Gerard prefers to do two girls simultaneously—one’s not enough, two or more is just too damn confusing. One white girl, one black. Keep the colour scheme, change the furniture.
On this particular occasion, Gerard’s performance is lacking. Too tired. He’s been at it all morning. He decides to quicken the proceedings. Two quick slaps to the thigh—white—of the girl straddling him signifies a change of position.
“From behind,” Gerard mumbles.
White-girl, smiling eagerly, turns and bends over; she gasps slightly as Gerard enters her. Black-girl, finishing a drink from the hotel’s V.I.P.-suite bar, re-joins them on the expansive bed. She slides under White-girl’s face, her genitalia greedily attended to by her counterpart.
Gerard moans labouredly as climax finally racks his body. Breathing hard, he says, “Thanks” and touches each of his nipples in turn, left then right.
The scene swiftly melts before his eyes, and it takes a few moments for his bearings to return: he’s sitting, naked, at his com-console, in his room. He carefully lifts the visor from his head, gagging slightly as the mouthpiece exits, removes his gloves, then gingerly extracts his semi-deflated penis from the moist warmth of the VulviCradle™ attached to, and hanging from, the desk’s edge.
“Music: off,” Gerard says and instantly the high-ceilinged tenement room quietens as the forlorn guitars and drums of grunge stop mid-screech. A soft whirring begins as the VulviCradle™ begins self-cleansing.
Stepping into a pair of black, knee-length shorts, Gerard opens the blinds slightly, half- lighting the room in a cold, grey luminescence. A yawn stretches his face as he unlocks his bedroom door, extracts the key, slips out and re-locks the door. He’s startled as the door across the narrow hallway opens to reveal a tired-looking young woman wearing a dressing gown.
“Cathy,” Gerard says, unable to keep the surprise from his voice. “Thought you were at work.” He’s suddenly self-conscious of his bare torso—he’s always thought himself too skinny across the shoulders and has lately developed a small belly.
Cathy hesitates a moment before saying, “Phoned in sick. The flu, I think.”
Gerard nods and moves into the kitchen, linoleum gently sucking at the soles of his feet. Down the hall, he hears the bathroom door lock being thrown.
A swift survey of the spartanly furnished kitchen cupboards and fridge invokes a little grumble from Gerard. Presently, quick-cook noodles simmer in a pan; two slices of dry white bread await their grace on a plate.
Cathy trundles into the kitchen, mumbles unnecessarily, “What you making? Noodles again?”
“Not at uni today?”
“Lecture was cancelled.”
Gerard hastens out of the way as Cathy reaches for the kettle; as she fills it, Gerard leans against the counter, folds his arms across his chest. Cathy stands with her back to him, gazing out of the narrow window at what can be seen of the gray cityscape, silently waiting for the kettle to boil. Gerard looks down at her bum, decides that Cathy has definitely put a lot of weight on recently.
Moving to the cooker, Gerard adds the powdered flavouring too early and transfers the curry-tinged pasta-strings to the plate. Cathy gives her tea a final stir, twice clinks the teaspoon off the cup’s rim, then, sipping her creation, heads out of the kitchen.
“Oh,” Gerard begins, halting his flatmate’s progress. She turns and initiates the morning’s first eye-contact, brief as it is. “Suzie signed for a delivery yesterday morning. Did you… get it ok?”
“Of course—she left it outside my room door.”
Cathy goes back to her room. Gerard pours himself a glass of milk, snatches a fork from a drawer, and hurries back to his own room.
Grunge fills the air again as Gerard kicks off his shorts and settles into his carefully adjusted chair. A forceful burp pays tribute to his noodle sandwich. Briefly, guiltily, he considers calling up his dissertation, but consideration is as far as it gets. Other, more exciting pursuits beckon... Just one more go, Gerard tells himself.
Excepting the mouthpiece, donning the visor always produces a moment of sensory bewilderment, but bordering on pleasurable. Like sneezing, Gerard thinks to himself each time. He pushes his hands into the gloves, waggling his fingers until they’re snug, then touches his nipples—right one, left one.
Automatic random site selection this time presents to him what looks like an executive’s office. A sharply dressed black woman in her early thirties sits behind an expansive desk talking on an old-fashioned phone. The dark valley of her cleavage is barely restrained by her blouse. Noticing Gerard, she says, “One moment, please” into the receiver, then presses a button on her desk. Almost immediately, a young white girl enters the office, brown hair pulled back severely into a long ponytail. She looks Gerard up and down appraisingly and says, “Nice suit. Here for the interview?”
Black-girl speaks before Gerard can: “Make Mr McGrath comfortable, why don’t you, Sara? I’ll just be—ˮ
The scene freezes entirely and a prompt flashes in the top left of Gerard’s field-of-view. Red: Urgent. His services have been requested—not too uncommon an occurrence. Pleased and curious, Gerard answers the prompt. The office scene warps, melts and coalesces into a new one. Situation-confusion inflicts Gerard but, as is sometimes the case, the new scene seems vaguely familiar—a bedroom. A glance down at himself reveals, aside from his current favourite body shape, only a pair of boxers.
A delighted laugh from behind. Gerard turns to see a white girl, clad only in a red, translucent chemise, sitting with her legs crossed in a high-backed wicker chair. Their eyes meet and hold. A surge of groinal sensation tells Gerard his erect penis now sits securely in its sheath.
“You knew, didn’t you?” the girl asks without a hint of embarrassment or shame.
Gerard shrugs, steps back to sit on the wide bed. “Yours came in exactly the same packaging as mine.” He’s looking at the apparently dormant com-console on its table against the wall, picturing its new accessories in the real version of this room just across the hallway… and their user.
Smiling, Gerard looks over at the girl and they burst into laughter simultaneously; and they go on laughing until the girl rises slowly to approach the bed. Like Gerard’s, her face and body are obviously enhanced, the former only needing meagre improvements.
And what is, more or less, Cathy lowers herself to what is, essentially, Gerard.