Friday, April 26, 2013

#24 The Nanny Diary




Dear Diary,
            This evening Bartholomew came over for dinner and a “lesson.”  It went better than expected.  I think this young man is exactly what’s needed for Operation Happily Ever After...

                                                            *          *          *


            Bartholomew arrived at Gerald's house with flowers in his hand just as it was getting dark outside.  Per The Nanny's instructions, he entered through the back gate.  The last time Bartholomew was at Gerald's house he left through the same gate after burning down the pool cabana.  Bartholomew was excited about his evening with The Nanny, but entering Gerald's property gave him a chill – a sense of dread.  

            To Bartholomew's surprise, where the charred blackened shell of a cabana used to be now stood a modest size cottage with a pool on one side and gardens on the other three. In the fading sunlight, it looked heavenly.  This was now the home of The Nanny, who Bartholomew could see through the kitchen window pulling something out of the oven.  He could not imagine a more perfect domestic scene than this: a beautiful simple house, a beautiful woman, and amazing food. (The Nanny had picked up very quickly on Bartholomew's taste in food and... him.)

            “No, no, no,” Bartholomew said to himself. “Stop it!  I might have burned this house down last time I was here, but I deserve happiness.  I want a girlfriend and someone to spend my life with.  I deserve to be here – even if everything else is so much...more than me.”   Eyeing Gerald's house, a grand mansion to which another wing was added since he had last seen it, Bartholomew's heart crumpled one more time before he shored it up and went to knock on the cottage door.

            Before his knuckles could touch the vinyl-encased fiberboard, it opened, and there stood Kyle the pool boy.  “Dude, long time, chyah,” said Kyle. 

            “What are you doing here?” asked Bartholomew somewhat confused and irate.  Memories of finding Kyle and Geraldine, who he was then dating, in nothing but towels in the darkened cabana swirled through his mind. 

            “Inventory, hehe,” said Kyle.  “Pool season starts soon.  Just checking on stuff, Dude.”  Seeing the flowers in Bartholomew's hand, Kyle asked, “What are you doing?”

            “I came to see The Nanny,” said Bartholomew.

            “Wrong door,” said Kyle.  “Her door's over there.  This is pool storage, chyah.”

            Bartholomew felt relieved that Kyle hadn't actually been in The Nanny's house.  “Thanks,” said Bartholomew and headed to The Nanny's door. 

            “Dude, you should've stuck with Geraldine.  The Nanny's weird.  She's too perfect and she knows it.  Geraldine was cool, chyah,” said Kyle as he left.

            Bartholomew knocked on an old wooden door.  While waiting, he thought what's wrong with perfection?  True, Geraldine wanted to be with him.  She liked how kind and polite he was and she certainly was up for having sex, maybe every night – or more.  Maybe even a lot more.  But The Nanny was beautiful, and she wanted to be with Bartholomew, too.   She wasn't as driven to have sex, but Bartholomew figured he didn't really need sex several times a day.  Maybe just once a day would be okay.

            The Nanny opened the door.  “Hi Bartholomew!  Come on in.”

            Bartholomew walked into a house that seemed to be very old with dark wooden beams, plaster walls, antique furniture and handmade rugs.  This surprised him since he knew the house was less than a year old. 

            “Do you like my stuff?” asked The Nanny.  “I have collected it over the years and take it with me whenever I get a new job.”

            “Haven't you been a nanny for Gerald's kids for six or seven years?” asked Bartholomew.

            “Six years, eight months.”

            “You're not that old.  What other nanny gigs have you had?”

            “Oh, a few more.  But let's not talk about that.  Guess what I made for dinner?”  Not waiting for Bartholomew to answer she said, “Corn on the cob, green beans, marinated lamb and kale chips.”

            “Kale chips?” asked Bartholomew.

            “Yes, it’s a new recipe I learned.  I think you’ll like them.”

            Bartholomew and The Nanny had a perfectly wonderful meal full of good food and good conversation.  For dessert, a wild berry torte with real whipped cream, The Nanny put on some coffee and suggested they retire to the living room.

            They escorted each other and their desserts to a big comfortable upholstered couch with maple legs.  The coffee table was also made of maple and held magazines, a few chotzkes and a condiment dish full of chocolates.

            “Oh, this light is too bright.  We need candles.  Bartholomew, could you grab me the matches on the windowsill behind you?”

            At this, Bartholomew became a bit nervous.  “Do we need candles?”  Memories swirled in his head again.  This time it was of Geraldine asking him to retrieve some matches from a windowsill in the cabana.   It was one of those matches that started the cabana on fire.

            “Don't be silly.  I promise you, you will be happier with candles,” said The Nanny.

            Bartholomew found the matches and handed them to her.  She lit five candles and placed them on tables around the couch.  They turned their attention to the very tasty tortes and conversed while eating.

            “So, how are your garden plans coming?” asked The Nanny as she ate her last bite.

            “Oh, very well.  Topping, Charlotte, Ned and Claire are all going to garden with me and so are Uncle Jeffrey and Aunt Josephine.  I am very excited.”

            Putting her plate on the coffee table and then moving closer to Bartholomew, The Nanny said, “That's great.  Is there room for one more?”

            “Absolutely,” said Bartholomew as he put down his plate and moved closer to The Nanny.  At the same time, they both moved to kiss each other.  As they pulled their faces away they stared into each other's eyes.  Bartholomew put his arm around The Nanny and they kissed again.  This time they kissed much longer.  They kissed several more times – each kiss becoming longer and more passionate.  Bartholomew wanted to put his hand on The Nanny's breast but wanted to be polite and wait for a signal from her.  Instead, he cradled her head in his hand and then began to stroke her hair while they kissed.

            “Ohhh,” said The Nanny, “that feels so good.  Keep stroking my hair and patting my head.  Oh, that drives me crazy!”

            Bartholomew didn't mind stroking her hair, but he felt a little funny when he patted her head.  But The Nanny's groans indicated that, as silly as Bartholomew felt, he was on the right track.  The Nanny unexpectedly pushed Bartholomew backward on to the couch.  His leg kicked out and knocked over something on the coffee table.  Bartholomew went rigid.  He could see a candle rolling to the edge of the table, wax spilling on a magazine.  The candle fell aflame onto a handmade floor rug.  He was about to yell out, “NO, STOP, GERALDINE!  THERE'S A FIRE!”  but the candle landed on its tip and went out immediately.

            “Are you okay?” asked The Nanny.

            Bartholomew took one more glance at the candle and saw that it was indeed out.  All of his muscles relaxed and he smiled.  He was not with Geraldine.  Things were not necessarily going to be a disaster.  “Yeah, I'm great,” he said and kissed her again with renewed passion.

            With The Nanny lying on top of him, Bartholomew was rubbing her back while they continued kissing.  He slowly pulled her shirt out of her pants and began to rub his hands up and down on her skin.  The Nanny stopped kissing Bartholomew, arched her back and groaned some more.

            “Oh, that feels so good, Bartholomew.  You know just how to touch me, mmmm,” said The Nanny.  “Could you put your hand down my pants and rub my butt?  That would feel so good, mmmm.”

            Bartholomew gladly did as he was told.

            The Nanny groaned more and rubbed her body on Bartholomew as he lay underneath.  “Yesssss, could you rub me just above the end of my spine?” asked The Nanny.  “Like, imagine if I had a tail.  Rub where it would meet my back and my butt, mmmm.”


            Batholomew could have found the spot with out such an odd description.  But he was happy to make her happy and to have her on top of him, making his body feel good, too.  Rubbing this new spot made The Nanny wriggle.  She arched her back even more and could hardly control herself.  She breathed heavily and placed her hands on Bartholomew's bosoms and began massaging them while riding on him.  This felt very good to Bartholomew, until he smelled burning coffee.  Then the beeping started.  Loud long beeps of a smoke alarm filled the air and Bartholomew's head.  The Nanny ignored them for a moment, continuing to ride Bartholomew who had an urge to yell out, “STOP!  THERE'S A FIRE!  WE CAN'T DO THIS!”  But before he could yell out, The Nanny left the couch and went to the kitchen.  She turned off the coffee maker and put the coffee pot in the sink.  She then waved a towel in front of the alarm until the smoke dissipated enough for the loud beeping to stop.


            Bartholomew lay there and laughed.  A calm pervaded his body.  It was not going to be a disaster.  He could be with someone he wanted without it ending up weird.  What a relief.

            The Nanny returned, and seeing Bartholomew smiling, happy and relaxed she said, “Now, where were we before that rude interruption?”  As she sat down on the couch she removed her sweater.  The Nanny grabbed Bartholomew's hands and pulled him on top of her as she lay back.  He rubbed his hands across her skin.  Her skin was so white and warm that it seemed to glow, as if the light of the universe was just underneath it.  Bartholomew felt almost blinded by its beauty.  He also felt her bra and a breast that lay underneath it.

            Bartholomew kissed her neck, her forehead, her ears and her lips.  He moved down on her body and kissed her clavicles and then began to kiss her breasts.  As he did this, he moved his hand down to her stomach and gently rubbed it.

            “Ohhhh, ohhhh, that feels so good,” said The Nanny.

            Bartholomew focused on kissing and rubbing her breasts more and stopped rubbing her stomach.

            “No, no, don't stop rubbing my stomach.  Oh, that feels so good.  Could you stop kissing my breasts and just rub my stomach, mmmm?”

            Bartholomew stopped everything for a moment.  He would much rather keep focusing on her breasts.  He thought twice before he started rubbing her stomach again.  If that was what she wanted, he would do it.  But he also started to wonder when he would get what he wanted.

            The Nanny unzipped her pants and asked Bartholomew to rub lower – but not too low.  She also liked it when he rubbed her ribs with his fingertips.  As Bartholomew rubbed her stomach, her moans became louder and involuntary.  The Nanny grabbed his hands and said, “Stop.  Stop. Oh, that drives me wild.  We should stop here.  This is our first time being intimate, we should stop here.”

            Bartholomew stopped because he thought it was polite to stop when a woman says to stop.  The Nanny zipped up her pants and sat up.  She put on her sweater and kissed Bartholomew again.  Bartholomew kissed her back. 

            “You seem a bit sad,” said The Nanny.

            “Well, I'm a bit frustrated,” said Bartholomew.  “I would have liked to continue what we were doing.  If you’re uncomfortable, I can honor that, but I still want to be on this couch making-out with you and having you rub me where I like it, too.”

            “Oh, Bartholomew, that will come.  But you can understand where I am coming from, can't you?”

            “Well, yes.  I can understand if you don't want to become more vulnerable.  I am not expecting going all the way tonight, but a little more rubbing and a little more sharing of our private parts would have been nice.”

            “Oh, Bartholomew.  I am afraid you don't understand,” said The Nanny with a look of concern in her eyes.  “I was as vulnerable as I can be.  The act of sex isn't what does it for some women.  For some, sex is just a recreation or a way of being close, but what really turns them on is when a man doesn't strive to have sex – when a man strokes her hair and holds her close instead of always seeking intercourse.  That's when a woman really knows that a man loves her, not just what he can do with her.  Do you understand?”

            Bartholomew looked away at the flame of a candle.  He thought it was much more fun with a woman who wanted to have sex first and then figure out all the emotional stuff later.  But then again, nothing burned down this time.  Maybe he was better off approaching things this way. 

            “After all,” said The Nanny, “once you’re in a long-term relationship it's not like you are having sex all the time – I think a couple times a week if you're lucky.”

            “What?” asked Bartholomew feeling like his dreams had been dashed upon the rocks.

            “And besides, there are other people to think about,” said The Nanny.

            Bartholomew was about to ask what she meant by that when The Nanny said, “I really like you Bartholomew.  I think you are the right person.  The time will come when you will be completely satisfied.  But, to get there, we need to work out a few things, learn a few things from each other.  Trust me, I have your best interests in mind, too.  When can I see you again?”

            “Uh, how about Tuesday night?  Do you want to come to my place for dinner?”

            “Hey, there is a great band I want to go see.  They're called The Dionne's.  Can we do that?” asked The Nanny.

            “Sure, I love them,” said Bartholomew.  “Does picking you up at seven work?”

            “Yeah,” said The Nanny as she got up and walked Bartholomew to the door.  “Seven is perfect.”

            They kissed a few more times – and then some more.   Bartholomew didn't want to let go of her. 

            “Good night,” she said.

            “Good night,” replied Bartholomew and walked out the door.

            As Bartholomew strolled through Gerald's back yard he wondered how an experience could be so satisfying and yet so unsatisfying at the same time.  It just made Bartholomew want more.  He wasn't paying attention as he reached the back gate and almost ran smack into Xavier.  Immediately, Khua moved forward and pushed Bartholomew out of the way and was ready to punch him.  Even in the moonlight Bartholomew could tell that Khua's face was bruised and his knuckles were bloody.  But then Xavier recognized Bartholomew and told Khua to stop.

            “What are you doing in my yard, Bart?” sneered Xavier.

            “Just visiting The Nanny,” said Bartholomew.

            “You’re not dating her now, too, are you?  I guess not, the house didn't burn down,” sneered Xavier as he moved to stand in front of Bartholomew.

             “I'm really sorry about the cabana.  I didn't mean for it to catch on fire.”

            “How come you're always apologizing for messing up my stuff?  You burn down my cabana, you break my gun, you drop my stocking and you touched... it.  What did you fuck up tonight?  Ooooh, maybe tonight you did...”

            “Xavier!” a voice rang out into the night air.  “Let Bartholomew go home in peace.  He was here visiting me.  It has nothing to do with you.  Now leave him be,” said The Nanny.

            “You got her protecting you now, too?” said Xavier in a voice low enough that The Nanny couldn't hear.  He continued, “If I ever catch you messing with any of my stuff again, I'm going to take care of you.  This island’s not big enough for the two of us, so leave my stuff alone.”

            “What island is that?” asked Mo.

            “Shut up,” said Xavier.

            “Yeah, like, what island you talking about?” asked Khua.

            “Shut up! Both of you.”  Xavier turned back to Bartholomew.  “Like I said, leave my stuff alone or you'll see what happens when The Nanny isn't around to protect you.” 
Xavier turned to leave and Khua and Mo followed him.  The Nanny waited to see that the boys would leave Bartholomew alone and then waved goodnight to Bartholomew.  He waved goodnight back.


                                                            *          *          *

            Even though everything went really well tonight, Diary, I do have a concern about this one.  I am wondering if he will survive long enough! Until tomorrow. 



*     *     *     *     *
 
The Nanny Diary is the 24th story in The Book of Bartholomew. The story is written by Mark Granlund and illustrated by Justin Terlecki.
 
Bartholomew becomes an unsuspecting participant in The Nanny's Operation Happily Ever After. Will Bartholomew fulfill The Nanny's odd requests around intimacy? Could this possibly make anyone happy ever after?
 
You can see the full-color flipbook version of this story here

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hope This Helps - First Encounters

Every so often, The Book of Bartholomew offers up an advice column by Topping and Charlotte. These columns, called Hope This Helps, are available by clicking on highlighted text in the stories. As the healthiest young couple in the book, they are willing to share their wisdom on relationships: familial, platonic and romantic.  This week's story has Charlotte and Topping advising a fan on making new intimate encounters less difficult. 

Dear HTH,
I feel like such an idiot. The other night I had my first intimate encounter with my new boyfriend. I had made out with a couple of guys before and even went all the way once with a guy, but that was a weird and unusual situation. Anyway, my new boyfriend, I'll call him Zigfried, came over to my apartment for dinner. Afterward we both were anticipating that something would happen and were a little awkward and nervous. Finally, Zigfried hugged me and started kissing me. It felt great. We moved to the sofa and started really kissing. I really liked what we were doing but was a little unsure of what I wanted or what to do. Then Zigfried started feeling all over me with his hands. At one point, he reached between my legs and rubbed my crotch. I don't think I was quite ready for that just yet, but it was okay for the moment. I really liked kissing him and was feeling like I wanted just to do that and hug and roll around for awhile. Then Zigfried started unbuttoning my blouse. I just wasn't ready for that yet. I don't know, maybe ten minutes later that would have been fine, but just then I wasn't ready for that. I stopped the session by pulling away some. I suggested it was getting late and that he should go home. He left. He seemed a little mad or frustrated. I just wish I knew how to get intimate with someone without all that nervousness and uncertainty. Are there steps to take to make first encounters less difficult?
Not a Prude But Feeling Like One
West Saint Paul
Dear Not a Prude,
Charlotte: Thanks for sharing a very personal and detailed story. I think this is something most people are left to figure out for themselves and it can be very... intimidating. 

Topping: As a guy I can tell you that we go through the same thing. It is hard to know what your girlfriend wants the first time; what's going to be too far, what's going to be too little. The last thing you want to do is step over a line that might end everything. Guys are always nervous about that. 

Charlotte: I know, too, that its not always clear going into the situation just how far you will go. You might think you just want to kiss a little, but then he ends up being a really good kisser and it makes you want more. It can be a changing situation. 

Topping: Its also hard for guys because women often let the guy take the lead. So a guy is in the position of always pushing the envelope to find out what the woman wants. Sometimes, until you do cross a line, you don't know what she wants. So we're in the position of pushing until we do something you don't like. 

Charlotte: Not a Prude, I don't know if we have a list of steps to take to make this weird moment of discovery any easier, but I think there is a need for clear communication in the moment. 

Topping: Wow, that's not easy. I mean, my head can be spinning when intimacy starts. Its hard to think about communicating clearly. 

Charlotte: But you do communicate clearly when we are intimate. 

Topping: I do? 

Charlotte: Yeah. If you're not liking something I'm doing you gently grab my hand and redirect me. Or you very softly reposition me. Wow, this is embarrassing! I've never talked about this stuff publicly before. 

Topping: I do remember the first time we started making out. I did unbutton your shirt,... well I don't know how much to share,... but when I went a step further you politely told me that you were happy to just do what we were doing, no more. I was happy with that, I liked being with you and what we were doing felt great. 

Charlotte: I think the important thing is to indicate your boundaries while communicating that you still want to be intimate with him and be close to him. If he's not willing to be patient, that's a different situation. But that first encounter with a guy you are interested in should be positive and end on a good note. 

Topping: I don't think any guy worth dating is going to complain if you don't go all the way the first time, but instead want to have a long relationship where you get to discover each other over time. 

Charlotte: Wow, nicely put. And there is something very sexy about knowing you will be getting together again and picking up where you left off. Something to be excited about until the next date.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Nanny Diary - Illustrations by Justin Terlecki

Justin Terlecki created the illustrations for The Nanny Diary.  He previously created the illustrations for Bartholomew Makes Another Decision.  He surprised me this time by not only illustrating a front cover piece, but also many smaller images for the margins.  The moment I saw them I found these images absolutely wonderful.  The first three are of Bartholomew and The Nanny making-out.

Justin is a quiet fellow.  I wondered what he would do with the most erotic story of the series.  Of course, he knocked it out of the park.  The energy, the color and the quality all
.
capture the story beautifully. And I love the playfulness of the work, especially the coffeepot that is setting off the smoke alarm.

When he showed me the cover illustration, the last image below, he was so excited for me to find the different parts of the story within the image. Gerald's mansion has never been grander! And it is so Italian -- something I never imagined. It is a pleasure working with Justin because he is so excited about his work. And his work is quite grand itself.

The Nanny Diary is published April 26, 2013 at The Book of Bartholomew.







Monday, April 22, 2013

The Nanny Diary - Story

I really enjoyed writing this story.  I had been thinking about writing this one for a long time.  Originally, I planned on it being located about five stories before where it is now.  But as I wrote other stories this one kept getting pushed off. Yet, my mind kept thinking about it and reviewing outlines and possibilities.  When I finally wrote it, it was easy.  The story poured out of me like slippery water.  But then I started adding a scene with Xavier and Khua at the end.  I thought this seemed completely wrong -- the part with Xavier and Khua should get picked up somewhere else.  But when I was done, it was obvious that the ending needed to stay.  It brings a depth and strength in direction for the following stories.

Although Bartholomew has been portrayed in a love scene previously (see Bartholomew and a Carload of Trouble or Bartholomew and the Cabana Fire), this is a bit more detailed and lasts a little longer than anything with Geraldine.  Yet, Geraldine seems to make her presence felt whenever Bartholomew is in a romantic situation.  So there is an intercourse of story lines and experiences here in this piece.  I liked playing with this interplay and referencing previous stories.  Kyle the pool boy even makes a cameo.  So, with no further adieu, here is an excerpt from The Nanny Diary that will be published on Friday, April 26, 2013.


The Nanny opened the door. “Hi Bartholomew! Come on in."

Bartholomew walked into a house that seemed to be very old with dark wooden beams, plaster walls, antique furniture and handmade rugs. This surprised him since he knew the house was less than a year old.

“Do you like my stuff?” asked The Nanny. “I have collected it over the years and take it with me whenever I get a new job.”

“Haven't you been a nanny for Gerald's kids for six or seven years?” asked Bartholomew.

“Six years, eight months.”

“You're not that old. What other nanny gigs have you had?”

“Oh, a few more. But let's not talk about that. Guess what I made for dinner?” Not waiting for Bartholomew to answer she said, “Corn on the cob, green beans, marinated lamb and kale chips.”

“Kale chips?” asked Bartholomew.

“Yes, it’s a new recipe I learned. I think you’ll like them.”

Bartholomew and The Nanny had a perfectly wonderful meal full of good food and good conversation. For dessert, a wild berry torte with real whipped cream, The Nanny put on some coffee and suggested they retire to the living room.

They escorted each other and their desserts to a big comfortable upholstered couch with maple legs. The coffee table was also made of maple and held magazines, a few chotzkes and a condiment dish full of chocolates.

“Oh, this light is too bright. We need candles. Bartholomew, could you grab me the matches on the windowsill behind you?”

At this, Bartholomew became a bit nervous. “Do we need candles?” Memories swirled in his head again. This time it was of Geraldine asking him to retrieve some matches from a windowsill in the cabana. It was one of those matches that started the cabana on fire.

“Don't be silly. I promise you, you will be happier with candles,” said The Nanny.

Bartholomew found the matches and handed them to her. She lit five candles and placed them on tables around the couch. They turned their attention to the very tasty tortes and conversed while eating.

“So, how are your garden plans coming?” asked The Nanny as she ate her last bite.

“Oh, very well. Topping, Charlotte, Ned and Claire are all going to garden with me and so are Uncle Jeffrey and Aunt Josephine. I am very excited.”

Putting her plate on the coffee table and then moving closer to Bartholomew, The Nanny said, “That's great. Is there room for one more?”

“Absolutely,” said Bartholomew as he put down his plate and moved closer to The Nanny. At the same time, they both moved to kiss each other. As they pulled their faces away they stared into each other's eyes. Bartholomew put his arm around The Nanny and they kissed again. This time they kissed much longer. They kissed several more times – each kiss becoming longer and more passionate. Bartholomew wanted to put his hand on The Nanny's breast but wanted to be polite and wait for a signal from her. Instead, he cradled her head in his hand and then began to stroke her hair while they kissed.

“Ohhh,” said The Nanny, “that feels so good. Keep stroking my hair and patting my head. Oh, that drives me crazy!”

Bartholomew didn't mind stroking her hair, but he felt a little funny when he patted her head. But The Nanny's groans indicated that, as silly as Bartholomew felt, he was on the right track. The Nanny unexpectedly pushed Bartholomew backward on to the couch. His leg kicked out and knocked over something on the coffee table. Bartholomew went rigid. He could see a candle rolling to the edge of the table, wax spilling on a magazine. The candle fell aflame onto a handmade floor rug. He was about to yell out, “NO, STOP, GERALDINE! THERE'S A FIRE!” but the candle landed on its tip and went out immediately.

“Are you okay?” asked The Nanny.

Bartholomew took one more glance at the candle and saw that it was indeed out. All of his muscles relaxed and he smiled. He was not with Geraldine. Things were not necessarily going to be a disaster. “Yeah, I'm great,” he said and kissed her again with renewed passion.

Friday, April 19, 2013

#23 Are You My Lover?



 

The darkness faded into a blurry light. 

“Where am I?” thought the pug.

She looked around.  Inside she felt an uneasiness.  She remembered having something to eat.  Was it a Donkey Burger and Fat Fries?  She stood up on her little tan legs.  Her unease grew stronger.  She walked out into the bright light of the sun and a sidewalk full of people.  The people seemed unusually tall.  Why was it that she only could see…

The unease suddenly throbbed in her groin.  Her tongue hung out of her mouth, her eyes stared at all the... legs.  Hundreds of legs!  Some legs were in blue denim, some in khaki knits or dark polyester.   The unease overwhelmed the poor little pug as she found herself lunging into the crowd and attempting to attach herself to the nearest leg.  Her front paws reached for a calf, but the person was walking too fast.  The pug fell face-first onto the concrete.  She was up immediately, driven by a desperate need.

The next attempt was on a leg covered with black tights.  The pug's inner claw snagged on the tights and she was pulled along. 

“Hey!!” a startled girl cried.  She turned and saw the pug’s cute black face and little tan body.  Her eyes widened and she wanted to hug the pug and take it home.  But then the dog clamped onto the girl’s leg and began to hump furiously – “Are you my lover?  Are you my lover? Are you my lover?”  The pug looked up at the girl. The dog’s face wore an expression of embarrassment at being so needy.  “Please, oh please, be my lover!” 

“Ugh.  Disgusting!” said the girl as she shoved the dog away and left.

Undeterred, the pug ran over to a grouping of legs waiting curbside.  She launched herself onto a leg with an expensive leather shoe attached.  A man looked down.  Without saying a word he kicked the pug in the ribs.  The poor pug flew into the roadway and the sound of screeching brakes filled the air.  The chrome bumper of a 1974 Peugeot eclipsed the sun as the dog cowered in fear, anticipating pain.  Nothing happened, the car had stopped in time.  The pug slowly opened her eyes.  For a moment, the unease had disappeared, but then a flock of legs articulated across the roadway and the dog gave chase.

“I have a lover, I know I do,” said the pug, “I will find them, I will, I will.” 

She found it difficult to keep up with all those legs.  How could she ever hump them while they were moving so fast?  The pug looked about and spied a still pair of legs sitting at a bench.  She moved in for the mount.  

 Hump, hump, “Are you my lover? Are you my lover? Are you my lover? Are you my lover? Are you my lover? Are you my lover?”

The cold hard metal of a walking cane forced itself between the pug and the object of its affection.  Her paws held on tight.  The cane pried and pried.  Sounds of disgust emanated from an elderly woman-- owner of the leg.  With all her strength the woman finally separated the dog.  But the pug immediately attempted to attach again.  The cold hard metal came down on the pug’s head. 

“Are you my, ouch!  Are you my, ouch!  Are you my, ouch!”

The pug retreated.   Despite its setbacks, the pug continued to try to mount legs all day.

“I have a lover, I know I do,” said the pug, “I will find them, I will, I will.” 

As the sun began to sink in the west, the poor pug, bruised and beaten, tired and defeated, found a quiet place behind a dumpster and fell asleep.

The sun rose in the east, and the pug awoke. The unease was still there in her loins.  It drove her forward in search of a lover that would accept her, a lover that will love her.

The first leg she found was sitting at a bench.  Bleary and tired, she was thankful that it wasn’t walking.   She rose up and grabbed on with her front legs.  Her hips began to thrust.  Nothing happened; no cane swatting her on the head, no kick from a shoe, no face-plant in the sidewalk.  Enjoying her uninterrupted pleasure, the little pug went into another world somewhere inside herself.

 After some time, the pug wondered why she hadn’t been hit or kicked or shoved away.  She opened her eyes and found that the leg she thought she was humping had disappeared.  It had somehow been replaced by the leg of the bench.  Was she so tired this morning that she had started humping the wrong leg?  At that moment she didn’t care.  Having humped the bench for awhile, she felt somewhat relieved.  She dismounted and went off to look for a real leg.

The rest of morning she was met again with rejection and hurt.

That afternoon, after a lunch courtesy of a Donkey Burger restaurant dumpster, the pug headed off to the downtown park.  She approached a bench full of legs.  Remembering her previous bench encounter and the last ten times she had been kicked, the poor little doggie decided to mount the bench leg instead of the real legs.  She humped away; “Are you my lover? Are you my lover? Are you my lover?”  The bench did not answer.  The real legs laughed at her.  She ran away.

The pug was feeling defeated.  Maybe she was barking up the wrong tree.  Perhaps legs and benches were not meant to be her lovers.  At that moment, an old car drove past.  Its wheels spun round and round and looked sexy to the little pug.

“Are you my lover?!” she yelled after the car.

The car did not respond.

The pug saw a plane fly high overhead.  “Are you my lover?!”

The plane was too far away to hear her.

Nearby a lamp post seemed like something different, something the pug had never thought about before.  “Are you my lover?” the pug asked over and over again as it thrust its hips back and forth against the post.

A group of boys saw the pug humping the lamppost and broke out in laughter.  She stopped humping the post.  She moved away and looked for something else to hump. The boys watched her as she moved around the park attaching to people’s legs and lampposts and rocks and trees.  The boys gathered around her.

There was something about these boys, something familiar.  “Are these my lovers?” the pug wondered, becoming excited by the number of legs around her.

“Hey, little dog you can, like, hump my leg,” said one of the boys as he extended his leg.

The dog did not think twice and attached herself to the blue jean clad appendage.  The boy laughed a mean sounding laugh and then a fist came down into the pug’s face.  The pug winced and yelped. 

“Good one, Khua,” snorted Mo who was extending his leg out to the hurt little dog.  The pug could not resist.  As she approached the boy, his foot caught her in the ribs and sent her flying. She landed at the feet of the third boy who had a cigarette in his mouth.  He picked her up by the scruff of her neck and held her in front of his face. 

“You stupid mutt!” said the boy.  “You want to hump something so bad, don’t you?  You want my leg?  I’ll give you something to hump, you horny little bitch.”  With this he took the cigarette out of his mouth and moved the lit end toward the pug’s crotch.

The other boys laughed.  “Yeah, you stupid Hump-Pug,” said Khua.  The three boys laughed and started chanting, “Hump-Pug, Hump-Pug, Hump-Pug…”

Hump-Pug could feel the heat of Xavier’s cigarette coming close to her skin.  She squirmed and kicked, knocking the cigarette out of Xavier’s hand.  Xavier squeezed her neck even tighter and she whined.

The three boys laughed.  “Stupid Hump-Pug,” said Xavier and threw her to the ground.  Mo gave her one more kick and the three boys walked away chanting Hump-Pug’s name. 

Poor little Hump-Pug!  She was confused.  Why was a lover so hard to find? How could people be so mean to her when she just wanted to love?  The following weeks and months were cold and dark for Hump-Pug. As the winter wore on into a cold wet spring, she mounted an unimaginable number of objects and legs.  Each time she was disappointed and hurt.  To Hump-Pug, life began to seem as if it was a cruel joke, an endless series of embarrassments.   She felt cheated, as if her birth was a mistake. Maybe she would be better off never having been born.  Maybe she would be better off dead.  Her soul drooped, then it crumpled and then it imploded.  Hump-Pug no longer wanted to exist.  There was no hope. 

“I do not have a lover, I know I don’t,” said the pug, “I won’t find them, I won’t, I won’t.”



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Are You My Lover? is the 23rd story in The Book of Bartholomew. The story, written and illustrated by Mark Granlund.
A small pug dog can't stop humping people's legs, walking canes, benches, and lamp posts. Will she ever learn how to find true love?
You can see the full-color flipbook version of this story here