Man Enough

My girlfriend only beats me when she’s not Christopher Walken, and she only becomes the famed actor when we make final bedtime adjustments with my sheepskin blanket. The first time she spent the night, she hugged me from behind and who knew what to make of the sudden knee in my back, the coarse rubbing of bushy legs and the gruff prickles of her chin? Only after reaching around and feeling the snugness of her silk undergarments, then smoothing my palm over her once-soft hips, down to her you know what, did I try and wiggle free. That’s when she full-nelsoned me and spoke in his voice.

“Surprise! Brad… Wait… Don’t refuse me. Who knows? Could be: you, me, me, you, might have a big fat whale of fun. ‘cause how to treat a lady… Is something… You already know.”

“But you’ve transformed into a grown man,” said I, trying to wiggle free of his grip, “How can we ever go back to the way it was?”

“In a few hours, it stops. We’re both night night, wake up, it’s the same old you and me. Tomorrow, you turn over… Look over… You’ll know, deep down, I’m… the one. ‘cause I’ll still be stunning. And I’ll have no other choice, but to love you, a whole big bunch, even though you lost both balls to the neighbor’s dog, when you were still in diapers. Come on, ask me: What twenty-two-year-old smells like spring, with this kinda rack, gonna want you or love you? I don’t wanna have babies. You’re my baby. Sex: Who needs that when I got a big ball of you to nuzzle. You. Brad. You’re a box a yum yum.”

My girlfriend pulled me at close range and kissed behind my earlobe, grabbed hold of my thigh and said, “Come on… Farm boy. Grrrr! Gimme some spoon.”


What happened was some man, some disgusting horrible person with a you know what for a brain was folding his clothes across the table at the local laundr-o-mat and decided giving my girlfriend a smarmy little smile as she folded her undergarments was an okay thing to do.

“Put it away, guy. She’s a human being.”

He cocked a coy brow and said, “Pardon? What?”

“Brad, he didn’t do anything,” my girlfriend whispered, embarrassed, but sheepishly thankful. She kept folding.

“Hey? Bud?” I told this hulking boob in his speedos and racing shirt, “I happen to be in love with her.”

Then the sounds of spin cycles and collective rinsing.

“Okay?” he said, tonguing his fluffy moustache.

Elbows on the table, I leaned forward and said it again. “Look at me bud. Look at me. Look at me.”

He did. And his crooked smile trembled.

“I love her,” I said, then said, “And she… look at me bud. She, loves me. Get it? It’s a little more complicated than your penis. This word, this horrible thing, had not exited my lips since grade school. “So keep it away from us.”

He understood. He made a sour face and took his clothing elsewhere.

I thought my girlfriend would rush into my arms and bury her face in my chest. But she didn’t do that. Instead her throat heaved and her shoulders cracked, then she grabbed my hair and slammed my face into the table, three times, chipping teeth, and took me by the seat of my cords and threw me headfirst into the dryer, banging my hip with the glass door until she was subdued.

It hurt.

But I knew it was her way of saying, “This is the pain I’ve endured from the animal nature of men since childhood. Feel my pain, Brad. Feel it baby!” I knew because that’s what she screamed while she did this.

The beatings got worse. Anytime I held the door, cooked meals or lit her cigarette, my girlfriend would kick me in my you know what and point and laugh like a child, or burn my shoulder with a cigarette, sprinkle Morton’s salt on the wound and rub it in with her pinky, or stab the bottoms of my feet with sewing needles.

This hurt. This hurt a lot.

Then something happened. The same feeling when my step-dad would sneak into the shower with me after wilderness walks, palming a tube of jelly.

We were spooning in the dark, under the sanctity of washed sheets, when I felt the warmth of her you know what, Walken’s you know what, slip under my briefs and pulse into my driveway. She started noodling it in with her hips. It was uncut, same as mine.

This was the first time I called him by name. “Don’t Chris. Just let’s cuddle.”

Come on… Brad… Try. It’s a riot. Baby. Besides. I got needs. And I’m fast!”

I asked Christopher Walken why couldn’t it stay like it was, why must he succumb to his animal self, and if he was my girlfriend’s animal self, then how could it be that the animal self had an animal self?

But by then, his sandpaper churn turned oiled and dewy. Gorgeous moments passed from biting my fist in familiar tears to reaching around and slamming his pelvis hence, screaming for him to mark my dead zone deeper. He arrived and filled me with the same sudden wet warmth as when you pee in the pool, know it’s disgusting, but dang it, it’s just the best.

My girlfriend stopped beating me. She let me cook and clean, hold doors and light cigarettes.

I screamed at men with you know whats as she cooed her way into my fatherly arms.

Months later, as we lay spooning, Walken whispered into my ear between broken kisses, “Boy. Brad. I can’t get enough a that tush.”

And it was when he said “boy” that I said in return how I wanted him to be my daddy.

He said it to me, amidst each slapping thrust, “Obi-Wan, never told you, what happened to your dad,” repeatedly, beautifully, ecstatically, “I’m your dad.”

About the author:

Adam Cushman holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University. His stories have been featured in Pindeldyboz, The Portland Review and He is currently shopping his first novel, entitled "Draw."