by Alec Clayton
I don’t know what triggered these memories from when I was young and single and perpetually horny.
First, when I was living in Nashville I had a girlfriend who was six feet tall and gorgeous. I claimed to be five-foot-four at the time, but I might have been stretching it a bit. Anyway, we were quite the pair. The first night we went out together, she came home with me, and we took off our clothes and crawled in bed together. Well, it wasn’t really a bed; it was a mattress on the floor. And she asked, “Would you mind if we didn’t do anything but just cuddle and go to sleep?” That was not exactly what I had in mind, but I agreed, which was a hard thing to do. Pun intended.
Together at home again the next night, she asked if I wanted her to give me a back massage. I said, “Sure. That would be nice.” Once again, we were naked. And we didn’t do anything. At the time, I was sharing a house with John and his wife, whose name I can’t remember. My mattress on the floor was in the front room of a one-bedroom apartment. John and his wife had the bedroom. They walked in while my girlfriend, whose name I can’t remember either, was massaging by back. As if it were perfectly normal for us to be naked together on the mattress, John said, “Hi. How’re ya’ll doing?” John was from Berkley. He probably didn’t say ya’ll.
For a week or so after that, naked massages became a nightly event. There never was any doing anything. And then, after a few weeks, she drifted away, and I never saw her again.
Two years later, I was living in New York City with another housemate, a guy named Mike. One night we were visiting with our friend (can’t remember her name either, but let’s call her Jane). Jane sold ads for the newspaper I so-called edited. She was a single mother with two young children, living in a brownstone walk-up in Chelsea. It got to be late, and the kids were asleep, and Mike said it was time to go home. Jane asked me if I would stay over. I didn’t know if that was an invitation for doing anything or not. There was only the one bed. After Mike left, Jane said, “I know this might be a lot to ask, but I really feel the need to be cuddled. Would you be willing to sleep with me and hold me but not do anything else?”
It seemed like I had been to that party before.
That was in the summer of 1973. In the fall of ’73 I met my wife. Jane and I remained friends for a while after that. Platonic friends. Friends without privileges. And then she joined the Church of Scientology, and I never saw her again.