Sunday, August 24, 2008

Between Friends: Consenting Adults


Mark shook the sleep out of his leg, "So why didn't you come to the party?"

Jack jiggled a wire, tightened a bolt with a twist of a wrench, and dropped the tool into the middle of the motor. "Fuck!" He reached down to retrieve his tool. "Scrapbook weekend. I had to watch the kids."

"You can't bitch. Bow hunting last weekend and you're going back up in a couple of weeks. You owed her."

"How was the party? You get laid?" Jack turned, bent for a new tool, and returned to the motor.

Mark shifted on the bench. "Oh Christ!" He took off his cap, wiped his head with his hand, and recapped with the bill against his neck. "Okay so. Mallory brings this woman for me to meet. She seems fun. Sharp as hell. I'm interested. I get distracted. When I look for her again so we can talk, she's gone."

Jack looked up from under the hood. "Only dicks wear their baseball caps backwards."

Mark patted his cap into place. "Well thanks for the fashion advice, fuckwit. I wouldn't have to offend your fashion sense if you weren't too cheap to put a decent light bulb in your garage."

Jack twisted a part from the motor and held it aloft in his hands. "Where'd she go?"

"What is that?" Mark pointed at the part.

"Do you care?"

"No." He stood up and walked over to the recycle tub and pitched the beer bottle. "She went to take a nap."

"Maybe she was tired."

"Maybe she's narcoleptic. It was too odd. A complete deal breaker."

"Was she drunk?" Jack took the part and set it on the tool bench. He turned on a spotlight and began to disassemble the part.

"How would I know? I'm not the hall monitor. It was like 6 o'clock at night. Odd."

"Too harsh. Lots of possibilities."

"Don't make me feel guilty that I'm not interested in a woman who slips into a coma at a bonfire." Mark sat on the bench, bent, and touched his elbows to his knees. "Apparently you don't want me to slip out of consciousness since you've only offered me one beer."

"Go in the house and grab us both one."

Mark reentered the garage with two bottles. He handed both to Jack. "Twist that for me."

"Jesus you're a pussy!" Jack twisted off the caps.

"I’ve got no strength in my hands."

"Jack off less."

"Blow me and leave my hands free." Mark walked over and sat on the bench.

"So any other women there?"

"Not the one I wanted."

"Who?" He took a screwdriver and pitched and prodded a coffee can brimmed with bolts and screws. He located a specific bolt.

"Maggie."

"Seriously?" Jack put down the tools and took a pull from the bottle.

Mark uncapped and righted the hat and recapped and tipped the bill out of his vision. "Yeah, we reconnected. Had some drinks, had some fun in the backseat of a car, and now pretty much nothing."

"You fucked her in a car?"

"And you need to know this ... why?"

"You mentioned it."

"Fair enough. No. It was a fuck-free event. But I was able to use my hands the next day." Mark tipped the bottle, took a swig, and then righted it.

"Mark, you're scum."

"You serious?"

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"Maggie blows you in the backseat of a car, and you're not sixteen? Doesn't sound like adult behavior to me." Jack turned and tightened a bolt.

"You're kidding right? First, blowing and finger fucking in a car is just about the best thing on earth."

"In your top ten, Marky?"

"No, but it's so close it's scary. And second, don't get all righteous on me. Two consenting adults, bro. So just back it up."

"You can't tell me what you're doing is right." Jack's hand slipped and the wrench hit the bench.

"I'm not saying it's right." Mark stood up. "I'm not even pretending. It's an absolute mortal sin. But I'm not mounting her on a wall and pretending I've accomplished something."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"I'm saying that I'm tired of sanctimonious assholes acting like there's something wrong with guys who fuck more than one woman. Like it’s the lowest thing you can do. That's what I'm saying. We're consenting adults. No harm. No foul. You take a gun out in a field and blow the hell out of an animal and it's your trophy. Did the animal consent? No fucking way. And I say: do what you want. I don't give you shit."

"It's not the same thing."

"Exact same thing, you duplicitous dick." Mark swigged. "Want another example? Okay. You go up to a cabin and drink until you puke and pee on your dog and you spend the entire weekend telling your buddies what a bitch Beth is. Did she consent to that conversation? You tell me that's right."

"You're just justifying."

"Bullshit." Mark tossed the emptied bottle into the trash. "Want another one? How about a parent who shoves pills down her child's throat in the name of behavior modification. Does the kid get to consent to emotional retardation? No. So the baby doesn't get to learn how to control or manage her emotions. Blow jobs are worse than that? Huh? So then the mother doesn't speak to me in a store because she's read my blog and thinks I'm a pig. Oh really? Or how about when a guy lies to protect his balls? Did the person he’s deceived consent to living in his deception? No." Mark crossed his arms over his chest. "It's cold in here. So two consenting adults who meet in a bar and do some pretty delightful things with their mouths isn't any worse. At least I tell people when I want to fuck them. All this other shit is just people fucking people over without their consent."

"Whatever."

"That's it?" Mark tapped his toes to warm his feet. “That’s all you got?”

"Yep. Want to grab us another beer or should we hit a bar?"

"Let's hit a bar. I’m done drinking but it's too cold out here."

Jack arranged his tools on the bench and wiped his hands on a rag. "You drive." He followed Mark out the door and shut off the light.