Professional Jealousy

Carnita was ambitious even as a fetus in her mother’s womb when she absorbed her twin, surely destined to be a rival, and all her mother’s other eggs, ensuring she would be an only child, a deliciously devious plan to have her own credit card by the time she was 12, and become a writer, a feminist writer to be precise, of the Virginia Woolf ilk, with her long wordy sentences and witty observations, if Virginia had written porn, because that was Carnita’s ambition, to write feminist porn.

She was 15 the first time she had sex with a male, and the fiction of the pleasurable protuberance sent her into a revenge storm. Sex was not what it was cracked up to be. Explicit stories sprang up like psilocybin from her damp disappointment. Her inner feline strapped on claws, and she climbed out of the walled garden of girlhood into the dark crevasse of human nature, sticky fingers plucking sweet salty nuggets of flesh and pressing them into her keyboard, stroking, stroking, stroking, until the alphabet was exhausted, leaning back on one elbow, digging around her nightstand for a breath mint, accidentally belching the burp she had been holding in since that first kiss, before she was pushed down on the mattress, and gave control of her lady parts to a master.

She says she writes her best material in public, sitting with her laptop in coffee shops and diners, people watching while mentally wrapped in the prickly legs of a lesser thinker, one who could never fully appreciate the nuance of her innuendo, her flippant verbology, the exquisite tension between her prime cut vocabulary and the lunch meat she was chopping at 200 words per minute. Carnita knew her audience too well to have any affection for them. Her readers were hungry puppies she occasionally kicked.

I admire a writer who is not beholden to likes. I ask myself, why am I not also a writer of erotica of the sort people pay for, and read aloud to their partner between the sheets and sleep? Carnita fluffs her keyboard on the table in front of her as I chew my bagel. Her fingers swarm in sassy prurience. Porn lubricates her mind, words pour out in frictionless acts, draining blood from brain to Neverland in blinding, liquid brilliance. Yes, I’m jealous. Why do I hesitate? Is it possible to injure your soul writing porn? Maybe I don’t work hard enough.

As I question my legitimacy, she’s on her third orgasm. Drips pool in dimples and curl around chins. I wonder what my friends will say when they discover I’ve started to write porn. Meanwhile Carnita’s lead character ascends into heaven slurping oysters in an Italian sports car, careening down the Amalfi Coast, until she’s on her last chapter, getting all Pulitzery, collapsing her lovers on the cliffs above the beach, carnal snacking sated, and I’m still sitting here, twisting a paper napkin around my flaccid ambition.

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