tagMatureSomething to Write Home About

Something to Write Home About


This is a long one folks, but it's broken up into sections. As usual, all people and places are fictional. All characters are over eighteen.


"Are you Reaves Philip? Oh my gosh, I love your books!"

A middle-aged woman with natural gray hair tickling her eyelids hustled after Reaves on the sidewalk. She was determined to get a word with him even though he was trying to ignore her, walking along at his usual brisk pace.

"I read Last Dance For Nancy. I thought it was hilarious," she said, dodging oncoming pedestrians.

Reaves stopped and looked at her. His usual reader, he thought, glancing quickly at her motherish clothes and slightly paunchy body, but not the usual comment.

"I'm happy to hear you say that," Reaves said, looking deep into her light gray eyes. It struck him how lovely they looked, and how they complimented the gray hair most women want to banish. "It was meant as a comedy you know, but nobody seems to get it."

"I laughed so much," she said. "And when I finished it I laughed even more as I thought back on how it all played out. I think you're brilliant."

"I'm not, but thank you."

"I've read interviews you've done, and I know you hate this kind of thing, but could I get a picture with you?" she asked sheepishly.

The dreaded selfie. Reaves loathed them, but since she was one of the only readers who understood his latest book he agreed, pretending to be pleasant for a change. Out came the iPhone, in leaned her head, out stretched her arm and it was over, fairly painlessly. He'd had other fans attempt it, fiddling endlessly with the blasted device, insisting on taking another if it turned out badly, and then another. It was pure torture.

"I hope I don't embarrass myself too much saying this," she said as she put her phone away, "but the part of the chapter with the Craigslist hook-up? Oh my gosh, I don't know if I've ever read anything quite so erotic before. You should do more of that kind of thing. You've got a real gift for the hot stuff."

"It's funny you should mention that," Reaves said. "My publisher's after me for the same thing. I think he wants to cash in on the Fifty Shades wave."

"You could wipe the floor with that book," she said. "You're ten times the writer. Do a whole book of Craigslist hook-ups and I'll be first in line."

Reaves thanked her and went on his way, thinking how interesting it was that a middle-aged mother would find Craigslist hook-ups book-worthy.

The idea stuck, as some ideas do. Two weeks later it was still bouncing around his head. A rough idea started to formulate — a book about a writer researching a book about hook-ups. Big cities, small towns, the desert West where people live hundreds of miles apart. How would the 'Casual Encounters' section of Craigslist differ in those areas? How would the actual hook-ups differ? Why would it matter? It was an idea he wasn't sure about. Was there really a story there? Characters that people would want to read about?


Reaves sat in his publishers office, feeling less than confident about his book idea. He'd never brainstormed an idea with anyone before, and certainly not with publishers, who he'd always had an uncomfortable relationship with, but this idea was very different from his usual books, and Poppy was a new and different kind of contact at the office. She'd been with him since his last book, and they hit it off differently. Their meetings were less about business and more about creativity. A direct result, Reaves assumed, of her upbringing. The daughter of hard-core hippies, Poppy had told him she was born in San Francisco in 1967, the Summer of Love. She neared The Big Five-O with grace and a seeming detachment from anything to do with trendy fashion. Reaves liked that about her.

"So...a new idea you want to bounce off me?" she said after the usual pleasantries.

"You know, I'm really ambivalent about this one," Reaves said. "A reader gave me the idea, and as you know I usually don't pay much attention to them," he laughed. "Drives Dean crazy I'm sure."

"Well, Dean's a great boss, but he's not the most in tune with the creative process," Poppy said. "So what did this reader have in mind?"


Poppy smiled. "Ohhh! Dean will like that! Every meeting we have lately he's after us all to find the next "Fifty Shades of Grey." I'll tell you what, I think you'll be good at it. You've flirted with it a bit. I wouldn't have asked you for it, because I didn't think you wanted to go there, but yes, tell me more. Erotica is a big tent, what did you have in mind?"

"That's the thing," Reaves said. "I'm not really sure. The idea was to build on the Craigslist hook-up thing from Last Dance For Nancy. Take something like that and make a story out of it. I haven't been able to put my finger on the story angle, but the whole thing is stuck in my head and I need to sort it out and either do something with it or discard it."

"Okay, well that sounds intriguing," Poppy said. "What sort of angles have you thought of?"

A text buzzed on Poppy's personal cell phone. She glanced at the screen and set it down on her desk. "I'm sorry," she said. "My father's nurse. He's failing rather rapidly I'm afraid."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Reaves said. "Last I knew you thought the chemo was having an effect."

"It was short-lived unfortunately. He has a day nurse and I'm with him all evening and night. If I seem a bit scattered I'm running on empty these days."

Reaves took a deep breath. "I don't tell many folks about this, but my dad passed away from cancer," he said. "I helped my mother care for him. It was desperately sad. I hate to say it, but I wish I had kept my distance."

Poppy smiled sadly. "I'm beginning to understand that kind of thing."

"Thankfully most people aren't as deeply emotional as I am," Reaves said. "I think women handle those situations better."

"I'm not so sure about that," Poppy said, sensing the depth of Reaves' pain. "Did it scar you badly?"

"My most vivid memories of him are the ugliness of near death. It's a horrible thing to be left with. I want to remember his laugh, but usually what I see are those hollow eyes, the ones with that profound sense of doom in them." Reaves paused. "I'm telling you all the wrong things aren't I?"

"Probably," Poppy said, "but that's what I like about you. I should tell you I'll be taking a little time off at some point. I've spoken to Dean about it. He'll be handling my clients personally while I'm out."

"Oh, sure," Reaves said. "Yeah, you'll need to do that. I wish you and your dad all the best. A dignified death is a wonderful thing. I wish I had a child to take care of me when my day comes."

"So, back to the book," Poppy said. "You've done some research? I know how you like to research," she smiled.

"I have not," Reaves said. "Other than just reading ads for 'casual encounters' and things like that."

Poppy smiled. "Well, you see? There's already heat there, just from that simple phrase. Casual encounters. Maybe it's just the woman's perspective, but that makes me tingle."

"Yeah, that's what I mean. I think it might be a really fascinating world. But how to make a novel out of it? I don't know why I feel so stuck. I think it might be because I feel it more as a non-fiction book, almost like a Studs Terkle 'Working' kind of thing."

"Yes, well that would certainly interest us," Poppy said. "You've pretty much got carte blanche at this point, after all your success."

"That's nice to hear," Reaves said. "I guess the next thing to do is research. Can I confide something in you that I'd rather not have you tell Dean and the others? I'm going to jump in, in a personal way, and try and see this from the inside. I hope you don't see that as too odd, or unseemly. I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with it, but I...I feel a need to see the world from that angle, otherwise I don't think I can do it justice on the page."

"I would expect nothing less from you Reaves," Poppy said. "And I have no problem keeping your methods private. If you'd like to keep me in the loop, I must admit I'd love to hear how things are going. It'd be a nice diversion from what I've got going on at home. I'm going to give you my personal e-mail address," she said as she wrote it down. "If you want to keep your process private that's fine, but I'd love to hear how it's going. I'm up a lot at night, and the weekends are a major slog. A juicy tidbit would be most welcome."

The meeting ended with a pleasant handshake. "Best of luck with your father," Reaves said.


An e-mail from Reaves surprised Poppy two nights later...

— Responded to seven w4m Casual Encounters ads. Two responses, both pros looking for money. Decided to place an ad myself, m4w. We'll see how that goes.

Two nights later...

— No response to my ad. Need to work on my wording. Responded to six more w4m. One sincere sounding response. Wants to meet in the park. Talks a good game, dirty but educated sounding. Are you OK with me spelling out, uh, certain things here on this e-mail?

Poppy replied...

— Spell it out. I'm a big girl :-)

From Reaves...

— Actually a 'big girl' is something different in the sexual world. I believe you fall into the 'athletic' category. I could describe you further if you'd like, for you own future reference of course. :-)

So the park woman, she offered a blow job but won't fuck unless I'm big enough

— My, my, she is a picky one isn't she? :-)

How far are you taking this, or is it none of my business?

— Haven't decided. Will meet her at least. Need to understand her better.

Two nights later, well after midnight, Poppy's in-box chimed...

— She gave blowjob and took wallet. Either good research or just a miserable night. Can't decide.

Poppy replied...

— Old boyfriend used to say a blowjob makes even the worst day good. :-) Forgot to ask you to describe me the other night...

Reaves shot back...

— Petite, athletic body, naturally beautiful, no artificial colors or preservatives, Graying/blue, old enough to know the good stuff, young enough to appreciate it.

A nice smile carried Poppy thought the rest of a difficult night with her father.


Reaves knew the Craigslist casual encounters experience would be different in different parts of the country, and he needed to experience it firsthand. A cousin had regaled him with stories about a trip he and his wife and kids took in a rented motorhome the year before, and Reaves thought that kind of trip, combined with his book research, would make for a fascinating 'slice of life' journey across the country. There would have to be a book in there somewhere. If he couldn't find it it'd be his own damn fault.

He took a two month rental on a Winnebago motorhome, a small twenty-four footer with a pop-out on the side for a couch, and twin beds in the back that convert to a big queen size bed. Reaves was no Romeo, and he didn't know how much use a big queen sized bed would be to him, but better to have it than to want it.

Leaving the New York City area in a motorhome after not driving much for the past few years was nerve-wracking, but soon the miles started ticking off and the road-trip was reality. First stop: Scranton Pennsylvania.

He'd placed an ad in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Craigslist before he left New York, and had already had two promising hits.

Artist Passing Through - m4w was the hook. He left the rest vague, but it was well written, as you'd expect. It turned out, as he made his way across the country, he got many comments from women about the literate nature of his ads catching their eye.

When he arrived in Scranton a contact was made. A woman named "Sheila", although one never knows about names and details on Craigslist. One can only assume they're really the gender they say they are until you meet them face to face. Sheila, it turned out was indeed a woman. Somewhere halfway between "Athletic" and "Big Girl", she was nervous and fidgety when she showed up. If her e-mail was honest she was married and looking for a little something on the side. Not much reason to lie about that, Reaves thought, unless she was another thief. His wallet, computer and important papers were all hidden safely away.

The meeting took place in a Walmart parking lot, well known for being R.V. friendly, even to the point of letting you stay overnight if you want to. Reaves thought they'd be good places for hook-ups — more anonymous than campgrounds, though he planned to use them too.

"So you're an artist?" Sheila asked as she looked around the still clean smelling, brand-new motorhome.

"Yeah, heading out West to do some painting."

"You're better looking than I expected," she said. "I usually ask for pictures, but, I dunno, you just seemed intriguing."

"So you do this kind of thing often?" Reaves asked.

She gave him a sexy glance. "Maybe. You?"

"First time," Reaves said.

"No shit?" Sheila said. "I remember my first time. It was scary."

Sheila had taken up residence on the couch. Reaves sat next to her.

"Yeah?" he said. "What made you give it a try?"

"The husband. A girl can only take so much ignoring," she said.

"It's kind of a small town here. Isn't it risky?"

"Scranton?" she said. "Fuck no, it's like a bottomless pit of scumbags. That's why you sounded interesting. I don't think any artists live here. It's too fuckin' gray and worn out."

Reaves marveled at her blue-collar ways. If she had been chewing gum she would have been perfect, he thought, like she'd walked right out of Central Casting. Simple hair, slightly rumpled clothes that would look right at home at the Salvation Army Store, a body that looked tired, like she'd just had a long walk from an all-you-can-eat buffet. She was in better shape than a lot of women these days, but she definitely had an extra layer of inactivity around her otherwise shapely shape.

"So, we gonna fuck, or what?" she said, twirling her hair in her fingers like a schoolgirl.

"You want too?" Reaves asked, marveling at how easy it all was.

"Yeah!" she said quietly but emphatically, looking at Reaves body.

Reaves had always thought of himself as decidedly average looking, at least by New York City standards, but maybe in Scranton he had moved up a notch or two? Whatever explained it, he was rolling with it. His sex life had been crap since he broke up with his last girlfriend two years ago, so easy sex with a decent looking woman seemed like pure fun at the moment.

"Want a drink?" he asked.

"Shot maybe," Sheila said. She was already unbuttoning her shirt.

"I've got some whiskey. I think I'll have one," Reaves said.

"Jack? I love me some Jack," she said as Reaves poured. "Whoa! that's a big fuckin' shot!" Sheila downed it in two quick gulps. "Fuck yeah! That'll get my motor runnin'. We goin' back there," she asked, gesturing to the back bedroom.

"Whatever you want," Reaves said.

She got up off the couch, leaving her shirt laying there, and walked to the big queen bed in her bra and jeans. "Fuck yeah! Most of the time I end up in some guy's car. This is gonna be fun!" she said. She pushed her jeans down and sat on the bed to take them off. "Come here and show me whattcha got."

Reaves downed his drink and walked to her. She sat in a very plain bra and even plainer panties, reached for his jeans, deftly unfastened them and pulled out his still soft cock.

"Not bad," she said, glancing up before going to work on it.

She sucked the soft flesh into her mouth and then pulled off, the suction stretching it like taffy. When it popped out she retrieved it and did it again, two or three more times, until it grew.

"Nice," she said. "I like growers." With more sucking it grew another two inches and she was well satisfied. "Oh yeah, nice cock. You're gonna fuck me good aren't ya."

Reaves groaned, enjoying her oral artistry.

"You wanna eat me? I love havin' guys eat me," she said, licking the length of Reaves meaty shaft.

Reaves nodded. She shifted back on the bed and pulled off her panties in one motion. Her bra was next and she lay back naked with her legs spread. Her palms felt the smooth bedspread and she looked around as Reaves stripped off his clothes. "This is pure fuckin' luxury," she said. "I hope you got some time, 'cause I'm gonna do ya good baby."

"You look really nice like that," Reaves said as he pulled off the last of his clothing.

"Yeah? That's nice honey. You look pretty good yourself. I wish you were local, we could get somethin' goin'. Lick my pussy. I love it when I cum the first time with somebody new."

Reaves moved in between her legs. She wasn't the cleanest woman he'd ever been with, but she wasn't dirty either. Somewhere in between. Fragrant and strongly flavored, but sexy.

"Oh fuck yeah!" she moaned, squirming as his tongue went to work.

As he marveled at her rich flavor he realized that she was probably one of the older women he'd been with. Not quite Poppy's age, but close, and virtually all the sexual conquests in his life had been younger than his thirty-eight years.

Sheila propped herself up on her elbows so she could watch. Her whole pelvis was writhing, matching the rhythm of Reaves tongue.

"Fuck yeah!" she sighed. "You fuckin' eat me good! Oh fuck, you're gonna make me cum baby if you keep that up! Oh Fuck! Oh Fuck! Oh Fuuuuck!"

She tensed up and then her body trembled wildly. Her final "Oh Fuuuuck" was loud enough to be heard across the parking lot. Reaves liked that. He hadn't been with many vocal women before.

"Damn baby," Sheila said. "That's fuckin' nice. You got a condom? I want you to fuck the shit outta me."

Reaves was well prepared and slipped one on. Sheila was on all fours waiting for him. "Fuck me doggie baby. I love it doggie," she said. "Oh fuck! Yeah! All the way baby! Oh fuck!"

Reaves fucked her deep and her body responded like a thoroughbred. The woman clearly enjoyed sex.

"Yeah!" she yelled. "Fuck me with that cock! Harder baby! Fuckin' harder!"

Sheila left an hour later, walking off across the Walmart parking lot to her nondescript car, a faded Nissan or something similar. Reaves realized that the Viagra his doctor had hooked him up with was going to come in handy, at least if there were any more 'Sheilas' lurking in the rest of the country. He'd never had such visceral sex in his life. Sheila was a wild woman in the sack, and he wondered if she'd set the tone for the entire trip, or if he'd gotten lucky right off the bat.

He sat down and typed out some notes on his computer while it was all fresh in his mind, trying to get as much of her voice down as he could, along with a very detailed description of her. The way she tasted took up two paragraphs.

— Her mouth tasted of whiskey with some sort of mint behind it, giving it a vaguely 'toothpastey' vibe. Nice. Very kissable. Her skin had too much perfume, probably a 'body splash' or some such thing. It had a bitter effect on my tongue.

Sheila's vagina — pungently slippery might best describe it. Not unpleasant at all, very richly flavored. I found myself savoring it and returning often for a taste. After a dearth of oral sex in my life lately, her's seemed more flavorful and somehow more alluring than others I remember, but maybe it was just the excitement of something new and forbidden. An older woman, a married woman. Was I tasting other men? Or her husband?

After a few thousand words of notes on the encounter, Twilight had faded and the lights came on in the parking lot. He sent Poppy an e-mail...

— First encounter a success. Sheila was perfect, although I may now be spoiled. Can't imagine it'll all be so easy, so pleasant, so pleasurable. How's your father?

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