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Sarah caught my eye at a Romare Bearden opening. Two nights later I bought her dinner at Alison on Dominick. The sex was lush, cushiony, companionable, matter-of-fact—no tricks to speak of, but she knew her own body and had ideas about mine. The subtlety of her variations was delicious. Later, though, I heard she’d wrinkled her nose at my personal hygiene. Sassy, my sweet, what are a few skid marks between friends?

After Lucille beat me at nine-ball in the back of a keno parlor, we went out for ribs and ended up bringing some Bacardi back to her place. The sex was hot and candid, lots of tongue, teeth, and growl, and though I’d expected raunch, only toward the end did she get all “I’ll do it to you honey till I make you shit.” This wasn’t literally true, but it might as well have been. Later, though, I heard she’d bad-mouthed me for not delivering on that rim job. Bessie, I swear, it just slipped my mind.

It was real, and a repeat of either performance would do me fine. But Billie’s got more common decency, not to mention sexual magnetism, than both these ladies put together.

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