President’s Day weekend found me on a whirlwind road trip with two of my oldest friends. Not that they are senior citizens; I met them when I was five and my parents moved into their current residence. “Anne” lived directly across the street (still does), and “Sally” lived a few doors down. I’d gone to a concert with Anne on New Year’s Day and she told me about this trip. She had met a guy online years ago due to mutual musical interests and they’ve been communicating online, via text and sometimes on the phone ever since (except for a brief period during which he unexpectedly got married and dropped out of her life. That marriage ended in his fourth divorce.). He lives in Arkansas, we live in Chicago, and they decided to meet up. Sally was going along for the ride and Anne suggested I come, too.
I love road trips, I love Tennessee, and this sounded like a wonderfully insane idea. I love meeting strangers off the internet (hush; you are way, way more likely to be killed by someone you actually know – like a spouse) and traveling across two state lines in pursuit of an internet paramour appeals to both the romantic and the dirty girl in me. Because you don’t drive nine hours just for sex, but you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re traveling nine hours just to say hello and have a few drinks. Plus, there were two hotel rooms booked. And I am nothing if not the kind of gal that will accompany you on a large-scale mission of an amorous nature.
The ladies picked me up around 1 a.m. Saturday morning – the plan was to drive all night (and yes – we listened to the song a couple of times, the Cyndi Lauper version) and check into a hotel Saturday afternoon. The drive there was a breeze – we were all excited, we had a lot of gossip to share, we stopped at gas stations in the middle of nowhere and teased the odd men who worked at them. On the way, Anne informed me that her gentleman friend – henceforth known as “Jake” – had a brother, with whom she was also in contact with (in a much more innocent way). His wife had left him the day before and he was coming to Memphis, too. We joked about incestuous threesomes, though the general consensus was that I was the one most likely to hook up with the brother, whom we’ll call “Dan.”
We got to the hotel, and Sally and I were crashing. Anne, however, was too excited/nervous to sleep. So Sally and I basically completely neglected our duties as friends and left Anne in her room to wait for the men, alone, while we napped next door. I blame the delirium acquired by staying up all night, but I still deserve a spanking for this lack of proper friend etiquette.
Luckily, they turned out to be a) the people they had claimed to be, and b) not psychopaths. We would later thank them “for not killing us.” After Sally and I awoke and showered, we all headed to Sun Studio. That was fun, but irrelevant to the story, really. Later in the evening, we walked to Beale Street, had dinner, and began drinking.
Now, Dan was much more outgoing than Jake, who was somewhat quiet and had a kind of brooding look. He reminded me of Bill Compton of True Blood fame. Nervous, Anne was talking to Dan more than Jake because it was easier. Sally and I decided this was a huge mistake and vowed to occupy Dan’s attention more, and push Anne into the arms of Jake as frequently as possible.
We got drunk. Jake got bolder and danced with Anne, had his arm around her constantly, and began putting the moves on her. We tried out a few blues bars but most of the bands were mediocre cover bands and the bars were full of middle-aged couples. So we wound up at a no-cover dance club that appeared to be in an old theater. It was a very strange place and, initially, we were 5 of maybe 10 patrons in the place. But it got busy as the night wore on and we actually had a very good time (even though I think it’s probably very wrong to go to a weird dance club during a 48-hour stay in Memphis).
Eventually we headed home, with a brief-ish stop at Coyote Ugly, which was nearly empty and kind of awful. The bartenders got on the bar to... walk a bit and occasionally whisper to one another. It wasn’t very sexy.
I do not remember this, but apparently on the way home, Anne was again talking to Dan. Completely forgetting the progress she had made with Jake throughout the night, and feeling a bit randy and attracted to Dan, I began loudly demanding that Anne join Jake, who was walking in front of us. Allegedly, I yelled “It’s for your own good!,” pushed her, and was pretty much a loudmouthed bitch. I have never claimed that I am always a classy drunk.
We got back to the hotel and Anne, Jake and Dan all went to their room. Sally and I raised our eyebrows at one another but said nothing.
Not long after, Dan came to our room and sat on Sally’s bed; she was washing her face. She got into bed and shortly thereafter, we heard telltale moans coming from the next room – Anne’s headboards were on the same wall as our headboards. Do you ever wonder why hotels do not arrange the rooms so that this doesn’t happen?
We laughed and Sally fell asleep. I thought Dan was asleep as well, and washed my face and put on my pajamas. When I returned to my bed, he began talking to me and the fact that Sally has a live-in boyfriend came up. I assumed this had been brought up over the course of the evening, but he seemed unaware. He jumped out of her bed immediately. I told him it was probably fine if he slept there, provided he kept his hands to himself, but he insisted upon sharing my bed.
He got into bed with me and I turned toward the wall so that we weren’t sleeping face to face in a bed that wanted us to believe it was a queen through clever use of tiny pillows, but was only a full. He immediately spooned me and began talking about his wife – how they’d met, telling me that he had given up certain dreams to marry her, that they didn’t have sex that often, and he grew increasingly sad and then sounded choked up and then may or may not have been crying into my hair. I was slightly mortified and did not turn to him to check this out, like someone with a slightly warmer heart then mine might have done.
Eventually, I felt him readjust his pants. Then his hand was on the waist of my pants, moving to pull them down. I can’t explain why, but I still did not turn to face him. As I began to help him remove my pants, he asked, “Are you for real?!” He sounded completely incredulous. As though he’d been making the move with every intention of failing. It was a bizarre reaction, I thought. Maybe the girls in Arkansas play hard to get.
“I know we shouldn’t,” I said, finally picking up my head to look over his shoulder at Sally sleeping in her bed. Note that, in my drunken state, it was my friend’s presence and not his wedding ring that gave me pause. But we did anyway. I turned back to the wall and he slid in while spooning me. Eventually he asked me to turn onto my stomach and I braced my hands against the headboard to try and keep the bed from creaking too loudly.
He slept in my bed awhile but left the room very early in the morning. When she and I woke up, Sally jokingly asked whether he and I had done anything. “We hooked up,” I said. I don’t normally mean sex when I say this, but she knew right away. She expressed surprise with only trace amounts of righteous anger (and this is why I love her). I told her I’d been certain she had woken up during it. She assured me she had not.
The guys were leaving that day and we went to Anne’s room to say goodbye to them. Dan and I shared a very awkward hug – we did not fit together and I think my shoulder hit his chest as we both stared at the carpet. About two weeks later, he announced his impending divorce on Facebook. I am positive that I had little to do with it.
And as for the title of this post? Well, this was the first time I have ever had sex without kissing my partner at all. Not one single kiss. Just like a hooker.