20080603

A Very Tender Thing

by Kendra Grant Malone

Julia tried to wake her lover at noon so as to go into the city to get cupcakes in the East Village for breakfast. She felt a wave of shame for her selfishness when he began to rouse and subsequently failed, filled with tenderness, and instead sat on his fire escape smoking a cigarette and tonguing the gap between her front teeth. Julia watched her lover sleep from the window across his small apartment, with her legs spread wide over the window sill, and admired his beautiful mouth. Full of soft tongue and very sharp teeth, his mouth rested closed and pursed. Julia thought about what happened the previous night. It is a very tender thing to allow someone to ejaculate into your face Julia thought as she moved her thumb back and fourth across her lips.

6S

Kendra Grant Malone lives in New York with her temporary life partner, Nicole. She prefers Brooklyn to Manhattan, but not by very much.

16 comments:

LuLu said...

I read this four times;and find myself thinking "I know these 'tender thinking selfless' kind of people--they are called doormats."

Four readings didn't change my mind on Julie.

E.K. Hornbeck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Young said...

Lulu, why are you an an anonymous asshole?

E.K. Hornbeck said...

I find this to be a very compelling piece of writing. It is at first not-quite-subtly sexual ("tonguing the gap," "her legs spread wide over the window sill") and then it unexpectedly becomes rather abrasively sexual with the superb It is a very tender thing line. This contrast is quite effective, and even more interesting is the unusual way the narrator views an act that has been perceived by some as purposefully demeaning. The reader is left unsure whether to take the narrator at her word (i.e., whether Julia or the narrator truly viewed the act as tender), and this enhances the strength of the work given the conflict already inherent in the piece.

I also like the comparison between his mouth - closed and pursed - and her mouth from the previous night, which one can only assume was open. The language ejaculate into (rather than ejaculate onto) also has force.

Finally, the intimate portrait of the Julia is strangely voyeuristic and erotic. Rubbing her thumb back and forth across her lips at the end while contemplating the previous night's events is pretty damn hot.

Very well done.

Kerry said...

Hey I really enjoyed this. It's funny, intimate (both physically and emotionally) and importantly very well written. I like a bit of humour with my ejaculation and cupcakes - a great six

Jayne said...

This is surprising and excellent.

Joe said...

Gritty and witty. Nice use of metaphor and well-executed. Reminded me of early Kathy Acker. Excellent Lower East Side feel to it.

Katrin said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahah. someone...gawd, someone mention the deep, penetrating juxtapositions! It hurts.

Colin Bassett said...

yes, yes

this is very nice and great

Adam J. Whitlatch said...

Nice.

starla said...

Intoxicatingly rude.

Quin Browne said...

interesting.

not just the 6s, but, the comments themselves...

Kendra Grant Malone said...

thank you everyone.

lulu, chill out babe.

DOGZPLOT said...

kendra - i read somewhere that you like cupcakes and eja*ula*e on your face. me too. call me.

Bryan Coffelt said...

mike young -- I AM LULU

you are a zero.

Douglas I. Thompson said...

A vivid portrait of post-coital contemplation. Good bit of writing.