by Tara Alton
I hated weddings. Nothing good for me has ever come of them. For
example, the last wedding I went to, I ended up alone at a table
with my great-aunt while all the couples swooned about on the
dance floor. Their closely pressed bodies seemed to be saying
aren’t we the lucky ones as the white paper streamers delicately
fluttered on the ceiling.
Meanwhile, my great-aunt was going on about some freaking tea
party she claimed she had for me in Florida when I was four years
old. I don’t remember Florida. I don’t remember her,
except for meeting her in the receiving line two hours ago. What
did I get from attending this blissful event? A paper cut from
my place card, a cranky buzz from cheap champagne and a regretful
comment I slurred to my great-aunt at the end of the night.
won’t be you,” I called out in her direction. I didn’t
know what that meant, because I hardly knew her. I think it was
directed more at what she represented, an old crone sitting alone
at a wedding banquet table with her odd great-niece.
I would rather do these things instead of going to a wedding.
Get a tetanus shot, which always gives me a huge bruise because
I tense up. Go for a gynecology exam, with a student doctor in
tow, who would do a second far more clumsy and embarrassing exam
than the original doctor would. Finally, clean up cat puke.
I know you’re asking why all the fuss. It’s because
I have to go to my sister’s wedding. Actually, it’s
her second time around, but she still wants all the drama and
fuss because she likes to show off how clever and stylish she
is. She was so taken with her first wedding that she actually
wrote and self published a How to be a Bride book. She tried to
sell it in the back of bridal magazines and lost thousands of
dollars in advertising. Not one order came in. Occasionally, she
threatens to dust it off and send it to a real publisher, but
she never has the time, not with her new budding career as a newscaster.
I’ve been in such denial about this wedding that I’ve
made myself late. I’ve missed the wedding ceremony, and
now I’m struck rigid with fear in the reception hall parking
lot. Things are not looking good. I bought her a crappy, last
minute, hastily wrapped gift. It was a silver frame from a greeting
card store that anyone off the street could buy. What makes this
worse is that I’ve agreed to live with her and her new husband
for a few weeks until I can get on my feet.
In addition, I have a confession to make. The other reason I’m
late is because of a self-inflicted finger fuck. I got all excited
writing porn. I know I should say erotica or even better literary
erotica, but this was the down and dirty. I wrote about butt cheeks
and short hairs bobbing all over the page until I had to do something
about it. I mean, why not. This could be the last time I get off
before moving in with my sister.
If my sister truly comprehended what I wrote about, she would
have a massive shit. Once upon a time, I did hint about my choice
of subject matter, but she didn’t get it.
is there to write about?” she asked. There are only a couple
I felt sorry for her last husband and her new one if that was
her way of thinking. Wanting to avoid any further elaboration
about my writing career, I told her I write literary stories and
submit them to publications with names like Coffee and Mudhouse.
Meanwhile, I’m working on collecting writing credits as
Bethany Barefoot in magazines who use body parts for names. I
would like some non-body part credits, but I haven’t been
accepted yet in any high crust anthologies with intelligent themes.
If only something nice would happen to me and put my raunchy imagination
to sleep for a while. Have you ever fantasized about something
for so long that you wore it out, and now you had to add something
new every time to get some zing? Well, I’ve been adding
too much for too long.
How was anything nice going to happen to me while I sat in my
car wearing a cut off, floral print bridesmaid dress? I couldn’t
wear my black sexy dress because I discovered an hour before I
was supposed to leave that it had become a litter box in the back
of my ex roommate’s closet.
Forcing myself out of my car, I grabbed my sister’s present
and headed for the entrance.
Leave it to my sister to book the trendiest, upscale chapel with
a banquet hall attached. I felt my knees almost knocking together
with nerves as I noticed the glimmering lights on potted trees
and elaborate bows on white chair covers through the windows.
I didn’t see any Jordan Almonds or after dinner mints nestled
in little white paper cups, which was a shame because I liked
after dinner mints.
I prayed everyone was already soused enough not to notice me slipping
in. I stood in the doorway, trapped by fear. I didn’t recognize
anybody. Was I at the wrong place? Did I get the date wrong? For
a second, I was giddy with relief, but then I noticed the bride’s
table was curiously empty. Oh god. The receiving line had started,
and there was my sister.
Slinking over to the gift table, I squeezed my present onto the
edge, thinking I should have rethought the wrapping. Although
I had managed to buy a gift and a card, I hadn’t remembered
to buy wrapping paper. Therefore, I had dug out bright green parrot
paper from a drawer at home. Now, the present screamed its jungle
theme from the bland sea of cream and beige.
My nerves were so bad that I grabbed a glass of champagne from
a nearby table, received a dirty look from its owner, and gratefully
inhaled half of it. The bubbles went straight up my nose. It burned.
Blinking back the tears, I considered a hasty retreat to the bathroom,
thinking I could avoid the receiving line from hell all together,
but I had to do this. I was moving in with her tomorrow. Where
was all this dread coming from anyway? I loved her for Pete’s
sake. She was my sister. I just wasn’t convinced how much
I liked her.
Chugging down the rest of the champagne, I put down the glass,
plastered a smile on my face and got in line.
sister,” I said, with a firm handshake to the first person.
The parent spot for us was empty. Our mom was locked away in a
nut house. Our dad was dead.
I was getting dangerously near the bridesmaids. Who were these
girls? I recognized Crystal, the weather girl from Lisa’s
station. She was wearing her plastic TV smile, and she looked
at me as if I was a freak.
what is the forecast for today?” I asked, thinking it would
be an icebreaker.
She gave me a murderous look. Jeez. Couldn’t she take a
joke? Why was my sister even friends with her? She seemed like
such a fake person, and yet she was the one standing next to my
I looked away. I was a stranger here. I should go. I should leave.
you are,” said Lisa.
In my panic, I had let the line propel me forward.
Lisa hugged me.
look incredible,” I said, staring amazed at her manufactured
cleavage. She was too squeamish to get fake boobs so it had to
be a push up bra.
should have come earlier,” she said in my ear. “I
had a corsage for you.”
Our gazes met. I saw the crazy look in her eyes that mom used
to have. We called it Mom’s crazy fish eye. Why had I been
kidding myself? The shrill Lisa who could hold a grudge for months
was still alive and well.
I had been so wrapped up in Lisa that I hadn’t even noticed
the groom. I was shocked. I had expected another version of henpecked
Simon, and I vaguely remembered Lisa saying he was a construction
foreman, but I never imagined this. This guy was oozing masculinity
with his intense, smoldering eyes and fantastic build.
this is my sister,” Lisa said.
Lisa went on to embrace the next person, leaving us facing each
I stuck out my hand. He took it, pulled me forward and planted
one on my mouth, dead on. I felt a spark, a little firecracker
of zing between us. I saw the surprise in his eyes.
As I finished the rest of the line, I barely registered the other
introductions. The groom had flummoxed me. I kept glancing at
him. He kept watching me.
Free at last, I headed to the bar where I asked for two glasses
Make it three,” I said.
The waiter looked as if he didn’t want to give it to me.
the bride’s sister,” I said.
With my three glasses in an awkward hold, I replaced the one I
had stolen and went to find my table. I started looking near the
front where I would assume Lisa would put her family. Maybe I
would be sitting with her in-laws. Amazingly, I didn’t find
my name. Still searching, I reached the rear of the room where
I found it. I was seated at the last table near the restroom with
my cousins. I was at the reject table. I knew this because I had
helped her plan her first seating arrangement, and that was what
she called it. Trying to conceal my disappointment, I smiled at
the people who loosely called themselves my relatives.
is everyone?” I asked. “Where are the kids?”
a kid-free reception,” said my cousin Helen.
Helen nodded. I glanced around. I hadn’t even noticed my
nephews were missing.
They started to serve dinner. The choices were chicken breast
or a T-bone steak. Everyone had a plate but me. Finally, a lone
dish came trailing out. It was cold pasta with sun-dried tomatoes.
Lisa had remembered my fear of bones. I hadn’t eaten meat
since I cut the top of my middle finger off when I was twelve.
Now every time I saw a bone I felt sick.
If the pasta had been served when it was made a week ago, I might
have managed to choke it down, but it was inedible. I arranged
my tomatoes in the middle with the dry lifeless noodles around
them. A waiter stopped in front of me to take my plate. He saw
what I’d done.
artistic,” I said.
He whisked it away.
I was starving, and I was buzzed from the second glass of champagne.
A little thought danced in the back of my head. What had Lisa
said about a desert? She had chosen a lovely mousse. Of course,
it had to be chocolate. They brought it out. Why was my chocolate
mousse pink? It was strawberry. It was like ordering a diet cola
and getting a fully leaded one. I couldn’t eat it.
Nibbling on the vanilla wafer on top, I watched my sister. She
was having the time of her life, and I needed a cigarette like
a vampire needed blood.
Excusing myself, I found a side door near the kitchen. The fresh
air was liberating, and the familiar click of my lighter was like
a kitten getting its mother’s milk. I inhaled deeply and
looked around. There was another waiter having a cigarette like
me. I thought he wasn’t bad looking in a swarthy, Greek
sort of way. I liked the cut of his crisp white cotton shirt and
the sleekness of his black pants.
bet you’re having a better time than I am,” I said.
He smiled and came over to me.
must be having an awful time if that is true,” he said.
I paused, thinking about it.
is true. I’m having an awful time.”
don’t you go home?” he asked.
said than done,” I said. “Have you ever been at a
family event where you feel lonelier than you do alone?”
He shook his head.
family seems nice,” he said.
it seems. The photo op bride is my sister. I’m the proverbial
bad seed, who writes smut and has to go live with her because
I can’t support myself.”
I looked closer at him.
should be a waiter,” I said. “Because I’m always
waiting for something to happen.”
were listening,” I said.
wouldn’t I?” he asked.
I’m a slightly drunk guest prattling on about her personal
problems,” I said.
There was a pause. It didn’t feel like a bad one, just interesting.
are easy to talk to,” I said.
smut?” he asked.
write for one hand glossy whack off mags. You know the kind you
get in party stores behind the counter. Are you shocked?”
I looked into his eyes to see the surprise. I didn’t see
he said. “Someone has to write them. Why not someone as
pretty and sexy as you?”
think I’m sexy,” I said.
I looked him up and down, feeling frisky.
you on break?” I asked.
I guess I was horny, because one moment we were standing there,
innocently smoking our cigarettes, and the next moment, we were
behind the building, doing it in the shrubs. We were standing
up like a couple of horny kids, who couldn’t keep their
hands off each other. I came so loudly that he had to clap his
hand over my mouth to keep me from being heard.
As we straightened our clothes, I gave him a sly smile.
had a one night stand before, but I wasn’t actually standing,”
He smiled back and gave me his phone number. His name was Dominic.
Feeling flushed and happy, I turned. I should go before anything
ruined this mood.
I found my sister in a cluster of bridesmaids. Jeremy was standing
nearby with two glasses of champagne.
here to tell Lisa I’m leaving,” I said to him.
He looked at me.
have the most amazing glow,” he said.
just had sex with a waiter outside,” I blurted out.
Shock paralyzed his face. Oops. Had I actually said that? I panicked.
tell Lisa,” I said.
Without saying good-bye to her, I left the hall. I felt weird,
appalled and tramp like. It was amazing what three glasses of
champagne and a lack of food could do to my reasoning. I needed
On the way to the hotel, I stopped at a grimy little grocery store,
the kind Lisa would hate on sight, and I bought bananas, peanut
butter and sprinkles. She had made me a reservation for the night
at a motel, the kind that felt like a prison cell inside. Hardly
any cars were there. I grabbed a box of my clothes and checked
I decided to take a bath, because I didn’t have the energy
to stand in the shower. Normally, I hated baths, especially shaving
in them. There was something about those little hairs floating
in the water. It gave me the creeps, but tonight, I soaked, eating
my bananas dunked in the peanut butter and topped with sprinkles.
In the morning, I woke to find myself sprawled naked on the bed
with a huge stomachache, no doubt from the bananas. My head was
pounding. I touched my scalp, realizing my hair had dried weirdly
as well. Rolling over to see what time it was, I noticed the front
curtain of the motel room was partway open. Who knew who had been
standing out there, getting a glimpse of my bare ass!
I tugged on a robe and looked outside to see if there was any
incriminating evidence on the brick wall. Only a porn writer would
even think of this. Jeez. This would make a good story.
Finding a scrap of paper inside my room, I started scribbling
about a luscious brunette in a motel room with an open curtain
and a lust-filled admirer. Wait a minute. I was writing trash
again. Hadn’t I said if something nice happened to me I
could write better things. Something had happened. I had met Dominic.
Had it been a good thing though? It was certainly sexy and tawdry.
I needed coffee, like a gallon of it. On my way to Lisa’s,
I stopped at a donut shop. It was mostly filled with regulars,
old men who were smoking, reading the paper and staring at the
walls. I wanted to tell them that I had sex with a Greek waiter
last night, but I decided not to. My gaze fell on the donut counter.
A glistening chocolate donut with sprinkles gazed back at me.
Ugh. I thought, remembering the bananas, but it wasn’t their
fault. The sprinkles, I meant. I couldn’t hold it against
With the coffee and the donut, I left.
I was wired by the time I got to Lisa’s house. The donut
had given me a high, glossy, sweet buzz, and the caffeine was
challenging the sluggishness in my veins with an ultra kick.
Lisa had one of those houses that made you wonder who could afford
to live there. I had heard tales of house poor people. They were
home owners, had a nice house, but they didn’t have enough
money to furnish all the rooms. They never went out to dinner
or the movies either. They didn’t do anything, but sit in
their big, but poorly furnished house. I could tell Lisa didn’t
fit in this category. She had cement lions on her front porch.
One of my nephews answered the front door. He’d grown. I
couldn’t remember when I’d seen him last. He looked
at me as if he had never seen me before. Kids always knew I didn’t
have the mom gene. I had no idea what to say to them.
I see Lisa?” I asked.
Lisa came and got me. You would have never thought she got married
last night. Her hair and makeup were perfect. Even her casual
clothes were pressed. Her sparkling two-carat diamond ring was
the only giveaway.
was worried about coming too early,’ I said. It was eleven
been up for hours. Someone had too much to drink last night,”
Me, I thought, but I realized she meant Jeremy.
was the hotel?” she asked.
should have stayed longer.”
liked you,” she said.
My heart fluttered. The waiter thing. Had he said anything? Apparently
not or Lisa wouldn’t be this relaxed.
house is amazing,” I said, changing the topic.
There was a big pause. This one was bad. Neither of us knew what
to say next.
did you seat me at the reject table?” I demanded.
that why you left so early?”
didn’t intentionally put you back there. Besides, I thought
you’d want to see our cousins.”
I nodded. Seeing them more than once every ten years was more
the kid free thing?” I asked.
network executives were invited. I wanted it to be an adult party.”
Jeremy came into the room. Oh, baby. He was only wearing pajamas
bottoms. I inventoried his six-pack abs, great arms and shoulders,
tousled hair and sexy stubble in two seconds flat.
who just woke up,” Lisa said. “You could have worn
a robe or something.”
sure your sister has seen a man’s chest before,” he
said and looked at me.
Madison,” he said.
Maddy. No one calls me Madison but Lisa.”
How could my sister have even gotten out of bed with him? I would
be bending him like a pretzel and licking the salt off the good
you think the waiters at the hall did a good job last night?”
I glared at him.
attentive,” he said.
are we talking about the waiters?” Lisa asked.
There was a knock at the door.
could that be?” Lisa asked.
the man about the Jacuzzi,” Jeremy said.
He went to answer it. I was relieved. Please no more bloody talk
about waiters, I thought. Lisa offered me a cup of coffee. I accepted.
Men’s voices filled the foyer. When I turned to see who
he was bringing into the kitchen, my jaw dropped.
There stood Dominic, the sexy waiter from last night. He was looking
as surprised to see me as I was to see him. Without his waiter
clothes, he didn’t look half as sexy as Jeremy did. I tried
not to remember him pounding into me up against the wall, my dress
pushed up to my hips, my foot cramping from holding it in the
air. What was he doing here?
have you met Dominic?” Lisa asked. “He is Jeremy’s
best friend, and he was one of the groomsmen last night.”
I was rendered mute from fear. Lisa didn’t notice.
we’ve got his wedding to do,” she said. “He’s
marrying Crystal, the weather forecaster from my station.”
I raised an eyebrow. Not the horrible weather girl in the receiving
line. I felt sick. I’d screwed a groomsman and a weather
girl’s fiancé. This was becoming a nightmare. How
could I escape?
one of Lisa’s kids called out.
in the kitchen,” she replied.
The one who answered the door wandered in. He was carrying a piece
anallingus?” he asked.
She snatched the piece of paper from his hand. In horror, I realized
it was the piece of paper I had scribbled on about the brunette
at the motel. It must have fallen out of my car.
Lisa’s face turned an odd color as she scanned the offensive
piece of paper. Jeremy looked over his shoulder, his face amused
my god. Where did this come from?” she asked in a high pitch
was on the ground. Between Dominic’s and the lady’s
car,” her son said.
I’m your aunt, you half wit, I wanted to say.
out here. Go to your room. Take your brother. Now!” she
He fled, screaming his brother’s name.
Perverted. Disgusting,” Lisa said, her voice trembling as
badly as her hands. “My child will never be the same.”
She took a huge swig of black coffee.
did this come from?” she asked.
wind may have blown it in the driveway,” Jeremy offered.
Lisa looked at him as if he was crazy.
mine,” Dominic said.
I stared at him in shock.
Why?” Lisa asked.
writing pornography for extra money for the wedding,” he
Crystal know?” Lisa asked.
She grabbed a cell phone and hit speed dial. As much as I disliked
Crystal, I couldn’t let Dominic break up his engagement.
If Crystal was as half as uptight as Lisa, she would implode.
Sure the entertainment value was high, and I really didn’t
like her, and I was appalled that he would be with her, but I
couldn’t let this happen.
mine,” I said. “Dominic was lying to protect me.”
Lisa steadied herself on the kitchen counter.
does he know this?” Lisa asked.
night, we spoke.”
would you tell him something like this?’ Lisa asked.
thought he was a waiter.”
the waiter?” Jeremy asked. “Madison told me she had
sex with a waiter, but it was you.”
screwed him at my wedding!” Lisa shrieked.
Dominic covered his face with his hands.
Jeremy,” I said.
problem,” he said. I could have sworn he looked pleased
you wrote this?” she shrilled.
Looking at my sister, who was ready to have a stroke over a casual
screw and a not even truly perverted piece of porn, I realized
this was a moment of truth. The self I was presenting to her and
the self who I really was could no longer exist together any longer.
One of them had to go.
I wrote it. I’m a pornographer. I sleep around with men
indiscriminately,” I said. “Dominic and I hooked up
outside the hall last night.”
Suddenly, there was screaming from the cell phone. Crystal had
to be on the other end. The phone seemed to vibrate with her cries.
Lisa handed it to Dominic. He slunk off with it.
I looked back at Lisa. I saw it in her eyes, the good old crazy
Lisa who would hold a grudge for years. This could go on for a
lifetime though, never to be forgotten, but not today.
Without warning, she lunged for me. Suddenly, we were back in
our room as kids. Fur flying. Screaming. Slapping. Crying. Kicking.
Jeremy tried to separate us. His hands were like warm, blurry
buzzes on my skin. I did the only thing I could think of to get
Lisa off me. I had done it several times before when she had got
like this. You would have thought she’d learned by now.
I kneed her in the crotch.
I heard her breath suck in. She let of me, staggered by the pain
of my kneecap on her pubic bone.
Taking a huge breath of air myself, I hurried from the house,
my body hurting in several places, as well as my brain. I was
hot and dizzy, staggering with the exertion of the fight. Not
until I was in my car could I even breathe or think straight.
Then one thing occurred to me like a cold hand on back of my flushed
My story. I wanted it back.
Determinedly, I stomped back to the door. I knocked. Looking as
if she had been in a Royal Rumble, Lisa answered the door.
story. I need it back,” I said.
From behind her back, she held it up and tore it up before I could
grab it back. The pieces fluttered to the foyer floor. A guttural
cry escaped my throat. She slammed the door in my face.
very mature,” I called out.
For a moment, I considered knocking over her lion statues, but
I would be stooping to her level. Instead, I got back in my car
and found another piece of paper. She couldn’t take my story
away. It was still in my head. Furiously writing, I tried to get
the down major points when I
a knock on the passenger side window. I steeled my nerves, thinking
it was Lisa coming back for another round.
I looked up. It wasn’t her, nor was it Dominic. It was Jeremy.
He had the pieces of my story and a roll of tape. He was still
wearing no shirt. I let him in my car.
thought you might like this,” he said.
you,” I said.
I took the pieces from him.
He sighed and closed his eyes. It seemed as if a huge tension
drained from his body, and he looked so vulnerable. Tearing my
gaze away from him, I matched up the first pieces of my torn story.
can be appalling,” he said. “I can’t imagine
why I married her.”
My throat felt tight. Should he be telling me this? He was her
did you then?” I asked.
was so flattered that she liked me, and then this momentum took
over everything,” he said. “I woke up this morning
and realized I was married to someone I didn’t even love.”
He opened his eyes and gazed at me.
like a nightmare,” he said.
Amazingly, Lisa had ripped the word anallingus directly in half.
why you aren’t close with her, because of who she is,”
I nodded. Another section of my story came together. My brunette
had her full figure and sexy legs back thanks to the tape.
is quite the story,” he said.
He turned sideways so he could look at me better. Why did he have
to be so damn sexy?
you feel something last night when I kissed you?” he asked.
I froze. I couldn’t believe he was asking me this. Would
it be so awful to admit it? Suddenly taping my story together
didn’t feel important. The car was suddenly stifling. He
was so close. Despite my better judgment, I nodded.
would rather get to know a pornographer than stay in this newscaster,
psycho Lisa world,” he said.
something in a receiving line kiss does not a relationship make,”
have kissed Lisa a hundred times, and I have not felt anything
even close to what I felt last night when I kissed you,”
he said. “When you said you had sex with that waiter, I
wanted to go beat the crap out of him.”
I asked, flattered.
I heard a door slam. Lisa was standing on the porch, glaring at
us. She was holding my parrot paper wrapped frame from the card
shop. It was another nail in my coffin. Now her husband was in
my car. Did I dare?
you want to go get some donuts with sprinkles?” I asked
His answer was his kiss. He planted one full on my mouth. Our
tongues touched. The fireworks returned, sending a searing flame
through my body and setting my panties on fire. I felt my story
slip away to the floor. Something hit the windshield. I knew it
was the frame, but I kissed him back with all my soul. A new story
leapt into my brain, with flowers and orchards and star-crossed
lovers caressing each other in the moonlight, birds chirping.
erotica has appeared in The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica,
Best Women's Erotica, Guilty Pleasures, Clean Sheets and Scarlet
Letters. She lives in the Midwest, collects tattoos, worships
Bettie Page and writes erotica, because that is what is in her
head, and it needs to come out. Her website can be found at http://www.taraalton.com.
© 2006 by Tara Alton