Mary Queen of Arkansas (oh_snap) wrote in edifications,
Mary Queen of Arkansas


Stephanie is in her own bedroom, among her things, and in her bedroom is James, whom she knows through friends and who has perfect forearms. Tonight they found themselves the last two at a party for a friend, who is leaving the country to go to Bolivia to raise llamas, or perhaps coffee. They are now in her bedroom, Stephanie and James, because they like each other a great deal, especially tonight, when his forearms looked truly exceptional. But James is only in Stephanie's city for one more week, at which time he will leave for Oregon to live as a forest-fire watchman of some kind. The point is that together they have no future, but Stephanie badly wants to have sexual intercourse with James. But if she does, James will bring her total number of sexual partners up to thirteen, which is, she thinks, too many. Not oo many for herself- for she regrets only two of the men in question, both named Robert, both with too much back-fat- but too many for whomever she finally marries. She can already hear the conversation, a year or five years hence, with the man of her future, whoever he may be- he too will have amazing forearms- when after much fumbling and guessing and suspecting, they finally agree to exchange information about past partners: numbers, names, frequency locales.

And she knows now thirteen will seem excessive. She believes that even twelve, where is now, seems too much, will likely scare off a man who is not very secure in himself. Thirteen is a baker's dozen, and it is this phrase, "baker's dozen," which is the problem. She knows that she will marry a well-adjusted and self-secure man with a sense of humor, and a man with a sense of humor will hear the number thirteen and will, she can be a certain, make a joke involving the phrase "baker's dozen." And though they both will laugh when the fiance utters the phrase, and laugh some more as he conjures the image of actual bakers, in their white outfits and hats and powdered hands, lining up for a crack at Stephanie- ha ha ho ho!- both Stephanie and her beloved will be privately sickened by the image and the phrase at its root and it will thus be the beginning of a quick unraveling of their love and respect for one another. They will not recover from the thought of her and these many baking men, of her being covered in flour, or pushed around in dough, or the inevitable it would seem, incorporation of a rolling pin. All of this leaves her no choice, for the sake of her future. She must sleep not only with James, but with whomever becomes handsome next weekend. His name will be Naveed and he will, she realizes in a moment of lustful revelation, give her fourteen- not thirteen and for fourteen there are no expressions involving bakers, none involving tradesmen of any kind.
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