Excerpt: Accidentally on Purpose
“Uuhhh, uuhhhh, uhhhh.” the hushed and needy panting of the naked woman who was spread before Andrew Madigan like a sexual smorgasbord was getting a rise out of him. Literally. Drew—eyes glazed over, breathing shallow—stared, mesmerized, as she pressed her full breasts forward toward his nearby face. The carnal sounds of her pleasure coaxed him on.
“Fuck me, Drew,” he could almost hear her whisper throatily in his ear. “Fuck me, harder.”
Drew closed his eyes, abandoning himself to the fantasy, as the woman in the tacky porn flick yielded to her on-screen mate, their voices rising, the crescendo of their sexual chorus a series of moans and high-pitched screams.
Drew, the silent partner, joined in their heated frenzy, cup in hand, his release spurting in wave after wave of blind lust. In the moment, barely able to remember or even care about the reason for his actions, he frantically directed the cup—practically the same kind he remembered drinking stale coffee from while waiting at Jiffy Lube earlier in the day—to contain his cache.
Fifty bucks is fifty bucks, he thought. I’d hate to lose that.
Sated, he grabbed a wet wipe and a couple of Kleenex from the well-supplied countertop, wiped himself clean of sticky residue, zipped up his Levi’s 501s, stood up, and slipped out the door, handing his prize to the waiting lab technician.
“Thanks so much, Mr. Madigan,” she smiled, her two front teeth overlapping adorably in a sort of dental plate tectonics. She secured a label to the outside of the cup, and used her black Sharpie marker to write the number 629. “We’ll see you Thursday, then?” She was like some perky ticket taker at the movies or something.
“Sure, Amy. See ya’ then.” Drew smiled sheepishly, embarrassed that she knew exactly what he’d just done. He suspected that she too felt a bit flushed with the knowledge, despite her nuanced air of professional disconnect.
She raised her hand close to her head, cupped her fingers and gave him a little wave goodbye.
What a nice man, she thought. He’s going to make some girl a lucky bride someday.
~ ~ ~
“Push!” the nurses cajoled her. “One more push, Lucy, that’s all it’ll take!”
Lucy McSweeney, weary from hours of exhaustive labor, bore down as two nurses grabbed her bent knees, her doctor poised between her legs to receive the impending delivery.
“Aaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” She screamed. To Lucy, that primitive carnal Tarzan yell could not have arisen from her lungs, it was so foreign a sound.
“Luce, Luce, wake up!”
Lucy opened her eyes, mercifully blanketed from embarrassment by the cloak of darkness. She was naked, and unfortunately, she knew why.
“Luce, what the hell was that all about?” Mike asked as he shook her shoulder. The hunky six-foot tall former college football wide receiver stared at her looking confused.
Lucy was mortified. Not only had she fallen back in with her old standby, Michael Kramer, her long-time fuck-buddy, but also she had the misfortune of having that damned dream yet again, in his very presence.
“What?” She feigned ignorance.
“Jesus, Lucy, first you were muttering something about pushing something, and then you were screaming your head off like a lunatic.”
Lucy was awash in a bath of humiliation; she was glad he couldn’t see her blushing crimson in the dark.
“Geeze, I don’t know. Must’ve been some nightmare. You woke me so suddenly—”
“Man, just as well, I gotta get out of here. I’ve got a big shipment coming in first thing in the morning.”
Here we go, she thought. Once again, abandoned in the middle of the night. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.
Mike got up, flicked on the overhead light, leaving Lucy to draw the duvet over her head against the brightness. He stepped into his boxers, hopped into his jeans one leg at a time and tugged on his black t-shirt. Grabbing his keys from the dresser, and ever so thoughtfully picking up his tissue-wrapped used condom from the nightstand, he gave her head a quick pat like she was his faithful dog. “Call me any time you need me to scratch your itch, babe.”
He winked at her and shot a finger pistol her way as he slipped out the bedroom door and through the front door of her townhouse so quietly it was as if he’d never been there.
Lucy felt a trickle of moisture escape the corners of her eyes. She closed them tightly against the threatening flood, and drifted off to sleep with visions of babies swirling about her mind.
~ ~ ~
“Stef, I had it again.” Lucy was sitting at the dining room table sharing a glass of wine with her best friend Stephanie D’Onofrio.
“Not the dream?”
“The Dream. The same damned dream. But this time I didn’t just wake myself up; I woke up Mike, too.”
“Lucy McSweeney, you little vixen. You slept with him again?”
“I know, I know, my slutty little soul is going straight to hell, I know it. But I couldn’t help myself Stephanie. I have needs.”
Stef laughed. “Tell me about it.”
“But your needs are fulfilled, Stef. You have the prize—the guy, the baby, the whole package. All I have are these damn dreams, and the closest I can get to commitment with a guy is having some handsome half-wit gigolo at my beck and call when I’m desperately horny.” Lucy sighed. She got up and poured another glass of wine for them both. She dribbled some red wine on the counter and grabbed a rag to sop it up.
“Sweetie, I know you think that Tony and I are always going at it like a couple of rabbits, but really, Lucy, those days are long gone. I hardly even have time to get a shower by dinnertime. Sex is the last thing on my mind.”
“At least you have the option, Stephanie. Not only am I a desperate beggar when it comes to sex, I have these crashing cymbals for a biological clock, making great thunderous gong sounds in my subconscious.
“I want a baby, Stef. Badly. I’m ready. I have a good job; I’ve got plenty of savings in the bank. But I can’t find a willing partner to pony up the sperm, let alone the commitment.”
“You don’t need a pony, honey, you need a great big stallion.”
“In the absence of any available draft horses, what do you propose I do?”
“You know, there is one way to get the sperm of your choice,” Stephanie said.
“Oh, please. The turkey baster technique?”
“Gobble, gobble, gobble,” Stef began to cluck and peck, flapping her bent arms, as she hummed the tune to that old Thanksgiving standby, ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.
“Stef, that just reeks of desperation. Buying a tube of someone’s seed? Ugh. What would my mother say?”
“Of all the people I would not worry about, it’s your mother. I love her dearly, but really, Luce, Marjorie McSweeney’s already half-cocked herself. She hardly has room to fault you for choosing the logical option.”
It was true. Lucy’s mother Marge was quirky and prone to odd behavior.
“Come on now, Stef. Are you implying that because my mother wears tennis garb as her signature fashion statement, she’s abnormal in some way?”
Lucy’s mother had years earlier decided that despite her inability to accurately swing a tennis racquet, she rather enjoyed looking perky and sporty in those little tennis skirts, and had taken to wearing the clothes regularly, always with a capped-tooth white pair of K-Swiss sneakers.
“Tennis, anyone?” Stephanie started laughing, swishing her butt around the room as if she’d just tucked two Slazenger balls into her tennis trunks. “You’re the first one to admit the woman is certifiable!”
“Come on. I know she’s a little nutty,” Lucy acceded. “But she would make a great grandmother.”
“Absolutely. Especially because she’s functioning at the mental level of a pre-teen. She’d be the perfect companion for your kids!”
Lucy sighed again. “Stef, you don’t know how magical that sounds to me: your kids. My kids! Imagine…And yet I haven’t got a father prospect in sight. What’s a thirty-something woman to do?”
“I’m telling you, Luce, who needs the farmer when you can plant the seeds yourself? Stop trying to find that elusive perfect man, because he doesn’t exist. Grab the bull by the horns, so to speak. Let’s go out and buy you some hunky guy’s sperm!”
Lucy was quiet as she fished her chip from the bowl of salsa on the table, trying to shake off specks of cilantro and wiping off the stubborn bits onto her napkin while she pondered this notion. Finally she popped the chip in her mouth. “So how does one go about semen shopping? Oh, my god, Stef, that sounds so gross!”
“When you phrase it like that it sorta does sound like you’re in the market for bull spawn. Instead, let’s just say you want to plant some tomatoes, so you have to find the right packet of seeds.”
“Okay, I’m looking for some ripe, juicy tomatoes.”
“The ripest. The juiciest. Heirloom tomatoes, in fact.”
“So I can just go into this tomato seed shop and ask to see pictures of this heirloom tomato?”
“I don’t think you can see pictures of the tomato himself. But I think they give you all sorts of details and statistics: how tall is the tomato, what color hair, and eyes. Personality traits, interests. Reasons for wanting to be a donor tomato.”
“I never knew tomatoes could be so involved.”
“Totally. Tomatoes can be quite complex.”
“True, true. After all, I guess that’s why I’m actually thinking about shopping for a tomato, since the right one hasn’t come knocking at my door.”
“I think it’ll be fun! Imagine, we can go and sift through files and information: blond tomatoes, freckled tomatoes, you can even choose Nobel Prize-winning tomatoes!”
“Oh, god, Stef!” Lucy buried her face in her hands, her blond hair creating a curtain to hide her shamed countenance. “So I choose this tomato on paper, and then what?”
“Well, I used to work with a woman who was artificially inseminated. Wow. that sounds so clinical and passive, doesn’t it?” she asked. “Basically the little vials of the stuff were shipped to her doctor’s office, and he kind of acted like the farmer sowing the seeds.”
“Ah, it’s so romantic. Put your legs in the stirrup while we make this beautiful little…tomato, dear.”
“Luce, romance only goes so far in life, you know. Trust me, romance isn’t going to get up with you in the middle of the night when your little tomato has an ear infection, anyhow. Truth be known, romance is sort of, well, romanticized.”
“Huh. That’s not like you to downplay something like that—you used to be the queen of happily-ever-after!”
“I’m just speaking the truth. Romance peters off shortly after the deal has been sealed. I’ve come to realize it just doesn’t linger. So you’re simply bypassing that step, and really, think how much disappointment you’re saving yourself.”
Once again lost in thought, Lucy rifled through the bag of corn chips.
“So how do I know this tomato isn’t, I don’t know, rotten?”
“From what my colleague told me, these tomato shops are very selective about what tomato seeds they offer up. They have to be educated, and pass strict health requirements. I think they try to rule out any sort of mental disorders, genetically predisposed diseases and stuff. It’s all very above board.”
“And so what happens if this tomato decides in ten years that he wants to meet his little cherry tomatoes?”
“This is the twenty-first century, girl. There are all sorts of protections in place to prevent that from happening. Besides, what guy in his right mind would actually choose to lay claim to a child he didn’t exactly want or plan?” She laughed, knowing as she did how many young men would just about die if they learned they’d sired offspring unknowingly.
“You know something, Stef? As crazy as this idea sounds, it’s actually beginning to make sense. After all, why buy the farm when you can pick your own tomato?”
“I’m with you. Just think, without having your very own tomato to deal with, you won’t tire of his sleeping through the baby’s cries at three in the morning.
“You won’t have him coming home demanding to know what you did all day, assuming you sat on your expanding derriere eating bonbons. You won’t have him expecting you to put out when you feel as if every last drop of life has already been sucked from you by him and the kid.
“You won’t have him hinting that you really need to drop those extra twenty pounds of baby fat you’ve put on—”
“Is there something you’re not telling me that you might want to talk about, Stef?” Clearly h friend was speaking a little too personally on the subject.
Stef took a swig of wine, chasing it with another swig of wine. “It’s just that things are so different when you’re a couple and a baby gets in the way. Don’t get me wrong, the baby is a good thing, and I very much want her, but I have to admit, the gap between the sexes widens to an almost impenetrable chasm after a baby comes along. For example, you know what Tony said last week when we were at his parents’ house?”
“I hate to ask.”
While Tony is exceedingly handsome with that wavy black Italian hair and impossibly long lashes, and truly he looked really great—almost better than the bride—in the wedding pictures and all, he’s sort of all looks, no substance, Lucy thought. No one would accuse him of being an overly-sensitive male of the nineties. Or oughts, or whatever it’s called nowadays.
“His mother asked how the baby was sleeping, and Tony told her great. Great! He said that she was sleeping great.”
“Wait a minute. I thought you said Sabrina was waking up a couple of times a night to nurse.”
“Of course she is. She’s waking up all the fucking time. And me, the chuck wagon that I’ve become, I’m stuck getting up all the time. You’d think that Tony could at least offer to get her, bring her to me, change her diaper, do a little jig, something. But no, instead, he snores away, blissfully unaware of my plight. I’ve taken to sleeping like a snake, with one eye open at all times, while the little lamb next to me is snuggled up all cozy and warm and oblivious.”
“Maybe my little snake friend should become a boa constrictor and choke some sense into him,” Lucy joked. “Seriously, Tony actually tells his mother that the baby sleeps like a charm?”
“Yeah, and then his ma pats him on the head and tells him he’s a good boy and a good father while she waits for me to clear the dirty dishes from the table.”
Stef rolled her eyes. She didn’t even look sad. She looked pissed.
“Don’t you think maybe you should tell Tony how this makes you feel?”
“Are you kidding me? Tony should know how I feel. How the hell can he not see what I’m going through? I mean, there’s a reason that sleep deprivation is an acceptable form of torture according to the Geneva Convention, you know. My God, I’m ready to surrender and confess to crimes against humanity, I’m so damned tired.”
“Oh, poor baby.” I give Stephanie a hug and refill her glass. “I wish I could help you get some rest. But here, drink some more wine, maybe that’ll put Sabrina to sleep a little easier.”
“I’m telling you this Luce, so that you know you might not be missing out on as much as you might think. Maybe in some ways it’ll be less hassle, I don’t know.”
“I suppose it’s just trading one set of problems for another. But you know what? I’m ready for it. I am. I’m going to talk to my doctor and see what I can do. Bring on the tomatoes, baby!”
“I’m excited for you, Lucy. And it’ll be a great social experiment, you know?”
“Oh, just what I want to be: mother of Frankenstein.” Lucy started walking with straight legs and arms extended in front of her, groaning like Frankenstein. “I want to steal your sleep from you.”
“You’re crazy,” Stef said, throwing a chip at her friend as she came closer to her.
“Yeah, I’m crazy, but you’re coming along for the ride.” Lucy laughed and gave her friend a hug as they collapsed on the couch in a fit of giggles.