Karaoke Night (His)

He climbed the stairs, past the dozing landlady and let himself into the room. Hot and airless, having been shut against the ravages of the rainy season, it smelled of secrets growing in dark corners. He switched on the ceiling fan and left his sandals at the door.

Shedding first his damp shirt, then his jeans, then his shorts, he lay for a while spread-eagled on the enormous bed with its hideous black and pink, rose-motif carved headboard. The first night he’d slept in it, he’d dreamed of suffocating to death inside an huge vagina lined with thorns and leaves, but familiarity inured him to it. The heat could rob you of everything but the need for sleep. He considered not moving till dawn, but he hadn’t eaten dinner and, besides, if he spent another evening alone in this room, he’d go crazy.

Outside, in the alleyway, the little girl who sold lottery tickets was wailing out a stream of numbers. Lucky numbers, she yelled. Someone called her further up the alley and her song died away.

‘I should move,’ he thought.

The rains had brought a different pattern to the life in the alley, and different noises. A cricket had taken up residence in a plant pot outside his window and, as the light died, it began to chirp. A cruel little drill that took him between the eyes and bored bloodless holes in his skull.

The sheets beneath him leached moisture from his pores. Perhaps he’d dozed off, the light from the window having fled with surprising speed, leaving behind a twilit gloom.

Above him the fan began to squeak its labours, a counterpoint to the cricket outside. He tried to find the rhythm soothing but couldn’t and, with the sigh of a martyr, heaved himself off the bed and padded to the shower.

The bathroom was windowless and had been constructed haphazardly by raising a wall off the kitchen. The top of it was open concrete latticework, allowing for airflow, but this also meant that anyone in the kitchen had intimate knowledge of the state of his digestive system. One of the many small humiliations that forced him to look for his dignity in novel places.

His bedroom offered only slightly more privacy. One morning, after a sleep honeycombed with wet dreams and nightmares, his landlady asked him if he was all right. She’d heard him moaning in his sleep. After that, he resolved to keep whatever romantic liaisons he might be lucky enough to have off the premises.

He stood before the showerhead and turned on the water. At almost six feet, the spray assaulted him at nipple level, lukewarm and needle-like. The shower, forcing water through holes no larger than pinpricks, mitigated the lack of water pressure. It made his body feel huge and ungainly. He had to crouch down to wet his hair and wait for the water to saturate it enough to use the shampoo. It was time to shave off the dreads, he decided. They weren’t practical here; in all likelihood, things were nesting in them.

He let the suds from his hair sluice over his body, using them to wash as much as he could before resorting to the soap. No strategy, however ingenious, seemed to stop the bar of soap from melting into a mass of slithery goo. Nonetheless, he’d gauged the amount of shampoo wrong and ended up having to use it anyway. It squished between his fingers as he made lather, and itched as he worked the foam over his lower stomach and into his crotch.

Since his arrival in Saigon, he’d taught himself a new skill: masturbating while standing. It wasn’t much of an accomplishment, but it hadn’t previously been his habit. The heat had prompted him to try it in the shower and the first time he’d jacked off that way he’d almost keeled over from the strength of the orgasm. The trick, he found, was to brace against the wall and let the stream of water splay out over the surface of his chest. It was a curious sensation to feel the sweat wash away even as it formed.

That evening he’d started, but the soap felt harsh and stung his skin. He closed his eyes, consciously pushing away the discomfort, replacing it with images of Mai. Long black hair cascading off milky shoulders, breasts like scoops of ice cream topped with dark, dark raspberries. After years of exposure to the west’s limitless raunch, her demureness had enchanted him. Getting her undressed had taken weeks of coaxing. Finally, she reclined on the bed like a body prepared for burial, unmoving and with a look of deep resignation on her face. Still, he couldn’t forget the unfathomable beauty of her body, the mute purity.

She behaved with such absolute naivety he’d been shocked to discover she wasn’t a virgin. But his relief at not being responsible for that particular hurdle in her life was soon replaced by the creeping horror that grew with her non-responsiveness. No matter how diligent his attentions, how achingly slow the foreplay, the hours spent with his head and hands between her legs, she never made a sound, never twitched, never shuddered. Even when it was blindingly clear she was aroused – her cunt blood engorged and overflowing with her own juices – she wouldn’t acknowledge it. Finally, he’d fucked her out of frustration, watching her immobile face unchanging beneath him. It had been like fucking the dead.

Afterwards he’d felt awful. He berated himself for not trying harder, being more patient. Mai, on the other hand, had acted as if the single-sided intercourse had been the only “normal” part of the whole debacle, his other efforts being blatant examples of the unaccountable things that foreigners do.

Initially, when he attempted to discuss it with her, she refused, saying that decent people didn’t talk about those sorts of things. After a night of deliberate badgering, she’d reared around at him, eyes blazing. ‘Good women don’t like it,’ she said. ‘Not in Vietnam. If he wanted a Western whore who actually enjoyed it, he should find himself one.’

Slowly, the water grew cooler. He felt his erection wither and die in his hand; his mind was rowdy and undisciplined, refusing to give him the comfort of selective memories. He gave up, turned the shower off and dried himself.

After Mai, he’d spent some time at the nightclubs. At first he’d brushed off the energetic attentions of the bar girls; they were just as beautiful as Mai but there was sharpness behind their eyes. The idea of paying for sex had never occurred to him before; neither the necessity nor the opportunity had ever been part of his reality. But his resolve wore thin one night after half a bottle of Johnny Walker. It had been the single most hideous sexual experience of his life.

At the bar, in public, the girl, Thanh, had pawed him with a lewdness that verged on obscenity, repeatedly grabbing and massaging his clothed cock. But in the hotel room, after dispensing with her clothes, she’d lain on the bed exactly as Mai had done, only with her legs spread wide for access. He had paid her, put on a condom, fucked her and then vomited in the sink. After that, he’d sworn off Vietnamese girls. There were probably perfectly nice ones out there, but he didn’t think his self-respect could bear another attempt at finding out.

He dressed and walked through the winding alley that led onto the main street in the foreigner’s ghetto. He ate slowly, lazily, at a noodle stall by the river and then strolled along the embankment deciding where to spend the rest of the evening. He was torn between wanting the noise of a crowded expat bar and dreading the inevitable drunken moaning he was likely to have to listen to as the night wore on. Beyond the brightly lit marquee of the Rex Hotel, he walked past the Lucky Karaoke club. It had been a month since he’d last had a good, self-indulgent session with a couple of bottles of beer and a karaoke machine. The rooms were clean and well insulated, and the price was right at three dollars an hour.

“Long time I no see you, Mr. Robert!” exclaimed the manager as he walked through the candy-coloured lobby. The young man with the single gold tooth grabbed and pumped his hand energetically.

“Do you have one of the small rooms?”

The man’s face fell. “Oh, no. Sorry. No more rooms. All taken.”

Robert stood for a moment, considering his options. He could hear the rain begin outside on the street. It wasn’t likely to stop for at least an hour. Perhaps he’d be reckless and join a bunch of tanked-up Japanese businessmen, just for a laugh. “Any foreigners?”

The manager’s smile re-ignited a moment, and then it died. “One white girl. She come to sing every month. Alone. She crazy.”

“Is she pretty?”

The young man made a sour face. “She look like boy. Ugly. Not friendly.”

Robert had thought he was the only foreigner in Saigon who rented a karaoke room and sang by themselves. He laughed. “What room?”

The manager hesitated a moment. Rummaging in his pocket, Robert pulled out a wad of bills and held a couple of 50,000’s out. “Come on, what room?”

Shrugging, the man pocketed the money and pointed up stairs. “Six.”

He felt a frisson as he climbed the stairs. Outside the door to room six, Robert stopped and had second thoughts. He was, if he were being honest, trespassing. What if she was a psycho? He didn’t trust the manager’s judgement when it came in Western women, but what if she really was hideous looking?

Putting his hand on the doorknob and pushing it so it sung inwards, he reasoned that he could always plead ignorance and leave. He poked his head into the room.

The woman was sprawled out on the zebra striped sofa. For all the world, she looked like she was watching TV, except that she had one hand on the mic, holding it up to her mouth, and the other tucked behind her head. He understood why the manager had said she was ugly. From a Vietnamese point of view, she was everything a woman shouldn’t be: sloppily dressed with incredibly close-cropped hair, heavy eyebrows and a wide, lipsticked mouth. She wore a loose vest that looked like it belonged to someone three sizes bigger, and baggy combat trousers. If it hadn’t been for the bracelets and the neon pink flip-flop dangling from a nail-polished toe, she could easily have been mistaken for an effeminate male.

“Now we’re gonna be face-to-face And I’ll lay right down in my favorite place And now I wanna be your dog…”

It only took Robert a moment to recognize the song she was singing – or rather, talk-singing. It made him grin from ear to ear. As the music wound down, she noticed him and pulled herself up to a sitting position.

“The room is taken!” she yelled over the music.

He ignored her. “Wow! Iggy Pop! In Vietnam! Amazing,”

“This room is booked. Try the other one across the hall.”

The end of her sentence was shouted over sudden silence. She was surprisingly angry and it showed on her face. One thing the manager was right about; she was definitely not very friendly. Robert looked down at the table and saw an open bottle of vodka. It was obviously ‘get blotto’ night for her. Maybe there were good reasons why she was doing it alone.

“All the rooms are booked. They sent me here. They said there’s only one white girl in here.” He tried to look pitiful; that usually worked with women.

“I book this room the last Friday of every month. It’s mine!” she barked, getting to her feet. “Fuck it! Never mind. Let me go talk to them.” Before he could say another word, she pushed past him roughly, leaving the room and taking the stairs downward at a good clip.

Robert sighed. The manager hadn’t exaggerated at all; she was crazy, she was ugly and she was extremely unfriendly. He turned to leave, but then a wave of stubbornness washed over him. ‘Fuck her. I’m not leaving,’ he thought. There were less than five hundred westerners living in the city. They should at least learn to be civil to each other. If she’d asked him to leave politely, he would have, but since she’d been such a bitch about it, he’d stay and enjoy her discomfort.

Walking over to the sofa, he took a cigarette from the open pack on the table and lit it. Then he sat down and keyed up her songlist on the screen. ‘Good god, what a weird mix of songs.’ Much as he wanted to, he didn’t feel it was right to judge her by her choices. All over Saigon, karaoke clubs were overstocked when it came to anything written before 1975 or after 1995. Songs recorded between those dates seemed to be selected by someone who’d plunged his hand into a jar of 80’s and 90’s hits and pulled out a handful at random.

Recklessly, Robert pulled the song menu open in front of him and began inputting numbers from the list. He had a reason for choosing each of them. First, he wanted to know if she had any sense of humour at all, then he wanted to know what state of mind she was in. He figured the way she reacted to the songs would tell him.

She was back at the doorway, her wiry frame throwing a long shadow into the room.. “Hey! You have to go. I rent this room to be by myself.”

Robert smiled inwardly, took a drag off the cigarette and fought the urge to look up at her again. “I’ve been here a ton of times, but I never noticed they had any Iggy Pop.” He slid his finger down the page of the song menu as he spoke.

“Hey! Asshole! Did you hear me? Leave!”

‘What a fucking bitch,’ thought Robert. But aloud he took a passive-aggressive tactic. “I can’t. It’s raining.”

“Then I’ll leave!”

She stomped around the table in a temper and slammed her shin on the corner of it. Robert winced as she collapsed onto the sofa, grabbed her leg and cursed. ‘You so absolutely deserved that,’ he thought. There was a fleeting moment of sympathy which he crushed it under a mental heel. He resolved to pursue the inane approach – it seemed to really irritate her – but his sense of self-righteousness ebbed away as he looked at her again. She wasn’t ugly at all. That was unfair. She was most definitely odd looking, but not ugly.

“Do you like Abba?”

“No. I fucking hate Abba,” she snapped back. She was fussing around, grabbing her cigarettes and hunting for something down the side of the couch. She started screwing the top on the bottle of vodka and then stopped and breathed deeply. “Look,” she said, her voice totally changed, “I’m sorry for being a bitch. It’s just that I really look forward to hollering my lungs out by myself. It’s kind of therapy, you know?”

She looked up – looked straight into his eyes. They were big green eyes, full of something intangible, something sad and fragile. Robert felt guilt kick a dent in his armour. ‘What the fuck am I doing barging in to someone’s personal space and playing stupid head games with a complete stranger?’ He had an overwhelming urge to apologize but then she’d go and that would be it. And, to his surprise, he didn’t want her to go at all. What could he say to change her mind?

“Can I have some of that vodka before you go?” Robert held his breath, fully expecting her to tell him to fuck off.

She smiled – it was a very nice smile – as if she was making up for everything that had gone before. “Sure,” she murmured, and poured some of the clear liquid into the plastic glass on the table.

As he took a gulp of the vodka and almost choked on it, his mind raced for a way to distract her – to make her forget about leaving. He took up the mic that she’d abandoned on the couch. “Come on. I bet you like Abba. It just depends on which song.”

Robert pushed the play button on the remote and prayed for the music to start. He cleared his throat and started to sing as the lyrics began to stream along the bottom of the screen.

“Half past twelve And I’m watching the late show in my flat all alone How I hate to spend the evening on my own Autumn winds Blowing outside the window as I look around the room…”

He felt weird singing it in front of her. After all, it was a girl’s song. But he kept snatching glances at her as he sang and his confidence grew when it seemed clear she wasn’t going to start laughing at him. She was smiling, though, and took a couple of sips from the communal glass. When the chorus kicked in, she sang along, grinning, and Robert realized there was no mic for her.

He slid up next to her while he sang the second verse so that, when the next chorus came, he could share the mic with her. She didn’t sidle away or try to avoid him; she leant in and sang along. And for no real reason he could put his finger on, he felt like everything was okay. Better than okay. By the end of the song, she was giggling. He felt it all the way along where there arms were touching.

Now, as the second song he’d picked began to play, he felt deeply embarrassed about it. It was such a stupid, macho song. Robert almost stopped it to skip to the next one. But then he remembered why he’d chosen it: to see if she had a sense of humour. Now he wanted to know. There was only one way to sing Billy Idol karaoke-style – you had to camp it up for all it was worth. He grinned at her, took a swig of vodka, and began:

“Hey little sister what have you done? Hey little sister who’s the only one? Hey little sister who’s your superman…”

He was certain she would laugh, and at first she did. As he got into the song, the smile left her face and she turned her head away, leaving him to guess at her expression. He nudged her and she faced him again, with an expression he couldn’t read. All he could sense was the tension in her body; they were still sitting side by side and he could feel her muscles tense and the warmth of her body soaking into his where it touched. It felt good to him, friendly somehow, safe even though he knew he wasn’t. He kept on singing, trying to prompt her back into her recent giggly mood. It didn’t work. Perhaps it was the song. Maybe it had bad memories for her.

The strangeness of the situation and his concern for her reactions seemed suddenly ridiculous and, unable to help himself, he began to laugh as the song died away.

“What do you want to sing now?” he asked, killing off his programmed list with the press of a button. He wanted to know what she would choose now that she wasn’t alone, now that she didn’t hate him.

She shrugged like a little girl and busied herself with a cigarette. It was her body language that spoke, eloquently. She was uncomfortable, Robert was sure of it. Perhaps she was deciding whether to go or stay. Grabbing the song menu, he started searching through it frantically for something – anything – he’d seen on that first list she’d made. He couldn’t fathom why it mattered that she stay; it just did.

If she left, he’d have no one to sing with. If she left, he’d have to go to the Blue Bird and drink himself into a stupor with the idiots from the offshore oil rig. If she left, the subtle smell of patouli would go with her and it would be another two years before he heard a girl cuss again.

He found one – a song that had been on her list: “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. Keying it in, he searched for anything else he recognized and added another to the cue. “Okay. How about this?” he said, handing her the mic.

She listened to the music start and smiled and nodded. Then, lifting the mic to her lips, she closed her eyes and began to sing. The first part of the song had no lyrics, just notes, but she sang them perfectly, as if she’d listened to the song a thousand times.

Her self-imposed blindness gave him a chance to really look at her. He watched her lips move, the tendons in her neck tense and release, her chest rise and fall. Perhaps it was her voice, or the way she smiled when she sang certain words, or the way her brows drew together on certain phrases, or the way she sat with her knees drawn together and her feet wide apart. All of a sudden he thought she had the most sensual face he’d ever seen in his life. The urge to kiss her was almost as overwhelming as the fear of how she would react if he did.

“Sweet dreams are made of this Who am I to disagree? I travel the world And the seven seas- Everybody’s looking for something.”

The taste of metal formed in his mouth as he reached around her waist and slowly pulled her to him, lifting her onto his lap. He held her loosely, even though he fully expected her to elbow him in the face and scream the house down. But she didn’t. She stopped singing, but she didn’t move. There was something indescribably delicious about the weight of her body on top of his. It made him hard instantly.

“Keep singing,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around her.

She breathed deeply, and then began to sing again. Her voice reverberated through her spine and into his chest. Robert slid his hands over her, imagining what her bare skin felt like beneath the loose cotton vest. Her nipples were small and achingly hard as he covered her breasts with his hands. They were small and soft but with a delicious weight to them. He pressed his mouth to the back of her neck, just below her hairline. Her body shuddered and her voice cracked.

When the song ended and the next one began, she shifted a little to face him. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes half-closed. She offered him the mic. “I don’t know this one, what is it?”

“Duran, Duran.”

She made a face and he grinned back at her. “I like Bond movies.”

Slinging her arms around his neck, she shrugged and said, “Fine. You sing it.” It was like a challenge.

As he started into the song, she shifted again, straddling his lap and pressing her face into his neck. Now he understood her challenge in her voice. The heat of her mouth on his neck was so distracting he couldn’t remember the lyrics and followed them on the screen, but even reading wasn’t easy. Her hands traveled, releasing their hold on his neck and fussing with the buttons of his shirt. Cool palms smoothed over his bare chest and she lowered her head until he felt soft, hot lips close around his nipple. The heat made him gasp; her tongue flicked across it and made him hold his breath; and, when he felt the pressure of her teeth as she bit down gentle, he couldn’t stop himself. He arched his hips and ground his cock against her. The lust that flooded through him forced whimpers from his throat until she pressed her mouth on his and kissed him.

Even in the face of so much acquiescence, he still worried she would just get up and leave. He didn’t want to scare her, and even as he wrapped his arms tight around her waist and pressed her flat against him, his mouth – perhaps because it was closer to his brain – was cautious. He pressed the tip of his tongue between her lips. He needn’t have worried. She opened her mouth and took him in with a moan, sucking and stoking his tongue with her own.

His brain screamed at him; ‘fuck her, fuck her now!’ As his hips rose up over and over to press his cock into her fully clothed crotch in a futile attempt to obey, he could smell her wetness, soaking through her jeans. The scent hit him like distilled lunacy. Hands on her hips, he pulled her down onto him and ground against her, believing somehow he would get to feel the hot wetness seeping from her cunt, if only he pressed hard enough.

He felt it in her mouth first – a certain delectable sloppiness in her kisses – and then the roll of her hips became even, fluid. Finally, she shuddered and mewed into his mouth. She was coming.

He held her tight and let her move on him. The only thing that stopped him from exploding in response was a strange, heartbreaking poignancy to the way she came. She didn’t flail or scream like some women he’d been with; it was intensely helpless – a series of soft, moth-like shudders. It made him feel so responsible and yet, unlike Mai, it did nothing to decrease his desire.

Waiting until he was certain the last shiver was past, he kissed her and made her look at him. “Do you want to stop?”

“No.”

Her reply was an immense relief. He considered for a moment, trying to think with more than just his dick. It was a five minute walk back to his room. But what if it was raining? They could take a taxi. Whatever. One thing was certain; he didn’t want to have her here, in this room.

“We can’t do this here.” He began to button his shirt back up.

She looked worried, and then confused. “Yes we can. What do you think everyone else does here?”

His cock agreed with her but his gut squirmed. Still, he couldn’t find the words to argue with her. “What?” He grinned uselessly.

She reached over and picked up the remote. “They fuck,” she said, pushing the controller into his hand. “Pick another song.”

He looked down at it. “I don’t want to do this anymore. Come home with me.”

She shook her head and grabbed the bottle on the table behind her. She took a long swallow, cleared her throat and put the bottle back. “I don’t know how long you’ve been here, and I don’t know what shape you’re in, but I’m not going to make it back to your house. I’m going to decide, in a moment of clarity, that this is a bad idea.” Her face turned hard; the way it had looked when they’d first met. Reaching for the song menu, she opened it in front of his face. “Pick another song, or leave.” The hardness in her face lasted two or three seconds and then it crumbled into something like grief.

“Does it matter what it is?” he asked, softly.

“No, not really.”

Robert looked up from the book to see a tear slid down the side of her face before she reached down and pulled her top off. He picked the first song he recognized and reached up to pull her face down to his and began to kiss her again.

This time, her kiss felt different. Intense and yet quiet. As the music started, he wrapped his arms around the bare skin of her back. It was cool to the touch and soft. His hands skidded across the surface and down the ridge of her spine.

Between them, he felt her undo the buttons he’d just done up and, with a sigh, she pressed her chest against his. Like her back, it was cool and when she moved her nipples grazed his skin.

Bending her backwards, he took one nipple, and then the other into his mouth. Her back arched as he sucked, her fingers threading into the tangles of his hair. Her scent washed up to him again and had the same effect as before. The blood rushed to his cock, making it throb like a pulse.

He kissed his way down her stomach and undid the button of her jeans, sliding the zipper down slowly. The smell of her was eating away at his brain, begging him to taste her, but they were in an impossible position. Instead, he reached in and worked his fingers under the top of her panties. She was so wet, his fingers slipped between her labia instantly.

Her response was just as immediate. Her hips thrust upwards, her whole frame shuddered, and she yelped like a puppy. The sound cut through him like burning wire. With every slow stroke of his fingers, she made the same sound. It was so raw, so obscenely sexual; he thought that perhaps the sound alone would make him come.

But the desire to push his cock into the hot, wet place in front of him was greater. He withdrew his fingers and pulled her upright, smearing her face with his hand before bringing her cheek to his mouth and sucking her juices off the skin.

If he fucked her now it would be over, and he didn’t want it to be over. He made a little noise of protestation when he felt her hands at the opening of his pants. She ignored it and pressed on, feeling her way under his clothes and curling her small, cool fingers around his burning cock.

“God, that feels good,” she whispered, sliding her hand along his shaft, over the sensitive head and back down. She met his gaze as she touched him and smiled.

Robert’s mind raced. Her touch was unbearable; if she didn’t stop, he was going to come in her hand, and what would she think of him then? He grabbed her by the wrist and made her stop. Still, he could feel himself throbbing in her grasp. Frantically, he tried to think of things that would slow him down.

“What’s your name?” he asked in desperation.

Her lips curved into a lopsided smile. “Susan. Yours?”

“Robert.”

“I’m glad you didn’t leave, Robert.”

He laughed weakly and swallowed hard. “Um… Listen, Susan. I’m not sure how to say this, but I don’t think I’m going to last very long.” He stumbled over the words, knowing he sounded like a loser. “I apologize. It’s just that…”

She threw her head back and laughed. “Well, longer than me…so, you’re forgiven.” She kissed him again, hard, and pressed her crotch against him. “Can we fuck now?”

She got off his lap and stepped out of her jeans, pulling her panties off with them and kicking them aside. When he arched his hips to do the same, she helped him tug them off. Naked, she straddled his legs again and looked down at him.

“Like this?”

The question, the way she asked it, made his eyes water. “Yes,” he whispered, putting his hands on her hips and pulling her down until he felt the head of his cock slide between her pussy lips. If her skin had been cool, her cunt was the opposite. It was wet and burning as she eased herself onto him.

He held her gaze for as long as he could and then let his eyes close. He heard her whimper and felt the muscles of her walls flutter around his cock. He was sure that at no time in his life had anything ever felt so good.

“Jesus.” It was something between a sob and a whisper. It was all he could manage.

She replied without words, slowly moving her hips, her hands cool on his shoulders.

When he opened his eyes again, hers were closed. He watched her lithe frame undulate above him. The musculature of her stomach rippled and fluttered as she moved, her small breasts shivered. Her mouth was ajar and her brows drawn. Every time she lowered herself to engulf him, she keened.

It was over already. He could feel his balls tighten and he gave up the fight and thrust up to meet her, pushing in deep enough to reach the end and feel his cockhead hit her cervix.

Her eyes fluttered open. “Are you coming?”

Robert tried to answer but he couldn’t. He nodded and gasped. Instinctively pulling her hips down as he arched.

She mewed quietly as he felt the first pulse of come shoot into her. Suddenly her cunt spasmed around him and she began to ride him faster. The sensation of coming as she squeezed his cock was exquisite; he felt the heat of his own fluids flood out around the base of it. Her body was twitching as the he spent the last of himself, and even in her silence, he knew she was coming. He pushed his fingers down into the wet mess between them and let them graze her clit as she moved.

She stopped with his cock buried in her, and shook. The stutters of her breath caught in her throat. Inside her, the contractions almost hurt him.

As they waned, she opened her eyes and looked at him unseeing, until finally the twitches subsided and he felt her world slide into focus.

She gave him a strange, uncertain grin.

Robert reached up and stroked her feverish cheek with his fingertips. “So. Can we go back to my place now?”

She bent her face towards his hand and nodded.

Lyrics quoted:
“I Wanna Be Your Dog” The Stooges, from the album “The Stooges.”
“White Wedding – Part 1” Billy Idol, from the album “Billy Idol.” ”
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” The Eurythmics, from the album “Touch.”

  22 comments for “Karaoke Night (His)

  1. Heloise
    December 3, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Beautiful. both of them

  2. Jayne
    December 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

    oh I enjoyed this very much. thank you!

    • Ryan
      April 2, 2016 at 3:15 am

      I agree

  3. Jennifer
    January 11, 2010 at 5:42 am

    You ask people to comment, and I try to, occasionally. But I have to admit I find it hard to comment appropriately – it’s a challenge to put into words what these stories mean to me. I suppose given the subject matter, it’s terribly personal and feels a bit like revealing yourself to a stranger?

    At any rate, I like the sweetness of this story and the idea of these two lost souls finding each other and sharing something as a result. A lot of your stories have to do with power or games of some kind – but this is straightforward sex being enjoyed for its own sake as the characters find a measure of comfort in each other. I like this one very much. 🙂

  4. Jenna!
    March 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I swear, everything I read of yours turns into a new fantasy of mine. They’re starting to pile up and taunt me.

  5. Anastaria
    July 19, 2014 at 5:00 am

    i liked this one better than the hers, although knowing both points of view was very nice

    • Des
      November 4, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      I felt this too

  6. Simon
    July 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

    This, as well as the “hers” one, have strange non-letter symbols appearing midword on my browser (Chrome)

    • July 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Argh, I don’t know why this happens. Lemme fix it. Thanks for letting me know.

  7. patrick fitz
    September 28, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I have wondered after reading your short fiction, just what you really want from your responders, an evaluation or a relationship?
    Your prose reflects so accurately the magic of intimacy….and for the 51st time I have wanted to reach out and tell you how sensuous and beguiling a writer you are. Have you been there with me all along? Watching, behind me in those amazing ventures that become the only true connections we humans ever have?
    When a passage reads this well, I so want to know more about you, but then I suspect I have had a glimpse of what your kimono looks like. Deep purple, multi-layered and mystical like so many of your characters.

    Thank you for your efforts, decency, and beauty.
    Patrick

    • September 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Hello Patrick,
      Thank you for the lovely compliment. I’ve always puzzled over what the reader/writer relationship is because from a literary theory perspective, your relationship is really with the text itself, not the writer. Sometimes I think that relationship is really like a dance, where the writer and reader are dancers, but the text is the music and without it there is no dance at all. Yes, both dancers need volition and purpose – to participate, to give generously of themselves to the effort of engagement – but it is the music (the story) that makes it a dance at all. Otherwise, it’s just two humans moving funny 😛

  8. Judy
    October 27, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve been reading your stories for some months now, but always felt shy to comment because I am very much in awe of your skills as a writer. But I also recognise that giving feedback is important, so here goes.

    What I loved most about this story (and I love all your stories) is the truth in it, the absolute honesty to your characters and their humanity and their imperfections. I can also feel the wetness and noise and hustle of Vietnam in your descriptions. They feel authentic, and add great depth to the story.

    You have the gift of writing everyday things in a way that is fresh and new. “A cruel little drill that took him between the eyes and bored bloodless holes in his skull.” “breasts like scoops of ice cream topped with dark, dark raspberries”. You write wonderful sentences, and your writing has a musical, rhythmic cadence.

    Thank you, and please keep writing.

  9. Lauren
    January 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Remittance Girl,
    (if you don’t mind answering), which POV did you write first? And how did it influence the second; if at all?

  10. MoonDancer
    July 10, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    This made me hurt.
    Love your stories.
    Thank you for making me feel.
    They are beautiful captures of the human condition.

  11. Greg
    February 27, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Hi I read this one first but must read the female perspective. I really believe Robert to be a selfish lover all about him and his priapic state. It would have worked for me if Robert gloried in Susan’s body, feel, smell and taste and made a more thorough exploration of Susan’s body… neck, lips, shoulders, armpits before even going south. Susan’s orgasm felt unrealistic. Robert did not engage with her to the extent.

    The karaoke room setting is superb… entertainment meets taste, meets music in the limbic system and of course the arousal which travels through bones, brains and balls when the note and key hits… I didn’t mention tempo… I prefer house or jazz but bravo

  12. Leo
    May 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Epic, you can taste the sweat on the skin. Arousing. There is such trembling possibility there, on the cusp of disaster or greatness. Thank you for this.

  13. Carolyn
    July 7, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    You paint a beautiful picture. I’m in awe of your talents.

  14. Michael
    March 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you for writing. I have read both the story POV’s. I am curious to know which one you wrote first?

  15. Scalable
    March 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Bravo. This is really good writing from both perspectives.

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