Watch and critique porn

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Yet, in his current circle of Manhattan friends, who were mostly graduate students and legal proofreaders, Kromer played the role of satyr. The more he protested that it was only a single heroin-laced cigarette that had happened to be placed in his hand, or that his so-called threesome had consisted of scarcely more than heavy petting and a brush with sleep apnea, the more they looked to Kromer as their saint of degeneracy.

Though these parties were invariably disappointing, Greta invariably closed them down. Greta was, in her desultory way, the real thing. Everyone else Greta knew had been molesting their trust funds since prep school. That was the problem—they were responsible to their money, while Greta waged war on hers.

Watch and critique porn

Greta sometimes needed to borrow the fifty cents to make the call. Kromer assumed this deliveryman or fixer was really a butler, but the one time he referred to him as Jeeves Greta seemed not to get it.

Watch and critique porn

The process was mysterious. A book nerd, a clerk, Kromer sat failing even to drink very much among young blacks in stuffed brassieres who the following day would be late for beauty school or, in some cases, Intro Soc or Psych at Queens College. Yet, the next day, attending afternoon breakfasts with his wondering cohort of Ph.

Kromer learned this fact from their bolder colleague Sarah, who was willing to meet Kromer unaccompanied in Union Square, at least by daylight. They want to be able to compare notes. Kromer was a hinge between worlds, a glimpser. All he had to offer them was his own notes, not the Watch and critique porn itself.

Nor could Kromer confess that it was Renee, all-but-dissertation on contemporaneous Western representations of the Boxer Rebellion, whom he loved. He said nothing. They fled the frozen park for a coffee shop, where Kromer suggested hot chocolate, adding, he hoped, a brushstroke of harmlessness.

Kromer knew it was also his job, what he was a clerk at. The shop was called Sex Machines. There Kromer retailed chunky purple phalluses, vials of space-age lubricant, silver balls and be for insertion, latex dolphins with oscillating beaks. In lieu of such a collective, the owner had installed Kromer, transferred from the video-rental outlet, as both manager and night man. Night hours were what counted in this instance. A wizard salesman, Kromer switched on and demonstrated the range of speeds on any of devices with a shame-dissolving forthrightness.

Four things. Few had been inside, but word evidently got around. In the newsletter, pornographic movies were extensively categorized, according to predilections and interests, and rated on several indices: of key scenes, story or its desirable absence, diversity of performer types, et cetera. His apartment was a maze of stacked porn.

The volume was staggering. As invisible to him as familiar bookshelves would be to another, the accumulation tended to make a powerful impression on visitors. It should have been foremost, especially on that in-like-a-lamb evening in March, a month or so after his stroll with Sarah, when Kromer improbably pried Renee and Luna loose from a dull celebration, held at a pub just a few blocks from his building some underdog had passed his orals, on second attempt. Kromer had brought Greta along, and it was she who actually accomplished the trick, keening for Kromer to lead her back to his apartment, where she knew he had a fresh bag of good pot.

She was an instinctive corrupter and seducer, guilty of everything ever imputed to Kromer. Kromer peppered Renee with teasing questions, even dared express surprise at learning of her sister. In catalogues for winter gear, under hot lights. Watch and critique porn told me you could lose ten pounds in one session, just mopping sweat. It startled not only Kromer but Renee, too, enough to spare him the laugh. Their knuckles brushed. Not quite fingers entangling.

No one said ouch. But the walk, that brief elbow of Houston and Ludlow, was done. Their appointment with his baggie of pot commanded they exit the sweet night, in favor of the radiator thud and hiss of his walkup. Air so plush at sidewalk level would be like ice coursing through his fourth-story windows. She fell silent, her limbs surrendering their animation. If only the blocks of Ludlow had each been a mile long.

Kromer seized the opportunity with relief. The tapes had first to be mentioned, so as to be dismissed.

Watch and critique porn

Kromer cut the jokes, opting for efficiency. As if watching the same one twice would be the shameful act. For a few minutes, the subject went underground. The t circled the room. Greta had been an art-history major at college. Renee bolted upright, putting Kromer on alert for a police raid, or a blouse aflame from a loose ember.

Instead she darted at the edifice of porn, coming away with three tapes. Where could he possibly begin? Actually, Renee had done well, for a random stab. Two of these three had some redeeming imaginative elements. A picaresque structure, but charming. People like them, I mean. No one threw him a lifeline here. She looked ill. She nearly made it. It was positively toxic, able to compel vomit from gorgeous women. He thought with relief how, on her knees, at least, Renee would be spared any view of the VHS tapes stacked on the porcelain tank.

Kromer labored at the floorboards with wadded paper towel and citrus solvent, wishing to spare her, too, the shame of her stinky action painting. Behind him, the apartment door slammed. The permanent mystery was how much you seemed to know before you knew anything at all. Kromer, just for instance, had named her Invisible Luna without grasping that it was he, Kromer, who was invisible to Luna. She was, he saw now, a pining, tentative lesbian, in love with her best friend. Kromer had overplayed his role, or his apartment had.

Watch and critique porn neither had stood a chance with Renee. Of such stuff booby prizes are made. The air was mingled sweat and smoke and vomit, the hour unknown. It was all good, it was fine, it was O. Now he felt too lazy to change the record.

Kromer was once more a conduit, a proprietor. He might as well have been at the counter of Sex Machines, his life a site where others came to test their readiness for what they feared were their disallowed yearnings. Greta, enemy of sleep, rolled another t. Kromer put on another record, got back into bed. Greta unbuttoned his jeans. Maybe this was what he and Greta had in common. Kromer felt he had a bargaining position, for once. A whole smoked-fish plate, with plenty of bagels.

Watch and critique porn

Sable and sturgeon, and chopped liver, too. Coffee and orange juice, the whole thing. Then she took off his pants. I fucked for sturgeon. But no, that would be playing the game by their rules. Kromer knew better than ever his wearisome sacred truth, which no one, perhaps not even Greta, could see: he was innocent. Jonathan Lethem teaches creative writing at Pomona College. e-mail address.

Watch and critique porn

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