by Barbara Holliday
Francisco's way of dealing with our twenty-year age difference is unique.
He doesn't care.
I did, at first, but he handles it so well.
The second time we were in public together was at a restaurant. It was Italian with lots of low lighting and a male crew at the bar. They were drinking martinis and made us their target of derision.
Francisco listened to their comments for a few minutes. I was visibly distressed. When their laughter escalated, he reached over for my purse.
"It's time for your medication," he said. He looked at the group in golf shirts as he rummaged through my purse. He found a pill-pack with vitamins and shook out a Vitamin C, two B-Complexes and an aspirin.
The group was quiet.
"Terminal," he said to the men, handing me the pills with a glass of water. "Makes her think she's twenty-one again. But it's her last wish, to be twenty-one. And I honor it."
I swallowed two vitamins. The men at the bar were silent.
"Very sorry to hear that," said one with the bloated cheeks and red road maps of a heavy drinker. "What is it?"
"Brain disease," said Francisco. I choked on the aspirin and there followed a few moments of back pounding. Swallowing and laughing do not mix.
"It has affected her ability to swallow too," he continued in a very serious voice. "Now, come on querida, one more..."
"This should kick in shortly," he said to the men at the bar who watched us with drunken sympathy.
"That's a bummer," said Bloated Cheeks. "How long does she have?"
"Maybe six months," answered Francisco somberly. "If she's lucky."
I was trying not to explode into laughter.
"Emotional lability," continued Francisco. "Makes her laugh at really sad stuff. Like her impending death, she laughs about it all the time."
That was it.
I dissolved into hysterics. I laughed so hard the tears started rolling down my face. Francisco pulled out his handkerchief and began wiping my face with it.
"Then she starts to cry," he went on, "and there's nothing we can do. Just wait it out until the end."
The group at the bar was distinctly uncomfortable. They muttered apologies to me and drained their glasses. Then one by one, they paid their tabs and faded out into the night.
"That was absolutely classic," I gasped, wiping my eyes with his handkerchief.
He smiled that crooked smile of his.
"Better now? Have the meds started to kick in?" he asked solicitously.
I roared again.
Francisco is a stand-up comedian from New York. He is also one of the best actors I have met, bar none. He takes no shit, but does it in such a way that the person who is the object of his contempt never really understands that he or she has just been reamed a new one.
"You are too much," I giggled.
The waiter came with a bottle of wine and two glasses. I was still highly amused as the wine was poured. We started to toast each other over the candle on the table. He arched one of his heavy eyebrows suggestively and that set me laughing again.
"Stop," I begged. "Please, I can't drink when you do that."
"Then I will drink your wine," he intoned in a perfect imitation of Bela Lugosi.
Our glasses clinked too hard, too crookedly, but finally wine filled my mouth with the taste of hot summer days and the faint echo of cicadas in a field filled with bursting hot grapes.
Francisco was here for the night.
On his way to Atlanta for a comedy show, he had stopped in my mountain town for a brief respite from fame. He is short, stocky and has Bronx facial hair. And those eyes, lashes women would kill for, eyes that become a drowning pool. Ruddy stripling, smelling of testosterone baked on a hot Manhattan street.
We had not seen each other since last winter. While we ate truffle-oil pasta and crusty bread, I took him in, a feast for the eyes. His hand touched mine several times, an electric shock of introduction.
"I want go home now, I think," I said pushing my plate away. He smiled lazily and finished the wine.
"You think?" he teased.
He leaned over the table and very pointedly traced the outline of my lips.
My mouth burned where his fingertips had touched.
Somehow the bill was paid and we found ourselves in my car, driving through the quiet streets of the city. Then we were at my house. I started to get out of the car but Francisco stopped me with his hand against my leg.
"Wait," he said. "I want to listen to the quiet."
I sat back down and closed the door. It was very dark. I could hear his breathing in syncopation to the crickets in the humid air. There was the sound of his body shifting in the car seat as he turned to me.
My face was in his hands. I could feel the heat of him as he drew nearer, the tickle of his mustache as he found my mouth. His heavy mouth opened as he tasted my tongue with his. There was male fire and a memory of wine on his breath, wetness. The mustache danced electrically on my lips.
I was gasping again.
"Miss me?" he whispered into my mouth
"Oh God," I whispered back as he filled my mouth with his.
The soft tissues in my body began to fill as I fell into his body. I have no memory of leaving the car, coming into the house. I was sodden as he lit candles and turned off the light. He opened the deck door so the night breeze licked at us.
"Come here," he said.
It was not a request.
He danced his mouth into mine again as his hands found my breasts. The testosterone smell was in my nose. I touched the zipper of his jeans.
We were on the couch.
We were on the floor.
My nipples were suddenly exposed to the night air as clothes flew off. His mouth sucked on one, a tugging that pulled all the way down to my clit. He was in my hand, hard and soft, growing and growing.
He sucked harder.
His fingers slowly traced down my belly.
Then his finger traced the contours of that other mouth. He parted me gently. I, slick and turgid, pushed into his hand. He found the opening and slid his finger inside me.
Francisco was breathing rapidly against my breast. He slowly released the nipple and with his tongue, retraced the path his fingers had drawn. I released him as he made his journey.
Molten skin burned against his face.
His finger probed me, my legs sprawled open without muscles, limp. Then he was between my legs, his goatee rubbing against my clit.
I moaned loudly.
His tongue found the throbbing pearl that was my universe.
He sucked it gently.
My hands were on his shaven head, rubbing the stubble hard. His tongue slid around and around, grazing that nubbin which was becoming harder and more sensitive.
"I can taste the wine in you," he whispered hoarsely into my cunt. "New wine...."
I teetered at the top of a hundred-foot pole.
Then his mouth was gone and I felt silky rock positioned between my legs. I opened to him, wider and wider. When he moved into me, I was filled with nothing but the sensation of his cock opening me to the world.
His pubic hair tickled my clit.
My hips arched. He parried and thrust inside me, heated salty perfume welcoming him.
He began muttering as his breathing rasped harshly in my ear. His solid body covered me. My legs were spread so far it seemed impossible. My clit grew until there was nothing but his body and that distended piece of tissue.
"Come on," he whispered urgently. "Come on." Whether it was a direction for me or for him, I didn't know. I didn't care.
There was no me.
There was no him.
Then there was nothing but the sensation of being lifted into the galaxy, exploding into the universe, all molecules radiating into space.
I felt time stop as I came.
I could feel his back tense suddenly and he gasped. Then there was the pounding of his heart against mine, glued together as we were by our own summer humidity. His juice filled me and began to leak slowly from me as our breathing slowed.
He laughed softly into my hair.
"That was good, querida, that was excellent," he whispered.
I was back on the floor, laughing softly with him at the joy of it all.
"You're not supposed to put new wine into old wineskins," I murmured, stroking his face.
"Sshh," he whispered. "Don't go there again."
We listened to the crickets as the candle flames flickered in the warm night air.