music.  Minute by minute, as they replayed the same song four or five times, they surrendered to an impulse that was in some ways as old as time.  They moved.

Moving with her was the realization of his summertime classroom daydreams.  He’d wondered to himself so many times just what it might be like to get close to her; hang out with her; perhaps hold her hand or caress her in whatever way was possible.  Right now, the most obvious possibility was to keep her moving to the music and that was easy: even after hearing “Jeep’s Blues” three times, Carol Ann insisted: “Play that song again!  Just one more time!”  He did what she asked.  In spite of the heat, and the very late hour.

They instinctively finished this last slow dance by welding themselves together.  His front to hers.  Face to face.  And her head rested briefly on his shoulder, just before she tossed her hair back and playfully pinched his ass, saying: “Let’s hear this other one.”

While selecting another album, Carol said:  “Go to my room for me, will you?  There’s a big barrette on the table next to my bed.  Bring it out here for me, okay?”

He paused on the way out of her room, looking at her bed.  His breathing was hard.

Back in her living room, his shock was complete.  She must have moved like greased lightening.  In one minute, she had retrieved a petite water pipe from the kitchen counter and was calmly toking on her living room couch.  Wearing her blood-red brassiere.

Fred Jones almost dropped the barrette.  Her audacity floored him.  “It must be 99 degrees in here,” she said.  “Just pretend we’re at the beach and I’m wearing a bikini top with jeans.”  She used that corkscrew like a handyman uses pliers.  Fast and loose.

He sat down on the couch again; right beside her.  She had also poured two full glasses of Shiraz.  And the sight of her in a crimson bra, now fixing her hair up so that it was stacked atop her head, with blood beating and Ellington playing . . . it was heaven.

He’d never seen such a glorious cleavage.  Not in the flesh.  And magazines and porno films didn’t count.  This was real; all too real.  Her abandoned shirt was tossed on the couch; he used it like a towel, wiping off his forehead and neck.  He’d been perspiring before; now he was sweating.  Almost panting.  Carol Ann caught both of his hands in hers and palmed them against her chest.  His hands felt strong, but also warm and soft.

She put all his fears to rest.  As his fingertips slipped along the top of her cleavage, she took both of her hands and grabbed the front of her bra, pulled both cups down . . . letting her breasts fall out.  “Hold them for me.  For us.”

Never before in his life had he felt so connected to another human being.  He inhaled her richly fragrant red hair, and the scent of her shampoo made him tingle.  The feeling of her breasts in the palms of his hands was heavy and light all at once.  That mystified him at first.  Until he realized that it made perfect sense.  On one hand, she was buxom and the weight in his hand was considerable.  On the other hand, the lightness emanated from her yearning and her utter lack of resistance.  She’d broken through to an awareness of her own hunger to be touched and this made them both feel weightless.  Floating.

Her idea came in a wave of passion.  She startled him and turned around, on her knees.  “I have an idea,” she said.  Her eyes were bright.  She was happy.  It had been years since she played her Concert for Bangladesh album

What she loved was the hypnotic impact of the sitar music.  As a harpsichordist and as a lifelong music lover, Carol Ann was awed by the volcanic musicality of Ravi Shankar.  It was such a different way of composing and performing.  She had always been intrigued by George Harrison’s devotion to Indian culture, Hinduism and the whole realm of ideas encapsulated in the Bhagavad Gita.  Hearing this music uplifted her soul.  She was not just impressed but surprised by how familiar Fred was with the Concert for Bangladesh.

The Indian music segment was reaching its climax and that marked the end of Side One of the first disc.  Carol Ann quickly flipped over the record.  Then came back.

“Quiz time!  What was the first song of the rock orchestra’s part of the show?”

“Are you kidding?” he replied.  “Wah-Wah.  From Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. Duel lead guitars between Harrison and Eric Clapton; double-drumming bliss courtesy of Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner.

The track was underway now and she heard what he meant.  The guitar “hook” being traded back and forth between George Harrison and Eric Clapton was infectious.  It just rolled around inside your head and carried the whole number through chorus after chorus of a rollicking fanfare of a song.  She could tell how the beat being laid down by Ringo and the other guy just locked in the whole number.  She almost suggested another dance.

Instead, she asked him: “Would you like a taste of wine that’s more than liquid?”

“How’s that?”

In one fell swoop, she pulled him up by the shoulders, threw back her head and hauled out her breasts, this time opting to reach behind and flick the snap and her brassiere fell away and his eyes burned with the sight of her, fully exposed, ripe and unutterably attractive . . . and then she took her glass and poured Shiraz across the top of her chest, soaking herself.

“Taste the wine,” she said.  “Go on.”  Then she put her hand behind his head, tugging.

He wasted no time.  For a half hour or more now, as he’d been staring whenever possible at the sculpted perfection of her cleavage, her whole beautiful self, and in particular the thickly textured prominence of her nipples, he’d been fantasizing about inhaling both at the same time.  Now he was able to do so.

He used both hands to push her breasts together, exceedingly pleased by the softness and the promise of a wine-soaked flavor, and he then used both thumbs to press her two nipples into each other: not just side by side, but melted right into each other.  Then he kissed them both; licked them both from left to right and back again and from right to left and again and again until the only thing left to do was suck them fully.

She sucked in her breath and marveled at the sight of this.  Looking down at Frederick Jones, she swore in the privacy of her mind that never before had anyone been so able to surprise her with an unexpected erotic treat.  It was so basic—so simple—and so right.

Carol Ann had always had enormously sensitive breasts; now she held him tight.  “Suck all you want, all night long.”  He didn’t stop to answer.  He groaned.  And kept sucking both nipples simultaneously, wanting to try to fit as much of her as possible into his mouth.  She had the same desire.  Her hunger for him was ravenous; she yanked off the barrette, letting her hair tumble down; her breathing told them all they needed to know.

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