The Guy Can’t Help It—Clark Humphrey


Although he believed a real man should protect a woman’s feelings no matter what, Jackson couldn’t help wanting to tell her about the minor misadventures on his most recent business trip. 

Before he’d left, Tonia had taken pains to let him know how she expected him to behave when he was away from her. She had admonished him that when he came back she wanted to hear about EVERYTHING he’d done, with nothing left out. And he’d better tell her that he’d behaved exactly as she’d wanted him to.

And he had fully intended to honor her wishes. 

But he didn’t. 

Particularly at the Tokyo strip club, where every act ended in on-stage sex between the stripper and an audience member. 

By having continued to stay and watch, he had complicitly approved of the spectacle. But he had not raised his hand to ask to be picked for the onstage privilege.

Jackson knew she would feel as disappointed in him as he now felt in himself, in retrospect. Or at least he decided that was how be supposed to be feeling. 

But he wasn’t feeling disappointed with himself. He was ambivalent; while she would be at least dismayed and at worst disgusted. 

He could just let that whole adventure remain a private memory, just between him and the other members of his conference delegation. 

Or, he could make up a less offensive version of the story. He could say other members of his team went the show and told him about it afterwards. He could say he’d been to a traditional geisha performance instead. 

Or, he could lie and tell her what she’d want to hear.

He could tell her that he had indeed gotten on stage and naked. That he had indeed deftly, skillfully fucked the living brains out of that jaded sex worker, that he had turned her into a quivery Jell-O mold of satisfaction. That he had made the other men in the audience feel more than inadequate about themselves. That he had then dressed and left the scene, leaving everyone in awe. 

That he had proceeded from there to grope, lick, and screw his way around the island nation, with professionals and amateurs alike. 

That he had left all of these women a little worse off for having briefly known sex at its ultimate, most mind-bending level, only to know they would never experience this peak performance again; for his body was merely “on loan” from the woman who truly owned it, the one woman who truly deserved him, patiently waiting for him from back across the Pacific Ocean.

Yes, Jackson decided. He would lie, to preserve her image of him.

And to let her prove she was the only woman who deserved his loving. 

Even though he already knew it.



About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 6, 2012, in Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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