Sheet Talkers by Joni Abilene

“Cli-tor-isssssss,” Reva said, long and articulated enough for Judd to get the hint this time.

“That’s what I said.”

“No . . . you said, as you always say, incorrectly, Clay-tuh-rees. Like it’s some honky tonk. My private happy bit is not a dive out in the woods.”

“Well why do we have to be talkin’ about this anyway? I didn’t wanna to say the word, but you made me. Does nothin’ for me to be honest. I just like what it is, not what it sounds like.”

Reva sighed and flopped over in the bed. “Fine. I was just trainin’ you for the next woman in your life. She may not put up with your ignorant pronunciations.”

“Hey! Hey! I may be ignorant with words, but not in action. And action’s what counts.”

She mumbled into her arm, “Yes, I do agree, you are good with the action part.”

“And there ain’t gonna be no other woman. You’re it forever. So stop trainin’ me like that.”

Reva continued to speak into her arm, pressing her lips against her soft flesh, and rolling her tongue along the bicep just a bit. “There’ll be other women.”

“What’s that?”

She flipped over, and lay underneath his hovering form. “There'll be other women, but that’s okay. I don’t delude myself.”

“Reva!” He shook his head, face tanned with a mess of long hair hanging down. “You just let me decide the future! All right?”

She slipped her arms up around his neck. “Love it when you get angry.”

Groaning, he fell down onto her mouth with a wild kiss. “Oh shit honey, I try so hard not to get mad at you. But sometimes . . . sometimes you say things that make me want to strangle you.” He started to slip off her tank top.

She stopped his hands. “Really? Am I that infuriating to inspire physical harm?”

“Yes, you are. But you know I would never do it. Dammit, I wasn’t raised like that. I’m peaceful through and through.”

“But still,” she sighed, taking one of his hands and nibbling into its palm. “The truth is, relationships are a lie and someday we’ll both have other partners. It’s just how it is.”

They both fell quiet, laying in the bed for a long time. Reva began to giggle. “Ever had anal sex before?”

“Hell no!”

“My ex thought we should try that once. Big mistake. It hurt like hell and I hated it.”

“I hate it when you talk about your ex.”

“Well, he’s part of my psyche still. I suppose I’ll always bring him up now and then.”

“Hate it.”

“Have you ever tried to orgasm without sex?”

“Not sure.”

“Well, you know, you just rub around each other a lot without actual sex stuff.”

“I’ve dry humped.”

“I guess I don’t mean that. Oh well, sounds like you haven’t. You haven’t tried a lot of it, it sounds.”

“I like just good ole makin’ love.”

“When it comes down, I do too.”

He kissed her nice and slow, and she made a happy sound. “If I was young again, I’d think about marrying you, but now I’m too old and wise.” Reva traced a finger along his collarbone. “When a woman gets free, she wants to stay free.”

“You’re only thirty-eight, not too much older than me, and haven’t you ever heard marriage can be a good thing?” Judd looked concerned.

“Sure I did. And then I found out different.”

“But what if someone really loved you and wanted to make a vow before God?”

“Let him, I just won’t be returning the favor.”

“It makes me sad.”

“You’re a romantic.”

“I had high hopes.”

“For us?”

Judd nodded.

“Sorry.” She tried to sound it, but giggled again. “Dammit, you’re on my spleen.”

He moved.

“No . . . marriage is such a swindle. You both promise things that never come true, and slowly, slowly, everything goes to hell. Beer and loneliness and babies.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I think the problem is men don’t really want marriage, they just want to own something. They don’t want anyone else to have it. And once it’s all locked in they get tired and want something else. They should just admit it.”

“I’d never get tired of you Reva.”

“And the babies, they’ll grow up and leave, and I’ll still love them the same as when they was little and soft and fuzzy, but in the meantime I’m feelin’ like a dried peach with no juice anymore. But I have a lot of juice, a lot. I don’t enjoy feelin’ like the world has forgotten me. I want men, and sex, and being free. I want it. Though why a man would want me is beyond my way of thinkin’. My body feels tired. Damn labor. And my breasts, they used to be so beautiful, but now they’re half-filled balloons floatin’ around the carnival lookin’ for a tack to end it all.”

“No one’s complain’.”

“If I could be a young again, I’d roll in the hay with every man that came around, and get my fill.”

“You’re young to me, Reva.”

“Never again. Time is a flashbulb, one pop and it’s over.”

“You think too much.”

“Sometimes at night I wonder why life leads us around the way it does. All the trouble that could be saved if we could just stop and breathe once in a while.”

The sun was going down outside, and the sound of someone’s truck rumbling by could be heard through the open window. Judd lifted a strand of Reva’s hair with hesitant fingers and pressed his lips into its softness.

“Oh Reva. It could all be so simple. So easy.”

“But it ain’t.”

“But it is.”

She smiled. “It is, when it’s like this. I like it when it’s like this.”

“Ah honey, I do too."

Joni Abilene lives in Kansas where she whittles away her time playing guitar. She’s an avid collector of books and records and cowboys. To keep up to date on Joni's writing, you can visit her blog at