Sex in Black and Whitebyneviimkethuvim©
Do you know what it's like to be twenty-seven in Eugene, Oregon? How boring it can be at times, when the most entertaining part of your month is the weekend spent at Klamath Falls Airport, drilling with the 173rd Fighter Wing? How boring it can be, especially when the M.B.A. you're working on at the University of Oregon essentially restricts you to your apartment -- or the library -- almost ALL the time?
Seriously. I can only write so many papers on how Foucault applies to modern business practice. Eventually, I'm going to snap and go all "Discipline and Punish" on a professor. When they take me away to the cuckoo's nest and ask me why I did it, I'll tell them it was my rendition of post-modern thought.
And yes, I know that "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is set in Oregon. That is perhaps the point of the reference, ja?
But that's not the point of this story. Oh, no. The point of this story is what happens when that boredom gets just a LITTLE bit unchecked.
You see, I have this group of friends with whom I hang out a little and drink a lot. They're a bit of a motley crew -- professionals in various fields, other Oregon grad students, even a couple of veterans. There's two of them with whom I have grown particularly close -- Kelvin, who sort of surpasses description -- although, the best description I've ever heard of him was a self-professed one -- a "gay Conan O'Brien", because, really, that's -- physically, at least -- a damn accurate description.
Also, his name isn't REALLY Kelvin. His parents named him Calvin McNeese, but last spring, after seeing the new Star Trek movie and deciding that Chris Hemsworth -- James T. Kirk's dead daddy -- was particularly hot, Calvin started spelling his name Kelvin -- the way the name of the ship on which dead Kirk daddy died was spelled. But whatever. I still pronounce it Calvin, and I give him merciless shit for having had a stuffed tiger when he was a kid.
And then there's Angela. Oh, Angela. She and Kelvin are best friends. They knew each other long before I moved to Eugene and (I suspect) will know each other long after I'm gone.
Now, the thing you have to understand about Angela Richardson is that after God had so graciously bestowed her upon this planet, He threw the mold onto the floor and smashed it into powder with a divine sledgehammer. Angela is unquestionably one-of-a-kind. She's five-four, dirty blond hair, incredibly bright green eyes, a REALLY cute face -- think Rachel McAdams -- fantastic boobs, an ass you could bounce a quarter off of, and a body that is not too skinny, not too big -- as Goldilocks might've said, she's JUST RIGHT.
Here's what you have to understand about my relationship with Angela, though -- it had never gone anywhere beyond friendship, and up until the episode you're about to hear about, I never figured it would. Kelvin had repeatedly encouraged me to try to do something with her, but you know, I'm just another Air National Guard schmuck working toward an M.B.A., and she's God's gift to men. Not a chance in hell.
So now that you have that background information...
Let's go back, to January of this year. Right after MLK Day. I had been back in Eugene for a couple of weeks, after spending the holidays with my family in Cedar Rapids, when I got a call out of the blue one day from Kelvin, asking me if I could join him and Angela for lunch. I figured, what the hell, why not. Got nothing better to do than write another paper on Foucault and how his philosophies should be applied to AIG.
Actually, wait a second. That's not a half bad idea. Discipline and punish those bastards?
But I digress.
Anyway, just after one o'clock, I met Kelvin and Angela over at Oregon Electric Station. The crab and artichoke dip there? Killer. Steaks too. But again, I digress.
So there we are, indulging in our various liquid lunch habits -- Angela and I both opted for the wondrousness that is New Belgium's Fat Tire lager, while Kelvin decided to do what he ALWAYS does, play RIGHT into the hands of stereotypes the world over, and get himself a Cosmo -- when Kelvin dropped this completely unexpected bomb on me and Angela.
"I've got this friend down in San Francisco named Tyler," Kelvin told us. "He's a photographer, a really good one, and he's had a couple of shows at galleries in Castro. Well, a dozen or so. And he's a REAL photographer, too -- he still uses black and white film in an old Pentax ZX-7 -"
And really, at that point, Kelvin had me intrigued. There are a number of things with regard to which I call myself a purist (but other people just call me old), and the two primary among those are vinyl LPs and 35mm film cameras. So, as soon as the phrase "Pentax ZX-7" came out of Kelvin's mouth, he basically had me hooked on whatever bill of goods he was about to sell me.
"- and sure, he does a lot of digital work as well -- because these days, if you want film to turn out right, you have to develop it yourself, and that's just a stone cold bitch -- but he is SO good. And there's this one project that he's been wanting to do for a really, REALLY long time."
Oh please oh please oh please tell me he wants to photograph classic muscle cars, I thought, completely irrationally. My pride and joy is my 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302. It was a complete wreck when I bought it back in 1998 -- my junior year of high school -- but over the next five years, I had turned it into any gearhead's dream. And I had always wanted to have it professionally photographed, but it just seemed like such an unnecessary expense -- even after more than eleven years of driving her around the United States.
"What's the project about?" Angela asked, interrupting me from my Detroit reverie.
Kelvin grinned, and leaned in close to the both of us. Speaking in a conspiratorial tone, he quietly said, "The human body."
Ummm... what? The human body? I mean, sure, Angela's got a great body. She'd be a GREAT subject for something like that. But me? Sure, it's kept in fairly decent condition by being in the National Guard, but at that time of year, it was white enough to blind people, not to mention which I was sporting three weeks worth of post-drill beard growth. I wasn't exactly a great subject -- and I said as much to Kelvin.
"Oh, honey, you do NOT give yourself enough credit," he replied. "Yeah, maybe you could work on your skin tone a little bit, but you've got a FANTASTIC body."
I looked over at Angela, hoping for a little support, but all she did was grin and say, "I'm with Kelvin on this one."
Well, crap. Two against one, that's not v-
WAIT JUST A GODDAMN SECOND.
Did Angela Richardson just say that she thought I had a fantastic body?
While inwardly doing backflips, I did my best to maintain my outward calm. As I always do in such situations, I raised my right eyebrow, a la Leonard Nimoy, and fixed my gaze upon Kelvin. "Tell me more."
As it turned out, this project that Kelvin's friend Tyler wanted to do did indeed involve the human body. In fact, it involved the entire human body. Naked. Nude.
I was well into my fifth Fat Tire before I finally agreed to do it. I mean, that should tell you something about how I feel about being naked around other people -- despite the fact that Angela thought I had a good body, despite the fact that I would GET TO SEE HER NAKED -- I still had to get drunk enough that by the time I finally stumbled back to my apartment, the only thing I had to say to my paper was, "Fuck Michel Foucault," and then dropkick "Discipline and Punish" off my balcony.
Somehow, the damn thing wound up in my mailbox.
Anyway, a week and a half later, on Saturday morning, I showed up at this photography studio nice and early. Apparently, Tyler had rented the entire place out for the day, which made sense -- after all, if he was going to be photographing people in the buff, he certainly didn't want to have other people around.
Of course, my personal sense of punctuality plus six years in the Air Force and the National Guard have sort of hammered into me this desperate need to be early to whatever I'm doing, and so there I was, at 8:45, sitting outside the studio, drinking my coffee, Mustang running to keep me warm, waiting for SOMEBODY to show up and let me in.
That was when I heard a tap on the passenger window, and looked over to see Angela smiling in at me. And being the chivalrous man (or total horndog, whichever you prefer) that I am, I of course reached over, unlocked the door, and opened it for her so that she could join me in the relative warmth of the forty year old pony car. "Good morning, Jared!" she exclaimed cheerfully as she got into the car.
I just shook my head in amazement. "How the hell are you so cheerful?" I asked her. "It's 8:45 AM on a Saturday, and it's cold as balls out there."
She shrugged. "First of all, it's another day that I'm alive," she replied. "That's always something to be cheerful about. Secondly, I get to have naked time today."
"Lots and lots of naked time."
Please, tell me more about this naked time.
At which point, I did not pull an Andy Samberg and jizz in my pants, but you better believe I came damn close.
"And third," she continued, "I don't know how COLD balls are... in fact, I'm guessing your crotch is probably one of the warmest parts of your body."
You have no idea.
"But, if you're unsure of whether your balls are cold or warm, I'm sure I could check for you."
Breathe, Jared, breathe.
As I struggled to maintain control and not end up needing a change of shorts before the day had even begun, I set my coffee down on the dashboard and took a deep breath. "That's... quite alright," I managed to say.
Angela laughed at that. "Oh, Jared, you just need to loosen up a little bit. Surely you put something in your coffee to help with that, right?"
And before I could say anything, she had grabbed my coffee and taken a drink. As the taste of the Irish whiskey within the coffee hit her tongue, her eyes went wide, and then she smiled. "Oh, you NAUGHTY boy," she giggled. "Isn't it a little early?"
I sighed. "I'm about to get naked," I replied. "It's not something I'm particularly crazy about. Truthfully, I'm only doing it because you and Kelvin practically begged me."
As I stared out the windshield, I felt her put my coffee cup back in my hand, and then I felt her hand on my arm. "Jared, listen -- it's not something I'm really looking forward to doing either. I'm not a real big fan of being naked myself."
I turned to look at her, giving her what I called my patented you crazy look. "Seriously?" I asked her. "You've got an AMAZING body. What do you have to be ashamed of?"
Angela just shrugged and smiled. "Women are our own worst critics," she replied. "You see perfection, I see dimples, cellulite, stretch marks -- it's just the way we are."
I pondered that for a bit, and then nodded. "Fair enough," I replied. "But just remember -- I don't care what you might think of your body, because you've got a fan in me."
Angela's smile turned into a full-blown grin. "Point to you," she said. "Now, I'm hoping that you have a thermos full of that Irish coffee, because I think we're both going to need it."
And THAT is how I ended up in a photography studio in Eugene, Oregon, naked save for a bathrobe, sitting on a director's chair. I had already done a few shots, stripped down as far as my t-shirt and boxer briefs, but the last hour of Angela posing completely nude RIGHT in front of me had left me with an epic erection, and so in order to distract myself, I had focused on Tyler's camera setup a little bit.
Yeah, yeah, blasphemy, looking at the camera instead of the girl, I'm aware. But still, practical considerations aside, Tyler had a rather interesting setup. As I said earlier, he had a Pentax ZX-7, which was loaded with 100 speed Kodak T-MAX black and white film. Because of his slow film speed, he had to have lights EVERYWHERE -- otherwise, nothing would have come out. Kelvin had been running around the studio all morning with a little light meter, adjusting the lights as needed.
Mounted right on top of the Pentax was a little wireless webcam. Everytime he pushed the shutter button on the Pentax, the webcam was activated, and it would take a picture which was automatically transmitted to the laptop set up next to me, giving us a reasonable idea of what each picture was going to look like. Of course, the difference between a two megapixel webcam and a badass SLR camera loaded with the best black and white film available was going to be REMARKABLE, but nonetheless.
And one thing I will definitely say for Tyler -- he knew his shit. Angles, lighting, shadow, you name it, he could do it. And in accordance with what he had promised both Angela and myself, he took each picture in such a fashion that our faces were never fully exposed. Sure, you might get the mouth here, the nose there, an eye, perhaps, but the rest of our faces were always in shadow.
"Alright, Jared, it's your turn," I heard Tyler say, bringing me back to reality.
Angela was in her bathrobe again, and I appeared to be down to half-mast and retreating quickly. That was probably for the best.
"Tell me what you want me to do, boss," I said, trying to instill my voice with as much confidence as I could. And it sounded good when I said it, but my internal monologue was, at this point, just a continuous oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit.
"Lose the robe," Tyler replied with a grin. "We'll go from there."
I took a deep breath, and then looked over at Angela. As if reading my mind, she grabbed the Thermos and passed it to me with a smile. I opened it, took a big swig, and then screwed the lid back on. "Alright," I said. "Let's do this before I chicken out."
And with that, I untied the front of my bathrobe and let it fall to the floor. "Very nice," Tyler said, although seemingly only in the same voice with which he might appraise the Golden Gate Bridge as he was preparing to take a picture of it.
However, his was the only professional opinion in the room. A low but appreciative-sounding whistle came from Angela's general direction, and Kelvin just said, "Dayum, boyfriend..."
Which... now seems like as good a time as any to get this out of the way. I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of my dick. Yeah, I might not like being naked in front of other people, but it's just because I'm not a fan of my body.
Quick description -- when it's hard, it tops out at just over seven inches, at about an inch and a half thick, which, guess what, that's BIG for American men. The people who write erotica wherein ten inch erections are normal have NO IDEA what they're talking about. The AVERAGE American penis is about five and a half inches when erect.
In fact, let me put this in perspective for you. Tommy Gunn, pornstar. His dick is only a hair over seven inches when fully erect, but the man has been in over five hundred pornos. You know why? Because he can get it up, keep it up, and cum on command, not because he has an elephant wang!
Okay, I got sidetracked. I'm sorry. Rant over. That can go in the file with Foucault.
Anyway, when my dick isn't hard, it hangs about half its erect length. And truth be told, I keep the rest of my body in decent fighting trim -- I might not be carrying a Situation-esque six-pack, but I keep trim and well-toned. The Air Force wouldn't have it any other way.
So Tyler had me do a number of poses. Some of them included my dick, some of them didn't. No matter what, he did everything in an artistic, professional fashion, and I'll be damned if I wasn't impressed by the work he was doing.
After about forty minutes, he stopped to reload (and it had to have been the sixtieth time he had done so), and looked at me -- and then looked over at Angela. "I wonder..." he mused.
I looked back at him, then over at Angela, and then back to Tyler. "You wonder what?"
"I'm just thinking, that maybe... a few poses of the two of you together might look really good?"
And at that point, I must have gotten a total deer-in-the-headlights look, because Tyler hastened to reassure me. "No, no, no, don't worry, not like porn or anything -"
although, legally, he could, because the nature of the photos we were taking meant we had to sign affidavits for 18 USC 2257 before we started shooting, and THAT was new and different and something I hope to GOD never sees the light of day -
"- just simple nudes of the two of you together."
I looked over at Angela, and she looked about as unsure as I felt. "Is there any coffee left?" I asked, hopefully.
"Nope," she answered, a rueful smile on her face. "I finished off the last of it fifteen minutes ago."
"Oh, come ON, you two!" Kelvin exclaimed. "You're both hotter than hell, and you know it! Just take the damn pictures and stop being such a couple of pussies!"
Angela and I both turned and looked at him. "I'm sorry," I said, "but which one of us here is NOT bare-ass naked and being photographed?"
"Oh, I wouldn't advise going THERE," I heard Tyler laugh behind me. "You have NO IDEA some of the stuff this guy has done."
No shit. I looked back at Tyler, and then over at Kelvin. "Really?"
He grinned. "What can I say," he said. "I'm an exhibitionist at heart."
Angela laughed and shook her head. "Somehow that does not surprise me." Then, taking a breath, she looked back over at me. "Well, if you're okay with it, I guess I am too."
Okay with it? Is the Pope Polish?
Oh, wait a second. Shit. I REALLY need to update the old aphorisms I learned from my parents.
Is the Pope a former Hitler Youth?
Anyway. "Then I guess we're going to take some naked pictures together!"
We started off with a simple pose. Tyler had me lay on the ground, propped up on one elbow, my back to him. Then he had Angela lay down perpendicular to me, her shoulders resting on my right hip, her right arm draped over my torso. "Tuck your left hand between your thighs," I heard him tell her. "I don't want you to look like you're playing with yourself, but more like you're trying to cover up a little bit."
After Tyler was done photographing us in that pose, he decided to go for something a little more complicated. "Alright, Jared, roll over," he told me. "Stay propped up on an elbow, and bring your legs up almost as if you were in a sitting position."
He turned to Angela. "What I want you to do is lay down, parallel to Jared's torso, so that your right shoulder is resting on his thigh. Then, bring your right leg up, and, Jared -- I want you to lay your head on Angela's right knee, and then reach your hand over and grab her ankle."
So, I did as Jared instructed, and as I looked downward, I realized I had a view right into Angela's slightly opened vagina. Shaved except for a perfect strip of blonde hair, glistening with her juices -- clearly this was turning her on -- and pretty much perfectly shaped -
Whoops. Here we go.
Well, my rapidly expanding penis was hidden for the moment, but as soon as Angela moved, it was going to be quite exposed.
Or perhaps sooner, I realized with horror, as the tip of my erection reached Angela's back. As soon as it touched her, she jumped -- but she didn't move away, didn't scream, none of that. No, instead, she just looked down at me, smiled, and in a low and conspiratorial voice, said, "Oh, my."
Tyler finished taking pictures of that pose far too quickly, and once Angela stood up, my personal results of that pose were clear for the whole world to see. "Alright then," Tyler said, clearly amused. "I think we need to do a pose where Jared has a chance to calm down. So..."
Turning to Kelvin, he said, "I need that stool from the corner, if you could." As Kelvin went to get the stool, he turned back to us. "This is going to be sort of like a stylized crucifix," he said. "Jared, you've really got the easy part of this. What's going to happen is, once that stool gets here -- and here it is."