Archive for November, 2010

The Connoisseur

I like rye more than bourbon and Scotch more than bourbon or rye but not the cheap blended stuff that you pour over ice or dilute with water or soda so you get the buzz without much taste. I like the single malts, beautiful golden liquid that smells and tastes like smoke and sometimes the sea, served neat like something rare and valuable which it is, relatively speaking, because you see, I’m the kind of man who has a taste for things that many people don’t like because they’re too busy following the masses, doing and drinking and thinking what everyone else is doing and drinking and thinking and if that makes me a pretentious snob according to Judy, my ex, well then that’s what I am because I am Gunnar.

I am a connoisseur.

I like books that aren’t on the New York Times Best Seller list and movies with subtitles that none of my friends have ever heard of and wouldn’t watch anyways because they’re too busy watching “Housewives of New Jersey”. I like women with tiny breasts and maybe an over-bite or another visible flaw that makes them special and unique because any dumb-ass can go ga-ga over a bleached blonde with big boobs and lips and nails all painted up like a zulu warrior while hanging out at Friday’s instead of eating sushi or Cuban food or attending poetry readings at the coffee house or the bookstore which is where I meet Nanette thinking at first sight she is my kind of girl because she is dug in deep like a tick in the literature section and ignoring the display tables where you find the stuff that gets forgotten.

Before the book tour is finished.

Nanette wears glasses which I also like and she has the requisite shortage of mammary glands and good legs in tights as she stands languidly in front of the O’s and P’s flipping through a copy of Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins while I’m stiffening up as I pull Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London from the shelf and pretend to look at it while secretly staring at Nanette but, of course, I don’t know her name yet. I’m even more excited when I learn her name because I think I said before that my ex is Judy which is about as common and undistinguished a name a woman can have. I know Judy didn’t get to choose her name but I always held it against her along with her lowbrow tastes which include country music but not the good old stuff like George Jones but the modern tinker-toy tunes and Judy smokes which she tries to hide when she says she quit but I can smell it on her breathe through the peppermint and especially in her hair and on her clothes and I can sometimes taste it through her koochie, as she calls it, while I am down there feasting which is something I like to do but I don’t think she enjoys it quite as much because maybe it’s not featured in her favorite bodice ripping, romance fantasy novels which are full of chivalry.

And damsels in distress.

No, No, Nanette is an old musical and not a terribly good one I think though I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it and I’m not particularly interested in musicals anyway which is a shame because it might have served as a topic of conversation after Nanette and I became introduced so I was relieved to learn that Nanette does not have an affinity for musicals either, not that it matters because I relied on George Orwell for the introduction. Though it has been years since I read Down and Out I find a passage I like as I flip through the book and read it out loud to the girl who will soon be known as Nanette – It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs – and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety –. Nanette looks at me with brown eyes through medium thick lenses and asks – I’ve never read it, do you recommend it? – to which I say – highly – with a mixture of hope and disappointment because in my idealized vision she has, of course, already read every important book but then maybe if she knew Down and Out she might just smile and turn back to her Walker Percy which she holds at her side with one of her long and pretty fingers tucked in to mark her place as she looks at me with interest. So her ignorance, if you will, allows me to follow up on her question and even to coax her into having a drink with me in the Bronte cafe attached to the bookstore where they brilliantly have a liquor license that allows a connoisseur to not only talk to a sophisticated female reader of the high art of literature but to learn that she likes wine and good ones to boot instead of the white zinfandel that Judy prefers when Judy drinks wine at all because you’ll usually find Judy with a rum and coke or worse, like Captain Morgan’s or Southern Comfort, in Judy’s hand and I can’t stop repeating Judy’s name when I make references to coarse tastes and habits. I talk with Nanette about Orwell and Dostoyevsky and Camu and Kafka and I can tell she is impressed by my knowledge of literary fiction because of her rapt attention and not talking much herself other than to ask questions so I go on and on because I finally have an appreciative listener instead of Judy who would just walk away and file her nails or something. Nanette shakes her head in agreement while holding a glass of Chianti in her pretty hand when I say that bohemianism is a form of connoisseurship and proves that a Rolex or a Beemer need not be involved in leading a life of thought and sophistication and sensuality.

Like George Orwell

A bookstore is the best place in the universe to meet women except maybe a wedding but that’s a whole different dynamic so I still think a bookstore is better because they know you want to get them in bed but they can pretend they don’t know it and you can pretend that you don’t know they know it so it all works out pretty well because you can build a healthy amount of anticipation just before the climax like in a Henning Mankel mystery which represents the kind of book you don’t mind re-reading  even though you know the ending which is how really good serial sex with the same woman is though you, irrationally, keep hoping for a surprise, a slightly different ending each time which is unrealistic to expect in a book and probably in a woman but that would sure make for the perfect book and the perfect woman.

Which Judy is not.


I wander around Nanette’s dining room and kitchen and living room, which is actually just one room, looking at her stuff like the Leica camera on the dining room table that she said was a rangefinder, whatever that is, and I’ll remember the brand because I pronounce it leaka and she corrects me. It’s a warm, sultry evening and the apartment building doesn’t have central air conditioning only window units which Nanette doesn’t have so her bare arms and shoulders and legs have a sheen and I find her glistening as she peers into the pot on the stove makes me all the hotter in a different way so I make small talk like maybe I too should take up photography as a hobby and we could go out and take pictures together and maybe some day we can both afford big cameras. After the dinner she cooks which is some kind of creamy, cheesy, pasta, broccoli thing and tastes pretty good though I realize she is a vegetarian without her having to tell me and I should be too. We snuggle on the couch and wind up lying down face to face kissing like teenagers and she throws a skinny leg over my hip and while probing I find a surprising absence of panties and an unsurprising absence of pubic hair as girls seem to prefer these days so I reach in and grab a veritable fistful of what feels like warm, oiled dough and she opens her eyes wide and looks at me in a strange way perhaps expecting a reaction but all I do is venture deeper into her cooze though I admit I really want to jump up and flip on the lights and take a really close look because in addition to the dough I have between my thumb and forefinger the biggest clitoris I have ever encountered, as big as a bullet and just as deadly, so I roll the bullet between my two digits without too much pressure and continue to knead the calzone because boy am I in need and she must be too because she goes crazy grabbing at my belt which I am myself trying to work free with my other hand that is partially pinned to my side on the sofa while Nanette lolls her quick and agile tongue around in my mouth. When I finally free myself I kick my pants and underwear down around my ankles and soon enough I’ve gained entry having rolled over and pulled her under me with my pants balled up at my ankles in a knot and shoes still tightly laced but there is no time to attend to my strictures because she fits like a moist flesh gasket creating a kind of seal that produces the sucking sound that I’m sure was the inspiration for the word fuck and when it ends it’s all I can do to keep from asking Nanette to marry me right then and there. She coos a bit and we kiss some more but before long she drifts off to sleep so I roll off the sofa and I relieve my discomfort by putting myself back together all careful and quiet so as to not wake her and I go into her bedroom and grab a pillow to slide under her head and bend over to kiss her on the nose for some reason and that still doesn’t wake her so I pull down her skirt so she can sleep in a more dignified fashion but not before I get the best look I can of her honey suckle by the light of the moon shining through the old casement windows but what I really want is a spotlight so captivated I am by her horse collar but instead I leave as silently as possible while checking the door to make sure it locked behind me and I go home.

Where I masturbate.

The first taste of a hoppy ale, an Islay Scotch, the discovery of Fellini and Hertzog; garrotxa and fresh pecorino cheeses, Bill Quist’s interpretation of Erik Satie and Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman; Uwe Timm, Jakov Lind and Dino Buzzati (because the connoisseur is nothing if not a lover of the offbeat and obscure). These experiences have put me on the path to connoisseurship and you are about to say that it’s all just matter of taste and you’ll try to drag me into an argument about whether subjective opinion has any standing in the quality debate so I’ll save you the breath and say that – no, it doesn’t – because you may truly prefer a slice of individually wrapped American cheese-like product to a fine Vermont cheddar but that would only prove that you’re an rube and eliminate you from consideration as a connoisseur. My larger point is that anyone with any taste at all, if he is the adventurous type, quickly realizes that with the fruit of discovery comes the seeds of ruination, a raising of the bar to impossible heights, that sets you up for a lifetime of disappointment because once you’ve sampled the best your palette no longer accepts the pedestrian so your only hope is that you are still a relative ignoramus facing future though increasingly rare connoisseur frontiers and I had my doubts before Nanette. So the next day I think to call her with the obligatory “had a great time” message since she hasn’t called me and then I realize that in the fever of our first blush we failed to exchange numbers or email addresses or any of that so I decide to swing by her place in the evening to correct that little oversight but as I park at the curb outside her apartment building I can see into the poorly lit room through the casement windows, which are not adorned with curtains or blinds or any obstruction whatsoever (although I hadn’t noticed that on my first visit), that Nanette is not alone and I can see two people looking at the wall with Nanette spinning like a tiny electron around a second, larger stationary nucleus of a person so I sit there for the longest time like a stalker jealously thinking about the quim that gripped me like something separate and alive on its own before I come to my senses.

And drive away.

I do a couple more drive-bys over the next few days but each time Nanette’s place looks abandoned so I sit there again, stalker-like, which isn’t like me at all and stiffen up just thinking about her sugar canyon and her nub like a bullet and I’ll confess that I relieved myself while looking longingly at those darkened windows. Just as I’m beginning to lose hope and contemplating going to the police because I’m starting to worry that maybe I’m not the only one obsessed and maybe the dark nucleus I saw Nanette with in the window has done something terrible, well, just as I’m considering all kinds of drastic actions some of which, like breaking in, would get me into serious trouble, well, one day, there she is. – I was away for a few days on business – is all she would offer when I inquire perhaps a little too abruptly and eagerly and, of course, I’m dying to ask where she has been and with whom but I know I shouldn’t ask those things at this stage anymore than I should ask about the nucleus that was in the window so I keep my mouth shut and try to find something else to think about and talk about and to keep my mind off my concerns not to mention the lap land down there between her legs like a siren beckoning a horny seaman because I want more than anything in the world to know what her thing tastes like and I’m thinking it tastes like a briny, sweet  oyster and a peaty, smoky Islay Scotch all in one but a Scotch flavored oyster that I can chew on rather than one that slips down my throat leaving but a faint memory of  its succulency, if that’s even a word. Lo and behold this girl doesn’t disappoint, first taking me into her mouth and like most guys I enjoy looking down on a sweet face pressed to my groin especially if it is looking up and I like watching my bishop disappear and appear and disappear again like a magic act. Yes, I like that a great deal but her fig bush has spoiled me and I don’t even let her finish before I insist on my turn and again she’s a little shy because I’m sure she understands her exceptional attributes and what happens is I’m so thrilled kneeling at the alter of the blossom and filling my mouth with her mumbler that I accidentally finish what she had started and leave a pool of myself on the nice rug in front of the sofa so I apologize and I can tell she is confused by my excitement and the state of her rug so I try my best to explain my fascination with her crumpet but she is not as flattered as she should be and will have nothing of my praise which comes just short of a proposal of marriage so she says she has some important business to attend to and all but gives me the bum’s rush out the door which leaves me feeling lonelier and longinger, which I also realize is not a word, than I’ve ever felt in my life and stranded at home alone.

Without Nanette’s phone number.

I’ve told you my name is Gunnar but it was not the name given to me at birth which was John and hardly a name for a connoisseur and since a name is only a label whose owner should feel free to revise at any time which is what I did though I couldn’t convince Judy of this logic with her saying that she likes the name Judy and has no intention of changing it which is just further proof of her commonness and she totally rejected my suggestions including Natalie which you can see is not that far off from Nanette and perhaps evidence that my encounter with Nanette and her fabulous clutch was preordained and a sort of destiny on my part and an indication that my search for the ultimate, the Holy Grail if you will, of fur boxes was over and I could turn my attention to other topics.

Like rangefinder cameras.

On my next surprise visit to Nanette because remember like a fool I still don’t have her telephone number, she responds to the intercom downstairs in the foyer but takes forever to buzz me in and does so only after I ask – Nanette are you still there? – over the crackly speaker thing and she is a little distant and wary when I enter and I don’t know why other than it is late on a Friday evening and maybe she thinks I’m scouting her social life or it has something to do with the nucleus in the window and her unexplained absence and I’ll admit that her attitude and lack of forthrightness has me irritated to the point that this visit doesn’t go all that well because I erupt in what I can only assume is a jealous rage which is something I’ve only experienced from the other party, you see, and I realize quickly enough that I’m being childish and have overstepped my boundaries but the damage has been done so I must comply with her request that I vacate the premises thinking it for the best that I go home and cool down and make amends tomorrow. Despite my foolish behavior I have tucked into the back pocket of my jeans the phone number I secured first off in my explanation of my unexpected visit and before the meltdown and I scatter quickly before she asks for the number back and I dig into my back pocket on the way to my car to make sure it’s still there but my jeans are now so tight.

Thinking about her swollen love button.

The problem is Nanette won’t return my phone calls despite my apologies piling up in her voice mail box so my depression and self-doubt cause me to return to the well from which I regularly draw since, you see, despite our differences Judy and I occasionally quench each other’s thirst which is how I end up at her place on a Sunday evening with Judy’s ankles on my shoulders and me lapping away like a dog at a puddle on a hot August day but Judy’s slit is a faint scar compared to Nanette’s gaping wound and I slink home, tail between my legs, unsatisfied and I suspect Judy feels the same since I didn’t follow-up the slurping.

With the customary poke.


Judy and I are naked and lying on a mattress in the middle of a river and the mattress is soggy and uncomfortable so I am complaining but Judy seems to think everything is fine and dandy and I can see Nanette on the bank with a camera but not the little Leica from her dining room table but a huge camera with a long and thick telephoto lens which she strokes as she snaps pictures of Judy and John which is the way I’m thinking of myself in the dream and the river becomes a raging torrent and I can hear the waterfall ahead so I understand I am in deep shit while Nanette fades in the distance as she strokes the lens faster and faster while Judy sits smiling. I alone am ashamed of my nakedness and humiliating predicament and I decide that I am not, absolutely not, going over the edge to die with Judy so I roll off the mattress into the river but instead of being swept along in the current I sink to the bottom where I am eaten by a giant clam and the clam meat is as soft as a pillow or maybe a ball of fresh dough and the clam juices flow over me. I am becoming one with the clam as I think about Nanette on the riverbank and wish I had been able to swim over to her and that’s when I awaken to realize I have disgorged copious amounts of my reproductive fluids on myself which is called a wet dream and something I haven’t done since I was 14 shortly before I discovered masturbation and nookie, which hasn’t been in short supply since, and I remember in my dream Judy over the edge and the beautiful Nanette standing on the bank taking pictures and me under water and alone with the clam.

Such was my revelation.

Imagine my low opinion of myself when my rangefinder research shows Nanette’s Leica to be a prestigious camera and worth a pretty penny to boot and when I google Nanette to find her website and her art and photography I begin to ponder those images and the others I saw on the walls of her apartment that I should have had the good sense to ask about though many were sort of abstract representations of genitalia of both persuasions and I guess I didn’t bring them up at the time while she was cooking because we hadn’t done the deed yet and I was as yet unacquainted with her quiver but I still should have shown as much interest in her art as her honey pot and the dates of the recent art and photography show referenced on her website coincided with Nanette’s recent absence so I purchase from her site a print that looks like a small, strange flower.


Or a puckered asshole.

The End





Categories: From Swerve to Bend