Watch “10 things you didn’t know about orgasm | Mary Roach” on YouTube

Well, maybe you did know one or two.  But really, this is very entertaining!  Orgasm trivia.  Have fun!

NaNoWriMo Novel Excerpt

Feeling brave today?  Here’s a raw, unedited excerpt from my in-progress NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel,  A Runaway Life. Remember, it’s a “Really Shitty First Draft,” so don’t get your red pencils out (mine is twitching like a divining rod, but I’m not allowed to use it till December 1st)!  Comments on the concept welcome!

Background:  Year: 1970.  Dina, a brilliant but depressed 16-year-old, has run away from her East Coast home and ended up in California, where she thought she would find Nirvana.  Instead, she finds herself caught in a downward spiral of homelessness, hunger, and dependance on others for survival.  As of this writing she is living in a detached garage in a down-at-heels working class neighborhood in Santa Maria.  Her new friend Monica lives in the house with her mother; her father has recently left the family.  Here goes!

 

While she was musing over ancient Chinese poetry, she became aware of light footsteps approaching the garage door.

 

“Hi, Dina, are you there?  May I come in?”  It was Monica!  Dina ran to the door and wrenched it open.

 

“Oh, wow, hi!  Come on in,” bubbled Dina.  She had rarely been so glad to see anybody.

 

“Sure, well, do you want to come into the house?  My mom won’t be home for a couple of hours yet.  We can get something to eat and watch TV or something.”

 

Dina walked out into the sunshine, blinking.  She had no idea how long she had kept herself locked up in the garage, but she remembered that it had been cloudy then.  She was glad to see the sun, and had some misgivings about going into the house, but the idea of company and food prevailed.

 

They trooped into the dark kitchen and Monica turned on the light, revealing a white linoleum floor flecked with silver and a 1950’s vintage dinette set that obviously was not purchased as an antique, judging by the corroding chrome and chipped table top, and the split vinyl seat backs revealing their tired grey stuffing.

 

Dina’s heart sank when Monica got the pretzels out, thinking she was going to stop with that; but her spirits soon rose when she saw the Skippy Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Fluff and store-brand white bread come out.  She had always turned her nose up at “Fluffernutters,” as the sticky sweet peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches were called; but now, so many things were changing; and food was food.  So she thickly buttered a slice of bread with peanut butter, spread the sticky marshmallow “fluff,” which more correctly had the consistency of hide glue, on another, and slapped them together.  Biting into this confection was an experience in slipperiness and stickiness, sweetness and saltiness, held together with the gluey sponginess of the white bread.

 

It was one of two or three times in Dina’s life that she had eaten white bread.  At home, they always made their own, partially for economy’s sake, and partially out of mere snobbishness.

 

Eaten with pretzels, the fluffernutters were quite satisfying.  The pretzels added crunch and more saltiness, which Dina appreciated, since she really wasn’t much on sweets, especially not in sandwiches.  So alternating a salty pretzel every other bite worked out well.

 

“So Dina,” began Monica, after they had munched for a while in silence, “how did you end up out here?  How did you get out of school early?  How did you get your parents to agree?”

 

Those were already more questions than Dina was prepared to answer, or wanted to answer for that matter.  But she made a beginning, and Monica was an eager listener.  She seemed hungry for friendship, and Dina perceived in her a deep sadness that in some ways mirrored her own.  Monica would seem to drift into some far away place, then with an effort she would be back in the conversation.  Somehow, Dina felt, Monica’s cheerfulness seemed forced.

 

Monica changed the subject abruptly.

 

“You ballin’ yet?”

“Huh?” returned Dina, surprised.

“You know, ballin’.  Gettin’ it on.”  She looked at Dina suggestively, raising one eyebrow, leaning into the couch on one elbow.  “Bobby and I been ballin’ already for about a year.”

 

Dina took all of this in and said nothing.  Hmm, “ballin’,” she thought.  I guess that’s what Tracy and I did last night, huh?

 

Before they had time to delve further into the subject, the front door flew open and there was Monica’s mother.   She breezed into the room.

 

“Hello, girls, what are you up to?  Did you have a good day?”  And she swept into the hallway leaving a trail of perfume and cigarette smoke in her wake, without waiting for an answer,

 

“Whew,” whispered Monica, “glad she’s in a good mood.  You never can tell these days—“ CRASH!  The bedroom door slammed shut with such force that a mirror in the hallway fell off the wall and smashed on the floor.

 

“Quick!” squeaked Monica, grabbing Dina by the wrist, “out the back door!  She’s on a rampage!”  And they scrambled out of the house in a panic.

 

“What was that all about?” panted Dina once they were safely outside.

 

“Who knows?  Ever since Dad left, every minute is a crapshoot,” Monica mumbled.  “I never know from one minute to the next what’s going down.  It’s like living in a shooting range, and I’m the moving target.”

Barter sex

My sex life began with a bang (no pun intended) on April 22,1970.  I was a sixteen year old virgin.  I will tell the story of that rape on my new blog, the one I keep threatening to start, any time now.  I’m working the kinks out of it.

After that, I ran away from my artsy-fartsy home on the east coast, ran all the way to California to be a hippie, and promptly got raped again, in a big white metal bed at the home of a friend and her family. Guy walked right through the door, climbed on top of me: “Don’t make any noise and you won’t get hurt.” Where DO they learn that pick-up line?  I left the next day, thingy chances on Highway One heading south to Santa Monica, where my friend had a friend who said she knew of a place I could crash. Only that didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.

After a few days of abject homelessness, too scared to sit down anywhere, too scared to go to sleep on the side of the road for fear I’d get raped again, I was offered a great deal: I could sleep on a cot in a crowded garage where a rock band practised, provided that I would sleep with the band members.

At that point it seemed like the best possible arrangement, since I would have a guaranteed place to sleep, and the people I would be having sex with were a known quantity and not just random people grabbing me off the street or coming in my window when I was asleep.

One kind of sweet thing was that the bass player took a shine to me and asked all the others to stay away, after they had each had a turn or two.  So I “belonged” to Spacey Tracey.

There wasn’t a bathroom in the garage so I used the yard.  The lady who lived in the house left her back door open for a while, so I would sneak in there when she was at work and use the bathroom, take a quick shower (I got to stinking pretty bad with all that sex and no shower).  Also I had no food and no money.  The cot in the garage was the barter deal. Tracey didn’t seem to notice or care that I was getting pretty gaunt.

On one trip through the dark kitchen of the lady’s house on my way to the bathroom I noticed that there was a bowl of those pastel poufy after dinner mints on the kitchen counter.  I grabbed a handful and stuffed them in my pocket.  That whole day I sucked on them very slowly, feeling them dissolve on my tongue, feeling the surge of sugar into my blood, a tiny flicker of energy enlivening my flesh.  My mind was dead, though.  Gone.

Once I discovered the mints I made sure to grab a handful every day.  That was all  I had to eat.  The band tried to get me to drink some Boone’s Farm Apple Wine one night.  It barely hit my stomach before coming up again.  Didn’t make much mess, though:  nothing in there.

Well, the lady finally wised up that I was helping myself to her bathroom and mints.  One day the back door was locked.  I told Tracey, sadly, that I would have to move on, or starve to death.  I was terrified at the prospect of leaving, because every night for a couple of hours I had Tracey’s body to cling to, and that was my whole world.  Yet I was truly starving, and had to find a saner situation where there might be both shelter AND food in the offing.

What’s interesting to me in retrospect is that I never asked Tracey for food.  I felt too ashamed and worthless to ask for anything more than what was offered: a place out of the rain, reefer when offered, the companionship, such as it was, of the band, and the barter arrangement with Tracey.

Later, when Tracey found out I was pregnant, he offered me money to help with the abortion.  I tried to reassure him by telling him it wasn’t his, but his face fell apart and I realized that maybe he had loved me, a little.

Copyright 2012 Laura P. Schulman all rights reserved