Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail: Chapter 33

Thursday night Judy Blue Eyes and I ate Thai food, talked about what a laughingstock poor old Gerald Ford had become, held hands through an art film that had enough nudity in it to be mildly en­tertaining, and walked a half mile to and from her car just for the pure pleasure of it. Then we went back to my place and made love.

It was awful.

Maybe awful is too strong a word. (Remember that joke that was probably old when Razuni had crafted The Grail: “I just had the worst piece of ass I’ve ever had in my life.” “How was it?” “Great!”). We had the minimum acceptable number of orgasms in the age of sexual enlightenment (one each). But even though it was the first sex I’d engaged in since before that night with SGT Jenny Slade—I threw that line in mostly for the benefit of those of you who naturally but errone­ously assumed that I was sleeping with Anne—I couldn’t keep my mind on what we were doing. And nei­ther could Judy Blue Eyes, normally the focused one in this relationship.

Afterward we lay there for a while without speaking. I didn’t really know what to say. The message was pretty clear to me, and I didn’t need tears or recriminations to confirm that we were over. But it had been good enough for long enough that if Judy Blue Eyes wanted or needed any of that, I was willing. Luckily, before I said anything real­ly dumb, she took the decision about what to say out of my hands.

“Jenny Slade is taking her band and going on tour down in Mex­i­co next month. I’m going to go down with her.”

It was a moment of high seriousness, of solemnity, of great revelation. It was a time to listen in reverence, to speak noble sentiments. Unfortunately, she had just made a Freudian slip of such mag­nitude that I let out a snicker before I could catch my­self. That made her hear what she had just said, and she began to tremble with restrained laughter as well. That would never do—her restraining her laughter, that is—so I repeated in my best Inspector Clouseau imitation, “So, you’re going to go down with her, are you?”

That touched us off. It wasn’t really that funny, but the tension fueled our hysteria and we laughed until the stress was all gone.

After that we lay there naked for an hour, just talking. Just like the good old days. Had she told her parents yet (she hadn’t); how were they going to take it (her father was going to have a cow, but he probably would still pay the MasterCard bill). Was this her true sexual preference, latent all this time, or was she in the middle of just another adventure (she didn’t know, but she suspected it was just an adventure). How was I do­ing (I had met a woman whom I felt differently about than anyone before); was I in love (I didn’t know for sure but strongly suspected I was).

At last she went into the bathroom to get dressed—we still had enough residual intimacy to lie naked with each other, but not for her to dress in front of me—while I pulled on jeans to walk her to her car. I held her for a long time with­out speaking, leaning up against her VW. Then I told her truth­fully that I loved her, and she drove off into the night.

Bronze goblet final

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