“Jonah’s cool hand rests on the small of Vanessa’s naked back. His fingers trace the long lines of her spine, languorously, gently, making her gasp, making her own fingers curl in anticipation…”
I stop typing. I lift my hands from my laptop keyboard, squinting, re-reading the lines I’ve just written. I am in a coffee shop in the lobby of a large hospital, doing what I love best while I wait for a friend’s appointment to be over. I shift in my seat, tearing myself from my story – my erotic, soon to be very explicit story.
A child has caught my attention. She’s two, perhaps three years old. She’s got a hundred tiny braids all over her head. She’s wearing a yellow dress and orange tights with fat pumpkins on them, and pink rubber boots. She’s currently dashing in wild circles around a chair she’s dragged between tables. She’s adorable.
“TaVette!” hollers a gray-haired woman. Her grandmother, I assume. “You’re bothering the lady! Stop it!”
“No, no,” I protest, waving my hands and smiling, “she’s fine. Let her be.”
I take up my stub of a pencil and write in my notebook: TaVette? Tahvet? Tavitt? Eyeing the still-spinning child, I force myself back to my story, thinking: she’s not paying a whit of attention to what you’re doing. Don’t be silly! Stop thinking everyone is watching you! Make those characters DO THE WHOOPIE!
I take a sip of my Starbuck’s Mocha. This particular coffee shop, where a never-ending human drama passes by the too-small tables, can be rather challenging. I’m used to it. I kind of like it, even. Writing in this location is a nice change of routine. But sometimes – like right now – it’s hard to write erotica. Damn hard.
I put my hands back to the keyboard. I pull myself back to my characters, who are about to get some. It takes several deep breaths, but I’m soon back in a world where the getting some is beautiful, breathtaking, perfect. Better than real life. That’s what I do. I’m an erotica writer. I intend to deliver. Oh, yes. I know exactly what’s coming next. All I have to do is write it.
“Turn over, Vanessa,” Jonah says, his voice so thick, so quiet she barely hears it. Vanessa turns over, then gazes up at him. Funny how the mattress seems to have expanded. She swears it’s doubled in size, while the rest of the world has shrunk in on her and her new love, on the passion brewing between them. A tremble passes through her as he puts his mouth to her breast –”
I’m abruptly torn from my love scene.
“Mama!” shrieks the little girl. “Mama!” Streaking by my wobbly little table, TaVette throws her arms around the legs of a heavily pregnant woman. “Let me see! Let me see! I want to see the baby picture!”
My concentration broken – and dang it, it’s at the very moment Vanessa’s love scene is heating up nicely – I watch TaVette’s mother pull a fuzzy ultrasound picture from a mustard-yellow envelope. She shows it to the child, and then the grandmother. I hear their laughter, their joyous voices.
How nice for them, I think, what a sweet moment. Maybe I can use it in a story sometime. Now – back to work. Do it!
I take a deep breath. Put my fingers to the keyboard. Picture Vanessa and Jonah in their bed. Imagine what they’re doing to each other. I begin to type again.
“…his hand slides up her thigh. It lingers. His lips, his tongue, the bristles of his beard, what they do to her! How they make her back arch! How they make her skin sing! His fingers begin a slow walk over her trembling skin. His weight presses the length of her body. She can’t help but gasp as he –”
“What are you doing, Lady?”
It’s the little girl.
Horrified, I slam the cover of my laptop closed. “Um, I’m writing.”
“TaVette! Always poking your nose where it doesn’t belong!” The mother ushers the child away by a thin shoulder. “Sorry!” she calls over her shoulder. Child, mother, grandmother and ultrasound disappear through the lobby’s glass doors.
I let out a long sigh.
They’re gone now, but I can’t write any more. The spell is broken. Vanessa and Jonah will have to wait until my next writing session to consummate their love, poor things. This time, it was a hyper-active little girl that did them in. Last time, it was a young Asian man, his handsome face wracked with despair, an obvious new quadriplegic. The time before, it was a chatty group of physicians sitting one table over, discussing their chief of staff. Who will it be next time?
I slurp the dregs from my mocha, thinking. Writing in such a place must affect my writing. It has to, doesn’t it? I pack my laptop, turn off the mouse, wipe the table, throw away my cup and napkin, still contemplating the little scene I’d just been part of. These hospital lobby dramas are life. The good parts of life, the bad parts – all of it. The scary, the horrific, the wonderful. People loving one another. People helping one another through difficult times. People celebrating a new pregnancy. These things affect me, surely they must affect my writing.
So I’ll be back. For I – the erotica writer – am part of the hospital lobby too.