Left Brain, Right Brain

Info trailmate
22 Aug. '19

The right side of the brain is the control center for emotions, intuition, creativity, art and music whereas the left side of the brain is responsible for logic, language, reasoning, analysis and math. In 1981 an American neuropsychologist shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his work in split brain research and this work led to the right brain-left brain theory. To put this right brain-left brain theory in simple terms and in the context of stories like this, consider the case of a young man who has been dating two young women. One has shiny black hair, a face like a Greek doll, nice tits, hips and ass built for action, is a teller at Wells Fargo and whose father drives a ready mix truck in Petaluma. The other young woman, Miss Plain Jane, has ragged light brown hair, pimples, thin lips, no eye brows, a flat chest and is the only daughter of a 74 year-old widower who has suffered 3 heart attacks and who owns 11% of all Google shares. The right side of the young man’s brain is going to be pushing him towards the black haired beauty. The left side, on the other hand, is going to go to bat for Miss Plain Jane.

I was looking uphill and expounding on sled handling techniques to two of the ski patrol trainees when frantic shouts interrupted me. Turning towards downhill, I saw a disaster beginning to unfold. The other two trainees who had been handling the Sun Valley rescue toboggan and Tom, the patrolman who had been playing the part of a victim riding in the sled, were lying in the snow and the sled was careening downhill and picking up speed. Bruce, my instructor colleague who had been supervising the trainees on the sled, made a run for the tail rope, but as he skied over it, the knot at the end knocked his skis out from under him and he went down too.

Just as I moved to go after the sled, a skier shot by me. At first skating to pick up speed, then crouched and tucked, the skier headed straight for the sled. Nearly on top of the rear end of the sled, the skier tossed his/her poles and rolled over the tail rope.

My “What the fuck?” was drowned by the shouts of the others and the action continued as the amazing took place right before my eyes. Continuing the roll, the skier came up with skis still on and fists clenching the tail rope. In what seemed like a fluid continuation of the action, the skier managed to get his skis across the fall line and start braking. The tail rope was sliding through his clenched fists. Surely he would get knocked over when the knot at the end of the rope reached his hands.

But there was no knockdown. The skier managed to hang on, skis braking, throwing up clouds of snow, bouncing over moguls. Slowly but surely, he brought the sled to a stop. Heart pounding, I realized what an exhibition of agility and strength I had just witnessed. I also began to realize that as instructor in charge of the exercise, I had just been spared some pretty serious reputation damage.

Getting down to the skier who had saved the day, I recognized him as a trainee named Clyde, to whom seconds before, I’d been explaining sled handling technique. Bruce, now up and back on his skis, came down and took over the handles of the sled. Everyone was speechless. I was the first to speak. Turning to Clyde, “Where’d you ever learn to do that?”

He replied in a distinctly non-Californian accent and with an economy of words that would have shamed Clint Eastwood and Robert Mitchum. “Didn’t.” After a noticeable hesitation, he continued, “Jis did it.”

I probably went overboard with thanks and praise. His reddening face told me when it was time to shut up. In my defense though, the Sun Valley toboggans we were using weighed close to 150 pounds. You don’t have to be a physicist or engineer to imagine the injuries a 150-pound sled, screaming downhill out of control, could cause to a person. On any ski slope at Twin Peaks on a weekend, there are lots of persons around to get hit. Put it how you want to, we were damn fortunate that Clyde got the sled stopped.

Bruce and Clyde took the sled down to a flatter place and we all took a break. I needed it to give my legs time to stop shaking.

After the lifts closed and we’d skied the sweep, I invited the four trainees to join me for a beer. That wasn’t expected nor was it normal. At the time I thought I was doing it so they wouldn’t blab too much over the morning’s near catastrophe. (I was clearly at fault because with trainees running a sled, there should have been a second tail rope with a regular patroller on it.) In truth, there was another reason and I hold my right brain responsible because it was supposed to not let me get too interested in a young trainee named Clyde.

The other three trainees, being with my own San Francisco Patrol, I was already acquainted with. But not Clyde, he was with the Twin Peaks Patrol. Rolly, the mountain manager at Twin Peaks, had called me earlier in the week and asked if I could squeeze one of their trainees into my planned sled handling exercise. That trainee turned out to be Clyde.

After what he did and after meeting him, I couldn’t help myself. I needed to know more about him. When you want to find out more about someone, there’s a fine line between polite curiosity and nosiness. I cautiously worded my first question. “Rolly said you’re doing lots of skiing. You live up here somewhere?”

“Sort of. Housesitting. Friends of my parents have this house up here. Don’t use it in winter. Worry about a break-in.”

“So a good deal for everybody – like win-win?”

“Yeah.” After a few seconds hesitation and probably in response to my questioning look, he became more talkative. “Dad and Mom live in Sacramento. I went to high school there.”

So I was right about the accent. He hadn’t grown up in Sacramento. Right away that morning when we’d met, I’d noticed the accent, not strong, just noticeable and pleasant. No not just pleasant, actually sort of sexy, almost addictive. Great Plains? Wyoming? Idaho? Southwest? Arizona? Utah? But there was also a faint touch of Oklahomese. Could he have grown up in California’s Central Valley? In the Central Valley, there were communities where 2nd and 3rd generation descendants of the Dust Bowl migration still speak Oklahomese.

Fuck politeness, I had to know more. “So you grew up somewhere else – not in Sacramento?”

“It’s kinda complicated. Dad’s an operating engineer – heavy equipment operator – bulldozers, graders, loaders, that sort of thing. Used to be a boomer, you know, chased the big jobs. We moved a lot. Oklahoma, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona.”

“But now your folks are in Sacramento?”

“Yeah. When I got old enough for high school, Mom said we couldn’t be nomads anymore. Then Dad got work on a big interstate job around Sacramento and they stayed.”

He was starting to open up. I liked hearing his voice and I liked hearing what he had to say. “Interesting the way your mother saw your family as nomads.”

“Yeah, that’s how it is with boomers. Rented houses, trailer parks, I counted up once, went to 5 different grade schools. But, hey Kitty, you sound like you come from somewhere else too. Like back east, but not 100% so.”

My curiosity about him still wasn’t satisfied but I found myself so pleased that he was interested in me that I couldn’t help giving him a sketchy version of my background. I told him that my mixed bag accent was from being originally from Boston and then going to Minnesota where I finished high school and went to college. I didn’t want to elaborate much. The story behind why I moved in with an aunt in Minnesota is not something I wanted to get into with him – or anyone else I didn’t know really, really well. Fortunately, Clyde didn’t ask about that.

“So then you went from Minnesota to California?”

“By way of Seattle.” I didn’t want that to go any further either. Some people, particularly men, get intimidated when I tell them I have a PhD and that I’m a tenured professor at UCSF.

He must have sensed that I wanted to hold back and had the street smarts to change the direction of the conversation. “Somebody said you’re a nurse. Did I get that right?”

“You heard right, Clyde. Gave me a big advantage in passing the first aid test.”

He nodded and grinned understanding. Then turning to look at me, he spoke in a soft confessional tone of voice. “Kitty, I’m a little weak on the first aid end of things.” Then in a slightly different tone that had a unique effect on me, “You could probably teach me plenty.”

The second sentence could have been taken as a compliment, but the tone of his voice said it was more – like an opening line. I knew I should tell him he should just volunteer to help out the nurses in the first aid room. My left brain was frantically telling my right brain to keep the lid on my emotions, but the battle was hopeless. The only concession I made to the left side was to keep my tone of voice neutral. “If you want Clyde, you can ski with me tomorrow and I’ll sign up for a half day in the first aid room so we’re sure to get some action.”

“You’d do that? Sounds like a winner. Let’s shake on it!” When we clasped hands to shake on it, his calluses told me that whatever work he did, his hands really caught hell. I had avoided asking him what he did for a living because I was pretty sure he hadn’t gone beyond high school and he might have some low-paid, low-skill job that he wouldn’t be very proud of. It turned out that I was right on the first count and very wrong on the second.

That night I dreamt about something I’d never experienced in real life - rough callused hands fondling my breasts. When I woke up, my legs were apart and my crotch felt wet. I knew I had to get things under control.

Experience, both personal and professional, had biased me against certain types of relationships. For one thing, I had long ago sworn off hooking up with colleagues at work or guys in the ski patrol. If there was promise of something long term - well that would be different, but the promise would have be damn strong. But a quick hook-up for sex, no way, the potential for complications was just too big.

Another thing my personal and professional experience had taught me was the danger inherent to relationships with big age gaps. A wife at 38 and a 21 year-old husband? It works at first, the wife likes Junior’s virility, Junior likes wife’s experience and lack of inhibitions. Later, wife is 57 and junior is 40, she’s post menopausal and losing libido fast. He’s going to start looking at 20’s and 30’s.

Then you take the 38 year-old bridegroom and the 21-year-old bride. He’s horny and still virile as hell, she’s nice and juicy – their bed is going to get a workout. Later, hubby at 60 has trouble getting it up, wife at 43 still has big needs and if she’s paid attention to her weight and appearance, it’s only a matter of time before some 40 year-old neighbor or colleague senses her needs.

I hadn’t asked Clyde how old he actually was, but I didn’t need to. Almost 20 years of nursing experience gave me the ability to estimate ages within a few years. I knew he wasn’t more than a year or two past 21 and that made him my junior by over 15 years. Good grief, I was old enough to be his mother! I made up my mind that there would be no hookup and no future with him and I resolved to act towards him in a way that he clearly understood that there wouldn’t be either.

The next morning he was waiting for me in the patrol room and we got outside in time to be on the first chair up. After the incident the day before, it didn’t come as a surprise that his skiing was a lot stronger than mine. I lost count of how many runs we got in, but it was probably double what I’d usually get in.

When you ski with someone, it entails riding with that someone on the chairlift and not many folks can resist conversing on those10 minute rides. Although Clyde was pretty stingy with words, I still managed to find out that he was 21 years old and worked as a carpenter doing concrete forming. His profession, of course explained his rough calloused hands and strength. It also turned out that he was an enthusiastic mountaineer, both summer and winter. I knew some people in the patrol who did ski mountaineering but not to the extreme that Clyde did and that explained his awesome endurance. Already then while skiing with him, it crossed my mind that his endurance might be a positive contributor in a certain indoor activity.

We spent the afternoon together in the first aid room. A good half dozen accidents came in and I made sure he was in the middle of all the diagnosing and re-splinting/re-bandaging. I stayed cool and professional and avoided all conversation that even approached being personal. When we parted that afternoon, he thanked me profusely and I praised his ability and told him he’d have no trouble passing the first-aid part of the patroller test.

When we shook hands goodbye, his calluses reminded me of the need to keep my emotions under control. That turned out to be easier said than done. Already on the drive back to San Francisco, my mind kept wandering back to the dream of his callused hands on my breasts. I squirmed in the car seat as I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t getting wet down there.

Monday at work was okay, tired from the weekend, a class to lecture to in the morning, a few hours of hospital duty in the afternoon and I was too pooped for sexual fantasies.

The rest of the week didn’t go as well. The dreams started on Tuesday night with his callused hands fondling my breasts, but I woke up before it went any further. Wednesday I didn’t wake up quite as soon. By the time I awoke, one of his hands was in my undies and I liked it. Thursday night the dream came back with a vengeance. Beginning with the callused hands fondling my breast and crotch, I didn’t wake up until a naked Clyde was on his knees between my legs and about to enter me. Looking up at the ceiling, I realized that I was very, very wet and needed relief. I gave it to myself – accompanied by the image of a naked muscular young Clyde.

After showering and dressing, over coffee I vowed to avoid getting involved with him and to do everything possible to avoid contact. The first step would be to ski that weekend at Alpine Meadows instead of Twin Peaks and thereby avoid seeing Clyde.

On Saturday, my left brain won out and I went to Alpine. After skiing, there was the usual beer in the base lodge with some of the other patrollers and friends. Some of us decided to have dinner together and one of the guys, Harry, suggested a steakhouse in Tahoe City. That didn’t please me for fear of running into Clyde so I, with all the casual politeness I could muster, suggested ‘The Old Stage House’ near Carnelian Bay. Luckily, Harry and the others liked the idea and we ended up meeting there shortly before seven.

It turned out to be a really pleasant and fun dinner. Lots of good humor, everyone was raving about the prime rib and the wine was flowing. I regretted haven driven because it forced me to temper my wine consumption. Some had desert, I didn’t. Instead I just continued taking tiny sips of wine and engaging in conversation. It was then that our table had a visitor. Clyde had been having dinner in another room of the restaurant and on the way out, he saw our group. Knowing most of us, common courtesy dictated that he stop and say ‘hello.’ But good-manners Clyde didn’t just come over, he went around the table and shook hands with all of us. Again, those callused hands on mine and images from my dreams of the week past came roaring back. Then one of the guys insisted that Clyde sit down and join us. I was on the side of the table with the most room so that was where an alert waiter placed a chair for him.

Before the waiter could leave, Bruce asked him to bring a glass for Clyde. He was quick to temper the offer. “Okay, but just a half glass. I have to drive and I don’t even want to think about getting a DUI.”

With him sitting right beside me, staying platonically friendly was a lot harder and I soon found myself giving up - completely. Clyde couldn’t have helped notice my changed body language and tone of voice, but he made no move to connect on a romantic level. The clock was ticking and I had this tingling feeling. Finally I got desperate. The last thing I wanted was to go home alone. An idea flashed in my brain and I hashed out a plan that drew on his mention of a DUI. I just had to patient until the right time came to put it into action.

As the party was breaking up, I made my move. “Clyde, I drove here alone too.” Then came my big lie. “I’ve had a few too many glasses. Would you mind terribly if I asked you to drop me off at my condo?” The question was superfluous because I knew full well he wouldn’t mind. To complete the ploy, I acted a little tipsy as we walked to his pickup.

When Gentleman Clyde opened the door for me on the passenger side, my hopes went up that his driving me home was not just a platonic friendly act. In the driver’s seat, he turned the key and as the motor sprung to life, a female country-western singer’s voice poured out of the speakers. He hit the “OFF” button so fast that I turned to him with a  questioning look. He took a sharp breath and explained. “I’m probably the only skier around Tahoe that likes C and W.”

I didn’t know what to say but I thought I needed to say something. “Nothing to be ashamed of.”

“It’s one thing to be ashamed. It’s another to piss people off.” Then he went on with something that made my heart leap and my crotch get wetter. “And I sure don’t wanna piss you off, Kitty.”

Things were now really looking up for me and I had to choose my words carefully. “It wouldn’t have. It’s your truck and you’re driving me home. Besides, all those years living in Minnesota didn’t go by without me gaining a respect for country music.”

“But you still don’t really like it?”

“I just never got into it. The thing is, as a real country music lover once told me, ‘when country is bad, it’s really bad and there’s lots of bad country out there’.”

At first he just nodded agreement. Then his answer. “That’s why I put in a tape deck. Got the good stuff on tapes. Don’t have to screw around with the crap on these dingbat radio stations.”

Thinking my chances with him might improve if I humored him on the subject of music. “Clyde, how about showing me the country you think is good?”

He didn’t answer, he just switched the tape deck back on and fumbled a little bit, fast forwarding to get to the piece he wanted to play.

Oh let's go all the way
When you love half way someone's got to pay
I won't accept the part of you so let's go all the way
Love me day and night and I'll know it's right
Love me till I hear you say oh let's go all the way

I didn’t get the lyrics to the rest of the song because Clyde started explaining. “That’s Norma Jean. Real nice melodious voice, a little twangy for some folks. Not for me though.”

He left the tape on and Norma Jean sang a couple more songs before I had to start giving him directions to my condo and he switched the tape deck off.

While Norma Jean was singing, my mind was busy coming up with a plausible and innocent way of getting him into my condo. The best I could come up with was another superfluous question. As he pulled into the driveway outside my condo, I posed it. “Clyde, would you like to come in for a nightcap? Or maybe just a cup of tea?”

“A hot tea would be just fine. I still have to drive home.”

The first part of his reply was okay. The second part was disappointing because I didn’t want him to drive home that night. If we had a whiskey or two, I would have the opportunity to say he really shouldn’t drive. Maybe he just didn’t want to be too forward.

Inside, coats hung up, there was a nervous tension in the air. I was pretty sure we both had the same thoughts in mind but neither of us could decide how to initiate what we wanted to happen. I broke the tension by inviting him to make himself at home and indicated the couch.

On the sofa with steaming cups of tea and a plate with cookies on the coffee table, I turned toward him and with as soft and sweet a voice as I was capable of, opened with. “Clyde, it was really kind of you to give me a lift home. Thank you.”

He didn’t take the bait and his answer was a disappointment. “Kitty, after all the first aid tutoring, keeping you from getting a DUI, be the least I could do.”

I got a better answer to my enticing gaze as he continued, “Anyway, well actually I wanted to get to know you better.”

I leaned a little closer towards him, lips slightly parted and said, “Yes, I’d really like it if we got to know one another better.”

He moved towards me and I moved closer. Our lips met and were soon contorting as they massaged one another. I felt one of his hands on the back of my head and it was soon followed by the other on my flank. Invitingly, my lips parted. He was quick to respond and our tongues were soon entangled. I felt his hand on my flank sneak under my sweater. His calluses brushing over my skin, first on my flank and then on my belly, turned out to be just as erogenous as in my dreams - except that in my dreams, those calluses had fondled my breasts. In my need to let him know that was what I wanted now, I got more aggressive with my tongue and lips. His hand went to my breast and he fondled me over my bra. Heaven was in reach at last!

When he started to work his hand under my bra, I interrupted. “Let me!” And I reached around my back and unsnapped the bra. Then my dreams of the week before came true as I felt that rough palm and fingers go over my breasts, kneading them, hefting them, gently pinching my nipples.

Rolling my body toward him, I threw my leg over his. He moved his hand from my breasts to my hip. How I wished I’d worn a dress or skirt. Had I, his callused hand would now be caressing my bare legs instead of the outside of my winter slacks. In spite of my need, undoing the waist button and unzipping would have been too forward. Instead, I pulled my sweater up over my head and off. My bra fell away. He returned the hand to one of my bared breasts, the other went to my flank and he began kissing my other breast. Then the nipple was between his lips and his tongue massaging it. The hand left the other breast and went back to my hip, then to my midriff and soon I felt his fingertips probing the waistband of my slacks – slacks that fit too snugly for his big hands to easily enter.

My voice must have been husky and trembling at the same time. “Clyde, I don’t want to have to sew a button back on. Let me.”

“I take that as a ‘yes’.”

“It is a ‘yes’.”

I no sooner had the button opened and the zipper part way down when I felt the rough calluses on my belly, then lower and the roughness was lost in my pubic hair. I placed a hand high up on his thigh. I felt his finger slide down my wet slit. No longer did I feel his calluses, probably because I was so wet and strung out in my need. When he pushed up my hood and began to massage my button, he obviously had expected my squeal because he didn’t flinch a bit. I moved my hand and came upon an erection that was straining against his jeans. His moan-whimper-grunt told me how he welcomed that. As I stroked him over his jeans, I felt a finger at my vagina. Then it went into me.

I wished his jeans weren’t in the way. What if I unbuckled his belt and opened his jeans? To some men it’s sexy and makes them feel desired. Other less self-confident men are less comfortable with a female taking the lead and get turned off. Clyde’s surplus of self-confidence was a green light for me so I went for it. As I moved to reach his belt, he took his finger out of me. Half breathless, I let him know my need. “Please don’t stop!” My hands were on his belt buckle before he got his finger back in me. Unbuckle, unbutton and unzip. He shifted his hips from side to side as I worked his jeans down. Then there it was – without the jeans to restrain it, the bulge looked gigantic. My hand went into his shorts, my fingers on the head made him throw back his head and gasp. He settled down to slow measured breathing as if to match my slow measured stroking. Care was now essential, I wanted him to cum in me, not in my hands – at least on our first time.

He shifted the fingering hand, I felt more inside me, now it must be two fingers. I felt his thumb at the top of my slit. His double play didn’t need long and I shuddered with a crashing orgasm – shuddered so hard that his thumb lost its place. In spite of my twisting and hip thrusting, he managed to keep his fingers in me and slowly finger-fucked me as I came down from the summit.

Once I was down from my high, he stopped the finger-fucking. My slacks were already close to my ankles as they had needed to be for me to spread my legs. He worked them off completely and then it was time for my panties to get out of the way - for me a very special time. Not only because when a guy works your panties off, you know for sure what’s coming. No, that’s not all. There’s also this breezy feeling of freedom. With Clyde, there was all that and more – as he was working them down, his rough hands grazing my smooth legs took me to another level. After working them down my legs and over my feet, he took off his jeans completely. When he followed suit with his shorts, I had my first glimpse of his penis.

As a woman becomes more and more sexually liberated, her fantasies and daydreams become less and less inhibited. I am liberated to the point that I readily fantasize over how a guy’s penis will look – even guys with whom I have no intention of sleeping. Early in the week, I had begun fantasizing about sleeping with Clyde. In my sleeping dreams, I hadn’t seen or noticed how his penis looked. My daydreams were different. I had wondered? Was he circumcised? Not that it mattered, both have advantages and disadvantages. It’s just that I have an outsized erotic curiosity. Was he really big? As far as intercourse is concerned, size has never been an issue for me. Giving head is different. With a really big one, my jaw gets sore just like when I have to keep my mouth open during a long dentist appointment. Clyde had a foreskin and he wasn’t porn star gigantic. It was love at first sight.

When he got between my legs and made to encourage me closer to the edge of the couch, I made a proposal that, according to popular wisdom, should have blown the hell out of all spontaneity. “My bedroom might be a better place.”

It didn’t bother Clyde. Without a word, he pulled me up and held me by my arm all the way to the bedroom. I barely had time to turn the covers back before our bodies were tumbling together, rubbing crotches. But not for long. He laid me on my back and spread my legs as I was raising my knees. I thought he might support himself with his arms, but instead he bent over so our lips were together as he entered me – rather easily because I was so wet and loose. Our groins hammered at each other seeking release. My looseness would prevent what I desperately wanted to feel -  his penis jerking and squirting inside of me. I thought to use my vaginal muscles. His deep animal-like groan had barely faded when I felt warm fluid in my ass crack and on my thighs.

Our mind blowing fuck was followed by the two of us clutching each other’s sweat soaked bodies as he laid atop me. I only wished he’d stayed inside of me, but of course there’s always another day, or better yet, a little later.

I was the one who interrupted the reverie. “Clyde, uhhhmm, I’m lying in a puddle.”

“Shall I get a towel?”

“Yes, please. Get two. And a damp wash cloth.”

When he came back, I took one towel and wiped the puddle. Tossing it I took the other and spread it out on the bed crossways over where out hips would be.

There was a note of apology in his voice as he remarked, “I should have thought to do that first.”

“Don’t be sorry. There wasn’t time.”

“Yeah, guess so. I was in a hurry.”

“Me too. Now give me the washcloth and let me wipe you off.” His move to take an on-the-knees position on the bed caused me to continue. “On your back is better.”

My tender administrations, especially retracting his foreskin and carefully dabbing the head clean, initiated his recovery. Finished, I took his semi-erect penis in my hand and showed my admiration by kissing it.

“Kitty, oh Kitty. You’re lovely, a dream.”

“You’re more than a dream. You’re real and I’m holding your rapidly recovering penis.”

“Uh, you want me to wipe you?”

“Yes. Quickly.” And I laid on my back, legs spread and knees up a little to make his job easier.

He was efficient and when done, he tossed the cloth and moved to get himself between my legs. I got up before he got in position. “Lay down again so I can admire you.” I took him in my mouth again and before long and before I’d exhausted my repertoire of tricks, he was rock hard.

On my knees and straddling his hips, I said, “My turn.” Then I settled down on him.

We overslept, meaning that we awoke too late to get to any ski area and sign on patrol. When you oversleep and don’t have any fixed commitment, the sensible thing to do is go back to sleep. We did go back to sleep, but not before we had another good romp.

My resolution against hookups with with ski patrol guys was being pushed further and further aside. And being more than 15 years older than Clyde, he wasn’t a viable candidate for a more permanent relationship. Over breakfast, actually brunch because we slept till almost eleven, I decided to clear the air. “Clyde dear, it would really be awkward for me if our patrol colleagues found out about this.”

“Kitty, that’s a nice way to ask me to keep this under wraps. Don’t worry, I hate it when guys brag about the sex they’ve had, or worse yet, not had. Anybody asks where I was today, I’ll just say I decided to go on a ski tour. You can just say you had a hard time finding a ride back to Carnelian Bay to get your car and couldn’t make it in time for sign-in. As long as our stories jibe, shouldn’t be any sweat.”

“You’re a dear, Clyde.” I leaned over the table and gave him a kiss. If we hadn’t been on opposite sides of the table, we’d probably have ended up back in the bedroom. But that came later in the afternoon.

At the time, I was telling myself this was just a one-night-stand, albeit a damn nice one. Maybe he thought so too. When he called me the following Wednesday, it was pretty clear that our one-night-stand was going to be repeated the coming weekend. It was on our second weekend together that he told me that he’d stopped trolling the bars for snow bunnies. Right after that second weekend together, I resolved to call him in mid-week and end the affair. That was easier said than done and after the second weekend there was a third weekend and so it went. Usually we’d spend Friday and Saturday nights together in my condo. Sometimes, Sunday night too if I didn’t have a commitment on Monday morning.

At the beginning, all he knew about my work was that I was a nurse. After a few weeks, he started asking how I avoided night and weekend shifts. He seemed to accept my explanation of having seniority and position in the institutional hierarchy.

I’m able to avoid answering a question by giving a roundabout answer – just not indefinitely and especially not if I’m spending lots of time with the one who asks. It was a Friday night a month or so after we started sleeping together, we had just had sex and were cuddled together, still sweaty and saying endearments to each other. I got one of these feelings, not so unlike the feeling when I wanted to go down on him, that I wanted to tell him stuff I hadn’t told him before. “Clyde, I haven’t been completely forthcoming about what I do – who I am.”

“You mean about how you’re a prof at UCSF and that your stay in Seattle was to get a PhD in nursing?”

I don’t know what shocked me more, that he knew or the casual way he said he knew. I swallowed and sniffed before replying. “Yes. I’m so sorry. Clyde dear, I can’t blame you if you’re upset with me.”

“I’m not. I figured if you wanted me to know, you’d tell me. Bruce knew. One day it just slipped out. He begged me to keep a lid on it.”

The way he accepted my deception and his soft sympathetic look made me cry some more. When I got myself settled down, I told him how I’d avoided telling people on the ski patrol because for some men, a professor title can be intimidating, especially if it’s a female holding it. Of course my height, 5 foot 11 inches, didn’t make men feel any more secure around me. “I always meant to tell you. I just couldn’t seem to find the right time.”

“Was it the mind blowing sex that we just had that made it the right time? Anything else you want to tell me before we do it again?”

I giggled. Then laid silent for a few minutes. “There is. It’s just hard to start. Not something I’ve told more than a few people.”

“Kitty, I don’t want to pressure you into anything. Don’t tell me unless you’re gonna feel better afterwards.”

“I told you how I’m originally from Boston. My parents were strong Catholics, Dad worked as a longshoreman, Mom was a housewife. Like all good Catholics, they sent me to a Catholic school so I’d get properly indoctrinated. Life was pretty normal, nothing outstanding until I was 10 and our parish got a new priest – Father Rinaldo. The first change he made was to introduce a children’s mass on Saturday afternoons. At first kids hated it because it cut into our play time. However, Father Rinaldo was really easy going and sort of jolly. Kids liked him and I even started looking forward to that children’s mass. He even had kids take part – reading scriptures and catechism. When a kid read really well, they got to stay after mass for a treat of ice cream or some other snack.

“I was jealous of the kids who read really well so I worked harder at reading and when he finally picked me, I was really proud and imagined how proud Dad and Mom would be. It turned out though that staying after mass wasn’t just about ice cream. When I got home and started telling Mom about the after-mass ice cream session, she screamed at me for saying bad things about a priest. Then she slapped my face really hard - so hard that I tumbled over backwards.

“That afternoon, Dad happened to be at a local tavern watching a baseball game with some beer drinking buddies. When he finally got home, tipsy and in a rage over the Red Sox losing, Mom told him what I’d said and that got him even more fired up. He took me across his knees and gave me the spanking of my life. It was days before sitting on a wooden chair was comfortable.

“The next Saturday, I tried to get out of going to the children’s mass but they made me go. I didn’t read very well but the priest had me stay anyway. It turned out the same as the week before. When I got home and told Mom and Dad, I got another spanking for saying bad things about a priest.”

Clyde didn’t say a word. He just stared at me with an unbelieving look. It looked to me like tears were welling up in his eyes.

“Things really went downhill from there. I stopped doing schoolwork and got spankings for that. At some point I started fighting back. Of course, a 10-year-old can’t fight with fists so I fought dirty. When Dad laid me across his lap for a spanking, I peed. He spanked harder, but he still had to change trousers.

“Ironically, it was another of Dad’s sadistic punishments that led to the end of my misery. One Thursday evening when we were having hot dogs and sauerkraut for supper, there was for some reason, too few buns. Dad took the opportunity to punish me for bad school work by making me eat the hot dogs without buns. I threw a fit and he got really mad and said I would either just bite off the hot dog or go to bed without supper. I bit off the end and it so grossed me out that I ran to the bathroom and retched. Dad sent me to my room and in my fury, some very crazy thoughts went through my head and they stayed with me the rest of the week.

“Come Saturday, I was still full of fury and refused to go to the children’s mass. Threatened with another spanking, I went and ended up being picked to stay for ice cream. I was still in a rage from Dad sending me to bed after the hot dog incident and having eaten little since then, I was hungry as well. Probably from the hunger, I had this weird light headedness – like I was in a trance. The blood curdling scream shook me out of the trance and I ran. Halfway home, I puked and puked. At home my mother was concerned about the blood on the front of my blouse. I said it came from a nosebleed.

“On Sunday, I expected Father Rinaldo to come in limping and bow legged, like one boy in second grade after his parents had him circumcised. Instead another priest came in and said that Father Rinaldo had taken ill and we should pray for his speedy recovery. That evening, my parents were called to the rectory for a meeting with the mother superior at our school and the new priest. They were gone for several hours and when they came home, they were very strung out and there were long whispered conversations that I was not supposed to hear.

“Later in the week my mom, long face and in tears, told me that the next weekend Aunt Louise was coming from Minneapolis to pick me up and I would be living with her for a while. She arrived on Saturday and on Sunday morning, we flew to Minneapolis. The following day, a Monday, I was enrolled in a public school in Maple Grove, Minnesota. As welcome as it was to not have nuns running my life, an even more welcome change was that Aunt Louise was not a regular church goer. In fact she wasn’t a church goer at all and she didn’t make me go.”

“Kitty, at least you fought back. Damn but that must have taken guts. And your aunt was more understanding? She believed you then?”

“Oh yes. She let me tell her everything, actually insisted on it. Said that was the only way to come to terms with it. You know, she never said so in so many words, but I had the feeling that something like that had happened to her too because she seemed to know right away what was wrong. Anyway, I ended up finishing grade school and high school in Minneapolis – all the time living with Aunt Louise.”

“And your mom and dad, they ever come to see you?”

“Mom wanted to. I refused, told her on the telephone I didn’t want to see either her or Dad again. Come high school graduation, I was valedictorian, they both wanted to come. I made it pretty clear that if they came, I wouldn’t be at the graduation.”

“And then you went to college in Seattle?”

“No, I went to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Cheaper that way. I could keep on living with Aunt Louise. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing the state exam, I got hired at the University Medical Center. After a few years, I went on to grad school in Seattle. From there with a PhD, it was on to UC San Francisco.”

(I didn’t want to mention the shitty marriage I’d blundered into in Minneapolis. My medical student lover needed somebody to support him and pretended to fall in love with me. When he graduated, he decided he’d look bad with a wife who was 5 - 11 and that was that. Over the years I’ve heard lots of stories about nurses supporting med students through medical school and then once established as doctors, the bastards would find a trophy wife and the dumb nurse was out on the street. I ended up being one of the lucky ones. Aunt Louise helped me find a good lawyer and I got a divorce settlement that made him share future earnings with me.)

“Kitty, you’re really something. Coming out from under something like what happened in Boston. I heard that lots of those kids end up needing therapy for years. Some never really get over it. There’s even suicides.”

Right from the beginning, Clyde had seemed to be one of those people who can make connections, see both sides of an issue and reason things out logically. I wondered why he hadn’t gone to college. Having spilled out my story, I thought it was a good time to ask him.

“It was all about money.”

“But your dad earned well. You said so yourself.”

“That’s exactly the point. Dad didn’t even finish high school, but you know, on most jobs, he earns more than the resident engineer who’s got 4 years of engineering school, years and years of experience and knows exactly how a job needs to get built. Look at me. As a third year apprentice carpenter, I made more than new graduate engineers. To me, it just didn’t make sense to go to college and it still don’t.”

I argued that the engineer has work year round but he said that that is just what he didn’t want. And anyway, even looking at yearly earnings, his dad made more than the resident engineer. Then out came common sense Clyde. “Look Kitty, there’s lots of stuff that’s all fucked up. That’s neither your fault nor mine and neither of us can change the way things are. We just gotta make the most outa the shit we get thrown at us and try to keep from hurting other people along the way.”

I wondered if there were any books on philosophy that made more sense than the philosophy that I’d just heard from my young carpenter-lover. We looked at each other. I didn’t know what to say. He did. “Enough of this sad and materialistic shit. I’m ready for some more mind blowing sex.”

In a nutshell, that was the problem that I had breaking off this futureless relationship. In no way, shape or form did the 17-year age gap portend a good future for us together. We had discussions, but before we could really get into the subject of our future, or lack of it, Clyde would lay a hand on my belly and then one thing would lead to another.

Sunday nights or Monday mornings driving back to the City, I’d have this warm contented feeling. And no wonder. Clyde doted on me, worshipped my body with his lips – all of it. Back home the week would start with dreams of Clyde ejaculating into a not-on-the-pill me and me getting pregnant. As the week progressed I’d get myself back to the reality of being 17 years older than the man who I was dreaming of impregnating me. When Thursdays rolled around I was rehearsing what I’d say. “Our age difference is too big. It’s not fair to you. We just have to accept reality.” Arriving at my condo, I’d telephone him, already wondering if I’d be able to go through with breaking up. He’d come in, we’d hug, I’d try to pretend my tears were happiness at being back in his arms, then realize that was exactly what they were. The breakup would have to wait another week.

At some point, it dawned on me that the dream about getting pregnant with Clyde’s sperm wasn’t just a chaotic dream, I actually had a nagging desire to carry his baby. And my biological clock was ticking – louder and louder. Several times I was very close to stopping the pill. The only thing that kept me away from that drastic action was my sense of fairness – it is just not fair to trick a partner into becoming a father. Whatever my desires, I could never bring myself to be unfair to Clyde.

Occasionally the age gap did come up when our sweaty bodies were intertwined and we were coming down from one of our sexual highs. Not surprisingly, these conversations always ended up with the two of us convincing ourselves and each other that 17 years age difference wasn’t really that big a disadvantage. Looking back, the good thing was that at least both of us were conscious of the age difference, we just couldn’t face the reality of the consequences.

April rolled around and ski season was winding down. It was also approaching the time when Clyde would go back to carpentering. Already in March he’d told me he thought he had a job. The company just hadn’t gotten the job yet. I was still getting used to Clyde’s construction worker vocabulary. The word ‘job’ had lots of meanings, it all depended on the context. In one context, ‘job’ can mean a construction project and is sometimes taken to mean the contract to perform construction work. When a worker like Clyde is employed by a company to work on a construction project, he gets a job to work on a job. Once employed the worker goes to the job every day – this time ‘job’ means construction worksite.

Finally towards the end of April, he told me that his next employer was Redwing Contracting located in Hamilton City. Since I, like the majority of Californians, had never heard of Hamilton City, my reply came out on the cynical side. “Sounds like a really hip place to live.”

Hamilton City lies about midway between Chico and Orland. If you’re still lost, Orland is on Interstate 5 at roughly the latitude of Chico.

“Oh I won’t be living in Hamilton City, the job’s in Hayfork.”

Probably even fewer Californians have heard of Hayfork than of Hamilton City. All I could say was “Is that a place or a town?”

“Oh it’s a real town. Hayfork, California. On California 3, ‘round 80 miles west outta Red Bluff. Even has a high school, couple bars, super market, hotel. And three churches - Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Oh yeah, somebody said there’s also a couple little oddball fundamentalist evangelical parishes.”

I didn’t know anybody less religious than Clyde so I couldn’t resist the obvious joke. “And which one are you going to join?”

“Oh, I’ll try ‘em all, see where the social life is best.”

I was really getting in the mood and teased back. “And find yourself a little virgin backwoods Barbie?”

“Kitty, the backwoods Barbie’s aren’t virgins. The virgins fall in another class altogether.”

“Okay, so you are going to be screwing backwoods Barbies, who by definition are not virgins?”

“I doubt it. Mostly they’re already screwing a local and it’s really hard for an outsider to break into that world. Actually, the Barbies are smarter than people think. They know the outsider is gonna leave sometime and then they’ll again need to find a local to screw. It’s actually easier for outsiders to get to know the virgins. Their choice of men doesn’t include the local guys who’re screwing the Barbies so they sometimes gotta be more flexible. I know, believe me, I’ve dated some of these virgins.”

“And of course you were glad to relieve these virgins of their virginity?”

“Are you kidding? That’s not gonna happen without believing whatever they believe and then walking down the aisle with them.”

I had to get back to  us. “And me? Do you want me to come and visit you sometimes?”

“If you come and visit me, you can pick which church we go to.”

“Thanks. By the way what do Hayforkers do in their spare time – like for recreation?”

“Well for one thing, since there’s plenty kids for a school, I’d guess they screw a lot. One thing I heard too is that the fishing in Hayfork Creek is pretty good.”

“I didn’t know you fished.”

“I don’t fish. You asked what the Hayforkers do for recreation. I don’t screw to make kids either – at least not yet.”

I just laughed and managed not to let on how deep his joke cut.

Then he got serious. “But you meant me, not the Hayforkers. Look Kitty, I should be working lots of Saturdays. I can’t do a whole lot but I’ll get in what I can on Sundays. From Hayfork it’s only an hour and a half to the Canyon Creek trailhead where you go into the Trinity Alps. That’s a really tiny mountain range. Granite rock, lakes, cirques – really alpine. Rather like a North Cascades in miniature. I’ve always wanted to explore there. Otherwise there’s Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta – both a couple, maybe three hours from Hayfork. You don’t wanna completely equate Hayfork with hell.”

Then he went on to remark that it was only a five-hour drive from San Francisco to Hayfork. I thought that might be an opportunity for us to start getting out of our happy but futureless affair. “Clyde, there’s no way I can come up there every weekend, maybe not even every other weekend. Maybe this would be a good time to, uh, for us to sort of take a break.”

“You mean like go out with somebody else? Maybe you’re right. Like I said it’s never been that hard for me to find a virgin to date. You sure wouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to date in San Francisco.”

I was pretty nervous about saying what I needed to say next. “Clyde, when adults date, it doesn’t necessarily mean just going our to dinner and seeing a movie afterwards. It’s not like we’re still in junior high.”

“You mean like after the movie, you might ask the guy to come back to your apartment for a nightcap? Or maybe more?”

I was trembling but this was my chance. I had to go on. “Yes, for a nightcap and maybe more. Don’t you think that if you went with somebody up their in Hayfork, it’d be easier for you to live with it if I date in San Francisco.”

“Kitty, I never asked you what you did during the week when you were in the City and I was up at Tahoe. I didn’t go out trolling, never even had the temptation. Looking forward to having you on the weekend was enough for me. But we’d never made any kind of pledge to each other. I didn’t expect you to stay chaste all week like I did.”

“You mean you’re okay with knowing I might be having sex with somebody in San Francisco while you’re up in Hayfork getting frustrated by some virgin church girl?”

“Look Kitty, that’s what I been living with since we started - not knowing whether or not you were screwing somebody during the week while I wasn’t getting any. Actually I been living pretty well with that. Now you might think I’m kinda kinky, but to tell the truth, it was even kinda erotic. You know imagining you doing it with some other guy.”

“Kinky isn’t necessarily bad, Clyde. We’ve done some stuff that some people would say was kinky.”

“You mean like when you put strawberry jam on my dick?”

“Like when I put strawberry jam all over you penis. And licked it clean.”

I was pretty satisfied with how our talk had turned out. On the way home that Sunday night, thinking about how Clyde accepted that I might be having a go with somebody else gave me a nice warm feeling – like a new erotic freedom.

Back home I had to launch myself at my work. I needed to prepare the exams for the classes I was teaching and the research paper that I had committed to writing was overdue. Regretfully, I didn’t have time to go out and insert myself into the dating scene.

 Then one morning I was sitting alone in the cafeteria having coffee and reading the Chronicle when I was interrupted by a man with an accent that was unmistakably German. “Excuse me, you are Professor Broder?”

I turned to see a tall, good looking man, hint of gray in his hair, the white lab coat and stethoscope identifying him as a doctor. With my disdain for workplace affairs, I answered with a cold noncommittal “Yes, I’m Professor Broder. Can I help you?”

Not in the least fazed by my coolness, he introduced himself. “I’m Hal Jungmann. I’m new here. One of the nurses, Julie I think was the name, said you are an avid skier.”

I hesitated a moment and then answered in voice slightly less cool. “Well if you’re Hal, then I’m Kitty. Are you okay with that?” (There are doctors, particularly the real prima donnas, who introduce themselves by the first and last name without title, but will shit bricks if you don’t address them as Professor Doctor So-And-So. Fortunately, as a tenured professor, I swing enough weight that I don’t have to take anybody’s shit.)

“Kitty, I would not want it any other way.” And he initiated our hand shake.

So he wasn’t a complete prima donna jerk. That and his good looks made me soften my tone to something friendlier. “Please sit down and join me. Hal, you wanted to talk about skiing?”

“I brought my ski equipment along thinking that I’d surely get a chance to use it next winter. I’m only here for a year. The nurse, Julie, asked me why I wanted to wait for next winter. Apparently resorts are still open even though it’s already May. In Europe only the places with glaciers that can stay open and even they usually close for May.”

“Actually it’s only the higher elevation places and then only some slopes that get less sun. Oh yeah, there’s a couple limitations. This time of year, they open extra early – like seven – and close again around noon. And it’s mostly weekend operation only. By the way, what’s home to you?”

“Germany. Freiburg im Breisgau to be exact. Its in the southwest of Germany. We have less than 40 minutes to a ski area in the Black Forest. Or an hour to some areas in the Vosges of France. But for real skiing, well at least 2 ½ hours to Wengen or Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland.”

“Wengen? Lauterbrunnen? Those names don’t say anything to me.”

“Oh sorry. Wengen is where the Lauberhorn downhill race is held. Lauterbrunnen is near where you go up to the Schilthorn – you know, James Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.”

“Oh, I see. So you’re here at UCSF for just a year?”

“Yes. The University in Freiburg sent me here to learn what I can from your staff. It’s like a sabbatical. Because it’s only one year, I only took along what I thought I would absolutely need. It didn’t make sense to ship my car so I still need to buy or lease a car if I want to travel or go skiing.”

The soft pleasant voice, the openness and the good looks. Even the accent was a turn-on. I was warming up to him fast. And I liked the fact that he wasn’t a regular staff member. “Hal, if you’re not busy this weekend and interested in this late spring skiing, I’d be glad to show you around. We could leave Friday afternoon and come back late Sunday.”

“We’ll need a place to sleep. Can you recommend an affordable hotel? I’m here on my German university salary.”

“Yes. A very affordable one. I have a condo.” Then to avoid making myself look to forward, I added, “The living room couch is quite comfortable.”

I decided that we’d go to Twin Peaks. In case there were or had been any suspicions about an affair between Clyde and I, that would help squelch them.

Wanting to devote full time to showing Hal around, it hadn’t been my intention to sign on patrol and I hadn’t bothered taking my official patrol jacket and first aid pack. However, after we’d bought lift tickets, Rolly saw me and started crying the blues about not having enough patrol for the day. As a patroller, you never pass up the chance to do a mountain manager a favor. Rolly was quick to arrange a refund on our lift tickets and found a patrol insignia and first aid belt for me to use.

Hal was amazed and impressed. “Kitty, are there many other things about which you are modest?”

I couldn’t resist answering with a suggestive smile. “If there are, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.”

My being signed on patrol didn’t interfere with spending time skiing with Hal, who turned out to be a pretty competent on skis – certainly he was more than a match for me. And he was fun to be with. Not that it hadn’t been fun skiing with Clyde. With Hal it was just different, more natural, less intense. Was it the warm spring weather? Certainly not just that. It was more. I remembered someone telling me that Europeans have a completely different skiing mentality.

The lifts closed at 12:30 and Hal joined in on the sweep, the thoroughness of which really impressed him too. Rolly asked us to come back for the second opening at 4:30. Hal just shook his head in amazement when he heard that the day’s operation was split like that. “So now we have lunch and afterwards sun ourselves on the deck at the lodge?”

I told him I had a better idea and he agreed that it was better. We went back to my condo and on the balcony, had a lunch of shrimp salad, bread and white wine. Hal had a hard time containing his amazement and thanks. He helped me clear the table and carry stuff to the kitchen. I asked him to set up the chaises on the deck and told him make himself comfortable.

When I came out wearing a blue bikini, his eyes looked like they were going to pop out and he couldn’t think of anything to say except that he hadn’t thought to bring shorts or swim trunks. He’d taken off his shirt and undershirt and was barefooted but was still wearing his ski pants.

I really felt sorry for him. Those black ski pants must have been like solar collectors. “I’m so sorry Hal. It just didn’t occur to me to tell you. I guess I’m kind of spoiled by having all my stuff up here all the time.” Realizing that was a pretty lame consolation, I struggled with what to say. “Look, if you want, it wouldn’t bother me if you took off those black ski pants. They must be like a hot stove top. Anyway, undershorts aren’t that much different than swim trunks.”

“Thanks. I didn’t want to be too, uh,  forward. It’s never good to offend sensitivities. By the way, Kitty, this is really a terrific balcony. Being on the top floor and with the railing, it’s only birds and squirrels who can look in.” Then laughing, he went on, “In Germany, there is a really strong nudity culture. The average German with a balcony like this wouldn’t bother with swim trunks or underpants.”

I almost asked if he wanted to sun bath nude, but not wanting to push things too far, too soon, thought better of it and just laughed in a dismissing way.

It was a good thing I was wearing sun glasses because that way he couldn’t see that my eyes were glued on his crotch when he pulled off the ski pants. He didn’t have a tent pole but it was easy to see that my bikini had not gone without effect either. Trying to hide his growing situation from me, he sat on the edge of the chaise until I laid down.

The sun was warm and the pine branches were whispering in the breeze. I dozed off and woke after a dream that I wouldn’t have dared tell Hal. When I moved, he quickly got up to a sitting position but not before I got a glimpse of the bulge he thought he needed to hide. The warm sun and the situation of the two of us being alone on the very private balcony had had an effect on me too, it was just that the effect on me wasn’t visible to him. I started wishing that I hadn’t shrugged his comment about nude sunbathing. I rolled onto my side to face him. “Hal, are you like the average German?”

“I guess in some ways. I like beer, sausage and sauerkraut – if that is what you mean?”

So he was going to make me take the lead. I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity again. “Like what you said about the average German with a balcony like this.”

“You would like for us to get undressed?”

“That’s the only way to get nude.”

“Well, there’s really not much left for us to take off, is there?”

“No, but since I’ve got one more piece than you, I’ll start.” And I undid my bikini top and tossed it aside. The look on his face told me he really liked my boobs.

“You are beautiful, Kitty.” His husky voice told me he was pretty worked up. I knew that when his shorts came off, I would not see a limp penis.

“Thank you. I like your looks too.” By this time I was sitting up on the edge of the chaise, my feet on the floor.

“I hope you will still like to look at me when I’m without my undershorts.”

He had to stand up to get them over his hips. I wished I could have been the one to hold his penis back against his belly when he worked the elastic waistband down. And that penis was anything but limp. I couldn’t help but take in a sharp breath. “Oh, I do like what I see.”

“I’m glad you do Kitty. But now it would appear to be your turn.”

“No Hal, it is your turn. I want you to take off my bikini bottom.”

“Kitty, this could go beyond nude sunbathing.”

“And if it does? Hurry up and take off my bottom!”

He quickly obliged and down on his knees, freed me of the bottom as I raised one foot after the other. Looking up straight at my crotch, he said, “You’re beautiful Kitty.”

“You said that before.”

“But before, I meant your breasts are beautiful. Now I mean this is beautiful.” And he dove in and smothered my snatch with kisses. I almost expected him to part my slit and lick me up and down. But he didn’t. Instead he got up and faced me. Our lips met, or better said, crashed. I had no sooner parted my lips and his tongue was in my mouth and our tongues were soon performing all manner of gymnastics together. All the while I could feel his hard penis rubbing my lower abdomen. That stopped when he sort of crouched and when he came back up to continue kissing, I felt his penis rubbing my crotch.

I wondered how long I could hold out. Not long. I broke off our slurping kissing. “I think your penis knows where it needs to go.”

“Here on the chaise or inside? No one can see us here.”

“The couple downstairs might be on their terrace too. Wouldn’t want any complaints about the noise. Besides, the condoms are in my bedroom.”

I always enjoy seeing a man with an erection walk. It’s hard to describe, just sort of different, like the guy is halfway helpless, almost dominated. He needs relief and he needs it soon. Hal was no exception. In the bedroom, he sat on the edge of the bed, legs comfortably apart. I got a packet from the nightstand and knelt between his legs.

My hands were shaking with anticipation as I opened the packet and took out the condom. Hal noticed. “Can I help? You are okay with this?”

“I’m just eager, that’s all. Yes, you can help. Hold the end while I unroll it on you.” Then I hesitated, thinking that maybe we should do it without this first time. No not a good idea, I’ll do something symbolic instead. With my forefinger and thumb I slid his foreskin completely back and kissed the shining, pulsing red head. We looked at each other with happy smiles. He understood.

I got up, fetched a towel from the bathroom and laid it across the bed where I’d turned back the covers. He understood. “Good idea.”

It was just somehow natural for both of us to not bother with foreplay. I lay back with my hips on the towel, legs apart and knees bent. He followed and instantly found the right spot and entered me effortlessly. It wasn’t that his penis was small – far from it. I was just very wet and very loose with sexual anticipation. Hal didn’t last long. Actually no surprise, he had started getting aroused when he took off his ski pants, probably stayed that way lying in the sun and had a real boner when I woke up.

After exhausting himself and getting soft, he was the one who remembered to pull out and take off the condom. Then he laid himself down next to me. “Kitty, I’m so sorry. I just couldn’t wait for you.”

“It wasn’t in the cards, Hal. When something is worth waiting for, I can wait – just not too damn long though.”

He took the hint right away and I felt his hand at my crotch and, no surprise for a skilled doctor, he quickly found the right spot. He also knew how to drag things out and in the end, I had one of those bed pounding orgasms. Had we been out on the deck, the downstairs neighbors couldn’t have helped hearing and might have even complained.

It took me a while to come down from that high and I fell asleep in Hal’s arms. Awakening to his nudges, I heard him mumbling about what time we were supposed to be back at Twin Peaks for the afternoon opening. I looked at the clock on the nightstand and saw we had about 15 minutes to dress and drive back to the ski area. We got there almost 10 minutes late and I quickly apologized to Rolly saying we had been relaxing in the chaises and fell asleep.

“No biggie, skiers are a little slow getting back too.” When I turned away to get my stuff from the patrol room, he called after me. “Oh, yeah Kitty, be sure to zip up your ski pants before you go out. Can’t have customers think our patrollers are sloppy dressers.” His twisted-smile look told me that he knew exactly what Hal and I had been up to during the midday break.

On the way back to San Francisco Sunday evening, we were approaching Sacramento and about the same time agreed that a stop for dinner would be in order. I exited I80 at Elkhorn Blvd and shortly thereafter introduced Hal to the joys of Mexican cuisine. I don’t know what I’d have done if he hadn’t been instantly thrilled by it.

Hal spent that Sunday night at my apartment and the next couple nights too. By Wednesday, I wanted to tell him about Clyde. It wasn’t easy for me, mostly because I didn’t know how Hal would react to my being involved with a man 17 years my junior, but also because I would be admitting that I was cheating on another man.

There have been many times that when I dreaded telling someone something, the other person unwittingly says something that provides an opening. We were sitting on the couch in my apartment having a nightcap when he asked the right question.

“Kitty, when I approached you in the cafeteria, my only intent was to find out about spring skiing. I was surprised when you invited me. I could not imagine that a beautiful and interesting woman like you were not seeing someone on a regular basis.”

That was my opening but I was still uncomfortable. I twisted my lips and finally came out with it. “Actually Hal, I have been dating someone.”

“It would surprise me very much if you had never dated anyone.”

“Hal, ‘have been dating’ is a way of saying I am still dating someone – sort of anyway.”

“Right. Oh I didn’t catch the, uh, let’s see, in English it is the present perfect continuous. Is that someone whom you are dating not here in San Francisco or at Lake Tahoe?”

“That someone is named Clyde and he was living and skiing around Lake Tahoe. Right now he is working in Hayfork, California, about 5 hours from here. Since he will be there for the whole summer and most of the fall, we made an agreement to date outside of our relationship.”

Hal’s answer was in a very disappointed tone. “I see. Then I am a substituting for ……. Clyde – while he is inaccessible?”

“That’s not exactly how it is.”

“Then exactly how is it Kitty?”

“I’ve been wanting to end the relationship with Clyde for some time. Actually, I did not want it to start. It just happened. Since then, I’ve been wanting to stop it. He’s a wonderful man, but we both agree that the future of our relationship is not promising. We both agree on that.

“What is the problem that you don’t see a future? Is he married?”

“No. Something else altogether. You see, Clyde was born just about the time that I graduated from high school.” He looked puzzled. I continued. “I am 17 years older than Clyde. You see why there is no good future in the relationship? I want to end it. Both of us thought this separation would be a chance to do it gradually.”

“Can I help you do it gradually?”

“So you won’t leave? You’ll give me a chance

“Only one? I was hoping to give you more chances tonight.”

Afterwards as we lay together naked and sweaty, Hal came clean with me.

He had been in two failed marriages. The first had fallen apart because his wife wanted him to go into private practice instead of remaining at the university clinic where he could do research in addition to practicing. I could see that he was hesitant to talk about what happened to the second marriage and I told him it was okay if he didn’t want to.

“Kitty, it is really better if you know now. Holding back was actually the problem after my second trip to the altar. You see, my first wife didn’t want children. I was young, devoted to her and it didn’t seem to matter. When Helena insisted that I have a vasectomy, I went ahead with it.”

“But that was your first wife.” He just looked at me. Then it hit me.  “Oh no! You didn’t tell wife number 2?”

“I thought I could get it reversed without Veronika finding out. Unfortunately, it had been several years and there was a problem because of the way the surgery had been carried out. After the reversal operation was unsuccessful, I had to tell her.”

“Otherwise, she would have been willing to use a donor?”

“We never got around to discussing that. The fact that I hadn’t told her – all trust was lost and that was that. Well now you know.” He hesitated and then continued. “Kitty, just that we are clear on this, there is no possibility for me to sire children. If you wish to become pregnant, Clyde would be the better man for you.”

“Look Hal, my biological clock has been ticking for some time. I would like to have children, but not with a partner with whom the future together looks grim. The relationship with Clyde has been terrific, but considering the age difference, it really has no future.”

“Kitty, it looks to me like Clyde was born 17 years too late for you.”

“That’s one way of looking at it. But seriously, back to your sterility. It’s no big deal for me. In a way it’s an advantage. I could go off the pill.”

“How about the condoms we have been using?”

“Maybe we should get tested.”

And that is what we did the very next day.

It was past the middle of May and I still needed to settle things with Clyde. I wrestled with the idea of phoning him and just outright telling him our affair was over. After all, we’d already taken the first step when we agreed to open our relationship. On the other hand, our affair had been so intense that breaking it off any way other than face-to-face just didn’t seem right.

I phoned Clyde and said I wanted to see him. He was ecstatic at hearing my voice and suggested that we meet in Fort Bragg on Saturday morning.

I told Hal what I intended to do. He not only agreed, he said he admired me for wanting to do it face-to-face. On the Friday night before I went to Fort Bragg to meet Clyde, Hal and I slept together and celebrated our first rubberless fuck with a bottle of champagne. In the morning before I left, he cautioned me to go easy on Clyde. “He sounds like a nice guy. Choose your words carefully. Be considerate and do you best to keep from hurting him.”

It was then that I fully realized what a magnanimous guy Hal was. Most men would be gloating upon hearing that their competitor was going to get dumped. Instead, my Hal was concerned that I might be too rough on Clyde. Still, thinking back, I also realized that Clyde was pretty damned magnanimous too when he accepted that I might date and fuck somebody else.

I found myself thinking that in a perfect world, I would be able to keep them both. “Ummmmmm, I wonder!”