Two Short Stories

by Paulus Kapteyn



            Emma said she would be at my place at 9. At 11 I texted her. She said she was in Sellwood and that she was at a friend’s house. She asked me if she still should come over. I thought about her body and said that she should still come over thinking that it was unlikely that she would show up for at least another two hours if at all. I don’t think Emma has a sense of time and she still may be doing heroin.

            Emma has this thing she does when she’s a no show, very late, or wants to know how you feel about her. She says are you sure you don’t want to see me. She creates a doubt that she knows is an abyss for an addictive or obsessive person so that she can get him to give in to what she wants. She will repeatedly ask if you like her and then she will say that you hate her. You won’t see me. You hate me. She says repeatedly.

            Did you like what I did, she says. Do you want me to stay? Or do you want me to go? Are you sure? Are you sure you want me to stay? She moves from one room to another to smoke or to drink. She has a hard time being still. The repetitiveness of the questions breaks a person down. I get the feeling that she is going to lose it if she isn’t sent away. I have said to her, are you sure but it doesn’t help. She never answers the question. It is the void. It isn’t meant to be answered.

            I don’t think Emma’s name is Emma. She doesn’t look like an Emma.

            Emma is on her way. She is going to make good. I have her fireball whisky and a moderately clean glass. I have been drinking it. It tastes like cinnamon gum. I’m worried Emma is going to want the money I promised her to show three hours ago. I think she should be penalized for coming three hours late. I doubt she can even make her way here. I’ll try to see if she even is aware enough to have a conversation. If she can smack me around I’ll give her a hundred dollars and masturbate to her lies and craven mouth.

            Emma is scary as fuck. She said her boyfriend gave her seven black eyes. I didn’t think anything about it at first but later in the night I realized that she could lose her shit and the police would come to my place and I’d have to explain why I had given her three hundred dollars. I don’t know why I gave Emma three hundred dollars. I wanted to help her. I wanted to have uncomplicated sex. Emma was okay at first. We talked about our histories, but then she got obsessive. She grabbed my hand constantly and told me to shove my fingers deep inside her while she called me Daddy. I didn’t want to do it and she grabbed my hand and fastened it to her vagina as she grabbed my cock and said why is it so small. Why isn’t it doing anything. And then she said you hate me. You don’t want to see me. She said this repeatedly. Rape me, she said. I want you to rape me. I don’t want to rape you right now, I said. I need to sleep. I have things I need to do. I was scared she was going to lose it and I would have to answer to the police. I had to get her in a taxi that would take her far away from me so I would never have to see her.

            Why did you call a Taxi, Emma said. I was sleeping. Did I snore? Are you sure I didn’t snore. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to snore. Can I suck your dick? Do you hate me. Yeah you hate me. You’ll never see me again. You don’t like me. Did you get what you wanted? Are you sure you got what you wanted? I don’t want to steal from you. I can give you the money back. I want to give it back to you. Are you sure you don’t want it? I want to do this with you again but not for money. Can I suck your dick? This is only the second time I’ve done this for money. It was an older man. He gave me four hundred dollars. Do you have money for the taxi? I’m not going to pay for it. You said you would pay for it. I really like you. Do you like me? I like you? Are you sure you like me. Are you sure? You don’t like me. I can tell you don’t. You hate me. Why do you hate me? I only want you to get your money’s worth. I would never steal from you. You lie to me. Don’t lie to me. You said you had to be somewhere in the afternoon. Why did you call a taxi. It was nice knowing you. I know you don’t like me. This didn’t go as you wanted. Tell me your fantasy. What do you want me to do? Can I suck your dick? Can I suck you dick? You don’t want me to suck your dick? I can suck your dick. And you can put it inside me. Do you want it in me? Can I suck your dick. I’m just kidding. I used to be 300 pounds.

            Don’t look at me. I don’t want you to see the fat from losing weight. Do you like my tits? Suck on them. Don’t use your teeth. Never use your teeth. Can I suck your dick? Just kidding. I really like you. I’d like to see you again. Are you sure you want to? Are you sure? I don’t think you like me. Have a good life. Maybe our paths will cross again.

            Now I remember. Emma was at the Chan Steakery bar the whole time I was looking for her and she texted that she was on her way to me when I first met her. She never was on the bus. She observed me for a half hour waiting for her. I remember seeing her when I didn’t know what she looked like in person.


She Is a Beginning

            laura works for a wine business. she doesn’t tell me the name of it. she doesn’t tell me her last name. she came into my place for five minutes. she didn’t like the mess. i didn’t care for the mess. i decided not to do anything about it for a couple of days. she will work for a month in a cellar. she wants to work for a year in one. it is unlikely she will. she used the word cellar when she talked about what she wanted to do with wine. i still don’t know what it is. do they work in a damp cellar to procure wine?


            i believe the sentence was we are more lonely than we are self sufficient.

            i knew you were scrutinizing, laura said.

            i think i mostly overlook, i said.

            laura has soft eyes.

            you have soft eyes, i said.

            stop, laura said.

            ok, i said.

            we drove in laura’s white toyota. she set the seat warmers on high. it was a mild portland august night.

            maybe you can go to driving school, laura said.

            yeah, i said.

            i believe laziness is a virtue, i said.

            i do also, laura said.

            i have misgiving about gratitude, i said.

            laura won’t contact me. i will have to contact her. she won’t want to see me unless my timing is perfect and i contact her when she is bored or lonely and i say something that appeals to her sensibility. at the moment, laura is superior. she doesn’t care for my ineptness. she is a beginning. she has soft arms, eyes, and mouth. i want to have more of her softness. she said she wanted to go swimming. i wish i could see her one more time in her bathing suit in the willamette river and taste the softness of her mouth.


            a wide shouldered thin asian young man with long black hair talks to an equally handsome sober woman.


            did laura see the eczema on my left wrist? she has acne on the right side of her 23 year old face. i’m 45. i’m the oldest man she has kissed. she kissed a 39 year old man. she is the youngest woman i have kissed seriously. she keeps her eyes closed when she kisses. i close and open my eyes. i thought about feeling her breasts with my hand but it didn’t feel like she wanted me to. i don’t want to do anything she doesn’t want to do. i say things that she doesn’t care to hear. i don’t beat myself up over it. she said a number of intellectual things that i wasn’t able to do anything with. i wasn’t able to remember the titles of books or the names of authors. at 45 i’m as absent minded as my stepfather who is 87. i didn’t beat myself up over it. i think she had to dumb herself down for me. i don’t mind dumbing myself down when i’m with someone i like. she enlightened me about lucretius, antigone, the greeks and incest. i thought she looked like macaulay culkin, the actor. she has a very pretty and symmetrical face. she has a strict nose.


            what will i look like to laura with my clothes off? i will never get to see and to feel her breasts. they are especially expansive. i feel sad and relieved. 



Paulus Kapteyn is a writer who resides in Portland, Oregon. He has had his work in print.