Pipe Ass

excerpts Friday EveningGood evening. I am Andreea.Maybe I don't give a fuck about who you are.Ok, I was trying to be polite; I'd like to know whom I'm talking to. Listen, sweetheart, cut the crap, say eiteen. I beg your pardon?Eiteen! Say eiteen, what the hell!Why? Why eiteen and not nineteen?Say eiteen, what the hell!Hey, love, do you have a crush on this number? Do you jerk off the salami on eiteen?Say eiteen now! I wanna see if you're live on the phone!Shit! Are you kidding me? We're talking for about three minutes and now you're asking me if we're live?Sweetie, don't talk dirty, it doesn't suit you! Say eiteen, what's the big deal?How the hell did you land on this number, hah?Just like that.Ok… eiteen. Thanks, that was all, nighty night. He hangs up really quickly, I get up and start to move around the room, from left to right and from right to left, am I going crazy or what? Who knows? I'm hallucinating… the sound is distorted by all that listening, and hearing… – hellooooooo, you, damn Moldavian, do ya have a mobile?! Go to hell and good morning at the same time, you stupid fuck! I hang up, I'm bored, it's already 5:30 and another hell of a day is about to break, the sun is going to rise behind that white of egg-like light, and this guy is killing me with his energy. I come across the ceramic ashtray and I respectfully put out my cigarette against its bottom, it has beige enamel, and white and green threads cross it slowly to the centre – on my last shift here, I'll steal it to remind me of my 14,000 cigarettes I crushed in it. You wanna fuck me from behind, honey?No, I don't like it.How do you like it then?Regular… missionary.How exactly?On my fours.Ok, I get down to business really quick and start saying dirty words to my listener, I moan for a couple of minutes and I start hearing him panting, but I can't tell when he got so horny, what word or what sigh turned him on and I couldn't care less, as a matter of fact, I'm tired, I wanna get the hell out of here – hello, sweetie, say eiteen, please! Oh, no!Sweetie? Is that you again? Say eiteen, please! Fuck you, man! This is a bad omen for me. I can't say that in here!Come on, sweetie, what the heck! Say eiteen for me and that's all! Is that so hard to do? No, not at all, but I don't feel like saying such a thing today, in here, and especially right now…Screw you, sweetie, say eiteen!No!Why not?!Blow me till you drop!Stupid slut! Say eiteen and I'll leave you alone!I don't wanna!I'll hang up on you!Go ahead!Say eiteen, what the hell is wrong with you?!Byeee! I shout in the phone, in despair.Drop dead!Sure, honey, as you wish… people think you are nothing but slimy whores. Give me you're best shot of screamin' when you fuck a guy, show me how you lose yourself in the sauce. Me, if I had a woman, and we were friends and lovers, I wouldn't let her do what you do; jealousy comes from the soul, remember that.Really, honey? Cut the crap… SaturdayAfter you had a night like this, you don't know what's left to say or do. You just head home in slow motion, like Robocop, and when you are at the intersection, you have that funny feeling that your last night's outfit has shrunk and does no good in this cold. It's been only a few hours since I last walked on the same street, but in the opposite direction. My feet take me to the tram stop, drop me there, and God forbid my tram is late 'cause I'll show them! I need to get home soon, to see myself in front of the elevator, reach out for the melted plastic button, fixed by some kid's lighter, a kid who smokes since he was 12, "you didn't witness such atrocities when we were young, no, no!!!" and some crazy hag in her chase for milk will shout into my ears and I'll send her to hell in my mind. Out loud I wish only to get to the 16th floor, damn elevator, faster! Faster! Grope with my key for the lock in the darkness, get in and sprawl by Marius's side. Well, this is a long story. Marius isn't there any longer, nor any other knight in shining armor. Well, then I'll jump directly into bed, I'll close my eyes and fall asleep instantly and I'll hear Alex asking me how my night was. Cool, 1230 minutes, I'll get some reward on that in our meetings. Wake me up at noon, don't let me sleep too much 'cause I won't catch any sleep tonight, and that'd be fifth in a row this week. Good night. I sit on the carpet, legs crossed, and reach for his pack of cigarettes – you mean it's time for us to move in together, is this what you say, Marius? I give him a devilish smile although I know this is pure fiction, we both know only too well we don't stand a chance, we don't have the place nor money for it, we talked about that before and I say only the things he doesn't want to hear – wouldn't be much easier to find him some broad? Yeah, we need a broad for Alex, quick.Marius looks at me and nods vaguely, hits the coffee table, making the glass of Coke jilt and waking the bubbles to life, shaking with fear. Marius feels tired, leans his head on his palms and then gets up and struts around the room in silence, stops in front of the balcony door and smokes his cigarette with his back turned to me, his shoulder against the wooden window frame. His cigarette is out and he throws it from the 16th floor – don't you dare play Charlie Parker right now 'cause I'll be really pissed off!Don't you throw garbage out of the window, it's not nice. I never saw anybody in my Bistritza town doing a thing like that, that's what there're ashtrays for. And stop banging your fist on the table in my house.Oh, oh, your house, your money, your time…You know what's next, don't you? A stupid useless fight, we yell at each other, raise our voices and shout, we argue on individual freedom and on individuals' independence, until the room and the house are on fire. I get bored and I get up noiselessly from the carpet, I crawl into the bed, I'm tired, you know, Marius stirs the room with his agitated walk. He stops after 10 minutes and measures me with his eyes, he pays no mind to me, so I put my hand under my head and watch him with love. He's tired as well, but he wouldn't give up, he turns round and round, like a broken record. We are way past the yelling stage, now's the time for cold replies, sometimes pauses, actually we are playing rocket ball with our ideas, our voices are diminished to almost being silent. All right now, enough of this fight. I get up in one elbow, I rub my knee with my bare foot and I smile at him with candor – Marius, do you realize that now we're thinking how long it'll take us to grope each other? Marius finally stops right in the middle of the room, takes a really long look at me and starts laughing – big deal! He draws near and throws himself on the bed in a very obvious way, and then he puts his hand on my hip, like it was an accident. Here you go I touched you. Happy now? He slaps my ass through my tight blue jeans.Not even close, Marius, not even close, dear. We're not barbarians, what the heck! Let me show you how. I take his hand, I turn my back on him, make him follow me with his hand and fit it right between my breasts while I nest my ass in his lap and stick my back on his large chest. I keep fidgeting as if I were grumpy, I need to find a cool position, I need to find that hot spot between his thighs. Now you're talking, my friend! He is already checking me up under my shirt, his hands are on my tummy, on my breasts, man, this is hot! I'm waving like a flag in the wind when he slips his hand between my legs and wets my ear with his tongue – don't stop, baby! Go on tell me, I'm crazy about it! Tell me about your customers, who did you talk last night with, who worked his charms on you?Aaaa, many guys, Marius, I don't keep track of them. And don't call me baby, you're not on the phone, what the hell. Ionash called me, he has problems 'cause he got into a fight with the punks at the psychiatric centre again, one guy took me for that fucking Moldavian bitch, and another begged me to count to 18. Gabi called, too, he said he is going to work for some radio station, but he didn't say which. I didn't have the guts to ask him out for a coffee, maybe next time…Ask him out for a cup of coffee, Andros? Have you lost your mind? What am I doing here, then?!Good question, what are you doing here? I doze off and smile and I have that feeling I didn't hang up the phone, I keep hearing the busy tone, it's tingling in my ears, don't you hear it? I try to reach for the phone to hang up, but Marius catches my hand and puts it back under the pillow – all right now, try to sleep, you're home – Marius, I'm afraid to fall asleep, what if I don't wake up, what if I forget my way back home?Sssstt, Andreea, I'm watching over you, baby, I'm here to remind you what you need.Aha? I smile, I'm happy – well, you're my memory and I fall asleep in peace. Marius follows me, but I can't sleep more than two and a half hours. His groans wake me up; he tosses and fusses like crazy. I look at him, half asleep, I think he's dreaming so I pull away from his body, dreams must run free, but when I'm about to push myself with my hands to the brim of the bed towards the wall, Marius raises his huge knee and shamelessly puts it right between my breasts, he's stroking my belly with his thigh, while his toes land between my legs! Wow! Wow! I smile and close my eye. I cling to his thigh and feel his kneecap and his ankle until he gives away a moan of pleasure and looks for me in bed to take me into his arms – mmm, that feels good.Waking up directly into making love, impaled and filled in the middle of the night, when your dreams are so sweet, right when you think this is as good as it gets, he gets it up and gives it to you, continuing your dream – I cut in, of course, I rub his stomach with my hand and I stuck my nose into his ribs, maaan!! I'm so hungry for him this morning! I'd eat him on a slice of bread; I'd nibble his bones, one by one, and his sweet and thin meat of his. This is such a demented feast under fresh sheets. And now ladies and gentlemen, here they are, the torturing instruments, we are in the Middle Ages, at some royal court. We review the latest devices, the latest gadgets and the coolest inventions in the realm of carnal pain. The visitors find themselves in front of a subject, according to the modern psychologists, a guy who actually had stolen something from an old hag's estate and he was dreadfully punished for his deed. They wound his arms in a gnarled branch, in an artificially ramified branch in the four cardinal points. They can see only his head coming out of that bush, his eyeballs shredded with fear. The inquisitors switched one tiny branch from that terrifying assembly and the man's skull opened 1 cm; they switched the branch back and the skull closed. And so on and so forth, whenever a dignitary or a princess felt like playing with that stick, they had their way, like it was a fucking remote control! They played and meanwhile Zadic, the Armenian, prepared his rifle behind the bushes and estimated the wind speed and distance, took aim and hit perfectly, like is usually only possible in England. I'll bet my ass, but his bullet will surely hit the royal procession – run, Andros, run! Marius' voice tumbles from above. They start shooting!All right then. SundayPussy and circus, fuck everyone! I peel off a grapefruit, I furiously bite the yellow fruit's skin, I remove the white jacket, too, I don't need a knife, thanks, it's like she has an animal with her, not a man, damn! How the hell are we supposed to feel happy with those restrictions around us? This is nothing like love; it's a punishing game. My face withers and I close my eyes tightly, this one's hell of a bitter fruit. I mean, are we really gonna enjoy this to the end of it? Corina burst into laughing, she doesn't give a damn about that. Andreea, it's no use to make those stupid faces, this is how you keep your man.Girl, mine is sooo sweet! He begged me last week like crazy! He gazed at me and caressed my hair, girl – come on, honey, just this once, just a little bit… you touch it with your tongue and if you don't like it, you stop, ok? And I promise you we'll never think of that again, I'll never ask you to do it again. Please, sweetie, please, just a little bit. Well, you see I kept saying no, I don't know how to do this, I'm not ready… but I felt sorry for him, he was in pain, I'll be damn…I watch her from across the room in my chair, I'm a little confused, what do you mean you don't know how to do it? That you never did it before? She told us a couple of nights ago about a guy who licked her pussy for many hours and she had to suck his dick, too, what the hell was she supposed to do? You told us this story some nights ago, didn't you? When was that? I try to remember the exact moment – Andreea, my friend, you never come clean in these cases, how the hell are you going to admit you had sucked other dicks before you met him? Huh?Well, they always tell you who they fucked before you.You're so stupid, you wench. Men are different, sweetie, the scumbags tell you this to see how you react, if you grow hysterical, if you don't give a shit about who they fucked before you. Congrats, you've just passed the test! But you don't go and brag about your lovers 'cause the asshole will say you're a whore. Mark my words while you're still workin' here, baby. You always say he's your first blowjob, the first who sexes you up so cool. Her lover's voice must've been so pathetic when begging her. Maaan, how can she tell everyone about this? How can the bitch blow out her lover's weakness in the middle of the night? They spot me in my chair, with a strange look in my eyes. What's wrong, Andreea? Did I move your heart? They all burst into roars of laughter, feeling superior and I blush instantly. I get out to have a smoke. Some things must stay private. There are no sacred things in this world any more, you feel you're insane or you go back to a mute Middle Ages or why don't you turn your back? Come here and lean your back on my chest. He startled me with his words, this is a surprise for me, I was carried away by my thoughts. Let the show begin. Marius, I never... I mean I don't know how… there's no technique or rule here, Andreea, all you need to do is want to feel me or know me deeper. I get up then really slowly, I'm terrified and I stumble between the sheets but I get the position right in the end. Marius caresses my back, put his hands on my shoulders and embraces them nicely, and after a while he takes off his hands and coils them around my waist, pushing me down with the other hand until I lose balance, I can barely land on my hands and then on my elbows. Oops, what's next? What am I supposed to do next? I can see nothing down in the twilight zone so I sink my face into his naked lap, and right then I feel it twitching and I dare to turn my face towards it, and flare it. My lips grow thin and shake with tension. Marius is shaking, too and his legs tremble and that makes me smile with delight, and calms me. I stick out my tongue and go round in circles, leaving a wet trail behind and I see, wow, it's amazing, I kiss his shoulder, I lick his dick, that's the same soft and clear skin, burnt inside, and if I fly my tongue over this spot here, down a little and I press it with the tip of my tongue, wow! I can feel the blood running through the swollen vein, I can feel his pulse transferred by his skin straight into my mouth. A few hairs creep between my teeth, so if I get really hungry I can chew them. If not, I keep them for the next morning; I find them all over the bed, curly witnesses of the past night, or past witnesses of the curly night, whatever. I bent over him again with my hungry mouth, I cannot tell my skin from his any more, they blend, they shine – Andreea, stop biting me! Sorry, I didn't mean it. I give up my ice cream in a moment, I look down a little scared and I try to fix my hunger or my appetite, so I kiss it gently on its forehead. Marius moans and touches my back, grabs my shoulders and pulls me over him and we stay like this, staring at the ceiling. Andreea, when you and we are no longer a couple, you never start this, ok? He's the one who heats your spot down there, hear me? Well, yeah, when you're not together, as a couple, I mean, I'll do that and I freeze on top of him, those words killed me instantly. We look like a sandwich, Marius!I feel like smoking, Andreea!I roll on the bed by his side and lay on my belly, still, one eye on the pillow the other watching the smoke coming out of his beautiful lips. Fuck, now I realize I saw him only yesterday for the first time in my life, Nicole is going to kill me if I tell her I gave him a blow job on the first night. Maybe we shouldn't have started our relationship with this, Marius, I'm scared. I reach out for a cigarette over his body, I cross my legs and start smoking in bed, on my ass, shaking the ash in the ashtray placed on his belly. What is he thinking now in prime time? Is he happy? Maybe he's counting, good for me, I fucked this one, too, I knocked her so easily, he is delirious maybe. I see the line of his face shinning in the yellow candlelight. His eyes tell me he's a stranger, but in a sweet way, they tell the story of Western countries… ok, that's it, I'm sleepy. I quickly crush the cigarette butt, I lie back in bed, cover myself, turn my back on him and I hope to fall asleep really quickly, and dream urgently something complicated and deep. Andros, Marius whispers into her ear on the last moments of her waking state, what are you mumbling there; you're tired and almost asleep, right? I must go to school tomorrow, I'll haunt the large corridors, my eyes will be sore, and I'm screwing the first lecture 'cause I'm going to be inevitably 20 minutes late, so tired. Andros, I love you! I'm going to hit the pub first thing in the morning, I'll plant my ass on one of those rigid chairs and I'll draw empty nests for two hours. Black coffee, please. Large. I'll stare at those lines without knowing their meaning or direction, oh, dear, how could I suck his dick out of the blue, the next day we meet, how can I lose this magic circle? Andros, he shakes me… what is it, Marius? I snuggle my ass deep into his lap and I smile happily, I love you too, I take his hand into mine and lean my sleepy chin on his fingers. How the hell can I believe him? I knew it the moment I saw his home, this is a lonely man, a lucid person, just like me, this is a bed, a chair, here is an old wardrobe with a china cabinet, a carpet, a kitchen so clean it makes you wonder, this man doesn't even live here. Sometimes I think I might die one day and I could lie in here for a week and nobody would know; this is how lonely I feel. I froze with my hand on the door handle, Marius doesn't leave here, no, this isn't Marius's home, his home is someplace else, he sleeps, eats and washes somewhere else. Maybe he lives inside his body, his skin may be the limit of a domain he rules himself and fills and reigns and loves. It's already full, who else can live inside his body? He carries his house between his ribs, under the collarbone. I love you too, Marius, there's no other way. I slip one leg between his thighs and I kiss his long wet fingers and I fall asleep holding his arm between my breasts. I'll wipe the memories out of my bed tomorrow morning, I'll wash the smell of love from my sheets, I'll clean my mind from ghosts and you'll be gone before I know it, until next morning when I find him smoking on the chair by the window in my kitchen, staring his brown sharp eyes at the apartment from the building across the road. Marius, are you still here?Yes, Andreea, I never travel on such a long road on an empty stomach. I'm waiting for you to make me a cup of coffee. Ioana Bradea (b. 1975) received the prestigious Romania literara magazine award and the Romanian Writers' Union prize for her best-selling debut novel, Pipe Ass (EST Samuel Tastet, 2004). "The schizophrenia between the employee paid to keep the customer on the phone as long as possible, telling him what he wants to hear, and the girl in love, talking with her illusive lover in her head, or the student reflecting on the typology of swearing and writing poems, is mitigated by the great interest taken in people and their piffling truths, by compassion and humor… The erotic line in Ioana Bradea's novel becomes a metaphor of today's Romania." (Adriana Bittel)

by Ioana Bradea