tagSci-Fi & FantasyNose & Toes

Nose & Toes


I just called in sick. I didn't want to face them on Valentine's Day. Last year I sent myself flowers and pretended they were from a guy I was dating. The mysterious George Glass, you know, Jan Brady's made up boyfriend. I forgot that the 20-somethings in the office watch TV Land. It was humiliating when they found out because it meant that I cared what they thought of me and what they thought was that I was a loser. I thought it myself.

I'm self-described as a socially inept, single forty-year-old woman with a cat for company, living paycheck-to-paycheck in a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York. Not horribly ugly or fat or anything, unless you counted the scar I received last summer from when my cat bit me across the cheek. It required stitches. He doesn't always bite. Well, I named him Jagger because he seems to have a big mouth. Not really big, only when he yawns, but still. He hissed at the other cats vying for my attention in that cat shack and because of that, I brought him home with me. Now he is the only one who ever makes an effort to love me even if that love manifests in brutality once and a while. It always happens when he wants my attention, like if he wants to tell me something important or he missed me, or something, I don't know. It is my fault, I know that.

So, I'm the laughing stock at Sprocket Enterprises. At least I won the sales contest, a trip to Paris. I'm supposed to leave on Friday. A romantic trip for two. I don't really want to go truth be told. Because I have no one to go with, and I don't want to leave Jagger. He needs me. No one else can love him the way I do.

It's sunny out. My apartment is a fifth floor walk-up. I have large windows that allow a lot of daylight in even though the view is mostly brick walls. I can practically reach out and slap the cymbal on my neighbor's drum set. And that was a joke, by the way, since he's always on them making noise at all hours without regard for a lonely woman's sanity. Pretty sad.

I don't cry, because Jagger doesn't like it when I do that. He'll moan, then bite my arm until I wrap him in a blanket like the Baby Jesus and hum to him until he calms down. I swear he understands me sometimes. I thought he said, hello the other day, and I'm almost certain he called out my name. Maureen Rau. I'm not that pathetic. I have had boyfriends, you know.

My last boyfriend just disappeared. He fell off the face of the Earth. New York City is a world of transients. They come, they go, no integrity, you know? Anyhow, that was five years ago, right before I adopted Jagger from Mrs. Widge, the cat lady, who lives by the park.

His name was Jesse Antonovich. He had orange-auburn hair, which he wore long hiding the most perfect ears underneath it. I used to like to nibble on them and he would almost purr in submission. His green eyes were the greenest I have ever seen on anyone. He was lanky, built like a runner who could just about run all day. We met while jogging in the park. A thirty-eight-year-old lawyer who worked with the District Attorney.

I shouldn't be talking about this. It will make me sad all over again. What happened to him? The last time I saw him he told me he loved me. He helped me get my resume together for the job at Sprocket and then we made love on the sofa. He was the first guy I ever met who liked cuddling, the first who had ever picked me up and carried me to bed in that romantic way that guys do that in movies. I told everyone who would listen about his romantic ways. When he left me without even an e-mail pink-slip, I was devastated and it was way worse because everyone knew, you know? Everyone heard me bragging, acting like I was so special because my handsome boyfriend loved me. They mocked me, threw what I said into my face. Made me feel vulnerable, because I divulged everything.

No wonder he left without notice. Someone probably told him about my loose lips. I should have known better. Jagger is sitting in my lap right now looking at me as I wolf down this Godiva chocolate from the box I bought for myself at Macy's. It was sitting on top of the counter as I was checking out my lingerie purchase. Jesse always said I looked good in black lace so I bought a teddy to wear tonight. I'm wearing it now, actually because...well, I don't know why. I guess because I'm celebrating Valentine's Day...with Jagger.

Jagger kind of looks like Jesse in a weird way. He is a Morris-the-Cat orange tabby with green eyes. After he takes a shit, he loves to tear through the house at top speed like an athlete. Our favorite activity is when I scratch his neck and he starts to purr. Then I nibble his ears and he goes crazy. He's looking at me right now in the strangest way, like he knows what I'm saying.

Oh-my-god, he could be Jesse's cat twin. Okay, that's sad. I am losing it.

I saw Mrs. Widge last month and she asked how I was doing with my pet. It seemed odd for her to remember Jagger in such detail, I thought at the time, and still do, what with her hoard of all manner of cats. What was it she said? I can't remember. Something about the key to unlock the pussy. She's a real whack-a-doo. I hope that never happens to me. I don't want to be the cat lady from hell, talking to the animals like they are humans. Okay, I need to lie down. Jagger just meowed, and has jumped off my lap. The meow sounded like, no! All right, that's better. I have one leg up over the sofa and the other bent back. He just jumped between my legs and is jammed up against my pussy.

Well, it's better than nothing.

I think about Jesse all the time. I know it's unhealthy. But the sex was the best I've ever had. That last night, he came over with Thai food. Skewered chicken and vegetables in a mild peanut glaze on a bed of rice noodles for me, and a seafood combination platter for him. We ate at the coffee table while watching It Happened One Night, which is a movie about a woman who runs away at her wedding and ends up flirting up a storm with Rhett Butler. The ultimate chick flick. Their banter reminded me of ours, especially on the afternoon when we met, when I made fun of his stretching style.

"You know what I want for dessert?" he asked after dinner.

"I have some coffee almond chip ice cream," I said. "It's Haagen Daas."

He kissed me and scooted me up to the sofa spreading my legs up and over his shoulders. "I'd prefer your pussy," he said. He reached for my silk thong and began rubbing my clit through it, the way I always did when I masturbated. He could feel how wet I already was. I took a deep breath and bit my lip as he proceeded to push the damp fabric aside and replace it with his tongue. He lapped at the pink folds of my pussy the way Jagger drinks water from his ceramic dish, his tongue offering rapid licks as though bathing me clean.

Oh-my-god. I feel wet just thinking about this. I clenched the hem of my navy blue cotton dress with one hand and swirled a long lock of his hair with the index finger of my other. I called out his name but bit back the urge to tell him that I loved him. We'd only been dating for three months and I didn't want to say it until he'd said it to me three times. Stupid, but it was something my mother told me once. I was afraid he'd freak, and leave me if I got too emotionally dependent, even though it was what I wanted.

Before him, I hadn't had a boyfriend in two years. New York isn't the easiest place to date and coupled with my extreme pickiness and social anxiety, well, I knew I was lucky to have him licking, fucking, you know. I didn't want to ruin it with crazy psycho-love.

He noshed on my pussy grazing his tongue deep inside me while resting his goateed chin on my ass. Then he said, "I could do this all night."

I moaned feeling the wetness ooze out of me and into his awaiting mouth. I couldn't believe he was doing it, you know? Most guys only offered to go down on me after I'd sorted out a blow job and only because they thought they had to, not because they wanted to. Not that there had been a lot of guys. But Jesse was different.

I bucked against him but he held me steady. He knew I was about to come, but he kept going, and didn't even brace for the impact.

"Oh god," I cried. Tears fell from eyes. It was probably the most intense orgasm I had ever had!

"Did you like that?" Jesse asked. "Because there's more where that came from."

"What did you have in mind?"

"I love you, that's what," he said.

He stopped and got up off his knees. He removed his gray business suit (he'd come over straight from work) and his black briefs. God, I loved his body. He had no body fat except for a little paunch in his stomach. He had a hard time with sit-ups because he was so tall. At least that's what he always said, but he liked to drink Guinness a lot. I suspected it was a tiny little beer gut developing. It looked sexy on him. I liked that he wasn't a perfect specimen. I mean, I wasn't. I'm a lot thinner now due to my depression and all that. Back then, I was fitter, but I thought my thighs were too bulky. They looked different when I looked down at them as compared to when I saw them in a mirror. Probably body dysmorphic disorder, because he always said I was beautiful.

His cock kind of bobbed in the air and it was so hard that it looked like it must have hurt. He took it in his hand and stroked it while stretching his tongue out along his lips to swallow up the remainder of my cum residing there.

Jesse reached over and pulled my dress over my head then slid my panties off. I looked like that Olympia painting, you know what I'm talking about? I think it's by Manet. The petite, dark-haired girl reclining on a chaise, wearing nothing but a black choker and mules? I was actually wearing that velvet Art Deco chocker I have, and a pair of slingbacks. My dark hair had been scrunched up into a high pony-tail. I took off my bra just as he straddled me and our bodies just clung to each other's, mine was a little sticky with sweat from the heated cunnilingus action. We kissed in a deep and passionate tongue duel, our lips like suctions locked in eternity. Okay, am I exaggerating? I remember it like it was yesterday even though it was five years ago. Five years ago today.

When he slipped his long, hard cock inside me, I felt more connected than I ever had before. Something was different that night. We both knew it. The way he looked at me, it was like he was seeing into my soul, if that makes any sense. I know, corny, right? Men and women see sex differently, I get it. He's probably fucked a zillion other women since then. He's probably with someone tonight, looking at her the way he looked at me all those years ago. I don't care. I don't care what you think of me -- pathetic loser, suffering with unrequited love and stuff like that. I get it. But today is Valentine's Day and I have a right to dwell on the past, even if it's only for a few more hours.

His cock filled my pussy with love. We matched grunts in between kisses. I put my arms around him and he lifted me up then leaned back against the opposite armrest while I sat on him. I did my share, squeezing my inner muscles against his cock, tightening so that he could feel the sensation. He gasped then concentrated on sucking my nipples. His face dived in, clinging to my breast. I ran my hands through his pretty hair then leaned against his ear and whispered, "I love you too." I licked the top of his ear the way he liked and I heard him moan even louder with every gentle nibble. I moved my other hand to his other ear and continued this auditory assault. "I'm going to come," I moaned suddenly because I was thinking how much I loved him, especially then because it was our first Valentine's Day.

Quickly he lifted me and maneuvered a position change. Now we were on our hands and knees, all the pillows on the floor to give us more traction on the sofa. He thrust into me from behind, sliding out and ramming back in. He grabbed the globes of my ass and caressed them like a madman. His arm locked under my belly as he continued to maul my ass with his other hand, slapping it and thrusting then falling down into the back of my neck and kissing me from behind.

I screamed, "Stop. Oh-my-god!" and growled preternaturally like a howling animal in heat. Then I felt the hot stream of his cum shoot into my pussy. It dribbled down my leg and I was glad my mother's hand-made afgan was there to catch the residue (instead of onto my $2,000 couch) as it leaked down my inner thighs. He kissed my neck again, and again, and then I turned to collect kisses to my lips. I felt like I never wanted to ever be apart from him. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world.

Needless to say, but I've been masturbating this whole time. With Jagger between my legs brushing his furry orange body against the back of my hand, I'm pretending that I'm feeling Jesse's pubes. My fingers have dipped into the canal. Next, I pull them out and smell my own scent, pretending it's combined with Jesse's. Then I rub my fingers over the silky fabric of my lacy teddy quickly then slower, trying to build up the anticipation again and feel that same orgasm.

"Oh, Jesse! Where are you? Come back to me!" I say aloud like an idiot.

Jagger has just jumped up on the top of the couch-back and is circling my head. It looks like he's going to pounce so I have guided him down. He's sitting on my chest and looking into my brown eyes.

"What are you doing here?" Okay, I know he can't talk. "Don't worry. You're my only Valentine. There's nobody else. Just the ghost of someone."

I pet him with my left hand then return to a little more solo-play with my right, and with my memory as a guide.

When we finished, Jesse carried me into the bedroom where we made love a second time. I rocked his cock with my mouth. I really loved the way the throbbing veins of its underside collided with my mouth. I could literally feel his life force. I did that thing where you deep throat, imagining that my mouth had superiority over any other woman's who'd been there before me. This gave me the momentum to continue blow-jobbing. I paid attention to how he reacted to every lick.

"Do you like that?" I asked.

"I love it," he whispered.

He gently removed the elastic of my pony causing my hair to shroud his cock like a tent giving it privacy. I licked his balls gingerly, and when I thought he was ready to come, I passed my tongue over his taint forcing a squeal from him. He came in spurts that I swallowed lovingly. I moved my hair out of the way so he could see me doing it. I wanted to do everything in my power to make him happy.

We fell asleep in each other's arms. In the morning, he was gone. No note, no nothing. He had stayed over on many occasions prior to that night. He'd always wake up before me and go out for coffee. He liked milk in his and would often bring back two with milk and sugar instead of remembering that I liked mine black. I never argued. I mean, maybe I teased him about it. I don't remember. I don't remember what I did, to tell you the truth. I must have done something to make him hate me. I ended up getting used to the taste, but I've since gone back to black.

I have gone over, and over that night thousands of times. I sort of reduced my circle of friends over it. I told everyone the story, even Mrs. Widge, though at the time she seemed to be in a drunken half-listening stupor as she said, "True love comes but once. A man must go through changes to appreciate the woman you are. Then he'll never stray." Is that what she said? I really can't remember. It was something equally cryptic, I'm sure, even though now I kind of think it sounded way more positive than what my other friends said. Tony Smith and Michael Voorkries and Jeannette Tines had all agreed I needed therapy. Said I shouldn't call them until I sought professional help.

Instead, I got a cat.

Jagger's ears just perked up. He's jumped off my chest to perch on the windowsill. He's standing up on his hind legs with his front paws against the glass. I've never seen him do that before. What's he looking at? Peering out the window, I see noisy neighbor is up and banging on his drum set. Ew, he's looking at me and howling like a wolf. What's wrong with him? I'm looking down at my teddy-clad body now and noticing the bottom has unclasped, which must have happened during my masturbatory engagement. He can see my pussy. What a perv! Okay, I've pulled my trenchcoat around me, since it is close by, folded over the kitchen chair. Then I notice her. Mrs. Widge is in the alley, just standing there looking up at Jagger. She is making kissy faces at him.

Oh-my-god, how weird.

At the same time, it appears that my annoying neighbor has stopped playing his obnoxious instrument. His black and white cat is sitting in his place licking its privates. I didn't even think he was the type to have a cat. I've never seen that cow-like lump before. I just picked up Jagger and am holding him in my arms, I wanted to bring him close to me, to protect me, or whatever, but he's struggling to be released. He's jumped back into position, and is staring at the old woman.

I haven't seen her in weeks. Maybe I should go down and ask her to clarify all those quirky things she said to me throughout the years. And I do feel a sense of pride in the one thing I am good at -- taking care of Jagger. I'd love to share that one success with her, maybe it will give her the incentive to find other people to help care for her menagerie. Jagger has been the perfect pet, well, except for the anger issues. I meant health-wise, he's perfect.

I just slipped on my knee-hi boots and am running downstairs to meet her.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Mrs. Widge."

"I see you are spending it with your beloved," she says.

"How are you?" I ask, trying to be polite. I don't really want her to know that I'm depressed, you know?

"I'm working, you should be aware, for the good of the community. Getting the fat cats to know their place," she replies. What a strange thing to say. I thought she was on disability or social security or something. I didn't think she had a job. I don't think there is a Mr. Widge, either. I really don't know her at all, I guess.

Before I fully process her answer, I blurt, "I don't know what you mean, actually. How do the fat cats find their way?" Do I really want to have a conversation with this dirty woman?

"Through love," she says. "They learn how to love." To what is she referring? I'm guessing her obsession with stray cats?

"And then what?"

"Then they never stray," she says. "Has he been a good boy for you?" She stared at the scar on my face. I put my hand up to my cheek. The way it happened, I don't remember now. I was reading a note Jesse left me once. I think it was on my birthday. It was much too early in our relationship to exchange birthday gifts. I mean, I hadn't been expecting a ring or anything. It was really the perfect gift. The note was a love poem that I have always cherished. I guess I was ignoring Jagger while fully immersed in its prose. Maybe he had been hungry? Anyhow, I started crying and before you knew it, he took that chunk out of my cheek.

"For the most part," I offer Mrs. Widge. "He's really healthy. He loves me in his own way. He's my Valentine, the only one I need." I didn't want anyone to think I didn't love my pet. Because if I couldn't love the one thing I took care of, if I couldn't get him to love me back, then how would I ever be able to have a relationship with anyone?

"Curious," the old woman mumbles, as though she has just read my mind.

"Pardon?" I say because I'm not sure I've heard her correctly.

"Do you want him back?"

I blurt, "What?" Am I that transparent? I know. I am.

Staring into my eyes, she pauses for the creepiest of moments. "The red-head. The runner," she says. "The milk-drinking, sorry soul who captured you with lust."

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