i've been in Chicago," I told Marie, my perpetually insightful haircutter. I settled into the enormous electric-orange, hand-shaped chair as she tightened a violet smock around my neck. "You would have died, Marie. Those college girls. Split ends everywhere, as far as the eye could see." A wailing woman's voice erupted in stereophonic sound from every corner of the room. "Is this one of those female singer-songwriters I've been hearing about?" I asked.
"Hole," Marie said, fanning her fingers through my freshly shampooed mane. "Or vagina music, which is what Gavin calls it." She disdainfully let a handful of strands float to the black tiled floor. "Didn't I tell you to start brushing your hair? You're going to wind up with dreadlocks if you're not careful." She selected a banana-yellow wide-tooth comb from a jar the size of a human head and hummed a bit. "Are you still seeing that guy with the halitosis? I hope you finally told him, by the way."
"No," I said. "And no on the second."
"That was never going to last," she said. "I knew from the second you described him to me. Anyone with that kind of footwear ... shoes make the man, Courtney. Remember that."
"How's Gavin?" I interrupted. "The last time I was here, you weren't having sex."
"Gavin is fine," Marie said carefully. "We had a little disagreement, but he's fine."
"So you're still not having sex."
"No, we are," said Marie. "The other night, he comes home, all smiling and happy. He's got this little glint in his eye, but he doesn't say anything. I'm like, whatever. So we're lying in bed that night, about to watch this old John Woo video that he'd picked up that day. Or so I thought. And what comes on is the raunchiest, dirtiest and most disgusting porn flick I'd ever seen in my life."
"A real turn-off, huh?"
"Are you kidding?" Marie stopped measuring ends and looked at me in the mirror. "I've never been so turned on in my life. We fucked like rabbits, all night, watching the video, copying the video. On top, on the bottom, on our side, swinging from the chandelier, sucking, licking, talking dirty. It was great." She started to snip, carefully at first, then gaining speed as she worked her way around the layers of hair. Suddenly, she stopped, mid-snip. "You aren't against pornography, are you?"
"Absolutely not," I said. "I think you could call me pro-pornography. Some of the hottest sex I've had was while watching porn."
"Good," said Marie approvingly. "I have some clients that I'm sure would be offended by it. That's OK too."
"So where does the fight come in?"
"OK, well. Most of the porn videos are naturally of threesomes. Two girls, one guy. Big male fantasy, right? And you know, I like chicks too, I'm not against the lesbo thing. I've done my stint in the dyke arena in beauty school. Women's breasts are really incredible, they're absolutely beautiful, no doubt about it. I'm a mammal -- I like pussies, I like watching two girls rub against each other. " She stopped snipping and looked at me again. "You've had threesomes, right? With a girl?"
"Yes," I said. "It was interesting. Sort of like a variation on Twister."
"And you know, I've done it lots of times with a girl and Gavin. Before the baby, long time ago. And it was fine, it really got him off. But, you know, I've always wondered what it'd be like with two guys. Or three guys. And them not watching, but actively participating. With me, and with each other. I mean, I'm not a dyke, but I can suspend my imagination enough to do it with a chick for Gavin. He can do the same, right?"
I could see where this was going. "Continue."
"So Gavin and I are going at it. I'm sucking him off, we're both really enjoying it. And he's moaning, and he's asking me to tell him what I want -- my deepest fantasy. It's not like I can really talk, but anyway I manage to put it out there that I want to fuck two men. And I want to watch him with another guy, and be in the middle. And I can sort of tell that after I say that, there's this slowing down. He starts to go a little soft, so I step up the mouth action a little. It's not working. So I start to get a little mad."
"The phrase 'vagina dentata' springs to mind," I commented. "Go on."
"I mean, what is the big deal here? It's not as if we're actually with another guy. It's just a fucking fantasy. He asked, right? Being with him and another guy would really, really turn me on. And I've done stuff for him -- I've wanted to do stuff that'll turn him on. So, I've got his balls in one hand, and my finger up his ass with the other ..."
"Marie, telephone," her shampooist called.
"Could you take a message? I'm in the middle of something." She spritzed some water on my ends. "Where was I?"
"Finger," I said.
"Oh, right. So I say to him, 'Don't you want to? Wouldn't it be fun for me to get fucked in two ways at the same time? Wouldn't you like to know what it is to have a dick inside you?' By this time he's shifting around. Completely soft. 'Honey, ouch,' he says. 'Could you, uh, get some lotion?'"
"So I guess that was it."
"Oh, no," she said cheerfully. "I got the lotion, he got hard again, he went down on me a few times. It was great. But that guy thing. Arghh." She groaned in irritation. Shaking a black can of mousse, she began working giant balls of white cream through my hair. "Flip your head over," she commanded, as she turned on the hair dryer. "And you know," she yelled over the noise, "I know he'll never fuck a guy for me. It just creeps him out too much. But I'll fuck a chick for him, I'll eat her out. It doesn't seem fair."
She flipped me back over and spritzed my head with something that smelled like nectarines. "You're done. See you in six weeks."