by Lord Malinov
I don’t usually read the campus paper, but my thermo-dynamics class was canceled and I had some time to kill, so I bought a cup of coffee at the Student Union and there was an article on the front page about the physics program and it mentioned some friends of mine which led me to a review of the new Duke Xstasy cd that Sherry had been telling me about and I just kept reading bits and pieces until I reached the classifieds.
I would never have even noticed Theresa’s ad, except that my girlfriend Sherry’s birthday had started looming on the horizon. Actually, the day was still more than a month away, but I had been warned; Sherry was not the kind of girlfriend who would appreciate being short changed her on her birthday. She’d made a point of discussing the occasion with me a few days before and Sherry made it quite clear that she had expectations; dinner at a good restaurant, some kind of fancy theater event and a present she wouldn’t be ashamed to mention when her parents or her friends asked her what I gave her. Sherry’s what we call a high maintenance girlfriend. I’m not saying that I begrudged her the money. She’s beautiful, sharp as a tack and really lots of fun. I feel lucky to have her, and I couldn’t realistically expect to keep laying a girl like that without laying out some cash. I may be a scientist, but that doesn’t mean I’m a dummy when it comes to the ladies.
Anyway, unless I planned on dumping Sherry, what I really needed a good dose of money to cope with this event and this ad caught my eye; “Art student seeks model, $50/hr (XXX) XXX-XXXX.” Fifty bucks was exactly what I was looking for. Besides, the idea of selling myself to pay for Sherry’s birthday tickled me. In fact, I’m sure I had a big grin on my face when I took a sip of my lukewarm coffee and stroked my pride by imagining getting paid a wad of cash for my rugged good looks.
Then a self-conscious bit of humility made me decide against even considering it, realizing that an artist probably wanted some tall anorexic woman to look disinterested and not some nerdy looking physics student.
Then I became downright excited, imagining my mug memorialized in some classic scene, as a Socrates drinking hemlock or Napoleon astride a wild stallion, or maybe Mozart composing some song.
Then I turned the page of the newspaper, deciding the artist was probably some fey guy who just wanted an excuse to leer at my genuinely masculine form.
Then I imagined the sneer that would cross Sherry’s face when I showed up at her apartment with a couple of daisies and a coupon for a free dinner at Hank’s Diner.
“Hello,” a woman answered when I called.
“I’m calling about the ad, for the model.”
“Oh,” she said a little tentatively. “Have you ever modeled before?”
“Not really,” I said, unprepared to make something up.
“Well, I have someone already,” she said. “It really isn’t . . .” Her voice trailed off.
“Well,” I said, “maybe I could give you my number, and if you . . .”
“No,” she said emphatically, cutting me off.
“Oh,” I said.
“I mean,” she said, “could you sit for me this afternoon?”
“I have class until one-thirty, but after that I’m free.”
“Two, then, yeah, the light’s real good at two.” she said and gave me the address of her studio.
“Thanks,” I said.
“See you at two,” she said. There was a playful sound in this last statement that haunted me all through class.
We were reviewing for mid-terms in my partial differential class, and there wasn’t any question that I needed to be there on that particular day. The math had been systematically trying to escape my grasp, stretching slowly and surely outside of the realm of the truths I could readily imagine. My life had been complicated and between Sherry and paying rent and car trouble, not to mention the rest of my classes, it was getting hard for me to really focus on esoteric transformations. Nonetheless, I felt certain that the mid-term would not take my personal troubles into account. This was going to be a killer exam.
The bottom line was that I had questions about what we had learned, and I needed answers. This review was the last chance I was going to have to get them answered.
So I went to class. I sat in the stiff wooden chair and poised my pencil above my notepad. Soon the professor began explaining things again. I watched carefully as he traced out mystic streaks of white chalk, letting them drift methodically across a green slate board. I copied the wisdom mechanically with dull black pencil marks over the faint blue lines of my college ruled paper. I did my damnedest to focus on the changing heat gradients across a hypothetical bar of iron.
There was some movie I’d seen, I don’t know when, about an artist, Bridgette Bardot, I think, wearing black chino pants that hugged her hips and a white cotton shirt with one shirt tail hanging out and a thick streak of paint across the breast pocket and a long brush in her slender fingers and a wisp of hair reaching across the sultry look in her eyes. My prematurely bald math professor integrated temperature over space and all I could think of was the look of hunger this artist gave as she touched the camel hair to pigment, tracing form across canvas, trails of heat with a family of equations and a fan slowly rotating as I stood exposed before this inspired goddess.
“And then we add the quotient,” was what my professor probably said. “Hot naked cunt-titty-fuck-cock sex,” was what I heard. It was a losing battle. I felt trapped in a raging sea of madness.
The hand on my watch crept around the dial. My thoughts shot off in every direction, distracted by artistic fantasies, ignoring every word said in that essential review. My heart throbbed with a pounding pulse, drowning out every carefully articulated rule, instruction and answer. I could only feel myself becoming part of the creative process, gazed upon, inspiring the gifts of some remarkable young artist. In truth, I wanted this woman so badly that I ached as I sat in the dry air of the classroom. I hadn’t met her, yet I felt certain I would have her, in a swirling sea of clouds, knowing that all creation had devolved into being at the studio at two, because that, to me, is what art had become, integrated over time, divided and resolved. I had never really thought much about art before, but as I waited, I felt certain of the solution; Art means sex. Q.E.D.
And Sherry would have her birthday. Furthermore, she would get exactly what she wanted from me and that would mean even more sex. Fuck partial differentials. Pussy rules.
By the way, I really bombed that test, a badly burned victim of lust.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was really nervous and excited when I went to Theresa’s studio. I had absolutely no idea what to expect – I’d never actually been to an artist’s studio before – and every time I tried to imagine what it would be like, I’d hear that tickle in her voice when she said that she’d “see me,” and I’d get excited. When I finally knocked on the white door, I could barely breathe.
Theresa isn’t Bridgette Bardot, but she did look like an artist. I mean, what’s an artist supposed to look like? There was paint on her. Physically, Theresa’s fairly small, kind of elfish, with straight brown hair and soft brown eyes. She really wore a white shirt with a big streak of bright blue paint across the top. She was holding a dirty bit of cloth in her left hand; the cloth reeked of paint thinner. Her blue jeans hung low on her narrow hips, almost falling off her, deliciously so, if you know what I mean. The denim was ragged and faded until they were as white as they were blue, with torn out knees. She had blotches of a thousand colors on the back of her thighs. I guessed that she wiped her brushes on the back of her legs when she painted.
“Hello,” she said sweetly. Her eyes gave me a once over and then she looked away. A hint of color touched her pale cheeks. “Come on in.”
I followed Theresa into the studio, which was really just a cluttered room with a concrete floor and big windows along one wall. Sunlight streamed bright through the dirty glass. She tossed the rag in her hand onto a ledge over a dull chrome sink. Then she knelt down and picked up some colored sticks that were on the floor, one after another, without saying a word. I could see the elastic waistband of pink panties where her jeans pulled away from her back when she leaned over. I don’t know why, but this little glimpse of her underwear made me like her.
“What do you want me to do?” I finally asked, feeling a bit awkward standing there watching her.
“Hmm?” she asked. I don’t think she heard me.
“For fifty bucks an hour, I guess I should do something,” I said.
“Sure,” she said. “You’ve never done this before?”
“No,’ I said. “Does it make a difference?”
“Not really,” she said. A little smile touched her face. “I don’t think it does. Might even help.”
“So what happens?” The whole Bridgette Bardot fantasy had melted away by this time. I thought Theresa was sweet and I was ready to help her out.
“You stand over there, and I sit over here,” she motioned toward a tall stool. “I sketch.”
“Really?” I said. “Fifty bucks?”
“We’ll do it for three hours if you’re good. I can afford one fifty.” she said, looking intently at the tip of her pencil.
“Are these your paintings?” I asked, nodding toward some canvases leaning against the wall, smears of red and pink across a white canvas.
“Sure,” she said.
“But if you paint like that, what do you need me for?”
“I don’t know,” she said, pushing a thick lock of chestnut brown hair behind her tiny ear. Her cheeks were again tinged in red. “Sometimes it helps me to work with a model.”
“Well, it’s your dime,” I said. “Over here?” I asked, pointing to a vacant space on the floor.
“Um, yeah,” Theresa said, picking up a spiral bound pad.
“How should I stand?” I asked, moving to the space.
“I don’t want you to pose.” Theresa shook her head.
“Why not?” I asked, surprised by her sudden change of plans and then I felt a surge of anger. I had as good as already spent the hundred and fifty bucks she promised me.
“I mean, I don’t want you to stand still. Just take off your clothes and let me look at you while I draw.”
“Oh,” I said. It was my turn to blush. I hadn’t considered that she might want a nude model. I thought about protesting, but I needed the fifty bucks and besides, I thought, when did I start complaining because some pretty girl wants me to take my clothes off?
As I unbuttoned my shirt, I tried to count the number of women who had seen me naked, since I had grown up. I looked over at Theresa, perched on her stool, staring at me, almost smirking as the pencil in her hand tickled the paper on her lap. I felt stronger realizing that she was enjoying this. Our eyes met briefly, allowing me to feel the flicker of interest in her pretty brown eyes but as quickly she looked down at the page. I unbuttoned my trousers and then quickly pushed my pants and briefs down to my ankles. Better to just get it over with, I decided. Ta-Da.
So I’m standing in this room, completely naked. It was fairly warm in the sunlit room, but I still shivered slightly at first. The place was junky, with barely any room for the kind of romantic fantasies I had been nursing. There was a stack of cans coated in drips of tan house paint to my left, seven or eight long thin boards leaning against the wall to my right, grey cinder blocks piled on top of each other, several mason jars filled with a deeply black liquid, a bunch of crushed silver and red beer cans next to an leaning stack of yellowed newspapers. In the only empty space in the room sat a mousy looking girl on a tall white bar stool, a mere eight feet away, gawking at my naked body while she doodled on a pad of paper.
I scratched myself slightly and felt unbearably self-conscious. I coughed, but she didn’t seem to notice. Her deep brown eyes seemed to be fixated on my dick, which had shriveled nervously. She scribbled relentlessly while she stared.
“Is there some special way you want me to stand?” I asked, just hoping to break the tension by talking to her.
“No,” she said, “just relax.”
“Easy for you to say,” I said. “I’m a little uncomfortable.”
“More than a little,” she said with a laugh. “It’s all right, I’m like a doctor.”
“Really?” I said, taken off guard.
“No,” she replied. “Would you be more comfortable if I took off my clothes?”
“Sure,” I said with a grin that was probably a little too eager. She continued to draw.
“Why are you modeling?” she asked. Her pencil scribbled quickly.
“I need the money,” I said. Now I couldn’t help imagining what this girl would look like naked. Fortunately, thinking this way helped my cock appreciate the possibilities of the situation and as my dick grew to more manly proportions, I felt a little less self-conscious. Her tits were small, but what I really wanted to see was her ass. The rest of her was a bit scrawny, but I liked the curve of her butt. This was starting to get fun. I leaned back against the wall, giving her a good view of my growing erection. I tried to tempt her into getting naked with a lusty stare.
“I figured you wanted the money,” she said. “What for?”
“Girlfriend’s birthday,” I said without thinking.
“Figures,” Theresa said, sounding disappointed by my answer. My erection began to wilt.
“But I really do like art,” I said, hoping to head things in a better direction.
“Me, too,” she replied, turning the page in her notebook. Pausing for a moment, Theresa tilted her head to one side, staring crudely at my body. I turned coyly, again uncomfortable with the feeling of being judged. She smiled, amused by my vulnerability.
“What do you look for?” I asked. Theresa blushed. “In a model, I mean.”
“You’re a good looking guy,” she said with a shrug. “I want someone who makes me feel something. You kind of excite me, which is excellent, in a model, I mean.”
I appreciated the idea of her excitement and it showed instantly. “Is that what you look for?”
“Sure,” she said, scribbling away. “A naked guy is way better than a pot of flowers.”
“I suppose so,” I said, my hard-on starting to really rage.
“I mean, when a dick stands up that way, my focus is intense. It’s not always true, but you have a good dick and I can’t help paying attention to it. I could already close my eyes and trace every vein in that thing. I can focus on the lines and curves of your dick and I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s just me and the dick.” Theresa scribbled furiously as she spoke.
“That gets you off,” I said, fairly breathless.
“It’s a good exercise. I could spend a thousand dollars on art lessons and never focus this hard.”
“That’s hot,” I managed to say. I touched my prick without thinking, stroking myself a bit.
“Glad you think so,” Theresa replied, tearing back another page and scribbling like crazy. She stared with sincere interest as I continued to rub my prick. “Are you an athlete?” she suddenly asked.
“Not really,” I said.
“I didn’t think so,” she said, a little too amused.
“Physicist,” I said, trying to impress her with my mental muscles.
“Really?” she asked.
“Cool,” she said, looking up at me and adjusting herself to a new position on the stool. Her legs were now spread slightly so that I could see the curve of denim along her inner thigh, and it seemed a darker shade of blue. “What is quantum physics?” she asked, her pencil moving slowly and methodically over the page she held.
“Actually I want to do particle physics. We study to tiniest bits of matter.”
“I like big things,” she said.
“I’ll bet,” I replied, catching the insinuation and rubbing my cock back to attention while she watched intently. “But I get into the deepest recesses of knowledge, figuring out things about the grain of existence, the stuff of life.”
“Cool,” she said. “So you stare into a microscope?”
“This stuff’s too small for that. You can’t see subatomic particles. The best we can do is push them around and measure the affect they have on bigger things.”
“Oh,” Theresa said, staring at me but not meeting my gaze.
“Like we can take an accelerator and smash particles together in a bubble chamber. The particles break into a thousand pieces and when those pieces spin away from the collision, they leave a trail of bubbles in the bubble chamber. By looking at the bubbles, we can figure out things about the particle.”
“Cool,” she said. “Do they have color?”
“No, not really. But they make pretty designs, like the curve of a woman’s bottom, sometimes. I think about that anyway, probably when I’ve been spending too much time in the lab.”
“That’s like what I do.”
“Really? In what way?”
“You can’t see emotions directly. But you can see the affect they have.”
“That is kinda the same,” I said. My cock started rising on its own, without me touching it. Theresa was really starting to turn me on.
“Except my stuff works both ways.” She shrugged a cute shrug. ” I don’t know how to explain. It’s sort of complex.”
“I guess so,” I said. I suddenly had a vision of Theresa taking off her clothes and bending over to wiggle her bare ass a bit. My whole body throbbed.
“The heat in your eyes is just wicked,” she said softly, as though to herself. “I’m thinking if I could capture the way this makes me feel, I could . . . Damn, if I could only . . .” She stopped, licked her lips and breathed heavily. I could tell that she was trying to decide something. I felt faint, imagining what she might be thinking.
“Yeah,” I said weakly, touching myself again, believing all at once that she wanted me to come closer.
“Wait,” she said, putting down the pad of paper. I didn’t know what I was waiting for. My cock throbbed. Theresa started unbuttoning her white shirt. I held my breath, eyes open wide. “Just wait,” she said, finally peeling back the thin layer of cotton. Theresa has small tits, but her dark nipples stood up tall. “There,” she said, picking up her pad again. I looked at her, confused. “Let me see your eyes,” she growled. I stared hard, wanting this woman with all my soul.
Her breasts peeked between her arms, bulbs of soft cream, tipped in hard nuggets of a thick reddish brown. Her pencil raged over the paper, scribbling with a mad intensity that almost competed with the pulse of my heart, lines over lines, nearly ripping the paper, capturing and expressing with a wild brilliance. Page after page turned by. Her naked stomach fell into a series of waves, ripples of flesh down to her low-slung denim waistband. I shuddered with desire, wanting desperately to take a few steps, but stayed, held fixed by her intense activity. I couldn’t bring myself to interrupt her, but madly lusted after her, waiting for her to stop drawing and come relieve my hunger for her touch. The drawing seemed endless, my craving brutal. Each time she looked into my eyes, I wanted to scream. Then a stroke and another stroke and another infernally tempting glance. I felt as though I couldn’t bear another minute, waiting.
“There,” she said all at once and put down the pad with a sigh. My lust went wild, enraging me, urging me to leap across the room and throw myself the topless girl sitting so close. Theresa smiled in a friendly way and then started to button her top.
“But,” I said, barely regaining my composure as the realization that we weren’t going to fuck sent cold streams of disappointment flooding over me.
“Come back tomorrow,” she said, “at two. I’ll see what I can do with these sketches tonight, and then we’ll know what we need to do tomorrow.” She sounded joyful, happy with what she was doing. I shuddered in disbelief and anger. Theresa handed me my trousers. “Get dressed and come back tomorrow.”
“I have a test,” I managed to say as I pulled on my pants. “I can’t come at two.”
“Oh,” she said, turning to hand me two twenties and a ten. “That’s all right. I probably have all I need, you know, enough data to yield results.”
“I want to come back,” I protested.
“Well, we’ll work something out.”
“Tonight?” I said, desperately. “Or after my test, at four?”
“I’ll call you,” she said, showing me to the door. “You’re beautiful.”
Theresa didn’t call me, which wasn’t a surprise since she didn’t have my phone number. I thought about calling her, but it just seemed so cheap, calling to ask if she would pay another fifty bucks to see my dick.
A few weeks later, I dropped by an art show. In one room I found this big painting, pinks and reds on a field of white. “The Stuff of Lust,”was the title. Sherry loved it.