Before I lived here, I had an older place, thin-walled and ramshackle, with the balconies crowded together. When my neighbour sat outside, I could hear him in my living room. When he sat in his living room, I could hear him in my bed.
My neighbour had an odd sexual routine, and it went something like this:
“Can I get you a drink?
“Sure. That’d be great.”
—and then there’d be shuffling, the rattle and fizz of a bottle opener, a clink or a belch, depending on the manners of his guest. They’d sit and chat a while, and the conversation would veer towards sex, and my neighbour would lean back and sigh.
“It’s been a while for me,” he’d say, whether it’d been a month or a day. “It’s weird. It’s just…nah.”
His trick would get curious. “What? You can tell me.”
And my neighbour would sigh again, and I’d hear him get comfortable, tuck his feet underneath him like a bird. “It was in college. This older guy. One of my….”
I presume he nodded, then. He never said anything. I’d picture him composing himself, maybe wiping his eyes, then he’d launch into this grim tale of sexual debauchery, the callow kid and the dirty prof, how the old man lured him to ever more shocking depths of debauchery, prodding him along with the threat of abandonment, till at last, there was an orgy. The stops along the road, now, he’d change those every time, BDSM, watersports, humiliating public displays—that’s how I knew it was bullshit. But it always ended with an orgy, six guys and him, and not in a fun way.
My neighbour, he’d ham his way through this halting description of his fear and his mentor’s manipulation, then a night that’d have left him wide as Goatse guy, then he’d do this sad half-sob and clear his throat.
“So that was it,” he’d say. “It fucked me up, y’know?”
His companion would say something like “Jesus. Did you report him?”—a reasonable question, all things considered.
My neighbour would laugh, all bitter-like. “You don’t get it. I was in love. I’d have done anything to keep him. Even that. But he stopped returning my calls….”
I’d hear him shift over, then, like he was inviting his cockpocket-du-jour to sit with him, then there’d be smooching, then sex noises, and I’d be like “seriously?” I mean, how the fuck does that work, over and over? A dreadful story like that, and it gets ’em all riled up?
Then again, I never met my neighbour. Never saw his face. Maybe he was a stone cold hottie, and he could’ve said any old thing, and it’d have ended the same. Maybe comfort was his fetish, playing the victim….
Anyway, he got more sex than I did, and I was jealous. Plus, whenever I did have sex, I imagined him hearing, and it made me self-conscious. I’m not loud, or anything, but I could hear this guy swilling his beer. Any little squelch or skin-slap, and I’d picture him snickering up his sleeve. A few times, I went all the way to Granville Island and booked a room, simply to fuck undisturbed.
Ha. We should all be like Pity Sex Guy, shagging through thin walls, zero shame.
(That story though, shit! I bet he’s still using it, and all. So if you’re in Vancouver, and your date spins a tale of some cruel geezer…fair warning. He’s a player.)