Fiction: Wise

By: Lisa Buscani


She stands in the doorway, arching her back in the way that emulates every late-night TV black-and-white screen sex goddess she can remember. Common sense tells her to throw her militant breasts forward, embracing her selling points. She fits her body into the door frame, being careful to stay with the light, her best friend on set. She looks him up and down with disdain, which isn’t hard because off camera he’s an arrogant jerk who wears too much cologne and thinks his cock is God’s gift. She tips up her pug nose like his very existence is a smelly insult. She slips on her persona, an identity she knows better than a ratty pair of ancient form-fitting jeans or an old robe. She is the snotty girl next door.

She walks forward to the guy, rotating her hips in that exaggerated figure eight that suggests release. According to the fantasy, he is the avatar. He is the lucky man who, on behalf of his audience, administers the punishment to, say, the spoiled little bitch who ruined someone’s high school existence, or maybe the money-grubbing whore who now lives in a different state with a new man and the kids. He gets to find the glory hole and destroy it with repetition, he is the bearer of pain and pleasure, preferably pain, because according to the fantasy, the cunt has it coming. In a flat, lifeless voice, the voice that belies the blood that the ugly, giggling fluffer called up to his penis, he says in his oiliest tone, devoid of any sense of humor or camp, “I am here to snake your pipes, ma’am.” Great she thinks. Bring it on, scumbag.

She remembers when she broke and could go no further.  She was 15 and she sat at Wednesday night service, singing one of the many hymns that mean nothing to her now. She looked diagonally to the pew in front of her to see Daniel Shumway standing with his family; Daniel Shumway, who she could sometimes catch looking at her, before he looked beyond or down. His beefy forearms protruded from his short sleeves, his neck strained against his collar, his cracked belt hitched his cheap pants in at his thick waist; that’s the body you get when you train for the defensive line. The crappy church air-conditioner had died; he sweat through his shirt at the small of his back. She thought she would like to stand next to Daniel Shumway, lean her head on his shoulder, run her fingers along the veins in his forearms and then. And then her mind went blank because to her everlasting regret, she did not know what was possible after that.

Then she remembers the flat of her father’s palm smack loudly at the back of her head and she grunted, loud enough to make people turn and stare and assume. Her throat filled in humiliation; her father pressed his lips into the line which meant the rest of the evening would be painful. In the morning, she grabbed her baby-sitting money, ditched school and got on the bus for LA.

It was easier than she expected. All the Lifetime movies conditioned her to shrink away from strangers, but all the people she met became friends soon enough, friends who were smart enough to realize that she could make them more money if she was happy and unharmed. They didn’t have to push; she wanted to know what they knew and looked at the whole thing as one giant revenge fuck. I’ll give you something to slap me for, Old Man.

A couple of lies told to the right people, a few of the right parties, a ton of the right drugs and two years later she has the beginnings of an empire, built on a forged birth certificate. It took her six months to become a seasoned vet, from fluffer to anal in record time. At seventeen, she is on her 25th feature. She’s got a nice car, she’s looking for a condo. She got her GRE and is thinking about business school at UCLA. She takes meetings about branding; club tours and lingerie, perfume and sex toys. In the future, she hopes to direct. She will make her knowledge pay. And right now, she stands before the most obnoxious actor in the business. She will bring this warthog to the money shot; she knows what’s possible now.

And she walks toward him; he flips her over and breathes Listerine down her neck. If there will be no tenderness, she is grateful for his level of professionalism. He bends her into various positions and narrates each move with the obvious, do you like that, you like that don’t you. Way to push the envelope, genius, she smirks, way to think outside the box ha-ha-ha. What he waits for is the yes, the sigh and surrender that signify he has won. He shoves and slams from every angle; his viewers demand nothing less. She pouts and scowls and calculates just enough time before she bends and gives the boys what they want. Then, at the precisely timed moment she moans and concedes, yes, yes, yes, whatever. And she is snotty girl, conquered. For a while.

As he rocks over her, she sees his forearms to either side, tattooed with Chinese characters that don’t mean what he thinks they mean. She sees his tendons flex as he thrusts, sees the strength and the striving. And as she waits patiently for him to finish, as the camera zooms in on the penetration for the proof this is no wussy softcore, she struggles with the burden of the wise. She feels her experience wrapped around her shoulders, weighing her down like a sweaty blanket. She aches for the tabula rasa she once was. She thinks of Daniel Shumway, of the nothing that would have been enough for a while and if she was lucky, the something that would have made itself known in livable, reasonable increments. She grieves for the luxury of time.


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