AUTHENTICITY MONTH: ‘Diane, Chapter One’ by Bastard Keith 10.3.12

             Diane found, finally, that the best thing about having Lance inside her was that it gave her an immense amount of time to think about literally anything else.  It was not that Diane felt nothing, per se.  In fact, she was intensely conscious of the pounding, ramming, invasive THING between her thighs.  But once she had gotten past resenting that this was simply what was expected of her, she felt little emotion towards it at all.   It was merely a thing that happened to her seemingly on schedule and without much consideration for her own interest, a bit like being put on a train bound for a particularly unpleasant school.  Diane reasoned that everyone went to school and that was that, and so Lance did what he did.  So she counted things.  Catalogued colors.  Glimpsed at the pictures on the bedside table.

It had taken a solid year of marriage to get to this state of near-blissful indifference.  Diane had at first complained of intense discomfort.  Lance assured her on numerous occasions that this was normal for a woman only just beginning her journey into the world of physical intimacy.  She’d get used to it eventually.  He would teach her.  There was always a faintly unpleasant glint of the professorial as he said this, a condescending and paternal intimation of “understanding.”  Diane felt something stir in her as he said it, and she tried very hard to ignore it, because it felt like hate.

After all, she had married him, hadn’t she?  And after a courtship of some time.  Lance was handsome; a tall, tousle-haired, apple-cheeked specimen of a man, easy with a smile.  He’d done everything right, from the first tentative request of a date to the polite discussion of his intentions with Diane’s father.  As long as they were going steady, Diane had been fine.  There was something charming about this man who hungered so madly for her attentions.  How he hung on her every word, wiped her chin before anyone noticed the merest speck of ice cream.  He would fix her in some way (a stray hair, a tag sticking out, something in her teeth) and then lean back and smile and whisper only one word: “Perfect.”

“Perfect,” she said to herself in bemusement.

Lance’s face, now red with effort and beginning to gleam with sweat, loomed into her field of vision and displayed a contented grin as she said it.  “Perfect,” he murmured back as he began to intensify his thrusts.

She really, really hadn’t meant to say it out loud.  Now he’d take this as an indication that he was onto something, that he’d unlocked some secret to bringing her unutterable pleasure.  Now what would have been 10 minutes might stretch into 20 or even more.  Diane closed her eyes and tried to approximate some semblance of ecstasy.  Biting her lip, groaning, even whimpering a little pathetically.  Lance took all of this as praise, and he redoubled his efforts.  Maybe, just maybe, if she spurred him to a frenzy, he might finish sooner.

Diane had voiced an outright objection to their lovemaking exactly once.  It was the night of Lance’s promotion, moving from something or other to executive something or other at his advertising firm.  Lance had returned from the office with breath that stung Diane’s eyes and a headlong stumble in his step.  When he approached her, tie undone, lips twisted into a smug little smirk, eyes glinting with a lust indistinguishable from malice, she found it frightening.

She barely voiced any objections as he railroaded her to the bed, chuckling huskily.  Lance had always been physically demanding.  But when he reached a hand up her skirt and simply groped at the spot between her thighs (she’d never really thought to give it a name), she pulled away.  Lance looked almost pained in his confusion.

“What are you doing?”

“Please stop,” she said, her voice barely above a sigh.

“Sto-op?” he asked, sounding out the word with a sozzled attempt at precision.

“I don’t like it.”

Lance pushed forward yet again, and she pulled away yet again, until she was up against the headboard.  Lance pulled his face close to hers, examining her in a manner so closely resembling a hungry animal that she was surprised he didn’t sniff her.

“Yes, you do,” he finally managed, his eyes creased with more disorientation than ever.

They sat there like that, her huddled against the headboard and him coiled over her, for a good long while as Lance searched her eyes for some sign that he might be right.  She stared back, attempting the Olympian feat of standing her ground without enraging him.  In the seething, pregnant silence, his breath began to wind down and his eyes started to soften.  She began to speak.


And he punched the headboard so hard that his fist crunched into the wood, splintering it.  “GODDAMNIT!” he bellowed and withdrew his fist, the knuckles of which were covered in blood and carrying more than a few mean slivers of pine.

Diane was still.  He looked at her for a few more seconds, snarling in a way so alien it was as if they were meeting for the first time.  If they were, Diane reflected, she would have walked the other way.

Lance pulled back, stood up and left the room with an almost eerie lack of noise and friction.

Diane waited until she heard a distant door slam shut before beginning to cry.

This was never spoken of again.

“GODDAMNIT…” Lance said, biting his lower lip.

Lance was now beginning to shudder all over, and Diane recognized the signs of impending climax.  He began to drive between her thighs harder and faster now.  Diane ignored the awful, chafing burn he was generating and let her eyes roll back.  And for a split-second, she saw a face behind her lids.  It was an unfamiliar face.  No one she knew, nor anyone she remembered dreaming about.  Lips as delicate as anything, a long, elegant nose, eyes piercingly sensual.  It was only for a moment.  And something began to build in her, something…not happy, and not perhaps the opposite of the numbed exhaustion to which she was accustomed, but something new and not awful at all.  All of a sudden, the thing between her thighs thrusting in and out of her was something she had a vague notion of using for pleasure.  She closed her eyes tight, trying to retrieve the memory of the face, hanging on to as many details as she possibly could, but it began to slip away, and with it, the feeling.  She gritted her teeth and found herself squealing aloud in her attempt to remember.

At her most desperate moment, she felt that familiar hot splash, the pulsing gush of Lance’s member emptying itself into her.  And then he collapsed on top of her.  Diane opened her eyes to look down at her sweat-soaked conqueror and for a moment felt immense pity for him.  She stroked his hair.

“I love you, honey,” she said.

“I just want a kid,” he managed, hoarsely.

“I know.  Me, too.”

She looked around the room in the dim light.  The wallpaper’s flower pattern.  The reflection of the bedside lamp in the window against the black infinity beyond.  The vanity and the lipstick tube she’d left open.  All of this, so familiar and still like it belonged to someone else.

And she thought about the face.

And she decided to make a job out of trying to remember it.

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