Have you ever done something impulsive? I mean really impulsive, like, to the brink of craziness or beyond? I’d lived my whole life, and grown to be a middle aged forty-five year old woman, without doing such a thing, but…and oh, baby, is this a big ‘but’…a few days ago I went there, to that impulsive, crazy place where only impulsive crazy people go. Turns out, it was right across the hall.

It started innocently enough, as long as you think it’s ‘innocent’ when a middle aged woman gently flirts with a much younger man. You see, a good friend of mine, a woman about my age named Jill, had to take a two-week vacation from work very suddenly, due to her mother falling and breaking a hip. Jill, who has three cats, asked if I would mind house-sitting for her, to look after her apartment and take care of her cats and the fifty or so houseplants that would need watering while she was out of town. I said sure, I’d be happy to help out. I don’t have any pets, and just a few plants, so my own place pretty much takes care of itself.

So I moved into Jill’s cute apartment, an old fashioned ‘flat’ in a vaguely Victorian four-plex. I brought a soft-sided suitcase packed with my things — books, magazines, clothes, my toiletries and yes, a small vibrator. My apartment is only six miles away, so bringing just one small suitcase was enough.

You walk through the front doorway at Jill’s building and enter a hallway, with her apartment door on the right and another apartment on the left. A fancy old wooden staircase leads to the upstairs hallway, with a similar layout of two more apartments. It’s a tidy building; it’s clean, and it always smells good, in an old house, old wood kind of way.

Just moments after arriving, I was in the hallway trying to get Jill’s key to work in her somewhat reluctant lock when a very cute younger guy came in off the street. He said “Hi” and looked at me a little bit more than would be usual. Turns out he’s Jill’s across the hall neighbor, and he wasn’t aware she’d had to go out of town. His name is Jack.

“Yes, she said she might be be gone for two weeks,” I said. “My name’s Allie.”

“Allie? Wow, I like that name. You’re my first Allie.”

I smiled, probably more than I should have. But really, what a charming thing to say, right? Jack stood and watched me for a few seconds as I tried the key again.

“I think we all have trouble with our locks,” he said. “The landlord is supposed to replace them all someday.”

It was then that the key turned, and Jill’s door opened, but this handsome young man’s presence was so distracting I’d forgotten about the cats. As quick as that, two of them were into the hallway, like furry streaks of lightning. Jack, very kindly, helped me corral them, and, also quite gentlemanly, he didn’t just walk into Jill’s apartment with a cat in his arms. He waited at the door for me, with a very pleasant look on his face, calming the spooked-looking kitty. Jill had never mentioned this nice neighbor to me, and I wondered why.

“How long have you lived here, Jack?”

“Oh, wow, just a few weeks, I guess. Yeah, I just paid my second months rent. I like it here. Your friend seems nice.”

“Yes, she’s…(a bit lonely, like me, I wanted to say)…she’s very nice. We’ve been friends since high school.”

“Oh, wow.”

Jack and I said a pleasant goodbye, and I slowly settled into my new surroundings. The cats, somewhat aloof at first, got used to me more and more. After a day or two we were like old friends, with not one but two of them on my lap in the evening, with the third close by my shoulder. They were missing Jill, I’m sure, but I was glad I was a reasonable substitute.

I spoke to Jack in the hallway and out on the front steps, three times, I think, over the course of that first week, and I must say he’s a very attractive young man. I use the word ‘attractive’ in its literal sense, meaning if I was a twenty-something girl, and single, I would absolutely make a play for more of his attention. He has that certain magnetism that many men don’t have. I suppose it’s just my own internal magnet, aging and somewhat worn out as it is, that just happens to be the type that’s pulled in by his. Of course, other than being charming and friendly I’m sure he didn’t feel the same tell-tale pull that I did, but it was fun to dream about. Nice fantasies. And when combined with the new-to-me sensuousness of lying naked in bed with the soft fur of warm cats against my skin, while bringing myself to orgasm with my trusty vibrator, well, yes, they were very nice fantasies, indeed.

I was halfway through the second week of house-sitting when Jack told me, out in the hall, that he was hosting a party at his apartment on Friday night, a bachelor party for a very good friend of his. “I hope we don’t bother you too much. I’ve already told the people who live upstairs,” he said, gesturing at the staircase.

“Oh, no, you won’t bother me,” I said, smiling. “I’ll expect to hear lots of boisterous fun. It’s a party after all, right?”

Jack smiled, in that way that he does, the way that melts my heart a little bit and makes me yearn for youth.

“So…,” I said, curious, “…are bachelor parties still…naughty, these days? The old stereotype is for a naked girl to come out of a giant cake.”

“A cake? Really?”

“Yes. But that goes way back to my grandfather’s time. It was just a way to make the stripper a surprise, even though I’m sure everyone expected one. A stripper, I mean.” I’m afraid I blushed, and my blush caused Jack to blush. I embarrassedly asked him, “Are strippers still…part of the fun?”

Jack’s face, a quite beautiful shade of fleshy pink, showed smirking mischief when he nodded. “There’s…one coming. It was my brother’s idea.”

“Oh, you have a brother? He’s coming to the party?”

Jack nodded, his eyes looking at mine, differently now. It was a bit of bashfulness, I think, from talking about strippers and such. He and I were only very casual acquaintances, after all, and then there’s the age difference between us. It got me to wondering just how old his mother is, and how old—or how young, I should say—the stripper would be. None of it was any of my business, of course, so, before I said something embarrassing, I bid him adieu, saying, “Well, have fun at your party.”

I suppose it was right around then, or just a short time later that evening, when I started daydreaming about the bachelor party, wishing I could be a fly on the wall on Friday night, curious as to how young men in their late twenties blow off steam in such a situation. I was curious, too, about Jack’s brother. Could he be, say, eighteen or twenty years older than Jack, and single, and, oh, I don’t know, maybe perfect for me? It was a ridiculous thought, fun for a few moments, but then the truth of it all came crashing down — I couldn’t marry the brother and be in love with Jack, too. It would all be much too messy. I smiled, picked up a soft cat, and held its warmth against my face and neck. It made me want to get naked and roll around in bed with the furry critters once again. I was beginning to understand the whole ‘Cat Lady’ thing. Lots of warm fur and a vibrator. What more does an old gal need?

Soon it was Friday evening, the beginning of my last weekend at Jill’s place, and this, dear friends, was when I somehow lost my mind. I wish I could say there was a plan, or some forethought, but I can’t remember any. I do remember standing quietly, and invisibly, I hope, watching young men arrive for the party, me sneakily watching through lace-curtained windows as they parked their cars on the street and made their way up the building’s front steps. Jack’s brother was one of them, easy to recognize due to the resemblance. There was close to a dozen cars already parked when arrivals slowed to a trickle. A few of the cars were expensive — a BMW, a Lexus, two very sporty Nissan’s. The party was quickly audible to me, not in an overly loud way but there was a somewhat steady din of music and conversation, with occasional rising decibels when something more interesting went on. There was no sign of a stripper yet, and yes, I was watching for her arrival. I’ll call it a deep curiosity. Maybe it was my yearning for youth again, with the jealousy that goes along with it. Can you tell yet that being middle-aged is not my favorite thing?

And then, there she was. At least I thought it might be her, a young woman who looked to be in her late twenties, wearing skin-tight spandex shorts and a rock and roll t-shirt that was scissored off to bare her midriff, just below her big breasts. Yes, she looked the type. The hair, the make-up…the whole package. A stripper in all her glory, ready to go to work at a job that suddenly seemed so exciting to me it made my brain tingle.

A strange sort of slow motion overtook me. I feel as if I stared at her forever as she started walking past the parked cars, her eyes searching house numbers as she went. The next thing I knew I was outdoors, on the sidewalk, heading toward her as she approached. “Are you the…girl for the bachelor party?” I asked. She nodded and said “Yes.”

“It’s all off,” I said. “You won’t be needed. I’m sorry.”

“What?” she griped. “What the fuck! Oh, sure, the one time I don’t get paid ahead of time. Where’s the asshole who hired me? I told him…I told him a cancellation would still be two-hundred. Do you have it?”

“Is…his name Jack?”

“No. Brandon.”

“So…I don’t know him, but…I’ll pay you. Stay right here. I don’t want anybody to see you.”

“Don’t want anybody to see me? What the fuck’s wrong with me! Jesus Christ, lady!”

This young woman was clearly pissed, and I couldn’t blame her. I was fucking things up for no good reason. Even I didn’t understand what was happening. I held my hand up, as if she was a dog I was training to ‘stay,’ and I went down the street and into Jill’s apartment, as quickly as I could. I remember hearing the party, louder when I was in the hall, and I remember scrounging through my wallet like a fast moving thief, nearly ripping my ’emergency money’ out of the secret zippered compartment. There was five fifties there, and I felt so guilty about what I was doing I took it all with me and gave it to the stripper girl, out there on the sidewalk.

“Sorry,” I said. “Is this okay?”

She looked and saw an extra fifty, nodded, said “Yeah.” She looked me over for a quick second. “What are you, his mother?”

It struck me funny, and I let out a cackled laugh. “No,” I said. “How much do you get paid if you actually do the work?”

“Five Hundred. Plus tips. I fuckin’ shoulda had that tonight.”

I turned and left her there, the memory of her slightly perplexed look still vivid in my mind even today.

It only took a few steps toward the front entryway of Jill’s building to put me into a quiet panic. The odd thing was, I knew exactly what to do. If I was going to be the stripper—and yes, that’s where my crazed mind had gone—I needed lingerie, and it just so happened I had already found and ogled Jill’s dresser drawer that was full of the sexy stuff, a week or more ago. I guess maybe I’m nosy, but…isn’t everybody? So, like a crazed lunatic who scares cats, I burst into the bedroom and dumped the contents of her sexy undies drawer on the bed, rummaging through the soft things like there was a bomb ready to go off with its timer ticking down to zero. Fast, in other words. But there truly was no great rush. Why I didn’t relax into this surreal moment I’ll never know — perhaps I knew that if I’d taken a few seconds to think I’d certainly have realized what a fool I was about to make of myself, and what a mess I’d already made of Jack’s party.

And so I kept myself in a flat-out rush, without time to think. Stripping myself bare, I put on Jill’s skimpiest, laciest bra and panty set. Nearly ripping her shortest skirt off of a closet hanger, I put it on, then slipped into her white satin ‘boyfriend shirt’, tying its shirttails around my middle, leaving it completely unbuttoned so as to show off the ridiculously sexy red lace bra that I was nearly tumbling out of. My breasts are just mid-sized but they’re bigger than Jill’s delicious little bra, so the overall effect was just what I said to myself in the mirror — “Wow!”

My hair, already a bit mussed at this point, seemed ready for the full mess-it-up treatment, so my frantic fingers did the job. Jill’s shoes fit me pretty well, thank God, so I put on a pair of hideous gold sparkled high heels, a pair I can only imagine she bought for a wedding, maybe, or perhaps Halloween. I’d already been playing with her makeup for nearly two weeks, so I knew right where to find her reddest lipstick and her rosiest rouge. After a quick, shaky-handed application of thick black eye-liner and clumpy mascara, I was out the door, with my handbag over my shoulder, wondering what in the fuck life was throwing at me. I mean literally, my thoughts were spinning, the dazed kind of dizziness that doesn’t affect your balance, just your judgment.

I knocked on Jack’s door.

Jack answered, with music and the sound of happy laughter spilling out all around him into the hallway. With a beer bottle in his hand, he had a big smile when he opened the door, but his face quickly went blank as his eyes met mine.

My mouth opened and words came out. “You ordered a stripper? Sorry I’m late. Is it all right if I…come in?”

Jack looked past me, out into the hallway, but no one else was there. “Seriously?” he said.

He didn’t look crushingly unhappy, his face still oddly neutral, so I nodded, and I blushed. And then he blushed right along with me, same as we’d done once before. I said, “The girl was here, but…she had to leave. But there’s no need to ruin your party, right? Will I…do?”

Jack took his first serious look at me, at how I was dressed, and my mussy hair, and my red lips. I think I saw the first sparks of lust in his eyes. I hope I didn’t imagine it. He looked as if he was somewhat concerned for me, in a sweet kind of way, and he said, “I mean…yeah, come on in, but…only if you really want to.”

I nodded, staring at him as if I couldn’t look away, and I felt the tingles of sparks between us, thrown from our mutually twinkling eyes. He took my hand, and suddenly—if ten frantic minutes can be considered sudden—I was stripper at a bachelor party.

As he ushered me into his apartment, I asked him, “Who’s Brandon?”

“The big guy, with the red shirt. Why?”

The mood in the room changed in such an unusual way when the guys saw me. Some yelped and whooped, others stared. I saw Brandon approaching.

“Sorry honey,” I said to him, my voice tinged with some sort of inner-city accent I’d never heard come out of my mouth before. “Your little Trixie couldn’t make it. It was last minute, so you get the mature variety. Ya like it okay?”

It was the moment of truth. I was sweating even though I was ice cold. Brandon looked me over, with a lecherous pair of eyes that nearly made me shiver. “Fuck yeah,” he said. “You’re fuckin’ hot. Same price?”

“Yeah, honey,” I said. “Plus tips, o’course. You fuckers’ll wanna give me thousands after I’m done with ya.”

The room erupted in whoops. My blood pressure shot through the roof, and my pussy got wet. I’d never felt such a wildly mixed bunch of feelings in all my life, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t love it.

Which brings me to this thought, this confession, which may make this bizarre, over the top behavior I’m telling you about easier to understand: I had dreamt of this moment, this wet pussy, heart pounding minute I was so thrillingly experiencing, for nearly thirty years.

It was the summer just after my high school graduation when my year-older brother suddenly enlisted in the Navy. It was a last minute decision he’d made, and he was gone in a flash. I talked to him on the phone a few days after he’d left, and he asked me to get rid of some things from his bedroom, things he knew our mother and father—but especially our mother—wouldn’t approve of. His hiding places were pretty good, I must say. There was a half empty bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon, three different styles of marijuana smoking pipes, and a ziplock bag containing a few scraps of weed and two pills that I flushed down the toilet—I found out later they were Ecstasy. There was also a stash of pornography that boggled the mind. How could so many magazines and VHS tapes be hidden away in such a small bedroom? I couldn’t help but laugh even though I was a bit horrified. Conservative young me, who hadn’t ever had her hands on anything even close to porn, suddenly had a nicely curated collection.

Of course I found it more than a little worrisome, ‘holding’ such a stash of porn, but I mustered the nerve, keeping all in hiding places of my own. I read every word, looked at every picture, and watched every videotape before disposing of almost all of it, very carefully, just a little at a time, in the household trash which I had very kindly volunteered to take out to the curb each week, just so I could get away with my nefarious riddance.

Eventually, I was left with just one videotape and three magazines, all of which I kept for quite some time. My reasoning for keeping the movie was that I’d fallen in some sort of love with its male star, a mustachioed hunk of a man with a huge cock who fucked like a god for hours on end. Of course, with the movie being a fictional narrative, with plenty of creative editing, it, and he, ruined me for real-life men. No sexual encounter in my real life had ever come close to that kind of porn perfection. Is that why I’ve never married, never settled into a truly long relationship with a man? Gosh, I hope not, but maybe a little of me is that shallow.

I can hear you asking: Hey, Ellie, what’s the deal with those three magazines you kept? I’m glad you asked, because I’m pretty sure they are a big part of what led me to be standing in Jack’s apartment, me dressed like a slut, surrounded my young male drinkers at a bachelor party. Maybe you’re starting to realized that it sounds a lot like one of the erotic encounters written about in Penthouse Forum, a small format, Reader’s Digest-sized magazine that became my favorite part of my brother’s collection.

Yes, Penthouse Forum. The thought of those old, small, somewhat glossy magazines still gives me a happy tingle, even all these years since they had such a powerful effect on me. They were full of stories of deeply sexual encounters, the types of things I mostly, in my late teens, never even knew existed. Something as simple as a threeway, which I had never heard of, was a wildly mind-expanding thing to learn about. As was couple-swap swinging, and a real classic: giving sexual favors, oral and then full-on fucking, right there on the street, to a police officer who’d pulled you over because your taillight was out.

My barely eighteen-year-old brain was boggled by these things, not to mention turned on, more and deeper than ever before. But it was two other stories that really got to me, on some sort of a sub-atomic level. One was the story of a girl who wanted to go camping with one of her best friends, a boy, but he was going ‘just with the guys this time.’ She found out where they were going, a remote woodland with a pond, and she showed up there in the dusky light of the fading day, and she took off all of her clothes, with all the clothed boys watching, and she skinny dipped in the pond. And she walked out of the pond, dripping wet, and she stayed naked, amongst the clothed boys, and she drank whisky and beer with them, and…well…there’s plenty more to the story, but that first part alone is more than enough to make my pussy wet.